Successfully resolving a Rhode Island car accident case for compensation can be complex. This is because every tort lawsuit, whether it is based on strict liability, negligence or intention, involves two crucial legal issues – damages and liability. To resolve a RI car accident lawsuit, the victim must establish that the defendant is liable for the victim’s damages and, if true, to what extent. If the victim can prove causation, duty, damages and liability, a jury or a claims adjuster will award the victim the compensation they deserve. A Providence car accident lawyer can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve. In most cases, victims will hire a Rhode Island car accident attorney who specializes in tort law and automobile accidents.
Rhode Island car accident lawyer
The lengthy process of resolving a trucking wreck case begins in a consultation with a RI personal injury attorney to discuss all potential legal options. If the case has merit, the Providence car accident lawyer will begin the discovery process. The discovery process is the process where evidence is gathered, witnesses are interviewed, and the incident is fully reviewed. This might involve a complete evaluation of medical records and police reports to build a solid case for compensation. Most cases are resolved by a RI auto crash attorney negotiating with an adjuster working for the insurance company policyholder. If the amount of compensation is not acceptable to the victim, the RI personal injury attorney will file a lawsuit in Providence Superior Court to present the case at a jury trial.
How much money do I need for my personal injury case?
Reputable RI personal injury lawyers accept these types of cases on contingency. This means the the injured victim pays nothing for legal services until the Rhode Island car accident lawyer successfully settles the claim through a negotiated out-of-court settlement or wins a jury award at trial.
What constitutes legal personal injury in a filed claim for compensation?
Car accident attorneys in Rhode Island can handle a large variety of cases from vehicle car collisions to medical malpractice and more. A small sampling of common Rhode Island personal injury cases involve:
- Rhode Island wrongful death
- Vehicle accidents including truck accident, boats, motorcycles and passenger cars
- Defective product liability
- Bad drugs / defective and dangerous drugs
- Public transportation accidents
- Fatal car accident
How much is my case for compensation in Kent County Superior Court worth?
Determining the value of a case for automobile accident injury compensation can be difficult. However, your Warwick, Cranston or Woonsocket car accident attorney will review the merits of your claim, evaluate the severity of the injuries you endure, and review the insurance limits of all policies involved. The Providence car accident lawyer will identify every defendant responsible for your damages. In most cases, the value of the injury claim is based on five specific factors that include:
- Past and current medical expenses including the cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation and physical therapy.
- All future medical expenses to allow you to heal completely including the cost of managing temporary or permanent disabilities.
- Lost wages from time missed from work.
- Loss of earning capacity due to physical or mental constraints directly associated with your injuries.
- Intangible damages including pain, suffering, emotional trauma and mental anxiety.
Your Providence car accident lawyer will use numerous factors to determine the actual value of the case. The following factors my be significant:
- diminished capacity to enjoy your previous life,
- the cost of ongoing medical treatments and
- your litigation history.
Car accident lawyer RI
Driving on the roadways is getting more dangerous as the years go by. There are currently more than 208 million people with a driver’s license in this country. While driving provides you with ample freedom, it can also bring on some serious issues. Data show that there are more than three-million car accidents each year. Did you know that 16 percent of those misfortunes are caused by people not paying attention behind the wheel? People are on their cell phones, texting, putting on makeup, or engaging in some other distraction. If you were injured in a car accident in Rhode Island, contact a RI personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney RI will help you get the compensation and justice you are entitled to.
Vehicle crash types used by police
While most people depend on their vehicles to get them to and from work and other places, there is a chance that you could have an accident. You can be seriously injured, and many incidents go to court seeking damages for personal injuries. When you are involved in an automobile accident, your report will classify the type of incident that occurred. The classification means everything, especially since it can help to determine fault. Here are the vehicle crash types used by both police and insurance agencies:
A head-on-collision is where two cars crash head-on. In this instance, either party can be at fault. However, a head-on-incident can also include just one car and an object. If a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree or other thing from the front, it can be classified as this type of crash. The unfortunate part about dealing with these types of incidents is they are more likely to cause a fatality than any other kind of wreck. About two percent of all accidents are considered a head-on-collision. However, of those accidents, more than 10 percent will have fatalities.
When an accident happens at the rear of the vehicle, it is classified as a rear-end collision. In most cases, the fault almost always goes to the person who hits from behind. The theory behind this is that they are following the other car too closely. They are usually cited with “unassured clear distance” for not allowing sufficient room between the vehicles. However, there are some cases when the other party may be at fault. Only an attorney can help determine who is truly at fault for this type of crash.
A T-bone crash is where one car hits another from the side. The side impacts are often very messy accidents. These accidents can be categorized as being broadsided or a side-swipe too. One car hits the side with the back or front of their car. It can also be an object that is hit. Most of these accidents occur at a stop sign or a traffic light.
A hit-and-run incident is not really a classification as much as it is an occurrence. When someone hits a vehicle and leaves the scene of the accident, the insurance company and police will determine that it is a hit-and-run. Since there is no other party to hold responsible for the charges, your insurance must pay for the repairs. You will have to pay the insurance deductible to get your vehicle repaired.
The side-swipe accident is usually a mild incident. One car swipes another car or object. The damages are usually not as bad as a side occurrence from a T-bone. In many cases, a side-swipe happens with a mailbox, road sign or other objects close to the roadway. Property damage is usually more severe than vehicle damage when these occur. While many are harmless accidents, if one of the persons loses control of their vehicle, then it can turn into a major accident. Regardless of the type of crash, when a total loss of the vehicle occurs, it can result in a fatality.
Rollover accident in RI
A rollover wreck often causes all sorts of medical problems, specifically with the neck and back. The vehicle can flip on its side or completely in the air. This type of incident is often seen with the larger sport utility vehicles. Drivers go too fast around curves and the top-heavy vehicles turn over. In fact, 29 percent of all rollover accidents include a fatality. While statistics show that some types of accidents have a higher chance of causing physical damages than others, you can be hurt anytime there is a collision. You need a good lawyer on your side to help you get compensation to cover your pain and suffering. Never make a statement about an accident without an attorney present. Anything you say can be used by the insurance company to decrease the amount they must pay. Get a medical evaluation right away and call a car accident lawyer ri.
Things you need to know
Car accidents are one of the primary causes of personal injury claims in the United States today. In Providence, Rhode Island heavy traffic and winter weather can make accidents more likely. If you have been injured in a car accident in Providence, here are some things you need to know about filing a personal injury claim.
Providence Car Accident Lawyer
Statistics show that one of the primary causes of car accidents in the United States, is distracted driving. According to the Center for Disease Control or CDC the most common types of distracted driving are:
- Losing Concentration While Driving
- Removing Hands From The Wheel Resulting In A Loss Of Control
- Taking Eyes Off The Roadway While Driving
Today, so many motorists are using their cell phones while hurrying to work which increases the odds of having an accident. Some other common causes of accidents necessitating a Rhode island car accident lawyer are speeding, impaired driving and reckless driving.
