RI and MA bicycle accident attorney

August 4, 2016

Even with protective gear, a bicycle accident can be a life-altering event. Whether a cyclist is hit by a car or goes over the handlebars due to unsafe road conditions, the injuries that take place after these accidents should never be taken lightly. In addition to seeking out medical attention, injured victims should also speak with an experienced RI personal injury attorney who is also a Rhode Island bicycle accident lawyer or a MA bicycle accident attorney  so they can learn more about their rights and responsibilities following an accident.

Alarming Bicycle Accident Statistics

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over two percent of all car accident deaths are bicyclists. Even after sweeping changes to state and federal laws regarding cyclists on the road, there are still hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year in the United States. Unfortunately, these startling numbers have been on the rise for the past five years. This has left thousands of families struggling with medical bills, legal fees, and even funeral expenses.

Common Injuries

The American Academy of Family Physicians keeps very close records of the most common bicycle-related injuriesin the country. Most  Rhode Island bicycle accidents result in acute trauma to the arms, legs, hands, and feet. This includes sprained joints, muscle tears, lacerations, torn ligaments, and broken bones. “Road rash” is another major concern for cyclists due to the fact that it can leave permanent scars. Riders  in Massachusetts who do not wear the proper gear have a very high risk of injuring their head, neck, or back if they are involved in an accident. Unfortunately, head injuries account for nearly 25 percent of all bicycle-related wounds.

Immediately Following an Accident-seeking  personal injury lawyers
The steps you and your loved ones take immediately following a RI or Massachusetts bicycle accident could impact you for the rest of your life. The first thing you must do is seek out professional medical attention. Many riders do not feel their injuries right away because of the adrenaline in their system, and that is why it is so important to schedule a comprehensive exam even if you feel fine. The next step is to collect all of the information you can involving the accident. That includes the contact information of everyone involved, pictures of the scene, and a description of the accident from your perspective. Finally, victims or their loved ones should immediately contact a  Rhode Island personal injury attorney or Mass. Bike crash attorneys  who can guide them through the process of filing a claim and receiving compensation.

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Car and Bicycle Accident Statistics

July 30, 2016

About two percent of motor vehicle accidents per year involve bicyclists. In 2014, 720 bicycle riders were killed in crashes involving vehicles.
Older people have become more involved in fitness, and persons 20 and older are 86 percent of the fatalities, tripling the numbers from 1975. In 2014, 551 males to 68 females over the age of 20 were killed. Of those deceased, only 17 percent were wearing helmets. If you were injured as a result of a motor vehicle crash with a bicycle in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, please contact a Rhode Island bicycle accident attorney.

Fault in Rhode Island bicycle accident

In view of these statistics, who is more likely to be at fault or have a legal case in a car-bike collision? The Federal Highway Administration admits that they don’t know. “Fault is difficult to determine,” replied a spokesperson for the administration. Cars seem the more likely culprit, because they are big and powerful compared to bikes. But what are the possibilities of legal claims for bikers or drivers?

Rear end crashes

Cars striking bikes from behind seem the most common bike accident. Even traveling at a very slow speed, a car hitting the back of a bicycle can send the rider face-first into the pavement.  Who’s at fault? Again, a good legal inspection is imperative, as there are many variables besides carelessness determining why a vehicle might strike a bicycle from behind. In nearly every situation in Rhode Island, a car motorist striking a cyclist is at fault for the crash.

Intersection accidents

Forty five percent of bike/vehicle accidents take place in intersections. Drivers need to take that second look to make sure intersections are not just cleared of cars, but of smaller vehicles like bikes. Bike riders need to maximize their visibility and realize the hazards of biking through a busy intersection.
The basic laws of liability require all to follow the rules of the road. Whoever is at fault for disobeying traffic laws will most likely be found liable. Even though a cyclist will sustain more damage than a car, not following the rules of the road will find the cyclist liable.

