RV Accidents in Pennsylvania
Summer travel: RV accidents in Pennsylvania
RVing is a culture popular with residents of Pennsylvania. Some people acquire RVs for occasional use, such as summer holidays or weekend trips, while others prefer cruising with these vehicles all year long. Sadly, accidents involving RVs often lead to catastrophic injuries, thanks to the vehicles’ enormous sizes and mass. If you are involved in an RV accident in Pennsylvania, an experienced auto accident lawyer can help you determine what to do next.
Although many RV operators are usually careful when cruising with these big machines, some just lack the skills and attention needed to enhance safety. This poses a significant danger to motorists, bystanders, and pedestrians who may end up with serious injuries, permanent damage, or in worst-case scenarios, loss of life.
Our RV accident attorneys are committed to helping residents of Pennsylvania who have been victimized by the poor decision of others obtain fair compensation. We assess damages, determine liability, gather evidence and witnesses, get statements, table an indisputable argument for settlement negotiation, and if need be, proceed to trial.
In this comprehensive blog:
- What makes RVs more dangerous than standard passenger vehicles?
- What to do in case of an RV crash
- How to prove liability against an RV operator
- Compensations available for RV accident victims
- RV accident FAQs
- How a Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer can help
What Makes RVs More Dangerous than Standard Passenger Vehicles?
There’s no denying it; any vehicle – large or small alike – can crash, leading to the injury, maiming, or killing of other road users. But when it comes to RVs, the risks tend to be much higher, and the consequences more disastrous. These additional dangers usually owe to their large sizes since they serve both as automobiles and transportable homes. Thus, they have unique features like appliances, power generators, and propane tanks that increase their susceptibility to a crash.
Below are a few increased dangers of larger RVs:
- Poorly protected propane and fuel tanks may cause fires.
- Thanks to their large sizes, RVs are often unstable, more so on muddy or bumpy roads. This can cause problems such as tire blowouts or de-treading.
- Since RVs add up as moving homes, passengers may not be keen on observing safety protocols like fastening seat belts.
- Possibilities of distracted driving, especially if the operator is tired, elderly, or has hearing/vision impairment.
- Possibility of a roll-over since an RV’s center of gravity is higher than the standard passenger vehicles.
- The large vehicle size makes it a hassle to detect blind spots, negotiate turns, or navigate narrow roads.
- Some structural defects may go unnoticed during maintenance due to RVs’ large sizes, increasing their susceptibility to road accidents.
What to Do In Case of an RV Crash
There are several actions you should perform if you or your loved one have been involved in a recreational vehicle accident. For starters, you want to go to the nearest hospital to seek emergency medical assessment and treatment.
When struggling with the injuries, it may be unthinkable to document the accident experience. But if possible, it is always an excellent idea to take pictures of your injuries plus the crash scene. Better still, you can note down an account of events leading to and after the accident.
And while at it, you want to refrain from talking to the other party’s insurance company. It is in their interest to pay as little compensation as possible or shift the responsibility away from their insured. A skilled lawyer will ensure that you do not unintentionally waive your legal right to compensation, helping you obtain the best settlement possible.
RV Accidents: Proving Liability Against a Recreational Driver in Pennsylvania
Unlike other states like Massachusetts that do not require RV drivers to obtain special licensure, a Pennsylvanian RV operator must have a license to operate that type of vehicle. In particular, if the combined vehicle weight exceeds 26,001 lbs and the towed vehicle (trailer) exceeds 10,000 lbs, then the operator must obtain a non-commercial class A license.
But that is not all; if the RV driver plans to bring someone else on the adventure (who will help with the driving), they must also have the same permit. And as you may have guessed, not every RV enthusiast bothers to abide by these rules. People who operate these vehicles without a special license (or with a permit but carelessly so) may pose a significant threat to other motorists and pedestrians, considering that driving an RV is quite different from a standard passenger vehicle.
For instance, mammoth-size RVs like motor homes, fifth wheelers, or truck campers can take long to halt in case of a sudden roadway change, especially if they are heavily loaded. Turning these vehicles also requires next-level skill and attention, or you may end up colliding with or jackknifing vehicles or pedestrians within reach.
If you or your loved one have been injured due to an RV operator’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against them to get compensated for your damages. In that case, a qualified RV accident attorney will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant never applied the required skill level or attention when operating the RV hence causing injuries to the victim.
RV drivers are expected to abide by all standard rules for maintaining road safety, just like the usual motorists. For example, they must focus their vision on the road at all times, refrain from distracted driving habits like replying to emails, calling, or texting, keep the music/radio volume low, etc.
RV drivers must also avoid getting on the wheels while under the influence because alcohol impairs judgment and vision senses, robbing the driver of awareness of their surroundings. If the attorney establishes that the driver did not honor any of these practices, it might help prove that they were driving irresponsibly.
What is more, abiding by all the relevant traffic laws is a no-brainer and expected of every RV operator. These include not exceeding the recommended speed limits, following the traffic signals, and yielding the right-of-way. If the driver violates any of these traffic rules, your lawyer can use that as evidence to argue that the defendant was liable for the accident due to negligent driving.
The next stage of proving liability involves the attorney arguing that the victim would not have endured any injuries had it not been for the driver’s negligence. This proceeds to the provision of evidence showing how much the victim should receive in compensation.
Compensations Available for RV Accident Victims
Depending on the severity of the accident, some of the compensations the victim may recover include:
- Medical and hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Cost of future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Costs of canceled plans
- Household expenses
- Wrongful death expenses, if applicable
Your RV accident lawyer can help review your present financial hardship resulting from the injuries as well as future financial needs due to the same. Summing all these up ensures that you get fairly compensated, not just for your medical bills, but for lost future earnings and plans, as well.
RV Accident FAQs
What is the time limit for filing an RV accident lawsuit?
The statute of limitations (filing deadlines) in Pennsylvania gives you two years from the date of occurrence of the accident to file a lawsuit in the state’s civil court system. But let’s face it; two years is an extensive period, and waiting longer before pressing charges may lead to the loss or compromise of critical information and evidence tipped to help with your case. Contacting a skilled personal injury attorney immediately ensures we gather sufficient resources to form a winning case as you focus on recovery.
What if the driver did not have proper licensure?
As we alluded to earlier, an RV driver does not need to obtain a special license in certain states. However, Pennsylvanian residents must be properly licensed if they wish to operate an RV. Failing to obtain a class A license puts you at risk of additional legal liabilities if an accident occurs. As a precaution, never allow a non-licensed passenger to “take over” the driving for whatever reason.
How a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Pennsylvania laws on off-road vehicles like RVs tend to be quite complicated and require the help of a qualified attorney to understand. That’s where we come into play; our team at Munley Law has extensive experience representing RV accident victims and obtaining fair compensations through landmark verdicts and settlements.
If you contact us to file a lawsuit in a case involving you or your family member’s injuries due to an RV accident, we will put our best feet forward to help you obtain justice by:
- Researching the statutes relevant to your case
- Assembling and classifying all the necessary information and evidence for trial
- Developing an unbeatable legal strategy
- Reassessing all the relevant documents
- Tabling a winning argument in court
So it is all in your pitch! Get in touch with an experienced RV accidents lawyer today, and let us worry about getting you maximum compensation for your damages as you focus on recovery. Remember, you do not have to pay us a dime unless we win the case!
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