Traveling in luxury is the dream of many people throughout the country. While a limousine offers this luxury, it lacks adequate safety restraints in the passenger compartment, which could result in catastrophic injuries in light of an accident. Again, limousines are not more durable or safer than other types of automobiles. For that reason, a severe crash can leave its occupants nursing severe injuries, some of which could be catastrophic.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a limousine accident, it is worth noting that you can get compensated for your damages. Catastrophic injuries will take a long time to heal, and also require a lot of money. Some injuries will change your life forever. Working with an experienced personal injury can make it easier for you to recover the compensation you deserve. If you are in California, you could get in touch with us at The Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm for legal guidance.
Limousine Accidents in California
Traveling in a limousine is not only fun but also a luxurious way of celebrating crucial moments in your life. People hire limousines on their wedding days, birthdays, and other special occasions such as high school proms. The experience of traveling in such a large vehicle is out of this world, together with the fact that there is a professional driver behind the wheel. However, that does not guarantee safety. No matter how careful a driver is, accidents happen, and this applies to limousine drivers as well. Getting into an accident as a passenger in a limousine can result in devastating injuries.
The reason for this is due to a lack of safety tools in a limousine, unlike in other types of vehicles. Limousines are designed for fun, and so, no safety measures such as seatbelts have been installed for passenger safety. While having fun in the limo, not many passengers think of the dangers they are exposing themselves to. It explains why a lot of limousine injuries result in catastrophic injuries.
In addition to a lack of safety measures in a limousine, these types of vehicles are more extensive than ordinary cars. For that reason, they have a wider turning radius and larger blind spots. A limousine can't maneuver out of danger as quickly as a smaller vehicle. In case of a problem on the road, the limo is likely to get into an accident no matter how careful the driver is.
Limousines are more cumbersome, too, when compared to ordinary cars. Their substantial nature lengthens their stopping time, making it very easy for them to cause an accident, especially on the road with heavy traffic. The driver's reaction time could be accurate, but it could take time for his/her to stop or redirect the vehicle.
Since these are vehicles are designed for celebrations, some limousine companies will overcrowd them, without providing adequate safety tools such as seatbelts for all the passengers. Other times, limo drivers will be overworked as a way for the company to cut on expenditure. A fatigued driver will be less attentive on the road, increasing his/her chances of causing accidents on the road. It gets worse if the driving conditions are worse and the driver is tired.
All these are some of the reasons why we have a high number of limousine accidents in California. The state has put enough measures to combat these accidents with no much success. The people who suffer the most are those that get injured in limo accidents, including drivers, passengers, and other road users. The good thing is that there are personal injury laws in place that could help such people get compensated for all the damages incurred in such accidents.
Who Could Be Held Responsible?
Most limousine accidents happen in rented limos. In that case, determining liability can be a little complicated. Again, liability depends on the cause of the accident and the direct cause of one's injuries. If therefore, you have suffered catastrophic injuries in a limousine accident, it is advisable to work with an experienced attorney. His/her skills, plus any expert help that your attorney can get, could help determine the at-fault party. Liability in a limo accident could fall on several parties, including the limo driver, the limo company, or another motorist. Other passengers could also have contributed to the crash, especially if someone created some distractions for the driver. Here are some of the likely parties that could be held responsible for catastrophic injuries suffered in a limo accident:
The Limo Driver
He/she will be the first suspect in case of a limo accident. The sad bit is that careless drivers cause most limousine accidents. A simple mistake while operating such a large vehicle could leave a trail of destruction. There are more ways than one in which limousine drivers could be careless enough to cause a devastating accident. A driver who violated traffic rules may find him/herself suffering more consequences than a mere ticket. Other drivers take unnecessary risks without putting into consideration the size and weight of the vehicle they are driving. There are those drivers who easily get distracted by, say, messages, or calls on the phone while behind the wheel.
An experienced personal injury attorney will consider several factors before concluding that the limo driver was responsible for the accident. Once the at-fault party is determined, you can proceed to negotiate for a settlement with his/her insurance company. If that does not work, you can always file a legal suit against the driver in a civil court.
The Limousine Company
Limo companies owe a legal duty to their drivers as well as passengers and everyone else involved. However, this legal duty is always breached, and the results are usually devastating. Just like the drivers, there are several ways in which a limo driver could demonstrate negligence, resulting in catastrophic injuries on their drivers or passengers. Just like other vehicles, limousines need proper maintenance for them to function correctly. A well-maintained car will be safe to use. If the company does not observe adequate maintenance of all its vehicles, then there is bound to be accidents.
