Experienced Rideshare Physical and Sexual Assault Attorneys in Texas
The nature of the rideshare industry has evolved over the past decade. When Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies began offering door-to-door services for riders, there was some skepticism about its safety.
As time has passed, people have become accustomed to using an app to book a ride.
In turn, a driver arrives at their location and takes them to the drop-off spot in exchange for payment — all made directly through the rideshare company app.
Most people who have used rideshare services have had the occasional awkward or off-putting experience with a driver, typically in the form of an off-center comment, terrible music choices, or chatty drivers.
Now, reports of riders being subjected to conditions beyond differences of opinion or taste have surfaced nationwide.
Riders are experiencing unwanted physical contact, indecent exposure, and even rape. Hundreds of women have filed lawsuits against Uber, claiming the company hasn’t done enough to prevent instances of sexual assault by drivers.
If you or someone you know is a victim of Uber or Lyft sexual or physical assault, we want to hear your story so we can help you hold the rideshare company liable for your physical, emotional, and financial damages.
Why are Rideshare Physical and Sexual Assaults Occurring in Texas?
Common reasons rideshare physical and sexual assaults occur in Austin, Texas may include, but are not limited to:
The relative anonymity of drivers and passengers in rideshare transactions can be a factor. Individuals may feel encouraged to engage in inappropriate or criminal behavior because they believe it is easier to escape identification or consequences.
- Opportunity for Isolation
Rideshare services often involve one-on-one interactions in a relatively private and enclosed space. This can create an opportunity for perpetrators to take advantage of the isolated environment, making it easier for them to commit acts of assault without immediate intervention.
- Impaired Riders
In some cases, passengers may be impaired, so they schedule a safe transportation alternative instead of driving. This can contribute to increased inappropriate or aggressive behavior from drivers who exploit the rider’s vulnerable state.
- Late Night Rides
Many riders use Uber and Lyft as transportation after late nights out, which can lead to drivers navigating poorly lit areas, dark streets, and alleys that provide the opportunity to cause harm without being seen.
- Lack of Control Over the Vehicle
While a passenger can ask the driver to stop the car or change their actions, how the driver will react is unknown. Since passengers have no control over the vehicle, the driver could:
- Stop the car and order the passenger out, placing them in immediate danger of their surroundings.
- Respond angrily and physically or sexually assault the driver.
- Insufficient Background Checks
While rideshare companies typically conduct background checks on their drivers, there may be cases where the checks are not thorough enough, allowing individuals with a history of violence or criminal behavior to become drivers.
- Inadequate Safety Features
Rideshare companies must continually enhance and implement safety features within their apps and vehicles, including in-app emergency buttons, trip tracking, and driver/rider identification verification, which can help improve safety and security.
- Failure to Report and Address Incidents
In some cases, incidents of assault may go unreported or are not promptly addressed by rideshare companies. If there is a perception that reports will not lead to meaningful consequences, it may encourage perpetrators and contribute to additional sexual and physical assaults by drivers.
As riders continue to report these critical incidents, more lawsuits are being filed against the companies for failing to prevent these traumatic circumstances from occurring.
If you or someone you know is a victim of Uber and Lyft sexual assault, physical assault, unwanted physical contact, indecent exposure, or rape, we can help you enforce your legal rights to hold the company accountable for their driver’s actions.
We Also Focus on the Following Practice Areas:
- Bicycle Accident
- Boat Accident
- Car Accident
- Civil Litigation
- Child Care
- 18 Wheeler Truck Accident
- Catastrophic Injury
- DWI Accident
- Motorcycle Accident
- Workplace Injury
- Product Liability
- Pedestrian Accident
Contact Our Skilled Accident and Injury Attorneys Today
Call our skilled accident and personal injury attorneys in Austin, Texas at (512) 883-0277 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you.