What Can Affect Your Recovery?

Rhode Island uses a pure comparative fault system when determining accident liability. This means, if you’re injured in a car accident, you can recover compensation even if you were negligent and partially responsible. A victim can recover even if he is 99 percent at fault; however, the recovery is reduced by the victim’s degree of fault.

Additionally, in a personal injury claim, Rhode Island does not accept what’s known as “the seat belt defense.” This means, the at-fault driver can’t claim your failure to wear a seat belt counts as negligence or contributed to your injuries. Consequently, your recovery award can’t be reduced because you violated the state’s safety belt laws.

However, other factors could reduce your recovery if the other side can show that you were partially responsible for the accident. These factors include:

  • What you were doing right before the crash
  • How fast you were going
  • Whether you were obeying all traffic laws


Christopher L. Russo
Helping Rhode Island personal injury victims for nearly three decades to get the compensation they deserve.