A limousine is a common vehicle in Orange County for transporting people from one place to another. It’s classy and luxurious design makes it the best for a spontaneous outing, executive transportation, or any other special occasion. Those who ride in limousines have high expectations of reliability and safety.
Regardless of how comfortable the ride is, it does not mean that it cannot cause an accident. An average limousine size and number of passengers that it can carry at a given time make it more dangerous than other vehicles. Therefore, it means that catastrophic injuries can be sustained by passengers, motorists, and other road users in case of an accident.
If you suffer severe injuries from a limousine accident in Orange County, you qualify for compensation from the party at fault to cater for all the damages and losses that the accident has caused. The reason being, the care that you need after a limousine accident can be life-changing in such a way that you remain dependent on others.
To get fair compensation, you need an attorney to represent you. Orange County Personal Injury Attorney is always available to help you recover fair compensation. The attorney has successfully defended many accident victims that have sustained catastrophic injuries in Orange County.
Understanding Limousine Safety laws in California
California State has strict laws that all limo owners and drivers should follow. The rules are related to licensing, insurance, and operations of the limo.
Limousine Licensing Law
It is a requirement that all limo companies should have a special license issued by the California Public utility Commission. The special operating license relates to the number of passengers that should be carried at a given time. In the case of modified limos, then the limo company can apply for additional permits and licenses.
Insurance Requirements Law
It is a requirement that all limos should be insured. The amount to be insured depends on the capacity and size of the limo.
Motorists’ Restrictions Law
According to the California State Vehicle Code requirement, all limo drivers should have licenses and permits that allow them to operate the limos. The restrictions also limit the number of hours the limo driver should work.
What are Catastrophic Injuries?
Catastrophic injuries usually have a long term effect that requires a lot of care from a specialist. When you are injured in an accident, you are likely to look for the insurance company to compensate for your injuries. The case is possible if the injuries sustained are not severe, and you can recover in no time. That is not the case with catastrophic injuries, where you will require compensation from the party-at-fault.
Not all limo accidents result in catastrophic injuries. If you sustain severe injuries from a limousine accident, you will likely have devastating effects because your life will be affected in different ways. Devastating injuries involve the following:
- The victim is not able to work as previously.
- The victim will require care and assistance for the rest of their lives.
- The victim may suffer scarring or disfigurement.
- The victim will suffer permanent disability.
- Acute trauma to the brain may be a consequence.
- A spinal injury may also be a consequence
- The victim may suffer full paralysis
- Severe burns can also be sustained
Liability of Parties in a Limousine Accident
When you are involved in a limo accident, it is important to determine the party at fault so that your attorney can start with the legal procedure to claim for your compensation. The parties could be:
The Limo Driver at Fault
Most accidents are as a result of the driver's mistakes. The limo driver may ignore traffic rules, fall asleep when driving, or even driving under the influence. There are a few other reasons that could make the limo driver accountable for your injuries. Since insurance companies usually insure vehicles, the insurance company can be liable for your damages.
The Limousine Manufacturer at Fault
The limo manufacturer can also be liable for your injuries if the accident occurred due to a mechanical fault. Manufacturers have to meet the standard set to manufacture vehicles. If they do not meet the requirements and the accident is found to be due to a failure of any part wrongly made, the manufacturer will be accountable.
The Limousine Company at Fault
The Limo Company is responsible for the well-being of its passengers. It is supposed to ensure the vehicles are well maintained and regularly checked for any fault. If you suffer injuries due to the limo's low maintenance, the limo company should not hesitate to compensate you.
Other Passengers at Fault
Limos are classy vehicles that are mainly used as transport means in celebrations. A passenger or the driver may act recklessly, exposing the other passengers to the danger. If you sustain injuries due to a reckless act of passengers, you can file for compensation against them.
Other Motorists at Fault
Other drivers could be at fault if at all they violate the traffic laws. The limo driver may be driving while observing the traffic rules, and it happens that another driver is reckless, ignoring the traffic laws. In that case, you can file for compensation from the other driver because it is evident that the accident occurred due to their negligence.
Types of Catastrophic Limousine Accidents
Although Limousine accidents happen rarely, they result in catastrophic injuries when they occur. The reason being, the passengers in the limousine rarely use the seat belts and therefore move in all directions during a crash. They are, therefore, vulnerable to severe injuries. Some of the limousine accidents that lead to catastrophic injuries are.
These are the accidents that usually happen at intersections. The accident usually involves crashing on to a vehicle on its side with its front. During the crash, you may find yourself thrown out of the open window or door that may open due to the impact. You hit hard on the road surface and end up losing some of your body parts or even breaking.
