Riding a Limousine to an event is one of the most exciting ways to get around, with the extravagance that comes with the experience. The extra seating capacity also means that you can bring all your loved ones along for the occasion. However, despite the luxurious appearance of most Limousine designs, these vehicles are prone to some of the most catastrophic accidents that cause irreversible injuries and property damages for the victims involved. Consequently, many have escaped near-death experiences from a limo ride gone wrong, fuelled by several factors that lead to the occurrence of a severe road accident. The effects of Limousine accidents often leave the victims at a considerable loss, with some also losing their friends or loved ones from the ordeal.
Despite the catastrophic injuries exposed to Limousine accident victims, you can receive compensation for the severe injuries sustained with the help of a professional personal injury lawyer. We at the Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney have worked with many clients who suffered from Limousine accidents in the past to help them receive rightful compensation for the harm done. Our team consists of highly experienced professional lawyers who have extensive knowledge of the law of negligence and compensation.
The Nature of Catastrophic Limousine Accidents
Most of the occurrences that end in severe accident damage and injuries arise from the sophisticated design of Limousines that makes it challenging to avoid impacts from oncoming vehicles or obstacles along the road. For example, a limo driver often has a huge blind spot because of the length of the car. The presence of the large blind spot means that the driver may not detect other motorists or riders on time and may, therefore, cause a massive impact on other cars, leading to a risky road accident.
Additionally, the limo's length hinders the reaction time applicable by the driver to turn and avoid colliding with other cars on the road. It is challenging to revert to the right lane on time, owing to the long turning distance that leads to higher risk exposure to Limousine accidents.
Depending on the type of accident you are involved in, several causes may be depicted from the events that occurred just before the collision. Consequently, it is essential to identify the several causes of severe Limousine accidents, as well as the different causes that lead to catastrophic injuries for the accident victims to establish a direct link to the events that often unfold during such an incident.
Types Of Limousine Accidents
When Limousines are involved in road accidents, the circumstances may lead to different types of impact, depending on the vehicle's position on the road, as well as the driver's maneuver just before the accident occurs. Therefore, there are several types of severe Limousine accidents, depending on the different ways that the car falls off or hits another vehicle or object. The common types are:
Multiple Car Crash Accidents
A multiple car crash occurs mainly at intersections, whereby a motorist proceeds to occupy a different lane without checking for clearance from a traffic officer or lights that manage the movement of vehicles within the intersection. Subsequently, when the limousine wrongfully joins the intersection, it may cause multiple cars to collide with it because of the lengthy design and the early entry into an unauthorized road section. Multiple car crashes are hazardous to passengers riding inside the limousine, primarily because the collision may occur from all sides and result in high impact injuries for you and others inside the limo.
Alternatively, a multiple car crash accident may occur when the limo turns suddenly, blocking both lanes and creating an obstacle for oncoming cars and vehicles behind the limousine. In such a scenario, the consequences may be catastrophic, primarily because some of the drivers involved in the accident may not be keen enough to brake on time. Additionally, you may suffer injuries from the intense force that the vehicles hit your Limousine ride and end up sustaining severe injuries.
A T-bone accident involves collision from the side caused by an oncoming car from a different direction. Such crashes are frequent at junctions, u-turns, and intersections whereby the limo driver or the other motorist may not be keen to observe traffic before proceeding forward or joining a new lane. As a result, T-bone accidents cause severe side-impact accidents that may be fatal or life-altering to the accident survivors. Moreover, since a Limousine has a wide surface area form the great body design, a T-bone accident is likely to cause severe damage to the vehicle and may even cause a total disintegration of the Limousine body.
A common occurrence that results in T-bone accidents is when the limo driver shifts lanes or crosses an intersection at a relatively slow pace. In contrast, an oncoming driver may overestimate the crossing speed and decide to proceed. Consequently, the length of the limousine may lead to impact, whereby the entire vehicle stops or is pushed sideways from the side impact.
Moreover, the side impact accident can quickly cause a dangerous roll-over accident, mainly when the force of the oncoming vehicle is extremely high. Therefore, apart from suffering the high side-impact strength, the limousine may topple and roll over, depending on the build and overall weight. Alternatively, the impacting vehicle may also roll over onto the limousine, causing severe damage to the body. Consequently, if you or other passengers were seated close to the area of impact, the roof may collapse on you and lead to irreversible body injury.
Typically, limousine drivers should be aware of the expected distance to maintain between the limo and vehicles ahead to avoid causing rear-end accidents. Thus, when the driver moves too close to the car forward, he/she reduces the chances of averting danger in case of the application of student brakes. When the Limousine driver fails to react on time, a rear-end accident will occur. It may yield varying degrees of injury and damage, depending on the speed that the limousine was moving at before the rear-end collision.
While most passengers do not sustain severe injuries from such a collision, the situation is aggravated by the occurrence of a chain reaction, whereby the limousine causes the initial rear-end collision onto the vehicle ahead, while cars behind the limo make the same error. Subsequently, rear-end collisions can lead to multiple cars crashes as well, which often cause catastrophic instances on the road. Therefore, due to the possibility of the rear-end collision spiraling into an uncontrollable situation, you may be exposed to the more sudden impact that may prove catastrophic, mainly when you have not fastened your seatbelt. Many passengers suffer from avoidable personal injury from such oversights that occur because of the rear-end accident.
