RV Accident Lawyer
Auto accidents involving an RV can be a disaster, especially if the collision involves other smaller motor vehicles. Recreational vehicles and travel trailers are also much taller, making their center of gravity higher, which means they're more likely to roll over and cause great harm.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent litigants in motorhome accidents. Our RV accident lawyers diligently build our cases to ensure full financial compensation for our clients, who are often left with significant medical bills and other expenses.
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.
Motorhomes 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 motorhomes, and RVs offer to travel in comfort and style across the country. However, the size and weight of large buses and travel trailers are daunting.
RV owners need no specific driving permit or special license requirements to get behind the wheel and get on the roadway other than an operator's license. The size, and inexperience of drivers, can make RVs a menace to other road users if the RV driver makes dangerous turns or struggles against the turbulent wind, which may result in a collision.
Our experienced accident lawyers offer a free case evaluation and legal advice to families after an RV accident case so that they understand their legal rights when considering filing 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. 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.
Camper vans, or conversion vans, are considered Class B motorhomes but are the smallest of all three types. The main difference is the lack of amenities such as bathrooms, kitchens, or cabinets.
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, some states require a special non-commercial driver's 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 motorhomes, are just as dangerous to traveling passenger vehicles as any large truck or bus on the road. In addition to the risks due to size, weight, equipment failure problems, and ability to stop or maneuver, RVs are challenging to drive safely.
Whereas truckers that 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 requirement or special license.
A motorhome is more challenging to drive than most cars, trucks, routine vans, or other vehicles. 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 motor vehicle. Class A campers 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. Inexperienced drivers may not understand the need for longer stopping distances.
- Visibility: Just like tractor-trailers and buses, RV drivers have limited visibility. In addition, they have numerous blind spots that hide other road users. When larger vehicles are close, these blind spots become even deadlier.
- Engine and electrical dangers: The engine's weight is high up on the frame in an RV 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 motorhome drivers: Distracted driving is a serious problem leading to vehicle accidents when passengers aboard the RV distract the driver. Passengers might be in the driver's area or walking around, making it difficult for the operator to concentrate. This distraction problem is more common in Class A RVs than smaller travel trailers 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 size, RVs sometimes fail to stop immediately at red lights, which may result in an auto accident.
Also, an RV driver is likely unfamiliar with the right-of-way and may not have driven anything bigger than a typical passenger motor vehicle. This inexperience can lead to confusion and erratic decisions when maneuvering through traffic.
Our dedicated RV accident attorneys investigate catastrophic incidents and hire accident analysts to evaluate the extensive damage and liability (who caused the accident).
During the crash reconstruction investigation, an RV accident lawyer will gather evidence, review police and medical reports, speak with insurance agents, RV manufacturers and find experts who can provide testimonies and compelling arguments to negotiate a settlement.
Our personal injury lawyers understand how frightening it can be to receive expensive medical bills after an auto accident. Let our accident attorneys help you recover the compensation you deserve.
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 auto accident can occur, resulting in injuries and death. 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 speeding can result in accidents.
If drivers are found negligent, they can be held responsible for the incident and liable for damages. The amount of negligence can vary widely depending on the specific details of each case. Our free consultation will allow your accident lawyer to determine if negligence was involved in your auto accident.
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 motor vehicle accidents involving injuries and deaths emanating from the driver's actions.
Motorhome Accidents: Risk Factors & Statistics
Motorhomes and travel trailers' big size pose a challenge to safe driving. They require routine maintenance like tire and brake inspections. Towing such a large RV is more dangerous than towing a much smaller vehicle.
RV drivers should never tow anything other than the designated vehicles while on a long journey.
The incorrect handling of an RV can cause damage to brakes, chassis, steering systems, lighting equipment, transmissions and even cause tire blowouts. In addition, latching travel 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 serious injuries requiring immediate medical care.
