Houston, Texas—a common tourist destination in the state—sees its fair share of recreational vehicle (or RV) accidents every year on highways and other roadways. RV accidents can result in serious injuries and damages, in part because of the extremely large size of these vehicles. Although RVs vary in their overall sizes and weights, many RVs are every bit as large and as heavy as 18-wheeler tractor-trailers or passenger buses. Many times new or inexperienced drivers are driving these vehicles.
Under Texas law, a driver must possess either a Class A or a Class B license to operate an oversized RV on a Texas roadway or highway. However, not every state in the country has this requirement, and when unqualified drivers/tourists hit Texas roads, they can cause severe accidents with other motor vehicles.
If you were injured in an RV motor vehicle accident that a negligent recreational vehicle driver caused, you may file a personal injury claim or lawsuit for your damages. The experienced team of Houston personal injury lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, has helped recover compensation for injured victims for more than 2 decades. Our intake department is available for your free case evaluation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (800) 898-4877, or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
We understand that injuries sustained in serious motor vehicle accidents often require long recovery times. Our knowledgeable team of attorneys and legal professionals can review your case to determine damages you can request recovering for. If so, our lawyers can pursue a settlement on your behalf—all while you recover from your injuries. If the insurance company chooses not to offer a favorable settlement, our lawyers can file a legal complaint on your behalf and litigate your case through the court system.
Just like the drivers of smaller motor vehicles, RV drivers owe a duty of care to operate their vehicles in a safe and careful manner at all times. When RV drivers fail in this regard, victims can hold them responsible for all of the accidents and injuries they cause.
Types of Recreational Vehicles in Houston
Recreational vehicles in Houston come in varying shapes and sizes. Common RVs found in the Houston area include:
- Luxury motorhomes or motor coaches that require a Class A licenses to drive
- “Pop up” vans and medium-sized Class B campers
- “Pop up” or truck campers
- Caravan trailers
- “Fifth wheel” trailers (for example, folding camping trailers)
- Horse trailers and trailers equipped to haul heavy off-road vehicles
Types of Houston RV Accidents
Extremely serious RV accidents may result in equally serious personal injuries and damages for everyone involved. This is due, in part, to the size and speed at which RVs can travel. These vehicles weigh a significant amount more than passenger cars and cannot stop quickly. Also, RVs can prove difficult to maneuver and control when in the wrong or inexperienced hands. These factors can make an RV accident particularly catastrophic.
The most common RV accidents in Houston include:
- Rollovers – Where the vehicle tips over—or rolls over completely—while rounding a bend or swerving to miss an object in the middle of the road. Believe it or not, high winds can also sometimes cause these vehicles to overturn in the middle of a roadway.
- Rear-end accidents – Due to their large sizes and weights, RVs cannot stop quickly. An RV that cannot stop and plows into the rear of another motor vehicle can cause serious damage to that other vehicle, due to the sheer force of the collision. The same is true with T-bone and head-on accidents that involve RVs.
- Blowouts – Defective RV parts, including defective RV tires, can pose a hazard for everyone else on the roadway. Often, RVs park during the offseason, and when drivers take their vehicles and head out on a road trip when the weather warms up, they forget to check the tire pressure on their RV’s tires. When a blowout occurs in the middle of the roadway, a serious motor vehicle collision can ensue.
- Sideswipe accidents – In addition to enormous size and weight, most RVs are exceptionally long vehicles. Before going around a turn, RV drivers need to understand their vehicle’s length and allow enough room to make a safe and proper turn—especially at traffic intersections. When RV drivers do not exercise the proper turning distances, they can violently collide with bikers or pedestrians at intersections. RV drivers can also sideswipe other motor vehicles in adjacent lanes of traffic when they do not account for the proper turning or merging distances.
- Improperly secured equipment – When people go on long RV trips, they often take a large amount of luggage and equipment with them, some of which they may attach to the top of their RVs. RV drivers must properly secure this equipment. Otherwise, the equipment can fly off the RV and collide with other vehicles, causing serious accidents.
If you sustained injuries in one of these types of motor vehicle accidents, retain legal counsel as soon as possible. The attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, will present you with all of your legal options and can develop a plan for moving forward with your case.
Common Injuries Sustained in Houston RV Accidents
Since many RVs are the size and weight equivalents of tractor-trailers and other large trucks, a motor vehicle collision can result in serious personal injuries as well as property damage. The force of the impact can cause an accident victim’s body to move about violently in the vehicle, resulting in certain injuries and damages. An accident victim’s head may even strike something in the vehicle, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, or headrest, bringing about further injuries. Common injuries sustained in a Houston RV accident include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Crush injuries
- Soft tissue injuries (usually involving the neck or back)
- Amputation injuries (usually involving a leg or arm)
- Broken bones and torn ligaments
- Wrongful death
If your loved one dies in an accident that involved a recreational vehicle, you or one of the decedent’s other relatives may file a wrongful death claim and pursue legal damages. The compassionate lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can discuss your injuries with you and help you recover the monetary compensation that you deserve.
