Injuries in Rhino Rollovers
The Yamaha Rhino two-person off-road vehicle has been blamed in numerous lawsuits for serious injuries to its users, including several deaths. Before the company modified the Rhino's design, the most common injuries were to the legs and feet. According to critics of the Rhino, which Yamaha calls a utility terrain vehicle (UTV), it is too tall and too narrow, making it dangerously top-heavy and prone to roll over. It is further charged that the original Rhino design offered no protection for the lower extremities of its occupants.
Victims Claim Lack of Protection for Legs and Feet
Rhino riders who experienced severe lower extremity injuries, including some that required amputation, claim that their legs and feet too easily swung over the sides of the vehicle as it rolled over, even when restrained by seatbelts.
In 2007, Yamaha added half-doors to the Rhino, intended to keep occupants' legs inside the vehicle. At the same time, they added more passenger handholds. These modifications were also offered free of charge for all units already sold.
Broken bones are common in Rhino rollover accidents. In addition to feet and legs, arms, wrists, hands, and collarbones seem to be especially vulnerable.
Fatalities Include Children
Children have been crushed to death in rollover or ejection accidents. At least one lawsuit claims that a child was thrown out and crushed when the seatbelt failed to restrain the child as intended.
Earlier this year, in an attempt to address the stability issue, Yamaha offered to widen the rear track on all Rhinos, again free of charge, by adding a two-inch spacer to each rear wheel. They also offered to remove an anti-sway bar.
Consult an Attorney
Modified or not, many people have been injured or killed using Yamaha Rhinos. If this includes you or someone you love, you need the aid of an experienced personal injury attorney to be sure you receive the financial compensation required to deal with the consequences.