Assisting Limousine Accident Victims in Houston, Texas
Renting a limousine in the Houston area can amplify a fun experience for a party, birthday, wedding, prom, graduation, or just a celebratory night out on the town. However, when limousine and other drivers on the roadway operate their vehicles in negligent or reckless ways, serious accidents and injuries can occur. Limousine accidents are especially problematic because these vehicles typically carry more than one passenger, many of which are without seatbelts. When an accident occurs, everyone in the limousine could suffer serious injuries and damages.
If you have suffered serious injuries in a limousine accident, you are not alone. The Houston personal injury lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, regularly handle accident cases involving common carriers, including limousines, by settling these cases or taking them to trial. Limo accident cases can prove especially complicated because they sometimes involve multiple parties, and, sometimes, multiple defendants. When you choose the law firm of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, your case is in experienced hands. Our team of attorneys and legal professionals will fight for your legal rights recover the damages in your case. Our intake department is available to help you for your free consultation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (800) 898-4877—or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
Limousines and the Duty to Care
While all motor vehicle drivers on Houston roadways owe their fellow drivers an ordinary duty of reasonable care, limousine drivers and limousine companies owe the public a geater duty of care. Limousine drivers are known as common carriers under the law. Since they transport individuals for a profit, they have a duty to exercise the utmost caution when operating their vehicles.
Limousine companies have a duty to ensure that their drivers obtain the proper training and licenses, that they keep their limousine vehicles properly maintained at all times, and that their drivers follow all traffic rules and regulations while they are on the road. This includes making sure that all passengers wear> seatbelts while the limo is in motion>. When limousine drivers and limousine companies fail to abide by this standard of care, they can face liability for civil damages in personal injury claims or lawsuits.
Many Motor Vehicles May Constitute Limousines
Limousine encompasses several different types of vehicles, including traditional limousines, stretch limos, sedans and extended sedans, sightseeing buses, charter buses, and shuttles that travel to and from airports. Limousine operators must ordinarily have a special driver’s license to operate their vehicles on Houston roadways.
Injuries Sustained in Limousine Accidents
The difficult thing about limousine accident cases is that several individuals can sustain injuries at the same time. The extent of a limousine rider’s injuries can depend on where the passenger was sitting in the vehicle, as well as the force and mechanics of the collision (that is, whether a rear-end collision or a head-on collision took place, for example).
In some cases, a limousine accident can produce serious and permanent injuries, damaging the accident victim for many years to come. Common examples of injuries sustained in Houston limousine accidents include:
- Whiplash and other soft tissue injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Emotional distress
- Psychological trauma (or example, post-traumatic stress disorder)
The team of experienced personal injury lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can help you prove fault and damages in your limousine accident case and work toward getting you the monetary compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Steps You Should Take Following a Limousine Accident
Limousine accidents, like many other vehicle accidents, often occur totally out of the blue and when the passengers least expect them, leaving most passengers not able to brace themselves before the collision. If you were in a limousine accident, whether you believe you sustained injuries, take the following steps if possible:
- As soon as possible after the limousine accident, seek medical attention—even if you do not believe that you suffered a severe injury, or any injury at all. Some injuries after limousine accidents can take several days to manifest. If you do not seek follow-up medical treatment at an urgent care facility or hospital emergency room, then you will lack initial proof that the accident injured you.
- While you are still at the scene of the accident, and if you are able, take pictures of all property damage as well as pictures depicting >the accident scene. These pictures—even if they are just taken on a cell phone or tablet—may become important evidence in your personal injury case later on.
- Speak to any eyewitnesses at the scene of the accident (including any other drivers who were involved in the accident) and take down their contact information. Again, eyewitness testimony may become important if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit or litigate your case in court.
- Talk to the police on the scene and ask them to file a formal police report. In a motor vehicle accident case—especially one involving a limousine—a police report objectively documents all of the circumstances surrounding the accident, including how the accident occurred.
- Refrain from providing a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies or their representatives may insist that you are required to provide a recorded statement following a motor vehicle accident. That is not true, and it is not incumbent on you to provide such a statement. The only real purpose of a recorded statement is for the insurance company to try to look for a reason to deny liability or coverage in your case. One off-hand remark during the statement, the insurance company could potentially use that against you to undermine the value of your case.
As soon as possible after your limousine accident, speak to a knowledgeable Houston limousine accident lawyer. The team of attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can focus on the legal end of your case, such as gathering evidence to fortify your case, while you focus on the importance of your recovery from your injuries. When your personal injury case is in our hands, you can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to maximize the monetary compensation you deserve.
Potentially Responsible Parties
Multiple parties can share in the liability for Houston limousine accident cases, making them more complicated than other types of car accidents. Potentially responsible parties in a limousine accident case may include:
- Limousine drivers – A driver who operates a limousine in a careless, reckless, or distracted manner, or operates their motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, can face liability for any motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and damages that result.
- Limousine companies – Limousine companies have an affirmative duty to train and hire capable drivers who will operate their vehicles carefully and safely on the road. These companies also have a duty to properly maintain all of their limousines at all times.
- Limousine manufacturers – Manufacturers have a duty to ensure that they use the best possible materials in the construction of a limousine and to properly manufacture and assemble the vehicles and vehicle parts.
- Other motor vehicle drivers – Other motor vehicle drivers owe a duty of safe and reasonable care while they operate their motor vehicles on the roadway. If the negligence of another driver injures you in a limousine accident, you may pursue a claim against that driver.
Proving Your Limousine Driver’s Negligence
In a limousine accident case, the accident victim has the burden of proving fault for the accident, as well as legal damages. To show fault on the part of a limousine driver, you must prove that the driver did something wrong, or failed to do something that would have prevented the accident. For example, the driver may have violated a traffic law (such as speeding or running a red light or stop sign), or operating the limousine while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you suspect that your limousine driver operated your limousine in a careless or reckless manner—or while under the influence—notify the police officer at the scene of the accident. It is then the police officer’s duty to investigate the cause and circumstances surrounding the accident.
Limousine Company Liability
Limousine companies have a duty to employ safe and responsible limousine drivers. When they fail to do so, the limousine company can end up on the line for negligence. Moreover, if the limousine driver acted in the scope of employment at the time of the accident, the limousine company may face vicarious liability for all of the accident victim’s injuries and damages.
The experienced Houston team of personal injury attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can assist you with proving fault in your case and can name all potentially responsible parties as defendants.
Potential Damages Available to Limousine Accident Victims
People hire limousine drivers and limousine companies to safely handle the driving on a particular occasion. No one asks for an injury, let alone to be in a limousine accident. However, when accidents and injuries do happen, the injured parties have the right to hold the limousine driver and the limousine company accountable. If you can show that the driver was fully or partially responsible for the accident, you may qualify to recover legal damages in your case. Those damages may include any of the following:
Compensation for lost wages – The purpose of lost wage damages is to compensate you for the time that could not work following your accident. The pain suffered from the injuries you sustained may have completely prevented you from working. Moreover, you may have needed to take some time off work to attend medical or physical therapy appointments or undergo medical procedures, such as surgeries. You can also receive monetary compensation if you needed to use sick days or vacation time to satisfy your work absences
Medical bills and expenses – It is no secret: Medical care is costly and medical bills have a tendency to pile up quickly following a motor vehicle accident. This is especially true if your treatment requires surgeries or other specialized medical procedures.By filing a claim or lawsuit against a taxicab company or driver, you may recover all of your medical costs and physical therapy bills. This is true even if your private health insurer, Medicare, or Medicaid covered the costs of some or all of those bills.
Lost earning capacity – In some cases, the injuries sustained in a serious limousine accident can totally incapacitate you. As a result, accident victims are sometimes forced to switch to lighter duty jobs—or even switch careers altogether, if they are able to work at all. In that instance, you may recover the compensation necessary to assist you with making this transition, as well as damages to compensate you for having to move from a higher paying job to a lower paying job—or the lost ability to work at all.
The Houston team of personal injury lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, understand the pain, suffering, and frustration that accompany a serious limousine accident. Our experienced limo accident attorneys are ready to pursue settlement or litigation in your case and assist you with legally recovering fair and just compensation for your damages.
Call a Houston Limousine Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
Limousine accidents have the potential to result in serious injuries and damages.
When you pursue legal action against a limousine driver or limousine company, the insurance company is not on your side. In fact, the insurance company will do everything that it can to undermine your cas. The team of lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can meet with you to discuss your case and can develop a plan for moving forward. Our goal is simple: To help you maximize the monetary value of your case and obtain the greatest physical, mental and emotional healing possible for you.
The legal team of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, consists of nationally recognized car and limousine accident lawyers who have protected the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a limousine accident, call our office right now for your free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
See what past clients have to say:
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“Mr. Guss was wonderful. He fought hard against the insurance company to get us what we deserved. I went from owing almost $5000 in medical bills to actually getting money in my pocket. Absolutely Amazing!!!!! A big thank you from me and my family!!!” -Karley B.