Ride-sharing services have revolutionized transportation, offering convenience and accessibility. However, Uber and other ride-sharing companies have been sued countless times in recent years by passengers alleging sexual assault. In fact, data from Uber’s 2020 safety report showed a total of 9,805 sexual assault reports between 2017 and 2020. Even more disturbing, 852 of those incident included reports of rape.
Incidents of sexual assault or harassment during Uber rides, which involved everything from groping and kidnapping to rape, are deeply concerning. It’s important for individuals to understand their rights and options in such distressing situations.
What Constitutes Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault encompasses a wide range of non-consensual sexual acts, including unwanted physical contact, inappropriate remarks, and coercive behavior. In the context of Uber rides, sexual assault or harassment can occur when a driver engages in unwelcome advances, inappropriate touching, or any form of sexual misconduct towards a passenger. Any act of sexual assault is unlawful and a violation of personal rights.
What to Do if You’ve Been Sexually Assaulted or Harassed During an Uber Ride
If you have experienced sexual assault or harassment during a ride with Uber or any other ride-sharing company, your safety, well-being, and legal rights are the number one concern. Taking immediate action is critical.
- Seek Safety and Support — If you feel that you are in imminent danger, call 911 or reach out to law enforcement for immediate assistance. After ensuring your safety, consider contacting a trusted friend, family member, or a support hotline for emotional support and guidance.
- Document the Incident — Preserve any evidence related to the incident, such as screenshots of ride details, text messages, or emails exchanged with the driver. Documenting the details of the incident can be valuable in the event of legal proceedings.
- Report the Incident to Uber — Use the Uber app or website to report the incident to Uber’s support team. Providing a detailed description of the incident can help initiate an investigation into the driver’s behavior and contribute to passenger safety.
- Seek Legal Counsel — Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is essential. An attorney can provide guidance on legal options, assist in navigating the complexities of the legal system, and advocate for your rights with empathy and compassion.
How to Reduce the Risk of Being Sexually Assaulted by an Uber Driver
While no one should bear the responsibility for preventing sexual assault, there are proactive measures that passengers can take to enhance their safety during Uber rides:
- Verify Driver Information — Before entering a vehicle, confirm that the vehicle details and driver information displayed in the app match the actual vehicle and driver. Utilize the in-app safety features, such as sharing trip details with trusted contacts.
- Stay in Communication — Share your ride details with a friend or family member and stay in communication throughout the ride. In case of any concerns, have the option to reach out for assistance.
- Trust Your Instincts — If you feel uncomfortable during a ride, trust your instincts. You have the right to request the driver to end the trip at a safe location or to exit the vehicle if you perceive any risk to your safety.
- Utilize Safety Features — Familiarize yourself with Uber’s safety features, such as the in-app emergency button, and utilize them if needed.
Contact Altman & Altman, LLP Today
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault or harassment during an Uber ride, we are here to provide compassionate legal assistance and advocate for your rights. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our personal injury lawyers are dedicated to holding accountable those who engage in misconduct and ensuring that survivors of sexual assault receive the support and justice they deserve.
We will guide you through the legal process with sensitivity and determination, empowering you to obtain fair compensation for the harm you have endured. If you have been sexually assaulted during an Uber ride, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.