T-Bone accidents happen due to a driver or other road users being ignorant of traffic rules. You find that motorists and drivers make wrong turns or refuse to give way as required, leading to the crash. If you sustain injuries in such an accident, the drivers are liable for your damages. The driver should compensate you because it is out of their recklessness that you suffered the injuries.
Some accidents lead to the limousine rolling over several times. Rollover accidents can be due to the limo driver losing control or even the limo being hit by another vehicle. Rollover accidents are very violent because, during the rollover, the passengers hit hard on the limousine walls several times. When a collision happens, the limousine may be thrown away due to the crash impact leading to the rollover. It, therefore, means that, after such an accident, you will sustain catastrophic injuries that will, in most cases, alter your way of life. You will require compensation for the recovery process and future medication.
Individual Vehicle Collisions
These are rare accidents that occur in most vehicles. They are, however, resulting in catastrophic injuries when they occur. Individual collisions are a result of the driver losing control and hitting on, say, a tree. It also happens due to speeding. When the Limo driver is driving fast, they may face an emergency that requires a quick response.
Due to the high speed, the driver cannot control the vehicle during the swerve and end up crashing on trees or other structures. Driving under the influence is another cause of individual collisions. Drugs make the driver have impaired judgment, and will miscalculate the distance between the limousines and an object, and end up crashing it.
Distracted driving, too, can cause individual collisions. For example, a case of the driver is operating the limo while using the phone. In this case, the driver's attention is diverted from the road to the phone. They, therefore, crash against objects leading to catastrophic injuries to the passengers. Most individual collisions lead to a disfigurement of the victims, an effect that is long-term and life-changing.
Head-on-crashes involve two vehicles crashing on each other when moving in different directions. These types of accidents are usually forcefully leading to the victims sustaining catastrophic injuries. Head-on-crashes are caused by speeding, whereby the driver may face an emergency, and during the swerve, they hit head-on with another vehicle or motorists.
Victims of the head-on-crashes sustain catastrophic injuries such as paralysis, brain damage, breakages, among others. The injuries require extended treatment, which may be too costly for the victim and the family members.
Accidents as a Result of Bad Weather
Bad weather can be a cause of limousine accidents. Some weather conditions make the Californian roads very slippery, making it hard for the driver to control the vehicle as needed. In case of heavy rainfall, the driver will be affected by poor visibility and end up causing an accident. Poor visibility makes the limo driver hit on other vehicles, motorists, or even stationary objects.
Due to bad weather, victims of accidents sustain catastrophic injuries such as head injuries, amputations, or spinal injuries. These injuries are life-changing and require extended treatment for the victims to cope with a new everyday life.
Rear-end crashes are accidents that happen when one vehicle hits another one from behind. A vehicle behind the limo can be moving at high speed, making a crash into the limos’ rear end. Victims sustain catastrophic injuries due to the destructive effect that makes them hit against each other and the limo walls.
These accidents can be as a result of brake failure. Most vehicles move at high speed, especially on highways, and in case the limousine brake system fails unexpectedly, it will be crashed from the rear end by the vehicle at the back. Catastrophic injuries sustained after such accidents require lengthy medical procedures to help the victims recover.
Accidents Resulting from Mechanical Faults
Limo accidents can happen as a result of mechanical issues. A limousine may have a mechanical problem right from the manufacturer, and your driver fails to notice. The part with a default can fail, leading to an accident that is, at most times, catastrophic.
An abrupt failure of a part of a limo may also cause a severe accident. A limousine driver may want to apply some brakes, but unfortunately, the brakes fail to function. If the limo moves at high speed and the brake system fails, an accident that results is fatal. The limousine will hit extremely hard on any object or vehicle that it will come through.
Costs Incurred from Limousine Accidents
Catastrophic injuries leave the victims with permanent injuries that may make you never meet your needs because of hospitalization. Fortunately, victims who suffer devastating injuries can file for compensation for the costs incurred. The costs include:
Medication costs During the Recovery Process
As a victim of catastrophic injuries, you may need particular medication to stay alive. The cost of the drugs during the recovery period, therefore, should be compensated. When you present your records of medicine, the driver-at-fault or the insurance company will compensate you.
Emergency Medical Costs
You are entitled to receive compensation for the medical costs incurred from the accident scene's evacuation to the emergency room. When you are involved in a limo accident, you will sustain injuries requiring quick attention from a physician. Therefore, you will be compensated for all the medical procedures, medication, doctors’ fees, and any other cost associated with the injuries treatment.
