Uber Fined for Allowing Felons and Disqualified Drivers to Drive Passengers

Uber has proven it is a convenient and reliable source of transportation.  However, safety has always been a concern.  Many Uber drivers are involved in traffic crashes because they are distracted by the passengers or their mobile device they rely on to drive for Uber.  Uber has also hired many drivers that have criminal histories that are a cause for concern. [Click here for the previous article] Last week Colorado fined Uber $8,900,000.00 for violating driver qualification laws.[Click here to read article].

The fines are a result of Uber hiring 57 drivers with criminal convictions that should have disqualified them from working.  Some of the questionable drivers had felony convictions that should have disqualified them.  Hiring drivers with felony convictions or other disqualifying theft related or assault convictions puts passengers at risk.  It also violated Colorado's laws, resulting in the fines.   

Mr. Clown says, "Trust me!  I passed the background check."

Mr. Clown says, "Trust me!  I passed the background check."

Although the State of Oregon has yet to audit Uber.  Uber drivers have done some terrifying things here  here in Oregon.  There are instances of Uber drivers being involved in road rage, stalking, and assault in Oregon.  Allowing a convicted felon to act as an Uber driver may increase the likelihood that driver will be involved in illegal activity.  If a driver is involved in unlawful activity Uber should be held accountable for all of the victim's losses.

If you, or someone you know, are involved in an incident with an Uber or other rideshare driver please call Portland Oregon Attorney, Jeremiah Ross for your free case evaluation.  Call Ross Law PDX at 503.224.1658 to discuss how the Uber driver and Uber can be held accountable.  Please remember this post is for advertising purposes.   Also, this post does not create an attorney client relationship.

What to do if injured in a Uber or Lyft Crash....

Uber and Lyft have become incredibly popular in Portland and other Oregon cities.  These convenient ride shares allow customers to quickly hitch a ride virtually any time and anywhere within the Portland Metro region.   The drivers are regular folks who are often driving as a second job.  However, this can create problems.   Uber and Lyft are regularly in the news for the various issues that arise when their drivers don't behave or make mistakes.  People have reported incidents of Assaults, Sexual Assaults, and verbal abuse from ride share drivers.   However, the most common incident with Uber or Lyft is when the driver gets in a Car Crash with a passenger in the back seat.  (Click here for recent story of Uber Driver Crashing Into Gas Pump)

If you are in a passenger in a Ride Share program and are injured in a car crash you are going to face some unique issues.  One of the major issues that you will face is whose insurance is going to pay for your medical bills and compensate you for your injuries.   Many insurance policies exclude coverage for drivers that are working for Uber or Lyft.  That means if the Rideshare driver was at fault for the crash, then their bodily injury insurance may not provide coverage to pay you for your medical bills or damages.  Uber and Lyft have their own insurance policies, but they are not usually willing to pay without being forced to.   That is why you will usually need a lawyer if you are injured while a passenger in a ride-share program.

If you are injured in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver here are some tips for you:

  1. Ensure you preserve the driver's information.   You need the driver's name and the license plate of the vehicle.   You can take photos of the driver's license and the license plate.  However, it is important to try and document the Uber or Lyft Ride. The best way to do this is Screenshot the Lyft or Uber app right after the crash.  This is not always possible due to the severity of the injury, but that is the best way to ensure you have the driver's information.  If you were unable to screenshot the App immediately after the crash, both apps have a ride history section where you can bring up the driver's information and the ride route. (click here for instructions for UBER) (Click here for instructions for Lyft)  Once you find the ride then screenshot the page to ensure you preserve it. 
  2. Get the UBER or LYFT Driver's Insurance Information:  Get their Auto Policy information and all of the Uber or Lyft Insurance information.  If the driver drives for both Uber and Lyft then try and get insurance information from the driver for both companies.
  3. Other things to do At the Scene:   Once the area is safe, USE YOUR CELL PHONE to gather evidence: Take pictures of the car damage, the scene, the bad driver, witnesses, and the bad driver' driver's license, the bad driver's license plate, and the bad driver's insurance card.  Call 911 if there is an injury and relay what the injuries are. Have witnesses text or email you their contact information from their phones. This way you can locate them later if needed.   
  4. Seek Medical Care:  Immediately seek treatment if you are injured. Oregon auto insurance policies should pay $15,000.00 for up to two years of crash related medical treatment.  The Uber or Lyft Driver's insurance may pay as well.  This is why it is important to contact a lawyer first, as these issues need to be addressed early in the case.  
  5. Call A Lawyer at 503.224.1658:   It won't cost you anything to chat, and you can learn about what you need to do next. I will give you a free case evaluation. 
  6. If you choose not to call a lawyer, you should contact your auto insurance if you have it: Call your insurance company to set up a claim. Cooperate with them, but be cautious of their motives.
  7. Be Cautious of Discussing things with The Other Driver's Insurance and Lyft or Uber.  

