Accusations of Sexual Assault Levied by Uber Customers
Uber recently came under fire after it was revealed that 103 of its drivers have been accused of sexually assaulting customers over the past four years. Only 30 of the drivers have been convicted in criminal court. Although many victims don’t know it, they may have the option of filing a civil suit against the person who assaulted them. This is true even if criminal charges were never filed or were dismissed. In fact, a person can even be held liable in civil court for an act of which he or she was acquitted in criminal court. This is because the evidentiary threshold that plaintiffs must meet is much lower in civil cases and so easier to meet. Filing these types of cases ensures that defendants are held responsible for their actions and that injured parties can collect the compensation that will help them begin the long road to recovery. For more information about filing your own civil claim against a person who assaulted you, please contact our personal injury legal team today.
The Scope of the Problem
Uber, which is currently valued at more than $70 billion is estimated to be the most valuable privately owned tech company in the world. Much of the company’s success can be attributed to its marketing, which advertises its service as being safe, especially for those who are intoxicated and so choose not to get behind the wheel. These claims have come into direct conflict with the more than 100 sexual assaults reported over the last few years, as many of the victims were women who purposely ordered the ride sharing service because they were too inebriated to drive.
Unfortunately, many of the criminal charges that are raised against Uber drivers are dropped or the cases are dismissed, leaving many victims without a sense of closure. In response, some of the victims have begun filing civil suits against the drivers. In fact, one of the largest class action lawsuits has been joined by nine plaintiffs, one of whom was assaulted in Miami.
Filing a Civil Suit for Sexual Assault
Civil lawsuits based on sexual assault attempt to hold offenders responsible for their actions, while also ensuring that injured parties receive compensation. However, these cases are notoriously complex, making it especially important for victims to work with an attorney who can help preserve physical evidence from the scene or the victim’s home or person, in addition to witness statements, driver background checks, video recordings, and photographs. Preserving and presenting evidence is crucial to the outcome of this type of case, especially if a significant amount of time has passed since the offense occurred.
Plaintiffs are not limited to filing claims against those who assaulted them, but can also file suit against other responsible third parties. For instance, many Uber assault victims are also filing claims against Uber itself for its failure to supervise and train employees and for negligent hiring. Successful plaintiffs may be able to recover damages compensating them not only for the physical harm that they suffered, but also any emotional distress, anxiety, or depression with which they are now forced to cope.
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