THE MIAMI LAWYERS AT THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM SHARE INSIGHT INTO UBER RELATED CRIMES AND PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENT CLAIMS
In Miami, Uber and other rideshare services companies provide residents and visitors with reliable transportation at a reasonable cost. But what happens when an Uber driver, passenger, or third party individual is involved in an accident or suffers wrongdoing from criminal activity during an Uber ride? That is a question that Jonathan Perazzo, personal injury attorney and founder of the Perazzo Law Firm in Miami, is ready to answer for you now (see also What to do after an Uber Accident).
Criminal Activity and Uber Rideshare Services
When Uber published its two-year comprehensive safety report, it revealed over 3,000 sexual assault cases which took place during a Uber rides, including nine people reported to have been murdered during Uber rides and some 60 people killed in car crashes involving an Uber vehicle. According to figures released by Uber, there were 3.1 million daily trips recorded on its platform and some 1.3 billion trips last year in the USA. This makes for a lot of users across the country that have placed their trust in the Uber drivers and vehicles. But what’s to stop criminal activity such as sexual assault during an Uber ride from taking place? And how does the law protect Uber riders when criminal activity occurs during an Uber ride? It’s no wonder that Uber has fired some 40,000 drivers from its Uber platform through an automated screening system used to detect Uber drivers with criminal records.
In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm lists some of the most common forms of criminal activity that may occur during an Uber ride.
Common Uber Crimes
- Assault & Battery
- Drug Trafficking
- Hit & Run Accidents (considered a felony)
- Sexual Assault (rape)
- Verbal Assault
Fortunately, Uber has been busy implementing and testing new measures to deter criminal activity during an Uber ride. Criminal activity during an Uber ride can include any of the above with no real means for prevention other than staying alert to possible situations.
How to avoid or prevent crime during an Uber ride
- Avoid getting personal: Avoiding personal interaction with an Uber driver is highly recommended. Conversations should never steer away from friendly small talk.
- Don’t take an Uber if to drunk to talk: Getting inside an Uber while under the obvious influence of drugs or alcohol is often quite common and something safe to do when unable to operate a motor vehicle. However, an Uber driver may take advantage of a situation in which a female passenger has lost consciousness. An intoxicated or drunk female should try to share her location with a friend or ask a friend to join her for the ride.
- Don’t get lost: Share your location with someone you trust. This will help the authorities locate you or the Uber vehicle in the event of an emergency crime situation
- Be your own GPS: Stay alert to the route the Uber driver is on and report any peculiar detours or activity.
- Play cop: Take note of any moving violations such as blown red lights or careless driving. Also, stay alert to the use of the cellphone during the Uber ride. Report any inappropriate behavior by the Uber rider on the Uber App or Uber wed page.
UBER LOOKING TO ENHANCE PASSENGER AND DRIVER SAFETY
Uber is a serious company with genuine intentions of providing safe, reliable, and affordable services to communities around the world. That is why, Uber is hard at work to deter crime and keep its passengers and drivers safe and at ease before, during, and after each Uber ride. In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm understands that Uber strives to offer peace of mind to its passengers and they have been implementing safety measures.
Such measures include:
- Selfie check-ins: Identifies drivers prior to picking up a rider
- Special alert buttons: Warn of suspicious routes – Alert the authorities of an emergency situation
- Encrypted audio recording App: Drivers and riders can request to have Uber rides recorded
Nevertheless, Uber has been riddled with civil lawsuits concerning sexual assault situations occurring on its platform and not only during rides. Just last year, a Washington DC woman filed legal action against Uber for negligence and consumer protection violations for apparently being raped by an Uber driver. In 2019, a teenage girl was allegedly kidnapped when riding in an Uber after a sweet sixteen party. Sadly, females under the influence are easy prey for unruly Uber drivers with no regard for the well-being of its riders. Regardless, Uber states that women are safe when riding in an Uber as it has taken preventive measures to protect female passengers, especially at night and outside bars and nightclubs. Female Uber drivers, which account for 40.4% of all Uber drivers, run the same risks as female Uber passengers, with many women falling victim to sexual harassment while driving for Uber, especially after dark and into the early hours of the morning on weekends. Fortunately, a lot of criminal activity such as theft, is deterred given the fact that Uber drivers do not carry cash, and this is common knowledge among thieves. However, that doesn’t exclude Uber drivers or passengers from falling victim to crime when passing through or entering areas known for criminal activity. The current version of the Uber app provides drivers with a log of their riders drop-off and pick-up addresses. This makes the Uber app very invasive given that the ride information is stored in the Uber driver’s trip history for an indefinite length of time. This may be a real cause for concern if a passenger feels that the Uber driver may be potentially dangerous or possess criminal intent.
What should a victim of an Uber related crime do?
Uber drivers and passengers are protected by law in the event of an accident or criminal activity. However, the Perazzo Law Firm reminds victims of criminal activity who suffer bodily harm or losses in an Uber ride or through the App, that personal injury lawyers handle insurance claims for accidents. In other words, committing a crime is not an accident and victims of criminal activity cannot file an insurance claim for personal injury from an insurance provider. In this case, a civil lawsuit must be filed through a criminal lawyer, who will pursue a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). Nevertheless, if criminal activity is allowed to take place as a result of negligence on behalf of a property owner, for example, an experienced personal injury lawyer may be able to establish grounds for an insurance claim. In other words, a personal injury lawyer can help determine if a third-party possessed a legal duty of care to the victim of a crime and if this duty of care could have helped prevent an act of violence through criminal activity (see Premises Liability Claims). Regardless, if an Uber driver decides to take a short cut, thus ignoring the App’s suggested route, the driver and Uber may be found at fault if the vehicle enters a dangerous area and the passenger is ripped out of the vehicle to be robbed and injured because the Uber driver’s inadvertent negligence.
If you, a friend, or relative has fallen victim to wrongdoing at the hand’s of an Uber driver, in Miami, the lawyers at the Perazzo Law Firm urge you to contact their Miami-Dade offices to consult about any legal action that can be taken. Nevertheless, the victim of a criminal situation during an Uber ride should report the incident via the Uber app. Their claim will then be sent to agents in order to determine if the situation merits an investigation. In order to enhance safety among Uber drivers and riders, Uber has partnered with RapidSOS to implement 911 integration with the local authorities that handle emergency situations. This system helps pinpoint the Uber driver’s location, his or her vehicle’s license plate number, and provides information about the vehicle which is sent to the police dispatch service. In order to file an official complaint, Uber users must sign into their account and click on the “Report an Issue with the App” icon located in the Help Center section of the Uber app or Uber website. Complete the form and detail the situation as best as possible, Once finished, submit your complaint and Uber will usually respond within 24 hours.
How am I covered in an Uber accident?
Drivers and passengers are covered for as much as $1,000,000.00 in the event of personal injuries sustained as a result of an accident during an Uber ride. In Miami, the lawyers at the Perazzo Law Firm’s experience handling insurance claims for compensation for clients that have suffered personal injuries from an Uber car accident in Miami-Dade know that bodily harm may include:
- Cervical Spine injuries
- Thoracic spine injuries
- Lumbar spine injuries
- Sprains and fractures of arms, wrists, hands, legs, ankles, and feet
- Trauma and headaches
Whenever an Uber driver or passenger is injured in an accident, regardless of fault, the passenger is covered with a $1,000,000.00 insurance policy. Thus, if you were in an Uber related accident as a passenger in Miami, contact Jonathan Perazzo at the Perazzo Law Firm NOW!
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