Strange as it may sound, it isn’t always the case that someone is at fault for an auto accident.
A limousine accident is not a pleasant experience, but being in the chauffeured passenger transportation business, it is an experience that you may have to endure. The following case study taken from Lancer’s LimoDirect extensive claims data illustrates how, in this incident involving two vehicles, the chauffeur did nothing wrong and the other driver was also negligence-free.
On a clear and dry early morning in January, a chauffeur was driving his limousine to pick up a regular client. He was traveling in a wooded residential area on a 35 m.p.h. two-lane street with the lanes separated by a double yellow line. The limo was moving north within the speed limit; the south-bound traffic was steady but not heavy. Suddenly, a south-bound vehicle struck a deer sending the animal across the road where it crashed through the limousine’s front windshield. The chauffeur was grazed by the deer as it flew over his right shoulder and landed in the rear seat. Thankfully, he was able to bring his limo to a controlled stop, and had the entire incident captured by his dashboard-mounted video camera.
With deer blood and entrails covering the limousine’s interior, the vehicle had to be declared a total loss because all the carpet and leather would have to be replaced, the steering column, dashboard, engine and all vents would have to be cleaned, and these costs, when added to the body repair estimates, came to over $25,000. Additionally, the chauffeur needed plastic surgery to his face, and suffered other minor injuries that kept him out of work for a protracted period.
Both Lancer and the other driver’s insurance company agreed to go to binding arbitration rather than spend thousands of dollars on a trial. The arbitrator found that neither driver was liable and that the other vehicle’s insurer could not be held liable in a deer “dart out” case. In other words, neither driver did anything wrong.
Although rare, these situations do happen and, when they do, it’s a very frustrating
experience. Practicing defensive driving skills behind the wheel, being aware of the route, traffic conditions and weather, and continually scanning the road for what may lie ahead, can help prevent most accidents. But if a crash occurs, professional drivers should know the steps to take to manage the accident scene. Lancer’s LimoDirect has a free and exclusive chauffeur training video on this topic available to our policyholders: Taking Charge: How To Control An Accident Scene.
Please remember that proper training, safe driving habits and adequate preparation can
help a chauffeur deal with a crash situation.