When You’re Hurt While a Passenger in a Limousine
The irony is by no means lost on you. In many cases, people hire limousines, so they don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. Of course, limos are also used for airport transport and other one-way transportation. All that’s wonderful – until you’re hurt while a passenger in a limousine.
You may recall one of the deadliest limousine accidents in our country’s history. A little less than a year ago, twenty people died in a limo crash in neighboring New York state. Among them, were four sisters.
No doubt the motivation of choosing a hired vehicle for transportation was multi-faceted. Apparently, the limo allowed seventeen friends to stay together as they traveled to a birthday party. It also seems evident that they didn’t want to worry about choosing a designated driver. After all, the celebration was slated for a local brewery.
What caused the accident? In the first place, it appears the limo driver had issues with his license. However, he too perished in the horrific automobile crash. Authorities said after the fact that he shouldn’t have been operating the vehicle in the first place.
Meanwhile, it appears that the vehicle also was improperly maintained and repaired. The limo company had a long history of citations related to defective brakes, bad tires and other critical issues.
To the consumer with the best of intentions, it means thinking twice about entering a limo with uncertainty. Not only don’t you know who’s behind the wheel, but you also wonder how well they maintain and repair their vehicle.
Limousine Accidents in New Jersey
Of course, that’s not to say that every limousine accident is the fault of the driver. Or, that the limo company bears any responsibility at all. However, it would seem a rarity that a passenger could be found liable for his or her injuries in the event of a crash.
Like any other motor vehicle accident, it’s entirely possible that another driver was at fault for the incident that resulted in your injuries. Perhaps someone breezed through a stop sign or a red light. Unfortunately, you could find yourself the victim of a drunk driving accident. The list goes on as far as negligence claims that have absolutely nothing to do with the limo driver’s actions.
However, there is something you need to know. When you are hurt in a regular passenger vehicle, your car insurance pays for your medical bills under the PIP portion of your policy.
A limousine is considered a car for hire and therefore falls into the realm of a commercial vehicle. Therefore, PIP benefits won’t cover your claim. You attorney will need to assist you with finding a means of paying for your medical treatment. Meanwhile, there’s something else that differs when you’re hurt in a limo crash.
In a regular automobile accident, you might be precluded from filing a claim for personal injury. Depending on the extent of your injuries, your policy selections might say you weren’t hurt enough to look for monetary damages.
When you’re injured in a commercial vehicle, the rules change. It doesn’t matter if you experienced soft tissue injuries. Your claim may be viable if someone else was at fault.
Were you or a loved one hurt in a limo accident? The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafajlo has several decades of assisting injury victims. Give us a call to schedule an appointment.