Providence Car Accident Attorney
Car accident fatalities are on the decline nationwide, but they remain a cause of physical, emotional, and financial suffering for tens of thousands of victims. In 2013, 32,719 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States, and 2.3 million were injured. In Rhode Island, 2013, 65 people died in 62 fatal car crashes that year, and countless others suffered serious injuries, including many that were catastrophic and life-changing.
Rhode Island has a car accident fatality rate that is somewhat lower than average as compared with the rest of the country, but that is little consolation to those who lost family members or suffered damage to their own health in an accident on the state’s roads, especially when the their loss was through no fault of their own, but the result of someone else’s negligent driving.
Unfortunately, you can only control your own driving behavior; there is not much you can do to control what others do out there on the road. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers abound. Some fail to keep their attention focused on the road and become distracted, while others get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, disregard traffic laws, or run red lights and stop signs. Others drive too fast or too aggressively, or fail to adjust their driving for road or weather conditions. As a result, some unlucky Rhode Island drivers and their passengers, in spite of responsible, focused, and skillful driving, find their lives in turmoil, their bodies broken, and their finances in a shambles, all because of another’s wrongdoing.
Hold Dangerous Drivers Accountable to Improve Highway Safety
The deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes in Rhode Island and around the country are simply unacceptable. Most car accidents are preventable with responsible, diligent, and focused driving. By doing away with reckless, dangerous, and negligent driving behaviors, we can save lives and prevent injuries. One way to accomplish this is by holding these irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions and making them pay for the damage they cause.
Of course no amount of money can begin to compensate for the loss of a loved one or the permanent destruction of your health, but making those who have harmed you face up to what they’ve done and take responsibility for their wrongdoing can provide a deterrent to unsafe driving behaviors while helping to ease the financial burden you are suffering in the wake of a serious car accident.
Rhode Island personal injury lawyers know that together we can deter dangerous driving and types of negligence that results in injuries to others is to hold those who cause accidents liable to their victims.
If you or someone in your family was seriously injured or died in a Rhode Island highway accident caused by someone else’s wrongdoing or negligent driving, with the help of a highly experienced personal injury attorney, you may qualify to receive compensation for both your economic damages and the losses to your quality-of-life. Holding wrongdoers accountable will not only help you and your family, it will make our state’s roads safer for everyone.
What You Should Do Immediately after a Car Crash
When you’ve just been in a car accident, you will probably feel shaken up and somewhat dazed. Take some time to regain your focus, and if you are able, take these steps to protect your immediate safety and your rights:
- Turn on your flashers, and if you can do it safely, move your car off to the side of the road.
- If you have passengers in your car, check on their condition. Try to determine if anyone, whether in your car or another vehicle involved in the crash is seriously injured. If so, call 911 and ask the operator to dispatch an ambulance.
- If no one appears to need an ambulance, call the non-emergency police number and request an officer to take a report.
- While waiting for help to arrive, if you are able to move about, record the names, contact information, registration and plate numbers, and insurance information for all drivers and owners.
- Avoid discussing how the accident happened. Do not apologize. As a polite person, you may be inclined to say I’m sorry, whether you caused the accident or not. Don’t. It could be taken (wrongly) as an admission of fault on your part.
- Take photos of the accident scene, including the damage to each vehicle. Get a picture of some type of geographic marker, such as a street sign, that will identify the accident’s location.
- Get medical attention. If you’ve asked for an ambulance, it will take you to the nearest hospital emergency room. If not, go to the ER yourself, or visit an Urgent Care clinic or your own doctor. Let the doctor know that you’ve just been in a car crash.
- Be aware that even if you don’t believe you’ve been injured, the adrenaline rush that occurs during an accident may be masking pain. In addition, some injuries are not apparent right away, and you may not realize for hours or days that you’ve been hurt. If you fail to get medical attention within a reasonable time after an accident, you could risk losing the right to recover compensation for your injuries.
- Report the accident to your insurance company, giving the date, time, and location, without providing details on how the accident occurred.
- Call an experienced Rhode Island car accident attorney. You should always bring a personal injury attorney on board as soon after the accident as possible to protect your right to recover compensation. You will find the skill and experience you need in a personal injury lawyer at the law firm of Ronald J. Resmini in Providence.
- Expect a call from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Do not engage in any discussion of the accident or your injuries. Trying to negotiate a settlement with an insurance adjuster without the benefit of a lawyer is a mistake that could cost you dearly. Do not allow the adjuster to take a recorded statement. So not sign anything. Refer the adjuster to your attorney.
