Traveling in a limousine is generally perceived as one of life’s little indulgences, often reserved for the rich and famous. Renting one through a limousine service can be a fun splurge for getting picked up from the airport or when celebrating a special occasion, but it does not make you immune to the risks that other types of vehicles commonly face.
While this form of transportation seems very luxurious, the increased size of a limousine and a lack of experience or skill on the part of the driver could put you at an increased risk for car accidents and injuries. When this type of accident does occur, you need an experienced limousine accident attorney to protect your rights and assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover.How Limousine Accidents Occur
Limousines are classified in the same manner as other commercial passenger vehicles, such as buses or taxi cab services. According to the latest available statistics from the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT), while only an estimated 4,000 of these types of vehicles are registered in the state, they are involved in close to 1,000 accidents each year.
Lancer Insurance, one of the leading limousine insurance providers in the nation, reports that there are numerous factors involved in limousine accidents, including road, traffic, or weather conditions and vehicle maintenance issues, as well as reckless driving behaviors and driver inexperience or errors. Among the most common types of limousine accidents include the following:
- Rear end collisions: These are among the most common type of limousine accidents. Due to the large size, weight, and bulk of these vehicles, they often require additional brake time and cannot respond to changes in traffic conditions as quickly as other motorists.
- Sideswipe collisions: Another common type of limousine accident, these occur when the limousine driver veers from their lane or attempts to pass others, colliding with objects, guardrails, or other vehicles.
- Multi-vehicle collisions: These headline-grabbing accidents occur when a limousine collides with an object or another vehicle, setting off a chain reaction with other cars on the road. The large size of limousines is generally a factor, as well as driver inexperience.
- Parking lot accidents: Lancer reports that parking lot collisions are another common type of limousine accident. While the speed at which the vehicle is traveling at impact may not be an issue, the fact that passengers may be standing or moving throughout the vehicle at the time puts them at risk for potentially serious injuries.
- Head-on collisions: One of the most dangerous and potentially fatal types of limousine accidents, these generally occur due to errors and reckless driving behaviors. Speeding, distracted driving, drowsy driving, and driving under the influence can all cause a limo driver to swerve out of their lane, and into the path of oncoming motorists.
Limousine Charter and Tour Magazine, a leading resource for limousine services, drivers, and passengers, states that while today’s luxury vehicles are equipped with added safety features, the nature of riding in a limousine puts passengers at risk. When a crash or collision does happen, victims may suffer falls or be thrown into the doors, sides, or windows of the vehicle, or even collide with other passengers. Common types of limousine accident injuries include:
- Muscle and tendon sprains, strains, and tears;
- Severe cuts and lacerations;
- Broken bones and dislocated joints;
- Back and neck injuries, including fractured vertebrae and spinal cord injuries;
- Head injuries, including concussion and traumatic brain injury;
- Damage to internal organs and internal bleeding.
Anytime you are involved in a limousine accident, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible if needed. Many potentially serious and even life-threatening conditions, such as brain trauma and internal injuries, have symptoms which can take days or weeks to appear. In addition to putting your health at risk, failing to get medical care when needed and failing to follow your doctor’s instructions could put your rights to compensation at risk in a personal injury claim.What to Do After a Limousine Accident
If you are involved in a limousine accident, you should immediately notify local law enforcement and call 911 for anyone injured at the scene. Once the police arrive, they will fill out an accident report, which will provide valuable information about the accident scene, such as where and when it occurred, any apparent causes of the accident, and the names, contact information, driver’s license and vehicle registration for all the drivers involved.
In addition to making sure you get a copy of the police report and the insurance information for other drivers, you should also be sure to get complete information about the limousine company and their insurer. If possible, take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries, and get the names of any witnesses, which can be used as evidence later in your case. Remember to get medical attention for any injuries you suffer if necessary, and get the names of any medical providers involved in your care.Seeking Compensation After a Limousine Accident
You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffer after a limousine accident, either through the insurance company of the limo driver, the limousine service, or any other drivers involved. Having the right attorney to represent you is a crucial part of ensuring you get the maximum amount of compensation you need to recover. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our limousine injury attorneys will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and in the event a settlement cannot be reached, assist in filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Under Section 12-542 of the Arizona Revised Statutes, there are times limitations after an accident occurs in which to file a claim, and depending on the circumstance in your case, you may be able to seek the following types of damages:
- Economic damages, which cover your current and future medical costs and lost wages;
- Non-economic damages, which cover the pain, suffering, and mental anguish you endured as the result of your injuries;
- In rare cases Punitive damages, which are an additional amount awarded by the court to punish behavior on the part of the driver or limousine company that was particularly reckless or negligent.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we assist those involved in limousine accidents in getting the compensation they are entitled to for their injuries. By conducting thorough accident investigations and gathering in support of your claim, we help ensure your best chance for success. Examples of the types of evidence we collect may include:
- Your medical records and statements from providers;
- Proof of lost wages;
- Testimony from witnesses to the accident, including video surveillance;
- Police and accident reports;
- Photographs of the accident and your injuries,
- Expert testimony from doctors or accident reconstruction experts.
If you have been injured in a limousine accident, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. right away. Our team of Phoenix car accident attorneys can advise you on the best course of action in your case while ensuring your rights are protected. Previous settlements we have obtained for clients include:
- $460,000 for the victim of a right of way accident resulting in serious back injuries;
- $825,000 for a victim who was injured when the vehicle they were traveling in was rear-ended by a truck.
When your health and financial security is on the line, get the professional legal representation you need. Call or contact our Phoenix limousine accident lawyers today to request a free consultation.