Personal injury litigation is subject to different regulations in every state. To bring a case in Rhode Island it is very important that you consult an experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyer, who can guide you through the states unique laws.
Personal injury litigation includes many types of action, including car accident cases, defective products cases and medical malpractice cases. A personal injury claim in Rhode Island can arise from negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
In Rhode Island you must prove four elements to win any negligence case:
1. The defendant owed you a duty
2. The defendant did not fulfill that duty
3. The defendants breach of duty resulted in your injuries
4. You suffered damages
In Rhode Island personal injury lawsuits you can still recover damages even if your own negligence contributed to the injury. Rhode Island follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence. This means that a defendant is responsible for the proportion of the damages equal to their proportion of the blame in the injury. Even if the plaintiffs negligence was 90% responsible for an accident, a defendant can still be required to pay 10% of the damages.
Rhode Island personal injury law follows a hybrid doctrine of joint and several liability when determining liability between defendants. The doctrine of several liability means that each defendant is responsible to pay only for the portion of the damages equal to their portion of the fault in the case. Joint liability holds all defendants responsible for the full amount of the damages. Under Rhode Island law a plaintiff can recover all of the damages from any liable defendant. The defendants must sort out the proportional liabilities amongst themselves.
Rhode Island does not limit the value of non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship, emotional distress and humiliation.
In Rhode Island there is no restriction on the awarding of punitive damages. Punitive damages are assessed to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing.
In Rhode Island you have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit under the states statute of limitation.
If you are considering pursuing a claim in Rhode Island you need the counsel of a personal injury attorney who understands the nuances of Rhode Island law. The sooner you begin working with an attorney the easier it will be to build your case and reach a successful outcome.