Riding in a limousine is always a special occasion. Whether it’s taking you to the prom, to a wedding, or to a New Year’s Eve party, a limo will always make its occupants feel like royalty. Unfortunately, a glamorous occasion can quickly turn to tragedy. No vehicle is immune to traffic accidents, and limos are no exception.
In October 2018, a large group of family and friends were headed to a 30th birthday celebration when the limo they were riding in crashed near Schoharie, NY. All 17 passengers and the driver were killed, along with two pedestrians.
The limo crash was one of the deadliest transportation accidents in recent memory in the U.S., and it might have been prevented. Investigators determined that the limo involved had repeatedly had its insurance canceled, and had allegedly failed multiple inspections.
Verify credentials and insurance
Before signing a contract with a limo company, you should always request proof of insurance. If you’re making the arrangements well in advance of your trip, you should check again that the insurance is still valid before you set foot in the limo. Ensure that the document you’re looking at covers the specific limo you’ll be riding it.
You should also request to see the driver’s license. In many states, drivers of limousines need a special license. In New York, limousine drivers must obtain a class E driver’s license. And for drivers that operate in New York City, additional documentation may be required through the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). During the investigation into the deadly limo crash near Schoharie, it was determined that the driver lacked the proper licensing to operate the vehicle.
Check for DOT inspections
Vehicles that can carry more than nine (paying) passengers are legally required to be certified by the Department of Transportation. They must undergo an intensive inspection every six months. Additionally, they must pass a less formal inspection in between rigorous inspections. Riders should always request proof that the limo has passed the most recent DOT inspection.
Talk to the driver
Just like other drivers, limo drivers may make poor decisions. You should have a brief conversation with the driver before climbing into a limo. While you chat, consider whether the driver looks or acts impaired. Do you smell alcohol? Does the driver’s eyes look bloodshot? Does the driver yawn frequently? These are all red flags that should tell you to skip the limo ride.
Steps to take after a motor vehicle accident
After any crash, the most important things to do first are to make sure everyone is okay, and to call for emergency assistance. A crash can leave you feeling shaken, and you may need some time to gather your emotions. But it’s best not to wait too long to contact a personal injury lawyer. There will be medical bills to pay and property damage to deal with, and a lawyer can provide legal guidance you can rely on.
After a crash in Long Island or the New York City area, you and your family can turn to the veteran car accident lawyers at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye. With more than 25 years of experience in and out of the courtroom, our law firm can maximize your chances of a favorable settlement or jury award.
Call us today at 1.800.469.7429 to request a free confidential consultation.
- CNN, The limo that crashed and killed 20 people failed inspection. And the driver wasn’t properly licensed. https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/08/us/new-york-limo-crash/index.html
- NPR, Fatal N.Y. Limo Crash Raises Safety Questions About ‘Frankenstein’ Vehicles, https://www.npr.org/2018/10/08/655674840/fatal-n-y-limo-crash-raises-safety-questions-about-frankenstein-vehicles