There’s nothing better than climbing into the back of a limo, champagne glass in hand. We all look forward to going to a special event in a limousine. They're usually reserved for things like proms and weddings. But, sometimes, you and your friends just want to treat yourself to a fancy night out.
When you book your limousine, you don’t think for a minute that something bad is going to happen. You’ve taken limos before. Sure, you’ve read stories about limo crashes, but those things happen to other people. What are the odds that it could happen to you?
The problem is, the odds are no better than when you drive yourself. Yes, the limo drivers does operate a motor vehicle for a living. However, he’s still only human. And he still has to share the road with other drivers.
If you get into a limo accident, you need to call a personal injury attorney in Crestview. Your Crestview injury lawyer can try to determine the cause of your injuries. Since you probably didn’t see the accident, you won’t be able to provide much information. Your lawyer is going to have to rely on other things to prove who’s at fault.
What Causes Limo Crashes in Crestview, Florida?
Limousine accidents happen for many different reasons. Some of the most common reasons for accidents are driver error and traffic violations, but there are other causes unique to limo accidents. Our limo accident attorney explains:
Dangerous Limo Construction
In recent years, it has become more and more apparent that many limousines are constructed in very dangerous ways. Some limos are specifically built to be longer vehicles with the proper structural integrity to support the additional length between axels and the added weight of more car and more passengers.
Others, however, are made from standard vehicles that are cut in half, extended, and reassembled. Many of these vehicles have significant structural weaknesses that will not hold up to a collision as they should. In some cases, these vehicles may not even be street legal. If the vehicle could not pass inspection but was put into service anyway, you and your fellow passengers could face very serious injuries.
Limo drivers often spend hours on the road or waiting between drop off and pick up. These drivers could become quite tired and distracted during break periods, and hours on the road behind the wheel can quickly tire out even experienced drivers. If a driver is too tired to drive safely, he could be putting you and other drivers on the road in serious risk of injury.
Drugs and Alcohol
Irresponsible limousine drivers may turn to drugs and alcohol during long shifts to help them stay alert. If your driver was intoxicated or under the effects of drugs at the time of the accident, the accident may almost certainly be the limo driver’s fault. Florida’s laws against drunk and drugged driving can help you win your case.
People who spend hours behind the wheel might not think much of accessing their phone or other distractions while driving. Texting and driving is one of the most serious distractions for drivers and leads to thousands of injuries each year.
And, just as with other car accident cases, your Crestview personal injury lawyer will have to prove who was at fault. We know it wasn’t your fault. You were just a passenger. But there could be different parties held liable for your injuries.
In order to prove fault, your lawyer will have to rely on the following:
- Expert witnesses can review the property damage and predict who was at fault
- Eye witnesses can provide statements
- The limo may be provided with a dashcam
- The limo driver will give a statement of what happened
- The other driver will give his version of events
- Someone inside the limo may have seen what happened and sign an affidavit
- Intersection cameras may have caught the accident on tape
Your lawyer may need some of all of these things to determine who you should pursue for your injuries.
Parties at Fault in a Limousine Accident
Depending on the facts of the accident, the limo driver, the limo business, or another person may be held accountable for your injuries.
Fortunately for customers, Florida state law requires commercial vehicle operators to have insurance that exceeds the necessary minimums for other drivers. According to Florida law, limousine operators must have $125,000 in bodily injury insurance for each passenger in the vehicle, with a limit of $250,000 per accident. Other persons who are hurt as a result of a driver's carelessness are covered by bodily injury insurance, or BIL.
Furthermore, individuals or businesses that operate limos must possess $50,000 in property damage insurance. If a motorist fails to maintain the necessary minimum insurance, their license and registration may be suspended. Insurance firms are also required by law to inform the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles when a customer's policy is terminated. Limousine drivers are not obliged to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which is required of ordinary drivers.
If you have been wounded in a limousine accident, make sure you obtain as much information as possible about the situation. Take down the limo driver's name, license plate, vehicle number, business name, and any other identifying information you may find. If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information so you may reach out to them later if required. In addition, make sure you have a comprehensive medical assessment as soon as possible following the event.
Not all injuries sustained in a vehicle collision are immediately visible, and other symptoms may not appear until later. It is critical to be able to demonstrate that any injuries you incurred were a direct consequence of the event. Finally, get in touch with a Florida automobile accident lawyer as soon as feasible.
Who Should You Sue When My Limo Driver Crash?
Thankfully, your personal injury lawyer has handled many cases just like yours. He’ll be able to figure out who was responsible for your accident.
The potential people responsible for your injuries are:
- The limo driver
- The company he works for
- The service station that works on the limo
- The other driver and his insurance company
- Some other third part
Because he may not be 100% sure, your lawyer will likely name more than one party in your initial claim. This is because you must join all defendant in your lawsuit. You can’t go back in later and add different people. You also don’t want to have to file a separate lawsuit against each party.
Your Crestview attorney will make sure you file your claim within the statute of limitations. In Florida, the courts give you four (4) years to file your lawsuit. So you do have plenty of time to figure out who caused the accident. But you don’t want to wait until the last minute. The longer you wait, the lower your chances of recovery.
Suing a Limousine Company for Injuries
If you are injured in a limo accident, you should consult with a limo accident attorney about filing a lawsuit. The procedure of filing a lawsuit might be complicated, but an attorney can manage it for you. Before collecting compensation, you must first evaluate if you qualify to launch a case and who to sue for the accident.
Florida has a no-fault auto insurance system. This typically implies that drivers must seek reimbursement for themselves via their own insurance's personal injury protection coverage after vehicle damage and injuries. However, if you are wounded while riding as a passenger, these restrictions may not apply to you. Furthermore, the injuries you have sustained may be significant enough to warrant a lawsuit.
In Florida, you may be able to claim if your injuries are persistent, create issues with physiological function, or result in significant scars. If a member of your family was murdered in a limo accident, you may also claim for wrongful death.
You must also pick who to sue in order to get compensation. Your attorney may assist you in determining who was at responsibility for the accident and how much blame they should bear for the injuries you sustained. The most apparent person to suit is the limo driver, but you may also be able to join the case and sue the limo business for damages.
If you were hurt by a firm employee while they were doing their job, you may be allowed to join their employer in the case as well. That implies you may usually sue the limo business for injuries caused by their driver.
The limo firm might possibly be held accountable for contributing to the crash's causes. For example, if a limo business failed to properly maintain a vehicle or drove a risky limo, they should be held liable. Furthermore, if they hired a driver with a risky history of DUI or significant automobile accidents, they may be held accountable for any incidents caused by that driver.
Contact a Crestview, Florida Injury Attorney Today
If you or your family get into a limousine accident, you need to call a Crestview personal injury lawyer right away. You can call and schedule your free initial consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with an experienced lawyer who can answer any of your questions.
The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case. Don’t try to handle something like this yourself. There’s too much at stake. The defendant will have lawyers working for him and you should too.
You have nothing to lose by speaking with us since it will cost you nothing unless we can recover for you.