The unexpected and tragic loss of a loved one, in addition to causing grief and pain, can also lead to tremendous financial strain for families, particularly if they’ve lost a primary wage earner or breadwinner. When the death was caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, families in Rhode Island may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit, which is a civil lawsuit, seeking compensation for their losses. How Rhode Island Law Defines Wrongful Death Rhode Island law defines “wrongful death” as one that is caused by “the wrongful act, neglect or default” of another person or entity. The act or neglect that led to the death of the decedent must be the type of action that would have allowed the deceased to file a personal injury claim had he or she survived. A wrongful death occurs when one person dies as a result of the fault of another person or entity. Examples include auto accidents that occurred due to someone else’s negligence, medical malpractice or an intentional act such as a physical assault. As in other types of personal injury cases, the defendant’s liability in a successful wrongful death case is expressed solely in terms of financial compensation or damages that the court orders the defendant to pay to the decedent’s survivors. This is one of many factors that distinguish a civil wrongful death case from a criminal homicide case where a guilty verdict and conviction could result in prison time, fines paid to the state, probation and other penalties. Another significant difference between a criminal homicide case and a wrongful death lawsuit is that in criminal court, the defendant’s guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil lawsuit, the defendant’s liability needs to be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it is more likely than not that the defendant is responsible for the death. A defendant could be sued for wrongful death in civil court even as he or she is facing criminal charges relating to the same death. Under Rhode Island law, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed even if the death was the result of a crime. Proving Wrongful Death In a wrongful death case, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. In order to prove wrongful death, the plaintiff must prove the following four elements: Duty of care: The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care. You must show that the defendant was responsible for the safety of the victim. For example, a driver has a duty to follow the rules of the road and to act in a safe and reasonable manner. Breach of duty: Plaintiffs must also show that defendants violated or breached that duty of care by acting negligently or carelessly. For example, when a driver operates under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, that amounts to a breach of duty to others who are using the roadway. Causation: Plaintiffs must also show how the breach of duty caused the victim’s wrongful death. For example, in a medical malpractice case, plaintiffs must show that a medical professional’s failure to diagnose cancer directly caused the victim’s death. While it may seem like an obvious connection, it could require extensive testimony from experts to show and prove causation. Damages: You must also prove that the victim’s wrongful death resulted in compensable damages such as medical bills (that were incurred before the victim’s death), funeral and burial costs, lost future income, etc. Calculating the financial losses of the victim’s surviving dependents and beneficiaries is how you arrive at the final settlement amount. The value or worth of a wrongful death lawsuit will depend not just on the victims’ losses but also the level of negligence on the part of the defendant. In some cases where the level of negligence or wrongdoing is egregious or outrageous, juries or courts may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. This is meant to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in similar behavior. Why You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer It can be extremely challenging to navigate the complexities of a wrongful death lawsuit, especially when you are still grieving the loss of a loved one. An experienced Rhode Island Wrongful Death Lawyer will help protect your rights every step of the way, help compile crucial evidence and also assist you with avoiding the pitfalls that could potentially jeopardize your claim. Call our law firm at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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Recently d’Oliveira & Associates attorney, Cara Gallucci, obtained a $100,000 settlement from North Carolina Farm Bureau for a Rehoboth, MA woman, who was injured in a car accident. Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by another vehicle, which had lost control. Our client sustained severe injuries to her ankle, ribs, neck and back. Soon after the accident, she called our Attleboro office where she was assisted by attorney Cara Gallucci and paralegal Kristen DiChiaro. Attorney Cara Gallucci said, “We are so grateful to have been able to help this young lady get back on track after this accident. She was a pleasure to work with and we are very happy that she is doing so much better.” To learn more about your rights after being the victim of a car accident, please visit our Rhode Island car accident page or our Massachusetts car accident page. Contact an Attleboro Car Accident Lawyer If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, earnings lost from work and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our Attleboro Car Accident Lawyer will fully take care of all the legal aspects of your case so you focus solely on your recovery. Call our Attleboro office at 508-223-1133 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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Recently d’Oliveira & Associates attorney, Cara Gallucci, obtained a $100,000 settlement from Commerce Insurance for a Taunton, MA woman, who was injured in a car accident. Our client was traveling with the right of way when another vehicle ran a red traffic light and struck her vehicle. As a result, she suffered neck, back and shoulder pain. After attempting to deal with the insurance companies on her own, she contacted our Taunton office where she was assisted by attorney Cara Gallucci and paralegal Kristen DiChiaro. Attorney Cara Gallucci said, “This woman worked very hard at her recovery, and we worked equally hard to get her a resolution to the case that she deserved. We are very happy that she improved and can move forward.” Please visit our Rhode Island car accident page or our Massachusetts car accident page to see how a personal injury attorney can best assist you. Contact a Taunton Car Accident Lawyer If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, earnings lost