Rhode Island Personal Injury Overview
Like all states, Rhode Island has unique personal injury laws that you need to know about if you have been injured in the state. Personal injury covers a wide range of cases including pharmaceutical injuries, slip and fall, defective construction, and toxic exposure.
In any state, you need the help of a personal injury attorney who has experience in your state to successfully pursue your case.
The money that you may be awarded is referred to as damages. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages, including time missed from work to attend medical appointments
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage, such as damage to your vehicle in an auto accident
- Permanent disability
- Permanent disfigurement
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
In addition to compensatory damages, in some cases you may be entitled to punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are not meant to repay you for your losses; they are used to punish the defendant for their actions. Each state has standards for awarding punitive damages. In Pennsylvania, certain types of cases such as assault, false imprisonment, libel or slander and cases where the defendant acted with malice, wantonness or willfulness can result in punitive damages.
Pure comparative negligence
Rhode Island follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence. This doctrine favors the victim, allowing you to claim compensation even if you were largely to blame for your injuries. Your compensation will be reduced by your portion of responsibility, but even if you were 99% at fault, you can collect the remaining one percent from the defendant.
Joint and several liability
In many lawsuits there are multiple defendants. All too often, one or more of the responsible parties will fail to pay or will not be able to pay. In Rhode Island, under joint and several liability, you do not lose out when this happens. You can collect the entire amount from any of the defendants.
The time limit for filing your lawsuit is called the statute of limitations. In Rhode Island, the statute of limitations for most types of personal injury cases in three years. However, there are different rules for calculating that time period depending on the type of case, and sometimes special circumstances, such as injuries to children, can impact the time limit, too.
If you think you may have a personal injury case, you need to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer right away to ensure that your time does not run out. If you do not take action in time, you will lose your right to compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured in Rhode Island, please contact one of our Rhode Island personal injury lawyers for a free claim evaluation and find out if you have a case before it is too late.