Published in Criminal Law by Chris Eskew on May 17, 2023.
Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in recent years. However, with the rise of these services, there has also been a rise in reports of rideshare sexual assault and rideshare assault. If you are the victim of assault during a rideshare, you may wonder if you can sue Uber or Lyft. The answer is yes; you can sue Uber or Lyft for assault in Indiana, but the process can be complex.
If a rideshare driver assaulted you, there might be pending criminal charges against the attacker. However, you might also have civil recourse to hold the attacker and the company financially liable for your injuries. At Eskew Law, we understand the physical and emotional toll this may have taken on you. Let us help.
Assault during a rideshare is a severe issue that can cause physical and emotional harm to victims. Rideshare assault can occur in a variety of ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Sexual harassment by the driver,
- Physical assault by the driver or other passengers, or
- Sexual assault by the driver or other passengers.
While this article focuses on assault by the driver, make no mistake, you also have rights and options if the perpetrator is someone other than the rideshare driver.
Uber or Lyft Assault Lawsuit
If an Uber or Lyft driver has assaulted you, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit for damages.
To file an Uber or Lyft assault lawsuit, you must provide evidence that the driver assaulted you. This can include witness statements, medical records, and police reports. You may also want to hire a lawyer with experience handling rideshare assault cases to help you navigate the legal system and build a strong case.
Independent Contractor Classification
In Indiana, employers can be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees under certain circumstances. Vicarious liability is a legal concept that holds employers responsible for the wrongful acts of their employees, even if the employer did not personally participate in the action. However, vicarious liability generally does not apply to independent contractors. Under this exception, an employer may not be held vicariously liable for the wrongful acts of an independent contractor, as the contractor is considered a separate business entity responsible for its own actions.
Uber and Lyft often escape liability for the actions of their drivers because the drivers are considered independent contractors rather than employees. In other words, Indiana vicarious liability law typically does not apply as these rideshare drivers are independently liable for any assault or sexual assault.
Because of their independent contractor classification, it can be particularly challenging to hold Uber, Lyft, or any rideshare company accountable for the devious actions of their drivers. But each case is different, and having a knowledgeable lawyer review your case is the only way to know if you have grounds to sue for damages.
If you are assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver in Indiana, you may be entitled to recover damages for your injuries and losses. These damages can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case but may include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost income,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Loss of consortium.
In cases where the Uber driver’s conduct was particularly egregious, the plaintiff may be entitled to punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.
It’s important to note that the damages recoverable in a sexual assault case will depend on the specific facts of the case and the laws of the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is filed. Additionally, in cases where the plaintiff is suing the Uber driver and the rideshare company, the recoverable damages may differ depending on each party’s liability.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
Take action to seek justice for yourself and to protect others if you were assaulted during a rideshare trip. You can sue Uber or Lyft for assault in Indiana, but the process can be complex. It’s essential to gather evidence, seek medical attention, and hire a lawyer with experience handling rideshare assault cases. By taking these steps, you can help ensure that justice is served and prevent future assaults from occurring.
Eskew Law: Indiana Lawyers Who Are Here for You
Can you sue Uber or Lyft for assault in Indiana? If you have questions about the process and potential damages, our attorneys can assist you. At Eskew Law, each client receives one-on-one personalized attention from one of our attorneys. We never pass you off to a paralegal or support staff. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.