Duty Owed by Automobile Operator To Guest and Degrees of Negligence

Rhode Island has no automobile “guest statue,” nor does it subscribe to the doctrine of degrees of negligence. Therefore, “a driver owes his guest the same duty of ordinary care that he owes to any other person. When a driver deviates from the standard of careful operation of his vehicle…any victims of such improper operation (may) recover for their injuries.” The contributory negligence of an automobile owner or operator may not be imputed to a guest riding in the automobile.

In simple terms this refers to the right of a passenger in a vehicle to “recover” from any injuries incurred through the negligence on the part of the driver of the vehicle.

See Chapter 2 Section 93 in Tort Law and Personal Injury Practice, Volume 1 by Ronald J Resmini, Esquire, Providence R.I.