One of the most common types of collisions that East Providence residents experience is a rear-end collision. As the fifth-largest city in the state of Rhode Island, East Providence has a thriving economy and nearly 50,000 residents. The city’s roads are typically most dangerous over the weekends, with the greatest number of accidents occurring from Saturday night through Sunday evening. Fall historically has been the most dangerous season to be on the road. East Providence car accident lawyer David Tapalian has provided reliable and knowledgeable legal representation to many people in this situation. We know how daunting a rear-end collision can be for your family and you, and we are prepared to guide you through each and every step of the legal process.Understanding Your Right to Compensation After a Rear-End Collision
Rear-end collisions are so frequent that Rhode Island has enacted a specific law concerning them. This establishes that it is presumed that the driver whose car collided with the car ahead was acting negligently at the time of the crash. Negligence is a well-defined legal concept that refers to the level of care and skill that a driver must use when operating their vehicle. In general, this standard requires each of us to drive with the same care and skill that a prudent and reasonable individual would exhibit when confronted with a similar set of circumstances. This includes accounting for inclement weather, heavy traffic, road hazards, and construction zones, as well as obeying any applicable traffic laws.
One of the most common causes of a rear-end collision is distracted driving, which includes talking on the phone, texting, adjusting the radio, or eating while driving. In 2011, Rhode Island passed a law that makes it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving. If the plaintiff can demonstrate that the defendant violated a traffic law at the time that the crash occurred, the plaintiff is entitled to a presumption that the defendant was driving negligently. The defendant then has the opportunity to rebut this presumption. One of the most common ways to show that the defendant violated a statute or traffic law is by obtaining a copy of any police reports or investigations prepared regarding the accident.
Once you have established that the defendant was negligent at the time that the crash occurred, you must next demonstrate that there is a causal link between this negligence and the injuries that you sustained. It is not enough to show that the defendant failed to use due care unless you can tie it to the crash. If the defendant can show that some other factor was a substantial cause of the injuries that you sustained, such as a severe storm, you may be barred from recovering compensation from the defendant.
Additionally, Rhode Island has adopted a pure comparative fault approach to assessing whether the plaintiff contributed to their own injuries. The defendant is allowed to present evidence suggesting that the plaintiff also acted negligently. The jury can then weigh this evidence and decide whether to assign a percentage of fault to the plaintiff, which will then be used to reduce any monetary award in the plaintiff’s favor.
The final step of a personal injury lawsuit involves determining the amount of compensation that the plaintiff should receive. The plaintiff can submit documentation supporting their claim for damages, such as medical bills, missed paychecks, estimated future medical care costs, and diminished earning capacity losses.Get Help from a Compassionate East Providence Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries because of a careless driver, you may be entitled to compensation. Understanding the steps that you should take and how to protect your legal interests can be difficult, especially if this is your first encounter with the Rhode Island civil legal system. East Providence attorney David Tapalian takes pride in providing personal, compassionate, and diligent legal representation to victims and their families. He offers a free consultation to help you learn more about your potential case. Call us now at 401-552-5000 or contact us online to set up your appointment with a car accident lawyer.