Rideshare Services and Sexual Misconduct
Rideshare industry giant Uber recently released its first-ever U.S. safety report, covering the years 2017 and 2018. Most of the news articles surrounding the release have focused on the report’s discussion of reported sexual assaults committed by (and against) Uber drivers. As of yet, Uber’s principal competitor Lyft has not as released a similar report. However, it is probably fair to assume that assaults and unwanted sexual advances are also a similar problem for it.
In addition to being crimes, sexual assaults are a form of battery which can lead to civil liability for physical and emotional harm from the attack. If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual assault in a rideshare vehicle, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim would be pleased to help you get all the compensation you deserve.
While stressing the relatively rare nature of these incidents (around 3,000 in about 1.3 billion total U.S. trips in 2018), the Uber report also expresses a commitment the company has made to protect passengers and drivers alike. Steps recently implemented include:
- An in-app emergency button
- Enhanced driver background checks
- A trusted contacts feature. Riders can designate up to five family or friends with whom to share their trip details
- Modernizing its interface with 911 services. While fatal sexual assaults are rare, it’s estimated that 10,000 lives could be saved annually if first responders could arrive on scene an average of one minute sooner
Neither Uber nor Lyft has speculated on the percentage of rideshare assaults that go unreported, but experts contend that, overall in the U.S., up to 80 percent of rapes and other sexual assaults go unreported each year. As such, their frequency during rideshare trips may be far higher.
A number of assault victims have sued both of the major rideshare services, alleging that they negligently failed to take reasonable steps to protect riders and drivers against assaults or that they have been slow to respond to reports or to take them seriously.
A “Culture of Harassment and Retaliation”
Perhaps it’s not surprising that Uber drivers appear to commit sexual harassment on a regular basis. Whether its drivers are independent contractors or employees, Uber’s issues with harassment have also been an issue in its corporate offices. While the company has not admitted any wrongdoing, it recently agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle claims by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of sexual harassment and retaliation against those who lodged complaints.
Contact Us Today
A sexual assault can cause trauma that lasts a lifetime. If you’ve been the victim of an assault by a rideshare driver, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim are ready to help you get all the most compensation possible. Give us a call today at 1-800-LAW-TALK (1-800-529-8255) or use the contact form accessible through our home page.
Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.