YUMA, Arizona. As more people use ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to get around, more passengers are choosing cheaper options that allow them to car pool with other users. Many proponents of the option say it’s great for the environment, because it encourages car pooling. However, car pooling with strangers brings along its own unique risks. In recent news, there have been more reports of people being injured and assaulted by their fellow passengers while using ride sharing companies. The companies match strangers going in the same direction in the same car. Unlike public transportation, where there may be cameras and more people onboard, ride sharing situations are more intimate and may not always be monitored by cameras.
According to the Chicago Tribune, one woman recently sued Uber after she claimed that a fellow passenger with whom she was sharing a ride, stabbed her. The woman is suing both the passenger and the company. She was allegedly sliced in the face with a blade and claims that the cuts will leave her with permanent scars. The lawsuit claims that Uber is to blame because it doesn’t offer a method by which users or drivers can rate or check the backgrounds of fellow passengers. The woman’s lawyer also accused the company of failing to provide its drivers with adequate training about how to handle dangerous situations.
In the event of assaults while riding, riders may not be covered by Uber’s insurance because the policy applies only in the events of car accidents, not in the event of assaults. Victims may still face high medical bills, lost wages due to missed time from work, and pain and suffering, but they may not know where to turn.
Women have reported being sexually harassed and assaulted on car pooling rides. One woman recently wrote about her experience in Bust, noting that she found herself trapped in the backseat with two men who made sexually suggestive comments and even went as far as to stroke her leg. The writer explained that the only thing her driver did was pull over and ask her to sit up front. Should ride sharing companies have stricter no-tolerance policies for sexual assault and harassment and more tools for drivers to report incidents? Until victims fight back and speak up, these violations may continue to occur. In one reported incident, a ride sharing company even refused to release the names of fellow riders who harassed a woman, putting rider privacy over the woman’s safety.
Should ride sharing companies be required to carry insurance to cover passengers in the event of attacks? Should they provide violence training to their drivers? Should ride sharing companies require passengers to undergo background checks or allow fellow passengers and drivers to rate them? What rights do passengers have if they are assaulted?
Until more people speak out about violence in ride shares, the companies may not be motivated to take action. Victims may have the right to seek damages for their losses. Schneider & Onofry, P.C. are personal injury lawyers in Yuma, Arizona who work with victims and families who have been impacted by car accidents and who have suffered injuries due to another person’s actions. If you have suffered from violence while riding in a car pool service, you may have rights. Visit our firm at https://www.soarizonalaw.com/ to learn more.
Schneider & Onofry, P.C.
6024 E. 32nd St.
Yuma, AZ 85365
928-257-4887 Phone

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