Limousines are a common mode of transport for celebration. These vehicles can be used as a fun way to celebrate special occasions such as graduation, birthday parties, or weddings. However, passengers enjoying limousine rides fail to consider the dangers of traveling with a limo. Limousine accidents occur when the vehicle hits a pedestrian or other barrier on the road. These vehicles are often prone to rear-end collisions because of the long time it requires to stop as a result of the vehicle's weight. Limousine accidents are quite catastrophic and could leave a trail of safely injured or dead victims. If you are injured in a limousine accident, you can file a claim to recover compensation for your injuries. After a catastrophic accident, navigating a compensation claim could be quite complicated, and you might need our legal guidance from San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm.
Overview of limousine Accidents
Traveling in a limousine could be a fun way to celebrate special occasions like weddings, birthday parties, or even graduation. These vehicles are often filled with party and celebration moods, and the occupants will rarely consider the dangers of traveling in this vehicle. Most passengers in a limo do not wear a seatbelt, and the cars are driven at high speed. This increases the risk of severe injuries in case of an accident.
When filled with people, the limo's weight is quite high, and this makes stopping time longer. Thus, the driver cannot be able to control and stop the vehicle in emergencies. Limousine accidents often leave a trail of severely injured victims. This is because of the tendency of overcrowding in these vehicles. Rear-end car collisions are the leading type of limousine accidents. This is because the vehicle is long and difficult to maneuver, leading to parked car strikes.
Other crashes in which the limo can be involved in is the pedestrian accident and head-on collisions. When a limousine accident happens, the financial and emotional effects on the involved parties could be overwhelming. Fortunately, California law allows you to file a claim and seek compensation from the accident’s liable party.
What Should You Do After a Limo Accident Happens?
Getting involved in a catastrophic accident could be quite traumatic. Sometimes you get into shock, worried about your wellbeing and of other parties involved. When you are in this situation, the following steps help you death with a difficult situation without compromising your chance of getting compensation for the accident injuries:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
After a limo accident, a medical professional must evaluate you and your loved ones. You should call emergency responders or even an ambulance to ferry you to the hospital. On getting there, ensure all your injuries are checked and treated. Some injuries such as brain injuries may not be visible on the outside, but a doctor can identify them and get treated before they worsen. Regardless of where you seek your medical care, it is wise to ensure that the medical records are properly kept. These documents will be crucial evidence in your compensation claim.
Call the Police
While you are still at the limo accident scene, it would be wise to call the police. On arrival, you should give your statement and insist that they record the crash before the scene is cleared. You also need to ask for a copy of the report you can use to prove liability and get compensation in a personal injury claim. The police report often has information about various parties and their involvement in the accident.
Gather Relevant Evidence
If it is possible, ensure you gather as much evidence as you can on the accident scene. You can write down the names addresses and contact information of other drivers involved in the accident. You can also take photographs or a video of the scene and put it in safekeeping. If you are severely injured or cannot gather the evidence, there is no shame in coming back to do so later. When you return with a sober mind, you can try to figure out the crash circumstances. These clues could help your injury attorney reconstruct crucial evidence to be used in your claim.
Avoid Discussing the Case with Insurance Companies
After involvement in a limousine accident, the insurance companies may attempt to contact you and learn the occurrences. These companies will always navigate the situation so that they incur little or no costs for your compensation. Speaking to insurance companies or their adjusters could damage your case and limit the compensation you receive. Also, you should avoid accepting liability or fault for the accident to anyone. If you must speak with the insurance company, you should do so with your attorney's presence.
Contact Your Attorney
Limousine accidents could be very catastrophic, and injuries resulting from these accidents will affect your life significantly. The process of filing the claim and fighting to get compensation is quite complicated, considering the traumatic events. Therefore, it is crucial to contact your attorney as soon as possible. With professional guidance, you can understand the effects to expect from the injuries and the amount of compensation you deserve.
Avoid Signing Medical Release Forms
After a limousine accident, the liable party's insurance company may attempt to offer you medical release forms. When you sign these forms, you dismiss your injuries and your need for medical attention. Therefore, it can reduce your chances of getting compensation for medical bills. Also, you should not sign any documents without the presence of your attorney.
Common Causes of Limousine Crashes
When filing a compensation claim after a limousine accident, you will be required to prove that the defendant was negligent. Some of the most common acts of negligence that could result in a limousine accident include:
Over speedingIn most cases, a limousine is used for parting and for celebrating special occasions. These vehicles are often driven at a very high speed. Since the limousine is heavy, driving at high speed makes it difficult to stop the vehicle in case of an emergency and collide with other vehicles.
