Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Often the most defenseless accident victims, pedestrian and bicyclists in the Providence area can suffer from severe and life-threatening injuries when hit by a car, truck, or bus. If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, consult with a personal injury attorney today to discuss your options for recovering damages.
The rights of pedestrians and bicyclists in Rhode Island
Each state is responsible for setting its own laws regarding the rights and responsibilities of pedestrian and bicyclists. In Rhode Island, a bicycle is treated with the same rights and responsibilities as that of a motor vehicle. As such, bicyclists are required to follow all traffic laws, but motorists must also respect bicyclists’ right to the road.
What to Do Following a Rhode Island Pedestrian Accident
Rhode Island has one of the lowest pedestrian traffic fatality rates in the nation. However, pedestrians frequently suffer major or catastrophic injuries when struck by a vehicle. Like bicyclists and motorcyclists, pedestrians do not have the wall of protection that is provided by a motor vehicle. Common injuries to pedestrians are:
- Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
- Skull fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact us to schedule a consultation. We can discuss your case and legal options to pursue compensation over the phone, at our office, your home or your hospital.
Who is at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
The assumption may be that the driver of the car is at fault, and this is often the case. If the driver of the vehicle was speeding, driving erratically, blowing through a stop light or stop sign intersection without stopping, 100 percent of responsibility may be attributed to the driver. If a pedestrian is crossing a highway where pedestrians are prohibited, or is not paying attention and walks into the path of a vehicle, the pedestrian could be partially or fully at fault.
For pedestrians, vehicles are required under state law to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian when the pedestrian is in a crosswalk, even when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, according to 2009 Rhode Island Code Section 31-18-3.
Unfortunately, drivers do not always exercise the proper duty of care when driving around cyclists or pedestrians. When drivers speed, fail to yield when appropriate, drive distracted or impaired, or otherwise violate traffic laws, pedestrian or cyclist accidents can—and do—happen.
What types of damages are recoverable in pedestrian and bicycle accidents?
The party who is at-fault for the accident is the party who is liable, or legally responsible, for damages. Liability rests on the shoulders of the person who failed to exercise a proper duty of care, or acted negligently. If you can prove the negligence of the at-fault party, and demonstrate that your injuries would not have been incurred but for the negligent action, you can recover both economic and noneconomic damages. In Rhode Island, types of damages that are recoverable in a pedestrian accident or bicycle accident injury claim include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Medical bills and future medical bills;
- Lost wages, future lost wages, lost benefits;
- Mental anguish; and
- Loss of personal property.
Punitive damages are not allowed in Rhode Island. If you were partially at-fault for the accident, then your degree of fault may reduce your damages amount proportionately.
Time limitations for filing a pedestrian/bicycle accident claim
Comparative Fault in Rhode Island
Drivers must be responsible for operating their vehicles carefully under the given circumstances. If an argument can be made that a normally cautious person would be able to avoid an accident, a driver may be liable for a collision and any resulting injuries they caused. Rhode Island is a comparative fault state, meaning the amount a victim will receive will be reduced by a percentage of their share of fault. If a pedestrian is found to be 25% responsible for a collision, the amount they may receive will be reduced by 25%.
Regardless of fault or extent of injury, all negligence-based claims for personal injury must be filed within three years’ time after the date of the occurrence of an accident. If you do not file your action within the three-year time limit, it is unlikely that a court will agree to hear your case. As such, you will not be able to recover damages from the at-fault party.
Rhode Island’s Pedestrian Yield Law
In Rhode Island, vehicles must yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian whenever the pedestrian is in a crosswalk, even when traffic control signals are not in place or not in operation, according to 2009 Rhode Island Code Section 31-18-3.
Contact a Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve been hurt, Dana and Dana is here to help you get the justice you deserve. Our attorneys are aggressive, experienced and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. We will manage every aspect of your claim so that you can focus on healing and recovering. Please call us for a free consultation at 401-217-3449.
A bicycle or pedestrian accident can be emotional, and may leave you physically and psychologically unable to pursue damages on your own. The skilled bicycle and pedestrian injury attorneys at the Providence offices of Dana & Dana Attorneys at Law want to help you. We can gather evidence on your behalf, file your claim in time, prove the liability of the at-fault party, and advocate for a fair settlement amount. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers today, call 401-217-3449 now.