Similar to other vehicle types, you may suffer from a head-on collision accident when riding a Limousine. The incident is prevalent on roads when the driver attempts to overtake a vehicle ahead of the limousine, or when a stray motorist fails to control his/her car, leading to a lane shift that causes impact into the limo.
As discussed earlier, the length of a limousine poses a challenge in maneuvering out of danger, leading to a slow reaction period. Hence, even though the limo driver may be aware of the impending threat, his/her attempts to swerve out of the road on time may be ineffective. Moreover, the long body of the vehicle may only avert the anterior part of the limousine from impact while exposing the middle and rear end to the collision.
It is important to note that any of these types of accidents pose a significant danger to your and other passengers inside the vehicle, and could result in severe injuries. Thus, we recommend keeping a keen eye even as you enjoy your Limousine ride to detect any of the characteristics that could quickly lead to any of the different types of collisions.
The Main Causes of Limousine Accidents
Apart from the types of collisions that Limousine victims may find themselves in, it is also beneficial to learn of the several causes of such accidents. The roots of severe limousine accidents are often attributed to negligence or defiance of set rules. Thus, your injury attorney may rely on such factors to determine the parties liable for the occurrence who will have to compensate you if found guilty of negligent actions. The leading causes of Limousine accidents are:
Sub-Standard Limousine Maintenance
Since Limousines operate under typical carrier businesses, the hiring companies should follow up on regular car part maintenance to ensure that the vehicles do not malfunction on the road, exposing you to accident hazards. As a result, should the limousine ferrying you and your loved ones across town break down or malfunction, it is easier to end up an accident victim.
For example, if your driver engages moderately high speed on a limo with little brake fluid, he/she will be unable to apply the brakes on time and may, therefore, cause a rear-end accident or a multiple car crash. Thus, you may raise a valid claim if such an instance caused the accident.
All motorists should observe a particular code of conduct that prohibits distracted driving. The Limousine driver, therefore, has to follow traffic regulations that prohibit distractions when operating the vehicle. For example, if your driver uses a cellphone to call or text when running the car, he/she is at a higher risk of exposing you to severe road accidents caused by distractions.
Moreover, distracted driving may also arise from a driver's fatigue caused by long working hours. Most drivers who experience extreme fatigue often end up dozing off or zoning out from time to time. In such cases, the driver's alertness is diminished meaning that he/she cannot detect impending danger. Consequently, most fatigued drivers are unaware of the oncoming collisions until it is too late, and little can be done to avert the problem. On top of this, because of the poor judgment exhibited when the driver is tired, the collisions that occur are more catastrophic and sometimes fatal.
Exceeding Set Speed Limits
When the Limousine driver drives at extremely high speeds, he/she risks exposing you to high impact accidents because of the massive damage sustained by speed accidents. While the driver may argue that the passengers pressured him/her to drive at unlimited speed to arrive at the venues on time, he/she should uphold road safety regulations to ensure that you and other passengers are safe from involvement in an accident.
Additionally, engagement at such high speeds may fall under reckless driving practices, primarily when the driver disregards other motorists on the road and puts you directly in harm's way. Therefore, your injury attorney can collect sufficient evidence from testimonies and surveillance footage to prove that the Limousine driver was reckless by disregarding set speed limits and traffic regulations.
Limousine Operation by Unqualified Drivers
Apart from recklessness and negligent practices on the road, Limousine hiring companies may employ unqualified drivers to operate the vehicles, at your detriment as a passenger. The leading cause of road accidents, in this case, arises from the lack of skill and techniques required to maneuver the limousine seamlessly across heavy traffic and road intersections. Thus, appointing an unqualified staff member to operate a Limousine will inevitably increase the chances of a grisly road accident occurring, causing irreversible harm to you and other victims.
Possible Parties at Fault in a Limousine Accident
A limousine accident may have several contributing parties, depending on the circumstances that led to the incident. As an accident victim, it is essential to contact your lawyer immediately after the accident, to help him/her begin the investigations that lead to a final selection of parties at fault. Additionally, while deciding on the defendants to your injury suit, you should have the breaches that the person engaged in beforehand to ensure that your arguments are based on a coherent set of facts. The parties you may hold accountable for a limousine accident are:
The Limousine Hiring Company
The prevailing party to most accident cases involving conventional carrier vehicles is the hiring company because the personnel is responsible for ensuring that all systems are up to date. Therefore, a limousine hiring company should ensure that the vehicles are well maintained and that the drivers they hire are well qualified for the job. The limousine company must also ensure that the passengers' safety is a priority by ensuring that all seat belts are functional.
Therefore, if a catastrophic accident occurs because of the limousine company's negligence, you and any other aggrieved party can rightfully claim compensation. For example, if the hiring company is responsible for neglected repair and replacement of worn-out vehicle parts that result in an accident, your compensatory claim is acceptable in court against the defendant.
