In recent years, Uber and Lyft have shown that they have an issue with dealing with issues of sexual assault and abuse that occur due to their failure to choose reliable drivers. A passenger should not have to worry that their driver could potentially be a criminal looking to assault them. If you or a family member was sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, contact an experienced Philadelphia sexual assault attorney today.
At the Reiff Law Firm, we understand the stress and trauma that can accompany an incident of sexual assault, and we are here for you. Our firm has worked with residents of Philadelphia and Southeast Pennsylvania on a number of complex cases, and we are prepared to use this knowledge to help you pursue compensation for your injury. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000, or contact us online.
Liability for Sexual Abuse by an Uber or Lyft Driver
Uber and Lyft are the two largest ride-hailing services in the world. As a result, you would expect that each company would have stringent safeguards to protect their customers from a rideshare driver that seeks to sexually assault or abuse them. Unfortunately, neither Uber nor Lyft appear to have found a consistent solution to prevent drivers from assaulting passengers.
Drivers that work for Uber or Lyft are typically labeled as independent contractors by the company. The underlying reason for this employee designation is so that Uber and Lyft can avoid accepting liability for the illicit actions of their rideshare car drivers.
However, there are circumstances where a ride-hail service driver and their employer could be held liable for a sexual assault. For example, if a driver assaults a passenger in the midst of transporting them, they would have committed an offense while working within the scope of their employment. This can open up their employer to liability.
There were over 100 reported cases of passengers being sexually assaulted by Uber drivers last year and about 30 individuals that were imprisoned for these crimes. Many of the victims of sexual assault were women who were inebriated and traveling alone. As Uber or Lyft do not have any training programs for their drivers regarding interactions with a passenger, it is likely that incidents of sexual assault will continue to occur.
To learn more about filing a lawsuit for sexual assault for your injuries, continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney today.
When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Pennsylvania
If your Uber or Lyft driver sexually abused you, you should consider filing a lawsuit against the rideshare driver and their respective employer. It is important to understand that civil lawsuits are subject to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations determines the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a particular type of case. For example, a claim of fraud may have a different filing deadline than a claim of medical malpractice.
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the injury. If a plaintiff does not file their case within this timeframe, the court can bar their claim from being filed. It is important to note that there are some circumstances that could lead to a case being delayed.
While it may seem strange that there are limitations on claims of sexual assault, the statute of limitations is designed to protect plaintiffs and defendants. Allowing a plaintiff to file a claim at any time could make it difficult to defend against a lawsuit. However, Pennsylvania is currently researching the idea of extending the statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault.
After ensuring that your case is timely filed, you will have to prove that your Uber or Lyft rideshare driver assaulted you. Sexual assault or sexual abuse can take several forms:
- Touching a private area of a person without their consent
- Forcing a person into a sexual act without consent or when they are incapacitated
- Assaulting an individual with a mental disability
- Using drugs to induce a person into sexual intercourse
This is not an exhaustive list. If you were a victim of sexual assault, the Reiff Law Firm could help you explore your legal options.
Work with an Experienced Pennsylvania Uber and Lyft Sexual Assault Lawyer Today
If you or a family member was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of an Uber or Lyft driver, contact an experienced Philadelphia sexual abuse lawyer today. The skilled sexual abuse lawyers at the Reiff Law Firm possess decades of combined legal experience, and we would be proud to work with you. To schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal options, contact the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000.