Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyers, Lawsuits and Laws
Known best for its coastal colonial towns, numerous beaches, and sailing, Rhode Island may be geographically small but it boasts may attractions for residents and visitors alike. Even though it is smaller in size than Wyoming and South Dakota, it is home to more than one million residents and is the 42nd largest state by population (according to a 2013 census). Even though Rhode Island may not have a similar number of miles of highway as Texas or Washington, or as large of a population as Wisconsin or other larger states, Rhode Island residents and visitors alike are still at risk of serious injury or death in a Rhode Island car crash.
Spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and brain injuries are just some of the types of physical injuries that can result from a car accident. In some cases, a car collision may be fatal for one or more people involved. Following a car accident, Rhode Island, you may need to file a car accident lawsuit to obtain compensation that will enable you to deal with the economic and noneconomic costs of your injuries.
Rhode Island Car Accident Statistics
Rhode Island’s small size and population mean that it does not have the number of fatal car crashes that some larger states do. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded that Rhode Island only had 45 fatalities because of car crashes. This was a continuation of a decrease that began in 2010. About three out of every four traffic fatalities occurred in an urban setting (such as in Providence, the state’s capital).
Numerous reasons can be given for why these fatal accidents and injury accidents happen in Rhode Island:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is much more than merely texting while driving (although that is a form of distracted driving). Distracted driving can encompass any behavior that draws the driver’s eyes and/or attention away from the road, even if only for a moment. Looking at a landmark or Rhode Island mansion is distracted driving. Eating lunch while navigating city traffic is distracted driving. Even adjusting one’s radio or applying makeup is a form of distracted driving. Studies conducted by the federal government and others suggest that distracted driving can be as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.
- Impaired driving: Although alcohol is certainly an impairing substance that increases the likelihood that a driver will be involved in a crash, illegal drugs and prescription drugs can also cause a person to become impaired. Even over the counter medications, if taken in sufficient quantities, can impair a person’s ability to drive safely.
- Reckless driving: Driving with disregard to the posted speed limit and in defiance of traffic control signs and signals places the reckless driver and everyone else near him or her in danger. Traffic signs are posted to help ensure individual drivers can navigate traffic safely and in an orderly fashion. Disregarding these signs increases the likelihood of a collision.
Rhode Island is a “Fault-Based” Insurance State
Rhode Island drivers must carry valid auto insurance in case they cause a collision that results in the death or injury of another. If this occurs, the injured motorist or passenger will pursue compensation against the at-fault driver and/or his or her insurance company. Rhode Island’s scheme (called a “fault-based” scheme) is designed to ensure that those whose negligent or reckless behavior causes injury or loss to another are held accountable for their actions.
Rhode Island also follows the liberal, victim-friendly doctrine of pure comparative fault. Under this doctrine, an injury victim who is determined to have contributed to his or her own injury accident can still recover compensation from the other at-fault party in proportion to that party’s fault in causing the crash and resultant injuries.
Rhode Island’s Car Crash Statute of Limitations
Rhode Island has adopted a three-year statute of limitations. This means that injury victims have three years from the date of their car crash in which to file a claim for compensation in court. Failing to do so within the three-year time period will usually mean that the injury victim will be precluded from obtaining any compensation at all, regardless of the degree of fault of the other party. (While there are a few exceptions to this three-year deadline, they only apply in very specific circumstances. You should consult with an experienced car crash lawyer if you believe there is good reason why your case was not timely filed.)
Experienced Counsel for Injured Motorists and Passengers
Stern Law, PLLC is an experienced and skilled car crash injury law firm that can assist in answering your car crash-related questions and in filing a lawsuit for compensation. We will carefully evaluate your case and make certain that you understand your specific rights and how to assert them. Contact us at (844) 808-7529 today to discuss your case.