Limousines are not regularly used for travel but rather are used by most people for special events. Whether it is a wedding, a family reunion, prom night, a party, a celebration, an anniversary, or even just a night out on the town with friends, a limo can add a touch of luxury to your occasion and allow you to enjoy your time worry-free. Unfortunately the celebration can turn to tragedy in only seconds when your mode of transportation is involved in a collision.
In March of 2016, a Chicago limousine crashed into the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway killing one and injuring six others. This incident once again put the spotlight on the limousine industry and made many question whether riding in a limo was safe, and if not, what risks were present.
In the year 2014 there were 29,989 fatal crashes in America taking the lives of 32,675 people. Nationwide, 2.34 million people were injured in car accidents during that same year. In Illinois alone there were 296,049 crashes involving motor vehicles in 2014; thankfully only 845 of those accidents were fatal but 845 are far too many fatal collisions to be acceptable. While car crashes are an everyday occurrence in Chicago, these collisions should not be excused as mere accidents when they are caused by the carelessness of others.
The U.S. Department of Transportation enforces strict regulations to ensure limousines travel safely. However, all too often limousine companies operate negligently by failing to comply with these safety regulations. Companies’ failure to observe and maintain these standards substantially increases the likelihood of death and injury. Some common violations include: hiring under-qualified and/or underage drivers or drivers with poor traffic records, failing to inspect vehicles, perform background checks on potential drivers, maintain proper repair and maintenance, as well as failing to observe hours of service limitations.
Failure to follow these standards places both passengers and drivers at risk. Overworking drivers and not providing drivers with the necessary training or properly maintained vehicles can place them in dangerous situations as well.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a limo accident or if you or a loved one works as a limousine driver (commonly known as a chauffeur) and you suspect your employer has failed to maintain a safe work environment, you may be entitled to compensation.
The Dangers of Limousine Travel
Innocent passengers can be tricked into believing their chosen limo service is safe and reliable. It is very easy for individuals to present themselves as credible limo drivers or as a reputable company when in fact they do not carry proper licensing to operate the vehicle or follow necessary regulations.
Passengers are warned to always be vigilant in checking the credibility of the company they choose to contract for their special occasion. Inquiring how long the company has been in business and asking for proof of insurance can provide an extra safety check. Passengers should not be afraid to ask questions if something seems off, and drivers should not hesitate to contact their employers with concerns. The Illinois Limousine Association also provides a list of reputable companies to help guide your search.
Given the nature of a limousine, the likelihood of injury or death during a collision is higher than a comparable car accident. Limos are more vulnerable to rollover accidents and T-bone collisions given their length and size than a standard vehicle is and making turns in a limo can be more difficult as well. A limousine is a passenger-carrying vehicle capable of transporting up to 9-15 people at a time. These vehicles are created by stretching a car; the car is cut in half and its framework is extended out from the middle “stretching” the structure to create the elongated shape. This results in drastic changes in the structure of vehicle, which means it will react differently during a collision situation.
Help for Chicago Limousine Accident Victims
The burden created by the negligence of others should not fall on you. If a limousine accident in the Chicago area caused you to suffer or caused harm to someone you love, you may have the legal right to seek relief for your damages through a civil claim.
Obtaining qualified and experienced counsel can be critical following an accident, especially when injuries are severe. The time following a serious accident can be overwhelming and confusing, but delaying too long in pursuing your claims can lead to important evidence and rights being lost. Do not hesitate to obtain the help you rightfully deserve.
If you have been in a limousine accident or someone you love has been injured or killed in accident let the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes help you. We are experienced in helping accident victims through every aspect of their claims and we are standing by now to help you as well.
Call us toll-free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO (529-2442) or locally at (312) 924-7575. If you prefer, contact us online at your convenience. Your consultation is free, and, if we agree to take your case, we will not charge you any fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf. We will investigate your accident and fight for your right to recover while you concentrate on the important and difficult task of healing following a collision.
If you were injured in a Chicago Limousine Accident, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today toll free at (855) LAW-CHICAGO for a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation.