Limousines provide Florida residents with a stylish and comfortable way to travel. However, just like with other types of vehicles, you can get hurt while riding in a limousine. If you have been injured in a limousine accident, a Fort Lauderdale limousine accident and injury lawyer at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Limousine accidents can be caused by various reasons including:
If you have been involved in a limo accident, remain calm and follow these steps:
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Even if your injuries seem minor, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. By not having a doctor check you out, you are putting yourself at risk for further health complications.
In addition, failing to document your injuries as soon as they happen may hurt your chances at recovering damages (the insurer could claim that you are lying, that your injuries are unrelated to the accident, or that you are exaggerating).
Report the Accident
You must report any accident with significant property damage, injury, or death to the police. When police arrive at the scene, they will likely create a police report documenting what happened. You can use this report later to help prove negligence.
Collect Personal Information from Anyone Involved
Collect as much information as you can from the scene of the accident. Write down the names, contact information, and insurance information for all parties involved in the crash. You will also want the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene. Take photos of the scene and the damages incurred.
Call an Attorney Before You Call Your Insurance Adjuster
Before speaking to your insurance adjuster, you will want to speak to an attorney about what happened. Your attorney can advise you on what to do next.
Speaking to insurance adjuster before discussing your accident with an attorney may result in you saying the wrong thing and losing out on financial compensation you deserve after the accident.
An attorney will also be able to help you determine a liable party and gather evidence.
Florida law categorizes limousines as common carriers. Common carriers are people or companies that provide a transportation service in exchange for money.
Common carriers generally owe a higher duty of care to passengers than ordinary drivers. This duty of care requires that common carriers provide their passengers with exceedingly safe transportation.
Generally, limo accidents fall under one of the following categories:
In either type of accident, there are multiple parties that might be liable for your damages. If you are able to prove negligence on behalf of any of the following parties, you will be eligible for compensation:
If the limo driver’s negligence caused injuries to a passenger in his limo or in the other vehicle, he may be liable for damages. Driver negligence can stem from failing to obey traffic laws, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, and many other behaviors.
In most cases, if the limo driver was negligent, the limo company will be liable. This is due to a concept called vicarious liability which holds that an employer is liable for the actions of its employees as long as those employees are acting in the scope of their employment.
The limo manufacturer has a duty to adhere to certain safety regulations when building the limo. Failing to include appropriate safety features, producing an unsafe vehicle, or using defective parts while creating the limousine may be negligence.
Limo Maintenance Company
Companies responsible for limo care and maintenance may be negligent for failure to follow safety protocols and adhere to the appropriate standard of care when performing maintenance on the limo.
If you were in a limousine that another driver hit, you may be able to file a claim against or sue the driver of the other vehicle.
Once you have decided which parties to sue in your lawsuit, you will need to prove that those parties were negligent. If you can establish the defendants’ negligence, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries.
To prove negligence, you will need to establish the following four elements:
All drivers, regardless of whether they operate limos or passenger cars, owe other road users a duty of care to drive carefully.
Breach of Duty
You need to prove that the at-fault party breached this duty. Failure to follow traffic laws and driving while distracted are examples of limo driver negligence. Limo companies that fail to hire adequate drivers may also be negligent. Proving negligence and establishing liability may require expert testimony, eyewitness testimony, photos, police reports, and video surveillance.
You need to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries.
You must also prove that you suffered actual damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, etc.)
If you are able to prove negligence, you will be eligible to recover both economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and other definitive costs. You can value economic damages with medical bills, pay stubs, and other financial records.
Noneconomic damages cover intangible costs such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Valuing noneconomic damages can be difficult, but your attorney will look into a number of factors to help figure out how much you should be awarded.
For help assessing your claim, contact the attorneys at Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman, P.L. Recovering compensation after a limo accident can be difficult, but we can help get you the damages to which you are entitled.
Call us today at 954-524-2820 for a free consultation.