Limousine accidents are often tragic beyond comprehension. Recent news reports tell of entire bridal parties wiped out, friends on an outing killed, church groups injured and worse. Most people hire a limousine for fun—they want to enjoy their friends while someone else drives. You have the reasonable right to expect that you will get to your destination with warm memories as your only souvenir. If you, or a loved one, have been injured in a limousine accident, you need help.
I was a passenger in a limousine that got into an accident in Atlanta, GA. I was injured. What should I do?
If you are a passenger in a limousine that has gotten into an accident, it’s crucial to make sure you and your passengers are physically fine. If necessary, call an ambulance. Call a police officer as well and file a report. If there are multiple people involved, make sure your name is on the report. Get the names and telephone numbers of other passengers and the driver as possible witnesses. Take down as much information as you can. DO NOT agree to a recorded statement with anyone before talking to an attorney—that will only be used against you. Remember that an insurance company or business owner’s first order of business is getting out of this with as little cost as possible. You, or a loved one, may have life-altering injuries.
Limousine accidents are often quite complicated with multiple carriers involved. And they can be quite horrific with serious injuries. Don’t try to fight this without an experienced and ethical attorney at your side.
Call an Atlanta Limousine Accident and Injury Attorney at John Foy & Associates at 404-400-4000. We have more than 20 years experience helping people like you who have been injured by another’s negligence.
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Who is responsible for the limousine accident?
In a limousine accident, there are many possible responsible parties, including:
- The limousine driver—If the driver was tired, under the influence or not following company procedures or rules of the road, he or she may be responsible.
- The limousine company—The Company has a responsibility to hire and train qualified drivers, as well as to maintain and provide safe vehicles. A limousine company has a higher standard when it comes to providing your safe passage.
- The limousine manufacturer—Again, limousine manufacturers have a higher standard of safety requirements for their vehicles.
- Other drivers or owners of vehicles—The responsible party may well be the driver of another vehicle who hit your limousine.
- Manufacturers and Retailers—The manufacturers and retailers have a responsibility to provide safe and well-inspected vehicles.
How can I prove that the limousine driver was negligent in his driving?
If you suspect your limousine driver was driving under the influence, or if he was overly tired or reckless, tell the police officer who has responded to your accident. Tell the officer: “The driver seems like he was under the influence, or driving recklessly.’’
It is not your responsibility to see if the driver is actually drunk or high. That is a police officer’s job. John Foy & Associates employs traffic experts who can recreate the accident and prove if the driver was reckless.
What kinds of compensation can I receive for my injuries?
In a Limousine Accident case, you can recover:
- Any necessary medical costs to help you heal from injuries, including future costs. This includes doctor visits, pharmaceuticals and physical therapy, among other treatments.
- Any earnings you may have lost in wages or salaries because of your accident.
- General pain and suffering.
If the driver was involved in criminal activity, such as driving under the influence or road rage, the court may also award punitive damages—these are damages meant to punish the wrongdoer.
What are common injuries from limousine auto crashes?
Limousine auto accident injuries can be horrific, especially since there are many people sharing a ride, and some of them may not be wearing a seatbelt. After-market modifications, such as the placement of a barrier between the driver and passengers can trap passengers in a car wreck, preventing them from escaping. Limousines also allow passengers to drink heavily, including minors when not supervised. Passengers can suffer traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones and death.
There have been many fatal limousine crashes in the news in the last few years. After a limousine accident that killed four young women in Long Island, the National Transportation Safety Board agreed to investigate modifications in limousines.
Recently, a poorly maintained limousine-bus was evacuating seniors and staff from an assisted living facility in Texas before Hurricane Rita. The limousine burst into flames, killing 23 passengers and injuring 21. The NTSB found the limousine company failed to properly maintain and inspect its vehicles.
What types of vehicles are considered limousines?
Limousine vehicles include the traditional limo, stretch limos, sedans, extended sedans, SUVs, sightseeing buses, airport or hotel shuttles and charter buses. Limousine drivers in Georgia must be employed by a company and carry a driver’s license with a “C” endorsement. The Georgia Department of Public Safety has a simple chart explaining each classification of hired transporters.
What is common carrier liability and its significance for my case?
A “common carrier” is any entity whose business it is to transport people or goods for a fee. These carriers are held to a higher standard of safety under the law, and must carry more insurance than a typical driver. In your case, the law holds your limousine driver and company to a higher standard than if you simply got into a car with a friend to drive across town. Common carriers can be regulated by multiple entities, including federal, state and municipal agencies. In California, even theme park rides are considered common carriers.
This is significant in your case because the Georgia law states that driving as a common carrier is a privilege that must be closely regulated to protect public welfare. Because the limousine is held to a higher standard, the insurance company has less ability to try to dismiss the case.
The hotel I was staying at provided a limousine shuttle service and we got into an accident. What should I do?
Follow the same procedures as you would in a regular auto accident. Make sure you call the police and file an accident report. Get the name and permit number of the shuttle service driver. Take as many photos as possible and get the names of other passengers who can serve as witnesses. Do NOT give a recorded statement to the hotel manager or anyone else. The hotel may be liable for the accident and they are an interested party.
If you have any questions or concerns, call us at John Foy & Associates for free advice. Our phones are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 404-400-4000.
The limousine service manager wants to settle with me directly. Should I just go ahead and settle?
“We hear this all the time,’’ says our firm founder, John Foy. It’s quite natural to want to end this experience as quickly as possible, but often your injuries may not be apparent for a few weeks after an accident. Your level care should not rely on a quick settlement. Once you sign a settlement, you can NEVER go back and get money for that accident.
The limousine service manager is required to carry insurance and should rely on the insurance company’s attorneys to protect his interests.
Is there a time limit for filing a claim?
There is always a time limit or “Statute of Limitations” to file a personal injury claim. Often it is two years, but there are shorter exceptions. There are many other valid reasons for acting quickly to file a claim. First, we want to make sure you are getting the proper medical treatment. Second, accidents grow “cold” as time passes. Witnesses disappear and memories get sketchy.
We suggest not delaying talking to an attorney and getting an honest and ethical opinion about your options.
How can John Foy & Associates help me?
John Foy & Associates has been an established personal injury firm for more than 20 years. With some 20 attorneys and almost 100 staff, we are committed to serving our community and helping the injured. We know all the legal players in Atlanta and they know us. We’ve built our “Strong Arm” reputation one client at time.
You need strong, legal representation if you are going to fight a limousine business and a multi-billion dollar insurance company. Let us help. You pay nothing out of pocket. All our fees are contingent on a settlement. In that rare case of no settlement, we absorb our fees.
Call John Foy & Associates for a free consultation at 404-400-4000.