Since Uber began offering rideshare services in 2009, it has grown enormously in terms of brand recognition and popularity among consumers. Estimates of worldwide users as of 2019 has surpassed 110 million. In the U.S., Uber enjoys 67% of the ridesharing market. Uber’s market share in 2018 for food delivery was 24%. But in 2018, Uber drivers were part of another, much darker statistic: at least 103 of their U.S. drivers were accused of abusing or sexually assaulting their passengers in the last four years. That was a figure discovered by CNN. The news agency also found that at least 31 Uber drivers had violent criminal convictions for everything from rape to false imprisonment. CNN also discovered that dozens of civil and criminal cases involving Uber drivers were still pending.
Assault and other violent acts against riders perpetrated by Uber drivers is an ongoing problem. Uber has been known to pressure women to resolve their claims through arbitration rather than pursue civil lawsuits. The company will often refer to their Terms of Service which riders must agree to prior to being transported by the driver. Many victims do not realize that with the help of an attorney they can pursue justice for what happened to them regardless of Uber’s initial response to them. If you were harmed by an Uber driver, your compensable damages may be even more complex than you realize. For example, depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible to receive compensation for pain and suffering as well as for the income you were not able to earn while recovering from the attack. Until your case has been reviewed by a lawyer, you may not truly know just how large a settlement you may be entitled to receive from Uber and their driver who harmed you.
What if the Uber driver is not charged for their assault against me?
It’s a shameful fact that a significant number of rapes and other types of sexual assaults are never prosecuted. One reason for this is the huge backlog of rape kits that need to be tested in order to provide law enforcement agencies with the DNA results and other evidence they need before charging suspects with crimes. By the time many of those rape kit results are analyzed, years can pass, and the evidence itself may degrade to such an extent as to be inadmissible in court. Other reasons for why an Uber driver may not be charged with a crime is that it may be a situation of “he said she said” with the victim’s word against their assailant’s. The prosecutor or district attorney’s office may feel that there the case is too weak to proceed to trial and therefore opts to not charge the accused with a crime, regardless of the seriousness of the accusation.
Whether or not the Uber driver is charged for the crimes they committed against you does not preclude the possibility of you pursuing a civil action against them. To learn more about the legal options available to you, contact an Uber accident lawyer to discuss your case.