Questions & Answers

I suffered an injury on a wet floor at the gym. The manager says I can’t sue because I signed a “general release” when I joined. Is this true?

While it’s standard procedure for a health club or gym to require members to sign a liability waiver, members still have rights. The purpose of a general release of liability waiver is to protect the gym from injuries caused by members. It’s common to sustain an injury while exercising. For example, pulling a muscle by lifting too much weight, misusing an exercise machine, or overexerting are typical injuries covered members are prohibited from bringing about legal action. However, when an injury is sustained due to the gym’s negligence, a release is not enough to excuse the gym from liability. Similar to other slip and fall accidents, gym owners are bound by a general duty of care. This means gym members must be adequately warned of wet floors, slick surfaces, and faulty equipment. Areas such as freshly mopped floors or shower rooms that are frequently wet should display warning signs to

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How Does Legal Marijuana Impact Personal Injury Cases?

While marijuana use is legal in many places for people over the age of 21 and is decriminalized, it does not change whether or not a person under the influence can be considered at fault in a personal injury case. Marijuana use, legal or not, is treated similarly to alcohol and other substances when it comes to things like driving, operating heavy machinery, and personal injury cases. Like alcohol, cannabis impairs a person’s reaction times. Most states have passed a range of laws governing the legal use of cannabis to keep people safe. Just like it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or with an open container, the same goes for marijuana. If you are injured by a person found to be under the influence of marijuana, they cannot use its legality as a defense in a personal injury case. People who use marijuana have a duty

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Injured While Ridesharing: Can Passengers Sue the Company as Well as the Driver?

Ridesharing has been hailed as one of the great conveniences of modern life: easier than designating a driver, cheaper than a cab, and faster than waiting for the bus. When it comes to injuries incurred because of a rideshare driver’s recklessness or negligence, however, it is less clear how victims can receive compensation. The average driver, even working fulltime, is almost certainly lacking insurance, assets, and earnings substantial enough to cover millions of dollars in medical treatment expenses and lost wages. As of 2021, however, the rideshare industry was valuated at $61 billion. For such a massive, profitable industry, the next logical step for an attorney to get compensation for an injured client would seem to be suing the rideshare app through which the ill-fated ride was scheduled. Things are not so straightforward, however. Pending Litigation on the Issue As of January 2022, in nearby Massachusetts man is suing Uber

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Will the type of care I receive following an injury impact my personal injury case?

Many clients ask if their personal injury compensation is affected by choosing between an Emergency Room or Urgent Care center. When facing an injury, it’s always important to take the proper steps when seeking medical treatment. First, you need to consider your injury. If it requires immediate medical attention, you should not hesitate to go to an emergency room for care. Even if you experience a minor injury, you should seek medical attention. For non-immediate medical needs, treatment from an urgent care center or your healthcare provider may be appropriate. There are many situations where you can sustain an injury and not feel the damage right away. In these cases, an emergency room visit may not be needed. The most crucial aspect of any personal injury case is documenting your care, treatment plan, expenses, and time from work. Getting appropriate medical care is essential for your health and recovery, documenting

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How does contributory and comparative negligence affect my car accident lawsuit?

Anyone who has experienced an auto accident knows how quickly things can spiral out of control. With any luck, all parties involved can walk away from such an event unharmed. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In the event an auto accident leads to injury, it’s crucial to determine who is at fault and the level of culpability they contributed to the accident. Comparative fault and contributory negligence are models for determining who bears responsibility for an auto accident. This is central to car accident lawsuits as there is often no clear answer. Oftentimes more than one person may have acted with negligence. The level of negligence will determine whether or not and how much a plaintiff may recover in damages. Negligence is generally accepted as a failure to employ reasonable care. For instance, not paying attention to the road or texting on your mobile device while driving. How

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I am feeling fine after a minor car accident. Will skipping a doctor’s visit now hurt my chances of a personal injury settlement later?

I always would have to recommend that you get yourself checked out at a doctor. Its critical to make sure you are not suffering from any latent injuries that may become more apparent after time. It quite normal that with the rush of adrenaline and nerves you experience immediately after an accident, your body may suppress pain as part of its ancient survival mechanisms. Frequently, you do not realize you are injured until you have had a chance to calm down. Injuries, even serious ones, can take days to manifest themselves and may not always have obvious symptoms. For your own health and safety, go to a doctor immediately after a car accident. Financially, the longer you wait to use your insurance, or make claims against the other party, the longer you may be stuck with unpaid medical bills or lost wages. The longer you wait to treat injuries, the

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Need to hire a RI auto accident lawyer. Statute of limitations?

Additional Information: I was involved in a car accident on a residential street in Barrington, RI and pretty seriously injured.  I was contacted by someone who I think represents an attorney and she is pressuring me saying I should hire an attorney fast.  What’s the statute on limitations to file a personal injury claim in RI and what difference does it really make if I hire a lawyer now or in a couple of months? ATTORNEY ANSWER: The RI statute of limitations is generally three years. If you are concerned that someone may be trying to get you to hire an attorney that they either work with or have a relation to, it is probably best to avoid contact with them Attorney’s are not supposed to actively solicit clients in that manner and this would probably be a violation of the rules governing the practice of law. As to when

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My son was injured by a dog in a friend’s neighborhood.

Additional Information: My 11 year old son was bit by a dog last week.   He was visiting at a friend’s house in Cranston and a dog in the neighborhood bit him.  He had to get stitches and missed some days of school, so I missed some days of work.   Does Rhode Island law allow us to sue for that? ATTORNEY ANSWER: You may be able to sue if the dog bit your son outside of his “enclosure” Normally a dog owner is only liable if he is aware of the dog’s previous bites and then the dog bites another person. However, if the dog is loose in the neighborhood and then bites your son, you could still have a claim. 

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I slipped and fell in a Providence restaurant. Do I have a personal injury case?

Additional Information: I slipped and fell and shattered my elbow at a Providence restaurant due to a slippery surface.  There were several other patrons who slipped in the same spot (near the bar and server’s station) all witnessed by one of the bartenders.  I have some mobility issues and will need another surgery and continued physical therapy.  Do I have a case against the restaurant and can I sue for damages as I will probably not be able to play tennis like I had in the past? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Slip and fall cases are extremely difficult to prevail upon. However, it sounds like you may have one of the very few viable cases. Your case hinges upon the testimony of the bartender, as once he became aware of the slippery condition; the restaurant had an obligation to clean the area. There failure to do so might cause them to become

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Tripped and fell and broke my wrist. Should I hire a personal injury lawyer?

Additional  Information: I tripped on one of the steps on the front porch at my rental apartment in Cranston.  I fell and broke my wrist. The landlord left me a voicemail message several months ago that he’d fix the rot on the porch, but he obviously didn’t get to it.  Now he’s claiming that he didn’t know about it.   The porch is the only entrance so my family didn’t have a choice but to use it.  Does this sound like a pretty strong case?  How much will hiring a personal injury or trip and fall lawyer cost? ATTORNEY ANSWER: You may or may not have a good case. I need to know how many units are contained in your apartment complex. Also, I need to see pictures of the stairs to determine for sure if the landlord failed to take some action to repair the entry way. I think you

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