Driver Negligence: What caused your car accident in Rhode Island?


Driver negligence is a main cause of car accidents. A negligent driver brings to mind a driver who is intoxicated or on drugs. Even a driver on prescription drugs with instructions not to use while operating heavy machinery (like a vehicle) can be negligent. If a car accident is caused by a driver under any of these influences, that driver may be deemed negligent. Drinking and drugs are not the only form of driver negligence. Many less obvious behaviors performed on a daily basis can be deemed negligent while driving.

Common examples of driver negligence:

  • Reading a map or piece of paper
  • Texting on/looking at on a cell phone
  • Changing the radio station
  • Looking at something on the side of the road
  • Adjusting your seat
  • Eating or drinking
  • Looking at children to talk to or admonish them
  • Putting on makeup/personal hygiene practices

Any of these items can amount to an inattentive vehicle operator, or driver negligence. Here are some steps to take if you spot a negligent or distracted driver.

Defining Driver Negligence

  • In legal terms: “duty of care”, and breach of this “duty of care”.
  • Simply put: One has responsibility to not cause harm to another. If one breaches this “duty of care” (or causes harm to another), one is considered negligent.

Proving Driver Negligence

  • You must show that the actions taken (or not taken) failed to meet the required level of reasonable care.
    • Car A  failed to stop at a red light and hit Car B
  • Then ask- what exactly is the correct standard of reasonable care in the given situation?
    • Car A is expected to follow traffic laws including adhering to traffic signals and signs
  • Therefore, it is established that Car A showed driver negligence towards Car B.

An experienced car accident lawyer will help you establish proof of this “breach of reasonable care”. Your attorney will help prove or obtain:

  • Laws were violated (ie. Car A did not stop at the red light as required by traffic code.)
  • Witnesses (ie. Testimony from those who may have witnessed the car accident. This may also include yourself and the other driver(s)).
  • Physical evidence (ie. Damage to the vehicle that occurred during the car accident.)

Lastly, you must show exactly what harm this “breach of reasonable care” caused. This may be done by providing medical records, relevant documentation, medical and repair bills and more. An experienced car accident lawyer in RI will instruct you every step of the way how to recover the personal damages that you incurred from driver negligence.

If you or a loved one have been in a car accident involving driver negligence, you need the help of an experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer. Call Tapalian Law at 


for a free legal consultation and free case evaluation. You may also use our online

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to ask a question or contact our office. Our law firm represents clients throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts. If you cannot come to us, we will come to you!



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