Rideshare Sexual Assault Lawyers

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

Rideshare services have become an integral part of our modern transportation landscape, providing a convenient and accessible means of getting from point A to point B. However, with the convenience of ridesharing comes the potential for abuse and misconduct, including instances of sexual assault. In recent years, the issue of rideshare sexual assault has gained increased attention.

If you or a loved one has been assaulted by a rideshare driver (such as Uber or Lyft), get help from a lawyer at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm. Since 1979, our attorneys have helped our clients recover over $1 billion as a result of settlements and verdicts. Getting started with your car accident case is easy. Call us at 888-802-8156 for a free consultation, or tell us about your case online. And remember, there’s no upfront cost to you — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.

The Rise of Rideshare Sexual Assault Cases

As rideshare platforms continue to grow in popularity, so do claims of sexual assault occurring during rides. Rideshare drivers, who act as independent contractors, undergo background checks, but these checks are not foolproof. Victims of rideshare sexual assault often face physical and emotional trauma, leaving them in need of support and justice.

  • On January 20, 2023, prosecutors filed charges against Qandagha Raufi, a 32-year-old Lyft driver, for first-degree sexual abuse, third-degree kidnapping and misdemeanor sexual misconduct. Following the charges, a spokesperson for Lyft said that the company revoked Qandagha Raufi’s access to the platform, and would help with the ongoing police investigation. 
  • Qandagha Raufi’s case is not the first in St. Louis. In 2019, a Lyft driver was charged with first-degree rape and kidnapping. Prosecutors say the Lyft driver picked a woman up from downtown St. Louis, and then pulled into an alley where the assault took place.
  • On August 8th, 2022, a group of 17 passengers and drivers took legal action against Lyft. 13 of the passengers who filed are sexual assault survivors, and the other 4 passengers filed physical assault claims against Lyft. They are being filed by both Lyft passengers and drivers.
  • According to Uber’s 2017-2018 U.S. Safety Reports, they received over 5,900 claims of sexual assault in just a short time period.

Uber & Lyft Driver Requirements

  • Lyft: All Lyft drivers must meet certain requirements to be a driver on the platform with applicant and  vehicle requirements often varying by state. This includes background checks that are suppose to prevent Lyft from hiring previously convicted criminals of physical and sexual assault  (see all Lyft driver requirements). Furthermore, Lyft states that they conduct continuous criminal and driving record monitoring of active drivers on their platform.
  • Uber: Uber’ driver requirements and hiring processes are also public. However, there are significantly less details compared to Lyft in terms of what their “Driver screening” process includes, and whether they actively monitor drivers’ criminal and driving records.

One of the primary challenges faced by rideshare sexual assault lawyers is the lack of standardized procedures across rideshare companies. Each platform typically has its own unique policies and procedures for handling such cases, which adds a layer of complexity to legal proceedings. Lawyers work to navigate these challenges by leveraging their expertise and advocating for their clients within the framework of existing laws.

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Proving Liability In Uber and Lyft Sexual Assault Cases

  • Relaxed hiring processes – Both Uber and Lyft have driver requirements, but the hiring process fails to accurately recognize potential for criminal behavior and ensure the safety of passengers. 
  • Lack of driver training – Rideshare companies are not required to train their drivers, and do not offer ethics training or training regarding sexual misconduct. This may also lead to car accidents and distracted driving claims.
  • Lack of driver and rider transparency – Many assault cases have involved people who were not actually independent contractors that were officially licensed by Uber or Lyft. Additional claims suggest that rideshare companies fail to prevent minors from unlawfully using rideshare apps.

Key Responsibilities of Rideshare Sexual Assault Lawyers

  • Legal consultation and advice: Rideshare sexual assault lawyers play a crucial role in providing legal guidance to victims. Our lawyers help clients understand their rights, potential legal actions, and the steps involved in pursuing a case.
  • Investigation and evidence gathering: Our lawyers further help to support victims by assisting with case investigations and the collection of evidence to build a strong case. This often includes obtaining witness statements, reviewing surveillance footage, and collaborating with law enforcement agencies.
  • Liaison with law enforcement: Our attorneys often act as intermediaries between victims and law enforcement to facilitate communication, and to ensure that evidence is properly shared and considered throughout the investigation process.
  • Negotiation and settlement: In some cases, rideshare sexual assault lawyers may negotiate with rideshare companies or the accused parties for a fair settlement. This process requires a nuanced understanding of the legal and financial aspects involved.
  • Trial & ongoing litigation: If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, our rideshare sexual assault lawyers are prepared to take the case to court. Our lawyers advocate for their clients, presenting evidence and building a compelling legal argument to seek justice through the legal system.

Get Legal Support & Help With A Rideshare Assault Case

Despite rideshare companies claiming to have thorough background checks and valuing passenger safety, companies like Uber & Lyft have repeatedly failed to implement measures that protect passengers from physical and sexual abuse. Both the driver and the rideshare company may be held accountable with a civil lawsuit for their negligence to provide a safe experience for passengers.

If you or a loved one has been assaulted by a rideshare driver (such as those who are contracted by Uber or Lyft), get help from a lawyer at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm. Since 1979, our attorneys have helped our clients recover over $1 billion as a result of settlements and verdicts.  Getting started with your car accident case is easy. Call us at 888-802-8156 for a free consultation, or tell us about your case online. And remember, there’s no upfront cost to you — if you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.

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