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Uber Drivers Assaulted By Passengers

When covering rideshare-related physical and sexual assaults, the news typically covers stories about rideshare passengers being assaulted. However, many drivers, especially female drivers, have been assaulted by passengers or other third-party individuals while driving for Uber or Lyft.

If you were assaulted while driving for Uber, remember that you are not alone in this experience. Furthermore, you have options on your path of recovery. Assault is deeply personal, and recovery may look different to each survivor. However, some survivors have used the legal justice system as a means for closure and healing.

Considering Legal Action After An Assault?

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When covering rideshare-related physical and sexual assaults, the news typically covers stories about rideshare passengers being assaulted. However, many drivers, especially female drivers, have been assaulted by passengers or other third-party individuals while driving for Uber or Lyft.

If you were assaulted while driving for Uber, remember that you are not alone in this experience. Furthermore, you have options on your path of recovery. Assault is deeply personal, and recovery may look different to each survivor. However, some survivors have used the legal justice system as a means for closure and healing.

Considering Legal Action After An Assault?

We Can Help — Speak With One of Our Attorneys Today

Uber Drivers Attacked By Passengers

Many Uber drivers have been victims of violent crimes. Drivers have been physically assaulted, threatened with weapons, robbed or carjacked by passengers. In some cases, these assaults have been fatal. 

For example, The Markup identified 53 cases of Uber-related car thefts in 2020 and 2021. Five of these incidents resulted in the Uber driver’s death.

Examples Of Physical Assaults On Uber Drivers

In November 2021, an Uber driver in Miami, Florida, was physically attacked by her passenger. According to the victim, the male passenger became angry at her inability to speak English. He spat at her and punched her in the face before running away.

In August 2019, an Uber driver and passenger were fatally shot by a second passenger. The second passenger was picked up as part of Uber’s carpool option. The assailant had a criminal record and was allegedly high on PCP during the shooting. He was arrested and charged with first and second-degree murder.

Uber Drivers Sexually Assaulted By Passengers

Numerous Uber drivers have faced sexual harassment or sexual violence from passengers during rides. In some cases, these sexual assaults have been accompanied by other violent crimes.

Examples Of Sexual Assaults On Uber Drivers

On January 1, 2021, a passenger propositioned a California Uber driver for sex. When the driver refused, the passenger threatened the male driver with a gun and sexually assaulted him. The assailant then beat the driver with the gun and stole the man’s wallet, phone and vehicle. The assailant was later charged with several offenses, including kidnapping, carjacking and sexual assault.

In March 2021, a female Uber driver in Chicago was threatened by a passenger with a gun. The male passenger forced the driver to drive to a more secluded area where he sexually assaulted her. The assailant then stole cash from the driver’s purse before fleeing the scene on foot. The Chicago Police Department arrested the suspect several days after the assault.

Learn more about what to do following an Uber sexual assault here >

Before pursuing legal options, survivors of rideshare-related physical or sexual assaults are advised to seek medical attention for any physical injuries.

Following a physical or sexual assault, survivors of an Uber assault may want to know their legal options. Many survivors have found comfort and a sense of justice through legal action. 

Depending on the type of legal action taken, rideshare assault survivors have seen the following results:

  • The assailant was criminally charged and sentenced for the crimes. 
  • The responsible rideshare company paid a settlement to the victim.
  • The responsible rideshare company faced public scrutiny for its negligence.
  • The responsible rideshare company changed its policies to prevent future assaults.

Typically, survivors have two main legal options they can pursue following an assault. Depending on the circumstances, survivors may be eligible to file a civil lawsuit. Survivors can also report the incident to local law enforcement. In some cases, reporting the crime may lead to criminal charges against the offender.

Filing An Uber Assault Lawsuit

Many Uber drivers attacked or assaulted during rides have filed civil lawsuits. With a civil lawsuit, survivors of rideshare assault may be able to sue their assailant and the responsible rideshare company. Uber is facing many assault lawsuits claiming the company failed to protect drivers and riders and mishandled assault allegations. 

By suing an assailant and the responsible rideshare company, survivors can hold one or both parties financially responsible for the assault. This can help a survivor handle any expenses related to the assault.

For example, many survivors have won compensation to pay for assault-related expenses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Therapy costs
  • Loss of income, due to injury
  • Property damage, in the event of car theft, robbery or related accident

A settlement or favorable verdict can greatly reduce the financial costs of recovery for an assault survivor.

Additionally, many assault lawsuits have led companies to change their policies in order to avoid future litigation. Following a wave of assault lawsuits, Uber released several safety features in its app to further protect drivers and riders from violent crimes. 

New policy changes or safety features will not heal the trauma experienced by survivors, but they may improve the working conditions for current rideshare drivers. Many survivors have found a sense of empowerment by effecting these systemic changes.

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Report The Assault To Law Enforcement

Unlike a civil lawsuit, criminal charges are not filed by the victim. Typically, prosecutors bring criminal charges against offenders. However, victims can initiate this process by reporting the incident to law enforcement.

Criminal charges may result in a prison sentence, probation and/or a monetary fine for the offender. 

Rideshare assault victims may choose to report their crime to law enforcement and file a civil lawsuit. In fact, filing a police report may strengthen a survivor’s civil claim.

Attacks On Uber Drivers | FAQs

How Many Uber Drivers Have Been Murdered?

According to data from Uber, between 2017 and 2018, seven drivers were fatally assaulted while using the app. However, the national homicide rate has drastically increased in the last few years. Thus, the number of Uber drivers murdered recently may be higher.

How Many Uber Drivers Have Been Sexually Assaulted?

According to Uber’s data, between 2017 and 2018, drivers made up 7% of victims of reported non-consensual sexual penetration. This statistic does not include lesser forms of sexual assault or harassment. 

The statistics also include only reported incidents. The true number of sexually assaulted drivers is likely higher. However, it is common for survivors of sexual assault to delay reporting or choose not to report their experiences.

How Many Uber Drivers Have Been Attacked?

There is no way to identify how many Uber drivers have been physically attacked during rides. Although some news outlets have attempted to count the number of attacks on rideshare drivers, there is no reliable database of these crimes. Additionally, Uber has not released data surrounding non-fatal assaults.

However, based on numerous accounts of Uber driver assaults, it is safe to assume that most drivers face some risk of victimization in their position. Assaults on Uber drivers should not be minimized or ignored. More needs to be done to protect these drivers.

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If you or a loved suffered a sexual or physical assault while using Uber and Lyft, you’re entitled to legal representation and possible financial compensation.
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Ron Meneo, Managing Partner at Meneo Law Group.

Meneo Group managing partner: Ron Meneo

Ron Meneo is the managing partner of The Meneo Law Group. With more than 40 years of experience, he represents clients across the country on a variety of complex legal matters, including personal injury due to institutional sexual abuse, unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and other practice areas. He is a recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s prestigious AV® Preeminent Rating. He has also served as an editor and contributor for several legal journals.

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