Uber drivers are no strangers to rowdy passengers. If you have been injured by a drunk passenger, it is important to advocate for your rights and your recovery. Contact us today to discuss your legal options.
Uber Drivers Injured by Drunk Passengers
Every Uber driver probably has some interesting passenger stories to tell. The tales may include some rude behavior, some heartfelt moments, and some strange cargo.
Unfortunately, some of these stories aren’t as funny as others. Especially when a drunk passenger starts to act recklessly and ends up hurting a driver. Uber wants to get each passenger home safely, but what about their drivers getting home without being harmed and without being emotionally traumatized?
Uber Drivers Safety In Jeopardy
Uber has been presented as an incredible way to prevent drunk driving. It’s the ultimate designated driver. But that rideshare service can come at a price for Uber drivers who must pick up intoxicated passengers and sometimes deal with their poor behavior.
Passengers who have been drinking can enter a car and truly not remember their own home address. The riders can go unresponsive or in the opposite case, become hostile and combative.
Uber drivers can also be confronted with sexual and racial harassment, even if the comments aren’t directed towards them specifically. Passengers, especially intoxicated riders, can think they have complete privacy in the back seat and shout offensive comments while on the phone.
The threat of injury is very real and sexual assault is already a known problem for drivers. Vox reported on incident numbers after Uber released a safety report in 2019. They found that just over 3000 people were sexually assaulted on Uber trips the previous year. And it wasn’t just passengers that were targeted. Uber says that 42% of the victims were drivers.
What to Do if an Uber Passenger Assaults You
If being trapped in a car with a drunk, aggressive passenger sounds like a scary predicament that’s because it truly is. Sadly, passengers can be very different people when they’ve been drinking and they can be capable of some terrible acts.
If you drive for Uber and you pick up an intoxicated passenger you have some options to protect yourself:
- Call 911 — If you’ve been assaulted or injured by an Uber passenger, your first call should be to 911. Uber Drivers can actually call 911 from the Uber app by hitting the “Emergency Assistance” button. This can be helpful because it will display your location and trip details on the screen so you can easily notify emergency dispatchers. In some cities, this information will be automatically sent to 911 dispatchers. If the app isn’t working, immediately call 911 directly.
- End the Ride — If a passenger hasn’t physically acted out but you still feel unsafe, Uber allows passengers and drivers to end a ride at any time. You can pull over and demand they get out. Uber is not supposed to let an emergency situation affect your driver’s score.
- Alert Uber – After a bad trip ends you can hit the help button on their app and tell them about your experience. Make sure you are as detailed as possible when typing in your incident. Uber will then open an investigation into your ride.
- Rate the Passenger – If you are relatively safe after a ride, but want to warn other drivers about this particular passenger you can give them a low rating and detail your reasons. Perhaps this will help the rider realize just how bad his or her behavior gets after a few drinks.
- Share my Ride – For an added sense of protection before a shift, you can set up the “share my ride” feature on Uber’s app. This lets you set up “trusted contacts” like family members and friends and allows you to quickly let them know exactly where you’re at.
Support for Injured Uber Drivers
If you are attacked by a passenger while driving for Uber you might be able to hold several parties responsible for your injuries and your recovery. You may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the rider to try to get reimbursed for hospital bills, emotional hardships, and any time you’ve missed from work.
In these tragic cases, a lawsuit may also be necessary to get any sort of help from Uber as you recover. Uber doesn’t offer medical coverage after an attack. They have even been known to take a while to ban people responsible for an attack from using Uber. An experienced rideshare attorney can take certain steps to force Uber to accept their liability. An investigation into Uber’s safety screening process and the passenger’s own record with Uber can prove that rideshare was negligent and could have prevented your attack.
Contact a Local Rideshare Accident Attorney
Our attorneys are here to help support you through recovery and make sure you don’t get stuck with the cost of your medical expenses after a senseless attack that wasn’t your fault. We can work to build your case and handle communication with insurance companies and Uber lawyers, so you can focus on healing. To learn more about filing a legal claim against Uber, contact our office today.