Several women across the globe have filed lawsuits against Uber, complaining that the company needs to take more initiatives to ensure female passengers are secure from sexual assault. Recently, there have been many news headlines about drivers molesting women who booked their rides with this company’s app. A panel of judges stated that 80 of such abuse cases might get presented at the federal court.
According to a news report from NPR.org in October 2023, Judge Charles Breyer was supposed to hear the pretrial matters. It was supposed to be expert and witness depositions and document discovery. It was considered a big move as all the documents had a chance to establish that the sexual abuse of women by Uber drivers is indeed a massive concern.
It is estimated that the cases might move to trial in the respective states where women belong until Judge Breyer decides for a ‘bellwether trial’. However, the process is anticipated to take as much as 2 years.
All the incidents that have been mentioned in the lawsuits included kidnapping, groping, and even rape. Victims have alleged that Uber needs to work to make the rides safer for women. As per the current situation, safety measures are rather inadequate. Furthermore, the complaints also emphasize that Uber must conduct correct background checks to ensure that the drivers are from decent families and have no criminal records.
The complaints filed by women also point out that Uber can do much more to ensure the platform is secure. It includes dashcam recordings and fingerprint background checks for every ride.
However, once a sexual assault takes place, the woman finds it challenging to tackle the situation at hand. The physical pain and the emotional trauma are too much to deal with. In this article, we will share the probable steps that women can take if they encounter such a situation to ensure their concerns are heard and they get justice.
Get Proper Medical Attention
Sexual assault survivors will experience physical injuries. Hence, victims must ask for medical aid. Other than treating the injuries that need to be addressed, an expert healthcare professional can look into the common concerns about the permanent side effects of the abuse. Sexually assaulted women might enquire about STIs (sexually transmitted diseases) and pregnancy, along with emotional trauma.
Most healthcare professionals will ask for a forensic exam, which is often known as a rape kit. Here, the DNA evidence is collected. It’s the victim who decides whether they will opt for this exam or not. But this exam can ensure that they can opt for legal action in the future if they wish to.
Report the Incident
Women can if they want to report the incident to the local police department. They can either visit in person or call and report the crime. However, reporting an Uber sexual assault case to law enforcement is not similar to filing a lawsuit. There are chances that the report can result in a criminal investigation.
Report to Lyft or Uber
Both Lyft and Uber provide 24×7 assistance through their apps. Users can report any untoward incident on these apps. Hence, they report a physical or sexual assault as well. The options are available to people who witness such unpleasant incidents when they are using rideshare services.
Correctly Document the Entire Experience
Irrespective of whether you wish to file a lawsuit or not, you must document the entire experience and add as much detail as possible. Women need time to feel grounded and emotionally balanced before they decide to file a lawsuit or report a crime. Hence, the documentation can ensure that your lawyer or you can hold those people accountable who are guilty of the damages you have undergone.
Hence, women need to document the entire incident as much as they can and remember it. The process might add to their woes because they have to recall the entire incident. But keeping essential information handy will only ensure a strong legal case when they decide to file one.
As time passes, the memory of the experience might become blurry. A few specific details that you can add here include:
- The time and date of the assault
- The location of the incident
- Any specific details of the assailant that you recall
- Any crucial details about the assault or the ride that can add value to your legal case
When you ask for medical aid, ensure that you have copies of all medical documents, prescriptions, appointment details, and expenses. This will establish the economic damages that you had to undergo and will help you get the monetary compensation to cover them.
Get Talking with A Lawyer
Eventually, every woman should consider a legal recourse for the assault they have faced on an Uber ride. This means talking with a lawyer, as they can help navigate the legal landscape easily.
TorHoerman Law states that an expert lawyer can assess the case details and let you know what kind of legal action is correct for you. Every state has a certain legal deadline to file a sexual assault case, and your lawyer will update you on that.
Victims shouldn’t wait too long, then the case will expire, and even an expert lawyer wouldn’t be able to help. Furthermore, the lawyer will use the necessary evidence to ensure you have a strong case, which will give you the justice and compensation you deserve.
Finally, no amount of monetary compensation can replace the emotional pain and mental anguish of a woman who witnessed a sexual assault on an Uber ride. It is necessary to file a lawsuit only to raise awareness of such cases so that the criminals are taken to task and more women are aware and watchful of their Uber rides. It will also urge the company to enforce strict rules of employment, like checking a driver’s background thoroughly before getting them on board to ensure that female passengers are safe.