brain-image2-300x148Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most catastrophic, life-changing, injuries a person can incur. A traumatic brain injury (TBI), a specific type of head injury that occurs to the brain damaging its normal functioning, can be suffered in any number of ways but is commonly attributed to a fall or motor vehicle accident. No matter how the harm is sustained, whether through a slip and fall on an icy driveway, an auto accident with a drunk driver, or faulty equipment, the personal injury lawyers at Tapalian Law know there are few things as serious or devastating as an injury to the head resulting in brain trauma. It affects a person not only physically, but there can also be significant personality and emotional shifts involved. It’s difficult enough for a person and their loved ones to cope with the aftermath of a TBI without the additional stress of having to cope with a personal injury case, especially if the injury was caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior. At Tapalian Law, our skilled Rhode Island personal injury team will help you navigate your claim while you focus your energies on recovery.

Personal Injury Cases Involving A TBI

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI’s, wreak havoc on the lives of millions of people every year. Brain injuries are catastrophic in nature; even “mild” head injuries can result in significant consequences for your health. At Tapalian Law, we commonly see personal injury cases that involve TBI’s as a result of slip and fall accidents, car accidents, and workplace accidents. After a severe accident, fall, or blow to the head, there are various tests a doctor or medical provider can perform to diagnose a TBI. These brain injuries often exhibit one or more of the following attributes:

m_Contract_-_Businessman_Signing_a_Contract_-_Illustration-300x193If you have been hurt in a car accident, a motorcycle crash, a slip and fall, or other type of incident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are likely considering filing a personal injury claim for your damages. You’re probably wondering how viable your potential claim is, what type of compensation you may be eligible for, and what factors will have a direct impact on how your personal injury lawsuit will be resolved. As any Rhode Island personal injury lawyer will tell you, these answers vary on a case-by-case basis; however, there are some key contributing factors that you should take into consideration. These components can be vital to the outcome of your case and your ability to recover the compensation that you may be entitled to for your full medical and financial recovery.

Components That Impact the Viability of a Personal Injury Claim

Though a lot of personal injury claims appear similar on the surface, no two cases are exactly the same. For example, Attorney David Tapalian and his Rhode Island personal injury team handle multitudes of car accident cases on a daily basis. We may encounter two auto accidents that both involve head-on collisions with a drunk driver, yet that’s where the similarities end. Each case is extremely different and due to this fact, it’s crucial your personal injury attorney examines your individual case thoroughly in order to give an educated prediction of its likelihood of success when it comes to damages and liability. Some main factors we assess that can affect the outcome of your injury claim include:

car-insurance-costs-300x187If you own a vehicle, you know that auto insurance is a costly, yet necessary, expense. Though requirements vary from state to state, every state except New Hampshire requires some type of insurance coverage in order to legally operate a vehicle. In Rhode Island, motorists are required to carry liability auto insurance with minimum coverage of $25K per person ($50K per accident) for bodily injury, and $25K per accident for property damage. However, as a Rhode Island car accident lawyer for over 20 years, David Tapalian has seen enough people hit by uninsured drivers to know that not all drivers carry the compulsory auto insurance, or they have inadequate coverage. If you’ve had the misfortune to be involved in a car accident where the driver at fault has no insurance, or purchased the bare minimum, you’ve likely seen that most times this is insufficient to cover the damages involved in a serious auto accident.

Though a significant expense, the cost of auto insurance is one that a driver needs to responsibly account for when choosing to get behind the wheel; and a reprieve on insurance premiums shouldn’t be expected anytime soon either. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data last week showing auto insurance costs are rising at the fastest rate in the past 47 years. Car insurance costs for March were 22.2% higher than they were a year ago and increased 20.6% over February, resulting in the largest gain since 1976.

Reasons Car Insurance Rates Are Increasing

evidence-police-report-300x272When you’ve been hurt in a car accident and need to file a personal injury claim against the driver at fault for the crash, every piece of evidence is crucial. One of the most important pieces of your claim is the police accident report. Read on to find out why exactly this document is so vital to your Rhode Island car accident lawyer and your personal injury case.

