The Answers You Need for the Questions You’re Forced to Ask

One of the worst aspects of pursuing a case—whether you’re fighting for injury compensation or trying to settle a divorce—is not knowing what to expect. Before you get yourself knee deep in the details of your case allow us to answer some of your questions first. We’ll help you be more fully prepared and more confident as you move forward.

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  • What should I expect during my first meeting with a divorce lawyer?

    The dissolution of a marriage can be overwhelming, so it’s no surprise that many people delay consulting with a divorce lawyer for weeks (or even months) after they have decided to end their marriage. However, this consultation is a vital first step in the process, and it’s helpful to know what will happen during the first meeting with a divorce attorney. Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Kirshenbaum and Kirshenbaum

    What Happens at Your First Meeting With a Divorce Lawyer

    The first thing you should expect in our offices is compassion for what you are going through. As experienced Rhode Island divorce attorneys, we know how stressful this time can be for our clients. You should not be afraid to show your emotions, share your feelings and fears, or be honest about your priorities.

    Your first meeting with us is an opportunity to:

    Ask questions.

    Your questions will be specific to your case, but we commonly hear questions such as: How does the divorce process work? Could I get alimony? Can we divorce through mediation? How much does a divorce cost? You should bring a list of questions to ask, and be prepared to take notes when the attorney responds or makes suggestions.

    Answer questions.

    We will ask a variety of personal but necessary questions, including inquiries about your living situation, children, house, occupation, finances, and any property or investments you own. The more you share with us, the better we can advise you of your legal options.

    Learn your next steps.

    At the end of the meeting, we will outline the steps you need to take as you prepare to separate from your spouse. If you choose to retain us, we will also explain what you can expect from us throughout your divorce proceedings.

    Do You Need To Speak To A Rhode Island Divorce Attorney?

    If you are considering a divorce you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cranston office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help divorce clients in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.

     

  • What is a work-related injury?

    There are many types of injuries covered by workers' compensation, but all of them have one thing in common: they are connected in some way to the victim's employment situation. However, employers and employees may have differing opinions on whether an injury can be considered “work-related.” The precise definition of “work-related” is important because it can affect eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Rhode Island Work Injury Lawyer Kirshenbaum and Kirshenbaum

    Work-Related Injuries Under RI Workers Compensation Laws

    Under Rhode Island workers' compensation laws, the first qualification of a work-related injury is employment status. To collect benefits, you have to be an employee (rather than a day worker or independent contractor) who has suffered a compensable injury during the course of employment.

    An injury may be considered “in the course of employment” if it occurs:

    While on your regular shift.

    Many on-the-clock injuries are related to employment because the employee is at the workplace and performing regular job duties. However, off-the-clock injuries can also qualify for workers’ compensation.

    At the workplace.

    If you were not officially working at the time of the injury (such as on a lunch break), the injury may still qualify as work-related if it took place on company premises.

    On work-related travel.

    Workers’ compensation provides payment for accidents suffered by workers traveling in company vehicles, performing errands for an employer, or traveling for work.

    While at a company function.

    Accidents at any event sponsored by the employer such as a company picnic or holiday party can qualify an employee for injury benefits.

    As a result of your daily work activities.

    Cumulative injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome, psychological injuries, or occupational illnesses) can take years to develop from the nature of the work you perform. Workers’ compensation can provide coverage for these conditions, as well as for injuries that were caused or worsened by a preexisting condition during employment.

    While you were doing something on behalf of your employer.

    As long as your injury can be connected in some way to your employment, there is a good chance you will qualify for benefits.

    Have You Been Injured On The Job In  Rhode Island?

    If you've been hurt at work you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cranston office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help work injury victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.

     

  • How much does it cost to hire a personal injury lawyer?

    Many people put off the decision to hire a lawyer for financial reasons. Accident victims may be unable to work during their recovery and often struggle to keep up with the costs of ongoing medical bills related to their injuries. However, many personal injury lawyers offer a contingent fee arrangement for injury clients, making it possible for accident victims to get legal help without taking on additional debt. The cost of hiring a personal injury attorney

    How a Contingent Fee Works

    At Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum, all of our injury cases begin with a free initial consultation to answer your questions, identify any potential problems, and explain your next steps. If you wish to hire us, we will sign a fee agreement that provides transparency of all of our costs and protects you from any further losses.

