Both Uber Drivers and Passengers at Risk of Sexual Assault
Just under half or 42 percent of the 6,000 sexual assault victims cases reported by Uber were drivers, not passengers as we would expect, according to a new safety report released by Uber.
Indeed, riders were accused of sexual assault in 45 percent of the cases reported to the rideshare company. Uber released its first ever safety report Thursday that states it has received 5,981 reports of sexual assault from both its passengers and its drivers in 2017 and 2018.
The report comes amid a time when Uber has been criticized and sued for not protecting its rideshare passengers from sexual assault.
In 2018, there were 3,045 reported sexual assaults, 235 were classified as rape and 280 others were considered attempted rape.
Overall, the number of reports is equal to about four cases each week or one for every 5 million rides.
Other categories listed in the report included nonconsensual touching of a sexual body part. This was the largest category listed with 1,560 incidents in 2018 that were mostly the touching of someone’s mouth or genitals. The rest of the sexual assaults were categorized as nonconsentual kissing and nonconsentual touching.
The most severe cases involving a safety issue accounted for only 0.0003 percent of the total trips traveled in both 2017 and 2018, the report said.
Tony West, Uber’s chef legal officer, told NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt that the numbers do not surprise him at all. “Sexual violence is just much more pervasive in society than I think most people realize.”
The company hopes that this data will help them make every trip safer for both drivers and riders alike.
Uber has recently added safety features to combat the problems involving sexual assault. Instead of conducting a single background check on drivers when they are hired, the company now does background checks on drivers every year. The rideshare company also added an in-app emergency button to allow riders call or text 911.
More recently, Uber vowed to work with other ride-hailing companies and share the names of banned drivers.
Have you been the victim of a Uber-related Crime?
Victims of sexual assault involving a rideshare company such as Uber may file a personal injury civil lawsuit against the company.
The victim will need to provide the facts supporting their claim that show the defendant was negligent or intentionally caused harm to them. Next, the victim will need to provide an accounting of the damages they have suffered including financial losses, emotional harm and other negative impacts in their lives. The case may be settled out of court on an agreed amount or a jury may decide the appropriate award for damages.
In these types of cases, the Uber driver will also face criminal prosecution.
It’s important that you discuss your potential claim with an experienced personal injury attorney. There may be significant medical expenses and ongoing long-term care or therapy as well as lost income that may be recovered in a lawsuit. It’s also important that these criminals are prosecuted to ensure that others are not harmed.
If you were assaulted by an Uber driver or were hurt in a collision in one of these vehicles, contact us at 1 (888) 729-0431.