Car Accidents Involving RVs:
The most common types of incidents 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
Many minor RV crashes occur when motorhomes and travel trailers collide with smaller vehicles. However, serious damage can be caused when an RV strikes a smaller vehicle because of the sheer size and weight of the camper involved.
Motorhome Accidents: Common Injuries
Many RV operators suffer severe injuries in passenger vehicle accidents because they are unprepared for rollover mishaps. As a result, these incidents can occur very suddenly and without warning, leading to traumatic brain injuries that require immediate medical attention.
Wrecks are caused by improper handling of the vehicle. These types of accidents can result in significant injuries, including:
- Brain trauma
- Broken bones
- Back pain
- Spinal cord damage
Additionally, it is possible for passengers riding inside the RV to be ejected from the vehicle during a rollover accident.
Car Accidents Involving Motorhomes: 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 campers 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.
Many drivers involved in a severe auto accident might not realize the damage they have caused to their vehicle or other cars and trucks.
These incidents can cause severe injury and create a dangerous situation for everyone involved, including passengers in other vehicles on the roadway. Stay at the scene until police arrive.
Traumatic Brain Injuries in RV Accidents
Many passengers and RV drivers sustain traumatic brain injuries (also called TBI). The most severe types of these injuries include cerebral contusions and hematomas.
Hematoma is the build-up of blood on the brain, leading to swelling. The blood collects inside the skull in areas with no room for fluid accumulation and 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 health consequences. These injuries can also result in serious, life-long issues for individuals hurt in an auto accident.
The common symptoms of traumatic brain injuries involve:
- Headache and severe pain in the head or neck
- Low levels of alertness or unusual behavior following the incident
A concussion is considered a mild TBI. However, head trauma could still cause severe health problems that are challenging to manage or treat, leading to expensive medical bills.
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 incident. It's important to hire an experienced accident attorney in cases such as these. Our free case evaluation will allow us to review your situation and file on your behalf.
Costs and Injuries After Recreational Vehicle Accidents
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 cord injuries, head wounds, facial scarring, etc.
However, after you leave the doctor's clinic, you may find that the auto 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. Your accident attorney will have years of experience fighting these cases and help you recover compensation. The key is knowing how to get relief and do it in the most efficient way possible.
RV Accident Facts and Figures
Travel trailer 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 obey traffic laws
The NHTSA estimates that RVs are three times more likely than passenger vehicles to be involved in a fatal incident. There are tens of thousands of RV accidents each year in the United States.
Almost 80,000 people are injured in recreational vehicle accidents annually. In addition, a little more than two dozen people die each year due to RV incidents and collisions. Medical personnel notes that hundreds of thousands of these injuries and mishaps may result in hospitalizations, ER visits, or doctor visits.
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 of an RV.
How to Get Relief and Financial Compensation After an RV Accident
If an Illinois RV collision occurs, there are three ways to get compensated for damages: through the court, private mediation, and insurance. However, each of them requires good knowledge of the procedures, considerable resources, and time.
Work with trusted auto 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 caused the recreational vehicle (RV) crash. Then, they may learn about the other parties and the legal principles involved in the events.
Our legal team is highly experienced in resolving Illinois RV accident lawsuits. Call an experienced accident lawyer today or use the contact form below to discuss how you can recover compensation.
Damages Available in an RV Lawsuit
Illinois law allows plaintiffs to pursue financial compensation for all defendant negligence. Typically, this means economic losses like medical bills, income losses, and property destruction.
It also generally means non-economic losses from the event, such as pain, suffering, grief, anxiety, and loss of normal life. Yet, it frequently covers things you might not expect, like wrongful death compensation.
These catastrophic crashes can be extremely damaging due to the large size of the vehicle involved. Do not rely on insurance companies to pay you fairly for your losses. Legal representation will fight on your behalf to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your RV accident injuries.
Speak with an RV accident lawyer to hear about the financial compensation that may be possible for you in court. Our law firm is available 24/7 to discuss your case!
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 motorhome? 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 receive 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 injuries and your options for recovery.
Our dedicated accident lawyers 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.