Statute of limitations
If you have been injured in an accident in Providence, you have a certain amount of time to file a personal injury lawsuit. When filing a case for personal injury caused by another driver, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. In these cases, it is best to seek the advice of a Providence car accident attorney as soon as possible to avoid confusion. Pursuant to RI Injury law: “(b) Actions for injuries to the person shall be commenced and sued within three (3) years next after the cause of action shall accrue, and not after, except as provided for otherwise in subsection (c) herein.” TITLE 9Courts and Civil Procedure–Procedure Generally CHAPTER 9-1 Causes of Action SECTION 9-1-14
People who are injured in car accidents can sue the other driver and their insurance company for a variety of expenses. Here are some things you may be able to recover money using a Rhode Island car accident lawyer for:
- Medical Bills
- Transportation costs
- Loss Of Wages
- Cost Of Therapy Or Ongoing Treatment
You may also be able to obtain a monetary settlement if you have been disabled as a result of the accident. The court will use information such as lost income and the loss of earning capacity for the future to determine how much to award. If you have been involved in an accident and are injured, it may benefit you to seek the advice of an experienced Providence personal injury attorney or a Providence car accident lawyer. These specialists can evaluate your case and help you decide how to go forward. In many cases, a Rhode island personal injury attorney can take the stress out of the legal process so you can focus on recovering and returning to your life.
Serious matters requiring the attention
Car accidents in Rhode Island are serious matters requiring the attention of a top Rhode Island car accident lawyer. In order to prevail and receive compensation for your injuries resulting from an auto accident in RI, the injured victim is required to establish that the tortfeasor was at fault. To be at fault for a RI car accident, the other motorist must be negligent. If a driver is negligent for a motor vehicle crash, their insurance company is liable to pony up cash to resolve the cause of action.
East Providence car accident lawyer
If you were injured in a RI car accident or Providence auto crash it is important that you protect your legal rights. Never admit fault at the scene of the Warwick, Cranston or Pawtucket automobile collision. Taking pictures and videos of the scene of the Woonscoket, North Providence or Newport motor vehicle wreck will help support your negligence claim. Preferably, get pictures of skid marks, signage, road configurations as well as the various motor vehicles involved in the auto crash. If possible, obtain pictures prior to the vehicles being relocated by the authorities or individual involved in the Rhode Island car accident. All the while, make sure that you are emphasizing your safety as well as the safety of others at the scene of the automobile crash.
If you are legitimately injured in a Rhode Island car accident, it is imperative that you obtain treatment for your injuries. Insurance adjusters will not compensate you for periods of time when you are not treating for your injuries pursuant to your doctors recommendations. Do not speak to the insurance defense car accident negligence attorneys or insurance adjusters. Immediately, retain one of the best car accident lawyers in Rhode Island who is also a top RI personal injury lawyer.
How is negligence determined
” This court established that the “prudent person” rule is the standard by which conduct is to be measured in ascertaining whether due care has been exercised; that is, “[o]rdinary care is such care as a person of ordinary prudence exercises under the circumstances of the danger to be apprehended.” Id. (quoting Leonard v. Bartle, 48 R.I. 101, 104, 135 A. 853, 854 (1927)). 502 A.2d 827 (1986)Carol H. HUESTONv.NARRAGANSETT TENNIS CLUB, INC.No. 83-115-Appeal. Supreme Court of Rhode Island.January 10, 1986.828*828 John T. Walsh, Jr., Joseph V. Cavanagh, Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney, Providence, for plaintiff. Edward L. Gnys, Jr., Richard O. Lessard, Gunning, LaFazia & Gnys, Inc., Providence, for defendant. OPINION SHEA, Justice.
RI car accident attorney sets forth common types of vehicular collisions
There are hundreds of different types of car accidents in Rhode island. These include:
- rollover accident
- rear-end collision
- side impact(T-bone)
- texting while driving crash
- drunk driving collision
- distracted driving
- drowsy, fatigued and tired driving
- lane violation accident
- merge accident
- fatal (deadly) auto wrecks
- intersection accident
- multi vehicle crash
- single car accident
Car accidents cause hundreds of different types of injuries specifically including:
- fractured leg
- fractured and broken arm
- traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- whiplash injury
- internal injuries
Automobile accidents involving texting while driving, distracted driving and negligent operation of a motor vehicle are a problem all over the United States. While most accidents are relatively minor, some lead to serious injury or death. Below are some things to keep in mind if you are involved in a car accident accident in Warwick, Coventry or Cranston. If you were injured in a car, truck or motor vehicle crash in Kent County contact a Warwick personal injury attorney.
Types of Injuries
Depending on the circumstances of the Rhode Island car accident, many victims suffer serious injuries to virtually any area of the body. However, the most common types of injuries caused by a car accident include:
- Head and Brain Trauma – Many Providence car accidents cause serious trauma to the brain and head when the driver or passenger is violently hit or hits an object with impact. The results of brain trauma can be severe, moderate or mild and trauma is often dependent on the extent of damage to the head and brain or any area directly affected in the collision. Some victims of serious head and brain trauma show no visible signs such as a cut, bruise or laceration. However, the brain can easily be jostled or loosened inside the school because of the impact force, causing it to swell, bleed or bruise without any outward sign.
- Neck Injury – Serious neck injuries including whiplash are common types of trauma associated with rear end collisions where the head is thrown forward and thrust back quickly causing serious damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. In serious cases, the victim will suffer cervical disc injury or dislocation and require extensive surgery to heal completely. Severe damage to the trachea or larynx can be caused by a car accident as can a broken neck that could kill the victim instantly.
- Spinal Cord Injury – Damage to the spinal cord can easily occur in high impact collisions were just material or bone fragments become displaced or spinal cord tissue tears or bruises. In some cases, axons in the spinal column are destroyed or nerve cells carrying signals from the body to the brain become inflamed or damaged.
- Facial Injury – Many victims of car accidents suffer serious injuries to the face especially when they strike the steering wheel, airbag, dashboard, side window, windshield or car seat, or are cut by shattered glass upon impact. The injuries to the face can be severe and require extensive reconstruction work to the bones of the face, the skull, jaw and teeth.
- Back Injury – Strains and sprains to back muscles are the least serious type of back injury caused by a car accident. Many victims suffer fractured vertebrae and herniated discs that limit mobility and cause extensive pain. Typically, these types of injuries are long-lasting and require extensive surgery, chiropractic care or pain medication to make the discomfort manageable.
- Internal Injury Including Organ Damage – The extent of impact during a motor vehicle collision can cause extensive internal injuries to the heart, aorta, lungs, liver, spleen, bowels and kidneys. In many cases, a fractured rib punctures a lung and causes extensive damage to internal organs.
- Psychological Injury – A car accident that causes severe injury or loss of life often leaves passengers and motorists suffering with extensive psychological injury like depression, persistent anxiety, PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and emotional anguish. In some cases, the effects and mental trauma of the event can last a lifetime, especially if the lives of victims are irrevocably changed by long-lasting, serious or catastrophic injuries.
