Which Driver Pays for Damages after a RI Car Accident?


If you have been in a  Rhode island car accident involving another motorist, you may be wondering which party will actually be paying for damages. The answer will depend on which party caused the accident along with the type of insurance coverage each driver maintains, or does not.

If another motorist caused the accident, you are not ultimately responsible to pay for your car repairs or medical needs directly related to the collision. Hopefully, the other driver maintained an insurance coverage policy to provide recovery for you, your injuries and damages.

Legally Responsible

If the other motorist was uninsured, or under-insured, your collision coverage insurance policy will need to pay for all, or a portion, of your repairs and medical expenses. Even though the law requires carrying automobile insurance, it may be challenging to make the uninsured motorist pay for your damages out-of-pocket.

If the other driver who was deemed responsible for the collision maintains insurance, you can file a claim on their liability policy covering property damage. Unfortunately, there are many uninsured motorist traveling the nation’s roadways and highways. Even with insurance, insurance companies might deny the claim, hoping your insurance policy will pick up the tab for your damage car and medical expenses.

The collision coverage in your auto insurance policy is actually no-fault coverage, which will cover repairs on your vehicle regardless of which driver caused the collision. In most incidences, you will likely need to pay the “deductible,” which is the portion of the total payment you agreed to pay when purchasing coverage. If the other driver is insured, or even under-insured, you can likely make a claim against that policy to have your deductible paid for you in the event you owe your insurance carrier.

Filing a Claim or Lawsuit in RI

Statistics maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that more than 5.5 million car crashes were reported to the police in 2012. Many of crashes involved filing claims and lawsuits against responsible parties, citing negligence as the cause of the collision. This is because drivers operating vehicles are expected to use reasonable care under specific circumstances, to provide a safe environment for other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists on the road.

Any individual negligently operating a vehicle  in Rhode island and Providence Plantations is deemed responsible to pay damages including medical expenses. Victims filing a claim in RI against responsible parties must prove the negligence of the defendant as being the proximate cause of the accident and injuries involved.

Hiring a Providence Auto accident Attorney

Determining fault or responsibility of a traffic accident in Rhode Island involving negligence can be complex. Believing someone acted carelessly might be much different than proving it in a court of law. Juries will often assess various factors to determine negligence, which might include:

• Disobeying traffic signals and signs
• Failure to signal when changing lanes or turning
• Operating the vehicle faster than posted speed limits
• Total disregard of traffic or weather conditions
• Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both
• Reckless driving

Rhode Island Personal injury attorneys that are skilled in vehicle accident law can review, evaluate and assess a claim to ensure a successful outcome. Skilled  Providence Personal Injury lawyers can develop a solid case and negotiate directly with the claims adjuster or prepare the case for trial to win financial compensation for their client.


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.


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