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If you have been injured while riding in a limousine, then — pursuant to Florida law — you may be able to recover damages to compensate you for your injuries. Despite the fact that you may have a legitimate claim, the litigation process can be overwhelming for those unaccustomed to the procedures and difficulties of a personal injury lawsuit. As such, we highly encourage those who have been injured in limousine accidents to contact a Fort Lauderdale limousine accident attorney at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. as soon as possible. We can work with you early on in the process and help you secure sufficient and fair compensation.
Though, at first glance, limousine accident lawsuits may seem quite similar to standard car accident lawsuits, a closer look at the law reveals the unique character of a limousine accident claim.
Limousine accidents can lead to more serious injury repercussions, in large part because of the inherent design of the limousine. Stretch limousines tend to be heavier and longer than most standard passenger vehicles, which leads to a lengthy minimum braking distance (and a much less maneuverable vehicle overall). Further, passengers in the “lounge” area of a limousine wear seatbelts infrequently, which can lead to particularly severe injuries in the event of an accident, and because the lounge area of the limousine has seats with seatbacks adjacent to the window, the negative consequences of a side impact accident may be significantly worsened.
Under Florida law, limousines qualify as common carriers — persons or entities that provide a passenger transportation service in exchange for financial consideration. Common carrier qualification has a substantial impact on the potential liability of the limousine driver and the limousine company, as common carriers are required to provide a reasonably safe means of transportation. This exercise of reasonable care is higher than the standard of care associated with normal vehicles, however. To put it simply: common carriers (such as limousines) owe their passengers a heightened duty of care to ensure their safety.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of the limousine driver in the Fort Lauderdale area, then you may be able to sue the limousine company pursuant to theories of vicarious liability and negligent hiring/supervision.
A company may be found vicariously liable for injuries caused by the negligence of their employees, so long as the employee at-issue was acting within the course and scope of their employment at the time of the accident. In the context of limousines, a Fort Lauderdale limousine driver who is driving passengers as part of normal, paid limousine service will likely expose their employer (the limousine company) to liability.
Though it may not be clear initially, further investigation may reveal that your limousine driver was improperly supervised, or perhaps had a risky driving history or personal history, in which case such driver should not have been hired for the position. For example, if a limousine driver has a long history of alcoholism, then the limousine company may expose themselves to a claim of negligent hiring in the event that the limousine driver causes an accident (while under the influence).
David I. Fuchs is an attorney with nearly 30 years of experience litigating limousine and other motor vehicle accident cases for clients located in Fort Lauderdale and across the state of Florida. He has dedicated his career to providing high-quality, aggressive advocacy, and he has successfully represented several clients who have been involved in limousine accidents.