from work and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our Taunton Car Accident Lawyer have the experience and knowledge to obtain maximum compensation for your claim. Call our Taunton office at 508-822-6373 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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A Warwick man received a $610,000 settlement for his defective hernia mesh case. The client experienced extreme pain from a defective hernia mesh that was implanted a few years prior. A removal was required and extensive healing was needed. d’Oliveira & Associates maintained joint responsibility with an attorney that specializes in hernia mesh cases, who settled the case out of court. A defective medical device can have life-altering negative effects on a patient. Visit our webpage to see which defective medical device cases we handle. Contact an Experiences Hernia Mesh Lawyer If you or a loved one had a defective hernia mesh implanted that required a revision surgery, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and lost earnings, among other losses. We work with some of the most experienced Hernia Mesh Lawyers who can help to get you the best possible compensation for your injuries. Please call us today toll-free 24/7 at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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It is never a simple or easy decision to place a loved one in a nursing home. When we entrust a loved one to the care of a nursing home, we believe that the administration and staff will protect our loved ones and treat them with the respect and dignity they deserve. However, this is not always the case in nursing homes. We often hear about and see heartbreaking reports of abuse and neglect, putting some of the most vulnerable members of our society in harm’s way. What makes this worse is that it is also common for nursing homes and assisted living facilities to cover the abuse and neglect that is taking place. According to a 2017 report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), one in four or about 25% of serious nursing home abuse cases are not reported to the authorities. Here are just a few strategies nursing homes use to conceal incidents of abuse and/or neglect that occur in their facilities: Not reporting the incidents: Even though nursing homes are required under the law to report suspected abuse and/or neglect to the Department of Health and Human Services or to a state health agency, many are not diligent about it. Staff members may refrain from reporting because they may be afraid of losing their jobs and livelihood. Administrators may hesitate to report because they may worry about the facility’s reputation. As Rhode Island nursing home abuse lawyers, we know that administrators at nursing homes and owners of these facilities are more worried about their own profitability than protecting their vulnerable residents. Some nursing homes even have unwritten policies that discourage employees from reporting injuries to residents. There are facilities that may retaliate against staff members who do report these incidents by firing or demoting them. Lying about injury and harm: In some cases, a nursing home may cover up injury or harm to a resident with lies. For example, an administrator or employee at a nursing home may say that a resident suffered an injury because of a fall when it may have been caused by physical abuse. There have even been extreme cases where staff members try to hide injuries on residents by using makeup, clothing with long sleeves, etc. Lying about a resident’s injury or trying to cover it up is illegal and is often a blatant attempt to protect the nursing home from being held accountable. Falsifying records: This is another strategy nursing homes utilize to cover up abuse or neglect. Administrators may order staff members to doctor nursing home records or they may be ordered to create new ones. In other situations, a staff member may simply input false or inaccurate information because they are overworked or want to save time. For example, they may input information without even monitoring or checking the resident’s condition, which could be dangerous. Not documenting injury or harm: When a resident is being abused or neglected, there are typically a number of telltale signs. For example, if a resident is being physically abused, there may be symptoms such as cuts, burns, bruises or even broken bones. If the resident is being neglected, such as being denied food or fluids, he or she may suffer unexplained weight loss. If a resident is being emotionally abused, he or she may become more withdrawn or show changes in mood or personality. They may also become more agitated or withdrawn. When you don’t see documentation of such obvious signs, it may be a sign that your loved one is being abused or neglected. What to Do If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect Never ignore any signs that your loved one may be suffering abuse or neglect while in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility. Make it a point to talk with your loved one often or visit them whenever possible at different times, so you get a full picture of how they are being treated. If you notice any physical signs of neglect or abuse, reaching out to an experienced Rhode Island nursing home lawyer is the best way to go. You can try talking to nursing home administrators first. But, if you don’t get a satisfactory answer, there is a good chance that they are attempting a cover-up. A knowledgeable Rhode Island Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer knows how to look for signs of neglect or abuse and the tactics nursing homes employ to hide their actions and evade accountability. Call our office at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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When we consider the effects of an auto accident, we rarely think about the emotional and psychological effects it can have on an individual. Oftentimes, we only worry about addressing the physical effects, such as the physical pain of the injuries, which, of course, is important. You have to do what you need to do to heal your body. However, it is important not to ignore what’s going on with your emotions in the aftermath of an auto accident. Studies show that victims of major auto accidents are at an increased risk of suffering depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Emotional Trauma After a Car Accident Being involved in a traumatic event such as an auto accident can turn the victim’s life upside down. In some cases, auto accident victims may be diagnosed with a mental health condition, which they developed because of the accident. One of the most common mental health conditions people develop after an auto accident is PTSD. While this condition is normally associated with sexual