Types of Car Accidents in RI by a Providence Injury Attorney

December 23, 2013

RI Types of Car AccidentsSpeeding Related Accidents in Rhode Island: In this day and age, many motorists are rushing to get to work or to their intended destination. As a result, there are numerous rear end car / automobile or truck crashes caused by speeding and careless operation of a motor vehicle. Speeding violations are not only limited to travelling faster then the designated speed limit but could include what is commonly known as ‘Conditions requiring reduced speed’.

(See, RI General Law § 31-14-1 Reasonable and prudent speeds. – No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing… ) This means that if it is snowing, sleeting or raining, a motorist must take that into account when determining how fast to travel. If the roads are icy, slick or wet a motor vehicle operator must reduce his speed so that an auto accident does not result. If the roads are covered with black ice or oil or you see a police detail on the side of the road or highway, it is crucial that you reduce your speed.

Article by Attorney David Slepkow 401-437-1100

If someone is injured in a motorcycle accident in Rhode Island or an automobile wreck as a result of a tortfeasor speeding then the motorist who was speeding was at least partially at fault / negligent and responsible to pay damages to the injured person. If you were injured in an auto accident in RI or MA, please contact a Rhode Island or Mass. personal Injury Attorney.

Texting and Driving and Distracted Driving: Distracted driving runs the whole gamut from texting and driving, web surfing, instant messaging, gps usage to cell phone calls and driving. The RI distracted driving statute has a very broad definition of ‘texting and driving’ http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE31/31-22/31-22-30.HTM “”Text Message”, also referred to as short messaging service (SMS) means the process by which users send, read, or receive messages on a wireless handset, including but not limited to, text messages, instant messages, electronic messages or e-mails, in order to communicate with any person or device.” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE31/31-22/31-22-30.HTM

Hit and Run Accidents- Many hit and run accidents result from drunk driving. There have been numerous instances of a motorist who was operating under the influence of alcohol seriously injuring or killing another person and then leaving the scene of the collision to avoid criminal charges, accountability and responsibility for the deadly RI car crash.

Recently, there was a very serious fatal hit and run accident in which a woman was killed in Somerset, MA. Police is Somerset, Massachusetts arrested a man on suspicion that he was involved in the fatal hit and run car accident. Police found his front license plate at the scene of the deadly motor vehicle crash. After police requested that he turn himself in, he drove the damaged motor vehicle to the police station.

“The Somerset Police Department seized Cooper’s vehicle and his cellphone to see whether he had been calling or texting at the time of the crash. Ferreira said he did not have any further information as to what investigators found on Cooper’s phone.” http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x529845811/Arrest-made-in-fatal-Somerset-hit-and-run-accident

At the alleged perpetrator’s arraignment the district attorney documented a rather lengthy criminal record which includes ” two prior arrests for operating under the influence, as well as operating to endanger, shoplifting and larceny, and marijuana and drug possession charges from Rhode Island.” http://www.heraldnews.com/news/x529845811/Arrest-made-in-fatal-Somerset-hit-and-run-accident

Reckless driving crashes: “In United States law, reckless driving is a major moving traffic violation. It is usually a more serious offense than careless driving, improper driving, or driving without due care and attention and is often punishable by fines, imprisonment, and/or driver’s license suspension or revocation.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reckless_driving “Unfortunately, pedestrians were one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States in 2011, totaling 4,432 deaths. ”
http://www.nhtsa.gov/Pedestrians

In a strange yet dangerous situation a motorcyclist played a cat and mouse game with police. Thankfully, no one was injured as a result of this reckless and allegedly criminal conduct. “The motorcyclist who routinely drove his bike at 100 miles per hour along Interstates 93 and 95 and Route 24, eluding State Police and other officers for the past month was captured after a pursuit early today, authorities said.http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/10/22/motorcyclist-sought-state-police-for-reckless-driving-captured-randolph-parking-lot/kQ1t2yed0S5IplcgXwYjxN/story.html

“The suspect, identified as Daniel Rebello, 29, of Somerset, had engaged in a cat and mouse game with law enforcement, taunting an Arlington police officer on Friday and then roaring away, officials said. The State Police said on Monday Rebello called their headquarters in Framingham and boasted that he had gotten away from them once again.”

