These luxury car drivers must normally complete a brief, state-approved course before they get behind the wheel. But this brief training cannot possibly prepare them to drive large vehicles at night and in heavy traffic. Furthermore, these operators have additional responsibilities as they drive. They must ensure that their passengers are safe, from the pickup all the way to the dropoff.
The dedicated limo accident attorneys at Payer Law know what it takes to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. So, we promptly evaluate your claim and identify your legal options. Then, we collect evidence which supports your positions and refutes any possible insurance company defenses. Finally, we never stop fighting for you.
Duty of Care
As mentioned, most limo drivers have dual responsibilities. The duty of care is very high, in terms of roadway and passenger safety.
Most noncommercial Florida motorists have a duty of reasonable care. They must drive defensively and avoid accidents when possible. Most commercial operators in the Sunshine State have a duty of utmost care. They must take affirmative steps to avoid accidents.
Driving in bad weather is a good example of the difference. When it rains hard, most noncommercial operators must slow down, in deference to the adverse conditions. Arguably, commercial operators have a duty to pull over, at least until the rain lessens. The risk of a weather-related accident is too high for a driver with a duty of utmost care to ignore.
Furthermore, since limo passengers hire these cars, their passengers are invitees in Florida. This designation applies to anyone who has permission to be in a car or on other property, and if that person’s presence benefits the owner in some way.
We mentioned the duty of reasonable care in the context of motor vehicle operators above. Property owners, or their agents, like their drivers, have a duty to ensure that the vehicle is safe. They also have a duty to inspect the property to ensure continued safety. These hazards often involve alcohol consumption. Many limo passengers drink quite a bit.
On a related note, limo drivers must pick up and drop off passengers at safe locations. Busy streets and dark parking lots are not safe locations.
To establish driver negligence, our Orlando limo accident lawyers typically use the ordinary negligence doctrine or the negligence per se shortcut. Driver distraction illustrates the difference between these theories.
Cell phones aren’t the only distracted driving cause. In fact, they aren’t even the leading cause. However, these gadgets do combine all three forms of distracted driving, which are:
- Cognitive (mind off driving),
- Visual (eyes off the road), and
- Cognitive (mind off driving).
Despite this risk, Florida has a rather limited cell phone ban. It usually only applies to talking or texting while driving. So, the negligence per se rule, which is basically a violation of a safety law, doesn’t come up much in this context.
Ordinary negligence, which is basically a lack of care, is different. Activities which distract drivers include using a hand-held phone, using a hands-free phone, drinking while driving, and eating while driving. If negligence caused injury, the driver could be legally responsible for damages.
These damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
The company which owned the limo is financially responsible for damages, at least in most cases. Respondeat superior applies if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was an employee who was acting within the scope and course of employment at the time. Florida law defines all these key terms in broad, victim-friendly ways.
Contact a Hard-Working Orange County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced limo accident attorney in Orlando, contact Payer Law. We have an office in Orlando.