Recreational Vehicle Accidents
The leading RV accident attorneys of Peter Thompson & Associates have established a reputation for excellence in personal injury law. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims injured by negligence. Our firm provides the highest quality legal representation to both in-state and out-of-state clients, with offices in Portland, Bangor, and Falmouth and convenient office meeting locations throughout the State.
Recreational vehicles (RVs) are a great way to see the country and spend quality time with friends and family. The idea of getting the most out of a moving vehicle appeals to drivers of every stripe. Most states do not require special driving permits for RVs despite their large size and potential to roll over. Although RVs are not as popular as they once were, they still cause many accidents, injuring motorists across the state. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that at least 50,000 people are injured in RV accidents every year. Common causes of RV accidents include:
- Rollovers and jackknifes
- Blind spot, visibility issues
- Overloading, trailer imbalance
- Inexperienced or intoxicated driver
- Defect in brakes or other parts
- Seat belt usage, seating position
- Fuel management, loss of control
- Age, structural integrity of vehicle
The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration stresses the importance of inspecting RVs and motor homes before making a long trip. Vehicles that are not up to standard often result in overheating or failing brakes, endangering RV passengers and others on the road. Because RVs are generally equipped with a kitchen and stove, problems with propane and gas can ignite fires or explosions that cause severe burns. Accidents are also common when senior citizens or inexperienced drivers try to maneuver these oversized vehicles for the first time. RVs are often the size of commercial carriers and take some getting used to. Many RV drivers do not plan ahead to take “shifts” or stop at RV parks along way to rest when they become tired.
Maine accident law is based on principles of negligence. Like other motorists, RV drivers have a legal duty to operate their vehicles with reasonable care. When they fail to inspect the vehicle or properly secure the trailer, they breach that duty of care. Negligence may also include poorly-calculated turns, overloading the camper, or driving while intoxicated. Other drivers may also be negligent when they follow an RV too closely or try to pass the slowly-moving vehicle on a dangerous road. In either case, the negligent party is liable for any property damage or bodily injury caused by the accident. If the accident was not caused by negligent driving, but by defective brakes, the manufacturer would be strictly liable for harm caused by the flawed part.
Victims injured in RV accidents are entitled to several types of damages. First, they are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, from the emergency treatment they receive at the scene of the crash to any continuing care as the injury requires. Second, they are entitled to compensation for lost income resulting from their inability to work. Finally, the injured party is entitled to damages for pain and suffering. In product liability cases, the court may also award punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs.
If you were injured in an RV accident, the experienced RV accident lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates can help. We have extensive experience litigating accident cases in which victims are injured by negligence. Whether the RV driver or another motorist was at fault, we can help you identify all liable parties and advocate for your best interests. Our firm has helped thousands of accident victims across Maine recover seven-figure verdicts and settlements. At Peter Thompson & Associates, we know accidents are traumatic and are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call 800.804.2004 for a free consultation or contact us online.