RV (Recreational Vehicle) Accidents Can Be Complex

Our attorneys fight to help the injured recover maximum compensation

Recreational vehicles (RVs), or motor homes, can often be seen on the roadways. The problem is, due to their large size and lack of maneuverability, RVs can create massive damage when they get into a crash. These can basically create the same type of aftermath as truck accidents and can leave people injured much in the same way. 

If you or a loved one were involved in such an accident, you may need the assistance of an RV accident lawyer. The truck accident attorneys at Fried Goldberg LLC have decades of combined experience handling lawsuits involving crashes with large vehicles like RVs.

Large recreational vehicle parked in nature scenery

What are recreational vehicles?

Although motor homes can be as long as a single-trailer semi-truck and are much more difficult to maneuver than a personal vehicle, many states (including Georgia) do not require special driving permits to operate these massive vehicles. In short, anyone can get behind the wheel of an RV in these states.

When people hear the phrase “recreational vehicle,” most think of conventional motor homes. However, the term can encompass a wide range of vehicles, including:

  • Fifth-wheel trailers
  • Folding camping trailers
  • Van campers or converted vans
  • Truck campers

RVs can be classified into two main types: motorcoaches and towable rigs. Motorcoaches have their own engine and are self-powered, while towable RVs require a separate vehicle (usually a pickup truck or similar) to tow them. 

Each of these RV types can be associated with different types of accidents. For instance, towable RVs are often involved in jackknife accidents as well as wrecks where the trailer detaches from the vehicle.

RV Accident FAQ

Recovering compensation in an RV accident lawsuit

RV accidents can result in serious injuries, which can create physical, emotional, and financial hardships for the victim. Filing an accident lawsuit can result in the injured party receiving a damages award, which can cover various costs, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death expenses, if applicable

In many instances, standard insurance won’t always cover every loss and expense associated with an accident. Thus, pursuing legal action may be the only way for the victim to be fully compensated after an accident. 

At Fried Goldberg, we work hard to ensure our clients are properly compensated after a road accident. Contact us if you’ve been injured in an RV accident. We can discuss your legal options moving forward after the crash. 

What causes RV accidents?

There are many different causes of RV accidents, but driver inexperience is near the top of that list. Just because a person passes a test and obtains the proper license (if needed) doesn’t always mean they have the training to drive such a massive vehicle in all conditions. 

This is especially true for long interstate RV trips — many new RV drivers and vacation renters simply have not driven across the country before. They may encounter new terrain, demanding weather, and challenging traffic patterns they aren’t familiar with. These can all combine to create more driving hazards and greater risks than normal. 

Driver fatigue is another contributing factor to RV crashes and accidents. Unlike commercial drivers, who must follow break and rest laws to ensure they’re not driving for long stretches of time, RV drivers aren’t required by law to stop and rest. A common mistake is for an RV driver to “keep going” even though they may be tired or sleepy, ultimately resulting in an accident. 

Other common causes of RV accidents can include:  

  • Speeding
  • Drunk driving
  • Faulty mechanics/mechanical failure
  • Inability to stop
  • Turning/lane change issues
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Trailer jackknife
  • Careless left turns and U-turns
  • Rollovers
  • Overloading/unbalanced load
  • Runaway trailers
White motorhome driving through a scenic highway.

Types of RV accident injuries

Injuries resulting from an RV accident can be similar in nature to truck accident injuries. This is again due to the large size and weight of RVs, which can make injuries more severe and catastrophic. RV accident injuries can include: 

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burn injuries (many RV trailers have fuel/gas storage compartments that can explode)
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Scarring/disfigurement 
  • Broken bones

These types of injuries can lead to permanent, lifelong changes for the accident victim.  

What to do after an accident with an RV

There are several steps you should take if you’ve been in an accident with an RV. First, seek medical care immediately. Your health comes first, and seeing a doctor will also create documentation of your injuries.

Second, get documentation. If you are injured or you have lost a loved one, it may be hard to think of documenting what happened in the accident, but this is vital to your case. Take photos of the scene and of your injuries, and write down an account of the events leading up to and following the crash. 

It’s also important not to speak to any insurance company representatives until you’ve spoken to your attorney. The goal of insurance companies is to pay as little to victims as possible. As overwhelmed as you may be with your recovery, you may unintentionally waive your legal right to compensation.

Contact an experienced RV accident attorney

RV accident lawsuits require specific knowledge of pertinent laws, which can be complex. At Fried Goldberg, LLC, we have decades of experience handling all types of motor vehicle accidents. We rely on our in-depth knowledge of accident laws as well as our understanding of the tactics insurance companies will utilize to overturn your claim. 

We have the resources to thoroughly research the accident and hire the necessary medical experts and accident analysts. Place your claim in our hands, and our aggressive attorneys will fight for the maximum compensation on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Why are RVs more dangerous than standard passenger vehicles?

RVs are different from conventional cars and trucks mainly due to their large size. They can take longer to accelerate and decelerate, making them less predictable than other vehicles. They are also more difficult to control when turning and can be subject to rollovers due to their height. If you are on the road, it is advisable to keep a safe distance from RVs.

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How long do I have to file an RV accident lawsuit?

Statutes of limitations (filing deadlines) are legal time limits, meaning that claims must be filed before that time runs out. The statute of limitations varies from state to state. Additionally, important information and evidence can be lost or jeopardized almost immediately after an accident. You need to contact a law firm with the resources to begin researching your case and advocating for you immediately, while you focus on recovering from the accident.

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What if the RV driver wasn’t properly licensed?

Certain states require a specific license in order to operate an RV. If the RV driver wasn’t properly licensed, it could raise additional legal issues in terms of liability in the event of an accident. A common scenario is where an RV passenger “takes over” the driving duties on a road trip because the licensed driver is tired. This can lead to an accident, as the new driver might not have the proper training or knowledge of RV road rules. 

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How can an RV accident lawyer help me?

RV accident lawsuits can involve complex laws which require the assistance of an attorney. A qualified RV accident lawyer can:

  • Research the laws applicable to your case
  • Gather and organize evidence for trial
  • Formulate a strong legal strategy
  • Review relevant documents
  • Argue your case in court 

It’s in your best interest to work with an attorney who has experience with RV cases and knows the ins and outs of traffic laws. 

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