Limousine Accident Lawyer

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For many people, riding in a limousine is only a dream. However, promgoers, wedding parties, and those planning to drink often hire a limo for an evening. More affluent people, government officials and others requiring protection may routinely use limos for transportation. The special feeling you can get from a limousine ride is exhilarating — unless it crashes.

Many famous people sustained injuries or died due to limo accidents, including Princess Diana, Detroit Red Wings team members, Helen Hunt and Tracy Morgan. Other limo collisions have killed birthday party-goers and bridal parties.

Limousine accidents are more complex than personal automobile crashes because most limos are commercial vehicles, making both the driver and the limo company along with others potentially liable. Fortunately, the personal injury lawyers at Mike Morse Law Firm understand auto accident laws and can pursue damages for you from the appropriate parties.

Are You Considering Hiring a Limousine?

Don’t just choose the company with the cheapest rates; your life is in the hands of the driver when you enter the car. In Michigan, limo companies must pass stringent vehicle safety inspections, carry commercial liability insurance and have state licensing. Drivers must obtain chauffeur licenses.

When researching limo carriers:

  • Verify that the company has the right types of insurance with high enough limits.
  • Ask if the driver has a chauffer’s license and experience driving limos.
  • Find out if the limo fleet regularly passes safety inspections.
  • Use the Michigan Department of Transportation’s list of licensed bus and limousine operators to investigate the company’s licensure status.
  • Look at customer ratings.

Accidents can happen to anyone, but it’s important to vet limo drivers and companies before choosing which one to hire.

Who Is Liable in Limousine Accidents?

Liability, in this case, refers to responsibility for a collision. Both the limo carrier and your driver must provide a duty of care for the safety of all passengers. Although accidents happen for many reasons, negligence can factor in. At times, more than one party is liable if a limousine causes an accident.

Driver Error

Driver error is responsible for many limo crashes. This broad category includes several ways the driver can err:

  • Distraction, which might be texting or paying more attention to passengers than the road
  • Speeding
  • Failing to follow traffic laws
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Not exercising caution when road conditions warrant it
  • Driving when fatigued

Limousine Company Negligence

Brakes can fail suddenly and cause a collision. However, if the limo company is aware of faulty brakes yet allows the car to carry passengers, they are guilty of negligence.

Limo carriers must make every effort to protect their clients’ safety. Law requires them to perform regular maintenance on the vehicles in their fleet and fix any issues, replace dangerous tires and address any safety recalls issued. The company should pull cars with any defects from service until they are repaired.

Limo owners should also verify that drivers and any service technicians who work on their cars are properly licensed and reputable. If a company is aware that they hire unlicensed or improperly licensed drivers or shady, inexperienced mechanics, that’s also negligence.

Knowingly allowing unsafe limos to transport clients is negligent behavior. Proving negligence can be tricky, however. Your car crash lawyer will perform a thorough investigation to determine who knew what, and when they knew it.

Car Manufacturing Defects

Mechanical issues resulting from manufacturer error often cause accidents. Faulty brake systems, steering issues and knowingly using subpar or defective parts can hold car manufacturers liable for accidents.

Mechanics and Other Service Providers

Even experienced mechanics make mistakes sometimes. In the case of a limo accident, if it’s proven that the mechanic’s mistake directly contributed to or caused the crash, the mechanic or shop is sometimes held liable for the collision.

In addition, if a service provider is responsible for routine maintenance yet intentionally fails to perform that maintenance properly or on time, that’s negligent behavior also.

What Is Negligence?

You may have noticed that the word “knowingly” appeared often in the discussion of negligence. This goes back to the duty of care responsibility. In order to prove negligence, you must show that a party knew or should have known about a hazardous condition, yet failed to act on it.

Personal injury claims in limo accidents must show that:

  • The limo company and driver owed you, their paying customer, a duty of care for your safety.
  • That duty of care was breached due to negligence.
  • You sustained injuries in the collision.
  • Your injuries directly resulted from that negligence.

Let’s not forget that limo crashes usually involve other vehicles as well. If other drivers cause a limousine accident, the same standard of negligence applies. Every driver owes their passengers and the occupants of other vehicles a duty of care by driving in a safe manner.

