Car accidents are at best an inconvenience and at worst a life-changing event. But whether you’ve been involved in a minor fender-bender or a serious wreck, you need help sorting through the legal maze of an accident so that you can recover and move on with your life.
At Marasco & Nesselbush, we obtain extraordinary results for New England crash victims. We’ve handled thousands of accident cases in Rhode Island and understand that victims need a knowledgeable and compassionate advocate who puts their interests first.
An auto accident is stressful enough. You shouldn’t have to worry about haggling with insurance adjusters in order to receive just compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle damage. While you focus on making a recovery, Marasco & Nesselbush handles the legal aspects of your accident, making sure that the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays what is fair.
A strong legal team can make the difference between a successful car accident recovery and a recovery that leaves you frustrated and angry.
Get Answers to Questions about your Rhode Island Car Accident Case
The types of compensation you may be eligible to recover depends on the damages and injuries you suffered. 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 are required to compensate accident victims for their losses. 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 to determine which parties may be held responsible. 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 a 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 us, the better.
However, even if a significant amount of time has passed, you should not be deterred from discussing your case with a legal professional. 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.
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. 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 the team at Marasco & Nesselbush even if you think you may be partly at fault. 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, you may still be entitled to recover compensation from the other at-fault parties.
Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyers That Get Extraordinary Results
In addition to the short-term hassles of a car crash, more serious accidents can have long-term consequences on your health, income, and ability to lead a normal life.
Every Marasco & Nesselbush auto accident attorney will fight to ensure that if your accident was caused by somebody else, that driver’s insurance should compensate you for any and all losses suffered. Marasco & Nesselbush has successfully recovered millions in insurance company settlements for the following types of expenses and impacts:
Present and future accident-related medical costs
Present and future accident-related lost wages
Physical pain and mental anguish
In the worst case scenario of a fatal accident, accident compensation covers a family’s long-term financial needs, as well as funeral and burial costs.
Our Rhode Island car accident attorneys will evaluate your case by speaking with you to understand your accident expenses, including those incurred to date and those expected in the future. We will then determine a dollar amount that will help make you whole again and see to it that the insurance company pays that amount.
Every step of the way, from the moment you sign on as a client until your case is resolved, you will have access to an attorney and receive prompt. individual attention. You’ll be treated with kindness and compassion because delivering extraordinary results for clients is a hallmark of our law firm.
Example Case Results
Wrongful death award secured for family of adolescent automobile accident victim.
Wrongful death recovery for the family of a man killed in a commercial trucking accident.
Wrongful death claim results in recovery on behalf of man killed in automobile accident.
On behalf of a client injured in a rear-end automobile collision. Our client sustained a significant spinal injury which required spinal fusion surgery.
Though Rhode Island does not have the highest accident rate in the nation, the fatalities seen each year in accidents are certainly a cause for concern. We have illustrated the most current statistics published by the NHTSA (2016). As noted in a Providence Journal article, more recent preliminary statistics indicate even higher numbers since the 2016 statistics were published. In addition to serious and fatal accidents, non-fatal accidents happen on a daily basis. Marasco & Nesselbush has a constant flow of calls from Rhode Islanders that need help and advice after an accident. If you find yourself in that situation, get help immediately. We offer a no cost consultation where you can get advice and a clear picture of the path forward.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur in many vehicle accidents, and are sometimes referred to as the “silent epidemic.” Subtle changes in thinking, speaking, emotions, sensation and perception are among the symptoms that may initially be unrecognized as the direct result of a head injury.
TBI often results from a sudden jerking or impact to the head, either front to back or side to side. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that over 47 percent of all emergency room visits for traumatic brain injuries are associated with motor vehicle accidents. More severe injuries can occur as well, such as when an object punctures the skull, touching or penetrating the tissue of the brain.
Many serious crashes cause severe bone fractures in the legs, arms, ribs, hands, feet, pelvis and other bone structures. These happen most frequently when occupants are impacted by the other vehicle or vehicles involved in the accident, are ejected from a vehicle or are crushed between metal and objects within the cabin of the vehicle.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
The spinal cord is vulnerable to the significant forces exerted on the body in many wrecks. Depending on the severity and location, damage to the spinal cord may cause partial or complete paralysis, including paraplegia or quadriplegia (tetraplegia). These injuries are usually irreversible and typically require a lifetime of rehabilitation, treatment and assistance.
Some of the most common injuries sustained in auto accidents are back and neck injuries, including whiplash. Whiplash often occurs in rear-end and side collisions that cause the head and neck to move abruptly forward and backward or side to side. This motion stretches the ligaments in the neck and back.
These injuries often do not manifest any symptoms until hours, days or even weeks have passed. This is due to the nature of the soft tissue around the vertebrae. Performing an MRI to determine if there is any injury to the vertebrae and soft tissue surrounding it may be extremely important for those who have been in a car crash. Always seek a full medical assessment after a vehicle accident, even if you at first believe you are uninjured.
Neck and Chest Injuries
Injuries to the neck and chest are extremely common in car accidents. These frequently happen when occupants are slammed forcefully into the dashboard or the steering wheel from the force of an impact. Depending on the type of accident – whether a rollover, a rear-end collision, a head-on crash or some other type of impact – there can be a wide variety of neck or chest injuries.
