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Should I Hire a Lawyer for an Accident in Rhode Island?

— April 26, 2022

A skilled lawyer will help you determine the economic damages, totaling your medical expenses, property losses and lost wages.

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the US, but it has a high density of population, which might explain the large number of road accidents. Nationwide, Rhode Island ranks 4th for the largest number of crashes per 100,000 residents. 

If you were recently involved in such an accident or someone you loved was killed in a crash, you should look up the best Rhode Island accident lawyer to see what damages you can get and how to go about it. Accident lawyers can also help with other types of unfortunate events, like boating accidents, slip and falls, defective products, medical malpractice or nursing home abuse. If your accident was caused by someone’s negligence you have the right to file a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim if someone was killed. 

When should I hire a lawyer?

If you know what’s good for you, you should contact an experienced accident lawyer in Providence, RI, as soon as possible. Even if you are in a hospital or recuperating at home, you can schedule a free consultation with a lawyer. People in this line of business understand what you’re going through and they won’t hesitate to come to you to discuss your case. One thing you need to know – a reliable lawyer will tell you from the very beginning if they think you have a case. If they don’t, they won’t take your case and waste your time.

The reason you need to hire a good accident lawyer right away is that they will have to conduct your own investigation. They work with insurance companies all the time and they know you cannot rely on the findings of the insurance adjuster. 

Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. The first and most important duty of all their employees is to minimize the value of the claims presented to them, not hand out money left and right to anyone who comes asking.

It will be your lawyer’s job to prove that your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. 

How is negligence defined in Rhode Island?

When it comes to road accidents, your lawyer will have to prove that the other driver had a duty to care for the safety of other drivers or pedestrians. If a driver is distracted or drunk, they have failed in their duty to care for other people’s safety. This is called breach of duty.

Image of a Stethoscope and medical charts
Stethoscope and medical charts; image courtesy of
DarkoStojanovic via Pixabay,

The next step is to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident. It is important that you see a doctor immediately after an accident so your injuries can be properly documented. An insurance adjuster keen on minimizing the value of your claim may question this aspect, called causality in legal terms. 

For instance, if you complain about back pain or your legs go numb a few days or weeks after the accident, the adjuster might say that was a preexisting condition and your problems were not caused by the crash. However, if you have medical records showing that you had fresh bruises on your back right after the accident that is enough to prove causality.

The final step is evaluating the damages. A skilled lawyer will help you determine the economic damages, totaling your medical expenses, property losses and lost wages. More importantly, they will help you put a value on your pain and suffering, which constitute non-economic damages. They will use their own experience with similar cases or look up legal precedents to determine how much the suffering caused by your specific injuries might be worth. 

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