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Who Is Liable in a Limo Accident?

Americans rent limousines to celebrate most of life’s greatest milestones. Every day, people hire limousine drivers to take groups of friends to birthday parties, sweethearts to proms, lovers to weddings, and families to funerals. These vehicles embody so many significant life moments that passengers rarely consider the dangers of traveling in a limo.

Earlier this month, a limousine accident in New York was responsible for the deaths of 20 people. A recent investigation by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration revealed new details about this tragedy that are casting an inquisitive light on all limo companies across the nation.  

Investigations have revealed that:

  • The limo failed a safety inspection and shouldn’t have been on the road
  • The driver wasn’t properly licensed
  • The limo was rebuilt in a way that violated federal laws

Although limousine accidents are rare, they usually lead to catastrophic injuries and mass fatalities. But who is liable when an accident does occur?

Understanding Limousine Safety

When limousines are built in factories, manufacturers are required to meet strict safety regulations before releasing the product. However, when vehicles are privately converted into limos by limousine companies, these regulations are often ignored. For example, the vehicle may not provide enough seatbelts for all limo passengers.

There is also the limousine driver to consider. A driver requires more stopping time due to the size and weight of a limousine, especially if the vehicle is filled with a group of people. When drivers are distracted or speeding, they may collide with another vehicle. Also, it’s not uncommon for drivers to sit behind the wheel for long hours at a time. This can lead to fatigue that prevents drivers from operating their vehicles safely and effectively.  

Determining Liability

Like most car accidents, liability depends on the circumstances of an accident. Because California is a comparative negligence state, you may be able to receive minor damages even if you’re considered partially at-fault for the limousine collision. However, if you’re just a limo passenger, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against a variety of parties.

The following parties can be held liable in a limousine accident:

  • The limousine driver
  • The limousine company
  • The limousine maintenance company
  • The limousine manufacturers
  • Other at-fault drivers

The statute of limitations in California allows plaintiffs 2 years to file a personal injury claim if they’ve been injured in a limousine accident. While this may seem like a long time, it’s imperative that you take legal action immediately to secure accurate witness testimonies and compile the necessary evidence.

You may be able to recover the following damages in a successful lawsuit:

  • Medical expenses
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

Determine Liability by Scheduling a Consultation

At the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley, our Northern California car accident attorneys can help you identify the negligent parties and file an effective claim that maximizes your damages. After your accident, it’s imperative that you seek medical attention, collect evidence, and retain an attorney before talking to any insurance company investigators. We understand that a serious limousine accident can be a traumatic experience. We want to handle all the details of your legal case so that you can focus on your recovery.

We’re available 24/7! Contact the Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley at (530) 413-0245 to schedule your free consultation today.