“But Rebello’s luck ran out about 7:30 a.m. today. He was arrested by Randolph Police Officer Charles Boudreau hiding behind a parked tractor trailer off Route 139 in Randolph, but only after he first sped north on Route 24 and then drove south on the grassy median strip to avoid State Police troopers waiting for him, police said.” http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2013/10/22/motorcyclist-sought-state-police-for-reckless-driving-captured-randolph-parking-lot/kQ1t2yed0S5IplcgXwYjxN/story.html

Pedestrian accidents: Pedestrian accidents are particularly sad since many pedestrian accidents are fatal leading to Providence Superior Court Wrongful Death litigation. If you or a loved on was injured in a car-pedestrian accident then it is imperative that you retain a RI Personal Injury attorney or a Wrongful Death lawyer in Rhode Island asap.


“Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice in RI & MA” by a Personal Injury Attorney

December 14, 2013

Rhode Island Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice Rhode Island and Massachusetts winters are well known for plentiful thick snow, freezing rain, blustery winds, ice and sometimes sleet. These treacherous conditions cause hazardous road conditions as well as dangerous slippery sidewalks and parking lots for pedestrians.

Sadly, this type of weather often leads to slip and fall accidents in RI and MA. There is also a tremendous spike in car and truck collisions during snow storms. This is especially the case if there is black ice on the parking lots, entrance ways, streets or sidewalks. Sometimes, the worst winter weather can be a wintry mix because rain, sleet, and wet snow can quickly turn to ice or black ice when the temperatures get colder.

If a landowner fails to properly maintain property in a safe manner for guests, invitees and visitors and that negligence causes personal injury then a RI Personal Injury Attorney or a Mass. Slip and fall attorney should be consulted.

If you were injured in a Slip and fall accident in RI or Mass, please contact Attorney David Slepkow 401-437-1100 A MA or RI Premises Liability Lawyer is crucial to investigate a negligence claim and seek to collect damages against the entity or person responsible / at fault for your pain and suffering. Good Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve.

If Mother Nature dumps many inches of snow or even a foot or more or snowflakes in a nor’easter, blizzard or snowstorm, it is crucial for homeowners, business owners and employees to plow, shovel and sand / salt areas open to the public or utilized by guests.

Slip and fall accidents often occur at retail stores, construction sites, schools, parks and playgrounds, stores and restaurants and at private homes. Hopefully, residential homeowners and business owners have appropriate liability insurance to cover any lost wages, disability, scarring, medical bill as well as pain and suffering.

There are hundreds of different types of injuries including herniated disks, broken wrist or hand, hip fractures, traumatic head injury such as concussions, back and neck injuries, traumatic brain injury, broken / fractured legs and spinal cord injuries.

Elderly victims and senior citizens are even more susceptible to serious injuries, fractures or even death as a result of a fall on ice.

According to the National Safety Council “Falls are one of the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States, accounting for approximately 8.9 million visits to the emergency department annually (NSC Injury Facts 2011).

Adults 55 and older are more prone to becoming victims of falls, and the resulting injuries can diminish the ability to lead active, independent lives. The number of fall deaths among those 65 and older is four times the number of fall deaths among all other age groups.” http://www.nsc.org/SAFETYx_HOME/HOMEANDRECREATIONALSAFETY/FALLS/Pages/Falls.asp

If an employee is injured while working as a result of a fall he or she may have a RI or Massachusetts workers compensation claim and should contact a workers compensation lawyer.

Property owners and property managers in Massachusetts are now responsible to act reasonably to clear natural snow and slippery ice accumulations on their real estate. The MA Supreme Judicial Court sitting in Boston refused to distinguish between the duty of landowners to protect against natural and unnatural snow accumulations. This is a very significant and important Massachusetts Slip and Fall decision.

Decision here: Massachusetts Slip and fall Decision PAPADOPOULOS vs. TARGET CORPORATION http://www.rhodeislandpersonalinjuryattorneyblog.com/2011/01/massachusetts-slip-fall-lawyer-attorney-ice-snow-ma-bostn/

“We now will apply to hazards arising from snow and ice the same obligation that a property owner owes to lawful visitors as to all other hazards: a duty to act as a reasonable person under all of the circumstances including the likelihood of injury to others, the probable seriousness of such injuries, and the burden of reducing or avoiding the risk.” Id.

As far as Rhode Island Liability is concerned, the RI Supreme Court sitting in Providence determined that a “landlord or business invitor owes a duty to a tenant or business invitee to use reasonable care to see that the common areas are kept reasonably safe from the dangers created by an accumulation of snow and ice which is attributed to purely natural causes.” BERARDIS v. LOUANGXAY http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ri-supreme-court/1444484.html

The top Court in RI also decided that “The landlord or invitor, however, must be afforded “a reasonable time after the storm has ceased to remove the accumulation.”  Benaski, 899 A.2d at 503 (quoting Fuller, 108 R.I. at 774, 279 A.2d at 441).   Therefore, as a general rule, any duty to clear a natural accumulation of ice and snow is not triggered before a reasonable time after the storm ends.  Id.  Under unusual circumstances, however, the duty to remove the accumulation may arise before the end of the storm.  Terry, 732 A.2d at 717.” Id.

