Questions & Answers

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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I slipped and fell and fractured my arm. Do I have a personal injury case?

Additional Information: I slipped and fell in the bathroom of a local Cranston store.   As a result of the slip and fall, I have 2 hairline fractures in my arm. There was a puddle from a leak from the roof (the ceiling had a large dark stain) but there was no “caution/ wet floor” sign.  There was another lady in the bathroom who saw me slip and fall.  She actually took a few pictures for me.   What is the store’s responsibility and do you think I have a personal injury case? ATTORNEY ANSWER: It appears you may well have a valid personal injury case. In most circumstances, a plaintiff simply can not prove the necessary elements to prove a slip and fall case as you must show that the defendant knew about the dangerous condition. In your case it appears we will be able to show that they either directly

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My sister was in an auto accident with an underage un-insured driver.

Additional Information: My sister had a pretty bad injury to her head and neck after an automobile accident. Her friend was driving the car and they were exiting Route 95 to go to Warwick, RI when their car was hit by another car.   The other driver was underage, driving without a license and un-insured.  Do we have any hope of collecting any damages if we sue? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Yes, you definitely have hope of recovery. You should be able to make a claim against the driver and owner of the vehicle that your sister was a passenger in. Even if the car that struck them was uninsured, you should be able to recover for your sisters serious injuries.

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I have neck and back injuries as a result of the car accident.

Additional Information: I was rear-ended by a delivery truck of a pretty large company on Route 95 near Pawtucket RI.   I have neck and back injuries as a result of the accident.  I got the name of the driver and the insurance information but was curious about the liability of the company. Who is liable- the driver? the company or both? I already went to the doctor and am seeing a chiropractor now. Thanks. ATTORNEY ANSWER: Both the driver and the company are probably liable. However, it seems from your question that you will only need to recover from the commercial carrier. They must maintain a minimum $1,000,000.00 in liability insurance on their vehicles. While the driver certainly bears some responsibility, you will only need to look to recover from him if your damages exceed the amount of insurance provided by the owner of the truck that struck you.

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Can we protect our home in a personal injury lawsuite?

Additional Information: My husband was involved in an automobile accident on Route 95 near Providence.   We are being sued for more than we have on our insurance policy. Can we protect our home in a personal injury lawsuit? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Perhaps you can protect you home. This is really an asset protection question that is best handled by a qualified bankruptcy attorney. You should consult immediately to begin the process of taking steps to protect your assets. Much will depend upon the exact amount of damages the Plaintiff recovers against you and the nature of the deed for your home.

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