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Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney

More Than 28 Years of Experience Helping Car Accident Victims Across Rhode Island

In an instant, an auto accident can turn your life upside down. When going through a personal injury matter, you may be seriously injured, left to deal with mounting medical bills, and lost earnings while you are unable to work. Add to this the stress of dealing with shady insurance adjusters and an at-fault party who will not admit responsibility, and you can easily feel overwhelmed.

A Rhode Island car accident attorney who has been practicing for 28 years, Rich Sands is prepared to put his extensive experience to work for you. At our firm, our goal is to treat our clients as we would want to be treated. Our clients receive the same time and attention that we would want to receive in the confusing and often traumatizing time after a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or other types of traffic collision.

For the support you need to seek fair compensation while you focus solely on getting back into good health, you can turn to Sands Law Offices, a top-rated personal injury law firm. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Rhode Island car accident attorney.

Rhode Island Car Accidents

From a simple fender-bender to a multi-car pile-up, Rhode Island car accident attorneys can help victims and their families get the compensation they deserve. Get started today with a phone call to Sands Law, a premier Rhode Island car accident law firm.

Ask for a free consultation with one of our skilled Rhode Island car accident lawyers, and let our legal team handle your case while you focus on resting and healing.

Rhode Island Car Accident Facts

Rhode Island car accident fatalities are higher than the national average. Even if you survive the collision, the chances of suffering a debilitating injury are high.

Some additional facts about Rhode Island car accidents that may surprise you include:

  • Rhode Island seat belt use is lower than the national average
  • Rhode Island alcohol-impairment collision fatalities are also higher than the national average
  • Serious injuries have steadily decreased over a multi-year period, from a high of 381 in 2018

Defensive driving and always wearing a seat belt can decrease your chances of being involved in a serious collision. But when the unthinkable happens and you are struck by another driver, our Rhode Island car accident attorneys are by your side each step of the way.

Common Causes of Car Collisions

Knowing the most common causes of collisions can help you note when situations are more dangerous. Some of the most common causes of car wrecks our Rhode Island car accident law firm sees are:

  • Distracted driving, like eating or texting behind the wheel
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Poor road conditions
  • Collisions with commercial semi-trucks
  • Reckless driving, like racing or swerving in and out of traffic
  • Speeding
  • Inclement weather

These are just a few common causes of a collision. Which party is held liable often depends on the circumstances of your crash. Our Rhode Island car accident attorneys can investigate the full cause of your crash to hold all parties responsible.

Possible Defendants in Your Car Accident Case

The defendant in a car accident case is the party or parties responsible for causing the crash. In some cases, determining who is at fault is simple — the other driver violated Rhode Island traffic laws, like running a red light or speeding, and hit your car.

Other times, though, finding the responsible party is less straightforward. Depending on your situation, your Rhode Island car accident attorney could find one or more of these parties liable, too:

  • A commercial truck driver
  • The commercial trucking company that hired an irresponsible driver
  • The restaurant or bar that over-served a patron who then drove drunk and hit you
  • The city you were driving in, for not having streets or detours clearly marked
  • The city responsible for keeping the roadways clear of ice and snow
  • A pedestrian or cyclist who jaywalked, causing you to swerve to avoid hitting them

Even if your collision happened through other circumstances, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re at fault for the crash. Perhaps you lost control of the vehicle and wrecked because the road was in poor repair. In that case, our car accident lawyers may make a case against the municipality responsible for the upkeep of the streets.

Injuries from Car Crashes Can Change Your Life

Even a “fender bender” — or rear-ending collision at slower speeds — can cause serious neck or back injuries or even a concussion. If you’re involved in a car crash, you could suffer one or more of these severe injuries:

  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries, or damage to muscles, ligaments, or tendons
  • Neck injuries from “whiplash”
  • Spine injuries, like a herniated disc
  • Crushing injuries or internal organ damage
  • Burns
  • Facial lacerations or disfigurement
  • Partial or total paralysis

Most car accident victims suffer more than one of these serious injuries. Recovery can be long and painful; some types of damage require surgery to repair. There’s often no guarantee that you’ll recover fully, even with the best medical care.

The party that caused the accident is responsible for your injuries and for paying the cost of treating them. This includes not just your emergency medical care after the crash, but also recovery care, like physical therapy, surgery, or chiropractor visits.

How Can a Rhode Island Car Accident Attorney Help You?

Legal representation from a Rhode Island car accident law firm gives you the best chance of a fair settlement after a wreck.

