A supersized limousine crashed in upstate New York this week, killing the 18 people inside, as well as 2 pedestrians. The limo was headed to a brewery for a 30th birthday party for one of the passengers. According to the Los Angeles Times, the limo “ran a stop sign at a T-shaped intersection at the bottom of a hill and slammed into an unoccupied SUV.”
Investigators have yet to determine the exact cause of the accident. The crash left no visible skid marks on the road, which may mean the driver failed to brake. Investigators have uncovered several other negative details about the incident. As it turns out, the limousine had failed a safety inspection last month and the driver was not properly licensed.
Large-limo wrecks are typically uncommon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were only “12 [limo crashes] nationwide between 2012 and 2016, compared with over 157,000 crashes involving all types of vehicles during that period.” However, crashes involving limos are often more severe. The state of California has not been immune to limo crashes. For example, in 2013 five women celebrating a bachelorette party were killed when their stretch limo caught on fire in Northern California.
Since this accident, many people are asking the National Transportation Safety Board to create stricter regulations for limousines. Regulations exist for cars and buses, but limousines are different. Proponents of these regulations believe limos need particular treatment because they are modified after they leave the manufacturer. Modifications, which can include cutting the car in half and extending it, can alter protective features originally put in the car like rollover pillars or airbags. Without these safety features, a crash in a limo can be much more severe.
In this tragic case, the family members of the victims in this accident should reach out to a wrongful death attorney immediately. Although the facts currently appear to be pointing this way, if it is determined that either the limo company or limo driver were negligent or intentionally ignored or skipped necessary maintenance, the family members of the victims can file wrongful death claims on behalf of their loved ones. Companies typically carry commercial insurance and that insurance will have to cover a portion of the significant damages incurred with a horrible incident like this.
A wrongful death case cannot help ease the pain of the untimely loss of a loved one, but it can help ease the financial hardships such a loss can cause. Wrongful death damages can help a family receive financial compensation for medical costs, funeral costs, and even loss of future earnings. If you have lost a loved one in a Limo accident or another accident where a driver or a company could be at fault, such as a train or bus accident, in Southern California, you should reach out to a wrongful death attorney at Walch Law. Our California wrongful death lawyers have years of experience in handling difficult cases. Call our office for a free consultation at, 1-866-INJURY2.