Limousine Accidents and the Damage They Can Inflict
Unfortunately, as injury lawyers in the busy state of Florida, the lawyers at Douglas & Carter often handle accidents where multiple people are injured. These tragic accidents are devastatingly sad. They call it the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. over the last nine years: A limousine accident that killed 20 people last month in October. Its owners and operators (Prestige Limousine) have since been accused of “acting with reckless indifference to the health and safety of others,” and intentionally failing to act knowing that their conduct would likely result in injury and/or death.” One defendant has also been charged with criminally negligent homicide.
What Is Known
The car crashed into an embankment, but there are still a number of questions remaining that victims and their families are hoping will be revealed through litigation, such as whether the state could also potentially be responsible for failing to ensure that the intersection and roads where the crash occurred were safely designed and constructed. There have reportedly been other accidents at that same junction, which was a known danger spot, and was rebuilt after a deadly 2008 wreck.
Existing records show that the limo previously failed two inspections due to code violations and problems with the antilock brakes, and the state had attempted to take it out of service; however, it was still operating, even though some have remarked that it “should have been in the scrap yard.” In addition, the driver reportedly lacked the appropriate commercial license to be driving the vehicle and media outlets reported that it failed to stop at a T-junction, crossing the road, and hitting an unoccupied vehicle. In doing so, not only were the driver and 17 of the limo’s passengers killed, but two bystanders as well.
Are There Sufficient Regulations to Ensure Safety When It Comes to Limos?
Grand juries have found that vehicles like these–which have been converted into stretch limousines–often do not have basic safety measures, such as accessible emergency exits, side airbags, and/or rollover protection bars. While limos produced in factories do have to meet stringent safety regulations, cars that are instead converted into limos afterward often do not have these basic safety features because it is common to remove them in the process.
The Law in Florida
In Florida, limousines are governed under the Florida Public Transit Act, as they fall into the category of “para transit,” or providing service between specific origins and destinations, selected by the individual user, and characterized by a non-scheduled, non-fixed route. However, if you are injured in a limo accident, you would bring a negligence claim similar to that of a regular car accident, whereby the driver and/or owner of the vehicle would be held to the “reasonability” standard to determine whether they acted negligently and, in doing so, caused your injuries and/or wrongful death.
Contact Our Florida Accident Attorneys
If you have been the victim of an accident due to negligence, at Douglas & Carter our focus is on getting you what you need to get back on your feet and move forward. Contact our Florida car accident attorneys today to find out more.