CAR ACCIDENT FAQS
After a serious car accident, many victims are left reeling from the physical, emotional and financial trauma, leaving them little time and energy to worry about resolving legal issues.
Most car accident victims are also left with lots of questions about what to do next. We have provided answers to some of the most common questions involving car accidents so that you can better understand your legal situation.
The experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP, are ready to review your accident and individually answer your specific questions in a free consultation. Our goal is to get you just compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages. We obtain extraordinary results for our auto accident clients by putting their best interests first and holding negligent drivers and their insurance companies accountable.
Contact us now to discuss your car accident case with an experienced Providence car accident attorney for free.
The types of compensation you may be eligible to recover depends on the damages and injuries you suffered as a result of the accident. Some of the main factors that affect the amount of compensation include the severity of your injuries, how your ability to work was affected, how your future ability to work was affected, how your quality of life has been diminished, the amount of your medical bills, whether the accident has left you severely impaired or disfigured and how your personal relationships – such as those with your spouse – have been negatively impacted by your accident.
Some examples of types of compensation available to victims of Rhode Island car accidents include:
Medical expenses – These include bills for hospital stays, emergency room visits, ambulance fees and other medical costs related to the injuries suffered in the accident.
Future medical expenses – If the injuries suffered in the crash will require ongoing treatment, the estimated cost should be included in a settlement or court award.
Lost wages – If you are not able to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages. Compensation may be recovered even if you were able to take sick leave or other paid absences.
Lost earning capacity – lf disabilities related to your injuries in the accident make you unable to perform the work you did before the accident, you may be entitled to compensation if you are required to take a lower-paying job or are unable to work at all.
Additional types of compensation may include hiring individuals to help with housework, loss of consortium, loss of society and companionship, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and other types of damages.
In Rhode Island, the party or parties who were at fault for the accident are required to compensate accident victims for their losses. Many car accident cases involve one or more drivers who were at fault. The negligence of non-drivers may have also played a role. For example, the manufacturer of a defective automotive part or the government agency that failed to repair a dangerous road condition may also be liable. Companies that employ negligent drivers – trucking companies, for example – may also be held responsible for accidents their employees cause.
In many cases, it is critical to conduct an independent investigation into the accident to determine its true cause and which parties may be held responsible. The attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush frequently work with investigators, accident reconstructionists and other experts to uncover what really happened in a crash and who should be held responsible for it.
Rhode Island law limits how long you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. This is known as a “statute of limitations.” The amount of time you have to file suit depends on the type of case you are involved in. For a car accident that causes personal injury, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit under most circumstances. For fatal car accidents, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is three years from the date of death under most circumstances.
Although three years may seem like a long time, it is important to get started on an accident claim as soon as possible. Important evidence and witnesses may become unavailable as time passes. Your attorneys need time to develop a strong legal claim for your right to recover compensation. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better.
However, even if a significant amount of time has passed, you should not be deterred from discussing your case with a lawyer. In some situations the statute of limitations may be extended, particularly in cases involving minors and disabled adults.
Texting while driving is illegal for all drivers in Rhode Island. If the driver who hit you broke this law by texting behind the wheel, leading to the crash, that driver may be held responsible for your accident.
Even if the driver was not charged with violating the texting ban – or was charged but the charges were dismissed – you may still be able to hold him or her liable for your injuries. Civil liability for an accident is a separate matter from traffic violations.
It may be possible to obtain cell phone records that indicate the other driver was sending or receiving a text message at the time of your crash. Witness statements may also support that the other driver was texting. It is critical to work with an experienced attorney who can gather these and other types of evidence to build your claim for full and fair compensation.
In Rhode Island, you do not lose your eligibility for compensation even if you are partly at fault for the accident. Rhode Island follows what is called the “pure comparative fault rule.” This means that you may be able to recover compensation from another driver or other negligent party, so long as their negligence contributed to the accident – even if you were also negligent. However, the amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, assume you are found to be 25 percent responsible for the crash, and the other driver was 75 percent at fault. If you suffered $10,000 in damages, your award would be reduced by 25 percent, or $2,500, meaning you could recover $7,500 in this example.
It is important to discuss your case with an experienced Rhode Island personal injury attorney at Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP, even if you think you may be partly to blame for the crash. All of the facts related to the cause of a crash are usually not apparent in the immediate chaos that follows. A full investigation may show that you were not actually to blame. Even if you had some degree of responsibility for the accident, you may still be entitled to recover compensation from the other at-fault parties.
You may be entitled to recover compensation for your loss through a wrongful death claim. Rhode Island law allows certain family members to recover damages when they lose a relative in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, such as that of a drunk driver.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is difficult, particularly when the death was caused by someone else’s recklessness. Getting help from a qualified Rhode Island wrongful death attorney at Marasco & Nesselbush can allow you to focus on putting your life back together while we deal with the legal issues related to securing the compensation you deserve for your tragic loss.
Our personal injury lawyers put their negotiation, arbitration, mediation and litigation skills to work on your behalf. We use these tactics to obtain full and fair settlements, verdicts and awards every day.
Insurance companies understand that unless they offer our clients a fair settlement, our Rhode Island-based personal injury lawyers will sue them and obtain justice in court. Because of our sterling reputation as personal injury lawyers who are willing to fight for justice, we are generally successful in obtaining excellent settlements for clients without using the Rhode Island court system.
Whether your auto accident occurred in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, or Connecticut, call our car accident lawyers as soon as possible. After we meet with you (either in our Rhode Island offices or at a location convenient for you) and agree to take your case, our personal injury lawyers will work hard to establish fault to ensure prompt and full compensation.
Marasco & Nesselbush’s professional, experienced team of personal injury lawyers maintain continuous communication with insurance companies and adjusters to stay on top of your case.