RV Accident Attorney
Representing victims of accidents related to recreational vehicles
Florida’s tropical scenery and thrilling theme parks make the state a popular destination for recreational vehicle (RV) travel. The Covid-19 pandemic has spurred an uptick in RV travel as airlines and cruises limited their operations. Inexperienced RV drivers are often less aware of how dangerous driving an RV can be. Tampa personal injury lawyers represent accident victims who are injured in Florida RV accidents.
RV accidents in Florida
Unlike commercial trucks, recreational vehicles can be driven without a special license or training. These vehicles can be as large as a semi-truck and create hazards on Florida’s roads. Overloaded highways, pedestrian traffic, and driver inexperience combine to make RV accidents a common occurrence. Florida RV accidents often involve:
- sideswiping other vehicles
- misjudging stopping distance
- making overly tight turns
- improperly securing items to the vehicle’s exterior
- inability to control the vehicle
Causes of RV accidents
Apart from the larger percentage of inexperienced drivers behind the wheel, RV accidents are often caused by the same factors that contribute to collisions between large trucks and passenger vehicles. RV accidents are commonly caused by:
- following too closely
- windy conditions
- senior drivers
- excess weight
- runaway trailer
Sideswiping accidents caused by RVs
Similar to trucks, RVs have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. Therefore, passenger vehicle drivers should treat RVs similar to the way they would treat commercial trucks on the road. Large RVs have side mirrors; however, the driver may be unable to see cars that are further back along the sides of the vehicle. Avoid lingering beside recreational vehicles, and always seek to avoid their blind spots. An inexperienced RV driver may be unfamiliar with the vehicle’s unusually large blind spots. An RV driver may attempt to change lanes without knowing whether the adjacent lane is fully clear. If you see signs that an RV may be about to make a lane change, move to another lane or fall back and linger behind until the recreational vehicle has settled into the next lane and the turn signal is turned off.
Misjudging stopping distance
RVs have a much larger stopping distance than smaller modes of transportation. They also have a blind spot in front that limits their ability to see cars that are directly in front if the RV is traveling too close. Other vehicles that wish to pass in front of an RV should keep at least one car length between the vehicle and the RV if possible. RV drivers can cause an accident if they are following other vehicles too closely. An RV that follows too closely is likely to cause a collision if a vehicle in front of the RV comes to a sudden stop.
Making tight turns in an RV
In addition to being of a larger size, the structure of an RV complicates the process of making a turn. The front wheels are located behind the driver’s seat. Because the lengthy front end extends far beyond the tires, RV drivers must advance out into an intersection before making a turn. Not pulling out into the intersection far enough causes the side of the RV to collide with signs, utility poles, and other items along the side of the road. RVs also need space to overlap into the left lane to fully clear the back end when turning.
Securing items to the exterior of an RV
RV owners may add exterior racks to store large items that do not fit inside the vehicle. Bikes, generators, coolers, grills, and extra fuel tanks are among the items many RVers prefer to keep outside. There are correct ways and incorrect ways RV drivers can use a storage rack. RV drivers should be mindful of their vehicle’s weight limit and of the storage rack’s weight limit. A storage rack is not a safe option for an RV that is always at or near its recommended weight capacity. Extra weight on the back of an RV that is at capacity can cause the back end to sway. Dangerous swaying can cause the RV or the storage rack to strike other vehicles on the road.
Inability to control an RV
People who are new to driving an RV are more likely to struggle with maintaining control of the vehicle. A change in weather, traffic conditions, or terrain can present a new challenge for inexperienced drivers. New RV drivers should practice handling the vehicle in areas with no traffic. RV training courses are also available to teach new drivers how to safely maneuver common road conditions RV drivers may encounter.
What to do after an RV accident
In the event of an RV accident, getting medical attention is the top priority. Even people who do not feel like they have been injured should immediately receive a medical exam after an accident. Traffic accidents can cause injuries that are not readily visible at first. Undetected injuries to the spine and organs can be severe and potentially life-threatening. Medical professionals are able to detect the injuries by performing an exam and using diagnostic imaging. Once detected, these injuries can be treated early to avoid the possibility of causing more severe damage.
Contacting a RV accident lawyer
After receiving medical attention, the next important step after an RV accident is to contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can represent the accident victim in discussions with insurance companies and file a civil court claim on the injured accident victim’s behalf. If the RV driver behaved negligently in a manner that caused the accident, the accident victim may receive compensation for:
- medical expenses
- lost wages
- pain and suffering
The amount and type of compensation an accident victim will receive depends on the nature of the victim’s injuries. In cases that involve very severe injury, courts are more likely to award compensation for pain and suffering.
Our Tampa personal injury lawyer is available to provide a free case evaluation. Contact us to learn more about how we represent accident victims. We fight tirelessly for the compensation accident victims deserve.