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Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer

A car accident can leave you with bodily injuries, emotional distress, and financial hardship. After a life-altering crash, you deserve justice. A Rhode Island car accident lawyer from Gemma Law could help you hold the negligent party responsible.

One of our experienced personal injury lawyers in Rhode Island will fight for the maximum compensation available in your situation. Our legal team prioritizes open communication and keeps you informed through every stage of your case.

We handle car accident cases on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we only get paid when we win your case. Contact us now for a free case evaluation.

crushed front end of a car after car wreck

What Our Rhode Island Car Accident Law Firm Could Do for Your Case

At our law firm, we take a distinct and assertive approach to motor vehicle collision cases in Rhode Island. 

Our method involves immediate and diligent action in the following areas:

  • Determining liability: We promptly identify all parties responsible for the crash, explore every conceivable theory of legal liability, and exhaust all possible sources of financial compensation. This process includes a thorough investigation of the incident and in-depth research of the applicable laws.
  • Working with law enforcement: In situations involving severe or catastrophic injuries, particularly those resulting from criminal acts like drunk driving, our collaboration with local law enforcement and the State Attorney’s office becomes crucial. 
  • Finding expert witnesses: We employ seasoned investigators and consult with leading experts in accident reconstruction, medical specialties, and other technical fields. This allows us to present a compelling case in court, maximizing the potential for a favorable outcome.
  • Handling communications with involved parties: We understand the overwhelming nature of post-accident procedures, especially the barrage of communications from insurance companies and bill collectors. Our team handles these correspondences for you, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
  • Taking your case to court if needed: Our experience and reputation are the cornerstones of our practice. We don’t just prepare for a settlement; we are always ready to take your case to trial if it means securing the best possible outcome for you.

Our Providence-based personal injury law firm has achieved notable case results in various car accident cases. Our track record speaks for itself, and our readiness to go to court demonstrates our commitment to your cause.

Begin With a Free Case Review

Understanding the specifics of your situation is crucial. That’s why we offer a free case review to get started. This initial consultation is an opportunity to discuss your situation, understand your legal options, and plan the next steps in your legal journey with the support of our firm.

We advise against direct communication with insurance adjusters who may not have your best interests at heart, emphasizing the importance of consulting an experienced car accident lawyer first.

Steps to Follow After a Crash

What you do immediately after an accident can affect the outcome of your case. Here’s what to do:

Make Sure You Are in a Safe Place and Seek Medical Attention

Experiencing a crash can be chaotic and confusing. Your priority is always safety. Move to a safe location if possible and promptly seek medical attention, even if you feel fine.

Some car accident injuries, especially internal ones, may not be immediately apparent. A medical evaluation is crucial for your health and also serves as an important record for any future legal claim.

Report the Incident

You must report your collision to the police. A police report provides an official record of the incident, detailing the circumstances and parties involved.

This report may be vital to your case. In Rhode Island, failing to report certain accidents is a legal offense, so ensure this step is not overlooked.

Document the Scene and Collect Information

If you are able, document the crash scene. Take photographs of the vehicles, any visible injuries, and the surrounding area.

It’s also a good idea to collect names, contact information, and insurance details from all parties involved, as well as contact information for any witnesses. This information will be invaluable as your case progresses.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Be factual about the details of the accident, but do not admit fault or speculate about its cause.

You are simply notifying them that an accident has occurred and nothing more. Any information you provide to an insurance company can be used against you during the claims process.

Keep Track of Medical Records and Expenses

Maintain a detailed record of all medical treatments, diagnoses, prescriptions, and other accident-related expenses. These records are crucial in proving the extent of your injuries and their financial impact.

Avoid Discussing the Incident on Social Media

Please resist the urge to post about your accident or your injuries on social media platforms. Posts, photos, or comments can be misconstrued and potentially used against you in your legal case.

It is in your best interest to keep the details of your case private and only discuss them with your attorney. The slightest mistakes can cost accident victims huge settlements.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney

Finally, consult with a qualified attorney. Legal guidance is critical to navigating your personal injury claim.

An experienced attorney can protect your rights, handle negotiations with insurance companies, and work towards securing the financial compensation you deserve. If you attempt to handle this alone, the gap between what you deserve and what you receive can be massive.

When to Hire a Lawyer

After an auto accident, hiring a lawyer can be a critical decision that significantly impacts the outcome of your claim. Understanding when to seek legal assistance can help you take steps to recover fair compensation.

