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Home > Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer > Pennsylvania Uber Sexual Assault Lawyer

Pennsylvania Uber Sexual Assault Lawyer

Uber has a longstanding record of promoting growth over safety. Consequently, the company can be held liable for sexual assaults occurring in connection with rides. Contact our Uber sexual assault attorneys at Cordisco & Saile today if you have been sexually assaulted during a rideshare. You may be eligible for substantial compensation.

Uber touts itself as a company that prioritizes safety, but for the thousands of people sexually assaulted during Uber rides, these claims are nothing more than empty promises. If you have been sexually assaulted during an Uber ride, it is not your fault. It is the fault of the perpetrator and Uber for putting you in an unsafe position.

You are the one who pays the price for Uber’s lackadaisical approach to safety. Our New Jersey and Pennsylvania personal injury attorneys at Cordisco & Saile are committed to turning the tables on Uber and making them pay financially for your emotional trauma, lost wages, pain, suffering, and physical harm. 

Our caring and experienced Uber sexual assault lawyers will protect your reputation, support you, and help you regain power as we work together to hold Uber accountable for your assault. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

How Can a Sexual Assault Lawyer Help?

When you contact our supportive and experienced Uber sexual assault attorneys, we will go right to work to reduce the stress of this process and make it as easy on you as possible for you. We accomplish this by handling everything for you, answering your calls, and communicating with you frequently throughout your case.

Our representation includes all of the following and more:

  • We will deal with Uber and its insurance company for you.
  • We will thoroughly investigate to prove Uber’s negligence.
  • We will file your lawsuit on time.
  • We will skillfully negotiate for a settlement so you don’t have to go to trial.
  • If a trial becomes necessary, we will ensure you are well-prepared and support you throughout the process.
  • We will assist with the criminal prosecution of the perpetrator if you choose to press charges.
  • We will refer you to local helpful resources in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and support you in any way we can.

Why Hire a Rideshare Sexual Assault Lawyer at Cordisco & Saile

With more than three decades of experience standing up to large corporations and insurance companies on behalf of injured individuals, our award-winning rideshare sexual assault lawyers have a consistent track record of successful results. We know what it takes to win you the compensation you deserve.

We have helped thousands of survivors of various forms of sexual assault and abuse throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey get justice and start healing. We understand and appreciate the courage sexual assault survivors display in coming forward, and we can promise you the following:

  • We will believe you.
  • We will take your assault and its effects seriously.
  • We will protect your confidentiality.
  • We will never pressure you to accept a particular settlement, go to trial, or do anything you don’t want to do.
  • We will treat you with respect, dignity, and honesty throughout your lawsuit.

Our clients know that we truly care about them and will not give up until they get the outcome they need to make them whole. Below are a few examples of the type of unsolicited client testimonials we regularly receive:

If you’ve been sexually assaulted on Uber, Lyft, or any other rideshare ride, call our nationally recognized rideshare sexual assault lawyers today at (215) 372-8120.

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What is Uber Sexual Assault?

Any unwelcome sexual behavior you experience in Uber may constitute sexual assault. Sexual assault may occur even if there is no penetration or physical contact. Non-contact sexual assault is generally known as sexual harassment.

Uber acknowledges that the behaviors listed below are forms of sexual assault:

  • Non-consensual sexual penetration or attempted penetration
  • Non-consensual kissing or attempted kissing of a sexual or non-sexual body part
  • Non-consensual touching or attempted touching of a sexual or non-sexual body part
  • Verbal threats to commit sexual assault
  • Indecent photography or video recording without your consent
  • Displaying indecent material
  • Flirting or making sexually explicit comments
  • Unwelcome comments or gestures related to your personal appearance
  • Unwelcome personal questions
  • Staring in an uncomfortable or sexual manner, whether at a sexual or non-sexual body part

Is Uber Liable in a Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

While Uber openly claims that it prioritizes safety and transparency, leaked documents have shown a pattern of putting growth ahead of safety. 

A Culture of Concealment Rather than Disclosure


According to a 2019 report by the Washington Post, Uber failed to notify the police of thousands of rapes and sexual assaults reported to the rideshare giant in 2017 and 2018. Uber defends this practice, but failing to report assaults to law enforcement increases the odds perpetrators will re-offend, putting other Uber users at risk.

Not only has Uber displayed a pattern of not notifying law enforcement about sexual assault, but it has engaged in active concealment. According to a report by The Guardian, a former Uber executive has accused the company of using a “kill switch” to conceal information from police in the event of investigations, including those that could lead to prosecutions.

A History of Tolerating Sexual Harassment


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has found that Uber also allowed a culture of sexual harassment in the workplace. Uber settled with the government in 2019, agreeing to pay $4.4 million to employees who experienced sexual harassment and retaliation. That settlement seems to indicate that any talk about concern for victims of sexual violence is just damage control.

Inadequate Background Checks


Despite claims by Uber that it requires drivers to undergo rigorous background checks, the company’s screening process fails to require fingerprinting. As a result, Pennsylvania and New Jersey riders are at risk of being alone in an Uber with a driver with a criminal history.

A fingerprinting test would allow the company to screen a candidate’s data in all fifty states, and it prevents common mistakes when only names are used. People can use aliases and fake identification, but faking fingerprints is much harder. 

Failure to perform fingerprint background checks is a business decision to take shortcuts, increasing the number of approved drivers. An Uber ride involves getting into a stranger’s car, and riders rely on Uber to ensure drivers are safe. When a customer suffers harm because of this choice, Uber should have to pay.

A History of Secrecy


For years, Uber and Lyft required sexual assault victims to resolve their disputes through binding arbitration. Binding arbitration is a confidential dispute resolution process outside of court, usually with an arbitrator who unfairly favors the company. Binding arbitration was a means to force sexual assault victims into silence while concealing the prevalence of sexual assaults from the public.

In 2018, Uber and Lyft removed these requirements and began allowing sexual assault victims to pursue their cases in their chosen forum, including through civil lawsuits. However, these changes only came after the companies experienced strong public pressure as the prevalence of sexual assault on Uber and Lyft increased.

What Evidence Do I Need for a Lawsuit Against Uber?

In most personal injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you must prove the defendant was negligent. To prove negligence in a sexual assault case against Uber, you must show that the following four elements were present:

  1. Uber owed you a duty of care. You can establish this by showing that you were Uber’s customer.
  2. Uber breached the duty of care by placing you in danger of sexual assault. This is where our award-winning sexual assault lawyers come in. We will look for evidence that Uber failed to protect your safety.
  3. You suffered an injury. You will need evidence that an Uber driver or passenger sexually assaulted you. You will also need medical evidence to show how this has affected you.
  4. Uber’s negligence is the proximate cause of your injuries. You will need to prove that the sexual assault is the cause of your physical and psychological injuries and that these injuries caused you to suffer financial losses and emotional distress.


How to Prove Sexual Assault


Proving sexual assault can be challenging, but our caring and experienced attorneys hire the top investigators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and we know how to find the evidence we need. Any combination of the following can help prove you were sexually assaulted:

  • A police report
  • A rape kit completed at a local hospital
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • A friend or family member in whom you confided about the assault shortly after it occurred, also known as an outcry witness
  • A forensic interview with a psychologist who specializes in sexual assault
  • Physical evidence from the Uber vehicle
  • Use of the emergency button on your rideshare app, if applicable
  • The perpetrator’s criminal history or history of complaints by other Uber passengers
  • Photo, video, or audio recordings of the incident, whether from your rideshare app, a dashcam, or a public camera in the vicinity where the assault occurred

How Common Is Uber Sexual Assault?

Uber reported 3,824 total sexual assaults in 2019 and 2020. According to Uber’s previous report, the total number of assaults reported by Uber in 2017 and 2018 was 5,981. These are just the numbers of assaults reported to Uber. There are most likely many more unreported cases of Uber sexual assault.

The decrease in reported sexual assaults in 2020 does not mean sexual assaults have become less common on Uber. The most likely explanation was the decreased number of rides given during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Uber classifies sexual assault into five categories. The chart below shows these categories and the number of cases of each type reported to Uber.

Chart indicating the types of sexual misconduct in Uber Sexual Assault cases throughout 2019 and 2020

Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Every state has a civil statute of limitations for sexual assault, which is a deadline for filing a sexual abuse lawsuit. In both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, this deadline varies based on whether you were an adult when the assault occurred. 

Pennsylvania’s Sexual Assault Statutes of Limitations


If you were over 18 when you were sexually assaulted, Pennsylvania generally gives you two years from the assault to file suit. If you were younger than 18, you generally have until you turn 55 to file suit if the assault occurred after 2018. Minors assaulted before 2019 have until their 30th birthday to sue. 

