Are Rideshare Companies Liable for Sexual Assaults by Their Drivers?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1048197574-min.jpgRideshare apps such as Uber and Lyft are used regularly by people throughout the United States. These services can make transportation easy and convenient. However, people may not be aware of the risks that they may face when using rideshare apps. In a troubling trend, thousands of people have reported sexual assaults by rideshare drivers. Those who have been assaulted or otherwise harmed by drivers for Uber or Lyft will want to understand their options for pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against these companies.

Reports of Rideshare Driver Sexual Assaults

Due to ongoing concern about the safety of rideshare passengers, Uber and Lyft have released reports detailing the number of incidents that occurred in recent years. Lyft’s most recent report showed that there were 4,158 reports of sexual assault from its customers between 2017 and 2019. These incidents included 360 reports of rape, with other cases involving nonconsensual touching of body parts or attempted sexual penetration. Reports involving Uber drivers have been even more troubling. Between 2017 and 2018, the company logged around 6,000 reports of sexual assault, including 235 rapes. 

While rideshare companies have noted that the vast majority of rides provided by their drivers do not involve harm to passengers, this does not excuse the fact that drivers have assaulted people while working for these companies. Uber and Lyft have come under fire due to the practices they follow when verifying drivers’ records and allowing them to provide transportation for passengers. While the companies do perform background checks, some people with criminal histories or unsafe driving records have been verified as drivers, potentially putting passengers at risk.

Passengers who have been assaulted by rideshare drivers may sometimes struggle to hold a company liable for the harm they have suffered. While employers may be held liable for the actions of their employees, Uber and Lyft classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. By doing so, they may attempt to avoid being held liable for sexual assaults or other injuries inflicted by their drivers. Passengers who have been harmed by rideshare drivers will want to work with an attorney to determine the best ways to hold companies accountable for their failure to protect their safety.

Contact Our Connecticut Rideshare Injury Lawyer

If you have been assaulted by a driver for Lyft or Uber, or if you have suffered other injuries while using a rideshare service, Woolf Law Firm, LLC can help you understand your legal options. We will work to help you pursue compensation that fully addresses the damages you have suffered. Contact our Hartford Uber/Lyft injury attorney today by calling 860-290-8690 and scheduling a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/10/22/lyft-safety-report/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/12/05/uber-disclosed-sexual-assaults-us-rides-last-year-its-long-awaited-safety-report/

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/us-law-week/uber-sexual-assault-suits-mount-as-it-tries-to-calm-safety-fears


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