RI Auto Accident Guide

RI Auto Accident Guide

RI Auto Accident Guide

Looking for answers to your personal injury case? Paul Ferns is here to help you.

In our highspeed world, being in a car accident can bring your life to a screeching halt. Filing claims and wrestling with insurance companies on your own can leave you totally exhausted. And if you’ve been injured, the stress is even worse. As if the damage to your vehicle wasn’t enough, now you also have to worry about how you’ll pay your bills if you can no longer work. Not to mention the emotional toll it can take on you now that your life has been upended.

If you’ve been injured in a car crash due to the negligence of others, know that you are entitled to financial help for your medical bills, pain and suffering. Even if you were partially at fault, you can still receive compensation for your car crash injuries through the help of an experienced Warwick car accident lawyer like Paul Ferns.

Attorney Ferns is here to fight for your rights throughout this stressful situation and make sure that you receive the funds you desperately need. That’s why we’ve put together this Rhode Island car accident guide to set your mind at ease.

Relax, we’ve got you covered.

I’ve just been in a car accident. What should I do first?

First of all, take a deep breath. In moments like these, it’s important to keep your head. Mistakes made at this crucial moment can cost you later on when you try to seek compensation, so it’s important to keep your cool and stay in control. Here’s a step-by-step guide of what to do in a minor accident.

Immediately after the accident has taken place, pull off the side of the road and call the police. Once you’re safely away from the flow of traffic, take a moment to access the situation. Were you or anyone else in your car injured? What about the other driver? Is there damage to either vehicle? Where is it and how extensive is it?

This is the best time you’ll have to gather as much evidence as you can, so take advantage of it. Pictures and videos of the damage to your vehicle can be useful in court, and if you had a dash-cam that captured the accident live, that’s even better! Don’t be afraid to ask bystanders to give statements on what they saw, either. You never know what may help a jury make up their minds, so collect as much information as possible.

Am I required to give a statement to my insurance company at the scene of the accident?

No! Despite commonly held beliefs, you are not required by Rhode Island law to release a statement to your insurance company directly after an accident has taken place. In fact, making a statement right away is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in a personal injury case.

Because of the high adrenaline levels present, many people don’t grasp the full gravity of their situation until later on. Insurance companies have a nasty habit of using statements made at this crucial time against your claim. They may use statements made when you were confused out of context to try and talk you down to a lower payment for your claim. They know that you’re so stressed and worn down by this point that you’ll take whatever you can get, but don’t fall for these unethical tactics!

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t call your insurance company first. Instead, call a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer like Paul J Ferns. He can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and, if necessary, file a lawsuit to help you get the compensation you deserve.

An Important note: NEVER refuse treatment at the accident scene

If you are injured in a car accident, it’s imperative that you accept medical treatment if it is offered to you. The high levels of adrenaline may lead you to underestimate the severity of your injuries. Plus, refusing treatment from paramedics at the crash scene can hurt your injury claim later on.

Even if you think you’re all right, trust the first responders’ judgment and NEVER refuse treatment.

What happens to my insurance after an accident? Can you negotiate with insurance companies without a lawyer?

You have a few options for filing an insurance claim after an accident. If the other driver is at fault, you can file a claim with their insurance company. If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, you can file a claim with your own insurance company and rely on your personal injury protection (PIP) policy or med pay coverage. You can also forego the insurance process entirely and file a lawsuit against the other driver.

Although many people choose to negotiate with insurance companies on their own, contacting a lawyer is the best way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Whether you choose to file a claim or go directly to court, an experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer like Attorney Ferns can help you determine the best option for your case.

What’s the statute of limitations? Rhode Island car accident lawsuit steps for beginners.

The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in RI is three years after the date of the incident. No exceptions. If you try to file a suit after the statute of limitations has expired, your case will likely be dismissed immediately. That’s why it’s so crucial to contact an auto injury lawyer immediately after the accident takes place.

How can I get a copy of my accident report? RI procedure for obtaining a crash report.

When an accident takes place that contains injuries, deaths, or property damage to the apparent extent of $1,000 or more, police are obligated to fill out a crash report 14 days after the accident takes place. If your accident meets these criteria, you can visit RI police department’s website for more information on obtaining your accident report for RI.

I was partially at fault for the accident. Can I still seek compensation for my injuries?

Yes! In Rhode Island, victims are entitled to seek compensation for their injuries even if they’re partly at fault. Let’s explain: Rhode Island law uses a system called “pure comparative negligence” to assign fault in an accident. This system assigns a percentage of fault to each party involved in an accident, and as long as you are not 100% at fault, you can still seek financial compensation for your injuries.

The insurance company will assign your level of fault in the accident before paying your claim. But as we talked about earlier, insurance companies will often go through every trick in the book to avoid fulfilling your PIP or med pay coverage. That’s just another reason why it’s imperative to have an experienced lawyer on your side when negotiating with insurance companies.

I was the victim of a hit and run. Can I still file a lawsuit?

Yes, but only if you can identify the driver at fault. Immediately after the incident occurs, try to gather all the information you can about the car that struck you.

Try to remember:
  • The make and model of the car
  • The license plate number
  • What the driver looked like
  • What direction the driver went in
  • Any other distinctive traits of the vehicle or driver
This can all be useful information to help police track down the perpetrator. If you hit a parked car, your car was hit in a parking lot, you car was scratched in a parking lot, or you weren’t in your car at the time of the accident, contact the owners of the property where the incident took place and ask if they have security cameras.

Where can I find the best car accident attorneys in RI?

With over 20 years of experience working with car crash victims and other personal injury cases, Warwick Attorney Paul J Ferns is here to fight for you.

At Paul’s law firm, you’re not just one of dozens of personal injury cases that a paralegal works to settle. Attorney Ferns works with all his clients personally, and he’ll work tirelessly to help you receive all the financial help you can get. Paul’s patient and level-headed approach has seen results time and time again. He’ll be there for you and your family throughout this stressful time.

If you want help finding the relief you deserve, contact his law office today for a free consultation on your personal injury case. Don’t worry: we’ve got your back.