New Jersey’s Sexual Assault Statutes of Limitations


In New Jersey, you generally have seven years to file a civil lawsuit if you were over 18 when you were sexually assaulted. If you were younger than 18, you can file your claim anytime before your 55th birthday.

What Types Of Compensation Can I Claim?

Compensation for rideshare sexual assault is based on the short- and long-term impacts the abuse will have on you. Sexual assault can cause devastating physical and psychological harm, resulting in significant financial losses from medical expenses, psychological counseling services, the ability to continue working at your full potential, and other losses.

As a result, you may be able to recover compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Therapy
  • Missed work
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Humiliation
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

These types of damages are known as compensatory damages because they are meant to compensate you for your losses.

If, during our investigation, our experienced Uber sexual assault lawyers find evidence that Uber blatantly disregarded your safety, we may be able to make a case for punitive damages. 

Below are a few examples of a blatant disregard for safety by Uber:

  • You were assaulted by a driver previously reported to Uber by other victims, but Uber continued to allow the driver to accept rides.
  • Uber negligently hired a driver with a criminal record.
  • You are a driver sexually assaulted by a passenger previously reported to Uber.

Neither New Jersey nor Pennsylvania limits how much you can recover in compensatory damages, but both states limit punitive damages. In New Jersey, punitive damages are limited to five times the total economic and non-economic damages or $350,000, whichever is greater.

In Pennsylvania, the maximum punitive damages recoverable are two times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater.

Contact an Uber Sexual Assault Lawyer at Cordisco & Saile Today

If you have been sexually assaulted in connection with any rideshare service, including Uber, and Lyft, we can help you hold the service accountable. We are also passionate about helping hotel sexual assault survivors find their voice, regain their power, and get the healing they need to restore their lives. Contact us today for a free, confidential consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to questions we frequently receive about Uber sexual assault.

What If I Am a Driver Sexually Assaulted by an Uber Passenger?

According to the most recent report published by Uber, approximately 43 percent of Uber sexual assault perpetrators were riders. Both Uber and Lyft have faced criticism for failing to protect drivers, with the following complaints from female drivers who have experienced uncomfortable encounters with male passengers:

  • Failure to perform any type of identity verification or background check on passengers who sign up for new accounts
  • Failure to prohibit offending passengers from taking more rides
  • Failure to require passengers to complete sexual misconduct training
  • Failure to provide drivers with cameras or other recording devices

While drivers acknowledge that Uber and Lyft in New Jersey unpair them with passengers about whom they make safety complaints, there is no system in place to prevent these passengers from signing up under different names or accepting rides from other female drivers.

As a result, Uber and Lyft may be liable for sexual assault perpetrated by a passenger against a driver. If a rideshare passenger has sexually assaulted you, contact our sexual assault lawyers immediately for a free case review.

What Should I Do If I Was Sexually Assaulted During an Uber Ride?


Sexual assault on Uber is a crime that could result in criminal charges as well as civil liability. While the following steps can be difficult, our Uber sexual assault lawyers can help you through these difficult steps so you can start the healing process and work towards feeling safe again. 

  1. Report the assault to law enforcement. 
  2. Visit a local hospital to complete a rape kit.
  3. Report the assault to Uber.
  4. Contact an experienced Uber sexual assault lawyer as soon as possible.

You don’t have to walk through this process alone. Call us immediately at (215) 372-0445 if you have been sexually assaulted during an Uber or Lyft ride.

How Can I Protect Myself From Sexual Assault on Uber?


Unfortunately, sexual assault is not always preventable, and it is important to remember that it is not your fault. However, you can take a few protective measures that can sometimes thwart a sexual assault attempt. These include the following:

  • Use the emergency button in the Uber app. This button is available for both passengers and drivers. The Lyft platform also offers this.
  • Use your app’s live record feature for the duration of your ride. This could serve as important evidence.
  • If you are a driver, use a dashcam and ensure it is in plain view. The presence of a camera can deter abusive conduct.
  • Carry protective devices with you, such as pepper spray and Tasers.
  • Trust your instincts. If you get a bad feeling from a driver or a passenger, cancel the ride.
  • Enlist a friend or family member to check up on you during specified intervals while riding or driving. Make sure someone always knows where you are and when you should arrive at your destination.

Is a Criminal Prosecution Required for a Sexual Assault Lawsuit?


You need not press charges against the perpetrator to pursue a civil lawsuit. Filing a police report and following through with prosecution can help prove your civil case. However, our compassionate sexual assault lawyers will perform our own investigation and support you in whatever decision you make regarding criminal prosecution. 

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