Here are key situations that may indicate the need for legal support:

  • Significant injuries or loss: If the collision results in serious injuries, substantial medical bills, or a significant loss of income, legal representation is vital.
  • Fault disputes: When there’s uncertainty or disagreement about who is at fault, a Rhode Island car accident attorney can help establish liability.
  • Inadequate insurance offers: If the insurance company’s settlement offer does not fully cover your damages, a lawyer can negotiate for a higher settlement.
  • Complex legal issues: Accidents involving multiple parties, complicated legal issues, or technical details require the nuanced understanding that a qualified lawyer provides.
  • Uncertainty about the claims process: If you’re unsure about the claims process or the fairness of an offer, your lawyer can provide clarity and direction.

A skilled car accident lawyer in Rhode Island will advise you on the legal aspects of your case and represent your interests in negotiations or court proceedings. Our team ensures that all legal procedures are followed correctly, evidence is gathered and presented effectively, and the best possible outcome is achieved through tireless work and dedication.

How to File a Car Accident Claim

Filing an automobile accident claim in Rhode Island is complicated without an attorney’s guidance. Understanding the steps involved can help ensure your rights are protected and that you receive adequate compensation.

Here are steps to help you proceed: 

  • Know your insurance policy: Thoroughly review your insurance policy to understand the coverage you have. Rhode Island is a fault-based state, meaning the person responsible for the accident is liable for the damages. Your policy details will guide you on how to proceed with the claim.
  • Collect the necessary documentation: This step starts at the accident scene and continues in the days following the crash. Gather all documentation related to the incident, including the police report, medical records, photographs of the scene, witness statements, and other evidence that supports your claim.
  • File an insurance claim: You can file a claim with either your insurance company or the at-fault driver’s insurer. When filing the claim, provide the collected evidence and be as detailed as possible about the incident and the extent of your injuries and damages.
  • Recognize comparative negligence: According to Rhode Island’s comparative negligence law, the amount of compensation you receive may depend on how much you contributed to the accident. It’s important to understand how this might affect your claim.
  • Negotiate with insurance adjusters: Be prepared to negotiate with the insurance adjusters. They will likely offer a settlement that is less than what you deserve. Understanding the value of your claim is crucial to negotiating effectively.
  • Consider legal assistance: Navigating a personal injury claim can be challenging, especially when dealing with insurance companies and legal intricacies. A Rhode Island car accident attorney could help guide you through the insurance claim or legal process, handle negotiations, and protect your interests.
  • Finalize your claim: Once a settlement has been reached or a court decision has been made, ensure all agreements are documented. Before accepting any settlement, please review it carefully with an attorney to ensure it covers all your damages and injuries.

The Burden of Proof in a Car Accident Case

In Rhode Island, the burden of proof in motor vehicle accident cases lies with the plaintiff, the party bringing the lawsuit. This means you must prove that the other party was at fault for the collision and your resulting injuries.

Demonstrating fault requires showing that the other driver was negligent by establishing the following elements:

  • Duty of care: The other driver had a duty to drive safely.
  • Breach of duty: This duty was breached due to their actions or inactions.
  • Causation: Their breach directly caused the crash.
  • Damages: You suffered damages as a result.

Common Mistakes After a Collision

Avoiding common pitfalls following a Rhode Island car accident can significantly impact the outcome of your case. 

Here are some crucial mistakes to avoid:

  • Not calling a lawyer: Failing to consult with a Rhode Island car accident lawyer can leave you vulnerable to legal missteps and low settlement offers.
  • Admitting fault: Even casual remarks can be construed as admissions of fault, negatively impacting your claim.
  • Failing to file a police report: A police report is a must. You must have an official record of the accident to have a strong claim.
  • Talking to the responsible party’s auto insurance company: Direct communication can lead to unintentionally compromising your claim. The insurance company works hard to trick you into saying something they can use against you.
  • Signing an early settlement offer: Accepting an initial offer without proper legal advice can result in a settlement that undervalues your damages.

Common Causes of Collisions in Our State

Understanding the common causes of collisions in Rhode Island helps keep everyone safe. Here are the common causes, explored in more detail:

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is not just limited to phone use. Eating, adjusting the radio, or any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road can lead to an accident. These distractions are a leading cause of collisions in today’s fast-paced world.

Impaired Driving

Beyond drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs, impaired driving also includes driving while fatigued. The impairment of cognitive and motor skills significantly raises the risk of an accident.


Exceeding posted speed limits diminishes a driver’s ability to react to sudden changes, like traffic stops or road hazards. High-speed impacts also result in more severe injuries and property damage.

Weather Conditions

Weather plays a critical role in accidents, especially in Rhode Island, where snow and ice are common. Reduced visibility and slippery roads demand extra caution and slower speeds.

