Apr 3, 2015 - Articles - by Dodson & Hooks, APLC
The family road trip: a time for long conversations, lasting memories, and….liability? Believe it or not, recreational vehicle (RV) accidents are hardly uncommon, and with the number of family members typically traveling along, it is even less uncommon for injuries to occur. Recreational vehicles travel on roadways alongside cars, trucks and motorcycles, however these vehicles carry their own unique brand of liability and comparative negligence issues – which we will discuss today.
If you have been injured within or by a recreational vehicle, we encourage you to contact Dodson & Hooks APLC right away to discuss your rights. Nothing puts a damper on the family vacation quite like unexpected exposure to injury or liability. For help, call (225) 372-1666.
Passenger Injury and Comparative Negligence
One of the most common occurrences in an RV accident is injuries to passengers often due to lack of restraint. Unlike passengers in a typical motor vehicle, hanging out in the back of a moving RV does not generally require use of a seat belt in Louisiana – creating the perfect scenario for harm in the event of a collision. More specifically, Louisiana law only requires use of a seatbelt by those in the front seats and anyone riding in the back aged 12 years or younger.
So what do these loose lap belt laws mean for anyone injured in an RV accident? Unfortunately, the laws of comparative negligence could apply to the situation to help alleviate the responsible party’s liability – unless an experienced and knowledgeable accident attorney is able to counter the defendant’s comparative negligence argument with one of his or her own.
Louisiana’s Comparative Negligence Law
Comparative negligence is a term referring to any situation wherein a personal injury victim is considered responsible for some or all of his or her own injuries. For example, in the context of the RV accident, comparative negligence could become an issue if the victim was found not wearing a seat belt. However, the equally-applicable “reasonableness” standard will also apply to determine whether comparative negligence will work as a preclusion or reduction of the victim’s recovery.
In many instances, and clearly under Louisiana law, it is not considered unlawful to ride in an RV without a seatbelt. Therefore, if you find yourself in the midst of a counter-defense of comparative negligence, your lawyer will undoubtedly assert that it is considered reasonable and expected that passengers in an RV will be riding unrestrained – and the party responsible for your injures should be 100 percent responsible for your injuries.
What’s more, your car accident attorney will advance all material and relevant evidence on your behalf to help obtain the best possible outcome for your case, including facts to suggest that your lack of restraint had nothing to do with your injuries and everything to do with the defendant’s misconduct and negligent actions at the time of the collision.
Dodson & Hooks APLC Can Help With Your RV Accident Case
If you were recently injured in an auto accident and you were riding in an RV, your case requires the dedicated knowledge of a Baton Rouge accident attorney. At Dodson & Hooks APLC, we can help put the facts and law on your side. To get started, call (225) 372-1666 today.