Limousines are not an uncommon site at hotels and airports across Chicago. As one of the largest cities (and top tourist destinations) in the United States, hotels looking to offer its guests a luxurious experience often work hand-in-hand with limousine companies to provide top-notch transportation services across the Windy City. Although being involved in a limousine crash while arriving to or departing from your hotel may be the last thing on your mind, limousine accidents have become an increasingly large concern within the city. You may have never had to contact a Chicago limo accident attorney, but suddenly it’s a very real option. Transportation accidents can put a damper on your business trip, family vacation or night on the town. And they may leave you with serious long-term injuries that require a call to a Chicago personal injury law firm.
What are the common causes of Chicago limousine accidents?
Like other types of car wrecks, limo accidents can often be traced back to the negligent or careless behavior of the driver behind the wheel of the limo. It’s the responsibility of both limousine companies and chauffeurs to ensure the safety of passengers at all times. Sometimes, they don’t, leaving passengers at risk to suffer serious injuries in the event of a limo crash. Common causes of limousine accidents at Chicago hotels include:
- Impaired, distracted, or fatigued driving. It’s expected that chauffeurs – like all other drivers on the road – avoid driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s expected, too, that these drivers avoid distractions such as cell phones and remain well-rested while behind the wheel of their vehicle.
- Improperly trained drivers. Rules and regulations dictating who can operate a limo are strict in Illinois and require both special training and a special designation on a driver’s license. However, some companies might be cutting corners and allowing untrained limo drivers to operate vehicles – potentially putting the lives of passengers at risk.
- Limousine company negligence. As with trucks and other large and heavy commercial vehicles, proper maintenance of a limousine company’s fleet is critical in maintaining the safety of passengers. A failure to properly maintain brakes, turn signals, and rear suspension can have tragic consequences if this equipment’s failure causes an accident.
- Overloaded limos. A limousine that’s carrying too many passengers may become more difficult to control, leading to difficulties in turning or stopping a limousine. While limousine companies and chauffeurs may know this, sometimes they put profits ahead of people and allow an unsafe amount of people to ride inside the vehicle.
What are the common types of limousine accidents in Chicago?
Although both chauffeurs and their limousine companies are expected to avoid such negligent behaviors, a failure to adhere to these standards can easily have disastrous consequences at a hotel thanks to a combination of tight parking spaces, limited access roads, and pedestrian traffic coming to and from the hotel. Common types of limo accidents at Chicago hotels can include the following:
- Rear-end accidents. These accidents occur when a limousine driver fails to stop in time and hits the car in front of them, potentially leaving passengers inside the limo (and the vehicle ahead of the limo) with serious injuries.
- Sideswipes. Due to the size of the average stretch limo, navigating around fixed objects in hotel parking lots can be a difficult task. An improperly trained driver may have extra difficulty in doing so, striking an object in a hotel parking lot or turnaround.
- Hitting parked cars. The size of a limousine also makes it difficult to navigate parking lots, which can often become convoluted at a busy Chicago-area hotel. Even a low-speed impact can lead to serious injuries due to the force and nature of the crash.
- Pedestrian accidents. Limousine passengers aren’t the only ones at risk. A distracted, impaired or fatigued chauffeur may leave a pedestrian in a parking lot or valet parking area with serious – or life threatening – injuries in the event of an accident.
Dealing with the hotel – and limousine company – after an accident
Naturally, you might feel confused, frightened, or angry after a limousine accident. However, as any top limo or hotel accident lawyer in Chicago could tell you, both the limousine company – and the hotel – may try to deny any fault in the accident. They might even try to blame each other for the circumstances that caused your accident. When you’re the one who has been hurt, it’s not fair to be treated as a statistic by multiple parties who want to keep money in their own pockets – and out of yours. A limousine accident lawyer in Chicago might be able to help you uncover the true cause of your accident, hold negligent parties responsible for your accident, and secure the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.