A variety of factors can contribute to automobile accidents in Warwick and Cranston RI. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle, truck, or motorcycle collision and are injured, you may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for your injuries. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, some of the primary cause of accidents today are:
Driver fatigue (sleepy driving) is a common cause of auto accidents in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations inclluding the areas of Cranston, Warwick and Coventry RI. Many people commute long distances daily and are unaware they are fatigued. Others may become tired driving to vacation destinations. Failure to pull over and rest can be a fatal mistake.
Warwick personal injury attorney
Reckless or aggressive drivers are a danger to everyone on the road. People who drive in this manner often tailgate, fail to yield the right of way and ignore traffic signals.
Driving Under The Influence
“Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a common reason accidents occur, especially during the wee hours of the morning. Many people fail to realize the effects these substances have on their reflexes and alertness. In July 2003, Rhode Island enacted a law making it a crime for anyone to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or above. For young drivers, a BAC level of 0.02 results in license suspension until the age of 21. The Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints are unconstitutional. A police officer may or may not indicate suspicion of alcohol involvement in a crash report. BAC testing is often performed only on persons who are killed in a crash and not on surviving drivers.” State of Rhode Island Highway Safety Plan, developed and presented by Rhode Island Department of Transportation Office On Highway Safety Two Capitol Hill Providence, RI 02903 date July 1, 2015
How a Warwick personal injury attorney can help
If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries through the court system in Kent County Superior Court. However, in order to achieve this goal, most courts require proof that the other driver caused the accident through negligence. In these cases, having a Coventry injury lawyer or Warwick car accident attorney can make this process easier. An experienced Warwick personal injury attorney will investigate the accident and gather the evidence needed to prove your case. A Cranston auto crash lawyer will also negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, so you can pay any outstanding bills you may have from the accident.
Contact a Rhode Island car accident lawyer if you were involved in an automobile accident in Warwick, Coventry, Cranston or anywhere in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. During a consultation, a Warwick \ car accident attorney will examine the facts in your case and help you decide the best way to move forward with your case.
Laws related to driving in Rhode Island to prevent a car accident
- u-turn – “§ 31-16-4 Places where U-turns prohibited. – No vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction upon any curve or upon the approach to, or near the crest of a grade, where the vehicle cannot be seen by the driver of any other vehicle approaching from either direction within five hundred feet (500′). Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4. ”
- § 31-27-1 Driving so as to endanger, resulting in death. – (a) When the death of any person ensues as a proximate result of an injury received by the operation of any vehicle in reckless disregard of the safety of others, including violations of § 31-27-22, the person so operating the vehicle shall be guilty of “driving so as to endanger, resulting in death”. (b) Any person charged with the commission of this offense shall upon conviction be imprisoned for not more than ten (10) years and have his or her license to operate a motor vehicle suspended for no more than five (5) years
- § 31-27-2 Driving under influence of liquor or drugs. – (a) Whoever drives or otherwise operates any vehicle in the state while under the influence of any intoxicating liquor, drugs, toluene, or any controlled substance as defined in chapter 28 of title 21, or any combination of these, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor except as provided in subdivision (d)(3) and shall be punished as provided in subsection (d) of this section.
“The crash involved a group of six motorcycles with nine total riders on the six motorcycles and a pickup truck. Five of the six motorcycles were involved in the crash with the pickup. The six motorcycles were traveling west on US 14/16/20. The pickup, a 2003 Chevrolet C/K 1500, driven by 61 year old Ontario, Oregon resident Manuel Defuentes, was traveling east on US 14/16/20. The vehicles met in a gradual curve in the highway. The truck driven by Defuentes crossed the centerline of the road while in the gradual curve and entered the westbound lane of travel. After crossing the centerline, the pickup struck five of six westbound motorcycles with seven total riders on the five motorcycles that were struck. The five motorcycles struck were all 2015 Harley-Davidsons. The majority of the riders involved in the crash were wearing helmets. Whether all the riders involved were wearing helmets is still being determined. The four non-fatal riders involved in the crash were all transported to West Park Hospital in Cody. Three of the four non-fatal riders were then airlifted to Billings, Montana. The fourth was treated at West Park Hospital and released. The three that were airlifted to Billings” KTVQ
Car accident lawyers in Rhode Island help those who have been seriously injured or have family members who were killed in automobile accidents. Distracted driving while using electronic devices is one of the most common causes of accidents today. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 3,179 people were killed in auto accidents due to distracted driving in 2014 alone. As accident statistics rise, so will the need for legal representation in these cases. If you have been injured or someone you love has lost their life at the hands of another driver in North Providence, Woonsocket or Pawtucket consider speaking with a Rhode Island automobile accident attorney for advice.
Expenses for a North Providence car accident claim
There are many different types of expenses you may be able to seek compensation for after a crash. The amount of money needed for medical bills depends largely upon how severe your injuries are and whether or not you will need ongoing medical care. Some common expenses included in personal injury claims include:
- Ambulance Transport Fees
- Emergency Room Bills
- Bills From Hospital Stays
- Physical Or Occupational Therapy
- Transportation To Doctor Visits
- Accessories Such As Wheelchairs Or Crutches
You may also be able to obtain compensation for pain and suffering if you are permanently disabled due to an auto accident. This may also include money for anxiety or stress after an injury. If you are not able to work or return to the same line of work after an accident, your Woonsocket or Pawtucket injury lawyer may be able to obtain a settlement to compensate you. Most people who are involved in serious accidents miss time from work, which results in a loss of income. A North Providence or Woonsocket car accident attorney may be able to prove how much you are entitled to in this scenario. In most cases, your Rhode Island car accident lawyer will use past income to calculate the amount of your loss. For more RI car accident and providence auto accident lawyer articles go here.
Sadly, automobile accidents are an all too common occurrence and studies indicate that most Rhode Island crashes occur within five miles of home. The most potential cause of a vehicle accident usually involves negligence, traffic gridlock, driving recklessly, speeding, and unsafe driving practices to name just a few. Some of the most serious RI auto accidents causing catastrophic injuries and death happen on city side roads and parking lots. if you were involved in a car accident in Rhode Island then you should contact a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer. A top Rhode Island personal injury attorney will help you get the compensation that you are entitled to.
The 10 most common types of car accidents involve:
• Rear end automobile Collisions and accidents
When a car strikes the back of a vehicle ahead, it is often the result of distraction, inattention or sudden deceleration without adequate time to brake or slow down. Rear end collisions can cause serious injuries including whiplash that affect both passengers and drivers riding in the impacted vehicle. Usually, the fault of the accident is placed on the driver who rear ends the vehicle ahead.
Sideswiping usually happens when two vehicles traveling parallel will touch, collide or crash into each other. Many times, one or both vehicles are damaged only slightly unless one motorist loses control prior to the accident.