If you have any questions please call Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658 for your free case evaluation.   Legal Stuff: Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and you will likely need to do more than what is listed above to pursue an injury claim on your own behalf.  Also, the law is constantly changing, so please consult with a lawyer rather than relying on this post. 



Many people like myself use Uber and Lyft to get home from a Holiday party or a night on the town.   However, Uber and Lyft passengers should remain vigilant.  Especially women traveling by themselves.  Another incident of a Uber driver sexually assaulting a passenger is in the news.  

In this recent case a Houston, Texas Uber driver picked up a woman who ended up falling asleep in the Uber driver's vehicle.  The  Uber driver then parked his car in a parking lot.  The woman awoke to the terrifying experience of the Uber driver fondling her as she was asleep.  The case is ongoing, so the details are scant.  The driver is contesting the allegations in court.  

Ride share programs are a great idea, but people must remain vigilant.  If you want some tips on protecting yourself when riding with Uber or Lyft then click HERE.   If you, or someone you know, have been assaulted, sexually assaulted, or raped by an Uber or Lyft driver, call Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658 for your free consultation.       


I have previously posted on the advent of driver-less cars and the various legal issues that arise from these driver-less cars.  In theory, driver-less cars are a great idea.  However, in practice you have to question whether or not they are a safer alternative to a human brain.  Software glitches, hardware malfunctions, and unforeseen circumstances can all have deadly consequences.  

I have also written on the various safety issues that ride share programs such as UBER pose.  Drivers assaulting passengers, drivers driving recklessly, and insurance issues that arise with ride share programs are all significant issues that have arisen since these companies began transporting people in Portland, Oregon.

It appears UBER is now attempting to mitigate the risk posed by driver's assaulting passengers, driving recklessly, and even the insurance issues.  UBER is now testing driver-less cars in Pittsburgh, PA.   The idea is that if you don't have to pay anyone to drive the vehicle then transportation becomes extraordinarily cheap.   

UBER has a driver-less car test-lab in Pittsburgh and is using the citizens of Pittsburgh as its test subject for this experiment.   The cars will be on the open road putting members of the public at risk.  Engineers assert these cars are specially designed to drive without a driver.  However these cars will have a "back-up" driver.   You have to wonder why is a back-up  driver necessary if the technology is safe.   

There are not any current plans to bring UBER's driver-less cars to Portland, Oregon.   However, should that occur we need to be ready to address the various safety issues that arise from driver-less cars.  I have concerns regarding the efficacy of the software and hardware.  I also have concerns over the proper maintenance of the vehicles and computer systems.  Lastly, I have concerns over the software not being able to account for the numerous tasks that a driver's brain performs.    We will see what happens....

If you or someone you know has been injured, assaulted, or killed by UBER, LYFT, or another rideshare program, please call Personal Injury Attorney Jeremiah Ross.  Ross Law offers free personal injury consultations.   Please call Ross Law at 503.224.1658.  Please refer to the article at this link  for information regarding UBER's driver less program.  




A recent Oregonian article highlights the various concerns about UBER and similar ride-share services.  Recently a young woman was waiting in front of  a Portland Oregon bar.  She had used her UBER phone app to request an UBER pick her up.  A large male driver appeared and asked her if she was waiting for an UBER.  She confirmed she was.


I previously posted on the various issues with Uber Drivers that may arise in Portland.  Sexual Assaults, Rape, Assaults, and Kidnappings are all legitimate concerns everyone should have when they enter an Uber car or other Ride-Share car.   Below are a few tips that may or may not be of use to you if you are riding an ride-share car alone, but should get you thinking about your safety while in a ride-share Car.  These tips are not tested and proven and are generally based on common sense, so take them with a grain of salt.

Things to Do before You Enter a Ride-Share Car:

  1. Contact another person letting them know you are going to usea particular ride share  service (Uber, Lyft, Etc.) and your present location.
  2. Contact another person letting them know where you intend to go and how long you expect it will take once you are in the car.
  3. If possible, arrange for the car to pick you up in a lighted area that is near a main road or where other people are around.
  4. Zip your purse or backpack up and ensure all of your belongings are secure before you get in the car.
  5. Keep your cell phone in your hand at all times.