What Kinds of Injuries Do Limo Accidents Cause?

Most limo occupants don’t wear seatbelts, presenting a significant safety risk in the event of an accident. Because passengers aren’t restrained, they are often thrown around in the vehicle during a crash, causing more severe injuries.

Several common injuries result from auto accidents, including:

  • Broken bones
  • Bruises, whiplash, and other soft tissue injuries
  • Scrapes, cuts and lacerations
  • Back or spinal cord injuries
  • Limb damage or amputation
  • Concussions or brain damage

Most of these injuries require ongoing medical treatment, which gets expensive very quickly. You’ll likely lose wages during your treatment and recovery, and you may incur other expenses directly relating to your accident. In-home care for you and childcare are examples. Fortunately, your auto accident attorney will aggressively negotiate with the responsible insurance companies to obtain maximum compensation for your economic damages.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Not all injuries are physical. Living through a limo collision is a horrific experience; combined with the impact of physical injuries on victims’ lives, it can cause emotional and mental trauma and other negative effects. Compensation paid to accident survivors because of these types of trauma are non-economic damages, more commonly known as pain and suffering.

Proving that you deserve non-economic damages in Michigan requires the following criteria:

  • The party responsible for your limo accident was negligent.
  • That party was at least 50% at fault for the crash.
  • The negligence caused you to sustain injuries.
  • You suffered a “serious impairment of body function” as a result of those injuries.
  • This impairment caused you to experience physical, mental or emotional pain and suffering.

Doesn’t sound too difficult, right? Wrong. Because pain and suffering can’t be seen, insurance companies will argue that you aren’t experiencing it and don’t qualify for these damages.

Psychologists and physicians need to perform extensive evaluations of your condition and testify on your behalf. Investigators will research what your life was like before and after the accident.

In Michigan, non-economic pain and suffering damages include those paid for:

  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Embarrassment or humiliation
  • The loss of your ability to enjoy life
  • Inconvenience
  • Physical disfigurement or disability
  • Loss of consortium

Michigan doesn’t cap the amount that insurance companies must pay to those living with pain and suffering. Whereas economic damages have dollar amounts attached, the amount of non-economic compensation you might receive depends on the injury you sustained, the scope of the damage it caused, and how your life changed as a result of your injuries.

Your compassionate attorney from Mike Morse Law Firm understands that pain and suffering are real and that you deserve compensation for it.

Why Hire Mike Morse Law Firm?

While any lawyer can represent you, we devote ourselves to personal injury cases. What does that mean for you? Our extensive experience and knowledge from handling so many cases similar to yours allow us to effectively negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

Insurance companies don’t want to pay for damages, unfortunately. Limo accident victims without legal representation usually don’t recover the full compensation due to them. Having a Mike Morse lawyer in your corner gives you peace of mind, knowing that we will not let insurance companies get away with lowball settlement offers. We’ll aggressively pursue the maximum compensation you qualify for.

For every client, we:

  • File necessary paperwork
  • Use our team of investigators to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for your accident
  • Serve as your point of contact with insurance companies and investigators
  • Go to bat for you, aggressively negotiating a fast and fair settlement
  • Represent you in court if need be
  • Communicate with you about your case

If you have questions about your limo accident or our services, schedule a free initial consultation. We’ll evaluate your case to determine your eligibility for benefits and answer your questions, then we’ll tell you what options you have. Best of all — if you hire us to represent you, you pay nothing unless we win!

Accidents don’t always happen during regular business hours, so we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Give us a call at 855-MIKE-WINS, email us, contact us via live chat, or submit your contact information through our online form. Let’s get started today.

Sources:

https://www.855mikewins.com/

https://mdotnetpublic.state.mi.us/blris/Authorized/carriers.aspx

https://jnylaw.com/who-is-responsible-for-my-injuries-in-a-limo-accident/

https://www.michiganautolaw.com/no-fault/no-fault-act/pain-and-suffering-damages-car-accident/

https://www.findlaw.com/state/michigan-law/pain-and-suffering-damages-in-michigan.html

http://www.legislature.mi.gov

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