In the event of a wintry blast causing slick streets, highways and bad road conditions, a landowner is under a heightened obligation to shovel and clear snow accumulations and sand or salt entrance ways, ramps, stair ways, walkways, parking lots and other areas that people may visit.

Common sense tips if injured in a slip and fall:

If you were injured in an accident, it is crucial that you immediately take pictures and videos of the scene of the mishap. If possible, get the names, phone numbers and addresses of all witnesses to the slip and fall. Make sure that you report the accident to the owner, management or property management that is in control of the property.

Ice and snow present quandaries for restaurants, mall, shopping centers and supermarket owners and operators because snow, rain and water is often ‘trudged in’ causing floors to be slippery, wet or even shiny. Sometimes, the snow or water can mix with other substance and make a wood or tiled floor slimy.

In major metropolitan cities such as Providence RI and Boston MA, shoveling, sanding and salting sidewalks, entrance ways, streets and roads take on increasing importance. In some cities business owners are required to shovel and clear accumulations in front of their stores so that pedestrians are not forced to walk near traffic and automobiles. This will prevent car’s crashing into pedestrians causing serious injury or even death

Hundreds of accidents each year are caused by black ice that is sometimes hidden underneath snow or cannot be seen as a result of inadequate lighting. During snowstorms, cold weather and wintery conditions pedestrians must be especially careful to protect themselves from a harmful fall on snow or ice.
The mere fact that someone slips and falls on ice in RI and MA does not prove that the store owner, landlord, or residential property owner was negligent and therefore liable for the mishap. Business owners and stores are not insurers of their customer’s safety!

In the event of a blizzard, coating of snow or snowstorm, a landowner must act reasonably to shovel the snow and put down appropriate salt or sand to protect pedestrians from suffering serious injury on their property.

There are numerous common sense solutions to prevent an injury as a result of a slip and fall in Rhode Island and Mass. Some of these accident prevention solutions seem like common sense but nonetheless will be stated below:

1. If possible, go out of your way to go around the ice and snow rather than walking across it.
2. A good winter shoe or boot is essential for obtaining proper traction while traversing slippery ice or snow.
3. When walking up ramps, stairs or other places that have handrails, make sure you utilize the handrail to prevent falling down the stairs or sliding down the ramp. (If the landlord or owner of property fails to comply with applicable building codes and safety laws and as a result the tenant or visitor is injured in a stairwell or staircase fall then the owner may be at fault for the accident.)
4. Make sure your arms are helping you balance and ready to break your fall to prevent more serious injury. “Keep your hands out of your pockets. Hands in your pockets while walking decreases your center of gravity and balance. You can help break your fall with your hands free if you do start to slip.” http://www.placer.ca.gov/~/media/ceo/riskman/Safely%20walking%20on%20snow%20and%20ice

Some pedestrians are distracted by the cold bone chilling freeze that they are rushing to get to their destination further leading to slip and fall or trip and fall accidents.

5. After you walk through the wintry mess, make sure that you wipe off your shoes properly so that you do not fall inside.

Risk Management office stated: “During bad weather, avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels, such as plastic and leather soles. Instead, wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice; boots made of non-slip rubber or neoprene with grooved soles are best.” http://www.placer.ca.gov/~/media/ceo/riskman/Safely%20walking%20on%20snow%20and%20ice

If you are a property owner:
There is never enough sanding, salting and shoveling to protect your customers, guests, neighbors, family and friends from slipping on an icy surface.

People who are entering or leaving their automobile, truck or cars must use particular caution because plows and sanders often cannot sand in areas on the parking lot where motor vehicles were previously parked.

According to NOLO “Who is responsible for an injury resulting from a slip and fall accident? Many thousands of people are injured each year — some very seriously — when they slip or trip and fall on a dangerous floor, a flight of stairs, or a rough patch of ground. Sometimes the property owner is responsible for the accident, and sometimes he or she is not.” http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/slip-fall-accidents-proving-fault-29845.html
Also, at a mall a lot of snow on shoes can cause the escalator to be slippery causing someone to tumble or slip falling downward.

Inclement weather conditions can cause fatal traffic accidents. These motor vehicle crashes are often caused by slushy, icy or slick roads. A slip and fall in a parking lot or sidewalk involving an auto accident is more likely to be fatal leading to wrongful death litigation necessitating the need for a RI or MA wrongful death lawyer or pedestrian accident Personal injury Law Attorneys.

The City of Ann Arbor reminded its citizens that “All snow and ice which has accumulated on the adjacent public sidewalk prior to 6am must be removed by noon from non-residentially zoned properties. Immediately after the accumulation of ice on such a sidewalk it must be treated with sand, salt or other substance to prevent it from being slippery. ” http://www.a2gov.org/government/safetyservices/Police/Pages/SnowRemovalonSidewalks.aspx
Other Premises Liability Causes of Action

A premises liability cause of action usually involves the property owners or occupants failure to properly maintain the premises in a safe manner. A Massachusetts or Rhode Island Premises Liability claim can also involve a failure to fix an unreasonably dangerous conditions on the real estate of which they either knew or should have known about.

If a slip and fall accident is deadly than the executor or administrator of the estate of the person killed in the accident may file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the beneficiaries

Other types of premises Liability Accidents:

Premises liability is not only slip and fall but also includes: trip and fall, dog attacks and dog bites, Inadequate security measures enabling criminal activity and assaults, defective or improperly maintained sidewalks, elevator and escalator accidents, poorly maintained or defective stairs, bouncer assaults, Inadequately lit stair cases, falling objects or merchandise, carbon monoxide leaks, construction accidents, electric shock due to exposed electric wiring etc.

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.


Types of Negligence and Injury Claims in RI and MA

December 11, 2013

RI Types of Negligence and Injury ClaimsThis posts by RI and MA Attorney, David Slepkow 401-437-1100, sets forth non automobile / car crash personal injury claims which most commonly occur in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Pedestrian Accidents- Pedestrian Accidents in RI and MA typically occur in large metropolitan areas such as Boston or Providence. Often, these involve a motor vehicle hitting a pedestrian crossing the street or on the sidewalk. Many of these mishaps are caused by distracted driving such as motorists texting and driving, web surfing and driving or even updating their Facebook status.

In some personal injury claims a key issue is whether the pedestrian was partially at fault for the car accident. In some instances the pedestrian is reading a magazine, playing on their smartphone, listening to music with headphones or texting and walking. Rhode Island is a pure comparative fault state in which a pedestrian can still receive damages if they are more than 50 percent at fault for the pedestrian accident. In Massachusetts, a person can not recover any damages if a jury or judge determines they are more than 50 percent at fault for the crash or mishap.

Motorcycle Accident: Bike collisions in Mass. and Rhode Island require a skilled and experienced Personal injury attorney. Sadly there are numerous fatal motorcycle accidents which often lead to wrongful death litigation.

The US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration reports: “The number and rate of motorcyclist deaths on U.S. roads are rising dramatically. Motorcycle rider fatalities rose 115 percent between 1997 and 2005. During the same time, fatality numbers and rates for passenger car crashes “Motorcycle fatalities and the related fatality rate have been significantly increasing over the last 10 years. This has become a serious safety issue for NHTSA and FHWA. Between 1996 and 2005, motorcyclist fatalities increased more than 110 percent and now account for more than 10 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities. <a dropped. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/motorcycles/

href=”http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/motorcycles/20070130.cfm”>http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/motorcycles/20070130.cfm

Premises liability– Premises Liability claims are all types of accidents occurring on premises as a result of the actions or inaction of an owner or operator of the property. Although Slip and fall Personal injury Causes of actions in Mass and RI make up a large percentage of all premises liability negligence cases, there are hundreds of different premises liability claims.

These Rhode Island and Massachusetts injury claims include: Trip and fall, asbestos exposure, dog bites, falls from cliffs, Inadequate security measures enabling criminal conduct, negligent security, Sidewalk or roadway defects, Poorly lit stair cases, falling debris, falling merchandise, or hanging hazards, carbon monoxide leaks, escalator accidents, elevator accidents, iced entrance ways, slippery or obstructed floors, electric shock due to exposed electric wiring etc.

Slip and fall Accidents: In Rhode island “”[A] landowner has a duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of persons reasonably expected to be on the premises, and that duty includes an obligation to protect against the risks of a dangerous condition existing on the premises, provided the landowner knows of, or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered, the dangerous condition. The burden of proving that sufficient evidence existed to show that the defendants knew or should have known of an unsafe condition on their premises is on the plaintiff.” Lieberman v. Bliss-Doris Realty Associates

A RI or MA Slip and Fall Attorney can asses the value of your slip and fall claim and the likelihood you can prevail.

