Sexual assault is a serious crime that can have life-long and horrific consequences for the survivor. Unfortunately, it is also a crime that is all too common in the ride-sharing industry.
Uber, one of the largest ride-sharing companies in the world, has faced numerous allegations of sexual assault incidents by both drivers and passengers. If you have been a victim of sexual assault while using Uber, it is important to understand your options for holding the company accountable.
While no legal action can undo the suffering that comes from such an experience, having an understanding of your legal rights in seeking justice against Uber is important for any victim of sexual assault.
In this blog post, we’ll explain the relevant California laws for seeking justice against the company, as well as provide tips on protecting yourself while using ride-sharing services like Uber and filing an Uber sexual assault lawsuit.
Sexual Assault Laws in California
When it comes to sexual assault cases in California, state law holds an accused person criminally liable when they commit and carry out unwanted sexual contact against someone without their consent or under false pretenses.
Depending on the severity of the crime, punishments can include jail time and hefty fines. Additionally, victims may also be entitled to financial compensation from the person or organization responsible for their injury.
California law also recognizes the importance of personal safety for ride-sharing passengers. State Bill 1088, which was signed into law in 2019, requires companies such as Uber to provide a panic button that riders can use in case of an emergency. The bill also requires companies to conduct background checks on drivers, including those from other states, and ban any driver convicted of a violent crime from operating in the state.
Filing a Lawsuit For Sexual Assault
In California, survivors of sexual assault have the right to file a civil action against the perpetrator and any other parties that may be liable for the assault. This includes Uber, if the assault occurred while using the ride-sharing service.
In order to win a lawsuit, the survivor must be able to prove that the defendant compromised rider safety and is liable for the physical assaults. In the case of Uber, this may involve proving that the company was negligent in hiring or supervising the driver, or that it failed to conduct robust background checks and adequatel train or monitor its drivers to prevent sexual assault.
If you plan to file a civil lawsuit in California, it’s crucial to know there is a time frame to do so, called the statute of limitations. For instance, in cases of sexual assault complaints, victims generally have 10 years from the date of the attack to sue.
However, if the incident led to a serious injury or illness instead, claimants have three years from when they discovered their condition(s) resulted from the assault to take legal action.
Although there are a few conditions that act as an exception to this rule, time is of the essence. You should consult with experienced sexual assault lawyers as soon after the event occurred as possible so that you don’t miss your chance at taking legal action and filing a lawsuit.
Holding Uber Accountable for Sexual Assault
In certain instances, victims of sexual assault who have taken an Uber ride may be able to hold the company financially responsible for their injury. This often involves making a claim under California law citing negligence on behalf of the company in training its drivers and maintaining passenger safety measures.
Legal experts point out that even if a criminal trial finds no fault with an accused driver, there is still potential for civil claims against rideshare companies’ parent firms at large. This is because the company could be held liable for failing to perform proper background checks on drivers or ignoring past sexual assault reports on a particular Uber driver.
Victims of sexual assault should also keep in mind that if their attacker is convicted, they may be able to pursue a civil lawsuit against the company to seek financial damages.
Despite Uber’s attempts to improve safety standards for its passengers, it’s important to remember that it’s ultimately up to riders to protect themselves. Although only sexual abusers can commit abuse, there are safety measure that riders must take into account to protect themselves. This means being aware of your surroundings, not sharing personal information with drivers or other riders, and always trusting your instincts.
You should also take concrete actions and consider downloading safety apps for ride-sharing that allow you to send real-time location updates to family or friends if something feels off. Finally, it’s important to remember that no one is ever obligated to accept an Uber ride from anyone. If in doubt, don’t get in the car.
- Look up reviews before booking a ride with a particular driver; check social media sites such as Yelp and other review platforms anytime you are planning to take a ride
- If possible opt for female drivers or make sure you feel safe while riding with male counterparts
- Take note of license plates in order to ensure you get into the right vehicle; screenshot confirmation details prior to getting into the car
- Avoid booking shared rides; it’s always better to book private trips
- Always remember you have the right to get out if something does not feel quite right. Everybody deserves a safe ride.
Seeking Compensation through the California Victims’ Compensation Program
In addition to filing a lawsuit, sexual assault survivors in California may also be able to seek compensation through the state’s Victims’ Compensation Program. This program provides financial assistance to victims of crime, including sexual assault, to help cover the costs of medical treatment, therapy, and other related expenses.
To be eligible for compensation through the program, the survivor must have reported the assault to law enforcement and cooperated with the investigation. The program also requires that the survivor file a claim within three years of the assault. If the survivor is under 18 at the time of the assault, the three-year time limit does not begin until the survivor turns 18.
Filing an Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuit
If you have been a victim of sexual assault by drivers while using Uber or other ride-hailing companies, there are a few steps you can take to protect your rights and seek justice:
- Report the assault to law enforcement as soon as possible. This is important for both criminal and civil cases, as it helps to establish the timeline of events and provides evidence for your case.
- Seek medical attention. It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after the assault to ensure that you receive the necessary care and to preserve any physical evidence that may be used in court.
- Keep track of any expenses related to the assault. This includes medical bills, therapy bills, and any other costs incurred as a result of the assault.
- Consult with an attorney. An experienced attorney can help you understand your options and guide you through the process of pursuing justice in a Uber sexual assault lawsuit.
Help Is Available For Sexual Assault Victims In Rideshares
Sexual assault is a traumatic experience, and it is important for survivors to have the support and resources they need to heal and seek justice.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault while using Uber, Lyft, or any rideshare companies, it is important to understand your options for holding the company accountable. By filing a Uber sexual assault lawsuit or seeking compensation, you may be able to seek justice and receive financial assistance to help cover the costs of medical treatment, therapy, and other related expenses.
You are not alone, and there are resources available to help you through such traumatic events. If you have any concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to Farahi Law Firm. By taking action, you can help hold Uber accountable for their role in the assault and work towards creating a safer environment for all ride-sharing users.