Rideshare Sexual Assault Lawsuits in MD, VA, and DC

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Advocating for Victims of Uber & Lyft Assaults

When you hail a ridesharing vehicle for work or a night out, you never expect that you will become the victim of a horrifying sexual assault – and yet at the end of 2019, Uber reported that it had received over 6,000 sexual assault and rape claims involving its drivers and passengers for the previous two years. Uber is not alone in this growing problem, either: Over a hundred women filed sexual assault lawsuits against Lyft in 2019 alone, and according to reports, the company has a history of using aggressive and dismissive tactics against the victims who have come forward.

At Ashcraft & Gerel, our personal injury attorneys represent victims of sexual assault and abuse that takes place during or after an Uber or Lyft ride:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault (includes unwanted groping, kissing, and touching)
  • Flashing
  • Stalking, following, and kidnapping
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Use of a weapon
  • Physical violence

Ridesharing services often compound the problem by withholding information about the identities of drivers and passengers even after a sexual assault is reported to the police, making it very difficult for victims to take legal action against their attackers – or even to file a restraining order against them. The ridesharing companies also have a vested interest in protecting their reputation, and since they are not listed as mandatory reporters, they are not required to publicize rates of sexual assault and abuse involving their service.

Holding Ridesharing Services Accountable

Rideshare companies have a duty to provide a safe environment for its customers. This includes taking reasonable and responsible measures in hiring, supervising, and training drivers. Too often, Lyft, Uber, and other ridesharing companies have failed to properly vet drivers or have allowed dangerous drivers to freely pick up passengers, with disastrous results. When a ridesharing company does not take proper measures to ensure customer safety, and a customer is sexually assaulted as a result, the company—in addition to the assailant—may be accountable under law.

Why File a Lawsuit?

In the aftermath of a traumatic event like sexual assault or rape, it can be difficult to consider taking legal action, and in many cases, victims may not even know their rights. Even if prosecutors do not decide to pursue criminal charges, you could still be entitled to seek justice through a civil lawsuit, against both your attacker(s) and the ridesharing service. Our system of civil laws allows a victim of sexual assault to pursue, and potentially obtain, financial compensation for his or her damages.

Sexual assault has serious and lasting psychological consequences for victims, and in cases involving physical violence, the road to recovery may take even longer. Unlike a criminal conviction, a lawsuit may provide you with the financial resources you need to focus on healing your injuries.

A successful lawsuit can result in compensation for:

  • Physical and psychological pain and suffering
  • Time taken off work for recovery
  • Future lost wages or earning capacity
  • Medical bills and expenses associated with the attack
  • Ongoing therapy and counseling