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 is a parenting plan?

    A parenting plan is a legal document that clearly describes how the parents will divide custody of shared children after a divorce. All couples who have a child together must create a detailed parenting plan that governs custody arrangements until the child comes of age. Rhode Island Divorce & Child Custody Attorney Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum

    What to Include in Your Parenting Plan

    Parenting plans focus on much more than just questions of joint custody and sole custody. Instead, they create a framework for co-parenting and for solving child-related problems together after divorce. These plans usually include provisions for physical custody as well as legal custody and must be structured in a way that is in the best interests of the child.

    A parenting plan should provide a clear guide to:

    • Which days and the length of time the child will spend with each parent every year
    • How summer and winter holidays will be spent with each parent / grandparent (including travel times, and who is responsible for transport)
    • Dates and times of child pick-up and drop-off (and which parent is responsible for transport)
    • Visitation schedules for parents and extended family members without custody
    • Extracurricular activities for each child, and who will pay these costs
    • Observance or preservation of the family’s (or child’s) religious beliefs
    • Protocol for handling any cancellations or postponements of custody
    • Protocol for traveling out of state with the child
    • Who will make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, education, health, and social issues
    • Instructions for a child’s special medical or educational needs
    • How the child will be disciplined or rewarded for their behavior
    • How the parties will work out disagreements about the child

    Do You Need To Speak To A Rhode Island Family Law Attorney?

    If  you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce family law attorney  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 a trucking company be liable for an employee’s distracted driving?

    While any driver can be drawn into a phone conversation or a text exchange, truckers are at a higher risk of distraction due to the nature of the work they do and the amount of time spent behind the wheel. When a truck driver is distracted, you may wonder if they are solely to blame for the crash, or if the trucking company is part of the problem. 

    Rhode Island Truck Accident Lawyer Kirshenbaum and Kirshenbaum

    Employer Liability for Distracted Truck and Delivery Drivers

    If a trucking company is found to be partially liable for your collision, you may be owed compensation for your medical bills and losses under the commercial carrier’s insurance policy.

    An employer might share liability if the accident involved:

    Hands-free devices.

    Employers may provide truckers with hands-free systems or accessories with wireless technology to make and take calls. An attorney can investigate whether these accessories were provided by the company, and whether they were working properly at the time of the crash.

    Outdated equipment.

    The GPS and radio equipment in the truck’s cab could be inherently distracting. For example, CB radios require the use of one hand when speaking, potentially violating Rhode Island’s hands-free law. If the communications equipment is outdated or hasn’t been properly maintained, the trucking company may share liability for the crash.

    Workflow problems.

    A driver may have no choice but to consult the GPS, radio for help, or use electronics while driving if the employer has not created a protocol to address common problems on the road.

    Company policies.

    Employers may be encouraging distracting behaviors or failing to provide reasonably safe alternatives. For example, company records may show that company policy prohibits cell phone use while driving, but witnesses may attest that truckers are not allowed to pull over before answering a call.

    Have You Been Involved In A Rhode Island Truck Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a truck accident you need to speak to an experienced truck 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 truck accident victims in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.

     

  • What is a child custody evaluation?

    When parents divorce, they may not agree on who should have primary custody of the child. In order to determine where the child will be raised, the court may order a child custody evaluation for one or both parents. It is important that you are well-prepared for the evaluation, since the assessment they make can determine who should have custody or

    how the parents will divide custodyRhode Island Child Custody Lawyer Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum

    How to Prepare for a Child Custody Evaluation In Rhode Island

    The evaluator is someone with professional experience in child welfare and has only one goal in mind: deciding what is best for the child. They will visit your home, ask questions, and speak with your child to get an idea of your daily life. After the evaluator has reported their findings to the judge, the judge will use the information to make a final ruling in the custody hearing on where the child will live.

    In order to make a good impression during the evaluation, you should:

    Be honest.

    You may be asked difficult questions about your parenting style and personal relationships, as well as respond to comments or concerns made by your ex-spouse. It’s vital to answer questions honestly and avoid misrepresenting anything about the child’s home life—even if you think it could benefit your case.

    Make your child comfortable.

    You should let your child know someone will be coming to the house to ask questions, and they should act normally while the evaluator is there. Don’t coach or prompt your child to lie. Evaluators are skilled at observing interactions between parents and children, and they are trained to recognize when a child has been coached or is uneasy about responding.

    Provide good references.

    You will be asked for a list of references who will be contacted for follow-up interviews. Make sure you choose a good mix of family and friends who can attest to your ability to provide a safe and happy home.

    Do You Need To Speak To A Rhode Island Family Law Attorney?

    If  you need to speak with an experienced Rhode Island divorce family law attorney  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.

     

  • Who is at fault for a car accident in foggy weather?

    Fog is a deadly weather condition because it reduces visibility and alters a driver’s perception of distance and speed. A driver’s inability to differentiate between moving and stationary objects can cause an accident, and victims may suffer injuries and/or a long-term disability that affect their lives for years. Accidents in foggy weather

    Liability for a Car Accident in Fog

    When you’re a victim in a crash case, it’s your responsibility to prove the at-fault driver’s negligence—and fog and other weather conditions can make it difficult to prove liability. While drivers can’t be held responsible for the weather, they have a duty to take all necessary precautions to stay safe on the road.