Drunk DrivingDriving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the leading causes of California’s accidents. When the limousine driver is intoxicated, it may be difficult for them to make the right decisions. Also, these drivers are often distracted, increasing the risk of causing a collision with other vehicles. When the police arrive at the accident scene, a driver who is suspected to be drunk driving will be required to take a breath or blood test. The results which are indicated in the police report could be used as evidence to claim compensation.
Negligent hiring and training of limousine driversLimousines are carrier vehicles, and the company that owns the vehicle is expected to hire competent personnel to operate. Limousines are heavy vehicles that are complicated to maneuver. When the company hires unqualified drivers, the risk of accidents is increased. In this case, you can file a claim against the company.
Driver fatigueLimousine drivers operate for long hours without rest. Also, it is tiring to navigate a limousine, which is a heavy vehicle. When the driver is tired, they may fall asleep on the wheel, causing them to crash on the road's stationary objects.
Failure to follow traffic rulesFailing to follow traffic rules such as driving under the speed limit and yielding to the right of way. Also, drivers should keep the right distance from other vehicles. Failure to follow these traffic rules could result in a catastrophic limousine accident.
Defective limousine partsLimousines are delicate vehicles, and they ferry a large number of passengers. If a part malfunctions, it could result in a serious injury. Some of the common parts that could fail and result in a limo accident are the brakes, the steering, and the tires. Some of these defects come from the manufacturer or retailer of the vehicle parts. When you get injured in such a crash, you can file a lawsuit against the parts' retailers and manufacturers.
Overcrowding of the limousineLimos are known to carry a large capacity for passengers. If an accident occurs, the occupants could be shaken and cause injuries to each other. Also, their large capacity increases the weight and a high likelihood of crashing.
Poor maintenance of the limousineCarrier vehicles like a limo require constant maintenance. When these vehicles are left to operate for long periods without repair, they could breakdown while on the road and cause a serious accident.
Common Catastrophic Injuries in Limousine Accidents
Limousine accidents caused by negligence often result in serious bodily injuries. This is because of the large size and weight of the limo on the road. Limo accident victims may require immediate medical attention. Some of the most common injuries resulting from limousine accidents include:
Head Trauma/Traumatic Brain Injury
Most passengers who travel in a limo do not use seat belts. Therefore, when an accident occurs, they are likely to hit their head on the vehicle's walls. Severe head trauma often leads to traumatic brain injury. TBI is caused by blunt trauma or penetrative injury to the head. Brain injury is a serious matter that requires immediate medical attention. Some of the signs of brain injury that you need to look out for after a limousine accident:
- Visual impairment
- Slurred speech
- Depression and anxiety
- Bleeding of the brain
Suffering brain injury could completely take a toll on your life. However, you can seek compensation for the losses that accompany this type of injury.
When a limousine gets into an accident, it is common for the occupants to be thrown about the vehicle. Depending on the severity of the accident, you could suffer broken bones. Bone injuries vary from simple, fragile bones to the strongest bones such as the femur. Broken bones could be very painful and take a long time to recover. Therefore, you will incur a huge medical bill. Sometimes broken rib bones could potentially damage internal organs. Also, when bone breakage on the limbs is severe, you can get an amputation.
The most common type of accident that a limo is likely to be involved in is a rear-end car collision. Neck injuries often result from such an accident. Some of the neck injuries you may suffer in a rear-end collision include whiplash, neck muscle strain, and neck area swelling. Although most neck injuries will resolve after mild treatment, sometimes the injury could be permanent, and you have to deal with the pain for a lifetime. If you have suffered a temporary or permanent neck injury from a limousine accident, you are entitled to compensation.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most traumatic injuries you can suffer from a limousine accident. The emotional and physical pain that you could suffer from a spinal cord injury is drastic. An injury to the spine is damage that results in mortal skills and loss of feeling on the body's extremities.
Spinal cord injuries range from minor damage of the vertebrae to complete severing of the spinal cord. If you suffer this kind of injury, you may have to depend on other people to perform simple tasks. If you suffer a blow to your back in a limo accident, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
Liable Parties in your Limousine Accident Claim
Several factors determine responsibility in a limousine accident. When you are filing a personal injury claim for limousine accident injuries, you need to understand the parties involved in the accident. Most of these accidents result from negligence and recklessness. In California, liability for an accident is often based on negligence, and your attorney needs to prove the following elements before holding someone responsible for your injuries:
Duty of CareThe duty of care is the responsibility that each road user bears to ensure they do not cause others' injuries. When proving a defendant's negligence, it should be clear that they had a duty of care towards you.