What is a Police Accident Report?

When a car accident occurs and a police officer is called to the scene of the crash, an electronic report form usually must be filed by the officer with the Rhode Island DMV within two weeks. This report details what the officer saw at the scene of the accident, statements from the drivers involved, and (depending on the case) their personal assessment of which party(s) were at fault. If the accident resulted in any physical injuries or property damage valued above $1,000, officers are required to submit an accident report. Regardless of the severity, you should always call the police after an accident in order for them to assess the scene. There are times, however, where the police may not respond in a timely manner. For example, they may be involved in a serious matter that is deemed unsafe to leave. Under certain conditions, all the drivers involved must file their own accident reports with the DMV within a 21-day period. If any injuries or property damage valued at over $1,000 were sustained, drivers are required to self-report.

commercial-truck-300x200A common question personal injury lawyers receive is: What can I expect when it comes to a settlement for my commercial vehicle accident? The answer is probably not what you want to hear, but it’s necessary and truthful: It varies depending on a variety of factors, just like with car accidents and many other types of personal injury law. The complexity of trying to get the commercial vehicle accident settlement you deserve for your specific case is exactly why you need to have top-notch legal representation on your side. Below, our Providence personal injury attorneys will go through a brief overview of the basics of commercial vehicle accident settlements in Rhode Island, how the amounts are determined, and some things you can expect when going through the process.

What Is Considered a Commercial Vehicle?

First, let’s establish the definition of a commercial vehicle before delving into the more complicated legal stuff. A commercial vehicle generally refers to automobiles like delivery vans, semi-trucks, taxis, buses, and other vehicles that are employed for business. Since these types of vehicles tend to be larger and heavier than other cars and trucks on the road, when accidents do occur, injuries and damages tend to be more severe compared to accidents that only involve regular passenger cars.

motorcycle-photo-300x225The wind blowing your hair, the open road speeding past you with nothing in between you and the outside, the sheer velocity of your ride; motorcycles have long been a symbol of thrill and freedom since they were popularized. The flip side, of course, is the risk of danger and recklessness. Just as there’s nothing between you and the open road, there’s also not much between you and a severe injury when it comes to a motorcycle crash. Motorcycle accidents can have severe consequences, from significant injuries and ensuing medical bills to a jury prejudice against motorcyclists in general. That’s why it’s essential to have legal representation from a Rhode Island motorcycle accident lawyer who is experienced in navigating these types of cases. Attorney David Tapalian and the skilled personal injury team at Tapalian Law will help you and your family handle the aftermath of a motorcycle accident to make sure your rights as a motorcyclist are protected, ensure you are treated fairly, and the person responsible for your injuries is held accountable.

What Does a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Actually Do?

While the first picture that comes to mind with the word “lawyer” is “court,” an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer does much more than that- a dedicated personal injury lawyer becomes your counselor, advocate, and guide through the complicated, often daunting labyrinth known as personal injury law. A Rhode Island motorcycle accident attorney from Tapalian Law will labor to make sure that you get the optimal outcome for your motorcycle accident claim.

grieving-wrongful-death-300x199Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. Particularly so if your loved one’s death was easily preventable and caused by another person’s negligence, such as a fatal drunk driving crash. While family members are left to mourn a shocking loss, they must also make costly funeral preparations for the deceased. Facing an unexpected large expense can compound stress for loved ones and leave them financially burdened. When this occurs, the family of the deceased may take legal action to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party for damages. This type of claim can recoup funeral and burial expenses as well as the financial burden of losing the family’s breadwinner and other harms like the loss of companionship. Attorney David Tapalian’s expertise in personal injury law and wrongful death in Rhode Island and Massachusetts has helped hundreds of families successfully win compensation after a serious injury or death of a loved one.  As an experienced RI wrongful death lawyer, he will guide, support, and fight for you and your family during these trying times and ensure that your case is handled the way it deserves.

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is a type of legal action that may be initiated when a wrongful act or negligence of another party resulted in somebody’s death. For example, a parent may file a wrongful death claim if they lost a child in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. In Rhode Island, according to R.I. Gen. Laws § 10-7-1, this act, neglect, or default that led to the death must be classified as a type of action that would have allowed the deceased person to file a personal injury claim for damages had they survived. The type of action that led to the death may be based on negligence, like an auto accident, medical malpractice, or an intentional harm, like a crime. The estate or certain family members (spouse, child, parent) of the deceased can file a lawsuit and potentially be awarded a monetary settlement for damages against the party legally liable for the death. The essential aspects of a wrongful death claim are:

bicycyclist--300x240A fatal bicycle accident in Newport last week left locals of the Rhode Island city in mourning, and also upset. Kayla Watson, a 34-year-old Middletown resident, was killed while riding an electric bike to work on Admiral Kalbfus Road. Watson was fatally injured after being struck by a bucket truck at an intersection on a stretch of road notoriously known for being dangerous.  The intersection where Admiral Kalbus Road and Hillside Avenue meet has been the subject of a number of safety studies over the years which have shown a “general neglect for traffic safety laws”, including frequent speeding and running red lights. As Rhode Island personal injury lawyers, at Tapalian Law we all too often see first-hand the detrimental injuries and tragic fatalities that result when a bicyclist or pedestrian is hit by a car or truck. Losing a loved one in an accident is always devastating, particularly when the harm was caused by a careless driver and was unavoidable.

Intersection a Long-Time Traffic Hazard

Just this summer, a group of area residents voiced their concerns and requested safety improvements to the Newport City Council, RI Department of Transportation, and state and national officials in an 18-page letter. While the intersection has been a long-time traffic safety concern, residents’ uneasiness escalated when the RIDOT Pell Bridge ramp realignment project resulted in a big influx of commercial and construction vehicles being re-routed through the area. Considered part of Route 138, a larger state highway, Admiral Kalbus Road is also a residential area. Hillside Avenue is also a residential area and a main route to and from Newport’s Pell Elementary School which is of great concern to both parents and neighbors who frequently observe motorists driving with a disregard for speed limits and traffic signals.

brain image A head injury is considered any type of injury that occurs to the head, from a mild bruise to a traumatic brain injury. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a specific type of head injury that occurs to the brain damaging its normal functioning.  This results from an external force to the head, such as a sudden jolt or severe blow, resulting in trauma. Common causes of a TBI include car accidents, a fall, sports injuries, or even violent assault, and can range from mild to severe with significant repercussions. Attorney David Tapalian is a Providence personal injury lawyer who has helped hundreds of clients throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts navigate the legal complexities following a TBI resulting from a serious auto accident, motorcycle crash, or slip and fall. Moderate to severe TBI’s are extremely serious matters and considered more critical than concussions. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, it’s vital to seek medical treatment right away. If left untreated, a brain injury can have dangerous, even life-threatening complications.

How is a TBI Diagnosed?

When a doctor or medical provider order TBI testing for a potential brain injury, for instance after a motorcycle crash, various components are used to make a diagnosis. TBI tests refer to the series of imaging tests and medical examinations that healthcare providers conduct in order to evaluate the presence and severity of a traumatic brain injury. These tests include everything from initial physical examinations to more complex imaging tests like Computerized Tomography (CT) scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

legal-advice-300x300If you’ve been injured in an accident, you are likely wondering what to do next. Where should you seek prompt medical treatment? How should you communicate with your insurance company? What steps should you take to make sure you get reimbursed for your expenses such as car repairs and medical bills? How do you ensure you’re getting the compensation you deserve to pay for your injuries and wages lost?

Insurance companies have teams of lawyers and adjusters on retainer looking after their own bottom line. So should you. That’s why it’s so important to even the playing field by recruiting an experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyer on your side. Still not sure about hiring legal representation? Here are some reasons why you should consult with a lawyer in order to ensure the optimal outcome of your personal injury claim in RI or MA.

How An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Your Case

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