    The other driver could be liable for your medical bills and injury costs if they did not adjust their driving in dense fog conditions. For example, a driver could he negligent if they were:

    • Speeding. Speeding is deadly even on a sunny day but can cause havoc when visibility is reduced. Traveling too fast for conditions decreases the distance between vehicles and makes it more difficult to stop safely. Since posted speed limits apply to ideal weather conditions, the driver that struck you could still have been traveling too fast even if they were obeying the speed limit.
    • Failing to increase visibility. Standard headlights can reflect off the moisture in the air, making visibility in foggy conditions worse. A driver could be negligent if they were not using the car’s fog lights or low-beam headlights or if their taillights and brake lights were not working properly.
    • Failing to exercise due caution. Travel during low-visibility conditions should be restricted to necessary trips on well-known roads. If the driver who struck you was taking an unknown route, had no cause to be driving, or was taking any unnecessary risks, they may be found liable for negligence.

    If you were hurt in a crash, it will take an experienced car accident attorney to prove that you are not to blame and collect the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can answer your questions and fight on your behalf—and you won’t pay any attorney fees if your case is not successful. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation with an injury lawyer.

     

  • Can I accrue paid vacation time while on workers’ comp?

    Most employees are not eligible to accrue paid time off (PTO) while receiving Rhode Island workers’ compensation benefits for temporary total disability (TTD). However, there is nothing preventing you from using your existing holiday pay, vacation hours, or other forms of PTO to supplement your benefits while out on workers’ compensation leave. Accruing vacation on workers' comp Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum

    Using Paid Time Off While On Workers' Comp

    The amount paid by workers’ compensation will be less than your usual paycheck, but you can use paid sick leave while drawing your weekly benefits. However, any sick time used will be subject to state and federal taxes, as well as any other deductions made in your normal paycheck.

    For example, injured workers could use PTO:

    During the waiting period.

    Rhode Island imposes a three-day waiting period before injured workers can begin drawing workers' compensation weekly benefits. Using three days of sick leave can be especially helpful in the first days after an injury.

    While recovering.

    After you are placed on workers' compensation leave, you may use PTO or sick leave to supplement your benefits. Keep in mind that your combined benefits and PTO cannot exceed your regular (pre-injury) base pay.

    When starting back at work.

    If you earn wages from your current employer while on workers’ compensation, you should accrue vacation hours at the same rate you normally would if you were working full-time. In addition, you will accrue PTO on any normal hours worked as you return to your former employment.

    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.

     

  • What if my ex-spouse and I don’t agree about how to raise the kids after our divorce?

    One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is deciding what is best for the children. Parents will have to make choices for their kids that can have long-lasting consequences, such as where their child will live and go to school. 

    Divorce and children Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum

    When You and Your Ex Have Different Preferences

    Parents may have differing views, opinions, and preferences about how to raise their children. In all custody matters, the court will rule on the basis of what is in the best interest of the child. A judge will not allow parental rules or restrictions to continue if they cause harm to the emotional or physical health of the child. But what if parents simply cannot agree on the best way to bring up their children?

    There are many different solutions available in these custody disputes, including:

    Staying the course.

    Most parents have already put a plan in place for their children’s upbringing, even if it has not formally been written down. If the child regularly attends a certain school or religious service, a judge will likely recommend that the current plan continues, so the child’s life is not disrupted.

    Mediation and compromise.

    It is in both parents’ best interests to work together and stay respectful of one another’s wishes on all parenting matters. Not only does this reinforce the strength of the parental unit, it prevents the need for court intervention. For example, there should be a clear understanding of whether the child will attend religious services with each parent.

    An open mind about the future.

    All child custody agreements are bound to change as the child ages. Children may have their own input as they become young adults, and their own beliefs should be taken into account.

    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.

     

  • When will my workers’ compensation benefits end?

    It is understandable that you want your workers’ compensation benefits to cover as much of your injury recovery as possible. Under Rhode Island workers' compensation laws, you may be entitled to receive benefits for a few weeks, several years, or the rest of your life depending on the type and extent of your injury.

    Your Injury Determines Your Workers’ Compensation Benefit Period 

    Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Lawyers Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum

    When you file for workers’ compensation, the category of your payments and the amount you receive will change as your injury progresses. In the first phase of your workers’ compensation, you will receive payments for temporary total disability (TTD). You are considered completely unable to work during your recovery, but benefits will end once your doctor clears you to return to work.

    However, if you reach maximum medical improvement but still cannot work due to complications from the injury, your benefits may continue as:

    Scheduled permanent disability.

    If your injury is listed on the state workers’ compensation injury schedule, you are entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wages for the number of weeks corresponding to the injury.

    Non-scheduled permanent disability.

    If your injury is not listed on the state workers’ compensation injury schedule, you may collect a percentage of your average weekly wages for up to 312 weeks. If your injury involves permanent disfigurement, your benefits may continue for up to 500 weeks.