    Financial benefits of our contingency fee arrangement include:

    • No costs up front. In a contingency fee arrangement, our firm covers all court costs and legal expenses until your case has been resolved. Our fees are paid with a portion of the amount we recover for you, as well as reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses paid on your behalf. We ensure that you will have sufficient funds to cover your lost income, medical treatment, disability costs, and other losses stemming from the accident even after our fees have been deducted from the settlement.
    • No hourly fees. There is no hourly billing in a contingent fee agreement. Our attorneys will determine the contingency percentage based on the time and effort it will take us to get you what you deserve in your case.
    • No fees if your case is not successful. If your case is not successful, you will not owe us any fees for our legal services. You are only responsible for out-of-pocket expenses and the costs of filing the case.

    The injury attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can answer your questions and help you get the compensation you deserve after an accident. Contact us today via our online form to schedule your initial consultation with an injury lawyer.

     

  • Can I get a second medical opinion if the company doctor says my injury was not work-related?

    Rhode Island workers’ compensation laws allow injured employees to select the medical provider of their choice for treatment of their injuries. However, if employees want to use a provider other than the one assigned by the employer, the costs may not be covered under workers’ compensation benefits—especially if the first doctor says that the injury was not sustained in the course of their work. Workers' comp injury and getting a second opinion

    What to Do If a Doctor Says Your Injury Was Not Work-Related

    You should know that your employer can compel you to attend an appointment with a medical provider to assess the nature of your injuries in the course of your workers’ compensation claim. However, that does not mean you have to treat with the employer’s physician for all of your injury care. If the employer’s chosen medical provider has said that the injury is not work-related, you have every right to select your own doctor for an impartial diagnosis.

    Employees may need a second medical opinion in cases involving:

    • Employer conflicts. If the doctor you are seeing relies on referrals from your employer, he may claim that you can return to work as soon as possible or that your injuries are not serious. This is a conflict of interest and warrants a second opinion.
    • Occupational illnesses. A doctor may have difficulty determining how much of your condition was caused by your lifestyle versus a hazard at work. For example, if you are a smoker and work in a factory that produces hazardous chemicals, your doctor may deem that your respiratory condition was caused by smoking rather than inhaling noxious fumes.
    • Previous injuries. A doctor may wrongly believe that your current injury was influenced by your previous medical history, or even that your injury is just a “flare up” of your condition and unrelated to your work. You may need to consult with a specialist to determine the link between prior and existing injuries.

    If you are unable to work because of an accident on the job, it is always worth considering whether someone could be held liable for a work-related injury. The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can examine the details of your case, answer your questions, and help you through your next steps. To speak with a member of our team, call us, or fill out the online contact form on this page.

     

  • How can I give my best testimony at a divorce deposition?

    Most divorce proceedings are resolved without trial, but spouses headed to the courtroom will have to undergo a discovery process to gather evidence that could benefit their cases. Part of this process involves giving sworn testimony outside of the courtroom, known as a deposition. Rhode Island Divorce Lawyers

    How to Give Your Best Testimony in a Divorce Deposition

    As experienced Rhode Island divorce attorneys, we have conducted our share of divorce depositions. We know how important it is for divorcing spouses to give their best testimony in their depositions to achieve their goals for separation.

    On the day of your deposition, it is vital that you:

    Tell the truth.

    If you are caught in a lie, your spouse may be able to discredit you and attack your credibility on other points. Be honest in your responses, and do not attempt to guess at an answer if you aren’t sure. It is always ok to say you don’t know the answer or don’t remember.

    Keep answers short.

    You must answer direct questions put to you by the opposing attorney. However, you do not have to offer additional information, and doing so could help your spouse’s case.

    Stay calm.

    An opposing attorney may ask about your mental and physical health, your income, your lifestyle choices, and other factors. In custody battles, these may be pointed questions intended to portray you as an unsupportive parent. If you suspect the other attorney is trying to upset or provoke you, do not respond. Your attorney can intercede on your behalf or ask for a break if you are being treated unfairly.

    Do not make jokes.

    Some people attempt a joke during depositions in order to make themselves more relatable or simply because they are nervous. However, these jokes may not translate well when they are read back on the transcript and may be seen as flippant or disrespectful.

    Do You Need To Speak To A Rhode Island Divorce Attorney?

