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Auto Accident FAQ
  1. If I am in an accident, what should I do?
    You should contact the police immediately so that a report can be filed. You should also contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

  2. How long do I have to pursue a lawsuit?
    You have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for bodily injury and 10 years to file a lawsuit for property damage.

  3. Do I have to go the doctor right away in order to pursue a claim?
    No, some people do not feel the effects of an accident until the next few days or think their pain will go away before they decide to seek medical treatment. However, if you do feel you were injured, you should seek medical attention from an emergency room, walk-in clinic or your primary care physician.

  4. What am I entitled to if I am injured in an accident?
    In most cases, damages are based on your medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

  5. Am I entitled to damages even if I miss no time from work?
    Yes, even though you may be still working, you are entitled to other damages so long as you are under the care of a doctor.

  6. Can I recover for my damages if I am hit by a driver with no insurance and no assets?
    If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you may pursue a claim against your own insurance company to collect for damage you are entitled to and your insurance rates cannot be increased.

  7. Should I discuss the accident at the scene with the person I was involved in the accident with or with that person’s Insurance Company?
    You should not discuss the details of the accident with the person you were involved in the accident or their insurance company, other than exchanging license, registration, and insurance information.

  8. Who determines who is at fault in an accident?
    In cases where there is no dispute as to how the accident occurred, fault is determined by the State Traffic laws and cases interpreting these laws. In cases where there is a dispute, fault is determined by the adjuster and party handling the claim. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, fault is determined by the adjuster handling the claim for the adverse party.

  9. Can I recover if I am partially at fault?
    Rhode Island is a pure comparative negligence state. This means even if you are partially at fault, you can still recover your damages at a reduced amount reflecting the percentage of your negligence. In Massachusetts the injured party must be less than 51% at fault in order to recover.

  10. Can I pursue a claim for damages even if there was minimal damage to the cars?
    Yes, even though there is minimal property damage, you may still have been injured and are entitled to damages.

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  • East Providence Office
    989 Waterman Avenue
    East Providence, Rhode Island 02914
    Phone: 401-437-3000
    Fax: 401-437-3037