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Is Uber Liable for Sexual Assault by a Driver?

rideshare-passenger-sexual-assault-liability Generally, companies like Uber or Lyft are not liable for sexual assaults that their drivers commit; however; you could still possibly sue them for things that happen around the sexual assaults or sexual violence.

Our law firm, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, works with victims of rideshare sexual assault, including Uber or Lyft.

We can help you file a sexual assault lawsuit to seek compensation and relief. Our team can also offer other legal services and information on personal injury law so you know about your rights regarding Uber and Lyft.

When Is Someone Sexually Assaulted According to the Law?

Sexual assault can come in many different forms. This is true if we are talking about Uber or Lyft or other rideshare companies.

Here are some of the most common ways that sexual assault occurs in ridesharing companies:

  • Unpermitted and unwanted sexual toughing
  • Unwanted oral sex
  • Non consensual sexual penetration
  • Other unpermitted sexual acts

It is important to speak with a reputable law firm about what is considered sexual assault so you can be aware of Uber sexual assault or sexual violence if you take an Uber or Lyft.

Schedule a free consultation with a sexual assault lawyer from our law firm and to arrange an attorney client relationship in order to sue Uber. Then, you may get financial compensation from Uber or Lyft or the Uber driver for an instance of Uber sexual assault or Lyft sexual assault.

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Can You Sue Uber Drivers for Sexual Assault?

Yes, you can sue Uber and Lyft drivers for the personal injury, economic damages, intangible suffering and other harm that comes after an act of sexual assault.

These lawsuits claim that the driver committed an intentional tort, like battery, assault, or sexual battery, and should be help accountable for that.

Here are the basic elements of that cause of action:

  • Intentional;
  • Unpermitted;
  • Sexually touching; and
  • Causing damages.

Uber and Lyft drivers are routinely help liable for their mistakes including sexual assault. Contact us for a free consultation if an Uber or Lyft driver harmed you, if someone from another rideshare company did, or if it was from taxi companies.

They need to take safety measures (including in the hiring process) and can be responsible for the victim's injuries if they don't. The victim can possibly recoup financial compensation after sexual assault on an Uber or Lyft ride.

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When Can You Generally Hold a Company Liable?

Plaintiffs are able to hold companies, like Uber and Lyft, vicariously liable for the actions of their employees based on a theory of respondeat superior. This is a Latin phrase which translates to "let the master speak."

The idea is that since the employees are working for the benefit of and subject to the control of the employer, it is right to hold that business liable for the negligent acts of its workers. Note, vicarious liability does not extend to intentional torts or acts made outside the scope of employment (like on a lunch break).

Lyft and Uber are able to get around and dodge the basic premises of vicarious liability and respondeat superior because their drivers are independent contractors.

These companies have less control over independent contractors so they shouldn't be liable for their acts. Courts have generally agreed with rideshare companies on this rationale.

So can you hold a company liable for sexual assaults? On what legal theory are rideshare companies responsible for what an independent contractor does, like a rideshare driver? We will discuss that in the next section.

For a free consultation on Uber sexual assault and the emotional distress and personal injury that may follow, give us a call. We can also go over how to sue Uber and on what grounds.

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Can You Hold Uber Liable for Sexual Assault or Anything Else?

It will be hard for you to prove in court that Uber, Lyft, or similar ridesharing companies should be held interchangeably liable for something that its driver did.

What you need to do is point out some failure the ride share companies committed that contributed to the events, like these:

  • Negligent hiring processes
  • No background checks performed
  • Hiring someone with criminal charges
  • Negligent retention of key employment information
  • Inability to gather evidence after a sexual assault event or other incident
  • General failure to protect passengers and prevent drivers from harming a rideshare passenger in other ways

Negligent hiring, no background checks, or hiring someone with criminal charges are some of the most common ways for independent contractors to get Uber and Lyft into actual trouble. To learn about other routes to holding these giant businesses to account, contact our law offices.

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Cases Involving Rideshare Companies

Multi-Vehicle Collision and Crash in Chicago

This lawsuit was filed in November 2018. The plaintiffs sued in Cook County, Illinois. They targeted Uber and a delivery company. The incident occurred on an exit off of I-90.

A mother and her daughter hailed a car via Uber. As it went to their destination, a trucker rear-ended them. They sustained multiple personal injuries. Both needed to be transported to local hospitals.

However, doctors deemed their injuries as non-critical. Nevertheless, they have brought suit against Uber and the delivery company. The family claims that both acted negligently and are responsible for the injuries of the mother and child.

Specifically, the plaintiffs cite the defendants with a failure to control their speeds, keep a proper lookout, and avoid the incident. For damages, they claim compensation for their medical, legal, and other losses.

Wrongful Death Case Involving Uber

In June of 2018, an Uber driver shot Hyum Kim. Kim died from his injuries. His family argued that this was the last thing he could have expected as he hopped into the vehicle.

He merely wanted to reach his destination using the ride-hailing mobile app. Uber has policies against the carrying and use of firearms by its drivers. However, the family maintains that the company did not enforce those policies.

They claim it was grossly negligent. If they are successful in this argument, they will be able to sue the company for the intentional acts of the driver.

This means the plaintiffs will be able to get wrongful death damages including lost support and companionship, suffering, and expenses among other things.

Fatal Central Illinois Motorcycle Crash

This recent lawsuit was filed in Sangamon County, Illinois. It began after an Uber driver crashed into a motorcycle. Both the driver and passenger of the bike died. The parents for the passenger sued Uber and the motorcyclist.

The complaint suggested the motorcyclist was speeding. Also, it complained that the Uber driver was distracted by Uber’s mobile app on his phone. In this way, they were able to target the company itself.

The case is for wrongful death. That means the plaintiffs believe the defendants wrongfully caused the death of their loved one. Further, they think the defendants should pay for the costs, expenses, suffering, and pain that came from that death. In total, they ask for more than $50,000 for these damages.

The Wall Street Journal report revealed gaping holes in California law regarding Uber Lyft and keeping passengers safe. Our team covers these practice areas and can assist you after an instance of sexual violence while in a rideshare car -attorney advertising.

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Talk to an Attorney If You Have Been the Victim of Sexual Assault on a Rideshare Vehicle

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers helps victims of sexual violence get help and recovery under Illinois law. More than anything, we try to make sure they know their rights so they can empower themselves as well.

Talk to us today in a no-obligation consultation. We can go over what happened, what you can do, and how we can help. Our services are free if we are not successful for you.

Give us a call to get the process started at (888) 424-5757. We are here to help you.

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National Sexual Assault Hotline and Other Resources

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Client Reviews
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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
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