Unmarked intersection

Upon approaching an unmarked intersection, the vehicle arriving first, and bikes are legally considered vehicles, has the right-of-way. Upon arrival at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way. If a car hits a bicycle because of failing to yield the right-of-way to the cyclist, the driver is at fault.

Intersection with one stop sign

If the bicycle rider is riding in a street with no stop sign and a car approaches from a street that does have a stop sign, the car motorist woukd be liable for any bicycle accident. Whether poor visibility or absent-mindedness, the accident will be attributed to the driver. However, if the cyclist was riding against traffic, (60 percent of the time) both of the drivers may be found at fault.

Bike and car accidents don’t often end well. No matter who is at fault, the bike rider is often severely injured and the vehicle driver traumatized.

If you have been involved in a car-bike accident, you are no doubt struggling with medical bills and insurance claims. Taking the proper steps to handle your case and possible compensation is vital to your future. If you were injured in a bicycle accident in Rhode Island  then contact a RI bicycle accident lawyer / Rhode island personal injury attorney at our firm to get the justice you deserve.

Sources:

Bicycle Accidents

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2011/05/20/136462246/when-bikes-and-cars-colli


T-bone – broadside car accident in Rhode Island and MA

April 17, 2016

Side impact car collisions, commonly referred to as “t-bone” or broadside accidents, are quite common throughout the United States and in the Rhode Island / Massachusetts area. These types of  RI and MA accidents vary in the degree of damage done to vehicles and personal injuries suffered by vehicle occupants. These types of accidents can be deadly, in fact, there are between 8,500 to 10,000 t-bone accident deaths per year.

Broadside car accident

In car accidents between passenger vehicles, over 50$ of deaths from car accidents involved t-bone accidents. T-bone accidents involving trucks and SUVs are especially dangerous. Because of the increase chance of significant injury or death, it is important for drivers to drive defensively and to ensure your vehicle are equipped with the proper protective equipment.

T-bone car accidents may result when vehicles disobey traffic signals and vehicles collide in an intersection. Sometimes weather elements may play a factor, as well as other traffic on the roadway.

T-bone auto crash in RI

For those who have been injured in a t-bone accident or have had a loved one killed in a t-bone collision, you should be aware that there are legal remedies available to compensate for your loss and to hold the other driver responsible. If you believe you are eligible to pursue a claim for damages, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to schedule a consultation.

In a t-bone accident, if there is evidence that the other driver was negligent, then you may be able to recover money damages. Negligence is a complex legal theory that generally means that a person failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Some examples of behavior that may constitute negligence include:
• Disobeying traffic signals
• Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
• Impaired driving
• Texting while driving
• Failure to yield
• Drowsy driving
• Reckless driving

If you have been involved in a t-bone accident, make sure to receive medical treatment immediately for your injuries. Schedule consistent followup appointments with your doctor to monitor your recovery. Make sure to maintain all medical records and other information you receive about the accident, as this may be important in pursuing a claim for damages.

As soon as possible after the car accident, contact a Rhode island  personal injury attorney. A  RI personal injury attorney can provide you with advice and guidance about your potential claim. They can also help you pursue money damages and a fair settlement.


Injured victim’s premises liability claim against town tossed out on technicality

January 30, 2016

When the people who make the laws are trying to protect themselves from liability, it is certainly a recipe for injustice and draconian law. This played out in front of the Rhode Island Supreme Court in the case of Maria Carbone v. John Ward, in his capacity as Finance Director for the Town of Lincoln et al.

The injured victim, Maria Carbone, alleged that she was injured on the Town of Lincoln property when “the street collapsed under her, causing her to fall into a large sink hole. She was asserting that she sustained serious personal injury due to this incident and faulted defendants for failure to properly maintain said area, resulting in a hazardous condition which injured Ms. Carbone.” Id.

Maria sent out two notices, an original notice and an amended notice, to the Town of Lincoln regarding her premises liability claims in an ill fated attempt to comply with Rhode Island’s draconian notice requirements to cities and towns.

