What You Need to Know About Rideshare Sexual Assault

Statista projects that the global ridesharing market will reach $117 billion in 2021, representing millions of rides per year. At 68%, Uber has the lion’s share of the US market. The convenience of Uber in busy cities, such as Miami, has led to this rise in usage.

However, there is a dark side to ridesharing. Reports show that getting into an Uber or Lyft could easily end in sexual assault. If you are a victim of Miami rideshare sexual assault, you are likely dealing with an enormous amount of physical and emotional stress. You need the services of the compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyers of Diamond & Diamond in Miami to get you the justice you deserve.

Rideshare Sexual Assault Explained

Sexual assault is not just about rape or a form of sexual penetration without consent. All rape is sexual assault, but not all sexual assaults are rape. Sexual assault is any non-consensual contact or behavior of a sexual nature.

Rideshare sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact or behavior of the driver towards his or her passengers or vice versa. In fact, there are many cases when passengers have sexually assaulted a rideshare driver. This type of contact or conduct may include the following:

  • Rape
  • Attempted rape
  • Unwanted physical contact
  • Kissing
  • Sexual penetration of an intoxicated person

Victims of sexual contact often do not report the incident, allowing the perpetrators and other responsible parties to escape liability for their egregious actions. While it’s reasonable that victims would like to forget the traumatic incident, not reporting it is a mistake. The lack of consequences for their actions will likely encourage these bad actors to continue or even escalate their behavior.

Rideshare sexual assault in Miami is a criminal offense and you should report it to law enforcement. But, ridesharing companies may also share some of the blame, as they owe a duty of care towards their customers. That is to say, if they have failed to address previous complaints against a driver or do adequate background checks on their drivers, they have breached that duty and may be held liable.

If you are a victim of rideshare sexual assault in Miami, you may be able to sue the driver and the ridesharing company for personal injury. Diamond & Diamond can give you a voice and prevent rideshare sexual assault from happening to anyone else.

Safety in Riding Uber and Lyft in Miami

The sexual assault statistics on rider safety for top ridesharing companies in Miami are not great. The latest safety report from Uber in 2019 revealed a staggering 5,981 sexual assault complaints in a two-year period (2017-2018). Of those incidents, 1,051 were reports of serious sexual assault, specifically attempted rape and rape (17.6%).

Lyft rides released a similar safety report, revealing slightly better numbers of 2,351 sexual assault complaints for the same period (although it shows an alarming rise of 1,807 incidents in 2019). Of these incidents indicated on Lyft’s safety report, 410 were reports of serious sexual assault, specifically attempted rape and rape (17.4%).

While these numbers are bad enough, they are only the reported ones. The actual number of victims for Uber and Lyft rides may be as much as 65% higher.

While alleging serious sexual assault may be difficult for the victim, it is the only way to stop these perpetrators from committing the same offense again. If you’ve been the object of unwanted sexual attention or physical assault in a ridesharing incident, you should report it to law enforcement. Keep in mind that you may also file a claim for personal injury for Miami rideshare sexual assault against the driver, ridesharing company, and other responsible parties.

Who to Blame in a Miami Rideshare Sexual Assault

Because of the high demand for ridesharing vehicles and services in Miami and many busy cities in the US, ridesharing companies have been less than stringent in vetting their drivers. Almost anyone with a car and license could, and have, successfully applied to be a rideshare driver with Uber and Lyft. The lack of screening is one possible factor for the rise in sexual assault cases in ridesharing.

Even when a rideshare company in the US runs background checks, it can only access up to seven years of history and won’t be aware of the driver’s violent or criminal history beyond that. Moreover, the background check is limited to the driver’s history in the US, which means they don’t know whether the driver was recently overseas and committed a similar offense. This makes ridesharing a somewhat risky proposition for riders.

Suppose you become a victim of rideshare sexual assault in Miami. In that case, civil liability typically falls on the driver or rideshare company, or both under the law of negligence under Title 45, Chapter 768 of the 2011 Florida Statutes. In some cases, civil liability may also fall on the assaulting rider. Determining who the negligent parties are in serious sexual assaults will depend on the circumstances and requires the knowledge and experience of a seasoned personal injury lawyer.

What to Do After an Uber or Lyft Sexual Assault

Victims of sexual assault often feel ashamed about their experience, but they are not to blame. Uber or Lyft drivers that take advantage of their riders should face the consequences.

If you are a victim of rideshare sexual assault in Miami, do the following immediately:

  1. Report the event to law enforcement and the rideshare company.
  2. Seek medical attention, get a rape kit for reports of rape, and obtain a copy of the medical report.
  3. Preserve all evidence of the ride, such as clothing, ride receipts, screenshots, photos, and videos.
  4. Get legal representation.

The reports are vital in supporting your criminal and civil complaint against the perpetrator and, therefore, make sure you safeguard them. The perpetrator and rideshare company may attempt to provide a different version of the events, so do what you can to support your allegations of sexual assault and reports of rape.

Hiring a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Rideshare Sexual Assault

After the horrific experience of serious sexual assault, your first thought is probably to put the perpetrator behind bars. However, that will not help you recover your losses from the experience. In many cases of sexual assault, victims suffer from deeply emotional and physical scars from their encounters. Some are unable to resume their normal lives in the aftermath. Hiring a Diamond & Diamond Miami personal injury lawyer can help you get compensation from the responsible parties, such as sexual assault drivers.

We can help you with the following:

  • Negotiate with insurance companies
  • Document the costs of medical and other treatment
  • Prepare all the necessary documents for filing a civil suit
  • Advocate for your rights
  • Represent you in legal proceedings

At Diamond Law, we understand the pain and suffering you must be going through as a victim of sexual assault, particularly when it could have been easily prevented. As with serious car accidents, the compensation you may receive might not give you back what you lost, but it can help you recover from your injuries and move on with your life.


Pro Tip

“If you experienced ridesharing sexual assault, call the authorities as soon as possible.”

Need Assistance Filing Your Rideshare Sexual Assault in Miami?

Diamond & Diamond Lawyers in Miami are experts in sexual assault and personal injury cases in Miami. We are ready to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve for the losses you sustained as a result of the intentional bad acts of rideshare drivers, or riders, and the negligence of rideshare companies.

You need competent legal representation when dealing with global businesses, such as Uber and Lyft, and their insurance companies for physical assaults. Our personal injury lawyers in Miami know precisely how to deal with the rideshare industry and Miami rideshare sexual assault cases.

Call us at 1-800-567-HURT for a free evaluation of your case. If you need 24/7 assistance, you can contact us online to schedule a consultation. Diamond & Diamond Lawyers are here for you in your darkest hours. 

If an Uber or Lyft driver attacked you, contact Diamond and Diamond Miami for legal assistance.

FAQs on What You Need to Know About Rideshare Sexual Assault

Given the track record of Uber when it comes to safety, it might not be a good idea for females to ride alone at night. If there is no other choice, request a female driver and be alert of your surroundings. Ride in the back seat and use the in-app map to ensure you are going in the right direction.

Theoretically, Uber drivers must pass through a complete screening process, including background checks, to ensure the safety of riders. Unfortunately, some are apparently able to slip through the cracks in the vetting system, as evidenced by Uber’s own safety reports.

You should end the trip immediately and exit the vehicle. If you feel that the driver might make it difficult for you to leave or you are in a dangerous location, go to the Safety Toolkit on the Uber app and look for “911 Assistance.” Swipe to call, and the app will provide the authorities with your trip details and location in real-time.