Whom Can I Sue for Damages Arising From a Houston RV Accident?
If you suffered injuries in a Houston motor vehicle accident involving a recreational vehicle, you may take legal action against one or more individuals or legal entities.
The most obvious individual who comes to mind, however, is the negligent RV driver. You might file a claim or lawsuit against the RV driver if the driver operated the RV in a careless, reckless, or unreasonable manner. Examples of careless and reckless RV driving include:
- Violating a traffic law or rule of the road (for example, speeding or running a red light or stop sign)
- Drunk or drugged driving (for example, DWI)
- Distracted driving (this includes using a handheld cell phone to make phone calls or texting while driving)
- Drowsy driving
If the driver and owner of the RV are different, you may file a claim or lawsuit directly against the owner under a vicarious liability or agency theory of recovery. This is because motor vehicle owners—including RV owners—can face responsibility for the accidents, injuries, and damages their drivers cause if an employment relationship was in place, or if the driver operated the RV with the owner’s express or implied permission.
An RV owner could also be on the line for negligently entrusting the vehicle to the individual who caused the accident. This is especially true if the driver had a track record of causing motor vehicle accidents. Owners must only lend RVs to competent drivers with the proper licenses and qualifications to operate large and heavy recreational vehicles.
If the RV had recently undergone repairs, the accident victim might have a legal cause of action against the repair facility that performed them. RV repair facilities have a duty to ensure that they complete vehicle repairs properly—and in safe ways. If the accident victim can show that the mechanic did not make the proper repairs made improper repairs, and an accident resulted, the injury victim may file a claim or lawsuidirectly against the repair facility for legal damages.
Finally, if a vehicle part malfunctioned, resulting in injuries, the accident victim may assert a claim or lawsuit against the RV (or part) manufacturer or designer. Due to their large weights and sizes, manufacturers must make reliable RV parts. If the accident victim can prove that a collision occurred because of a defective or improperly designed RV part, the accident victim may assert a product liability claim. These claims can sometimes require expert testimony to prove. For example, you may require an expert to prove that a manufacturer defectively made or improperly designed a vehicle part despite reasonable, available alternative designs.
The large number of potentially responsible parties can sometimes make recreational vehicle accident cases difficult to prove. The team of attorneys and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can help you explore all potential legal avenues of compensation and can file a claim or lawsuit against all potentially responsible defendants in your case.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Houston RV Accident?
If you were injured in a Houston RV accident, our lawyers may help you try to recover legal damages on your behalf. Common damages often available to injured accident victims in Houston RV crashes include compensation for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, lost use of body parts (such as in spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries), and lost enjoyment of life.
Proving damages in your case—particularly medical damages—sometimes necessitates expert medical testimony. For example, an experienced medical expert may causally relate certain medical treatments or medical procedures to the injuries that you sustained in your accident. Similarly, a medical expert may opine that you sustained a permanent injury in your accident from which you will likely suffer for the rest of your life. Finally, a medical expert may estimate the costs of any future medical treatments or procedures that you may need during the course of your lifetime.
In addition to medical experts, other experts may help when it comes to proving damages in your case. For example, if you claim that you cannot work due to the injuries you suffered in your RV accident, an economist or vocational rehabilitation expert may testify about your future lost wages as well as your prolonged inability to work.
When necessary, the skilled team of personal injury lawyers and legal professionals at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, can retain the necessary experts to help you appropriately prove injuries and damages in your case.
Contact a Houston Recreational Vehicle Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Case Evaluation and Legal Consultation
No one expects a motor vehicle accident—especially one caused by a fast and heavy recreational vehicle. However, when these accidents do occur, responsible drivers and individuals should face liability for their actions and inactions. At the law office of Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, our compassionate attorneys and legal professionals understand that an RV accident can place a serious damper on both your home and work life. Our attorneys can protect your legal interests and start you on the road to recovering monetary compensation for your injuries.
Our team of nationally recognized car, truck, motorcycle, and recreational vehicle accident lawyers and legal professionals has protected the rights of injured victims for more than 20 years. If you were injured in a recreational vehicle accident, call our office right now to schedule a free consultation! Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a DIME unless we win your case. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so call us today at 800-898-4877 or contact us now by CLICKING HERE.
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“Mr. Guss was wonderful. He fought hard against the insurance company to get us what we deserved. I went from owing almost $5000 in medical bills to actually getting money in my pocket. Absolutely Amazing!!!!! A big thank you from me and my family!!!”