Limo companies are also required to hire well-trained professional drivers. An unqualified driver is a risk hazard to passengers using the limo. In addition to hiring competent drivers, the company needs to continuously rain and supervise its employees to ensure that its passengers are safe at all times. Proper safety procedures should also be adhered to, including ensuring that all vehicles have pre-installed safety tools that could enhance passenger's safety.
If any of those measures are not observed, and an accident occurs, the limo company will be held responsible for the resulting damages.
The Limousine Maintenance Company
A limo company that cares for its customers will maintain regular maintenance for its vehicles. However, this is never a guarantee that the cars will be safe for the users. Some limo maintenance companies do not keep the end of their bargain, a mistake that could result in a devastating accident. Just like limo drivers and limo companies, maintenance companies also owe a duty of care to the end-users of the vehicles they maintain. If this is breached, then they could be held responsible for the resulting damages in the event an accident occurs.
Most limo companies contract independent maintenance companies to keep their vehicles in safe conditions. Negligence will occur if the maintenance company overlooks specific details during maintenance, or when it uses substandard tools and products on the cars. If during the initial investigation, it is established that the limo maintenance company failed its mandate to keep the vehicles in a safe condition properly, accident victims will be right to file a legal suit against the company for compensation.
It is not unusual for a new vehicle to get involved in an accident. When this happens, the most likely liable party would be the vehicle manufacturer. Sometimes brand new cars are sold with mechanical issues that make them unsafe for use. When these issues are not detected on time, so many people could suffer from devastating accidents, some of which result in catastrophic injuries. If, after an accident investigation, it is established that the vehicle had a mechanical issue, determining the liable party will be a straightforward matter. The defective device will be used as evidence in court to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer.
Sometimes limo retailers are also held responsible for accidents caused by mechanically-unfit vehicles. The law does not permit the sale of unsafe products. For that reason, if it is established that the retailer was aware of the underlying issue but still went ahead to sell the vehicle to an unsuspecting company, they will be held responsible for the resulting damages.
Not all limousine accidents occur because of an issue related to the limousine. Other motorists on the road cause some accidents. That is why the cause of the accident is an important thing to establish before you can decide on the course of action to take. Every day, we have reports of negligent motorists on our roads that cause an increasing number of auto accidents. If a limo driver came into contact with such a motorist, a collision could be inevitable. Escaping an oncoming accident while driving a huge and probably heavy vehicle may be a challenge for a limo driver.
In this case, the reckless driver will be held responsible for all the damages incurred in the accident. If the limo driver and/the passengers suffered catastrophic injuries, they would be able to recover enough compensation to cater to their devastating damages and other losses incurred.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries in California Limousine Accidents
Most limousine accidents in California are devastating. For that reason, the drivers, as well as passengers, are likely to suffer severe injuries as a result. The most common types of injuries experienced in such accidents are catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries are a severe form of damages that usually have long-term and life-altering results. Some devastating injuries require surgical treatment, and others require medical care and therapy for the rest of the victim's life. Therefore, if you have suffered a catastrophic injury, you may need to get ready because several aspects of your life may be affected. Here are some of the catastrophic injuries that could occur after a limo accident:
Some auto-accident injuries are less noticeable than others. However, when it comes to disfigurements, this is an injury that will mar your physical appearance. The suffering is not just physical but also mental and emotional, as many people do not quickly come to terms with such significant changes in their life. Permanent disfigurements caused by limo accidents can happen anywhere on a person's body, including their face and limbs. They not only leave you with a physical change in your appearance but also severe pain and endless medical concerns. Some disfigurements can be rectified through surgical interventions. Others are permanent, and the accident victim may have to adapt to their new way of living.
Permanent disfigurements are not only devastating but also very costly to treat. The person may need more than one surgical treatment to have the disfigurement rectified. Other people will require physical therapy for the rest of their life, to be able to use the affected part of their body. The physical changes affect not only the person's physical way of living but also their mental and emotional wellbeing. Some people may suffer emotional distress, and others can get into depression. For that reason, a person that has suffered such a catastrophic injury as a result of another's negligence requires extensive compensation.
