Do you feel safe getting into a rideshare car? If you're unsure, then you may have heard about horrific incidents involving rideshare drivers. While the bad ones account for only a small percentage, their actions were profound enough to cause serious injuries, trauma, and even death.
In November of 2019, Columbus police issued an arrest warrant for an Uber driver who sexually assaulted a female passenger. The driver reportedly picked up the passenger in the early morning hours. According to police, he pulled off to the side of the road in an unknown location and raped her in the back seat. Another rideshare driver witnessed the man pulling the crying victim out of the back seat at the drop-off spot and then driving away.
What are the leading dangers rideshare passengers face?
According to a 2019 safety report released by Uber, several people were injured or killed in incidents involving Uber drivers during 2017 and 2018. These incidents involved:
- Fatal collisions — 107 people died in fatal collisions involving Uber drivers. Of those who died, 30 percent were pedestrians, 21 percent were passengers, 21 percent were Uber drivers, and the rest were third parties.
- Fatal assaults — We often hear about Uber drivers being violently assaulted by passengers. The report says that at least eight passengers died due to violent assaults by Uber drivers.
- Sexual assaults — Uber reports that non-consensual touching was committed by its drivers in 1 out of every 800,000 completed trips. The company also reported less common incidents of non-consensual kissing and penetration of passengers.
Can I take legal action if I was injured in a rideshare incident?
Incidents involving rideshares aren't as clear-cut as we'd like to think. There are several different scenarios where passengers and third parties are endangered by rideshare drivers. For example:
- A rideshare driver causes a crash while you're a passenger.
- A rideshare driver causes a crash while logged out of the app.
- You're struck by a rideshare driver while walking, cycling, or occupying another car.
- You're a passenger who is attacked or sexually assaulted by the driver.
In some cases, your injury may not be the fault of the rideshare driver. In March of 2019, a math teacher was killed in a crash after attending the Cleveland International Film Festival. The Uber car that he was riding in was struck by a drunk driver who had run a red light. Police determined that the at-fault driver's blood-alcohol concentration level was three times the legal limit. The Uber driver was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for serious injuries.
If you were hurt by a rideshare driver or while riding in a rideshare car, the Cleveland attorneys at Merriman Legal, LLC can help you explore your legal options. Our legal team is dedicated to investigating incidents like yours and helping victims build strong cases. Contact us online today to find out how we can help you.