In October, 20 people were killed in a limo crash in upstate New York. They were enjoying a birthday celebration when tragedy struck, and the limousine lost control, ran through an intersection and struck a parked car. All 18 occupants of the limo and 2 pedestrians were killed. A whole host of issues were found with regard to the limousine, including an improperly licensed driver, multiple failed inspections, and a limousine that was deemed unsafe. The limousine involved in the accident had failed a recent inspection and was not supposed to be on the road.
People hire limousines to chauffeur them to special events and business meetings and expect that the limo company and the driver will exercise reasonable care. But sometimes a night on the town can turn into a life-changing event. Limousine accidents can potentially cause devastating injuries due to the weight and size of the vehicle. In addition, limo passengers are often not wearing seatbelts. If an accident does occur, both the driver and the limousine company may be liable. Common causes of limousine accidents include:
A chauffeur who fails to obey the rules of the road or drives while distracted or impaired can cause tragic consequences.
Company’s Negligent Hiring or Supervision of Drivers
In the recent crash upstate it was found that the driver of the limousine did not have the proper license. In New York, limousine drivers must have a special license. Taxi or livery drivers must have either a commercial driver’s license or a Class E license. In New York City the driver must also have a license from the Taxi and Limousine Commission(TLC).
A limousine company should make sure that all drivers have proper training on how to handle a limo, which is a larger vehicle that can often transport passengers that may cause significant distractions. In addition, the company should make sure that drivers are not driving too many hours.
Failure to Inspect the Vehicle
Limousine companies should perform regular inspections on all vehicles to ensure that they are safe enough to be on the road. The Department of Transportationhas special regulations when it comes to stretched or modified vehicles and vehicles that are designed to hold more than 10 passengers. Failing to comply with these regulations can lead to dangerous vehicles being on the road.
Defective Limousine Parts
Just like any other vehicle, a limousine can have defectively manufactured or designed components that can lead to an accident. In some cases, like in the October accident, a vehicle is modified aftermarket and turned into a stretch limousine. When this is done the proper aftermarket parts must be used, and the modifier must take special care to ensure the modification is done safely.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a limousine accident, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us onlineor call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.