Uber and Lyft have been touted as safe ways to get from point A to point B. All too often, however, riders suffer harm while using these popular rideshare services. Sometimes, the harm arises from accidents.
In other cases, it’s the result of drivers sexually assaulting riders.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an Uber or Lyft sexual assault, you can turn to the compassionate, experienced Houston attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm for exceptional advocacy in the pursuit of justice and recovery.
Have You or a Loved One Been Victimized by an Uber or Lyft Sexual Assault?
Call (877) 892-2797, Text (281) 612-8024 or Email Our Firm for Your FREE Case Evaluation
During a FREE, confidential consultation, you can receive essential information regarding your rights, your legal options and how to move forward. The Amaro Law Firm is ready to help you navigate the course to recovery. We offer free virtual and mobile consultations to those who are unable to visit our offices.
While we are aware that impacts of Uber & Lyft sexual assaults may never be undone by monetary compensation, we also know that these recoveries can be the key to healing and restoring lives.
Uber Driver Criminal Background Checks
As part of its screening process, Uber reportedly conducts criminal background checks on prospective drivers. According to Uber,1 these checks, which are conducted by an accredited third party (Checkr, Inc.), are private and free, and they go back seven years. Uber also claims to rerun these background checks “periodically.”
Red flags on these checks that would preclude a prospective driver from being hired by Uber include (but may not be limited to):
- A conviction for a felony crime, a violent crime or a sexual offense
- Registration on the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Sex Offender Public website.
Lyft Driver Criminal Background Checks
Lyft’s criminal background checks for drivers are similar to those conducted by Uber.2 Though Lyft has not shared the name of the third party that conducts it driver checks, Lyft has explained that these checks “include national and county-level databases and, when necessary, local courthouse record checks going back a minimum of seven years.”
Unlike Uber’s criminal background checks, the Lyft checks may also:
- Disqualify a prospective driver who has a record of drug-related offenses and certain property crimes
- Vary and include more restrictive standards, according to any local regulations that may apply.
Limitations of Uber & Lyft Criminal Background Checks Can Give Rise to Sexual Assault
Despite the fact that Uber and Lyft carry out criminal background checks as part of their hiring processes, these checks can fall short in various ways, possibly resulting in risky individuals or known offenders being hired by these rideshare companies.
Here are some of the limitations associated with Uber and Lyft driver criminal background checks:
- Criminal checks are typically only carried out during the hiring process – This means that any arrests or convictions occurring after a driver has been hired may go unnoticed by Uber and Lyft. So, if an Uber or Lyft driver is arrested for or convicted of a felony, violent crime or sex offense after being hired by a rideshare company, these drivers may continue driving for the rideshare company, transporting unsuspecting riders around.
- Background checks tend to only go back seven years – This can leave out any criminal issues or risks prior to the 7-year period. It may also fail to show criminal cases that occurred within the 7-year period in a different country. So, if a driver moves to the U.S. from another country within the past 7 years, the background check will only cover the criminal record in the U.S. and, therefore, will leave out any arrests or convictions that occurred in other countries within the 7-year period.
Potentially compounding these issues is the fact that Uber and Lyft currently only monitor their drivers via the app, which can be easily turned off. Without more oversight – like in the form of GPS or video monitoring, there is minimal accountability and oversight for drivers. This too may contribute to sex assault, possibly providing more opportunities for predators to attack riders.
Who’s Liable for Uber & Lyft Sexual Assaults?
Depending on the circumstances, either or both of the following parties may be liable for rideshare drivers’ sexual assaults on passengers:
- The driver who perpetrated the assault – The offender can be held accountable in civil court for the harm (s)he caused. These cases can allow victims to seek damages for their injuries, medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering.
- The rideshare company – Also referred to as transportation network companies (TNCs), Uber and Lyft may be liable for sexual assaults on riders when their failures or negligence led to known offenders or dangerous people being retained to transport riders.
An attorney at the Amaro Law Firm can review your situation and conduct further investigations to determine whether Uber or Lyft (in addition to a driver/perpetrator) may be liable for a sexual assault.
What to Do after an Uber or Lyft Sexual Assault
- Report the assault to a trusted party and, ideally, the police.
- Seek medical attention.
- Report the incident to the rideshare company.
- Save everything related to the trip and the assault, including clothing worn, ride receipts, medical reports and bills, etc.
- Contact the Amaro Law Firm for confidential, free advice that can help you get on the path to recovery and justice.
While sexual assault can leave victims with profound psychological and emotional impacts, taking steps to hold the perpetrator (and any other negligent parties) liable can be vital to:
- Gaining some empowerment through justice
- Obtaining compensation to help cover treatment costs and more.
How an Attorney Can Help with Uber or Lyft Sexual Assault Case
A lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm can be an indispensable advocate and ally when it is time to hold drivers and/or rideshare companies accountable for sexual assault. After reviewing the specifics of an incident and explaining the legal options, our attorneys can take swift action to:
- Protect your rights and interests
- Build you the strongest possible case
- Effectively represent you in any dealings with insurance companies, as well as in any legal or court proceedings associated with your case
- Fight for your rights to recovery and justice.
When you partner with the Amaro Law Firm, you can count on having extraordinary advocacy from experienced litigators who will be focused on helping you achieve the best possible resolutions.
You Are Not Alone, Experienced Advocates Are Ready to Help: Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston personal injury lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to discuss your situation, explain your legal options and provide you with the highest quality representation moving forward.
Call (877) 892-2797, text (281) 612-8024 or email our firm for a FREE, confidential consultation. During this case review, you can get crucial answers about your recovery options and how we can help you.
Strategic, diligent and relentless, the experienced attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm are committed to helping sexual assault survivors and accident victims receive all of the compensation to which they are entitled. Our long-standing record of success in personal injury cases has earned us glowing testimonials from former clients and 5-star ratings on Google and Facebook.
1: More information on Uber driver background checks
2: More information on Lyft driver background checks