Ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft, are extremely convenient for metropolitan residents, but their drivers are not always trustworthy. In some instances, a rideshare passenger may be physically or sexually assaulted by a driver. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you’re not alone, and you have more options than you may think. This article discusses your legal options after experiencing a rideshare physical or sexual assault. It will also explore potential compensation and what you should do after an incident.
Frequency of Assaults Among Rideshare Users
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know just how many people are victims of physical or sexual assaults from rideshare drivers. However, many news reports have come out in recent years indicating that this is a more widespread problem than companies like Uber or Lyft
Lyft will readily admit.
For example, Lyft alone recorded over 4000 sexual assault claims in 2019. If you or a loved one have been involved in a physical or sexual assault during a rideshare experience, know that you aren’t alone.
In addition, remember that there are legal options available to you. Although these assaults are unconventional because of the contractor status of most rideshare drivers, justice is attainable. The right legal team can help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What to Do After a Rideshare Physical or Sexual Assault
In the immediate aftermath of a rideshare physical or sexual assault, get yourself to safety ASAP. If you are injured, be sure to visit a medical clinic or hospital or call emergency services to your location. If you were sexually assaulted, contact the police and make sure that you get to a hospital to have a rape kit performed, if appropriate. It’s the best way to ensure that the perpetrator meets justice.
You should also do a few other things, including:
- Write down your memories of the experience. Memories can fade with time, and it’s important to get the information down while it is still clear
- Report the incident to the rideshare company in question, such as Uber or Lyft. If you hire an attorney, they can take care of this part of the process for you.
- Take pictures of any injuries, if applicable
- Take a screenshot of your app screen. This indicates that you were in the middle of a rideshare ride and were in the car with the accused individual when the assault occurred
However, once you have been examined by medical professionals, you should contact knowledgeable legal professionals right away. Find out your legal options after a rideshare assault. Knowledgeable Florida assault attorneys at Hunter Law can:
- Provide sound legal counsel
- Ensure that you file a lawsuit on time and against the correct party
- Gather the evidence your case needs to succeed, including police reports, eyewitness accounts, and more
- Ensure that your lawsuit reaches a successful outcome and that you secure maximum compensation for your injuries or other damages
Who is Liable After a Rideshare Physical or Sexual Assault?
That depends on the case and the circumstances surrounding your assault. Technically, drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft are not traditional employees. Instead, they are classified as contractors by the law.
Because of this, rideshare companies are not always liable for the actions of their contractors. If they are sued, rideshare companies may simply claim that they just provide a platform for drivers and riders to communicate. They will say that they aren’t responsible for any harm the drivers commit.
The right attorney will push against this position and seek to hold the rideshare company responsible for the actions of its drivers. For example, rideshare companies are required to do in-depth background checks for drivers who use their platforms. If evidence surfaces that they did not do this for the perpetrator of an assault, they could be required to pay compensation to an assault victim.
Of course, you can also file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault party for the assault. This is easier if the police are able to catch the perpetrator, which is why you should visit the police or a medical clinic after an assault takes place.
The perpetrator of an assault can be held financially and legally liable for any injuries you sustained or other damages you may have experienced.
Compensation for Rideshare Physical or Sexual Assaults
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may receive compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses for the injuries sustained during the assault
- Loss of income if you took time off work to recover
- Pain-and-suffering, which is non-economic damage you can only recover through lawsuits such as these
- Damaged property, if it was lost, damaged, or destroyed during the assault
- And more
The total compensation amounts can vary heavily. Some assault lawsuits yield damages totaling thousands of dollars. Others may yield compensation totaling millions of dollars. It depends on the strength of your case and your legal team. That’s why you should hire experienced attorneys like those at Hunter Law.
For example, your lawyers may be able to prove that the rideshare company did not do a thorough enough background check for the driver who assaulted you or that they were aware of prior complaints or accusations made against the driver. This may result in the rideshare company paying your damages even if they were not directly responsible for your injuries.
Additionally, skilled attorneys could prove that you sustained injuries directly at the hands of another person. During a personal injury lawsuit, they’ll prove that you were intentionally harmed by the driver and secure damages for you as a result.
Contacting Experienced Florida Assault Lawyers
Hunter Law treats every case we take on as personal. As skilled and experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers, we’re more than ready to take on your case and help you seek justice for your rideshare physical or sexual assault.
Not only do we know the intricacies of Florida assault law, but we’ve also handled rideshare cases in the past. We’ve helped clients just like you with similar cases in the past.
Want to know more about your legal options after a rideshare assault? We offer a free consultation and case evaluation to all new potential clients. You don’t have to go through your assault lawsuit alone, so contact Hunter Law today.