    Total permanent disability.

    If your injury has left you permanently and completely unable to work, you may be entitled to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits. These benefits continue indefinitely as long as you continue to meet the disability qualifications. However, you will likely need a lawyer to prove the extent of your injuries and how they prevent you from earning a living.

    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 get divorced?

    If you are planning to divorce your spouse, you may have already budgeted for the costs of filing fees and legal help. However, there are many other costs beyond attorney fees and court costs—and people are often shocked at the amount of unexpected expenses. Prevent making common mistakes during the divorce process by planning for these hidden costs. Cranston Rhode Island Divorce Lawyer Kirsehnbaum and Kirshenbaum

    Be Prepared for Additional Divorce Costs

    A good divorce attorney should give you a written estimate of their fees, as well as any potential legal costs of preparing and filing your divorce petition. They may also advise you on whether it is a good idea to hire outside experts to help you get the divorce settlement you deserve.

    There additional professional services may include:

    Appraisals.

    If you have assets that could be extremely valuable—such as jewelry, art collections, furs, or investments—you may need a certified appraiser to assign a value for each one. If this is not done by a professional, the value of items may be significantly over- or undervalued, leaving you at a disadvantage during property division negotiations.

    Business valuation.

    If you and your spouse run a business, you may need a business valuation expert to determine the value of the company and how to arrange a buyout. You may also incur charges if you need to draft new business plans or governing documents to reflect the changes in the company.

    Forensic financial investigation.

    If you are not involved in the financial aspects of the marriage, you may need forensic financial investigators to gather information about your spouse’s holdings, debts, bank accounts, and other potentially hidden assets.

    Estate planning.

    You may need to hire an attorney to make changes to your will, name new beneficiaries on your insurance policies and healthcare documents, and ensure your ex-spouse will not accidentally inherit upon your death.

    Moving costs.

    The spouse leaving the family home will need to plan for increased expenses. For example, that spouse should plan for packers and moving professionals, rent, utilities, and increased commuter mileage. The person remaining in the home may need to budget for mortgage, tax, and utility payments.

    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.

     

  • How long do I have to notify my employer of a work injury?

    It is always best to report an injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible. However, there may be circumstances that make it difficult or impossible for an employee to report an injury on the same day (such as if a worker is unconscious after an accident and rushed to the hospital). For this reason, Rhode Island workers' compensation laws give employees 30 days to report a work-related injury. Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Lawyers Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum

    Reasons Why People Delay Notifying an Employer of an On-the-Job Injury

    There are many reasons people delay notification about an on-the-job injury or choose not to notify their employer at all. These include:

    Being concerned about losing your job.

    Some employees put off making an official accident report because they fear retaliation. But it’s illegal for anyone at your workplace to discriminate against you for seeking rightful workers’ compensation.

    Believing your injury isn’t serious.

    Always report an accident, even if you think you are not seriously hurt. By making a record of the incident, you will make it harder for an employer or insurance company to argue that you were injured away from the workplace.

    Being unable to return to the job site.

    You don’t have to personally deliver an incident report or fill out the report at the place of work. Notice may be given in person or in writing by a third party such as your doctor or spouse.

    Being anxious about making a mistake.

    You can keep your notification short and simple, noting the date and time of the accident and the people present. If you report the incident verbally, make sure a reliable witness is present.

    It’s important to note that there are many different deadlines involved in filing a workers' compensation claim. You only have a month to notify an employer of your injury, but you have up to two years to file a workers’ compensation claim. 

    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.

     

  • What are the benefits of filing a wrongful death lawsuit?

    It’s hard to know what to do when someone you love is suddenly taken away. People may tell you to move on, but you have lost too much to simply put it behind you—especially when the death could have been prevented. You may wonder if a wrongful death lawsuit can really help ease the pain. Cranston Rhode Island Wrongful Death Attorney Kirshenbaum and Kirshenbaum

    Reasons for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

    Most people who file a wrongful death lawsuit are not looking to make a profit. Grieving loved ones usually don’t want to capitalize on their loss.

    The biggest motivations for filing a lawsuit after a fatal injury are:

    Holding the negligent person responsible.

    Relatives may try to make sense of the tragedy, work to find out exactly why the accident happened, and determine who is liable for their loss. Holding someone accountable for negligence can also prevent a similar tragedy from occurring in the future.

    Obtaining compensation for losses.

    The loss of a family member is tragic, but asking you to bear an additional lifelong financial burden is not fair. While no amount of money can relieve your emotional suffering, we help you collect payment for your out-of-pocket expenses and increased costs resulting from the loss.

    Leaving no stone unturned.

    The fear of judgment from others often prevents relatives from speaking with an attorney for months. This makes it more likely the statute of limitations will run out before they have a chance to bring a claim. We focus on building your case to give you the necessary time to grieve, relieving the pressure you are under in any way we can throughout the case.

    Has Your Loved One Died To The Negligence Of Others?

    If your loved one died to due the negligence of others you need to speak with an experienced wrongful death 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 families in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.