Occupational and Physical Therapy Costs
After a limo accident, you will sustain permanent injuries that will require you to cope with a new normal life. For example, you may lose your limbs, sight, hand, or other essential parts of your body. You will require a special therapy that will enable you to learn new skills for your new life. Your attorney will fight for your fair compensation because it is evident that your life has been altered due to the accident.
Continuous Medical Care Costs
Catastrophic injuries that you sustain after a limousine accident require extended treatment for monitoring purposes. You will therefore be necessary to visit your doctor now and then to ensure a smooth recovery process. The cost that you incur during the extended period of treatment should be compensated.
Wages Lost as a Result of the Accident.
Most victims of limousine accidents usually sustain catastrophic injuries that leave them with permanent damages. The damages sometimes hinder them from earning their living as they did before, making them dependent on relatives and friends. If, after a limousine accident, you are unable to continue working, compensation of the lost wages should be done to take care of what you would be earning if you were living your normal life.
Costs You Incur During Counselling
Limousine accidents that lead to catastrophic injuries have a life-changing effect on you. The life-changing aspect is devastating, especially if a vital organ is affected. For example, if you lose sight after an accident, coping with blindness can be very hard for you. If you lose your hand, dealing with one hand can also be challenging.
You will need counseling sessions to overcome the trauma and any psychological torture you may be going through. The counseling process will require a lot of money that may be hard for you or your family to raise. The costs, therefore, should be compensated by the at-fault-party
Pain and Suffering
Catastrophic injuries that you sustain after a limousine accident are painful for you to endure. According to California law, your compensation for the pain and suffering that you endure throughout should be compensated.
What You Should Do After a Limousine Accident
Most accident victims do not follow the right procedure, starting from seeking medical attention to filing a claim. In most cases, victims are not fairly compensated because they do not know what to present to the court and do not have the necessary documents. When you are involved in a limo accident, the following steps should be taken:
Get Medical Attention from a Qualified Physician
Immediately after the accident, you are in shock and with severe pain. You may feel alright, but it is essential to seek medical attention so that a physician may examine you and treat you immediately. You should therefore call 911 and ask for an ambulance to take you to the hospital. It would be best if you insisted on a thorough check-up in the sensitive organs such as the brain, spine, and neck, among others. Those are the parts that are most affected if your injuries are catastrophic.
Another reason as to why you should seek medical attention is, most injuries are not easily noticed immediately the accident happens. Seeking medical attention from a qualified physician is important because the physician will easily detect them.
Call the Police
Before moving to the accident scene, you should call the police to document the incident before the scene is cleared. After the police make a report, you should request a copy of the same. The report will have the accident's full details, including the party at fault, the information that will help you file for your claim.
With police documenting the right information, your attorney will successfully present the evidence that will favor your claim and receive your compensation from the party-at-fault.
Collect Evidence from the Accident Scene
You are advised that, if possible, you should take as much information as possible. You can take photographs of the accident site if you have a camera. If possible, it is also good to collect the personal details of the people involved in the accident, including the limo driver, passengers, and the people in the other vehicles involved.
Other information that can help you identify the weather conditions at the moment, how the traffic was, and the circumstances that made the accident occur. The information will help your attorney gather solid evidence to favor your claim and receive compensation for your injuries and losses.
Do Not Discuss Your Case with Anyone Apart from Your Attorney
Investigators and insurance companies are likely to contact you immediately after the accident happens so that they can reduce your chances of winning your compensation case. The latter two can damage the case and also limit the compensation amount that you are to receive.
Contact Your Attorney
The party at fault will contact their attorney to help them collect evidence that will reduce the charges against them. Regardless of whether you understand the injury laws or not, you must contact your attorney. If you do not involve your attorney and it happens that the party at fault has retained their attorney, you will likely lose your case. The reason being the evidence from the at-fault party attorney will be presented in such a way that it was not their fault that you sustained injuries.
Having a personal injury attorney will make you receive fair compensation because the attorney understands the law better and knows what to do to win your case.
Find a Limousine Accident Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Injuries resulting from a limousine accident can be catastrophic. They can cause a change in your life due to the damages that are inflicted on you. The life-changing aspect is devastating and can lead to a lot of losses economically. Therefore, you need legal representation to help you with an immediate investigation for you to be compensated.
If you or your loved ones sustain injuries from a limousine accident in Orange County, you should contact an attorney who will increase your compensation chances. In Orange County, our Orange County Personal Injury Attorney is at your service. The attorney has been in the industry for a long time. You will get help in gathering proof to help you build a fair claim and negotiate with the insurance company involved. Contact us at 714-876-1959 to have your losses covered.