When you decide to let someone else do the driving, it’s often because you want to be able to relax and leave the transportation in someone else’s hands. Maybe you’re headed to a gala event and want to be able to enjoy a few glasses of champagne, or perhaps you just want to be free to talk and laugh with friends on a road trip without the risks associated with distracted driving. You may be calling on a limo service to get you to the airport on time and avoid leaving your car in long-term parking, or you may be hiring a stretch limo to add some glitz and glamour to your outing.
Regardless of your reason for calling a limousine service, you have certain expectations when you hire a car service. You’re putting your safety in the hands of both the driver and the company, and paying for the privilege.
New York Limousine Accidents
Despite regulation of the livery industry, New York City and the surrounding area has seen its share of serious limousine and other hired car accidents. For example:
- In 2015, Bob Simon of 60 Minutes was killed when the Lincoln Town Car he was riding in hit another vehicle, then plowed into the median in Midtown. The incident raised controversy when the limo company claimed that Simon was responsible for his own death because he hadn’t been wearing his seatbelt, while Simon’s family alleged that the driver was medically unfit for the job and had several past driver’s license suspensions.
- Comedian Tracy Morgan and three other passengers were seriously injured and a fourth man killed when a fatigued truck driver rear-ended their limo van on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2014.
- Four young women were killed and two others critically injured when a truck driver broadsided their stretch limousine on Long Island in the summer of 2015, nearly cutting the vehicle in half. This accident turned a spotlight on a design weakness in stretch limos that puts passengers at greater risk during certain types of accidents.
Though these three limousine accidents were high-profile, local, and relatively recent, there is nothing new or unusual about serious limousine accidents. It’s been 20 years since the Detroit Redwings’ Stanley Cup celebration was cut short when their star defenseman and two others were seriously injured in a limo crash.
Liability for Limo Accidents
In any car accident case, the suspicion of negligence generally falls first on the drivers of the vehicles involved. Limousine accidents are no exception. Though the drivers are professionals entrusted with passenger safety, they are no less likely to get fatigued, become distracted, or otherwise act negligently on the road. Liability may also lie, at least in part, with another driver. In the case of the four young women who lost their lives on Long Island, the truck driver who hit the limo had been drinking at the time of the accident.
Other parties who may share liability include:
- The limousine company, which may be responsible on the basis of vicarious liability, negligent hiring, negligent vehicle maintenance or other grounds
- The manufacturer of the vehicle, if flaws in the design or construction made the vehicle unsafe
If You’ve Been Injured in a Limo Accident, Get Help Today
Experienced New York limousine accident attorneys like those at Dansker & Aspromonte can help you pursue the compensation you deserve after a limousine accident.