Vehicle Defects

This covers a range of issues, from brake failures to tire blowouts. Regular vehicle maintenance is key to preventing such mishaps. In cases where a defect is a manufacturing issue, liability can extend to the manufacturer.

Each of these causes represents not just a risk factor for accidents but also a potential area of legal consideration in the event of a claim. 

Common Types of Car Accidents

Understanding the common types of auto accidents and their causes is essential for both prevention and legal response.

Common accident types include:

  • Rear-end collisions frequently occur in heavy traffic or sudden stops. Injuries like whiplash are common, and determining fault tends to revolve around following distances and paying attention to traffic.
  • Head-on collisions: Accidents involving two vehicles coming toward each other are highly dangerous due to the force of impact. Legal cases often involve serious injury or wrongful death claims.
  • Sideswipe collisions: These accidents can happen when negligent drivers fail to check blind spots or misjudge distances while changing lanes. The liability often depends on adherence to lane-changing laws.
  • Side impact crashes: Also known as T-bone accidents, these crashes occur mainly at intersections and can cause severe injuries, especially in cars without side airbags. Key legal questions often involve right-of-way and traffic signals.
  • Multi-vehicle collisions: Complex scenarios, like pile-ups, require detailed analysis to determine the sequence of events and liability, which can be distributed among multiple parties.
  • Rollover crashes: High-speed turns or collisions can cause vehicles to roll over, leading to serious injuries. Factors like vehicle design and road conditions are often scrutinized in these cases.
  • Single-vehicle crash: This refers to instances where a car hits a tree or a pole. Causes can range from driver error to external factors like poor road conditions or mechanical failures. Liability can be tricky, especially if external factors are involved.

Each accident type presents unique challenges and considerations for legal claims in Rhode Island, emphasizing the importance of partnering with an attorney.

Common Injuries Sustained in Motor Vehicle Collisions

Car accidents can result in various injuries, each affecting victims differently.

Common injuries sustained in collisions include:

  • Whiplash: Common in rear-end collisions, whiplash injuries occur due to rapid back-and-forth neck movement, leading to neck pain and stiffness.
  • Broken bones: The impact of a collision can cause fractures in different body parts, ranging from simple breaks to more severe compound fractures.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Head impacts or violent shaking can result in concussions, with more severe cases leading to TBIs affecting cognitive and motor functions.
  • Soft tissue damage: Soft tissue injuries include damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons, often manifesting as sprains, strains, or contusions.
  • Burns, cuts, and bruises: These injuries result from contact with vehicle components, broken glass, or explosions and can range from minor cuts and bruises to serious burns.

Understanding these common injuries is crucial for legal claims, as they significantly impact the compensation required for recovery.

Damages You May Be Able to Recover After a Crash

After a Rhode Island collision, understanding the full range of available damages is crucial when pursuing compensation.

At Gemma Law Associates, we delve deep into each aspect:

  • Medical expenses: In addition to immediate medical costs, this category includes long-term care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any future medical treatment related to the crash.
  • Lost wages and earning capacity: This refers to compensation for not only present lost income but also diminished future earning capacity due to lasting injuries.
  • Pain and suffering: This covers the broad spectrum of physical pain and emotional anguish, including loss of enjoyment of life, anxiety, and other psychological impacts.
  • Loss of consortium: Recognizing the impact an injury can have on relationships, compensation for loss of consortium addresses the diminished companionship, affection, and support suffered by the spouse of the accident victim.
  • Property damage: This refers to the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other personal property damaged during the crash.
  • Other accident-related losses: This category can include out-of-pocket expenses and costs associated with the lifestyle adjustments necessitated by the accident.
  • Punitive damages: In cases of extreme negligence or intentional harm, punitive damages serve as a deterrent and are calculated based on the severity of the offender’s conduct.

Our State’s Most Dangerous Intersections and Roadways

Like any bustling state, Rhode Island has a list of the worst intersections and roadways. Recognizing these danger zones can be crucial for driver safety and legal awareness.

Problem locations include:

  • Exit 20, I-95, Providence: Infamous as New England’s most dangerous intersection.
  • Interstate 95 (North and South): High traffic volumes lead to frequent accidents.
  • The 6/10 Connector: This dangerous location is known for its complex and heavy traffic flow.
  • Interstate 195: This is a common site for congestion-related collisions.
  • RI 146 (South) at Interstate 95 (South) and RI 146 at Sayles Hill Road: These junctions have challenging traffic patterns and elevated accident rates.
  • Interstate 295 at RI 37 and Interstate 295 (South) at Interstate 95 (South): These areas are particularly prone to traffic mishaps.

