COMMENTARY: Fast Action Best Way To Manage Accidents

Posted on May 15, 2009

"That thou doest, do quickly"

John, 13:27

Emergency Medical Technicians call it the "golden hour." Law enforcement personnel refer to it as the "window of opportunity." Limousine claim specialists label it the "case compass."

What are these disparate professionals referring to in their industry specific jargon?

Simply put: The very brief period of time following a medical, criminal, or accident situation in which the respective practitioners have the ability to quickly intervene and set the course of future events - for better or for worse.

The Phone Call Starts the Clock

For a limousine company owner, his or her ability to control, rather than be controlled by events following an accident involving a company vehicle is very short lived. And, with that being the case, critical proactive steps must be taken by company management and its insurer immediately.

Lancer's limousine claim specialists suggest you consider taking most, if not all, of the "dos and don'ts" actions listed below in the first 15-60 minutes after receiving notification of an accident involving one of your limousines.


  • Ensure that immediate needs of the injured are addressed
  • Notify emergency responders
  • If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location
  • Activate & deploy, flashers, flares and safety triangles
  • Have staff available to respond to family inquiries regarding passengers
  • Activate your media response plan
  • Identify and direct witnesses to the police
  • Photograph involved vehicles & the surrounding scene
  • Report the accident to your insurance company
  • Forward the names and contact information of passengers to your insurer
  • Place a "freeze" on all documentation related to the involved vehicle & driver, including electronic records
  • Prepare for regulatory review; get your records in order.
  • Ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements


  • Do not admit to any liability
  • Do not apologize, but express care and concern
  • Do not download data from ECM or remove an event video recording device until after speaking with your claims representative or insurer's attorney
  • Do not initiate repairs or alter condition of your vehicle until after speaking with your claims representative or insurer's attorney
  • Do not commit to paying for property damage, medical bills or claims of any type until after speaking with your claims representative.

The key to managing a serious limousine accident is to have a written crisis management plan in place. Key responsibilities must be assigned to specific individuals in the company and, if possible, simulations to test the plan (and people) must be performed on some periodic basis to make sure that the plan and its implementers can stand up to the pressures presented by a real accident.

In the absence of a plan and company personnel prepared to carry it out, you are left in a position of reacting to events and lose control of your ability to effectively manage the situation in its critical early stages.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Go Riteway Celebrates 60 Years In Bus Business

The Wisconsin company started with just four school buses and now has 1,000 vehicles serving several ground transportation sectors.

Colorado Operator Buys Affiliate To Widen Service Region

eNews Exclusive: B-Line Express in Vail will now cover even more ground in the retail-heavy state.

Why Uber Can't Be Fixed And Must Be Shut Down

Analysis: The TNC's lower costs brought lower prices, with resulting popularity and growth. But its use of noncommercial cars was unlawful from the start.

Empire CLS Featured In Meetings + Events Magazine

The article describes the chauffeured transportation provider's newest additions to its fleet: 56-passenger motorcoaches.

Unique II Brings Its Luxury Service To Florida FBO

The New Jersey company expands its chauffeured experience to  private charter jet clientele at Opa-locka.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - July 2017 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Why These Titans Work So Hard to Give it Away * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close