Houston Uber & Lyft Sexual Assault Attorney
Many Americans enjoy the convenience of rideshare services Uber and Lyft, but what happens when injuries occur during an Uber or Lyft trip? While many legal claims involving Uber and Lyft revolve around car accidents, a disturbing number of claims concerns drivers sexually assaulting passengers. If you or a loved one recently experienced any type of sexual assault from an Uber or Lyft driver, contact Attorney Brian White and his team of Houston rideshare sexual assault lawyers today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
Uber and Lyft Liability for Attacks
While Uber and Lyft offer insurance protection in the event of some accidents involving their drivers, what happens if a driver sexually assaults a passenger? Depending on whether the ride-share company acted appropriately during the hiring process, the company and the offender may both face liability after a sexual assault. Uber and Lyft have a legal obligation to screen driver applicants for criminal history.
Uber claims to conduct criminal background checks on all applicants through a third party. These checks go back seven years, and Uber reruns them periodically. Uber will deny employment to an applicant if he or she has any record of a sexual offense, violent crime, or felony crime. They will also deny the application of anyone registered on the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public website.
Lyft conducts a similar screening process using national and county-level databases, according to the company. They also conduct local courthouse checks that go back at least seven years on potential drivers. Like Uber, Lyft will deny employment to anyone with a record of a sexual offense, violent crime, or felony crime. However, Lyft also denies employment to applicants with some drug-related offenses and property crimes on their records.
While the Uber and Lyft screening processes may appear thorough, the reality is that they do not accurately account for offenses committed after an applicant secures approval to drive or offenses committed more than seven years ago. If a judge determines that a ride-share company failed to adequately screen a driver who sexually assaults a passenger, the company could face liability for negligent hiring practices.
After an Uber or Lyft Sexual Assault
Your first actions after a sexual assault in an Uber or Lyft are very important. Report the incident to the police and give them as much information as possible about the driver and the incident. Once you complete your report, seek medical attention immediately so you have documented proof you sought care promptly after your incident. Failing to do so could complicate a future insurance claim or hurt your chances of succeeding in a personal injury claim. If a jury notices you did not seek immediate medical care, its members may assume your experience was not as severe as you claim.
You should also save every piece of evidence related to the incident, including the clothes you wore at the time, the receipt for the ride, and a copy of the police report. Your doctor should also provide you with a medical report that lists your injuries and treatment plan. This will help a jury understand the extent of the effects of your experience. While a person who recently experienced a sexual assault may simply wish to forget the incident and try to move on, it’s important to consider the value of taking steps to file a lawsuit against the offender. Doing so may help prevent future victims and provide a sense of empowerment through the justice system. You can also recover the costs of medical treatment if the assault entailed physical injuries, psychological trauma, or a sexually transmitted infection.
Find Reliable Legal Counsel for Your Uber/Lyft Sexual Assault
After an Uber or Lyft sexual assault, the right Houston rideshare sexual assault lawyer can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering. Attorney Brian White has a record of 99% successful cases in Houston, and we can put our skills and resources to work in your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team. We’ll review the details of your claim and let you know your options for legal recourse and what type of compensation a claim could yield.