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Chicago RV Accident Lawyer Representing Injured People

rv-accident-lawsuit The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent litigants in RV accidents. Our Chicago RV accident lawyers diligently build our cases to ensure full financial compensation for our clients.

While we prepare our RV accident cases to settle out of court, we are always ready to fight on your behalf if a trial is required. Contact our truck accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss what happened to you or a loved one.

Motor homes or RVs are commonly seen on the nation's highways as people hit the road driving increasingly bigger and more luxurious vehicles.

Both retirees and vacationers enjoy the freedom motor homes, and camper vans offer to travel in comfort and style across the country. However, the size and weight of large buses and motor homes are daunting.

Plus, RV owners need no specific driving permit or licensing requirements to get behind the wheel and get on the roadway. The size and inexperience of drivers can make RVs a menace to other road users if the RV drivers make dangerous turns or struggle against the turbulent wind, which may result in an accident

Our experienced attorneys offer legal advice to families after a Chicago, Illinois RV accident case so that they understand their legal rights and know-how to file a personal injury claim.

Illinois Recreational Vehicles: Types & Classifications

Recreational vehicles or motorhomes come in all sizes, from smaller "camper" vehicles to the large bus-shaped Class A varieties. However, all tend to be taller, wider, and longer than most standard passenger vehicles, making them more challenging to maneuver besides giving the drivers limited visibility.

The different types of RVs include:

  • Class C Motorhomes. Most Class C RVs are built on a cutaway van chassis. These are often called "mini" motorhomes and are easier to drive than the larger varieties. The front end looks more like a truck or van.
  • Class B Motorhomes. Class B motorhomes are designed like van campers and are usually constructed on a van wheelbase like Class C RVs.
  • Class A Motorhomes. For most people, a "Class A" RV is the most commonly recognized RV. These units are the most comfortable and luxurious but also the most hazardous on the road. Some Class A recreational vehicles measure up to 45 feet long and 8.5 feet wide and are built on a bus chassis.

Many states do not require an RV driver to have a commercial driver's license (CDL) to operate most motorized RVs, including truck campers, travel trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, and toy haulers (fifth-wheel trailers with ramps).

However, most states require a special license for any motorized vehicle weighing over 26,001 pounds or towed vehicles over 10,000 pounds, including towable RVs, touring coaches, and luxurious RVs.

Dangers RVs Pose to Motorists on the Road

RVs, primarily Class A recreational vehicles, are just as dangerous to traveling passenger vehicles as any large truck or bus on the road. In addition to risks due to size, weight, equipment failure problems, and ability to stop or maneuver, RVs have the riskiest element behind the wheel.

Whereas truckers must obtain training to get an exclusive commercial truck license, are routinely checked to ensure adherence to DOT and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standards, inexperienced drivers of RVs do not have any such requirements.

A motorhome is more challenging to drive than any other car, truck, or routine van. Some specific differences that can lead to RV/truck accidents include:

  • Rollover tendency: RVs are more likely to roll or tip over like any tall, narrow vehicle. Class A motorhomes are especially susceptible to a rollover due to their wheelbase when negotiating a curve or swerving to avoid an object on the road.
  • Stopping distance: Class A RVs can range up to 30,000 pounds, putting them in a "large truck" classification by transportation standards. This weight increases their stopping distance and force of impact.
  • Visibility: Just like tractor-trailers and buses, RVs drivers have limited visibility. In addition, they have numerous blind spots that hide other road users. When larger vehicles are close to each other, these blind spots become even deadlier.
  • Engine and electrical dangers: The engine's weight in an RV is high up on the frame compared to regular passenger vehicles. Therefore, any impact may cause the engine to shift or push it against something else, crushing occupants if they are not wearing a seat belt.
  • Distracted RV drivers: Distracted driving is a serious problem leading to vehicle accidents when passengers aboard the RV distract the drivers. Passengers might be in the driver's area or walking around, making it difficult for the operator to concentrate. This distraction problem is common in Class A RV than in smaller recreational vehicles with a smaller front living space.
  • Towing Vehicle problems: A towing vehicle accident can occur if the hook between the RV and the towing vehicle is not properly attached. Intersection dangers RVs are required to use turn indicators similar to passenger vehicles. Due to their sheer sizes, RVs sometimes fail to stop immediately at the red lights, which may result in accidents,

Also, an RV driver is likely unfamiliar with the right of way and may not have driven anything bigger than a typical passenger car. This inexperience can lead to confusion and erratic decisions when maneuvering through traffic.

Our RV accident attorneys investigate catastrophic accidents to evaluate the extensive damage and liability (who caused the accident).

