Houston Uber & Lyft Sexual Assault Attorney
Have you been sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver in Houston, TX? A Houston Uber & Lyft sexual assault attorney from Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers can help you hold your attacker accountable and recover compensation for the harm you suffered.
Our Houston, TX attorneys have more than 45 years of combined legal experience representing victims of crime in personal injury claims. Contact our law office for a free consultation to explore your legal options today.
How Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After an Uber or Lyft Sexual Assault in Houston
Sexual assault claims against rideshare companies are notoriously complicated. Uber and Lyft employ teams of attorneys who fight back against these claims and try to shield themselves from liability. Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. will help you build your case and fight for your rights.
Founding attorney Brian White is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law. He also maintains a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating based on his award-winning track record.
Choose our law firm to represent you and our compassionate Houston personal injury lawyers will:
- Help you understand your legal options for recovering compensation
- Gather evidence against your attacker to prove your sexual assault
- Build a case based on negligence against the rideshare company
- Accurately value your claim and the damages you have suffered
- Negotiate on your behalf to seek a fair settlement offer
- Present your case before a jury if you choose to file a personal injury lawsuit
You do not need to face the intimidating court system and uncaring insurance companies alone. Contact our Houston, Texas law office for a free consultation with a caring Houston rideshare sexual assault lawyer who will give you the support and legal guidance you need.
Overview of Rideshare Sexual Assault in Texas
Lyft and Uber have faced many legal battles and allegations over the past decade ranging from employment and wage issues to sexual assault on passengers. While Lyft and Uber conduct basic background checks, these checks only look at the previous seven years of criminal and courthouse records. Drivers are not required to undergo sexual harassment or assault training.
A small number of police departments track crimes and complaints involving rideshare drivers. The Austin Police Department has documented at least 16 complaints of sexual assault against Uber drivers and 10 against Lyft drivers between 2015 and 2018.
In 2019, Uber released its first safety report detailing fatal crashes, murders, and sexual assaults. According to the rideshare company, there were 3,045 sexual assaults reported in U.S. rides in 2018 alone. These incidents ranged from unwanted kissing of a “non-sexual” body part to attempted sexual assault and rape.
According to a CNN investigation in 2018, there were 103 Uber drivers and dozens of Lyft drivers accused of sexual assault or abuse over a four-year period. This report came from a review of federal court records, and county court records in 20 major cities, and police reports.
Uber and Lyft are facing investigations and class-action lawsuits in several states regarding failure to adequately screen drivers. In California, a 2020 class-action lawsuit alleges Lyft did not prevent its drivers from assaulting “several thousand” customers through simple driver monitoring and screening practices.
Uber and Lyft have been advertised as “safe” alternatives to driving under the influence. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) even launched a “designated rider” campaign that encouraged people who had been drinking to take an Uber home. However, many victims of rideshare sexual assault and abuse were intoxicated or had been drinking and were more vulnerable to assault.
Can Uber & Lyft Be Liable for Sexual Assault in Houston, TX?
Lyft and Uber attempt to limit their liability by classifying drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. This means the companies are not automatically liable for the actions of their drivers when they are active on the app. However, there are many cases in which Uber or Lyft can be held liable for sexual assault if they were negligent and this led to the assault.
You may file a civil lawsuit against not only the driver who assaulted you but also the rideshare company if they were negligent.
Negligent Hiring Practices
Many Uber & Lyft sexual assault negligence claims involve claims of negligent hiring practices. Rideshare companies do not meet drivers, interview them, or perform criminal background checks past 7 years. These background checks are not fingerprint-based and there have been cases of dangerous, convicted people passing the background check and becoming drivers.
When hiring procedures do not catch someone who with a history of sexual violence, rape, and sexual assault, the company may be held liable. Sometimes Uber or Lyft negligently hire a driver with past complaints of sexual harassment or assault. They may also be liable if they do not conduct a proper background check or they ignore the results showing a criminal record.
While Uber has a three-strike rule, it allows an executive override and does not always adhere to this rule. There has been a case of an Uber driver who was allowed to keep driving until a fourth incident, a rape accusation. In another case, a driver was accused of sexual battery and suspended. However, one month later, he was driving again and faced another accusation.
Rideshare companies do not just have a duty to institute a proper screening process to hire drivers; they should also monitor drivers for new accusations, offenses, and convictions. You may have a claim against the rideshare company if the driver was approved to drive but allowed to continue driving after an arrest, accusation, or conviction of sexual assault or harassment.
There may be other ways in which Lyft or Uber can be held responsible for your assault due to negligence. This includes insufficient training and a lack of transparency when the rideshare company advertises its services as safe.
Mandatory Arbitration Ended by Uber & Lyft
Uber and Lyft ended their mandatory arbitration clauses for cases involving sexual harassment or assault against an Uber or Lyft driver. This system required victims to resolve disputes before an arbitrator outside of court.
If you have been assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, you can now file a lawsuit directly against the rideshare company. You have other legal options for seeking compensation. You may settle a claim through mediation to keep the identities of all parties confidential. Arbitration is still an option to keep your claim private.
What Kind of Damages Are Available to Uber & Lyft Sexual Assault Victims in Houston, TX?
Survivors of sexual assault by an Uber or Lyft driver may be eligible for compensation through a civil claim against the rideshare driver and/or the rideshare company.
You may recover economic and non-economic damages for:
- Medical expenses related to your assault including an ER visit, hospitalization, STD testing and treatment, doctor’s visits, and prescription medication
- Counseling or therapy
- Lost wages during your recovery
- Reduced earning capacity if your injuries left you impaired or disabled
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
You may also be entitled to punitive damages. Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. will help you explore the types of compensation you may be eligible for in a rideshare sexual assault claim.
We’ll Fight for Compensation for All of Your Uber & Lyft Sexual Assault Injuries
A sexual assault can leave victims with serious injuries, including physical, emotional, and psychological injuries. Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. will fight for the compensation you deserve for injuries such as:
- Genital trauma including lacerations, bruising, inflammation, and tenderness
- Anal tears and bruising
- Broken bones including pelvic fractures and facial fractures
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unwanted pregnancy
Not all people suffer physical injuries from sexual assault. This does not mean you have not suffered serious harm that should be compensated. Our Houston personal injury lawyers will fight for compensation for all of the injuries and harm you have sustained. This includes PTSD, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and invasive medical treatment.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After an Uber & Lyft Sexual Assault in Texas?
Under Texas law, you have just two years to file a personal injury lawsuit after a sexual assault. This strict statute of limitations can bar you from recovering any compensation for your attack if your case is not filed before the deadline.
It’s vital that you pursue your claim as soon as possible. Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. will begin investigating your case and gathering evidence right away before it can be lost.
Contact a Houston Uber & Lyft Sexual Assault Attorney for a Free Consultation
Sexual assault is a horrifying crime under any circumstance. When you are trying to be safe and responsible by using a rideshare service after a night out and you are instead the victim of a violent crime, the responsible parties should be held accountable. Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C., is here to help you seek justice and recover compensation to pay for your medical care and expenses while you try to move forward.
Contact our law firm today for a free consultation with an experienced Houston Uber & Lyft sexual assault attorney who can help you.