Recreational Vehicle Defects
Recreational vehicles (RVs) are a popular way to travel in the United States. Because RVs allow families to combine transportation and lodging, they are an economical and convenient way to spend a vacation. Despite their relative overall safety, recreational defects can lead to catastrophic accidents resulting in severe injuries or death.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an RV accident, contact our experienced Houston auto accident attorneys at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. We have worked with clients who have been injured in a number of different motor vehicle accidents and will work diligently to help you obtain compensation for your losses. Call 281-283-8500 today.
Risks Posed by Recreational Vehicle Defects
An RV can become dangerous to its occupants because of defects in the materials used during the manufacturing process, design flaws, and incorrect or inadequate warning labels. Depending on the nature of the defect, RVs can pose a risk of:
- Mechanical failure
- Separating from the tow vehicle
- Being involved in a motor vehicle crash
- Lack of stability or loss of control due to malfunctioning equipment
- Inadequate restraint systems for passengers
Recreational Vehicles Defined
RVs include both motorized and towable vehicles that are equipped with temporary living quarters. The vast majority of RVs sold in 2015 were towable. RVs can range significantly in size, design, and complexity.
The most common types of RVs include:
- Motorhomes – Class A, B, and C
- Truck Campers
- Sport Utility Trailers
- Travel Trailers
- Fifth Wheel Trailers
- Folding/Pop-up Camper Trailers
- Park Model Campers
According to the International Trade Administration, there are over 60 RV manufacturers and 200 component parts suppliers in the United States. Surprisingly, more than 80 percent of RVs are manufactured in Indiana, the majority of which are concentrated in Elkhart County.
Rise in RV Popularity Leads to Increase in RV Recalls
Based on data the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, the RV industry has grown exponentially over the past seven years and a record high number of 430,961 units were sold in 2016 alone. However, as the number of RVs on the road has increased, so has the amount of safety recalls.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) oversees safety-related recalls in the RV industry. Under federal law, RV manufacturers are required to notify the NHTSA, owners, dealers, and distributors of any safety-related defects. According to the NHTSA, some examples of safety-related defects include problems with fuel system components and faulty wiring.
A report from RV Daily Report, indicates that the RV industry had 37.4 percent more recalls in 2016 than the year before. One of the largest RV manufacturers in the U.S., Forest River, is facing up to $35 million in fines from the U.S. Department of Transportation for failing to report mandatory data on time and delaying safety-related recalls.
Common Types of Injuries
Although the nature and severity injuries will depend on the type of RV accident, common injuries include:
- Moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries
- Severed limbs
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury or paralysis
- Back and neck injuries
- Torn ligaments
- Disfiguring lacerations
- Muscle injuries
When RV defects lead to motor vehicle crashes, the consequences can be particularly devastating for any rear passengers of a motorhome. While motorhomes are self-propelled, they are not required to be crash tested and may be exempt from certain seat belt requirements. During a collision, rear passengers of a motorhome can be injured by projectiles or being tossed around the cabin.
Skilled Representation for Your Houston Product Liability Claim
If your injuries are the result of a defective RV, you may be able to pursue compensation through a product liability claim against the manufacturer or parts supplier responsible for your accident. The compensation you may receive will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, but may include past and future:
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical limitations
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
At The Krist Law Firm, P.C., our skilled team of Houston personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling auto defect cases and will zealously advocate for the compensation you deserve. We understand the types of arguments and evidence it takes to establish liability and hold companies accountable for injuries caused by their dangerous products.
For the past 40 years, we have fought tirelessly on behalf of accident victims throughout Texas and we are proud of our reputation as professional and talented litigators. We fight for the maximum compensation possible in every case and offer a free, no-risk consultation with one of our knowledgeable product liability attorneys.