    If you are considering a divorce you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cranston office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help divorce clients in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.

     

  • Can I sue a coworker for negligence?

    Workers' compensation laws create an "exclusive remedy" for employees to recover damages from an employer after an accident at work. Thus, an injured worker may not make a negligence claim against his or her employer or any fellow employee engaged by the same employer—even if an employer or coworker’s negligence caused the injury. However, employees who collect workers’ compensation benefits may be eligible to file an injury claim against a negligent third party. Suing a coworker for injury

    Parties That May Be Sued After a Work Injury

    While employees can collect payment for medical treatment and disability through workers’ compensation, these benefits may not be enough to cover the full cost of their injuries. A third-party claim allows an injured worker to recover medical expenses and lost wages, along with pain and suffering damages to cover the full costs of a severe injury.

    Other than an employer or co-worker, employees can file a lawsuit against any negligent individual or company such as:

    • Independent contractors. If an employee was injured by a coworker who is classified as an independent contractor or who works for a different employer, the workers’ compensation exclusive remedy provision does not apply.
    • At-fault drivers. If an employee is injured in a car accident while performing work duties, he or she can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
    • Manufacturers. Workers who are hurt due to a defective piece of equipment may sue the product’s manufacturer for negligence.
    • Contractors. If an employee is injured while working on a construction site, he or she may have a claim against the general contractor or a sub-contractor.
    • Property owners. If the injury was caused by a defective condition on the property, the owner of the land, building owner, or the company responsible for maintenance may be sued for negligence.

    If you are unable to work because of an accident on the job, it is always worth considering whether someone could be held liable for a work-related injury. The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can examine the details of your case, answer your questions, and help you through your next steps. To speak with a member of our team, simply fill out the online contact form on this page.

     

  • Who can be liable for a car accident caused by road debris?

    Even the most careful drivers can suffer car accidents when the roadway is littered with debris. Dropped cargo, tire treads, and roadkill can clutter highways and city streets, putting drivers and their passengers at risk. When these accidents occur, who’s responsible for paying the costs of medical bills and property damage? Car accidents caused by road debris

    Road Debris That Can Cause Serious Accidents and Injuries

    Debris accidents can occur after trucks spill cargo onto the roadway, items fall from car roofs or trunks, or items are left on the side of the road. In most cases, debris crashes are caused by items that are low to the ground and difficult to see, appearing just seconds before they slide under a driver’s wheels.

    Even if you manage to avoid hitting objects in the road, you and your passengers may still be injured by:

    Evasive maneuvers.

    Many people instinctively swerve to avoid an unexpected object directly in their driving path, sending them into a head-on collision with vehicles in an adjacent lane of traffic.

    Sudden braking.

    Drivers who slam on the brakes when they see an object in the road may cause a rear-end collision as cars pile up behind them.

    Falling debris.

    Sometimes debris doesn’t drop onto the roadway but falls directly from an overpass or another vehicle onto a driver’s roof or windshield. 

    Road conditions.

    Contact with potholes and spilled gravel can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, sending them into guardrails and ditches or causing them to sideswipe vehicles in the next lane.

    If you were injured by road debris, there could be a number of parties at fault for the accident. The nature of the debris will ultimately determine the person who was negligent. Trucking carriers may be liable for spilling unsecured cargo, other drivers can be liable for failing to secure bikes or large items before driving, and municipal governments may be responsible for road maintenance issues.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cranston office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help accident victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.

     

  • Where should we file for divorce if my spouse and I currently live in different states?

    The road to divorce is not always straightforward. Some spouses decide to separate while still living together, but others will enter divorce proceedings after years of living apart—sometimes after one spouse has moved to a different state. Divorces involving spouses living in different states are often more complicated than those filed by spouses who live in the same community. RI Divorce Lawyers

    How to Determine Which Court Has Jurisdiction Over Your Divorce

    Couples can only file for a divorce in the state and county that has jurisdiction to hear the case. However, you do not necessarily have to file in the state that issued your marriage license or even the one in which you currently live. The jurisdiction for your divorce case will depend on both spouses’ locations and how long each one has lived there.

    While the divorce process is much the same in every state, the specific rules and requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction. For example, you may be compelled to file your divorce in a specific state if:

    You do not meet residency requirements.