Being aware of these hotspots is the key to safely navigating some of the most dangerous intersections in New England


A member of our team can answer any questions you have during your initial consultation. For now, here are a few of our most frequently asked questions:

How Long do You Have to File a Car Accident Claim?

In Rhode Island, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is generally three years from the accident date, per R.I. Gen. Laws § 9-1-14. Failing to file within this period can result in losing the right to seek compensation. Certain circumstances, like claims against government entities, may shorten the deadline.

How Is Liability Proven After a Car Crash?

Proving liability in a car accident involves establishing negligence on the part of the other driver. This means demonstrating that the driver had a duty of care (such as obeying traffic laws), breached this duty (such as speeding or running a red light), and directly caused the accident and your injuries.

Evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and accident reconstruction can be pivotal in proving liability.

What Is the Timeline of a Typical Personal Injury Case?

The timeline of a personal injury claim varies based on its complexity. Simple cases with clear liability and minimal injuries might settle within a few months, while more complex cases involving severe injuries, disputed liability, or litigation can take years.

The process involves investigation, negotiations with insurance companies, and possibly a trial.

How Much Is a Typical Car Accident Case Worth?

The value of a car accident claim depends on several factors, including the following:

  • The severity of injuries
  • The extent of property damage
  • The dollar amount of lost wages
  • The medical expenses incurred and anticipated
  • The impact on your daily life

Minor fender benders with minimal injuries typically result in lower settlements, while severe cases involving long-term or permanent injuries can warrant much higher compensation.

Talk to a Rhode Island Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you were in a car accident in Rhode Island, don’t manage your case alone. The experienced team at Gemma Law Associates is ready to help. We handle a wide range of motor vehicle collision cases, including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents.

We offer personalized attention, a deep understanding of Rhode Island’s car accident laws, and a commitment to securing the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and start your journey to recovery.

Our Rhode Island car accident law firm serves the Greater Providence metro area, including Cranston, Warwick, Pawtucket, South Kingston, Coventry, Woonsocket, North Providence, East Providence, and Cumberland.

Serving the Greater Providence metro area, including Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket, North Providence, South Kingston, Coventry, Cumberland, Woonsocket, and East Providence.

Gemma law is the best and helped and guided me threw everything … highly recommended thank you so much
ellen almgren
ellen almgren
5 stars all the way. They did exactly what was expected. Good Job
Keith Ruggiero
Keith Ruggiero
Very efficient and very good with communicating with me. I received updates about my case without having to call and request them. Very good law office! Very satisfied.
Bethania Herrera
Bethania Herrera
Mark Gemma has been absolutely amazing. He was helpful and answered all concerns and questions I’ve had. Him and his team are beyond incredible, supportive, and sweet. I would like to thank them all for everything they’ve done.
Samantha Argus
Samantha Argus
very professional and honest, what I liked the most is whenever you call the lawyer returns your call with every concern I had. It was my first time and I would not hesitate to trust them again.
Diana Palacio
Diana Palacio
This team is extremely helpful and kind. Mark Gemma was a great help in guiding me through this whole process and was a huge help. I would recommend this team to anyone seeking legal counsel
Zachary Dustin
Zachary Dustin
I am so happy with the turnout of my case. Both Sarah and Peter kept me up to date on everything and worked very hard on my case. The whole staff is friendly and diligent with their work. 100% recommend!
Chelsie Abatiello
Chelsie Abatiello
Managed to get my money before Christmas...in just days after settling! Great communication and always helped with my needs, and always gave good advice. Would definitely recommend.
Trini Luckey
Trini Luckey
Always professional and always checking in on their clients. Excellent atmosphere.
Susan Hallam
Susan Hallam
After spending 8 hours in a hospital overnight to get stitches in my lip because of a drunk driver’s negligent decision to get behind the wheel, the last thing I wanted to do was think about it all. I sent an email to Gemma Law, and Mark Gemma quickly called me back with an empathetic approach to listening to my story and helping me figure out the next steps. When he told me I wouldn’t have to have any contact with the insurance companies, I was HOOKED! When he pointed out how unfortunate it was I might have to miss out on a lip modeling career from a potential scar from the stitches, I was SOLD! And when I finally received my settlement check after letting him do all the leg work while I just focused on recovering, I was and am eternally GRATEFUL! Mark Gemma helped me turn a near death experience into a new start in life and I highly recommend him to anybody needing a personal injury lawyer.
Angie Sherman
Angie Sherman
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