Other Road Users
Moreover, a large percentage of accidents also arise from collisions caused by third party motorists who engage in reckless driving. If such a scenario is relevant to your case, your injury lawyer will have to prove that the limousine driver faced limited options to evade the injury because of the defendant's risky driving practices. A good example is when the oncoming vehicle that causes an accident ignores traffic light regulations that require the motorist to stop, causing him/her to ram into the limousine. Consequently, the fault will lie on the third party motorist who exposes you and other road users to the danger of a catastrophic accident.
The Limousine Driver
In other cases, the driver operating the limousine may also be the leading cause of a collision, depending on how he/she works. The prominent negligent actions that place the blame on the limo driver involve reckless and distracted driving, whereby the defendant does not apply the required focus and care when exercising his/her duty. Some drivers may indulge in phone use, excessive speed, or even aggressive driving. Additionally, the defendant may also have operated the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and other drugs after a proper investigation and analysis is done. Since such actions involve a negligent operation of duties conferred to the driver, your compensatory claim will have a steady basis.
Elements to Prove in a Personal Injury Compensatory Suit
In all civil suits that include seeking compensation after an accident, the claimant carries the burden of proof to demonstrate that the defendant's actions were the direct cause of the incident, as well as any damages and injuries sustained. Therefore, your injury lawyer will take you through the elements of negligence that you must demonstrate in your submissions for the judge to grant your prayers.
Firstly, your lawyer must submit sufficient evidence to prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care that required the application of extreme care when driving or hiring and maintaining the limousines. Your attorney will reference the legal requirement of a duty of care from available statutory provisions as well as any other regulations that companies must follow.
The second factor in proving is that the defendant breached his/her legal obligation to exercise a duty of care by engaging in reckless or unauthorized activities. When establishing the element of the breach, it is essential to provide evidence showing that the defendant did those actions wilfully, without the required regard for your safety. On top of this, there must be legal proximity to the defendant's reactions to the limousine accident, meaning that his/her breach of duty should be the direct reason behind the catastrophic collision.
The last element to prove is that you sustained damages and personal injury from the accident and that the injuries were catastrophic and could potentially change your life for good. Some of the most significant devastating injuries that a claimant may sustain include:
Spinal Cord Injuries
An injury on the spine is often severe, mainly because it brings about several complications afterward. Usually, the spinal cord is a very delicate body part as it provides an integrated channel for most nerve fibers to run across the body. Moreover, as the backbone, the spinal cord provides primary support for all your limbs and enables the movement of individual movable parts. Thus, interference with the spinal cord may be detrimental to you, regardless of how minor the injury is. Most victims suffer from partial or full paralysis owing to a spinal cord injury, while others lose their sense of touch. Additionally, the paralysis may lead to permanent reliance on a wheelchair to move around, which may change your lifestyle entirely.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Any damage to the skull and the brain will attract catastrophic outcomes because of the sensitivity of the brain to extreme force. Therefore, a brain injury can cause mild to severe amnesia for an accident victim, meaning that he/she will have a hard time recollecting several lifetime memories. A severe brain injury may also interfere with specific parts of the brain matter, leading to a deterioration of complete body operation. As a result, you or a loved one may remain in a coma for a long time, or end up in a vegetative stage whereby body operation will rely solely on life support machines.
Amputation From Severe Bone Fractures
While most victims may suffer from moderate bone fractures, sometimes your bones may be damaged beyond repair, resulting in the need for amputation. The procedure mainly applies to limbs, causing a permanent body disfigurement. Nevertheless, your doctor may prescribe prosthetics to replace the lost limbs and other body parts, although they cannot replicate your original body parts fully. Therefore, you may rightfully apply for compensation for the inconvenience and permanent damage caused by the amputation.
In proving that you sustained any of these catastrophic injuries, it is paramount to provide sufficient proof to back your claims. For example, you should retain all your medical documents, including X-ray images, physiotherapy appointment forms, inpatient records as well as medical prescription sheets in original copies. With such evidence brought forward, it will be difficult for the defendants to disprove your claims, guaranteeing you a satisfactory case win.
Claims to Include in Your Compensatory Suit Submissions
After proving that the defendant is liable for the limousine accident, the judge will proceed to listen and assess the claims you bring forth. We recommend including all financial details in your applications to ensure that you provide precise demands from the defendant. Therefore, your lawyer may organize a session with a professional financial officer to help come up with reasonable monetary compensation claims. You will claim to reimburse you for:
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Cost of hiring care providers like nurses
- Loss of loved ones from wrongful death
- Incurred medical costs
With valid claims and adequate evidence to support your demands, the judge will be willing to grant your requests and award you a satisfactory amount as compensation.
Contact a Personal injury Attorney Near Me
A limousine ride may result in a devastating accident, leading to adverse effects like severe injuries. With such a significant mishap in your life, it is only fair to seek compensation from the responsible parties, to ensure that you get back to your life as it was before. With the help of the Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney, you will obtain the best legal advice and representation for your injury suit, thanks to our wealth of experience in the field. Call us today at 904-800-7557.