Choosing an attorney who knows Rhode Island car accident laws and understands some of the tricks that an insurance company will use to minimize your claim can guide you and prevent you from making costly mistakes that can jeopardize receiving your compensation.

1. Preparing a Case Against the Other Party

We begin our work by properly valuing your case, including accounting for your actual losses, the projected cost of medical care in the future, and assigning fair compensation for pain and suffering from your injuries. Then, our Rhode Island car accident law firm sends a demand letter to the other party, asking them to settle the case.

We focus on preparing your case against the other party, which means gathering evidence against the other driver, interviewing witnesses, looking at photos or videos of the crash and scene, and using expert witnesses to provide insight into the cause of the wreck.

2. Dealing with the Insurance Company for You

Right after the crash, you can expect to hear from the other driver’s insurance company. They may ask you for a statement about the crash — you are not obligated to give them one.

Your own insurance company requires you to report any wreck you're in, even if you didn’t cause it, but you do not have that same obligation to the other driver’s insurance carrier.

In fact, anything you say to the other party’s insurance company can be considered by them as admitting that you were responsible for the crash. Rhode Island car accident liability laws permit plaintiffs to recover damages, even if they were more than 50% responsible for the collision.

However, the pure comparative negligence statutes in the state mean that your award will be reduced by the amount of blame you hold for the crash. For example, say your case is worth $100,000. A judge determined that you were 60% to blame for the crash. Your award will be reduced by 60%, which means that you will receive $40,000.

The other driver’s insurance company wants to make sure that you’re assigned the highest percentage possible of responsibility so that they have to pay you less. It’s your Rhode Island car accident lawyer’s job to ensure you’re protected from having your words twisted by the other party.

3. Negotiating a Fair Settlement

Many car accident cases are settled out of court in mediation. We negotiate with the other party to achieve the maximum settlement for you.

4. Partnering with a Neutral Arbitrator

All is not lost if we can’t reach a fair settlement. But before we take your case to court, we prefer to work with a third-party arbitrator to reach an appropriate settlement. This can ensure that your interests are taken into account by an objective, neutral party.

5. Representing You at Trial

If all else fails, then we will argue your case in a Rhode Island civil court before a judge and jury. Our lawyers are trained litigators who have years of courtroom experience. We know how to build a persuasive case for a jury and what arguments to make before a judge if we’re seeking punitive damages.

Car Accident FAQs

Some of the most common questions our Rhode Island car accident attorneys receive are provided here. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you can't find the answers to your questions.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim in Rhode Island?

According to Rhode Island General Laws section 9-1-14, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is three years. This means you have three years from the date your injury occurred to file a claim, or you will lose your right to file and your right to recover compensation.

While three years may seem like a significant amount of time, some exceptions do exist that can change this time limit so it’s important to speak to a skilled attorney about the specifics of your case as soon as possible. Sands Law Offices offers free, no-obligation consultations so you have nothing to lose by contacting our firm!

Who Is Liable After a Car Accident?

In accidents where only one driver is at fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance pays out any necessary damages. However, most accidents have more than one driver at fault in some way or another. In these cases, Rhode Island follows a "pure comparative negligence" law.

This law is found in Rhode Island General Laws section 9-20-4 and it states that when more than one person is at fault for an accident the court will determine both the amount of compensation to be awarded to the claimant and the percentage of fault all parties are responsible for.

In the end, the amount of fault the plaintiff is found to be responsible for will be reduced from their total compensation amount. For example, if an injury victim is found to be 20% at fault for the accident that led to their injuries their total compensation amount be reduced by 20%. In Rhode Island, an injury victim is eligible to pursue compensation no matter how at fault they are for an accident.

Take this opportunity to find out how we can support you in this trying time. Contact us today at (401) 921-4905 today.

Why Hire a RI Car Accident Lawyer?

If you were hit by another vehicle during an accident that was caused by a negligent driver, you are likely owed compensation. Recovering the full amount of compensation you deserve can be difficult without a qualified Rhode Island car accident lawyer on your side.

This is because insurance companies are mainly concerned with saving their company money not what you need in order to recover well from your injuries. Our firm is experienced in car accident law and knows the ins and outs of what to expect during the claims process. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you.

How Our Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

When we take on an auto accident claim, we handle every single aspect of the case. This means our client can focus on what really counts: healing physically and emotionally.

