Partygoers across New York City rang in 2019 by riding in limos across the city, sipping champagne and enjoying the festive sights. With everyone in a celebratory mood, it’s easy to forget the recent limousine accident that killed 20 people in central New York. This crash, which took the lives of the stretch limousine driver, 17 passengers, and two pedestrians, was the worst U.S. road accident in over a decade.

The passengers were traveling to Cooperstown in a converted 2001 Ford Excursion to celebrate someone’s 30th birthday. The vehicle went off the road at the bottom of a hill after running past a stop sign and hitting a parked vehicle.

The New York State Police arrested the operator of the limousine company for criminally negligent homicide. The charges allegedly stemmed from the fact that the vehicle had repeatedly failed inspections, including one the month before the tragedy.

Limousines are regarded as an enjoyable way to celebrate special occasions like weddings, birthdays, high school proms, and other life milestones. As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, they are also a popular way to make New Year’s Eve more spectacular. But they can present a greater risk on the road. For example:

  • Due to their massive weight, limousines take longer to stop, making it difficult to avert a sudden catastrophe.
  • Some limousine companies will put as many passengers into a vehicle as they can in order to make more money and disregard the fact that there are not enough seat belts for everyone.
  • Not all limo drivers work full-time. Many of them have day jobs, and driving late at night can leave them tired and unable to handle the vehicle in difficult driving conditions.

All of these factors can put you and others at risk of an accident. If a crash occurs, then it can change your life. Devastating injuries take a financial and emotional toll on you and your family, but a New York personal injury attorney can ensure that the at-fault parties are held accountable for their negligence. This may include:

  • If they violate traffic laws, drive too quickly, or fall asleep at the wheel, then the limousine driver may be liable.
  • The limousine company can be sued for damages if the car was defective or it employs unqualified mechanics or drivers.
  • If the limousine company uses an independent company to maintain its fleet, then that company may be liable for its negligent maintenance practices.
  • If the accident was caused by the reckless conduct of another motorist, then that driver may be held responsible.

A New York personal injury attorney will help you identify the parties responsible for your injuries and get you the settlement or award you need. If you or a loved one were injured in a motor vehicle accident, then contact the law office of Jayson Lutzky, P.C. Mr. Lutzky will fight to get the compensation that you need for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. He offers free in person consultations. Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment.