Filing a Rhode Island Wrongful Death Lawsuit with a RI Injury Attorney

August 30, 2014

Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Rhode Island When an individual is killed or dies through the negligence, recklessness or misconduct of others in RI or Massachusetts, surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit in Rhode Island or MA. Wrongful death can occur through negligence or intent when the victim dies in an accident, by medical malpractice, slip and fall, construction injury, RI Car crash, pedestrian accident and other incidences including murder.

Wrongful death lawsuits in Rhode Island must be pursued by the executor of the decedents estate on behalf of the statutory beneficiaries of the estate. Depending on the circumstances an immediate family member of the decedent will be compensated as a result of the death. The statutory beneficiaries could include spouses, siblings, children, parents and grandparents of the deceased individual.

§ 10-7-2 Persons who may bring actions – Limitation of actions – Minimum recovery period. – “Every action under this chapter, other than one brought under § 10-7-1.2, shall be brought by and in the name of the executor or administrator of the deceased person, whether appointed or qualified within or without the state, and of the amount recovered in every action under this chapter one-half (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

Determining if a lawsuit is worth pursuing is best accomplished by consulting with a reputable Rhode Island wrongful death attorney or a top MA fatal crash lawyer. The law firm can evaluate the merits of the claim, offer legal options and assist the family members in filing the lawsuit before the expiration of the state’s statute of limitations.

A wrongful death could occur from any type of accident including: truck accidents, pedestrian accidents, auto accident, motorcycle crash, bicycle accident, slip and fall or premises liability incident.

Proving the Case

By law, four key elements must be true to file suit for a wrongful death. These elements include:

• The death of the loved one can be linked directly to the defendant in part or in whole
• The death of a loved one occurred because of negligence or intent of the defendant
• The death of a loved one affected surviving family members qualify under the law to receive financial recompense through a verdict or settlement in a wrongful death case
• The death of a loved one caused damages

Intent or Negligence

Every wrongful death claim will be based on either intent or negligence. Intent is considered the willful action of another to cause harm or death. The law considers negligence as a failure by the defendant to provide reasonable care to a situation, which led to the wrongful death.

Examples of negligence could include a commercial truck driver’s reckless actions, which caused a collision with fatalities, a rear end automobile crash, a drunk driving hit and run motor vehicle crash,  or a physician making medical errors resulting in the death of their patient (medical or surgical malpractice) The negligent action, or omission of action, directly correlates to legal responsibility under the law.

To prove negligence or intent, the attorney will need to establish exactly how the defendant acted intently, recklessly, carelessly, or negligently. Often times, the process for proving the claim is complex. The attorney will gather evidence, speak with eyewitnesses, hire experts to provide testimony and/or reconstruct the incident to produce a convincing argument linking every key element together.

Obtaining Financial Compensation

A skilled RI Personal Injury attorney  or Providence Wrongful Death lawyerwill seek legal recovery from the responsible parties to ensure that the family members are adequately compensated for their pain, suffering, damages and loss. Damages often include:

• Expenses including funeral and medical bills directly connected to the death
• All lost benefits including earnings, Social Security, insurance, and inheritance
• The loss of protection, care, consortium and companionship
• Compensation for mental anguish, suffering, pain and grief suffered by the decedent’s survivors
• In some cases punitive damages are sought as a way to punish the defendant and prevent the wrongdoer from harming others in the future

If your family is suffering the wrongful death of a loved one, you are likely entitled to receive fair and adequate compensation for your loss. A Providence Rhode Island personal injury law firm that specializes in RI wrongful death litigation can provide a free initial consultation to evaluate the case and offer legal options on how to proceed.

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.


Fatal Distracted Driving Truck & Van Accident

August 22, 2014

Rhode Island Truck & Van accidentsIn March, 2010 there was very serious tragic Motor vehicle- truck and van crash which caused 11 fatalities in Kentucky. A semi Truck departed its lane, crossed the median and entered the lanes of travel northbound.

A Van carrying 12 passengers crashed into the tractor as the van crossed the highway DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE VAN.

“The truck traveled across the median and struck and overrode the high-tension median cable barrier adjacent to the left shoulder of northbound I-65. It then crossed the shoulder and entered the lanes of northbound I-65. A 15-passenger van, containing 12 occupants, was traveling northbound in the left lane. As the truck crossed in front of the van, its tractor was struck by the van. As a result of the accident and the truck fire that ensued, the truck driver, the van driver, and nine van passengers died. Two child passengers in the van, were using child restraints, sustained minor injuries”
https://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2011/HAR1102.pdf
NTSB report: “Truck‐Tractor Semitrailer Median Crossover Collision With 15‐Passenger Van Munfordville, Kentucky”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made numerous findings concerning the Truck Accident:

The NTSB concluded that weather and the conditions of the highway played no role in this van collision.

There was no medical emergency or medical necessity that was the precipitating cause of the truck going out of control

Mechanical issues or mechanical failure of the truck was not a cause of this trucking crash. There was no defective brakes or tire failure or worn tires.

This was a distracted driving truck-van wreck caused by the negligent trucker utilizing a mobile phone. “Because he was distracted from the driving task by the use of his cellular telephone at the time of the accident, the truck driver did not maintain control of his vehicle…Because changes in driving behavior occur when the cognitive distraction of a cellular telephone conversation diverts attention from driving, use of either a handheld or a hands-free cellular telephone while driving can impair driver performance… The truck driver was fatigued at the time of the accident, which may have contributed to the distraction effects caused by the use of his cellular telephone. Id.

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 Takes Action to Curtail Rhode Island Wrong Way Auto Accidents

August 9, 2014

Rhode Island Wrong Way Auto AccidentsWrong way automobile and truck crashes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are a serious public safety concern that must be addressed by state and federal authorities and legislators. Recently, there has been a rash of head-on fatal collisions in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

Sadly, there is a substantial body or research which indicates that a disproportionate number of wrong way collision result in death of one or more motorists or their passengers. Thankfully, with the use of federal funds, the Ocean State has decided to take precautionary action to decrease and prevent wrong-way highway motor vehicle and motorcycle wrecks. Unfortunately, no amount of safety measures can completely end wrong way car and semi-truck fatalities.

A large percent of wrong way freeway and highway vehicular accidents are caused by drunk driving (dui/ oui / dwi), drugged driving, stoned driving, sleepy / drowsy / tired driving as well as elderly driving.

The Providence Journal reported “Given the severity of wrong-way highway accidents, the state Department of Transportation recently decided to launch a $2-million project intended to try to stop people from entering exit ramps.” http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140405-rhode-island-department-of-transportation-tackles-wrong-way-accidents.ece

If you were injured in a wrong way car or motorcycle crash on RI or Mass. highways, roads or streets then it is imperative that you immediately retain either a Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney http://www.slepkowlaw.com/personal.htm or a MA Car accident Lawyer www.lawyersource360.com

The NTSB issued a special investigation report to examine “one of the most serious types of highway
accidents—collisions involving vehicles traveling the wrong way on high-speed divided highways.” http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SIR1201.pdf

“A substantial body of state research, conducted primarily by state departments of transportation over decades, supports the fact that wrong-way collisions tend to have higher fatality rates than other accidents. A study in Virginia found the fatality rate for wrong-way collisions on controlled-access highways to be 27 times that of other types of accidents.This initiative involves the Department of transportation utilizing radar technology on over 2 dozen highway exit ramps. When the radar detects a motor vehicle, car or truck operating the wrong way, the system will send a text and email to the police.”<a href=”http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SIR1201.pdf “>http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/safetystudies/SIR1201.pdf

Head on motor vehicle collisions are much more likely to be deadly then a rear end car accident, u-turn crash or a broadside collision.

If your loved one was killed in a fatal head on crash then you need to contact a RI wrongful death attorney.

According to the Projo report “DOT is also looking into the feasibility of having the information transmitted to its electronic message boards on the state’s highways to warn motorists that a wrong-way driver is headed their way.” The Rhode island Department of transportation will also add hundreds of new wrong way signs along at exit ramps (Routes 146,95,195,295) The state of RI received a 2 million grant to fund this initiative.

“Prior to Wednesday’s fatal accident on Route 146, the state has seen at least 11 serious crashes — three with fatalities — over the past three years as the result of someone driving the wrong way on a highway, according to the Rhode Island State Police.” http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140405-rhode-island-department-of-transportation-tackles-wrong-way-accidents.ece

Rhode Island Route 146 fatal head on wrong way crash:
According to a RI Government Press release: “The second crash occurred at approximately 5:23 PM as the result of a wrong way driver traveling on Route 146, northbound in the southbound lanes in the area of Route 116 in the Town of Lincoln. Prior to the crash, multiple 9-1-1 calls were received at the State Police Lincoln Woods Barracks reporting the wrong way operator. A few moments later, additional 9-1-1 calls were received reporting that the vehicle had struck a second vehicle head on which had been traveling Route 146 South in the second lane of travel, just north of the Route 116 overpass. Troopers responded to the scene and were assisted by members of the Lincoln Police and Fire Departments. The operator of the vehicle that was traveling the wrong way sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. She was identified as Marie Simone, age 89, of Warwick, Rhode Island. The operator of the second vehicle identified as Joseph Brophy, age 30, of Burrillville, Rhode Island sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Rhode Island Hospital where he is listed in stable condition.” https://www.ri.gov/press/view/21642

1 dead, 3 injured in wrong-way crash on I-95: “Rhode Island State Police said a woman was traveling the wrong way in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95 through Pawtucket at about 3 a.m. Friday. “It’s obvious the operator wasn’t aware that they were traveling the wrong direction,” state police Lt. Robert Wall said.” http://www.turnto10.com/story/24848535/4-hospitalized-ini-95-wrong-way-crash

Article by Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer, David Slepkow 401-437-1100 401-439-8371 David Slepkow’s 24 hour cell phone: 401-439-8372

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.