While more than 99% of Uber and Lyft rides end without incident, an assault during a rideshare trip can be traumatic. Passengers and drivers alike are the victims of these assaults, and they can sometimes feel like the companies aren’t following up satisfactorily.
Here’s what you should do after an Uber/Lyft assault
Get to safety and find help
Make sure you are in no further danger before you worry about calling the police or the rideshare company. If a driver has assaulted you after a pickup or drop-off at your home, you may want to find a different safe location.
If you’re uncertain if the driver is still in the area, call someone you trust to pick you up and keep them on the line while you wait in case your assailant reappears.
If you are a driver and you were assaulted by a passenger, get some distance between yourself and where you last saw the passenger.
If you have sustained injuries, go to the nearest hospital. If you don’t have the means to get there yourself, call 911 to arrange transport.
Once you are safe, then call the police.
Report the incident to the police
The police will want to collect evidence of the assault and your injuries.
You must see a doctor immediately if the assault was sexual in nature. Do not shower or change clothes before seeing medical professionals, who can gather evidence and improve the likelihood of identifying your assailant and apprehending them. They can also provide testing for sexually transmitted infections and emergency contraception.
Be aware you can file a police report without committing to a criminal suit if you so choose.
Call the rideshare company
Whether you were a driver or passenger, you should report the assault to the rideshare company. If you were a passenger, you should report the driver for the sake of public safety.
Currently, there is a debate about whether Uber should report sexual assault allegations directed at their drivers to the police. Law enforcement is a firm “yes” on this question, though victim advocates say reliving the assault through reporting it can re-traumatize them.
One thing is certain; an assault report will greatly reduce the risk of the assailant assaulting someone else.
When you have a moment, write down everything you recall about the incident, including what happened before the assault. Even mundane details could be helpful later.
Consult an attorney
After you have had time to recover, you should consult an attorney about your legal options.