The following are just a few of the ways a Warwick, Rhode Island car accident lawyer can help:

  • Filing your insurance claim and handling all dealings with the insurance company.
  • Handling any and all communication with the other party or parties involved in the accident itself, as well as their insurance provider or legal counsel.
  • Gathering evidence to support your claim for medical expenses, vehicle damage, loss of earnings, and emotional trauma.
  • Determining and proving the true cause of the collision to limit or negate your liability.
  • Pursuing a fair settlement through negotiations with the at-fault party.
  • Taking your case to court, if needed, to seek an award of financial compensation.
Can I File A Car Accident Claim After Insurance Pays?

Since most insurance companies include in their settlements that they will not pay any further compensation, once you agree to a settlement amount it’s usually difficult to recover any further compensation.

This is why it is so important to speak to an attorney about your case before signing anything. If you have agreed to a settlement, it’s possible you may still have options. Call our firm today to discuss your case.

How to Navigate a Car Accident Where The Other Driver Has No Insurance

What can you do if you were injured in an accident with a hit-and-run driver or someone who did not have auto insurance? Although insurance is required for all Rhode Island motorists, some simply choose to drive without insurance or may have unintentionally let their insurance policy expire. In either scenario, you may be left out in the cold when it comes to seeking financial compensation.

Your insurance policy may provide for the following types of additional coverage:

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage is provided in the instance of an accident with a motorist who has no insurance.
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage is provided in accidents where the at-fault party had insufficient coverage to pay for all of the other party’s losses.

When our Warwick auto accident attorney takes on an uninsured motorist claim, he will look at your insurance policy to determine whether you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. Many policies offer coverage for uninsured motorists, but it is important to find specific information on this part of the policy in filing your claim. This type of claim will not increase your insurance rates.

Ten Steps to Take After a Car Accident

The moments following a car accident are incredibly overwhelming but they’re also the most crucial. Regardless of how stressful the situation is, you must stay calm and focused.

  1. If the accident is minor and you feel safe to do so, you should try to move your vehicle out of traffic
  2. Check for injuries, then call an ambulance for anyone in need of medical assistance
  3. Notify the police so a police report can be written up
  4. Gather information from other drivers, including vehicle descriptions, license plate numbers, and the accident scene location. If a police report was filed, be sure to write down the officer’s name and badge number
  5. Take photos of the scene and the vehicles involved to have an accurate record of the damage
  6. In these moments, you want to say as little as possible. Apologizing or saying anything that might be perceived as an admission of guilt can be used against you
  7. Do not sign anything from insurers or accept any offers without consulting a RI car accident lawyers
  8. Seek medical treatment following any type of collision, even if you think your injuries are minor
  9. File an insurance claim with your insurance company right away, and be sure not to admit any fault or apologize for damages
  10. Hire an attorney to make sure that you are being fairly compensated by insurers for your vehicle damages
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

You won’t have to pay anything up front. We work on a contingency fee basis, so our pay will be a percentage of your compensation after we secure your settlement. If you receive nothing, you pay nothing.

How Much Is My Car Accident Claim Worth?

The more serious your injuries are, the higher your settlement should be. If you are permanently disabled or disfigured, you may have an even higher settlement.

The Other Driver’s Insurance Company Offered Me a Settlement. Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

There’s a good chance that whatever you’ve been offered is less than your case is actually worth. Your attorney values your case correctly, including anticipating your future needs.

Do I Need to Call the Police After a Car Accident?

Yes. Even if the other driver wants to just exchange insurance information, it’s best to call 911. Emergency responders can make sure that all of your injuries are diagnosed so you get the right medical care. And the police officer creates an official crash report, which your lawyer can use as evidence in your case.

Do I Need to Go to the Doctor After a Car Crash if I Don’t Feel Hurt?

It’s usually best to get a professional medical assessment of any injuries. Many common soft tissue injuries don’t present symptoms until a day or two after the wreck. A doctor can catch these easily. Additionally, your medical records link your inquiries to the car wreck, which your lawyer will need as part of your case.

Turn to a Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer with Proven Results

Have you or a loved one been hurt in a car wreck? You need a trusted advocate with a proven track record of success on your side who can fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact Sands Law office today or schedule an appointment online for a free consultation with one of our qualified Rhode Island car accident lawyers.

Was the first time I ever had to seek legal representation after a car accident that I was injured in. Rich was recommended to me through a family member, and I am so glad that I decided to be represented by Rich.”
Nicole, Rhode Island
Rich was supportive and helpful throughout a very difficult time for me. I recently got into a car accident where I was injured and my car was declared totaled. In complete panic not knowing what to do, I called Rich.”
Karissa, Rhode Island
Rich was a wealth of knowledge and support during a difficult time. He always made time to explain procedures and answer all questions in a timely manner.”
Mark M., Rhode Island
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