• Side Impact accident or Collision
Broadside, “T-bone” or side-impact collisions usually happen when one vehicle runs a stop sign or red light. These types of providence, Warwick or Cranston collisions are typically caused when the front of one vehicle impacts the side, rear or front of another vehicle or fixed object. The vehicle damage to both vehicles is commonly quite extensive and injuries tend to be catastrophic, especially to passengers and drivers inside the vehicle struck by the approaching car.
• Vehicle Rollovers
Driving or riding in a vehicle that rolls over in Rhode Island can be both frightening and dangerous. This is because rollovers cause the vehicle to flip over on its roof or side. While any type of car or truck can roll over, the highest incident rates of rollover accidents occur in SUVs or other vehicles with a higher center of gravity than most passenger cars.
• Unexpected Lane Change Collision
Staying attentive is crucial to everyone safety when operating a vehicle on any road. This means continually checking side mirrors, monitoring speed and looking in the rearview mirror, especially before making an unexpected lane change that could cause vehicles to collide.
Many fatalities in Providence occur when drivers run red lights. For many motorists, a red light does not necessarily mean stop.
• Head on Crashes – Most head-on accidents at high speed are fatal. This is because the accelerated speed of both vehicles crashing head-on into one another is exponentially higher than when a vehicle crashes into a fixed object.
• Multi-Vehicle Collision – Pile-ups and other multi-vehicle collisions tend to happen on busy highways, side streets and roadways. When these accidents occur at high speed, injuries tend to be catastrophic. In some situations, it is challenging to determine who exactly caused the accident and what factors played a part in the collision.
• Single Car Accident – Oddly enough, many accidents involve just a single vehicle that strikes a fixed object like a wall, fire hydrant, tree or pole. Many fatalities occur in single car accidents when the vehicle strikes a bicycle or pedestrian.
• Hit-and-Run Crash – These types of accidents involve accidents where one or more motorists leave the scene. In many incidences, it is very challenging to identify the vehicle or the hit-and-run driver just after the collision.
Accidents in RI
Avoiding dangerous Rhode Island car crashes usually requires following common rules of the road. This includes looking both ways for any approaching vehicle and giving the right-of-way to others especially at stop signs and red lights. Traveling at a safe speed by following the posted speed limit can save your life, the lives of your passengers and those sharing the roadway with you.
Depending on the circumstances of the Barrington, Bristol or Warren accident with damages, injuries or fatalities, litigating a motor vehicle accident for compensation in providence Superior Court can be complex. A reputable Rhode Island personal injury attorney or RI car accident lawyer who specializes in these types of cases will generally handle a claim for compensation on contingency, meaning no upfront fees are required.
RI car accident lawyer uthored articles:
The recently published articles below were written by reputable RI car accident lawyer, David Slepkow who explains the different legal aspects of personal injury law and financial compensation. This valuable information provides insight into understanding many legal options to successfully resolve your case while seeking justice and financial compensation for your damages.
While every personal injury case is unique, there are general answers to common FAQs (frequently asked questions) to help you better understand how to handle your case. This RI Injury Law FAQ article explains what to do if you are involved in an automobile accident. The article explains how to determine the value of your case for compensation and the restrictions of filing your claim or suit based on the Rhode Island statute of limitations. In addition, the article will answer what to do if the individual or entity responsible for your damages has no insurance and how you can still obtain financial compensation for your injuries if you are struck by a hit-and-run driver.
This RI Personal Injury Law article provides information on how to determine the true value of a suit or claim filed for compensation after being involved in an accident. The article informs the reader what to bring to an initial consultation to discuss the case including information the attorney will need from the victim to evaluate the claim’s monetary value.
The reader learns why it is necessary to hire an experienced Rhode Island personal injury attorney. The article explainsw what will happen during the initial consultation. What to expect if the lawyer negotiates an out of court settlement on their behalf. What happens if a lawyer must take the case to trial. The article also outlines the entire process of filing and resolving a claim or lawsuit for compensation and how much upfront money is required to pay an attorney to handle the case.
In many cases, personal injury victims will hire a new attorney to replace a previous attorney who provided unsatisfactory results. By law, the prior RI car accident attorney is required to turn the entire legal file over to the new law firm. This article explains how the previous Rhode Island personal injury attorney will be paid for their legal services provided before they were terminated. What types of compensation cases that are handled on contingency? The article informs readers of what happens if the prior car accident attorney in RI and the new Providence car crash lawyer cannot reach an agreement on how to adequately divide legal fees.
The moments following a Rhode Island car accident tend to be confusing, overwhelming and uncertain. If you suffered injuries and damages, you are likely wondering what steps to take to heal completely and receive compensation for your losses. It is crucial that you retain a Rhode Island personal injury attorney. A car accident lawyer in RI will help you get the compensation and justice that you deserve.
Should you take photographs of the accident scene or express your opinions as to what happened? The following do’s and don’ts are listed below to ensure you protect your rights for compensation. They include:
• Don’t Wait to Receive Medical Care after an accident
–If you believe you were injured IN ANY WAY in a car, truck or motorcycle accident then seek immediate medical attention. This is because the adrenaline rush and heightened experience of being involved in an accident can easily mask serious internal harm, even if nothing externally seems to be broken, cut or injured. If you, or anyone else at the accident scene, are suffering from injuries, call 911 immediately.
• Do Call the Police Right Away
– It is crucial to your case for compensation to have the accident formally documented. Law enforcement will gather facts, speak to eyewitnesses and file a report that can be used for legal purposes. Not calling the police can make it significantly harder when you are left with your word against what is said by others.
• Do Exchange Pertinent Information – It is crucial to gather as much information about other parties involved in the accident including their names, phone number and addresses. If the RI car accident involves another vehicle, be sure to collect the license plate number, driver’s insurance information, insurance coverage information and the other vehicle’s make, model and year along with the driver’s license numbers and registration of the other parties.
• Do Remain at the Scene and take pictures– Leaving the accident scene before police and emergency services arrive might make it appear as though you are a hit-and-run offender. Additionally, it is important that the other vehicle remain at the scene until the police arrive. This is because accident victims often given false information and bogus insurance numbers. It is crucial that you take pictures of the scene of the RI motor vehicle wreck and all automobiles involved.
• Don’t Panic and Keep Quiet – Taking a deep breath and remain calm. This will help keep your mind clear and make it easier to remember to remain quiet with the others involved in the accident as to exactly what happened.
• Don’t Sign Any Documents – Within a day or two after the accident, claims adjusters working for insurance companies will begin the process of resolving your case by offering you a low settlement amount. In many cases, the inadequate offered settlement is too low to pay for your medical expenses, lost time away from work, the inability to work in the future, damaged vehicle repairs and intangible damages including pain and suffering. Do not sign anything or accept anything until you have retained a personal injury lawyer in RI.
• Do call a Rhode Island Personal Lawyer – The sooner you consult with a RI car accident attorney, the quicker investigators can gather valuable evidence necessary to support your claim for financial compensation. Additionally, all claims for compensation must be filed before the state statute of limitations expires.
• Don’t Wait to Get Legal Advice – If you wait too long to obtain legal advice, counsel and representation, it may be extremely challenging to prove your case to hold responsible parties financially accountable for the injuries, losses and damages they have caused.
