Ride-Sharing Services

Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years as a more convenient alternative to taxis.  With this growth, however, has a come a dark and dangerous side.  Thousands of criminals were cleared to be Uber drivers while Uber and other ridesharing companies lobbied against strong background checks.  Dozens of Uber and Lyft drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting passengers.  At least 31 Uber drivers have been convicted for crimes committed upon passenger ranging from forcible touching and false imprisonment to rape, and dozens of criminal and civil cases are pending, according to research by CNN.  In the vast majority of the reported incidents, the targeted victims were female, lived alone, were being transported alone, and had consumed alcohol prior to being transported.
 
As a law firm that exclusively handles sexual abuse cases for victims, we have been asked the question “Can I sue Uber or Lyft if I was sexually assaulted?”  The short answer is YES.  While at one time that question may have been in doubt due to arbitration clauses buried in the companies’ User Agreements, both Uber and Lyft have announced that they will no longer force victims of sexual assault into arbitration as they had done in the past.
 
Ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are responsible for the safety of their passengers and for ensuring that their passengers arrive at their destination without incident.  Similarly, Uber and Lyft are responsible for the actions of their drivers – and also for making sure that responsible decisions are made as to who is allowed to drive passengers for their companies.  In some states, such as Florida, there is a separate basis of liability known as “common carrier.”  Under the common carrier theory of liability, any transportation company open to the public (including buses, trains, and ships) acts as the guarantor of the safety of its fare-paying  passengers and is automatically responsible for the negligent or intentional acts of its agents, including its drivers.
 
Horowitz Law is one of the few law firms in the country with experience representing victims of sexual assault by the driver of a ride-sharing company such as Uber or Lyft.  If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or raped by a driver for a ridesharing company, please contact Horowitz Law at 954-641-2100 or email attorney Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com