What to do Once In the Uber Car or other Ride-Share Car:

  1. Sit in the Back-Seat passenger side.
  2. Sit in the Back-Seat passenger side.  This is  not a double post, but it is important that you remember that you should never sit in the front seat of the car.   Sitting in the back passenger seat may allow you the extra time to get out if needed and is the furthest away from the driver.
  3. Keep your cell phone on and in your hand at all times.
  4. Buckle your seat belt.
  5. Take note of the driver’s appearance, actions, and name.  Uber should have the license plate number and driver info, but you want to take a mental note of the driver in case the unthinkable happens. Notice how the driver looks, any features such as glasses, an earring, or tattoos.  Also, listen to how they speak.  Does the driver have an accent?  Does the driver sound impaired?  All of these things may assist the police if the unthinkable happens.
  6. If you think the driver is creepy or acting strange, don’t get in.
  7. If you get a creepy feeling about the driver and the car is in motion, it may help to call someone just to chat with them and let them know you are in an Uber Car and your current location.  Even if another person is not on the other end of the call, this may deter an assault.
  8. Keep the window cracked near where you are sitting.  This may allow a person to hear you scream in the event the driver attempts to assault you.
  9. Keep all of  your belongings with you, so you can immediately grab them and leave if needed.
  10. If you get a creepy feeling you should exit the car in a well lit crowded area if possible.
  11. If the driver makes any unwanted advancements or is acting scary, do not be afraid to call 911 and leave the car immediately.

When in doubt Call 911.  If you have been sexually assaulted, assaulted, raped, or harassed call 911 immediately.   You may be able to prevent the perpetrator from assaulting others if you act quickly.   The tips above are by no means an exhaustive list.  The tips are meant to get you thinking about your personal safety while riding in an Uber car or other Ride-Share car such as Lyft.

If you were sexually assaulted, assaulted, raped, or harassed while in an Uber Car call 911 and then call Jeremiah Ross and Ross Law LLCat 503.224.1658.  A s a former Deputy District Attorney and a Portland Oregon Attorney that deeply cares about victim’s rights, Jeremiah will fight to ensure you receive answers, your rights are honored, your voice is heard, and you receive the compensation for the hell this has caused you.

Please remember this post is for informational purposes only.  Please consult with a security expert if you have further questions relating to how to protect yourself in every situation involving a ride-share driver.



Uber has fought its way into the Portland Oregon ride share market, and did some interesting things to get there.  Riders can now download the Uber App and wait for a friendly Uber Driver to pick them up.   However, what happens when an Uber driver is not so friendly?

In December 2012  a young woman was sexually assaulted by a taxi cab driver in Portland.  The driver made some inappropriate comments to her, then groped her, and attempted to kiss her.  As you can imagine this is a terrifying experience for a young woman just trying to get home.  The woman wanted answers and filed a lawsuit alleging the cab company was negligent.  A Jury awarded the woman a substantial amount of money for the sexual assault.

This type of scenario has happened in Uber cars all around the country.  Uber drivers have sexually assaulted people, raped women, punched people, and even kidnapped people.

The articles below are just a small sample of the various Uber incidents around the country.

Driver Allegedly Kidnaps Drunk Woman in LA  (ValleyWag)

Woman Claims Uber Driver Kidnapped Rider (The Daily Beast)

Uber Driver Takes Riders on High Speed Chase (Washington Post)

Woman Says She Was Raped and Kidnapped By  Uber Driver(Jezebel)

Uber and the City of Portland have agreed the City will approvebackground checks.  However, that may not prevent sexual assaults, kidnappings, assaults, or felons getting behind the wheel.  In Houston an Uber Driver accused of raping a passenger had finished a 14 year prison sentence just three years prior to starting working as an Uber Driver.  In Los Angeles a felon had passed an Uber Background Check.  In Chicago a Felon was driving an Uber Car.  A  San Francisco Uber Driver accused of assaulting a passenger had a long criminal history.  Portland may have more stringent standards, or they may not.  We will not know until the first incident occurs.

Should the unthinkable happen and you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, raped, or assaulted by an Uber or other Ride-share operator contact Jeremiah Ross and Ross Law LLC at 503.224.1658.  Jeremiah Ross is a Portland, Oregon Attorney and former prosecutor who will fight to get answers  and pursue a civil case on your behalf to hold people and corporations accountable for their actions.  Please remember this post is for information only.