Car accidents are all too common of an occurrence in Providence, RI. What’s even more unfortunate is that many people don’t get the compensation they are due because they aren’t familiar with the car accident laws in their state.
Not filing on time and not reporting the accident to the proper authorities are all reasons why injured parties don’t end up getting reimbursed for their medical expenses and loss of income.
If you are involved in a car accident, it’s a good idea to seek the help of a reliable Providence, RI car accident lawyer. He or she will be familiar with car accident laws in Providence, RI. They will see to it that your case is filed on time and that all legal matters are taken care of so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations in Rhode Island
By definition, a statute of limitations means there is a time limit on your right to bring a lawsuit to court. In the case of a car accident, the statute of limitations varies according to the severity of the damages done.
In any case, ranging from a fender bender on, you will have to make a claim to your insurance company. Most insurance companies will want you to make a claim promptly, which means within a couple of days or weeks at the most. If you are unclear of the requirements of your insurance company, talk to them to find out.
If you sustained personal injuries due to the accident and want to take the case to court, according to Rhode Island General Laws Section 9-1-14, you have three years to do so. The clock starts running on the date of the accident.
If someone was killed as a result of the accident, this escalates to a wrongful death claim. Here, there is also a 3-year statute of limitations in accordance to Rhode Island General Laws Section 10-7-2. However, the difference is that the clocks start ticking on the date of the death as opposed to the date of the accident itself.
The final scenario applies to accidents where vehicles or personal property was damaged. In these cases, you have 10 years to file a lawsuit in accordance with Rhode Island General Laws Section 9-1-13.
Comparative Negligence in Rhode Island
Finding who is at fault is an important part of any type of lawsuit that results in damage, personal injury or wrongful death. If you are seeking compensation for losses due to a car accident, it may be determined that you were partially at fault for the accident. You may be wondering what would happen in this scenario.
According to Rhode Island General Laws Section 9-20-4, Rhode Island is a ‘pure comparative negligence’ state. This means you can still be awarded for your injuries and losses, but the amount of compensation may be reduced due to the fact that you are partially responsible for damages.
So, in other words, if the total compensation owed to you is $100,000 but the jury decides you are 10% responsible for the accident, your award may be reduced by 10% so total compensation would be $90,000.
There is no cut and dried way to determine how at fault you are for your accident, but the comparative negligence law will come into play in how a claims adjuster, or a judge and jury, figure out how much you are owed. Your ability to persuade a judge and jury or claims adjuster that the accident was not your fault, or that you were only minimally responsible will play a big part in the compensation you will receive.
That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer on your side.
Reporting a Car Accident in Rhode Island
According to Rhode Island, General Law 31-26-3.2 drivers must report a car accident to law enforcement if it results in an injury or death or damages to the car that make the car unsafe or inoperable.
Rhode Island General Law 31-26-6 further dictates that any accident that resulted in injury, death or property damage of over $1000 should be written up in a report sent to the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles within 21 days of the accident occurring.
Rhode Island Insurance Policies
Remember that the insurance you have will play an important role in how you are compensated for your accident. Make sure you are familiar with your state’s liability insurance requirements so that you are fully covered in a worst-case scenario.
Finding the Right Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer
It can be difficult keeping track of all these Providence, RI car accident laws and that’s why it’s so important to have a reliable Rhode Island Car Accident lawyer on your side.
Dana & Dana Attorneys at Law have a knowledgeable staff of expert attorneys with over 25 years of experience dealing with car accident claims. They can help you collect evidence, dealt-fault at fault parties and fight so that you get the maximum compensation for your damages and losses. They are knowledgeable about car accident laws in Providence, RI so you don’t have to worry about familiarizing yourself with legalities…they’ll do it for you!
But remember, there is a statute of limitations that applies to all car accident cases, and if you don’t file in time, there will be nothing a Rhode Island Car Accident lawyer can do. So, call Dana and Dana Attorneys at Law today before the clock runs out to be sure that justice is served in the case of your Providence, RI car accident.