The RI Supreme Court sitting in the Capital City of Providence determined that the injured claimant’s notice to the town of Lincoln was statutory insufficient. The Top Court in RI, therefore, blew up the cause of action by affirming the Providence Superior Court’s decision in favor of the Town of Lincoln*, Rhode Island.

This decision was a technical one to say the least because the injured victim’s claims were not heard on the merits of whether the town was in fact negligent and whether such negligence caused the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries in the  RI premises liability claim.

The moral of the story is that if you are injured on city or town property in Rhode Island you are legally required to send proper notice of the claim within 60 days and such notice must be in strict compliance with Rhode Island General Law Section 45-15-9 as well as the Supreme Court case law interpreting that statute.


Rhode Island law concerning notice of injury to town

Section 45-15-9 provides in relevant part:“(a) A person so injured or damaged shall, within sixty (60) days,give to the town by law obliged to keep the highway, causeway, or bridge in repair, notice of the time, place, and cause of the injury or damage; and if the town does not make just and due satisfaction, within the time prescribed by § 45-15-5, the person shall, within three (3) years after the date of the injury or damage, commence his or her action against the town treasurer for the recovery of damages, and not thereafter.” https://www.courts.ri.gov/Courts/SupremeCourt/Opinions/11-276.pdf

“The General Assembly has allowed an injured person to recover for damages arising from a municipality‟s failure to keep its sidewalks in a safe condition.2 General Laws 1956§ 24-5-1. Section 45-15-8 sets forth a mechanism through which injured citizens may recover for their losses in cases in which the injury could have been prevented by the exercise of reasonable care. 3 However, a citizen may recover only in accordance with a strict statutory scheme that requires sufficient notice of the place of injury and an adequate description of the defect that caused the injury.“It is well settled that compliance with these statutory requirements is a condition precedent that must be satisfied for a plaintiff to maintain a suit against the municipality.” Prout, 996 A.2d at 1142 (citing Marshall v. City of Providence, 633 A.2d 1360, 1361 (R.I. 1993) (mem.) (reasoning that giving a municipality statutorily adequate notice is a condition precedent to a civil action and said condition may not be waived)).4 Indeed, “failure to provide proper notice is fatal to a suit brought under § 45-15-9.” Prout, 996 A.2d at 1142. This requirement on the part of the General Assembly may result in harsh consequences and preclude the resolution of a valid claim in our courts See § 45-15-9.” https://www.courts.ri.gov/Courts/SupremeCourt/Opinions/11-276.pdf

Ruling by the RI Supreme Court:

“Furthermore, even if plaintiff correctly had described the streets as perpendicular, the notice nevertheless fails to meet the “reasonably sufficient” standard articulated by this Court because it fails to specify on which of the four corners of that cross-section of streets the injury was and omits any description of how close to the corner, or how far from Winter Street, the injury occurred. Because the description provided in the notice excluded the actual area where the injury occurred, we agree with the trial justice that “[p]laintiff‟s notice did not fix the location in a [reasonably] sufficient manner.” The statute clearly and unambiguously requires that the notice of claim must be specific, therefore the notice in the case at bar must be deemed insufficient. See § 45-15-9; Prout, 996 A.2d at 1143. Id.

“Lincoln is a town in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 21,105 at the 2010 census. Lincoln is located in northeastern Rhode Island, north of Providence.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln,_Rhode_Island Lincoln is near Pawtucket, Attleboro MA and Woonsocket.

If you were injured in a slip and fall or premises liability accident in RI or MA then you should contact a Rhode Island slip and fall lawyer or a Massachusetts premises liability attorney. A RI personal injury lawyer or a MA personal injury attorney will help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.


Head-on Collision Statistics

December 8, 2015

Head-on collisions are considered the most dangerous as these types of crashes are often fatal. A head-on crash typically occurs when one driver crosses a center lane or median and crashes into an approaching vehicle. According to Wikipedia, in 2005, head-on crashes accounted for only two percent of all accidents. However, these crashes accounted for 10 percent of all fatal accidents.

Head-on Collision Statistics

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatal Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reveal that 75 percent of these accidents between 1997 and 1999 occur on rural roads. These accidents also primarily occur on undivided two-lane roads. About 83 percent of head-on accidents occurred on rural, undivided roadways. Data indicates that only about 4.2 percent of all head-on crashes occurred when one driver was trying to pass another.

Some other common causes of head-on accidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts include:
• Tire blowout
• Driving under the influence
• Loss of vehicle control
• Drowsy driving
• Distracted driving

Further information from FARS indicates that about 1.9 percent of head-on crashes occurred in construction zones.  Between 1998 and 2008, the number of head-on accidents has dropped significantly. This is likely due to a number of different factors, such as the installation of more road medians and an increase in distracted driving penalties.

Unfortunately, there is not much data on head-on accidents as a result of wrong-way drivers. In 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a study on these accidents and reported that about three percent of all auto accidents are wrong-way accidents. These accidents are typically head-on collisions that occur on highways, which means they are often fatal.

Some new measures have been put into place to prevent such accidents though, including additional signage, road markers and even lights that communicate to drivers that they are entering the wrong way.

Injuries in a Head-on Accident in RI or MA
As previously noted, head-on crashes are fatal collisions in Boston Massachusetts and in Providence RI can led to life-threatening injuries. Some common injuries in these types of collisions include:
• Head trauma
• Broken bones
• Spinal cord injury/paralysis
• Facial/dental damage
As these injuries may be life changing, victims in Rhode Island and Mass.will often experience mounting medical bills, lost wages due to an inability to work and mental anguish.
If you or someone you know has been hurt in a head-on accident in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. The best RI personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and can help you determine your best legal options.


RI Construction Accident Attorney | Construction Accident Statistics

December 3, 2015

As per the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) there are more fatalities in construction work than any other occupation in the country. In 2014, there were 4,679 on the job fatalities, and 874 of those who died were construction workers. That comes out to one of every five work fatalities being in the construction industry in 2014. Of those 874 deaths, 349 occurred in falls. Of the top 10 OSHA standard violations most often cited in 2014, three of them addressed the potential for falls. Those were:

  • Fall protection
  • Inadequate or improper scaffolding
  • Ladder dangers

Where people fell from
According to the Center for Construction Work and Training, construction workers who fall from roofs comprise about 39 percent of all construction industry falls. Scaffold falls come in a close second at about 33 percent. Falls from ladders of less than 10 feet make up approximately 27 percent of all ladder falls. Falls from ladders of less than 25 feet consist of about 12 percent of all ladder falls.

The most dangerous construction jobs
The construction industry has three of the 10 most dangerous jobs in the United States. Those consist of:

  • Roofers
  • Iron and steel workers
  • Laborers

Workers’ compensation in RI and third party liability 

The general rule is that if a worker is injured or killed during the course of their employment, workers’ compensation is the sole and exclusive remedy for the worker or their family. The problem is that workers’ compensation benefits don’t cover all of the damages. An exception to the general rule arises when the worker is injured or killed by the negligence of somebody else who isn’t a co-employee. For example, a roofer can get knocked off of a roof by a crane that’s owned and operated by somebody else. In those cases, a direct lawsuit is permitted against the individual or company who caused the accident. That’s known as a third party liability case, and it’s the preferable case because broader damages can be sought and possibly awarded.

Given the number of people working on a construction project  in Rhode Island and the severe injuries or fatalities that can occur on those projects, construction accident litigation in providence Superior Court is highly complex. We recognize the severe hardships that a serious injury or death can have on a family. If you were injured in a workplace accident or mishap then you need to retain a top experienced, skilled and successful construction accident litigators. Contact a Rhode Island construction accident lawyer, RI construction accident attorney or a RI personal injury attorney for a free consultation and case evaluation on any construction accident injury or fatality. A RI construction accident attorney or a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.