During the crash reconstruction investigation, an RV accident lawyer will gather evidence, review medical records & police accident reports, and find experts who can provide testimonies and compelling arguments to negotiate a settlement.

Is An RVer Responsible for Avoiding Car Accidents?

Any vehicle operator is responsible for taking the necessary steps to avoid a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian. This responsibility includes maintaining a safe following distance and always being aware of other motor vehicles and pedestrians who may step onto the road without warning.

When an RVer does not take these precautions, an accident can occur, resulting in injuries and death. In addition, in some cases, an RV driver may be responsible for an RV crash due to negligence. For example:

  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Failing to give right-of-way
  • Driving through a crowded intersection
  • Failing to stop or slow down for school buses and children crossing the road
  • Failure to use turn signals regularly
  • Overtaking another vehicle at a corner or at other dangerous spots without indicating.
  • Driving while using electronic distraction devices, such as laptops, cellphones, video games, or other electronics

What Is the Definition of Negligence?

Negligence is defined as a failure to act with just or reasonable care. In most cases, negligence involves careless actions that can cause injury to another party. For instance, drivers not being attentive, distracted, and over-speeding can result in accidents.

If drivers are found negligent, they can be held responsible for the accidents and liable for damages. The amount of negligence can vary widely depending on the specific details of each case.

If negligence exceeds a certain threshold, the driver will be deemed to have acted recklessly or with gross negligence. In addition, failure can result in more severe punishments for passenger vehicle accidents involving injuries and deaths emanating from the driver's actions.

Recreational Vehicle Accidents: Risk Factors & Statistics

Motor homes and camper vans' big size pose a challenge to safe driving. Moreover, they require routine maintenance like tire inspections and replacements to be safe. However, towing such a large RV is more dangerous than towing a much smaller vehicle.

RVs drivers should never tow anything else other than the designated vehicles while on a long journey. Whereas an RV consumes little gasoline on a long trip, its components can get damaged if it's not properly latched.

The incorrect handling of an RV can cause damage to brakes, chassis, steering systems, lighting equipment, transmissions, and much more. In addition, latching trailers incorrectly can lead to a rollover accident when going down hills at high speeds in windy conditions.

These accidents often occur when the driver is unfamiliar with handling an RV and not adequately prepared to travel long distances or in adverse weather conditions, leading to severe injuries requiring immediate medical care.

Car Accidents Involving Recreational Vehicles: The Statistics

Individuals involved in RVs accidents may have many legal options. The level of recovery largely depends on the type of accident, which can range from minor to severe.

The most common types of accidents resulting from an RV collision are:

  • Collisions with other cars and vehicles
  • Rolling over or flipping due to improper latching of a trailer, wind conditions, or bad weather
  • Striking an object on the road, such as a tree or pole
  • Driver fatigue or accidentally falling asleep behind the wheel
  • Falling embankments into riverbeds and other water bodies

Wrecks are caused by improper handling of the vehicle, such as latching incorrectly during towing. These types of accidents can result in significant levels of injuries, including brain trauma, broken bones, back pain, and spinal cord damage.

Many minor RV crashes occur when motor homes and camper vans collide with smaller vehicles. However, serious injury can happen even when an RV strikes a smaller vehicle because of the sheer size and weight of the recreational vehicle involved.

RV Accidents: Common Injuries

Many RV drivers suffer severe injuries in passenger vehicle accidents because they are unprepared for rollover accidents. As a result, these accidents can occur very suddenly and without warning, leading to traumatic brain injuries that require immediate medical attention.

Additionally, it is possible for passengers riding inside the RV to be ejected from the vehicle during a rollover accident. During this time, occupants can sustain several severe injuries, including head trauma, spinal injuries from the impact of the fall, or another injury-causing event.

Car Accidents Involving Recreational Vehicles: The Investigation Process

Upon police arrival to an RV accident scene, officers cordon off the area by barricading the roads and highways for safety reasons as investigators gather evidence.

Destroyed or damaged RVs should not be left unattended at these accident scenes until investigators determine they have stopped running and are no longer a danger to other road users.

However, many drivers involved in severe RV accidents might not realize the damage they have caused to their vehicles or other cars and trucks.

These accidents can cause severe injury and create a very dangerous situation for everyone involved, including passengers in other vehicles on the roadway. If you are concerned about the safety of any driver involved in this type of accident, it is advisable to stay at the accident's scene until police arrive.

Traumatic Brain Injuries in RV Accidents

Many passengers and RV drivers sustain traumatic brain injuries (also called TBI or mild Traumatic Brain Injury). The most severe types of these injuries include cerebral contusions and hematoma.

