What is a better way to travel for a special occasion than a limousine? Whether it is a birthday celebration, a wedding, a night on the town or a trip to a ballgame, a limo ride adds a touch of class and removes the stress of driving. Even a trip to the airport can be the start of the vacation when transported in a limousine.
When you hire a limousine as your transportation it is reasonable to expect a safe ride. However Florida limousine accidents do occur and they can be devastating to passengers involved. The entire country was made aware of the limousine accident on Long Island, NY where four young women lost their lives after the limo, in which they were riding, in was broadsided by a pick-up truck. Four other women survived the accident. The pick-up driver tried to flee the scene on foot and was apprehended and charged with DUI even though his blood alcohol content was below the limit of 0.08. The driver of the limo was later charged with sole responsibility in the case after a grand jury found that he made a U-turn into the path of the truck despite his vision being blocked by another turning car. They determined that the accident was unavoidable on the part of the pick-up driver, even if alcohol was not involved. Lawsuits have been filed naming the limousine driver, the limousine company and the driver of the pick up as defendants. The incident spurred an investigation into the safety of stretch limousines by the National Transportation Safety Board. (NTSB)
Fortunately, most Florida limousine accidents are not as catastrophic as the Long Island case. But injuries are still relatively common because of several factors. Stretch limousines are heavier than standard sedans due to their modifications and greater amount of passengers. This weight creates a greater required braking distance. Rear end collisions are the leading type of limousine accidents. Limousines are difficult to maneuver due to their long bodies causing parked car strikes to be the second greatest type of accidents. Limousines often exceed the speed limit in order to reach their destinations on time. They are a frequent sight traveling at high speeds in the far left lane of highways.
Passengers in limousines are not often wearing seat belts and may be moving about when an accident happens. They may receive head or neck injuries, sprains or fractures from even a low speed impact. Many passengers are also seated sideways with their backs to the wall of the interior. This makes them extremely vulnerable to a side impact from another vehicle which was the case in the Long Island crash.
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Under Florida law, a limousine is considered a common carrier. A common carrier is defined as an individual or company that offers transportation of people or goods for money. A common carrier is required to provide safe means of transportation for passengers. A limousine company could be liable for their driver’s negligence.
An injured passenger can sue the limo driver and the limo company for their injuries if they are able to prove negligence. For the establishment of negligence the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to exercise reasonable care, the defendant breached that duty, and injuries resulted from that breach. How a prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances defines reasonable care. In addition the injured passenger may be able to sue another driver if the limo driver was not at fault or partially at fault.
A successful negligence claim may award the plaintiff compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, as well as lost income. The amount of the award can vary greatly depending upon the circumstances of the individual case. If you were injured in a limousine accident it is important to seek the help of a skilled Florida accident attorney. Unraveling the details in any motor vehicle accident requires the skills of an expert. Florida limousine accidents are no exception.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is a Florida personal injury law firm whose attorneys specialize in motor vehicle accidents of all kinds including Florida limousine accidents. If you or a loved one were hurt in a limousine accident, reach out to Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA to discuss your options. Call our office at 727-451-6900.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765