Motor vehicle traffic crashes
Following the do’s and don’ts above can ensure that your rights are protected. Reputable Providence auto accident lawyers or Rhode Island car accident attorneys handle these vehicle car accident injury cases on contingency where their fees are only paid out of a successful trial award or through a negotiated out-of-court settlement.
“A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for 2015 shows that an estimated 35,200 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents an increase of about 7.7 percent as compared to the 32,675 fatalities that were reported to have occurred in 2014, as shown in Table 1. If these projections are realized, fatalities will be at the highest level since 2008, when 37,423 fatalities were reported. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 2015 increased by about 107.2 billion miles, or about a 3.5-percent increase. Also shown in Table 1 are the fatality rates per 100 million VMT, by quarter.” U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration : TRAFFIC SAFETY FACTS- Crash • Stats , Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2015
Car accidents are a growing problem across the U.S. today. Foul weather, texting while driving and aggressive driving behaviors are some primary causes of accidents on the roads, according to the United States Department of Transportation. The following is an overview of what you should do immediately to protect your interests if you are involved in a Warren, Bristol or Barrington car accident. If you are injured in a crash in Bristol, Barrington or Warren consider consulting a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer for advice.
Bristol, Barrington & Warren lawyer
After an accident in RI, most people experience a wide range of emotions including anxiety and confusion. However, it is extremely important to gather pertinent information so you can receive compensation if you are injured as a result of the accident. Some things you can do at the scene include:
- Obtain Drivers License And Insurance Information
- Don’t Admit Guilt
- Get Medical Attention
- contact the police
- take pictures and videos of the scene and the motor vehicles involved in the crash
- do not admit fault
- get names, telephone numbers and addresses of witnesses
If you are injured in an accident and have medical bills as a result, you may be able to receive compensation. Some expenses you may be able to recover money for include:
- Transportation Costs
- Rental Car Expenses
- Emergency Care
- Unpaid Medical Bills
- Lost Income
When to contact a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer
If you are involved in an accident, you may not realize the extent of your injuries immediately. In many cases, a few days go by before serious symptoms occur. Complications may also arise, prolonging your recovery. It is important to contact a lawyer if:
- You Have Unpaid Medical Bills
- The Other Driver Does Not Have Insurance
- You Are Permanently Disabled
- You Cannot Return To Work
Personal injury lawyers in Rhode Island handle car, truck or motorcycle accidents. These RI car accident attorneys in Bristol, Warren and Barington have experience gathering evidence in these cases to use when negotiating with insurance companies. If you are disabled from your injuries, an East providence auto accident lawyer can calculate future lost earnings if you cannot return to work.
Having an experienced Bristol car, truck or motor vehicle crash attorney to represent you in a car accident case in Bristol, Barrington or Warren can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. If you have been involved in an accident, contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation. During this visit, your attorney will outline your case and present your options in filing a lawsuit in Providence Superior Court. Hiring a Rhode Island personal injury attorney or Rhode Island mesothelioma lawsuit lawyer may give you much needed peace of mind, allowing you to focus on recovering and returning to work. If you are seeking a Camp Lejeune lawsuit attorney to get a Camp Lejeune settlement amount, contact us.
Law enforcement officers in RI or Mass. could issue a ticket for following the other vehicle too closely, officially declaring you and you alone to be responsible for the car crash. No investigation, no inquiry, no trial could absolve us from responsibility if we rear-ended someone (at least that is what we were led to believe).
Rhode Island rear end car accident lawyer
As well-intentioned as this advice is – and it is good advice to put plenty of space between your car and the car in front of you so that you can safely stop with little or no advanced warning. The truth is that rear-end collisions are not always the fault of the trailing car. Sometimes the lead driver engages in negligent or careless driving that can contribute to the rear-end collision. This driver’s negligence may possibly exceed the negligence of the trailing driver, the trailing driver may be entitled to damages.
“Under Rhode Island law, “[w]hen a case includes a claim or defense resulting from a rear-end collision between vehicles, a prima facie case of negligence against the driver of the car in the rear is established * * *.” Maglioli v. J.P. Noonan Transportation, Inc., 869 A.2d 71, 75 (R.I. 2005).
Negligent behavior by Leading drivers can contribute to rear end collision car accident
Some of the ways in which leading drivers may act carelessly or recklessly and thereby contribute to a rear-end collision in Rhode Island (RI) or Massachusetts (MA) include:
- Suddenly stopping for no justifiable reason;
- Turning left or right without giving a proper signal;
- Driving far too slow for prevailing road and traffic conditions;
- Failing to follow generally-accepted rules of the road;
- Disregarding traffic control signs and signals (some drivers mistake a STOP sign for a YIELD sign and vice versa, for instance).
- backing up on the highway or in the middle of the road
Determining who is at fault or what percentage of fault to assign to each driver in a rear-end collision in Providence or Boston is not always easy. Doing so may require consultation with engineers, accident reconstruction experts, and other expert witnesses. An experienced Michigan car accident lawyer should have the connections and resources necessary to thoroughly evaluate the cause(s) of your rear-end collision and accurately determine your precise legal rights to recovery.
Below are the most common rear end accident statistics for 2012
• More than one out of every four automobile accidents involved rear end collisions.
• Statistics by the NSC (National Safety Council) indicate that more than 2.5 million rear end crashes occurred in 2012.
• Rear end collisions caused the vast majority of whiplash injuries that were vehicle-related where the victims suffered serious injuries to their shoulders, neck and spine caused by the sudden and violent snapping movement of the accident.
• The force of impact of a rear end collision even at a low speed caused significant back injuries when the spine was compressed and discs were dislocated in the victim’s lower back area.
• A significant number of rear end collisions involved serious head and face injuries caused by the deployment of airbags.
• Many victims suffered less serious injuries including bruises (contusions), cuts (lacerations) and scrapes (abrasions) to the scalp and face.
• Victims also suffered injuries to the arms, hands, fingers and wrists because of violent jerking movement into the steering wheel and sun visor.
• Injuries also occurred by seatbelts and harnesses where the torso was thrust forward causing lacerations, bruises and burns across the chest and hip.
If you were injured in a Mass automobile accident or a RI car, truck, motor vehicle or auto collision then contact a personal injury attorney in Rhode Island or a MA auto accident lawyer. A Rhode Island car accident lawyer will fight to get the compensation you deserve.
A rear-end collision occurs when the front end of one car impacts with the rear end of the vehicle in front of it. Most rear-end collisions occur because the following driver was engaged in at least one activity that was a distraction. According to statistics provided by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, rear-end collisions consist of about 27 percent of all motor vehicle accidents. About 67 percent of the following drivers admitted to not even looking at the road in front of them before impact.
Fatigued driving and rear-end collisions
Coming in a distant second to distracted driving is fatigued driving. According to a study from the Virginia Tech Traffic Institute, fatigued driving is a factor in 12 percent of all crashes. Moderately or severely fatigued drivers were found to be 4.7 times more likely to be involved in a rear-end collision than drivers who were alert. Age was also a factor in rear-end collisions. Drivers who were 18 to 20-years-old were determined to be as much as four times more likely to involved in rear-end accidents.