Hematoma is the build-up of blood on the brain, which can lead to swelling and further damage. In addition, the blood collects inside the skull in areas with no room for fluid accumulation; therefore, it often causes serious health issues.

A concussion occurs when an individual's head strikes something hard enough to create a sudden impact, resulting in severe consequences. These injuries can also result in serious, life-long issues for individuals injured in the accident.

The common symptoms of traumatic brain injuries involve:

  • Immediate unconsciousness
  • Headache and severe pain in the head or neck
  • Low levels of alertness or unusual behavior following the accident

A concussion is considered a mild TBI. However, a trauma could still cause severe health problems challenging to manage or treat.

People suffering traumatic brain injuries may require long-term care and treatment in a nursing home, particularly if they have suffered other serious injuries in the accident.

Costs and Injuries After Recreational Vehicle Accidents

For as quickly as they can happen, the effects of an RV incident can linger around long after they arise. The major concern for these events is personal injuries. RV crashes can seriously impact a person's health, including broken bones, knee damage, back & spinal injury, headwounds, facial scarring, and more.

However, after you leave the doctor's clinic, you may find that the accident takes a toll on your health and wallet. If you look at the damage, you might find an element of property damage, lost income, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

All these economic and non-economic effects are actionable in court. The key is knowing how to get relief and do it in the most efficient way possible. We discuss that in the next section!

RV Accident Facts and Figures

Recreational vehicle (RV) statistics show that the leading causes of RV incidents are:

  • RV driver inexperience
  • Driving too fast when road conditions are not ideal
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Not using safety equipment (seatbelts, helmets, etc.)
  • Failing to be on the lookout while driving on the road

The NHTSA estimates that RVs are three times more likely than passenger vehicles to be involved in a fatal accident. There are tens of thousands of RV accidents each year in the United States.

Almost 80,000 people are injured in recreational vehicle crashes annually. In addition, a little more than two dozen people die each year due to RV accidents. Medical personnel note that hundreds of thousands of injuries and accidents may result in hospitalizations or ER visits due to incidents like these.

The rate of RV incidents is far less, by almost two-thirds than that of the rate of normal motor vehicle accidents. Only a few states enforce child safety seat requirements or mandate seat belt use other than in the front seat.

How to Get Relief and Financial Compensation After a RV Accident

If an Illinois recreational vehicle accident occurs, there are only three ways to get help: court, private mediation, and insurance. However, each one of them requires good knowledge of the procedures, considerable resources, and time.

Work with trusted RV accident lawyers and legal advocates. They can help on all fronts to ensure you are compensated for your ongoing medical expenses, past medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, or wrongful death.

Typically, they would start investigating the facts that gave rise to the recreational vehicle (RV) crash. Then, they may learn about the other parties and the legal principles involved in the events.

To figure out exactly what it takes to resolve Illinois RV accident lawsuits, call an experienced attorney today or use the contact form below to discuss how you can recover compensation.

Damages Available in a RV Lawsuit

Illinois law allows plaintiffs to pursue financial compensation for all defendant negligence. Typically, this means economic losses like medical expenses, income losses, and property destruction.

It also generally means non-economic losses from the event, such as pain, suffering, handicap, and loss of normal life. Yet, it frequently covers other things you might not expect, like wrongful death compensation.

Speak with an RV accident lawyer to hear about the financial compensation that may be possible for you in a court. Our law firm is available 24/7 to discuss your case!

These catastrophic crashes can be extremely damaging due to the large size of the vehicle involved. Therefore, do not rely on insurance companies to pay you fairly for your losses.

RV Accident Attorneys Serving the Entire State of Illinois

Were you or a family member seriously injured in a recreational vehicle accident involving an RV or motor home? Are you experiencing extensive damage to both person and property?

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our RV accident lawyers will negotiate with the insurance companies for you to get maximum compensation and are prepared to go to trial if necessary. Contact a personal injury attorney today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for a free case evaluation to discuss your RV accident and your options for recovery.

Our dedicated RV accident attorneys accept every personal injury case and wrongful death claim through contingency fee agreements. This promise ensures you pay nothing to our law firm until we can obtain your financial recovery through a negotiated settlement or jury verdict.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with your RV accident lawyer remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Further Reading on RV Accidents for General Information Purposes

Our accident attorneys practice law in various tort fields. These fields include medical malpractice, car accidents, pedestrian fatality, motorcycle accident cases, premises liability, harmful medications, defective medical devices, product liability, and wrongful death. Call an accident attorney today to discuss legal representation to ensure your family receives the compensation they deserve.

Client Reviews
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa