Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a right. Driver’s licenses are issued to any individual who has reached the minimum age after passing both a written exam and road test conducted by a motor vehicle department specialist. Every motorist driving the highways, roadways and city streets is responsible for providing a safe environment for everyone around them including other drivers, passengers, truckers, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Uninsured motorist claims in RI
Sadly, there are hundreds or uninsured or unlicensed motorists operating motor vehicles in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. When an uninsured motorist operating an automobile, truck or other motor vehicle is at fault for a car accident in Rhode Island, an injured victim may receive no compensation or justice for their injuries resulting from the motor vehicle crash. However, if the victim had previously obtained uninsured motorist protection and such uninsured protection was in effect at the time of the collision then they may have legal recourse to be compensated for their pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and other injuries. The victim would need to pursue an uninsured motorist claim against their own insurance carrier seeking damages and a sense of justice.
By law, every state requires drivers to be licensed while maintaining adequate liability coverage through an insurance policy on every vehicle they operate. Rhode Island is no exception to this. This means that every registered vehicle must be insured with minimum active coverage that has not had its policy lapse.
Driving on a suspended license
The state’s court system is given the authority to suspend the driving privileges of any motorist who commits specific traffic violations. Suspended licenses may last indefinitely until some legal requirements are met or may be for a finite period of time. Some of the reasons a motorists license is suspended in Rhode Island includes:
• A failure to appear in court
• A failure to pay a fine
• A failure to maintain basic insurance coverage on a vehicle
• Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Recklessly driving that endangers the lives of others
• Other factors such as failure to file an accident report, leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death, failure to pay child support etc.
Driving on a suspended license is a criminal infraction that could land the motorist in jail if there are too many infractions. Being involved in a motor vehicle accident in Rhode island while driving on a suspended license can be a legal nightmare for the motorist. In addition to receiving a criminal citation or an arrest, the driver might be financially liable for all damages, losses and injuries caused to all victims in the accident.
If you were injured by an uninsured or under insured motorist in a motor vehicle accident in Rhode Island then you should contact a Rhode Island uninsured motorist accident lawyer.
- The Rhode Island law for driving on a suspended license is set forth below:
“§ 31-11-18.1 Driving after denial, revocation, or suspension for certain violations. – (a) Any person who drives a motor vehicle on any highway of this state who never applied for a license or who drives after his or her application for a license has been refused, or after his or her license has expired or who otherwise drives without a license or at a time when his or her license to operate is suspended, revoked, or cancelled, for: (1) operating under the influence of a narcotic drug or intoxicating liquor; (2) refusing to submit to a chemical test; reckless driving; (3) manslaughter from the operation of a motor vehicle or operating so as to endanger resulting in death; or (4) three (3) moving violations within a one-year period; shall be guilty of a misdemeanor for the first and second offenses and shall be deemed guilty of a felony for the third or subsequent offenses.”
Failing to meet insurance requirements or suspended license
State law mandates that operating any vehicle without maintaining financial responsibility (insurance coverage) is against the law. Any motorist operating a vehicle without insurance likely faces a driver’s license suspension and financial fines.
“In Rhode Island, you must carry minimum limits of bodily injury liability – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This means you have coverage up to $25,000 for damages incurred by any one person and up to $50,000 in any one accident should more than one person be involved. You many elect to purchase higher limits, based on your wish to protect your assets from lawsuits above these minimum amounts. Keep in mind that as you raise your coverage, your premiums increase because you are asking the insurance company to assume responsibility for higher amount, should a claim occur.” CONSUMERS GUIDE TO AUTO INSURANCE PRESENTED TO YOU BY THE DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS REGULATION INSURANCE DIVISION http://www.dbr.state.ri.us/documents/divisions/insurance/property_casualty/com_guide-auto_insur.PDF
Proof of insurance at scene of motor vehicle wreck
If the uninsured driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident, they will be required by law to produce proof of insurance at the scene. Any certificate of compliance (COC) provided by the insurance carrier is adequate proof as long as it shows coverage is in force on the date of the accident. Any failure to meet insurance requirements (not having insurance) when the accident occurs exposes the motorist to serious financial consequences. In all likelihood, the victims suffering injuries and damages caused by the negligent behavior of the uninsured motorist will file a lawsuit against them.
§ 31-47-9 Penalties. – (a) Any owner of a motor vehicle registered in this state who shall knowingly operate the motor vehicle or knowingly permit it to be operated in this state without having in full force and effect the financial security required by the provisions of this chapter, and any other person who shall operate in this state any motor vehicle registered in this state with the knowledge that the owner of it does not have in full force and effect financial security, except a person who, at the time of operation of the motor vehicle, had in effect an operator’s policy of liability insurance, as defined in this chapter, with respect to his or her operation of the vehicle, may be subject to a mandatory suspension of license and registration as follows:
Financial recourse from uninsured motorist or driver with suspended license
Any victim who has suffered damages or physical injury as the result of negligence by an uninsured, unlicensed motorist can seek financial recourse through various legal means. However, these types of claims and lawsuits are difficult to litigate in front of a judge in civil court. Because of that, many individuals elect to hire a skilled Rhode Island personal injury attorney who specializes in uninsured motor vehicle accidents.
Rhode Island car accident attorney
A RI auto accident lawyer working on behalf of their client can seek financial compensation through uninsured motorist coverage on the victim’s policy. The amount of compensation through this coverage is limited by the policy’s benefits. Because of that, the attorneys can file a lawsuit to obtain additional compensation from the unlicensed, uninsured driver directly by holding them financially accountable for their negligence.
Hiring an attorney makes sense. It eliminates most of the “guess work” of attempting to obtain recovery for injuries suffered in an accident caused by another. The lawyer will investigate the causes of the accident, evaluate insurance information and build a case to prove how the other uninsured, unlicensed driver is legally responsible for all damages. An experienced RI personal injury law firm can research every alternative way to obtain financial compensation when the other motorist involved in the accident was driving on a suspended license and without insurance.
Legal Notice per Rhode Island Rules of Professional Responsibility: The RI Supreme Court sitting in the capital city of Providence 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 including personal injury, wrongful death and car accident. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.