    Each state has a minimum length of time that a spouse must live there before he or she can get a divorce in the state. Usually, only one spouse will need to meet the residency requirement, and that spouse will have to file the paperwork for the divorce to be heard. If you move to Rhode Island and do not meet the residency requirement, you may only be eligible to file in the state where you and your spouse cohabitated.

    Your spouse is first to file.

    If two different states are eligible to have jurisdiction over a marriage, the state that takes jurisdiction will be the state where a divorce petition is first filed. This could give the filing spouse an advantage in a contested divorce, since he or she will not have to travel as far to participate in hearings and the trial. The out-of-state spouse may also have to hire an attorney in the state where the divorce is pending instead of using an attorney from his or her home state.

    Your children live in another state.

    If your children attend school in the state where your spouse lives and your spouse meets residency requirements, filing in your spouse’s state may be less stressful for the children. However, you should understand the state’s requirements regarding child support, child custody agreements, and spousal support.

    Do You Need To Speak To A Rhode Island Divorce Attorney?

    If you are considering a divorce you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cranston office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help divorce clients in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.

     

  • What should I do after being served with divorce papers?

    Being served with divorce papers can be highly stressful, especially if you weren’t expecting it. It’s important to understand how you can respond to a petition for divorce in a productive way. ​

    Responding to a Rhode Island Divorce Petition

    People are often hurt or confused when served with divorce papers because those papers are delivered by someone other than the spouse. However, this is not necessarily a reflection of your spouse’s feelings toward you. Rhode Island law requires divorce papers to be served by a local sheriff, private constable, or other acceptable third party. This person will record your receipt of the documents, starting the “clock” on the time you have to respond.

    Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer

    After you have been served with divorce papers, you should:

    Accept the documents.

    It is never a good idea to refuse service of divorce papers. The person serving the paperwork is merely delivering copies of a complaint that has already been filed with the court, so it will not stop the legal process from continuing. In addition, refusing can result in a default judgment against you, meaning your spouse will get everything he has asked for in the petition. The best response is to accept the divorce petition, and prepare your response.

    Read through the paperwork.

    You will be given several different documents, including the legal complaint, a summons, and the petition for dissolution of marriage. Read through the papers carefully, so you understand the demands your partner is making, particularly with regard to shared finances, custody, and alimony.

    Speak to an attorney.

    If you have received divorce paperwork, your spouse has already prepared the divorce petition and financial documents, filed with the court, and, very likely, hired his own attorney. Your own attorney will go through the petition with you, prepare a response that addresses each spouse’s demands, and make sure that your response is filed by the deadline.

    Do You Need To Speak To A Rhode Island Divorce Attorney?

    If you are considering a divorce you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Cranston office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help divorce clients in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.

     

  • Are part-time employees eligible for workers’ compensation?

    In Rhode Island, employees are eligible for workers’ compensation even if they do not work a standard 40-hour workweek. A part-time employee (someone who typically works less than 20 hours per week) is owed the full amount of necessary medical payment for his injuries, as well as a living accommodation based on his Average Weekly Wage (AWW). Workers' comp for part-time employees

    Workers’ Compensation Considerations for Part-Time Workers

    To calculate an injured part-time worker’s AWW, insurers are required to calculate earnings for the 26 consecutive weeks prior to the date of incapacity (not including the week of injury or the week of hire). If an employee works multiple part-time jobs, the AWW will be calculated based on wages earned from all employers for 26 weeks prior to injury.

    Although wage calculations may differ slightly for other types of employees, being a part-time worker does not affect eligibility for workers’ compensation. In general, you will qualify for medical and wage loss benefits through workers’ compensation if you:

    • Are an employee. As long as you are considered an employee rather than an independent contractor, it does not matter whether you are a full-time, part-time, or seasonal worker.
    • Were injured in the scope of employment. Only injuries that have been sustained “in the course and scope of employment” will be covered by workers’ compensation. This can include a wide range of occupational injuries such as a sudden accident, repeated physical strain or trauma, or an illness caused by the conditions of the work environment.
    • Have been out of work for at least three days. The Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Act states that an insurer does not have to pay any wage losses for the first three consecutive days post-injury. However, the insurer is still liable for any medical expenses related to the injury incurred on those days.

    If you are unable to work because of an injury on the job, the attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can examine the details of your case, answer your questions, and help you through your next steps. To speak with a member of our team, simply fill out the online contact form on this page.