Bicycle accidents “Approximately one out of six highway fatalities in the United States is a bicyclist or pedestrian each year. Estimates for 1995 indicate that 61,000 bicyclists were injured and 830 were killed in traffic crashes. These crashes can be classified or “typed” by their precipitating actions, predisposing factors, and characteristic populations and/or location that can be targeted for intervention.” https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/research/safety/pedbike/96104/

Boating Accidents– Boating related accidents could occur on land or out on the river, ocean or lake. Typically the normal laws of negligence apply to these boat accidents. A Boating accident is not only limited to motorboat and Sailboat crashes but includes jet ski, canoe accidents and other personal watercraft accidents.

Truck Accidents- Tractor trailer Accidents in RI and Mass can involve a big rig or semi truck colliding with an automobile, bus, van or other motor vehicle. Sadly many trucking accidents result from drowsy or sleepy driving by the 18 wheeler trucker who is under pressure to get his or her load to its intended destination on time. Recently there have been an increase in distracted driving fatal truck collisions when a motor vehicle operator or trucker is texting and driving, using a cell phone or operating a GPS.

TruckAccident.org reports that “Of the 15.5 million trucks in the U.S., nearly 13 percent are semis, big rigs, 18 wheelers and tractor trailers
•About 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality
•Fatal tractor trailer accidents cost Americans more than $20 billion each year, $13.1 billion of which is the cost associated with loss of quality of life
•For every 100 million miles driven on U.S. road ways, there are 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries caused by big rigs” http://www.truckaccidents.org/statistics/

If you were injured in a MA or Boston Area Accident involving injuries or death, please contact a Mass. Personal injury Attorney or a Wrongful death lawyer. If involved in a Rhode Island or Providence area accident then contact a RI Personal Injury Lawyer.

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.


RI Car Accidents Caused by Snowstorm, Icy Roads & Bad Weather

December 6, 2013

Rhode Island Snowstorm Car AccidentsSlick and slippery roads are not a proper excuse for causing a Motor vehicle accident in Rhode Island or Massachusetts. Motor Vehicle operators are expected to reduce their speed and take proper safety precautions to account for black ice, icy rain, sleet and snow covered roads.

Not even a lack of visibility as a result of a snowstorm or blizzard is a valid excuse to get out of liability for an automobile crash in bad weather causing personal injury in Rhode Island or Mass. In nearly all situations a van, car or tractor trailer operator is negligent for rear end collisions, even if the crash occurs when the road or highway is a slippery mess or the black ice on the road is not visible.

Authored by RI and MA Injury Lawyer David Slepkow 401-437-1100

Police officers are often very aggressive in pulling over and ticketing drivers who are going too fast considering the weather conditions. Officers in Rhode Island can ticket a car driver for ‘conditions requiring reduced speed’. Police Officers are trying to prevent pedestrians and motorists from being seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle wreck when a motor vehicle skids, spins or slides as a result of icy conditions.

Pedestrians are not the only thing a motor vehicle operator must be on the watch for. There are also persons who are skiing, snowboarding, utilizing snow blowers, shoveling or clearing their car of snow on or near the street.

If you injured in a Massachusetts or Rhode Island car crash it is important that you immediately contact a RI Car Accident lawyer or a Massachusetts Personal injury Attorney from Mass or the Providence RI area.

If you are driving an auto or truck during a powerful storm in the winter with a foot of snow and freezing rain and tough driving conditions, it is not going to get you out of being liable for a motor vehicle wreck in RI.

Unfortunately, truck drivers and semi truck operators in Mass or Rhode Island often are in such a rush to get their load to its destination they do not pull their tractor trailer/ big rig over to wait out a dangerous storm! This type of reckless conduct by 18 wheeler truckers often leads to crashes causing personal injury.

Especially in Urban centers such as Boston MA or Providence RI, it is particularly important to drive carefully and watch for pedestrians on the roads or sidewalks. After snowstorm, pedestrians are often force onto the street when the sidewalk is covered with snow
accumulations or covered with ice. It is also important to not get too close to pedestrians who could slip and fall on an icy street, curb or sidewalk onto the path of an oncoming car or truck. If you are injured in a pedestrian accident please consult with a Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer or a Pedestrian Accident Injury Law lawyer in RI.

It is also imperative that motorists watch out for children who may be sledding near a road or playing in snow accumulations near a neighborhood street. Motorist should anticipate a child playing and not being careful and should reduce speeds and steer clear of all children.Pedestrian accidents that are fatal are particularly sad during the snow filled holiday seasons. Tragically, some car accidents in nor’easters or bad weather conditions are deadly / fatal and can result in years of wrongful death litigation.

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.