Breach of DutyHaving a duty of care towards you is not enough to hold a person liable for your injuries. A breach of duty occurs when an individual acts in a way that puts you in harm's way. Some ways a defendant could breach their duty towards you are drunk driving, overspeeding, failure to yield to the right of way, etc.
CausationWhen proving that a party is liable for a limousine accident that caused your injuries, their actions must have directly resulted in your injuries. Even if other factors contributed to the accident, the defendant's actions must have been significant.
DamagesBefore you receive compensation from an insurance company for the injuries you suffered in a limousine accident, you will be required to show proof of the injuries you suffered. This could be done by providing your medical records showing the injuries and costs of treatment. If you suffered the loss of wages or missed out on future earnings, you can use the information as proof of damages done by the limousine accident.
Some of the parties that could be held liable for your limousine accident include:
Limousine driverThe negligent actions of the driver cause most limousine accidents. Drivers may contribute to the accident by falling asleep while on the wheel. Also, drivers who operate while under the influence of alcohol or drugs could be held responsible for your injuries. Even when the driver is personally responsible, the company employing the driver will be financially responsible for the crash's losses.
Limousine CompanyLimousines are considered carrier vehicles that are always up for hire. An accident may occur when the company uses a defective vehicle. Also, hiring unqualified drivers could cause a crash. If poor safety measures caused the accident in which you were involved, the limo company could be held liable for your injuries.
Limousine Maintenance CompanyMechanical failure is one of the main causes of limo accidents. Faulty brakes, tearing wheel, or defective tires could cause a catastrophic accident. If the limousine company works with independent contractors to maintain the vehicles, the maintenance company can be held responsible for an accident resulting from mechanical failure.
Sometimes, when one purchases a vehiclemanufacturers and retailers of the vehicles may have some manufacturing and design defects that aren't noticeable. The dealer or manufacturer can be held liable for an accident by putting a defective vehicle on the road.
Drivers of other VehiclesLimousines often get into accidents involving multiple vehicles. This could occur in a head-on collision, side collision, or rear-end car crash. Limos are heavy and long vehicles that take a long time to brake. Other drivers on the road are expected to keep distance between them and the vehicle. Also, it can be quite difficult to overtake this vehicle, and any attempt to do it could result in a collision. Sometimes drivers and owners of other vehicles involved in an accident could be held liable for your injuries.
Identifying liable parties and their involvement in a limousine accident could be quite complicated. Therefore, it would be wise to seek guidance from a personal injury attorney.
Compensation Available After a Successful Limousine Accident Claim
If you are successful in your limousine accident compensation claim, you can recover the following forms of benefits:
Injuries suffered from a catastrophic accident are quite severe and will cause huge medical bills. If you are injured from a negligent limousine accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the amounts you incurred in medical bills. However, before you receive these benefits, you will show proof of the injuries and treatment. Evidence you require before compensation for medical bills is your medical reports. Therefore, after treatment, ensure the injuries are properly documented.
Lost wages are the number of earnings you lose when you are nursing your injuries. If you are unable to work due to injuries caused by a limo accident, you can seek compensation for the lost wages. Even when you are self-employed, you can get compensation for lost self-employment income. In California, lost wages can be proven using a lost wages letter from your employer. Alternatively, you can use your pay stubs and past tax returns.
Reduced Earning Capacity
If you suffer long-term or permanent injury, you may not be able to return to your chosen job. A resourceful personal injury attorney will help you acquire compensation for the lost future earnings. However, several factors are considered when deciding this particular compensation, including:
- Your age
- The nature of your working contract
- The nature and severity of your injuries
- The amount of time needed to recover from your injuries
- Your health status before the accident.
Pain and Suffering
Most injuries that result from a limousine accident can cause immense pain and suffering. Even though pain cannot be quantified, you can still get compensation in a personal injury claim. However, documenting your symptoms and discomfort could convince the jury to increase your benefits. The amount you will receive as compensation is a decision made by the jury after considering all factors of your claim.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
When people are in the mood of celebrations, they mostly opt to ride on a limousine. Most passengers in limousines are often unrestrained by seat belts, and these vehicles are driven at very high speed. If you get injured in a negligent limousine accident, you can file a claim against liable parties. A successful negligence claim for a limousine accident could ensure you receive compensation for medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. If you or your loved one gets injured in a limousine accident, it would be wise to seek a competent personal injury attorney. At San Diego Personal Injury Law Firm, we are dedicated to giving you the best legal guidance and representation for your case. If you are in San Diego, you will need us by your side. Call us today at 619-478-4059 and allow us to guide you through the claim.
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