Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit
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Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit

Sexual assault incidents involving Uber drivers have become an alarming issue, leaving survivors searching for answers and justice in the aftermath. These incidents can shatter a sense of safety and trust, making it difficult to know what to do next. In these challenging times, it’s crucial to understand your rights and obtain informed, dedicated support.

Estey & Bomberger, LLP is committed to advocating for the rights of Uber sexual assault survivors. Our attorneys are well-versed in the nuances of rideshare-related legal matters, providing the guidance and support needed to navigate these complex cases. If you have been affected by an Uber sexual assault, trust our attorneys to help you fight for justice.

Why Choose the Attorneys at Estey & Bomberger, LLP?

  • For over 20 years, our award-winning attorneys have represented sexual abuse survivors. We have the knowledge, expertise, and tenacity necessary to advocate for your rights and win your Uber sexual assault case.
  • Our firm will manage every detail of your Uber sexual assault case from start to finish, providing comprehensive legal and emotional support so you can focus on your personal recovery and healing.
  • We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and are committed to maintaining your anonymity and upholding your rights. We will keep your information private and confidential while we fight for the justice you deserve.

What Is Uber and How Does It Work?

Uber is a well-known company offering services such as ridesharing, food delivery, and freight transport. Based in San Francisco, it operates in around 70 countries and more than 10,500 cities and has hundreds of millions of monthly active users. Uber offers a range of rideshare services for different needs and budgets, such as UberX, UberX Share, Uber Comfort, and Uber Black.

Essentially, Uber connects customers with drivers through a mobile app. These drivers, using their own vehicles, offer various services on a freelance or contract basis. The Uber app handles everything from finding a ride or a meal to payment and communication between customers and drivers. It also includes safety features, such as an in-app emergency button that contacts 911 on a rider’s behalf.

Uber Faces Serious Allegations of Sexual Assault and Harassment

Uber has been embroiled in numerous civil lawsuits where plaintiffs, primarily rideshare passengers, allege they were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers. Many other plaintiffs were Uber drivers themselves who were sexually assaulted by passengers, as well as Uber corporate employees who have experienced sexual violence in the company’s offices. These legal actions raise grave concerns about Uber’s operational and recruitment practices.

Many of the lawsuits filed by passengers claim that Uber didn’t do enough to check the backgrounds of their drivers before hiring them. Allegedly, Uber used a streamlined system to swiftly onboard new drivers and grow their platform, inadvertently overlooking critical safety checks. As a result, drivers with questionable histories were allowed to operate rideshare vehicles and transport passengers, with some trips resulting in devastating and damaging sexual assaults.

Seeking Justice by Filing an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit

When sexual assault occurs during Uber rides, survivors may pursue justice through both criminal charges and civil lawsuits. While criminal charges are aimed at prosecuting offenders and can result in penalties such as imprisonment, fines, and probation, an Uber sexual assault lawsuit is a separate legal action that focuses on obtaining compensation for the victim.

In a sexual assault lawsuit, the emphasis shifts from punishing the perpetrator to helping survivors rebuild their lives following the attack. The assailant as well as Uber itself can be held accountable for their roles in the incident and their failure to uphold certain duties of care, such as conducting thorough background checks. 

At the conclusion of a successful claim, the survivor can recover compensation to pay for their physical, emotional, and financial damages, irrespective of the outcome of any criminal case. Furthermore, the burden of proof in a civil lawsuit is lower than in a criminal trial, making it possible to achieve a favorable resolution even if the criminal case does not yield a conviction.

Can Uber Be Liable in a Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

Uber has faced numerous lawsuits from victims of sexual assault who allege that the company failed to uphold passenger safety adequately. These lawsuits are often based on various factors, including but not limited to:

  • Failure to conduct thorough background checks on drivers
  • Negligence in removing dangerous drivers from the Uber platform
  • Failure to address reports of sexual assault filed by passengers
  • A lack of appropriate security measures within the app and Uber vehicles

In many cases, victims argue that Uber’s negligence contributed to their assault or allowed the perpetrator to continue operating as a driver, endangering other passengers. To establish liability, a victim must demonstrate that Uber owed a duty of care to its passengers, breached that duty through negligence or misconduct, and that this breach directly led to the assault. By failing to adequately screen and monitor its drivers, Uber may be considered negligent in fulfilling its duty to protect passengers.