Rhode Island Personal injury Attorney | Road Rage Accidents

November 14, 2015

While many traffic collisions are caused by honest mistakes made by a negligent driver, some accident victims suffer serious injuries or death through road rage. By definition, road rage is angry or aggressive behavior of a driver sharing the roadway with others. These behaviors might involve verbal insults, rude gestures or deliberately operating the vehicle in a threatening or unsafe manner or a threat to cause bodily injury.

Unfortunately, road rage often results in collisions, assaults and altercations that injure or kill others. Many types of aggressive driving that could be classified as “road rage” involve:

• Failing to yield the right-of-way to others
• Making an illegal pass
• Suddenly accelerating or decelerating when driving close to other motorists
• Tailgating
• Yelling at other motorists
• Driving at an excessive speed well beyond the speed limit
• Passing another vehicle on the inside
• Total disregard of traffic signals
• Persistently honking the horn
• Cutting other motorists off
• Intentionally slamming on the vehicle’s brakes when another automobile is driving too close behind
• Weaving in and out of lanes of traffic
• Speeding through a stop sign or red light

Every one of these behaviors in Rhode island and Massachusetts is considered to be inherently dangerous to others sharing the roadway. When the rage involves two or more motorists in RI or MA driving aggressively, the results are often catastrophic.

If you were injured as a result of a RI car, motor vehicle or truck accident then contact a Rhode Island personal injury attorney. If injured in a MA motor vehicle, tractor trailer or car wreck then contact a Massachusetts Personal Injury lawyer.

Road Rage Is a Serious Problem in Rhode Island and Massachusetts

Statistics maintained by the National Safety Council indicate that more than 13,000 collisions occur each year in the United States by road rage where other drivers travel too fast for traffic conditions, adverse weather and other factors that could lead to an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving is a serious problem because:

• Two thirds of all traffic fatalities are the direct result of aggressive driving.
• More than one third of road rage incidences also involve a firearm.
• Within the last seven years, more than 200 murders and more than 12,000 injuries were directly attributed to aggressive driving and road rage.
• Male drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 are most likely to engage in road rage activities.
• More than 50 percent of all motorists who receive some type of aggressive behavior from other drivers involve rude gestures, horn honking or tailgating respond aggressively.

The Consequences of Road Rage in Mass and Providence, RI

More than half of all automobile accidents in the United States are directly caused by aggressive behavior from others behind the wheel. In many incidents, the result of aggressive driving causes serious injuries or fatalities. There are significant consequences to road rage to everyone on the road including the driver. Some of these consequences involve:

• Aggressive driving typically causes the motorist to lose full control of the vehicle.
• Aggressive driving usually makes it impossible to swerve or move out of the way to avoid a head-on or direct collision.
• Accidents caused by aggressive driving frequently happen at high speeds, creating catastrophic force.

Do You Drive Aggressively?

Many motorists  in Boston and Providence are guilty of road rage even if they think their driving behavior is not aggressive. So how do you determine if you are driving aggressively? You might be guilty of road rage if you:

• Routinely drive over the posted speed limit or attempt to speed through a yellow light in an effort to avoid a red light because you are late for an appointment.
• Honk your horn often.
• Flash your high beams or tailgate another driver when you think they are driving too slow.
• Use obscene gestures or communicate in an angry tone to other motorists.
• Use your smart phone frequently when driving.
• Driving while distracted.
• Failing to check the vehicle’s blind spots before changing lanes to ensure you are not cutting another driver off.
• Keeping your vehicle’s high beams on when traffic is approaching.

To maximize safety and reduce the potential risk of being involved in a  RI car accident, it is essential to avoid engaging in any type of aggressive confrontation with others. It is essential to note that any motorists exhibiting signs of road rage will likely never restrain or retreat from their antagonistic behavior. The only way to protect yourself and others in the vehicle is to allow the aggressive driver ample space to pass, stop, move over or move on.

Sources:

http://bit.ly/1HySpRW
http://www.nhtsa.gov/Aggressive