An RV is a great way to travel, vacation, and see the country. On the other hand, they can pose a danger to occupants, to other vehicles on the highway, and to pedestrians. Whether the vehicle is a conventional RV, a camping trailer, camper van, a motorhome, or another variation of recreational vehicle, an accident can be catastrophic, and can cause serious injuries and even death, given their size, weight and other characteristics.
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Common Causes of RV Accidents
In most circumstances, even though RV’s are large and often difficult to control, there is no special permit or training that is required in order to legally drive one of these huge vehicles. Some of the more common causes of accidents involving RV’s, trailers and motorhomes are:
- Inexperienced drivers. As noted above, anyone with a driver’s license can operate an RV or motorhome. Whether a person can operate the vehicle safely is another issue entirely.
- This takes on additional significance because of the weight of most RV’s.
- Blind spots. Even if the vehicle is equipped with multiple mirrors and warning devices, the blind spots for an RV are much larger than for a passenger vehicle.
- Failure to provide enough space for braking. Once again, the size and weight of a motorhome requires additional space to bring the vehicle to a stop in a safe and timely manner.
- Design flaws and manufacturing defects. Just last year, the NHTSA launched an investigation into manufacturing defects involving RV tires.
- Overloading can make stopping in time even more difficult.
- Unbalanced loads. When an RV is unbalanced, it increases the likelihood of a rollover.
- Miscalculated turns. Because of its size, turning the corner in an RV is not the same as turning in a passenger car. Turns need to be wider (while staying in your own lane), and the speed must be slower.
- Runaway trailers. Runaway trailers can be caused by a variety of events, including sudden turns, brake failure, overloading, speeding, and faulty or mishandled equipment, among others.
As with other accidents, problems such as distracted driving, texting while driving, DUI, and similar issues may also be involved and lead to RV accidents and injuries.
Who is at Fault in an RV Crash?
Determining fault in an accident involving an RV or motorhome is not always easy. Although in many cases it is the fault of the driver, malfunctions do occur, and the cause of the accident – and the resulting injuries – could well be some sort of a design or manufacturing defect. In that case, the manufacturer could be responsible for the accident and the losses of those injured. In addition, other drivers could be at fault and therefore could be held liable for damages.
Some of the same features that make RV’s so comfortable to ride in are the source of potential problems. Because of the unique nature of many RV’s, they are more prone to fires than other vehicles, particularly passenger cars. Those fires can cause serious burns and other injuries, and can, in some cases, be accompanied by explosions. Some recent examples of these types of problems experienced by RV owners include:
- Refrigerator fires.
- Propane fires.
- Electrical fires.
- Fuel system fires.
Dozens of RV fires occur every month, and include not only those listed above, but also fires caused by dry wheel bearings, leaking fluid lines, electrical short circuits, and more. Not surprisingly, about half of all RV fires occur when the vehicle is not moving.
Phoenix RV Accident Injury Claims
RV accidents and injuries can occur in a variety of circumstances, whether the vehicle is moving or stationary. The dangers in those accidents are significant, and include back injuries, brain injuries, burns, broken bones, cuts and more. These injuries lead to large medical bills for emergency room visits, hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy and more. They also lead to lost income, can result in permanent disfigurement, and can affect not only the victim, but also his or her entire family.
At the Kelly Law Team, we realize that money cannot undo the damage from a serious injury. On the other hand, those who are injured should be compensated, not only for their out of pocket present and future financial losses, but also for the pain and suffering that accompanies an injury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an RV accident, contact us to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.
Call the Kelly Law Team at 602-283-4122