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Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits

Over the years, Uber has been the subject of litigation involving sexual violence, filed by its employees as well as passengers who were assaulted while using its service. These lawsuits reflect a growing concern over the safety practices of ridesharing companies and the legal responsibility they bear in protecting their customers:

  • Oregon Woman Sues Uber For $1 Million: In January 2020, an Oregon woman initiated legal action against Uber and one of its drivers, seeking damages exceeding $1 million. This lawsuit stemmed from a 2018 incident where she was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver. Despite the driver being acquitted of criminal charges in 2019, the civil lawsuit focuses on Uber’s responsibility in ensuring passenger safety and adequately vetting its drivers.
  • Massachusetts Woman Files Federal Lawsuit: In July 2020, a Massachusetts woman filed a federal lawsuit against Uber, related to a sexual assault incident by an Uber driver in 2018. This case was particularly alarming as the accused driver was arrested but subsequently fled the country. The lawsuit calls out Uber’s hiring practices, alleging they endanger passengers by failing to conduct thorough background checks.
  • New York Woman Sues Uber in New York Supreme Court: A lawsuit filed in September 2020 by a New York woman accused Uber of failing to protect its users from sexual assault. The plaintiff, who suffered an assault in 2018, highlighted a pattern of reported incidents that Uber did not adequately address. She also accused Uber of deceptive marketing practices, presenting an image of safety despite lacking adequate safety measures to protect passengers from sexual assault.
  • Philadelphia Woman Assaulted by Uber Driver: On December 11, 2021, a Philadelphia woman filed a lawsuit against both Uber and the driver accused of sexually assaulting her. She had used the service to get home after a night out in 2017, during which she was assaulted by her driver. This case also highlights the discrepancy between Uber’s brand image of safety and the reality faced by passengers.
  • Uber Sued Over Passenger Assault: In September 2023, a lawsuit was filed against Uber by a Los Angeles woman alleging she was sexually assaulted by a driver after falling asleep in his car. This incident, which occurred after the woman had been drinking with friends, raises serious questions about Uber’s commitment to passenger safety, especially for those in vulnerable situations.
  • Court Consolidates Uber Lawsuits: In October 2023, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation agreed to consolidate all pending Uber sexual assault cases into a class action MDL in the Northern District of California. This decision signifies a major development, aiming for efficient legal proceedings and a unified approach to handling these serious allegations. This consolidation means that all future federal court cases involving Uber sexual assaults will be transferred to the MDL in California. The outcomes of these trials are crucial as they may influence potential settlements and provide a framework for handling similar cases in the future. If no settlement arises from the MDL, individual cases will return to federal courts in their respective states for further proceedings.

Compensation in an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit

By holding Uber accountable for its negligence and misconduct in passenger safety, victims can receive the financial support they need to rebuild their lives after such traumatic experiences. If you are considering filing a sexual assault lawsuit, there are many types of damages that you may be entitled to receive. 

Depending on the nature of the assault and the harm that you suffered, your settlement can pay for a range of losses, such as:

  • Medical Expenses: You may claim compensation for medical bills incurred as a result of the assault, including emergency room visits, surgeries, therapy, and ongoing medical care. This includes past, ongoing, and future expenses.
  • Pain and Suffering: Sexual assault can lead to significant emotional trauma and physical pain. You may seek compensation for the pain and suffering that you experienced as a result of the incident, encompassing mental anguish, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.
  • Lost Wages: If the assault resulted in physical injuries or psychological trauma that prevented you from working, you may seek compensation for lost wages and the loss of future earnings.
  • Therapy and Counseling: Therapeutic support can help you cope with the aftermath of a sexual assault and regain control over your life. The costs of therapy and counseling may be included in the final settlement, often included in the medical expenses portion of the award.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence or misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the liable parties and deter similar behavior in the future. Different states have different rules regarding punitive damages, so it is important to consult with an attorney to determine whether you are eligible.

Why You Need an Uber Sexual Assault Lawyer on Your Side

Seeking justice after experiencing sexual assault during an Uber ride can be an arduous journey. Survivors often find themselves facing not only the emotional and physical aftermath of the assault but also the complex legal system. The process of holding the Uber driver and company accountable can be daunting and overwhelming. This is where hiring an Uber sexual assault lawyer can make a significant difference.

Survivors of sexual assault need someone in their corner who understands the intricacies of the legal system, someone who can advocate for their rights, and someone who will relentlessly pursue justice on their behalf. An attorney from Estey & Bomberger, LLP can provide that support, leveraging their skills, experience, and resources to seek fair and just compensation.

Here is what an Uber sexual assault lawyer can do for you:

  • Legal Expertise: Our attorneys specialize in sexual assault cases involving rideshare services like Uber. We have an in-depth understanding of the laws, regulations, and precedents relevant to your case, and have protected the rights of survivors for decades. With us by your side, you can trust that your case will be handled with competence and professionalism.
  • Investigative Resources: We will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence crucial to your case. This may include obtaining ride records, security camera footage, and witness statements to build a compelling argument in your favor.
  • Building a Strong Case: We will work diligently to build a strong case against both the Uber driver and the company. Our attorneys will leverage their legal expertise and resources to establish liability and hold those responsible accountable for their actions or negligence, crafting compelling arguments in your favor.
  • Emotional Support: We understand the emotional toll that sexual assault takes on survivors. Our firm can provide support and guidance throughout the legal process, ensuring you feel heard and understood every step of the way. We can also connect you to our network of therapists, victims’ advocates, and other professionals who can help you navigate the aftermath of the assault.
  • Negotiation and Litigation: Our goal is to ensure you receive the maximum possible compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. Whether at the negotiating table or in the courtroom, we will tirelessly pursue the justice you deserve so that you can move forward in your recovery.
  • Protecting Your Rights: An attorney from Estey & Bomberger, LLP will protect your rights throughout the legal proceedings, making sure that you are treated fairly and with the respect you deserve.
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Tips for Protecting Your Safety While Riding in an Uber

When using rideshare services like Uber, safety is paramount. While Uber has implemented features that can be used in an emergency, passengers can take additional precautions to protect themselves during their ride:

  • Verify the Driver: Before getting into an Uber, confirm that the driver matches the information provided in the app, including their name, photo, and license plate number. Do not get into the vehicle if any details do not match.
  • Share Trip Details: Uber’s “Share My Trip” feature allows someone to track your route and estimated arrival time. Share your trip details with a trusted friend or family member and ask them to take action if you deviate from your expected route, experience significant delays, or fail to arrive at your destination within a reasonable timeframe.
  • Ride in the Back: Whenever possible, sit in the back seat to maintain distance and create a physical barrier between you and the driver. This positioning not only offers more personal space but also provides you with a clearer view of the driver’s actions.
  • Keep Personal Information Private: Avoid sharing personal information, such as your phone number or home address, with the driver. Uber provides an anonymous communication platform within the app; only communicate with the driver via your app to protect your privacy.
  • Trust Your Instincts: You have the right to end your Uber trip at any time and exit the vehicle in a safe location. If you ever feel uncomfortable during a ride, trust your instincts and request the driver to drop you off in a trusted, public place, such as at a store or restaurant.
  • Report Your Concerns: If you encounter any issues during your ride, such as inappropriate behavior from the driver, report it to Uber immediately through the app. At the very least, this creates a record of the driver’s actions. At best, you can help remove the driver from the platform and protect other passengers.

Although these tips can help you stay safe while riding in an Uber, we cannot control the actions of dangerous people. We also do not have control over Uber’s negligent practices when it comes to hiring, screening, and disciplining drivers. Despite any person’s efforts, sexual assault can—and does—occur.

If you are sexually assaulted in an Uber, remember that it is not your fault and that you deserve justice. In these situations, it is important to report the incident to the police, seek medical attention to treat injuries and collect forensic evidence, and seek support from a trusted loved one or professional counselor. Then, contact an attorney who can help you explore your legal options.

Contact an Attorney to File an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit Today

Surviving a sexual assault in an Uber can leave you feeling vulnerable and uncertain about the next steps. At Estey & Bomberger, LLP, our attorneys can guide you through the legal process with compassion and expertise. Our firm is committed to ensuring your voice is heard and your rights are protected. 

Trust us to secure the justice and compensation you deserve while maintaining your privacy and dignity. Contact us today at 1-888-675-8555 to discuss your case with an Uber sexual assault attorney.