Proms and weddings are often magical milestones. Partygoers want the magic to begin as soon as they leave the house. Often, the celebration starts in the limousines that people take with their friends and loved ones to get to a prom or wedding.
Once they are in the limo, they don’t have to worry about driving. They don’t have to worry about getting lost, staying sober, or watching for other motorists because the limo driver is supposed to do all of that for them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean that they arrive at the prom or a wedding safely.
Limousine Travel Can Be Dangerous
While limo travel eliminates some of the risks described above, it also presents other dangers. For example:
- You may not be wearing a seat belt. Even if you always wear a seat belt while traveling in a regular car, you may not be wearing one in the limo.
- The limo itself may be unsafe. Many limos are retrofitted after they leave the car manufacturer. Limo companies add seating, bars, and sometimes even length to the vehicle. This can make the vehicle unsafe.
- The limo driver or another motorist may be negligent. You are dependent on other people to use reasonable care to avoid a crash.
If the limo driver, the limo company, the limo maintenance provider, or another driver is negligent, then a serious crash and catastrophic injuries may occur.
Iowa Limousine Safety Rules
In recent years, Iowa has loosened its limousine safety regulations so that limos can remain competitive with rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft. The amount of state regulation depends on how many people a limousine is designed to transport. More specifically:
- Limos that carry 15 or fewer passengers do not need a driver who has a commercial driver’s license. Instead, these limo drivers must have a Class D or Chauffer’s License. Limo drivers do not need to take extra written or road tests to obtain a Class D license.
- Limos that carry 16 or more passengers are still required to get a commercial driver’s license. To qualify for a commercial driver’s license, a driver must pass a background check, physical, written test, and road test.
Many municipalities that used to regulate limos have also revised safety regulations in recent years. In 2017, for example, both Cedar Rapids and Des Moines removed local licensing, city inspections, and other regulations on limos drivers and limousines.
Federal regulations still apply to limo companies that transport people over state lines. Limos that are engaged in interstate travel must: (1) register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; (2) have at least a $1.5 million insurance policy if they carry 15 or fewer passengers or at least a $5 million insurance policy if they carry 16 or more passengers; and (3) designate a process agent who can be served with legal papers if a lawsuit is filed against the limousine company.
How You Can Recover From a Limo Accident
The aftermath of a limo accident can be overwhelming and scary. What started as a fun way to get to your prom or wedding, ended with an accident that resulted in significant and painful injuries. What should be a happy time in your life is now complicated with physical injuries and emotional suffering.
You shouldn’t have to live with the financial consequences of a limo accident that you did not cause. Instead, you should contact an experienced Iowa personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies know that our attorneys mean business and that we will fight hard for your recovery of healthcare expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages.
Call us, or start a live chat with us now, to schedule a free and confidential consultation in any of our Iowa offices. We have offices in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, and Quad Cities. If you can’t come to us, then one of our attorneys will come to you to discuss your potential claim, so please reach out to us today.