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Rhode Island Negligence, Personal Injury and Car Accident Laws -1 of 4

Rhode Island Negligence, Personal Injury and Car Accident Laws RI Personal Injury Attorney, David Slepkow, provides this extensive guide to negligence and accident laws in Rhode Island. These are some of the most significant liability, negligence and tort laws in RI. 2 of 4 ,  Part3 of 4 ,  4 of 4

Rear End  Liability for Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Accidents

“Under Rhode Island law, “[w]hen a case includes a claim or defense resulting from a rear-end collision between vehicles, a prima facie case of negligence against the driver of the car in the rear is established * * *.” Maglioli v. J.P. Noonan Transportation, Inc., 869 A.2d 71, 75 (R.I. 2005).

Wrongful Death Law in RI and personal injury

  • A wrongful death cause of action in RI must be filed by the executor or administrator of the estate. http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE10/10-7/10-7-2.HTM
  • A settlement or judgment as a result of the fatal automobile crash is not an asset of the deceased person’s estate.
  • Any settlement funds or judgment recovered as a result of the Car crash shall be distributed by the executor of the dead person’s estate to the beneficiaries set forth in the wrongful death statute.
  • Customarily, the administrator of the person who died in the collision or fall must retain a Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer with experience in fatal accident litigation.
  • The statutory beneficiaries of a wrongful death recovery is set forth in Rhode Island general law 10-7-2. “(1/2) shall go to the husband or widow, and one-half (1/2) shall go to the children of the deceased, and if there are no children, the whole shall go to the husband or widow, and, if there is no husband or widow, to the next of kin, in the proportion provided by law in relation to the distribution of personal property left by persons dying intestate;” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE10/10-7/10-7-2.HTM

Statute of Limitations -Wrongful death claims

3 year Statute of Limitations (SOL) for wrongful death in Rhode Island. Missing a statute of limitations will be a bar to recovering compensation as a result of a Rhode Island deadly crash. However, in unusual and very limited circumstances, this statute of limitations may be extended for good cause.

Extending Wrongful Death SOL

“With respect to any death caused by any wrongful act, neglect or default which is not known at the time of death, the action shall be commenced within three (3) years of the time that the wrongful act, neglect or default is discovered or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have been discovered.” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE10/10-7/10-7-2.HTM http://www.ripersonalinjurylaw.com/rhode-island-wrongful-death-attorney/

Statute of limitations for most negligence, slip and fall & bicycle collision causes of action

The SOL in Rhode island and Providence Plantations (otherwise known as the ocean state) is 3 years from the date of the accident for auto, semi-truck, motorcycle , bicycle and bike accidents.

Admissibility of Subsequent remedial Measures in RI

Pursuant to RI law, subsequent remedial measures may be used to prove that an alleged tortfeasor was negligent. This law puts Rhode Island in the minority state position because under the federal rules of evidence, Rule 407, and pursuant to nearly all state rules, subsequent remedial measures are not allowed to prove that a defendant was at fault for an accident.

Federal LAW concerning subsequent remedial measures:

““When measures are taken that would have made an earlier in-jury or harm less likely to occur, evidence of the subsequent measures is not admissible to prove: negligence; culpable conduct; a defect in a product or its design; or a need for a warning or instruction. But the court may admit this evidence for another purpose, such as impeachment or—if disputed—proving ownership, control, or the feasibility of precautionary measures. (As amended Apr. 11, 1997, eff. Dec. 1, 1997; Apr. 26, 2011, eff. Dec.1, 2011.) http://www.uscourts.gov/uscourts/rules/rules-evidence.pdfhttp://www.ripersonalinjurylaw.com/ri-allow-subsequent-remedial-measures-prove-liability/

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Obligations to act in good faith and not expose Insured to excess liability Judgment

If an injured victim in a car, truck, motorcycle or premises liability or other accident claim makes a demand through their RI Personal injury Attorneys under or at the insurance policy coverage limits and the demand is rejected by the Insurance company then the insurance company is responsible to pay the entire judgment including interest! This is obviously a law that Providence car accident lawyers Love!

“If the insurer declines to settle the case within the policy limits, it does so at its peril in the event that a trial results in a judgment that exceeds the policy limits, including interest. If such a judgment is sustained on appeal or is unappealed, the insurer is liable for the amount that exceeds the policy limits, unless it can show that the insured was unwilling to accept the offer of settlement.” ASERMELY v. ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY, 728 A.2d 461 (1999). http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ri-supreme-court/1403678.html

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