Motor vehicle collisions are some of the most common ways that innocent victims can get hurt. If you have been injured by a careless driver, you can bring a negligence action against them to seek monetary compensation. In this type of case, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant failed to act with due care and that this failure was the cause of the injuries that they suffered. Rhode Island has long recognized that the level of care that drivers must meet is the same level of care that a prudent and reasonable person would use when facing a comparable situation. After proving that the defendant failed to use due care, the plaintiff must show that this failure caused the injuries that they sustained, and they must offer evidence substantiating their damages. Some common items of damages in a motor vehicle collision case include medical bills, missed wages, pain and suffering, and loss of future earning capacity. Contact David Tapalian today to learn more about whether you may have a viable claim for damages.
Truck drivers and trucking companies are expected to act with a certain level of care when it comes to operating these large vehicles. Among other things, they must obtain all required training and certifications, carefully load the truck, check their blind spots, and refrain from using a cell phone while driving. If you have been injured in a truck accident, you likely can recover damages from a negligent truck driver, and you may also be able to recover compensation from the trucking company that employs the driver. Rhode Island recognizes a doctrine called vicarious liability that holds an employer liable for any negligent acts that its employees commit during the course and scope of employment. If the truck driver who caused the accident to occur has a questionable driving record, a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer may also be able to assert a negligent hiring claim against the trucking company. This claim holds the employer responsible if it knew or should have known that the employee was unfit for the job. Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles are a pleasurable and convenient mode of transportation and a popular hobby for many Rhode Island residents. However, the fact that a motorcycle leaves the rider exposed to the elements means that they are more susceptible to suffering serious injuries in an accident. An injured motorcyclist can recover compensation from a driver who caused a motorcycle accident to occur if they can show that the defendant failed to drive with reasonable care and skill, which includes obeying all traffic laws, paying adequate attention, and taking severe weather or heavy traffic into account. If the motorcyclist establishes negligence, they are entitled to recover compensation for any expenses associated with the crash, including ambulance bills, hospital bills, medications, physical therapy, missed wages, and compensation for future medical needs. Premises Liability
Property owners are expected to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition so that people who enter it are not hurt. Unfortunately, the owners of many restaurants, stores, hotels, and other businesses fail to take proper precautions. A victim of a slip and fall or another accident may be able to bring a premises liability claim with the assistance of a personal injury attorney in Rhode Island against a property owner, seeking to establish that they were hurt because of a dangerous condition of which the owner should have known. A defendant may argue that the condition was open and obvious, such that the plaintiff should have noticed it by using reasonable care. Because of Rhode Island’s pure comparative negligence system, however, any carelessness by a victim merely reduces rather than eliminates an award of compensation. Surveillance videos and witness testimony are often critical in establishing how a danger arose and how the accident occurred. Medical Malpractice
We trust physicians to carefully treat our injuries and illnesses and to provide us with reliable and accurate advice. When doctors fail to treat us according to this standard, the outcome can be devastating and can even have a permanent impact on a victim. If a doctor fails to use the appropriate level of care, a patient can bring a medical malpractice claim against the physician and potentially against the hospital for which the physician works. If the plaintiff is successful in showing that the physician failed to meet the professional standard of care, the plaintiff will be entitled to recover compensation for any damages associated with the negligence. Common examples of medical malpractice errors include birth injuries, misdiagnoses, surgical errors, and medication errors. Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse
Nursing homes provide a critical service for our society, especially if an elderly individual lacks family or other caregivers. For many residents, a nursing home offers medical attention, daily assistance, and even opportunities for socialization. For others, however, nursing homes can be fraught with abuse and negligence. Common forms of nursing home negligence or abuse that take place in Rhode Island include physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, abandonment, sexual abuse, and medical malpractice. If you believe that your loved one is experiencing abuse or negligent care in a nursing home, you should retain a personal injury lawyer in Rhode Island to pursue compensation. Rhode Island has enacted a number of statutes and programs to protect elders, including the Elderly Violence Prevention Act and the Citizen’s Commission for the Safety and Care of the Elderly. Dog Bites
Dog bites are painful and often traumatizing for an unsuspecting victim. Rhode Island has adopted a strict liability approach to dog bites, which means that the owner of a dog is liable for bite-related injuries that occur, regardless of fault. To prevail in a claim against the owner, the plaintiff must show that the dog assaulted, bit, or otherwise injured the plaintiff and that the dog was not on the owner’s property when the bite occurred. The statute applies not only to bites but also to related injuries, such as being knocked down. If the bite occurred on the owner’s property, the plaintiff will need to show that the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog would act in an aggressive manner. Wrongful Death
Accidents are especially devastating for a family when they prove fatal. According to Rhode Island law, a wrongful death claim may be based on any wrongful act that causes a death to occur. The wrongful act must be the type of act that would support a personal injury claim in the event that the victim had survived. The law also provides that only the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate can bring the wrongful death claim. Potential damages include funeral and burial costs, medical bills, lost income, and loss of consortium, among other things. Workers’ Compensation
The workers’ compensation system is designed to ensure that injured workers receive the benefits that they require when a job-related injury prevents them from continuing in their usual occupation. In exchange for this right to benefit payments, the injured worker generally cannot bring a civil action against their employer. If you have been involved in a work-related accident, you should notify your employer as soon as possible. The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will open a claim and begin determining whether your injury is partial or total and whether it is temporary or permanent. There are specific laws regarding the amount of benefits that you are eligible to receive, based on this assessment and a number of other factors. Social Security Disability
The Social Security Disability program is designed to provide monthly benefits to individuals who become disabled before they reach the age of retirement when the disability prevents them from working. To be eligible, there are various criteria that an applicant must meet, such as having worked for a specific number of years in a job that required them to pay Social Security taxes, among other things. There are five Social Security field offices located in Rhode Island. According to one report, during 2013, residents of the state received roughly $264 million in payments. Consult a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer in Providence or the Surrounding Area
At Tapalian Law, we know how challenging an accident can be for your family and you, especially if it resulted in serious injuries or substantial financial costs. Our team will ensure that you receive the compassionate and vigilant legal counsel that you deserve, and we can aggressively protect your legal interests in the courtroom. With offices in Providence and in Seekonk, we have proudly served people seeking a personal injury or wrongful death lawyer throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Call us now at 401-552-5000 or contact us online to set up a free appointment with a Rhode Island personal injury attorney.