This is part 3 of 4 of Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney David Slepkow’s series of posts concerning important provisions of Rhode Island Tort law. This post focuses on less well known provisions of RI law. I hope this guide will not only be helpful to the public, victims and RI personal injury Lawyers but will also be informational to attorneys across the United States seeking information about Laws in the Ocean State.
Dead beat Parents cannot get damages when child killed in a tragic accident.
If a deadbeat dad or deadbeat mom does not pay his or her child support on a timely basis and is found in willful contempt, he or she cannot receive any compensation as a result of the death of their child in a fatal accident. The Rhode Island wrongful death statute precludes such recovery and will presume such parent in contempt of a child support order to have predeceased the child. https://ricaraccidentlawyers.com/wrongful-death-accident-law-fatal-accident-ri/
A motorist can be guilty of speeding even though they are not exceeding the posted speed limit
Under the laws in the Ocean State, a person could be speeding even if they are driving speeds under the designated speed limits. A motorist must take into account icy highways, slick roads, black ice, police officers exposed on the side of the road pulling over a motorist as well as rain and make sure that their speed is reasonable under the circumstances. (§ 31-14-1 Reasonable and prudent speeds.) If you violate this law you may not only be negligent but you may be fined by a police officer.
One child per bicycle in Rhode island
RI Law 31-19-4 “No bicycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped,” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE31/31-19/31-19-4.HTM
Bicyclists must ride on Right Side Of Road!
Also, Bikes must remain on right side of the road! See, § 31-19-6 Bicycles to right of road. (“Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable”) http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/TITLE31/31-19/31-19-6.HTM http://ricaraccidentlawyers.com/bike-accident/
RI has pure Comparative Negligence
“§ 9-20-4 Comparative negligence. – In all actions hereafter brought for personal injuries, or where personal injuries have resulted in death, or for injury to property, the fact that the person injured, or the owner of the property or person having control over the property, may not have been in the exercise of due care shall not bar a recovery, but damages shall be diminished by the finder of fact in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person injured, or the owner of the property or the person having control over the property.” http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/title9/9-20/9-20-4.HTM
Proper notice of accident must be given to cities and towns in a timely manner or no Injury Lawsuit can prevail
The Rhode Island Supreme Court, which usually hears arguments in Providence, has stated numerous times that notices of injury and accident in Rhode Island must meet the statutory mandate or the negligence cause of action will be dismissed. “Our precedent is clear.” as to notice required when someone is injured on a sidewalk, highway, street or other area in a town or city in Rhode Island. Id. “[p]laintiff‟s notice did not fix the location in a [reasonably] sufficient manner.” The statute clearly and unambiguously requires that the notice of claim must be specific, therefore the notice in the case at bar must be deemed insufficient.” Id.
“[W]hen a notice of claim fails to provide substantial certainty about the time and place of the injury and the character and nature of the defect that caused it, a suit for failure to maintain the property cannot be preserved.” Id. Prout, 996 A.2d at 1143. Id. Maria Carbone :v. :John Ward, in his capacity as Finance Director for the Town of Lincoln et al. No. 2011-276-Appeal. http://www.courts.ri.gov/Courts/SupremeCourt/Opinions/11-276.pdf
Rhode Island does not have a universal Helmet Law for Motorcycle operators
RI falls within the states that do not mandate all motorcycle drivers wear a helmet. Sadly, the failure to wear a helmet can lead to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and even death.
Rhode Island Motorcycle Helmet law: § 31-10.1-4 Required Equipment. -“Any operator under the age of twenty-one (21) shall wear a helmet of a type approved by the administrator of motor vehicles. In addition, all new operators, regardless of age, shall be required, for a period of one year from the date of issuance of the first license pursuant to § 31-10.1-1, to wear a helmet of a type approved by said administrator.”
RI will set a motorcyclist back $85 for a violation of its helmet law if a motorcyclist is caught driving without a helmet. R.I.G.L 31-10.1-4 A passenger on a BIKE will be fined $85 for not wearing a helmet while riding on a motorcycle. RI Law 31-10.1-6 Information