Broken ribs are common in those who were thrust into the steering wheel or dashboard. Depending on the speed of the impact, internal organs can be punctured or injured as well. These injuries can be extremely serious and even fatal if not treated immediately.
Car accidents have also been known to cause serious burn injuries. While airbags often help keep us safe in an accident, they also frequently produce burn burn injuries on the face and arms as they are deployed. Another burn injury danger after an auto accident are vehicle fires fueled by leaking gasoline
Psychological and Emotional Trauma
In addition to physical injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other serious psychological disorders can result from car accidents. When deaths occur and victims witness the scene of impact, severe emotional trauma is not uncommon. Cases of PTSD are a common outcome for victims who have suffered severe injuries or witnessed a loved one being injured or killed in a car crash.
Many of our clients are the surviving family members of those lost in fatal car accidents. Other injuries, such as lost limbs, punctured lungs or other internal organs, and even heart attacks suffered as a result of the trauma in a vehicle accident could take the life of a loved one. When a death has occurred, a wrongful death action may be commenced on the behalf of the surviving relatives, such as a spouse or the decedent’s dependents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 33,808 people were killed in auto accidents nationwide in a single recent year. Most victims were drivers (17,640 fatalities) or passengers (6,770 fatalities). More than 4,000 pedestrians and motorcyclists were also killed.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 76 fatal Rhode Island car crashes in one recent year. Most of them occurred in urban areas. These resulted in 83 deaths.
What Our Clients Say
“I was involved in an auto accident and thanks to Marasco & Nesselbush and the great attention they gave me I was able to have my case resolved for a substantial amount of money. The case involved a drunk driver and I was in the hospital for 22 days as a result of that driver’s negligence. From the start, Marasco & Nesselbush upon hearing of my injuries came to visit me in the hospital and began to vigorously work on my case. During the development of the case, I was kept informed about the status of my case and in the end, the results surpassed what I expected to receive as compensation. I am very grateful to everyone — staff and attorneys — for what they did for me, and I would recommend Marasco & Nesselbush to my friends and family.”
–– Jose ★★★★★
Rhode Island Car Crash Causes
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 5 and 34. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that nearly 33,000 people—including 65 Rhode Islanders—lose their lives in traffic crashes annually. Another 2.3 million people are injured in crashes
The roadways of Rhode Island and neighboring states are among the most hectic in the nation to drive on. We know, because we drive them every day, too.
Routine drives to and from work, school, appointments and errands reveal people driving distracted and dangerously. They talk and text on their phones, tailgate, speed, and change lanes without signaling. Some drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Many seem completely unconcerned about the welfare of others.
Unsafe Rhode Island driving is more than anecdotal, however. Statistics also bear out roadway dangers. For example, in a typical year, around 37 percent of all fatal Rhode Island traffic accidents involve an alcohol-impaired driver, while more than 26 percent of fatal crashes are speeding-related.
In Rhode Island and across the country, accidents have similar causes. Describing car crashes as “accidents,” though, is a bit misleading. The majority of crashes are preventable and the result of driver error. Some of the leading actions that cause car accidents include the following:
Speed is a factor in nearly a third of fatal car accidents. Speed-related crashes cost society an estimated $40 billion annually.
Younger drivers not only lack driving experience, but they also tend to engage in behaviors (driving at night, driving with multiple passengers and driving while distracted) that are highly associated with car crashes.
Distracted driving, particularly distraction by cell phones, has reached epidemic levels. Every day in the U.S. some 9 people are killed and an additional 1,000-plus people are injured by distracted drivers.
New England drivers are well aware of the challenges posed by winter conditions. Road hazards can also be created by inadequate design and upkeep and by items dropped or spilled on roadways.
More than 30 percent of traffic fatalities are alcohol-related. Somebody dies in an alcohol-impaired crash every 51 minutes.
A malfunctioning vehicle is one of the few instances in which a driver may not be responsible for causing an accident. Human error, however, in the form of manufacturer or service technician negligence, may still be to blame.
Intersections are accident hotspots. Drivers who run red lights cause a large number of crashes. Over a recent five-year period, approximately 35 percent of fatal crashes at intersections with traffic lights were caused by red-light violations.
Aggressive driving includes things such as speeding, tailgating, erratic braking and accelerating, cutting off other cars and physically confronting other drivers. Research from AAA shows that about 1,500 people in the U.S. are injured or killed each year by aggressive driving.
An Unwavering Commitment to Our Clients
You do your part to drive safely, but it isn’t enough. Other drivers break the law, drive aggressively and inattentively and in general show little regard for those they share the road with.
Although you may not be able to prevent a car crash today, you can, with help from a Providence auto accident attorney at Marasco & Nesselbush, hold the responsible party accountable. We simplify the accident recovery process for clients with an emphasis on extraordinary results driven by personalized service.
A Marasco & Nesselbush car accident lawyer is ready to help you and your family today.
Please call us or send us a message to schedule a free and prompt case review.