Most head injuries occur as a result of a traumatic external force to the head. During a limousine accident, a person's head may hit hard against an object inside the vehicle, resulting in severe injuries to the head. Some of these injuries are minor, but some can be catastrophic and others fatal. It all depends on the nature of the crash. Catastrophic head injuries can lead to complications, which could go on for so many years after the accident. These will drastically change the life of the accident victim.
When the head is seriously hurt, you may experience such symptoms as chronic headaches, dizziness, lethargy, difficulty with memories, and other behavioral changes. It is advisable to seek immediate medical help to ensure that the problem does not escalate. If the injury is catastrophic, it may change several aspects of your life. The victim may need to live on medication for the rest of their lives. That is why pursuing compensation from the responsible party is essential. This will ensure that your medical expenses are covered, as well as other needs that have resulted from the accident.
Traumatic Brain injury
The human brain is another part of the human body that is likely to suffer severe injuries in case of a severe limousine accident. The human head and brain are among the most sensitive parts of life. A simple injury can be life-changing and sometimes life-threatening. People who suffer traumatic brain injuries in accidents may experience nausea, dizziness, memory loss, lost consciousness, coma, and sometimes permanent loss of their mental capacity. These are the kinds of damages that will not only cost more money to treat but also take a long time to heal. Some victims do not enjoy a full recovery and may have to live a different kind of life from what they are accustomed to.
A severe injury to the brain will not leave you the same again. That is why you need the best legal help you can get to pursue compensation from the negligent party. The accident victim deserves full payment to cater to the various aspects of their life that have changed suddenly and permanently. A person who suffers post-traumatic amnesia as a result of a brain injury will, for instance, require help and support for the rest of their life. Such a person may need to sign up for therapy to keep a functional memory.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A serious limousine accident is also likely to result in severe spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord are not only excruciating but can be expensive to treat and may take a long time to heal completely. Some of these injuries will require the victim to undergo several surgical interventions, with no hope that their life will be the same again. Others will leave the victim dependent on rehabilitation and therapy for the rest of their life so that they can live a life that is close to normal. During this period, the victim will require day-to-day care as well as long-term support.
Spinal cord injuries occur when there is a sudden cut or blow to the spine. Severe damage may result in permanent loss of sensation, strength, and function of the area below the injured part. Other than surgical treatment and rehabilitation, some victims may require assistive devices to be able to get by. Even though these devices help them enjoy some independence and to be a little productive in life, they are costly and may not adequately take them back to the life they are accustomed to. Proper compensation is needed from the negligent party to ensure that the victims can afford all forms of treatment and care they need after the accident.
What Type of Compensation is Available?
As mentioned above, catastrophic injuries are life-changing, and so, several aspects of a person's life are affected. An accident victim in a devastating limousine accident may not get to live a full life as before. That is why you should be ready to fight for the compensation that you deserve. The good thing is that the injured person is allowed by law to pursue compensation as long as they can prove liability. Here are some of the compensatory damages that may be available for you in this kind of accident:
The first thing a person that has suffered a catastrophic injury should think about are their medical expenses. As mentioned earlier, catastrophic injuries are expensive to treat, and these expenses may go on for a long time, and sometimes for the rest of the person’s life. For that reason, it is good to consider how much money you have spent so far and how much more you may need to treat your injuries in the future.
This damage puts into consideration all the money you could have earned if the accident had not occurred. It will include the amount of money you have lost so far during the recovery period, as well as the wages you will have to lose before you attain full recovery. Also, consider the amount of money you will not be able to earn now with the injury.
Pain and Suffering
It is not easy to put a dollar value on the amount of suffering and pain a person goes through after suffering a catastrophic injury. However, you cannot just ignore the suffering and pain, and the endless sleepless nights you may have to endure in the years to come. Your attorney may help you come up with a fair amount to include in your claim for all the suffering and pain you have endured and that which you will suffer for the rest of your life.
Lost Earning Capacity
These damages will take care of all the earnings you may not be able to make as a result of the injury. If, for instance, you have suffered a permanent disability, your earning capacity will decrease, some people are forced to quit their jobs and others to take a low-paying job as a result of injuries. All these must be included in your claim.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm Near Me
If you or your loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in a limousine accident, it is essential to note that there are laws in place to help you recover your damages. What you need is the help and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney. At The Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we will take you through the legal process and offer any support needed to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 619-625-8707 from any part of California and let us help you in your pursuit of justice.