The whiplash injury
The most common injury suffered in rear-end collisions is a hyperextension/flexion injury that’s commonly known as whiplash. It’s caused by acceleration forces that disturb the balance of interconnecting neck anatomy. Those acceleration forces can affect the severity of the injury.
The physics of a whiplash injury
A rear-end impact results in sudden acceleration force to the vehicle that’s been hit. That force is transmitted from the driver or occupant’s car seat to his or her body. The law of physics accelerates the body forward which results in hyperextension of the neck. The head then whips back, and then it whips forward. This sudden and violent movement tears ligaments, cartilage and muscle tissue.
Treatment of whiplash injuries
Most whiplash injuries caused by a rear-end accident resolve with conservative treatment in six to eight weeks. Some might involve the spinal cord or spinal nerves and might require surgical intervention. Victims of whiplash injuries should seek care and treatment as soon as symptoms arise. It might even take a day or two for the pain to start after an accident. Victims shouldn’t sit on their rights. Time limitations are set for how long victims can wait to file an injury lawsuit after an accident. They should consult with a qualified Providence personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a rear-end accident.
Rear End Collision Causes in RI
In nearly every case, negligence plays a major role in filing personal injury claims for compensation of a rear end collision in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Usually, rear end crashes are caused by:
• Tailgating – Traffic laws require drivers to maintain a “prudent” distance between their vehicle and the vehicle ahead. A lack of adequate space to come to a complete stop is considered tailgating where the motorist is unable to stop quickly for any action caused by the driver ahead making a quick stop.
• Intoxication – Alcohol can seriously compromise the reflexes of the driver especially when the motorist is intoxicated. The driver lacks the ability to adequately judge distances or can fall asleep behind the wheel, leading to a serious accident with injuries.
• Driver Inattention – Distraction is one of the leading causes of most rear end collisions where motorists are unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with another vehicle because they were listening to loud music, applying makeup, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, using a cell phone or other form of distraction.
• Adverse Weather Conditions – High winds, ice, sliced, snow, rain and fog can have a direct effect on the motorist’s ability to see everything ahead.
• Roadway Defects – Road construction, potholes, downed trees or stop signals obscured by foliage can increase the potential of a rear end collision.
• Radar Guns and Law Enforcement – The unexpected appearance of law enforcement officers using radar guns can cause a major distraction where motorist will slam on their brakes to slow down and avoid being ticketed.
• Accidents – Many rear end collisions are caused by curious drivers watching the scene of an accident while traveling at a slow speed. Rear end crashes can easily happen when the driver ahead makes a quick stop and the motorist behind is distracted.
Every driver has an obligation (duty of care) to drive safely in Providence and Boston as a way to minimize the potential of causing an accident. This means that every motorist in Rhode island and MA is required to follow traffic laws, lookout for potential problems and not drive recklessly. Any breach of that duty violates their responsibility, which can be deemed as negligence. Victims with injuries caused by a rear end collision have the legal right to seek financial compensation to cover their damages, injuries and harm.
This is part one of a three part series concerning the RI Highway Safety report and Rhode Island car accidents. This article was authored by Rhode Island personal Injury lawyer, David Slepkow The State of Rhode Island Highway Safety for the fiscal year of 2014 was developed and presented by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. This is an annual report written by RI Department of Transportation. This report “serves as the State of Rhode Island’s application to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)” The entire RI DOT (State of Rhode Island Highway Safety Plan, Federal Fiscal Year 2015, July 2014) report can be found: here
The RI highway safety report- background
This application supported Rhode Island seeking to obtain “Federal funds available under Section 402 State and Community Highway Safety grant program.” State Officials believe that the feds should look at Rhode Island data differently from the rest of the nation. For example, the DOT report states that “In Rhode Island, the population and annual number of fatalities are relatively low compared to the nation. As such, one fatality can significantly affect the percentage. Interpretation of increases and decreases in percentages, particularly from one year to the next, are carefully examined. ” A quick perusal of the report shows that RI officials and employees spent countless hours finalizing this thorough and extensive report.
This extensive and in depth report highlights certain issues, provides relevant data and statistics, outlines state initiatives and safety goals. The issues presented and data includes but is not limited to: motorcycle accidents, “occupant protection” (aka seat belts), “older road users” otherwise known as elderly motorists or senior citizens, impaired driving such as drunk drivers, speeding, as well as issues pertaining to teen motorists and young drivers.
Personal injury attorneys in Rhode Island and RI car accident lawyers can learn a great deal by carefully analyzing this report. If an auto accident attorney in Providence is not knowledgeable about important accident statistics in RI, he or she will not have important insight into the root causes of collisions in the Ocean State.
Drunk driving & impaired driving accidents in RI
According to the report, 38 % of deaths in the Ocean State resulted from drunk driving / alcohol in 2012. This is somewhat embarrassing for lawmakers and public policy officials since the national average for such impaired driving fatalities is 31 percent. The report tries to find the silver lining in this troubling statistics, pointing out that “Rhode Island’s percentage of alcohol-related fatalities dropped nearly four percentage points from 2010 to 2011.”
For innocent pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and motorists utilizing RI roadways and streets this is hardly comforting, to say the least. Rhode Island’s solution to this perplexing issue is to create an impaired driving task force to examine the issues. Some would say that the report should have demanded new more stringent impaired driving and drunk driving legislation to resolve the public safety issue.
One of the reasons that the report indicates for the higher percentages of people killed by inebriated, wasted, buzzed, high and drunk drivers is that “Sobriety checkpoints are banned by judicial ruling in Rhode Island.”
The report also addresses various RI laws that pertain to drunk driving and drunk driving accidents in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. “In July 2003, Rhode Island enacted a law making it a crime for anyone to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or above. For young drivers, a BAC level of 0.02 results in license suspension until the age of 21. ”
If someone is injured in a drunk driving car crash in Providence or in RI, he or she should immediately contact a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer. A personal injury attorney in RI or a RI car accident lawyer will help you get the compensation that you deserve
Motorcycle accidents in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
Another embarrassment for RI is that “In 2013, motorcycle fatalities increased 38 percent from 2012, and unhelmeted fatalities rose 20 percent.” If someone is injured or killed in a motorcycle crash in Rhode Island then a RI motorcycle accident lawyer should be contacted immediately. A Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyer who is also a Rhode Island personal injury attorney will help the motorcyclist get the compensation that they are entitled to. “Rhode Island does not have a universal helmet law for all motorcyclists (Rhode Island’s motorcycle helmet use law only covers all passengers (regardless of age) and all operators during the first year of licensure (regardless of age). ”
If someone is killed in a fatal car accident in Rhode Island, the executor of the estate should contact a RI wrongful death attorney. A Rhode Island wrongful death lawyer who has litigated deadly auto crashes in RI will help the estate obtain the compensation it is entitled to on behalf of the statutory beneficiaries set forth in RI laws. Part 2 and 3 of this report will analyze pedestrian accident statistics, automobile collisions in RI, seat belt usage as well as elderly drivers and other motor vehicle accidents in Rhode Island. Truck accidents such as semi-trucks, tractor trailer collisions and 18 wheeler wrecks are beyond the scope of these posts.
