It was a birthday celebration that turned deadly. A crash involving a limousine in Schoharie, New York, on the afternoon of Saturday, October 6, killed 20 people, including the driver, 17 passengers, and two pedestrians. The limousine failed to come to a stop and lost control while proceeding through a busy intersection.
An investigation showed that the stretch limousine, a converted 2001 Ford Excursion, had failed safety inspections shortly before the crash and was not supposed to be on the road. In inspections made on September 4, Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service, the company which owned the vehicle, had its limos cited for defective brakes, lack of proper emergency exits, flat or balding tires, defective windshield wipers, and other maintenance problems. In addition, the driver was not even licensed to operate the vehicle, as he did not have a commercial driver license (CDL) with a passenger endorsement.
Both the company and the vehicle had been watched by the New York Department of Transportation in the past, but the company still managed to put a defective vehicle on the road driven by a driver without a proper license.
Factors like noncompliance with government regulation and safety standards, driver negligence, human error, equipment malfunction, defective parts, faulty maintenance, or even poorly designed roadways can all increase the risk of a serious or deadly crash.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or someone has died in a crash involving a limousine or any other vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. However, due to the complexity and issues involving these accidents, your case must be handled correctly and competently by an attorney experienced in auto/truck crashes, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to.
Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to win a good settlement or to go to trial if necessary. Our skilled and experienced Pennsylvania auto accident attorneys have represented any number of individuals who have been injured or killed in vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania.
We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation, so contact us at our office or online today.
Problems with Limousines
Even without defects or violations, there are potential dangers with stretch limousines. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), after-market modifications to a vehicle may affect its structural integrity and safety, and this may potentially increase the risk of serious injuries in a crash. For example, limousines typically feature floor-to-ceiling pillars to help protect passengers, but these may be absent in modified vehicles.
The NTSB’s records show that limousine crashes have killed at least 68 people since 2000.
What Pennsylvania Companies Are Doing
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), a modified vehicle must undergo an enhanced safety inspection at the time the vehicle is modified. In addition, Pennsylvania law requires a CDL for the driver of a limousine designed to transport 16 or more passengers.
In addition, some local limousine companies are taking steps to help prevent crashes. These include:
- Examining a ten-year driving record when hiring drivers
- Monitoring speeds with daily safety logs, which are reviewed regularly by management
- Inspecting vehicles annually and taking them off the road until problems are fixed.
- Retrofitting and purchasing vehicles that are safer and with GPS control.
Litigation and Unlawful Death
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a limousine crash you may be entitled to recover damages, including:
1) economic damages, which include compensation for past and future medical and hospital expenses, rehabilitation expenses, past and future wage loss and loss of wage horizon, and other out-of-pocket expenses;
2) it is often said economic damage are the tip of the iceberg. Therefore a person is entitled to claim non-economic damages, including loss of life’s pleasures until death, emotional distress, pain and suffering; and
3) physical impairment and disfigurement and, depending upon the case, other specialized damages.
You may have several types of claims, including:
- negligence of the driver
- negligence against the owner of the limousine and company
- negligent entrustment or negligent hiring, training and supervision
- claims against the manufacturer, retailer, modifier, or maintenance crews of any defective or malfunctioning parts on the limousine.
Contact an Attorney at Our Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a limousine crash, you should get immediate legal assistance to protect your rights at every stage of your liability claim.
The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania auto/truck accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades honing his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome. With our competent staff, we offer strength in experience while providing top-notch personal service.
Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award. Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years. Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir. Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice.
One of Cliff Rieders’ books specifically involves the Financial Responsibility Law which governs many considerations with respect to auto/truck and other vehicle collisions in Pennsylvania.
Cliff Rieders was involved in the writing of the Mcare Act, which governs medical liability actions in Pennsylvania, and he wrote the book on medical malpractice that lawyers use in the state. Cliff teaches the subject of medical malpractice at seminars attended by the leading lawyers in the state. Cliff Rieders is recognized as an outstanding authority in the medical malpractice field. Cliff has even testified before the legislature on medical malpractice laws. Rieders is a Nationally Board certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.
Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States. Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields. Cliff Rieders does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.
We offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Don’t delay. Contact Rieders Travis today by calling or completing our online contact form to set up your free consultation.
Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.