Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, but it's nonetheless a popular tourist destination, with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation reporting there were more than 24.1 million visitors in 2015, with tourism economy reaching $6 billion. One in every eight jobs in the state is sustained directly by the tourism industry.
Many of those who visit are traveling by car, and summer is prime season - with July and August the busiest of the year. That means both locals and travelers need to use extra caution on the roads - particularly on the highways. The state has 70 highways zigzagging through it, though the main routes are I-95, U.S. 1 and I-84.
Compensation for Providence Car Accidents
If you are involved in a Providence car accident, our injury lawyers can help you identify possible avenues for recovering damages. For those who are not from here, the first thing to understand is that Rhode Island is a "tort" state when it comes to crashes. Under this system, you do not buy insurance that protects you directly. Rather, drivers purchase liability insurance, and then whoever was at-fault for the crash is liable (legally responsible) to cover damages.
As the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation Insurance Division notes, drivers must carry minimum limits of bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Many drivers also have uninsured/ underinsured motorist protection, which offers additional coverage in the event those liability limits are not sufficient to fully cover damages (as is often the case in serious crashes). This is important because even though state law requires auto insurance, not all drivers have it or some only carry the minimum.
If you are from out-of-state, but are involved in a crash in Rhode Island - or if you're involved in a crash with a driver from out-of-state - you will need an experienced attorney who can help you carefully examine the facts, help you identify all potential defendants and pursue fair compensation.
Safe Summer Road Trips
If you're planning a road trip in Rhode Island, we encourage you to consider the safety tips as outlined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Have your car serviced. Of course, regular tune-ups- battery checks, tire rotations and oil changes are a good idea anyway. It's critical before you head out on a road trip.
- Check for recalls. Auto recalls hit a record 53.2 million in 2016. You need to be certain your vehicle doesn't have any known issues before heading out. (Though you should know, a recall doesn't absolve a car manufacturer of product liability for a defective vehicle, even if the recall was issued before the crash. In fact, it may be considered an admission of fault.)
- Check your insurance levels. IIf you are able, consider increasing your coverage to ensure you will have adequate compensation if you're in a crash. Your UM/ UIM coverage will likely help you the most, but it should at least be equal to your bodily injury liability limits.
- Make sure children are safe. That means they have a car seat/ booster seat/ seat belt that fits them, and that if they are 13 or younger, they are riding in the back seat.
- Stay alert. On road trips (especially longer ones) it's important to plan your trip with ample time to stop for rest, food, hydration and communication. Consider switching drivers or staying somewhere overnight if you're too tired to continue on.
Our injury lawyers can help you explore your legal options if you are injured in a collision in Providence.