Rhode Island drunk driving accidents are unfortunately very common. Areas like Providence, Warwick and Cranston in particular routinely see drunk driving accidents. Many of these accidents are heart wrenching, tragic situations that can be difficult to discuss.
Over the past 22 years our firm has received many questions from people who have been touched by Rhode Island drunk driving accidents. While these questions are difficult to address, we believe it is important to answer them.
Here are the 4 most common Rhode Island drunk driving accident questions we receive.
4 Questions About Drunk Driving Accidents in Rhode Island
4) I was just involved in a car accident with a drunk driver. What should I do now?
As we always recommend, if you have been injured, first seek immediate medical attention. Call for help, contact the authorities and be sure to get a copy of the police report. If you are able to, document the scene by taking photos with your cell phone. Take down notes and record the names and addresses of all involved, including any witnesses. Doing so can help your case tremendously.
The next step is to call a personal injury lawyer. It is exponentially more difficult for a personal injury lawyer to win a case, if the lawyer becomes involved midway through the case. We highly recommend you seek professional help from the start, especially if alcohol is involved.
3) I think I may I have caused the accident, but the other driver was intoxicated. What’s going to happen?
In most situations, what is referred to as “comparative negligence” applies. This means that in Rhode Island, if you are partly responsible, the damage award will be reduced by the degree of your fault.
Lets say you are found 40% responsible for the accident. If this is the case, any financial compensation you receive will be reduced by 40%. So if your compensation is $500,000 it will be reduced by 40% to $300,000.
In certain states, even if you are just %1 responsible for the accident, you cannot receive any compensation. Fortunately this is not the case in Rhode Island.
2) I was injured, and was a passenger of a car driven by a drunk driver. Can I sue the driver?
You may be able to, but it depends on the situation.
Drivers are responsible for their passengers, pedestrians and other motorists. This is true in all cases – drunk or sober. Yet you as the passenger may have contributed in some way to the driver’s level of intoxication.
If you as a passenger contributed to the driver’s drunkenness, or if you knew that the driver was drunk when you entered the car, it may be very difficult for you to sue.
1) If I am hurt by an underage drunk driver who has left a party, can I sue the party host?
In Rhode Island, social host liability means that the party host has a duty to make sure that underage guests are not supplied alcohol. If alcohol is supplied to underage guests, the party host also has a responsibility to protect other guests and third party individuals.
So if you are hurt by an underage drunk driver who has left a party, you may be able to sue the party host.
All of the above scenarios are difficult situations to find yourself in. Nobody ever hopes to be in such a dire predicament, and we hope that you never find yourself asking these questions.
Nevertheless we work with people each year who have been affected by Rhode Island drunk driving in some way. The best advice we can give to you is to drive safe, and to never drive drunk yourself.
Unfortunately other motorists may not be as cautious as you. If you ever find yourself injured by a drunk driver, or have a family member injured by a drunk driver, please call us at 800-200-7752.
We can help you through this difficult and trying time of your life.