RV ACCIDENTS


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Ohio RV Accidents Attorney

Auto Defect Lawyer investigating Recreational Vehicle Accidents: Stability Defects, Hitch Failures, Tire Blowouts & Dealership Negligence

Driving a large motor home or recreational vehicle is a lot different than driving an everyday car. Many RV accidents are the result of negligent drivers, who may be inexperienced behind the wheel of such a big vehicle.

RV trailers are some of the more dangerous vehicles on the road. Rarely are drivers familiar with how these vehicles handle in a variety of road situations. Drivers pulling an RV extension do not need a special license and they may be inexperienced.

This applies to motor homes, camper vans, hybrid trailers, pop-up campers, and tour busses. The only requirement to drive a recreational vehicle in the United States is a driver’s license and being at least 21 years of age. In one study, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, found that thousands of people have been injured in RV accidents.

Poor driving skills combined with potential poorly designed RVs can lead to tragic auto accidents.

Common Causes of RV Accidents 

Some of the most common causes of an Ohio RV accident may include:

  • Driver Fatigue—many RV enthusiasts put in long hours, trying to cover a lot of ground from destination to destination. Drivers may be drowsy and can make poor driving decisions.
  • RV Defects—some RVs and motor homes have design defects and are poorly constructed. Such manufacturing defects can lead to unsafe road conditions and can cause accidents.
  • RV Repair Negligence—auto mechanics who fail to repair brakes or other safety mechanisms on a vehicle may be liable for damages in an Ohio RV accident.
  • Rollovers—RVs are more likely to tip over due to a narrow wheel base on such a large vehicle. Some RVs are more prone to rollover. Generally, the larger the RV, the more likely a rollover accident will occur. RVs are required to undergo rollover testing by Federal law, but there are still driving mistakes. Drivers may drive too fast around a curve or a bend, and lose control of the vehicle.
  • Failure to Stop—some RV drivers fail to take in account extra stopping distance when operating a very large rig. Some motor homes weigh as much as a tractor trailer, and the weight adds quite a bit of stopping distance. The impact force is also much greater due to the weight of the vehicle. Rear end collisions are common. Miscalculating stops is common. RVs may also cause accidents because the braking system isn’t wired correctly from the trailer to the vehicle.
  • Inexperienced Drivers—Ohio drivers are not required to pass a driving test to operate many RVs, and do not know how to safely handle such a huge vehicle. This endangers almost everyone on the road, and RV accidents are a lot more common than most motorists realize. As a general rule, drivers should not drive an RV or motorhome faster than 60 miles per hour.
  • Blind Spots—RVs are massive and have a limited line of sight, even with cameras and added mirrors. An RV driver may not see smaller vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians and cause an accident. Many RV accidents occur when an RV is reversing, or backing up out of a parking spot.
  • RV Tire Failure—just as trucks require careful attention to tire pressure and tire condition, RVs also experience Tire malfunction that can lead to catastrophic accidents. RV owners and mechanics must pay attention to regular tire maintenance schedules to keep a safe RV.
  • Poor Weather—bad weather and especially windy road conditions can lead to serious RV accidents. Controlling a large vehicle that catches wind can send an RV into other lanes, and cause severe auto accidents. Rollovers are a risk in windy weather.
  • Overloaded Trailers—some motorhomes and RV trailers are too heavy for the truck that is pulling them. Many motorists do not know how much their RV weighs and overloads the hitch, which may lead to a loss of control or a runaway trailer.
  • Improper Weight Distribution—Ohio RV drivers are urged to visit a public weigh station when their rig is fully loaded. RVs should meet the weight distribution regulations provided by the manufacturer, and hitch weight limits must be known. Tire blowouts often occur because an RV is too heavy. An unevenly loaded RV as hazardous as an overloaded RV. This can place too much weight on the tires and suspension.
  • Driver Distraction—many drivers of an RV are on holiday and they may be distracted by a family in the rear compartment or other vacation concerns. A recreational vehicle may have so many added luxuries that a driver almost forgets he is driving. Drivers may even be drinking alcohol in some cases.

Joe Lyon is an Experienced Ohio Auto Defect and Catastrophic Injury Attorney reviewing RV accidents nationwide.

Types of Recreational Vehicles

Recreational vehicles or motorhomes all tend to be taller, wider and longer than other passenger vehicles. The classes of the vehicles are as follows:

  • Class C RVs are built on a cutaway van chassis. The front end of the RV looks and operates like a large truck or van.
  • Class B motorhomes look like van campers and have a wheelbase like Class C RVs.
  • Class A RVs is what most people imagine an RV looks like. These are very large, and have the most comforts and amenities. Class A recreational vehicles can be up to 45 feet long and 8 feet wide. Class A RVs can weigh up to 30,000 pounds, putting them in a “large truck” class.
photo of attorney Joe Lyon reviewing rv accidents
A Voice for Those who have suffered

Filing RV Accident Lawsuits

RV dealerships have a responsibility to sell safe vehicles and RV owners are accountable for their own on-road behavior. When drivers are negligent and experience drowsy driving and fatigue, they can be liable for contributing to dangerous roadways.

