Hailing an Uber or Lyft is common in Dallas for those who need transportation, are unfamiliar with the city, or are hesitant to drive after a night with friends. What riders do not expect is to experience a sexual assault by an Uber or Lyft driver.
Victims of rape and sexual assault by an Uber or Lyft driver have come forward in the past, and some have been able to file lawsuits against these companies for substantial compensation after the company failed to keep their riders safe. No matter the state you were in when the crime occurred, you still have the right to pursue justice and compensation for all responsible parties, including Uber and Lyft.
Call The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. today at (817) 476-1797 for a free case review with our Uber and Lyft sexual assault lawyers.
Suing Uber or Lyft for Sexual Assault in Dallas
Sexual harassment and sexual assault are often conflated, but they have distinct definitions. Sexual harassment refers to any unwelcome sexual advances, including comments and gestures. On the other hand, sexual assault involves physical acts that go beyond mere words and gestures, encompassing forced sexual contact such as rape, sodomy, and any other form of unwanted sexual interaction.
In order to prioritize the safety of their riders, it is crucial for Uber and Lyft to implement stringent screening processes. They should reject any drivers with a history of criminal activity or dangerous driving incidents. Failure to thoroughly screen and clear drivers before allowing them to work can potentially expose passengers to unsafe situations. It is equally important for these companies to take individual responsibility for screening and interviewing drivers to ensure the safety of their riders, protecting them from assault or sexual misconduct while in transit.
Should Uber or Lyft’s systemic errors result in a rider being matched with a dangerous individual, it is reasonable for them to be held accountable. There have been instances where Uber and Lyft drivers have faced arrests and personal lawsuits for assault and sexual misconduct. In certain cases, the companies themselves have been implicated in these lawsuits, facing financial responsibility for their drivers’ actions.
While legal action against Uber or Lyft might present challenges, our Uber and Lyft sexual assault attorneys can assist you in seeking justice for the harm inflicted upon you. If you have experienced sexual assault by an Uber or Lyft driver in Dallas, you have the option to file the following legal claims:
Assault and Battery
Assault and battery are terms often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings. Assault refers to the act of intentionally causing someone to fear immediate harm or offensive contact. On the other hand, battery specifically refers to the physical act of actually inflicting harm or offensive contact on another person. While assault and battery can occur together, it is important to note that they can also occur separately, with one happening without the other.
Uber or Lyft can be held directly liable for the negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of a dangerous driver. In Dallas, Uber and Lyft should be held responsible for their failure to adequately screen, supervise, or retain drivers with a history of misconduct.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Intentional infliction of emotional distress involves conduct that causes severe emotional trauma in the victim, which sexual assault certainly qualifies. Proving the intentional infliction of emotional distress can be challenging, but it is an appropriate cause of action in a sexual assault case.
False imprisonment occurs when an individual is unlawfully confined against their will. In the context of rideshare incidents, this can occur when drivers who assault passengers intentionally restrict their freedom by locking them inside the vehicle, preventing them from leaving. Such actions provide valid grounds for a claim of false imprisonment.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
Negligent infliction of emotional distress pertains to individuals who witness traumatic events. It refers to the mental or emotional harm caused by someone’s negligence. For instance, if a child witnesses their mother being sexually assaulted during an Uber or Lyft ride and subsequently experiences severe mental or emotional distress. As a result, they might have grounds to pursue a claim against the attacker for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
How to Prove Sexual Assault Against an Uber or Lyft Driver in Dallas
Our team specializes in representing individuals who have been victims of rape and sexual assault perpetrated by Uber and Lyft drivers. These cases can involve a range of misconduct, from inappropriate touching or grabbing to more severe acts such as penetration or forceful assault. The victims’ testimonies are often crucial in providing evidence that holds the assailants accountable.
In addition to your personal testimony, you might also have valuable evidence in the form of pictures, videos, or audio recordings captured on your phone. If there were witnesses present during the incident, their testimony or any video evidence they possess can further support your case. It is worth noting that some rideshare drivers have cameras installed in their vehicles, and the footage from these cameras can be seized as evidence in assault cases. Furthermore, your Uber or Lyft app can provide important data regarding the driver’s identity and trip details.
Many survivors of sexual assault hesitate to come forward due to concerns about law enforcement’s handling of their case. Unfortunately, there have been instances where rape kits and other critical evidence remain untested and unexamined for extended periods. In some trials, sentences for convictions might be lenient, and restitution for the victim might be insufficient or nonexistent.
In a civil lawsuit, the focus shifts to the victim and the harm they have endured rather than solely on the defendant. The burden of proof is also lower, with the victim needing to demonstrate that it is “more likely than not” that their claim is true, as opposed to the higher “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases. This provides victims with a stronger chance of winning a civil lawsuit against both their assailant and the rideshare company they were employed by, as compared to the uncertainties of a criminal case.
Damages You Can Claim Against Uber or Lyft for Sexual Assault in Dallas
If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual violence, you will be eligible for damages to compensate for the harm you have endured. This compensation can encompass various aspects, including restitution for the violation you have suffered, as well as compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any physical injuries.
In addition to these general damages, you might also be entitled to claim economic damages in court. This can include reimbursement for medical treatments, lost wages resulting from the assault, or any other financial losses incurred due to the incident.
It is important to note that Uber and Lyft might attempt to pressure plaintiffs into settling their cases for lower values. However, our team of attorneys is here to assist you in understanding the true worth of your case and to advocate on your behalf. We can help negotiate for higher damages, or if necessary, we are prepared to fight your case at trial if these companies refuse to provide you with the compensation you deserve.
Settling a sexual assault case can often be a beneficial option, as it allows you to avoid the potentially distressing experience of testifying about your traumatic ordeal in open court and facing cross-examination from opposing lawyers and judges. Ultimately, our goal is to support you throughout the legal process and ensure that you receive the justice and compensation that you are entitled to.
Our Dallas Uber and Lyft Sexual Assault Attorneys Can Help
For a free case evaluation with our Uber and Lyft sexual assault attorneys, contact The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. at (817) 476-1797.