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of motor vehicle accidents These occur when the front end of one vehicle impacts with the rear of another vehicle that’s almost always stopped or close to coming to a complete stop. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that rear-enders consist of 28 percent of all accidents on United States roadways. As per the National Safety Council, more than 2.5 million rear-end accidents are reported across the nation every year.
If a car, truck, motor vehicle, van or suv is contacted by another motor vehicle from behind in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, “a prima facie case of negligence against the driver of the car in the rear is established * * *.” Maglioli v. J.P. Noonan Transportation, Inc., 869 A.2d 71, 75 (R.I. 2005). see: Roland DeMaio et al.v.Raymond A. Ciccone et al. “(noting that the prima facie evidence principle applies “where a rear-end collision is established” (emphasis added)). Id. See Rachiele v. McGovern, 107 R.I. 241, 245, 266 A.2d 36, 38 (1970)
“Under Rhode Island law, [w]hen a case includes a claim or defense resulting from a rear-end collision between vehicles, a prima facie case of negligence against the driver of the car in the rear is established * * *.” Maglioli v. J.P. Noonan Transportation, Inc., 869 A.2d 71, 75 (R.I. 2005).
The Virginia Tech study The NHTSA commissioned the Virginia Tech Traffic Institute (VTTI) to investigate rear-end collisions. The VTTI study concluded that:
- In rear-end accidents, the lead vehicle was stopped 81 percent of the time
- Most rear-end collisions were the result of following too closely
- These collisions most often occur during daylight on flat and straight roads
- Distracted driving contributed to about 90 percent of all rear-enders
Causes of rear-end collisions Most rear-end car, motorcycle and pick-up truck collisions and crashes are caused by drivers who simply weren’t paying attention. Common contributing factors to a rear end car crash involve:
- Using a cell phone when driving
- Texting while driving
- Following too closely
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Improper vehicle maintenance
Head and neck injuries from rear-end collisions The most common injuries sustained in a rear-end collision involve the head and neck. The victim of a rear-end collision can experience symptoms like:
- Severe headaches
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Neurological disorders involving the arms and legs
Acceleration-deceleration injuries Proper medical terminology for these injuries could be an acceleration-deceleration cervical spine injury. They can be very serious, permanent and require surgery. Rear-end impacts can cause serious acceleration-deceleration injuries to the lower spine too. Compensation for acceleration-deceleration injuries If you’re going to seek compensation for the injuries you suffered in a rear-end collision, you’ll be required to document them with medical records and bills. Your doctor must be able to state that within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the injuries you sustained were a direct and proximate result of the rear-end impact. Compensation you can seek The law in Rhode island and Massachusetts (MA) permits the victim of a rear-end collision to seek compensation for a variety of damages. Those damages primarily include but aren’t limited to:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Any permanent disability
- Any permanent disfigurement
Never talk with the other insurer. Contact a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer or a RI car accident attorney immediately for a free consultation and case evaluation after any accident involving personal injury to your or a family member. Negligently caused injuries require fair compensation. A RI personal injury attorney will help you get the compensation you deserve for your RI car accident Rear end collisions constitute a large portion of all crashes that occur in the U.S., Rhode island and Massachusetts every year. In fact, rear end collisions account for nearly one third of all reported collisions in the United States and are a leading cause of accidents occurring at signalized intersections and stop signs. These car and motor vehicle accidents are usually the result of not leaving adequate space to give the motorist enough reaction time to make a quick decision to stop. if injured in such an accident then contact a Rhode Island car accident lawyer.
Multiple vehicle accidents and multi-car accident in Rhode Island can be very complicated when all of the injured parties begin filing damage claims in Providence Superior Court. While one particular driver may have initially caused the RI accident, multiple car accident liability still needs to be sorted out. Tort law governing vehicular collisions in the state where the motor vehicle collision occurred determines who is at fault. An injured party may still have been negligent to some degree. However, the final decision in a Rhode island collision concerning which driver has the highest percentage of fault in multi-car accident will be determined by a Jury in Providence Superior Court unless a settlement is reached.
Commercial Vehicles and multi-car accident
Many times multiple vehicle accidents in Warwick, Cranston or Woonsocket are caused by commercial vehicles or semi-tractor trailer rigs that malfunction on the roadway. This situation occurs regularly when a negligent driver is following too closely. Maintaining a safe distance in congested traffic can be difficult for all driver and truckers, especially when traffic is flowing at a high rate of speed. When vehicles are traveling in close proximity, all cars are often moving in excess of the speed limit.
Because of inept insurance adjusters and penny pinching insurance companies who are emboldened to their stockholders, it is always important to have an experienced and aggressive RI car accident lawyer or Providence personal injury attorney handling your case. These Rhode Island personal injury lawyers can upend and discredit insurance carrier defenses that are intended to delay, confuse and hinder a just resolution of the cause of action. Also, your Providence injury attorney may be able to file litigation against a transportation company especially when there is documentation that the trucking or transport company was negligent regarding vehicle safety.
Comparative Negligence and multi-car accident in RI
Nearly every state uses some form of comparative negligence doctrine to determine liability for car wrecks. This can be confusing in a multiple car accident. Each driver is assigned a percentage of fault in the accident, and the amount of damages the injured parties can receive is reduced by their percentage assignment. As an example, individuals who are injured in an accident and have a comparative negligence assignment of 10% will only receive 90% of the available damages.
1) Rhode Island is a pure comparative Fault state. This means that even if someone is more than 50 percent at fault for a multi-car accident they can still seek compensation for their injuries. In other words, if a motorist is 98 percent liable for an auto crash they can obtain 3 percent of their damages, pain and suffering, medical bills and disability.
Here is the Rhode Island statute concerning comparative fault: “§ 9-20-4 Comparative negligence. – In all actions hereafter brought for personal injuries, or where personal injuries have resulted in death, or for injury to property, the fact that the person injured, or the owner of the property or person having control over the property, may not have been in the exercise of due care shall not bar a recovery, but damages shall be diminished by the finder of fact in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person injured, or the owner of the property or the person having control over the property.”
Massachusetts utilizes a “modified Comparative negligence” rule. In MA, If an injured victim is more than 50 percent at fault for a motor vehicle accident, the injured victim gets no recovery! Pursuant to Mass. Law, if an injured person is more than 50 percent at fault for the accident then the injured party is not entitled to any recovery. This also applies to the decedent’s estate in fatal wrongful death accidents such as Bike / Bicycle Accidents, motorcycle accidents, Premises liability, Truck Accidents and Motorcycle accidents.