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RV Accidents & RV Defects

How common are RV Accidents?

RV accidents are on the rise with more and more people renting and purchasing motorhomes in recent years. Many of the owners and drivers of recreational vehicles are older and driver negligence plays a large part in many reported accidents. 

A report released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety administration’s report stated that more than 70,000 people were involved in RV accidents in the year the report was released. 

Who is Liable in RV Accidents?

The best way to determine the cause of an Recreational Vehicle accident you are involve in is to contact an experienced attorney in handling RV Accident cases. 

The Lyon Firm has successfully handled RV Accident cases and can adequately investigate your case with the assistance of accident engineering experts.

The potential legal issues may involve a product defect: hitch, tires or stability issue. Or the negligence may rest with the dealer that sold or rented the vehicle. 

Do Rvs create dangerous road conditions?

Auto defects and poor driving skills are usually the primary causes of RV accidents. The size of RVs combined with reduced visibility and maneuverability increase accident risks. Experts warn about the following RV hazards:

  • Inexperienced RV drivers
  • Older drivers
  • Fatigued drivers
  • Speeding
  • Windy conditions
  • RV Overloading
  • Defective hitches
  • Runaway trailers
  • Rollover Risks
  • Dangerous lane changes
  • Braking malfunction
  • Work zone accidents
  • Large blind spots
Can anyone legally drive a recreational vehicle?

It might surprise a lot of people, but it is not necessary to have training or have a special RV license to drive most motorhomes on the road. Any vehicle under 26,000 pounds can be driven with a regular operator’s driver’s license in all 50 states.

For this reason, many RVs are operated by new drivers with little experience and they not be accustomed to larger blind spots and knowing how to properly change lanes and control a much larger vehicle than they are used to driving. 

Are RVs prone to rollover accidents?

The short answer is Yes. Any larger vehicle that has a narrower wheel base and sits higher is more vulnerable to weather-adverse road conditions and instability. 

Many RVs are very heavy and the heavier the vehicle, the more difficult in will be to control, particularly for inexperienced drivers. 

Why Hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult cases and help our clients obtain justice following RV Accidents.

Joe Lyon has successfully litigated and resolved RV Accidents and wrongful death cases. 

The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. RV Accident lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an auto defect, accident or injury.

Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an RV Accident happened and whether the accident and injury were preventable. 

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics and further auto defect disciplines in successfully representing Plaintiffs. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results: Mr. Lyon has obtained seven-figure results in personal injury, automotive product liability, and auto dealership negligence cases. The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest auto companies in the world. 

Evidence Preservation following RV Accidents

  1. Obtain Photos of the Accident Scene; 
  2. Secure all Vehicles Involved in the Accident; 
  3. Secure the Tires and any tread (Weather Can Impact the Evidence);
  4. Secure the Hitch, if applicable;
  5. Secure all documentation of the purchase or lease of the vehicle; 
  6. Make a list of all witness, investigating officers, and medical contacts;
  7. Contact a Qualified Attorney with Experience in RV Accident Cases;
  8. Don’t make any statements to an insurance company without a lawyer

Questions to Ask Following RV Accidents:

As you prepare to contact a lawyer about potential legal action following an Ohio RV accident, consider the following questions:

  • Was there a tire blowout or tread separation?
  • Were the brakes functioning properly?
  • Was the trailer properly hitched, or swaying wildly?
  • Were the taillights working?
  • Was the RV driver speeding or trying to pass another vehicle?
  • How long was the driver at the wheel?
  • Was the RV driver distracted in any way: eating, using a mobile device, drinking?

RV Accident & Dealership Negligence

WRONGFUL DEATH

$ Confidential Settlement 

(Hebron, Ohio): Joe Lyon was lead counsel in a case against a notable RV Dealership for the negligent pairing of the tow vehicle and the recreational camper.  The Dealer installed the hitch and recommended the use of a tow vehicle that was not within the towing specifications for the camper.  As a result, the excess weight caused the camper to sway and roll over in a tragic highway accident. The driver was catastrophically injured and ultimately passed away from his injuries.  The case was resolved in mediation following extensive discovery. 

 

Safety Tips for Towing

1. Stay within the towing capacity  of your tow vehicle;

2. Pack your trailer properly to stay within load capacity and weight distribution; 

3. Check the tires of both the camper and the tow vehicle for proper inflation. Underinflated tires can result in a dangerous tire blow out; 

4. Check your lights;

5. Check your brakes;

6. Adjust your mirrors

7. Check your hitch;

8. Keep assured clear distances;

9. Have an expert review your tow capacity and equipment if un-certain. 

 

Request A Free Consultation

 

    • Answer a few general questions.
    • A member of our legal team will review your case.
    • We will determine, together with you, what makes sense for the next step for you and your family to take.
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