How Car Accidents Occur
In many cases, car accidents are caused by someone’s poor driving or by hazardous conditions on the road. In either case, your lawyer will conduct an investigation, often calling upon accident reconstructionists and traffic safety experts to determine the factors that contributed to the crash.
Causes of Highway Accidents
Car accidents on Rhode Island highways may be caused by various types of negligence. They may often be attributed to other drivers engaging in dangerous behaviors: drunk or impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding or aggressive driving, or some combination of these. Or, the primary or contributing cause may be a hazardous condition on the road.
Dangerous Road Conditions
Dangerous conditions on the road are often responsible for accidents. They may be the fault of the state or a municipality responsible for road design, maintenance, and signage, a construction company that has left the pavement littered with obstacles or debris, or a truck that has left blown out tire treads or fallen cargo on the pavement. These are some of the more common road conditions that cause highway accidents:
- Faulty road design
- Hazardous road construction area
- Objects or debris on the road
- Potholes or cracked, uneven pavement
- Lack of a level shoulder
- Missing guardrails
- Standing water
- Detached tire treads
- Snow and ice, especially black ice
- Lack of lane dividers or pavement markings, especially on winding roads
Drunk or Drugged Driving
Alcohol and drug use and driving simply do not mix. This includes not only illegal substances, but also prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Alcohol-related crashes killed 10,322 people across the nation in 2012—one every 51 minutes—according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The cost of drunk or alcohol impaired crashes exceeds $132 billion per year.
Aggressive Driving and Speeding
Driving faster than the legal limit increases the danger of losing control of the car, and it also increases the force of the impact in a crash, increasing the likelihood of catastrophic injuries or death. Excessive speed is a factor in a third of all highway accidents.
Aggressive drivers often exceed the speed limit as they weave in traffic, cut others off, zoom up on other cars from behind, and tailgate. This type of driving is often accompanied by other types of rude and dangerous behavior, such as cursing, using obscene gestures, and failing to signal.
Distracted Driving Accidents
We live in a high-paced world where multitasking has come to be the norm. But the highway is not the place to be doing anything other than driving. Anyone who gets behind the wheel of a car should only be focused on only one thing: the road. Doing anything else while driving that creates a distraction, even for a few seconds, can be deadly.
- Perhaps the most dangerous distraction is texting, which increase the likelihood of a crash by 23 times. Other distractions include:
- Talking on a cell phone
- Rubbernecking (looking at roadside events or accidents)
- Adjusting the radio
- Choosing or inserting CD
- Eating or drinking
- Grooming, for example brushing hair or applying makeup
- Setting the GPS
- Consulting a map or written directions
- Disciplining children
- Unrestrained pets
- Reaching for fallen objects
- Talking to passengers
A distraction while driving at a high speed, even a momentary one, may cause a driver to:
- Drift out of the proper lane and into the path of an oncoming car traveling in the opposite direction
- Fail to signal lane changes or turns
- Change lanes without checking blind spots
- Turn the wrong way onto a one way street
- Enter a highway ramp in the wrong direction
- Disregard a traffic signal
- Fail to notice a bicyclist or pedestrian on or near the road
These cases may be complicated by challenging issues regarding the cause of the accident, civil engineering, or government immunity, so make sure the attorney you choose is familiar with this type of case.
Death and Disability from Highway Accidents
Car accidents can create havoc with your body. The possible types of injuries are many, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Neck and back injuries, including sprains, strains, and herniated discs
- Burn injuries
- Bone fractures
- Torn ligaments
- Facial injuries
- Internal organ injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Psychological damage: anxiety, phobias, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
- Chronic pain
Recovering Damages Following a Car Accident in Rhode Island
When you’ve been seriously injured or have lost a family member in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by someone else, you entitled to make a claim for compensation for your injuries against the person who caused your accident, the company or government entity responsible for causing or allowing a hazardous road condition, or a manufacturer of a defective vehicle or one of its parts.
Some of the damages that may potentially be recovered include, but are not limited to:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost earnings and earning potential
- Expenses for household services you can no longer perform
- Cost of transportation and childcare for medical appointments
- Cost of assistive devices
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Psychological disturbance
- Loss of affection, companionship, or marital consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Funeral expenses (in wrongful death cases)
Free Car Accident Consultation
Call the Resmini law offices today to arrange a free consultation. Tell us about the accident and your injuries, and we’ll explain the legal process and answer all of your questions. We accept personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency agreement, so you will never receive a bill for legal fees or expenses unless we win money for you. Call (401) 751-8855 now. If you wait, you could miss a filing deadline and lose your right to make your claim.