This percentage assignment of comparative negligence is often where insurance company claims adjusters attempt to reduce negligent ratings assigned to their client, which ultimately reduces the total claim payout for the insurance company. The comparative negligence ratings are anything but an exact science, and having your own legal professional negotiating your settlement is crucial.
What is contributory negligence?
According to dictionary.com: “contributory negligence n. a doctrine of common law that if a person was injured in part due to his/her own negligence (his/her negligence “contributed” to the accident), the injured party would not be entitled to collect any damages (money) from another party who supposedly caused the accident. Under this rule, a badly injured person who was only slightly negligent could not win in court against a very negligent defendant.” Read more:
Thankfully, neither Rhode Island nor Massachusetts follows the contributory negligence doctrine.
Many times multiple car accidents will be the result of mechanical failure in one particular vehicle. Determination of defective equipment can be done by investigating the vehicle following an accident or by documentation that a particular vehicle component has been the cause of other accidents. This is especially true when one of the vehicles has already been subject to a recall.
Even a relatively straightforward accident involving just one or two vehicles can result in a complicated and stressful legal battle. When multiple vehicles are involved, however, receiving a fair amount of compensation often feels completely impossible when taking on the well funded insurance company. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a multi-car collision, then it is time to contact an experienced Rhode Island personal injury attorney. Without a RI car accident lawyer by your side, you could find yourself struggling with mounting expenses and nowhere to turn for help.
Common Multi-Car Accidents
According to the Department of Transportation, over six percent of all accidents within the United States involve at least three automobiles. These collisions often take place when multiple cars are driving too close to one another and cannot react to an accident in front of them. They might also take place when one or more drivers are not paying attention to road conditions such as wet streets or an object on the freeway. Due to the complexity of these accidents, it can be quite difficult to determine which party is at fault.
Determining Liability for a multi-car crash in RI
Every driver should take some time to familiarize themselves with the laws in their own state. In most cases, the driver who is at the rear of the accident is at fault. Pursuant to the common law of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations “[w]hen a case includes a claim or defense resulting from a rear-end collision between vehicles, a prima facie case of negligence against the driver of the car in the rear is established * * *.” Maglioli v. J.P. Noonan Transportation, Inc., 869 A.2d 71, 75 (R.I. 2005).
They might take their eyes off of the road for just a moment only to look up as they hit the car in front of them. That car is then pushed forward into the next car. This chain reaction can easily result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and medical bills as well as pain and suffering. The responsibility can also be split across two or more parties if it is determined that more than one driver was negligent. The jury in a Rhode Island Multi car accident will look at the respective comparative fault of each of the motorists involved in an accident to determine who is liable to compensate the injured victim. If the injured victim is more then 50 percent at fault for the crash then they are not precluded from receiving compensation for their injures.
Negligence attributable to the person injured
RI is a pure comparative fault state meaning a person who is 99 percent at fault for a collision could still receive 1 percent of there damages from the tortfeasor. § 9-20-4 Comparative negligence. – In all actions hereafter brought for personal injuries, or where personal injuries have resulted in death, or for injury to property, the fact that the person injured, or the owner of the property or person having control over the property, may not have been in the exercise of due care shall not bar a recovery, but damages shall be diminished by the finder of fact in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person injured, or the owner of the property or the person having control over the property. § 9-20-4 Comparative negligence. More info about multi car accident in RI
Chain-reaction accidents or mass collisions
Multi-car pileups, also known as chain-reaction accidents or mass collisions, can occur for various reasons. These accidents often involve three or more vehicles and can result in significant damage and injuries. Common causes of multi-car pileups include:
- Poor Weather Conditions: Inclement weather, such as rain, snow, fog, or ice, can reduce visibility and road traction, making it difficult for drivers to react in time. Slick road surfaces increase the likelihood of vehicles sliding into one another.
- Reduced Visibility: Reduced visibility due to heavy rain, fog, smoke, dust storms, or even bright sunlight can make it challenging for drivers to see the road ahead and the actions of other vehicles.
- Speeding: High speeds reduce reaction time and increase the severity of collisions. Drivers who are traveling too fast may not be able to stop or swerve to avoid a collision when traffic suddenly slows or stops.
- Tailgating: Following too closely (tailgating) doesn’t allow enough space for reaction time and can lead to rear-end collisions. When one vehicle rear-ends another, it can create a chain reaction if vehicles are following closely.
- Distracted Driving: Using mobile phones, adjusting the radio, eating, or any other form of distraction diverts a driver’s attention from the road, making them more likely to rear-end the vehicle in front or miss important traffic cues.
- Sudden Stops: If a vehicle stops suddenly due to an emergency or a traffic slowdown, drivers behind it may not have sufficient time to stop, leading to rear-end collisions that trigger a pileup.
- Reckless Driving: Aggressive driving behaviors, such as weaving in and out of traffic, cutting off other drivers, and road rage, can lead to accidents that involve multiple vehicles.
- Mechanical Failures: Brake failures, tire blowouts, and other mechanical issues can cause a driver to lose control and collide with other vehicles.
- Poor Road Conditions: Potholes, uneven road surfaces, and inadequate road maintenance can contribute to accidents, especially when drivers try to avoid road hazards and collide with other vehicles in the process.
- Inadequate Road Signs and Markings: Insufficient or confusing road signs and markings can lead to driver confusion and misinterpretation of the road ahead, potentially causing accidents.
- Medical Emergencies: A driver experiencing a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or a seizure, may lose control of their vehicle, leading to a multi-car pileup.
- Intoxication: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs a driver’s judgment, reflexes, and decision-making abilities, which can result in accidents involving multiple vehicles.
Preventing multi-car pileups requires responsible driving, adherence to traffic laws, maintaining a safe following distance, and adjusting driving behaviors to account for adverse weather conditions. Defensive driving practices, like staying alert and avoiding distractions, are crucial for minimizing the risk of these types of accidents.
Finding Legal Help for a multi-car accident
These complex legal situations should never be taken lightly, and drivers should never attempt to take on insurance companies and attorneys alone. Even if you are only partially at fault, your current insurance policy might only cover a fraction of what is owed. As for the victims, it is vital that you receive enough compensation to help you cover vehicle repairs, medical bills, and lost wages. Unfortunately, many insurance providers will attempt to pay out as little as possible in order to cut their losses. With our experienced legal team by your side, you can rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to help you get past these complex situations and move on with your life.
When some of us first learn to drive, we may have utilized a driving instructor, parent, or friend. These people often warned us to give plenty of space to the car in front. These people warned us that if we struck a vehicle from behind (in a rear end collision -auto) we would be considered the at-fault party. If you were injured in an automobile, truck, car or other motor vehicle crash, then contact a Rhode Island personal Injury lawyer or a Massachusetts car accident attorney. RI car accident lawyers, MA auto accident attorneys or Rhode Island car accident lawyer can help you get a sense of justice and the compensation that you are entitled to. As in every personal injury, hair relaxer lawsuit, mesothelioma lawsuit, ozempic lawsuit or Bard Powerport lawsuit case, you owe an attorney nothing unless you win your case.
Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.