assault victims or soldiers returning from combat, virtually any type of traumatizing event can cause this condition. Auto accidents, particularly violent accidents, can be traumatizing for victims. They may have recurring and intense memories of the accidents. They may have flashbacks of the accident that may result in periods of blackouts. They may also have panic attacks or nightmares and avoid driving because of the anxiety caused by getting behind the wheel. Some may also become depressed and withdrawn from family and friends. In some cases, they may engage in self-harm or even have suicidal ideation. In some cases, these symptoms may manifest as behavioral issues such as anger, nervousness and mood swings. Some victims may not even be able to focus or return to work. For a majority of traffic accident victims, the overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety might gradually ease over time. However, for others, those feelings might not go away and, in some cases, may even become stronger. This can get in the way of you living your life. Some of the symptoms you should pay attention to include: A general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness that is continual. Feeling anxious about driving or even riding in vehicles. Reluctance to have medical tests or procedures done. Irritability or excessive anger or worry. Trouble falling asleep or being awakened by nightmares. A feeling of disconnect from people or events. Ongoing memories of the accident that you feel are beyond your control. Getting the Help You Need If you or a loved one is experiencing emotional trauma after an auto accident, there are a few steps that can be taken that could help. First, do not be afraid to share what you are experiencing with family members, friends and your doctor. There are many ways to treat these symptoms and your doctor may be able to point you in the right direction. Don’t let the stigma attached to mental health keep you away from getting the help you need. Depression and anxiety can very quickly engulf your life and take control. Do not allow this to happen. Continue to engage in your everyday routines. Be around people and take part in activities you can still enjoy. Stay in touch with your doctor and ask for referrals to other healthcare providers if necessary. It might also help to maintain a journal of your thoughts, feelings and emotions as you recover from your car accident. This is a good way to be mindful of your emotions and to track your mental well-being. Focus on your wellness. Regular exercise can help release endorphins into your system, which can fill you with positive feelings. Speak with your doctor about what kind of physical activity you can do safely. Finally, even though you may have been the victim of an auto accident that might not have been your fault, you can empower yourself by taking a defensive driver course or improving your safe driving skills. Proving Emotional Distress in a Car Accident Case It is important that you seek the counsel of an experienced Cranston car accident lawyer who can help you determine what your auto accident case is worth. If you have experienced emotional trauma, it is crucial that you seek damages accordingly. In order to help prove your case, your attorney may look to present evidence that may include diagnosis of emotional trauma, the frequency and severity of your symptoms; underlying physical injuries; and the cost of treating the emotional trauma. It will help your case if you continue to document your emotional trauma, seek an evaluation from a trained medical professional and track any bills relating to doctor office visits, cost of treatment by specialists, cost of prescription drugs, counseling and other therapies. Contact a Cranston Personal Injury Lawyer If you or a loved one were recently injured as a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation such as medical bills, pain and suffering and lost earnings, among other losses. Our Cranston Personal Car Accident Lawyers are experienced in working with insurance companies to get you the settlement or award that you deserve. Please call our Cranston office at 401-275-2039 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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There is no question that COVID-19 has upended the lives of many not just here in Rhode Island and across the country but also around the world. The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on people’s health. But it has also caused financial and economic devastation for many. Our Rhode Island medical malpractice lawyers have also seen the effect the pandemic has had on various types of medical negligence and how some claims have been affected by the pandemic. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury or harm as a result of medical negligence, it is important that you contact an experienced Rhode Island medical malpractice lawyer to obtain more information about your legal rights. Types of Medical Malpractice Claims Arising from COVID-19 As different parts of the country continue to experience surges in infection rates, there may be a number of different medical malpractice claims that could potentially arise. Here are just a few examples. Lack of preparation: Healthcare providers, including clinics, urgent care centers and hospitals, have a duty of care to their patients, which requires them to take the necessary steps to provide care in a safe environment. That means healthcare providers should have a plan in place, including safety protocols during the pandemic. They should also provide appropriate training to staff on how to implement these protocols. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines and acceptable standards of care as well as requirements for healthcare providers to limit patients’ exposure to the virus. Some of these protocols may include proper hand-washing procedures and posting clear signage for patients. It is important for staff to be trained when it comes to asking patients the right questions to determine whether he or she may have been exposed to the virus. Lack of infection control plan: An infection control plan at a healthcare facility should include a number of measures from all staff members being equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) to sanitizing procedures for exam rooms and equipment. Lawsuits could stem from cases where hospitals failed to provide proper or adequate PPE to protect frontline healthcare workers. Lack of proper patient care: Patients have a right to receive care at healthcare facilities without discrimination. During the pandemic, we’ve read accounts of some facilities that turned away patients or abandoned them when they displayed acute respiratory symptoms from COVID-19. There have also been cases where patients have been misdiagnosed due to provider negligence or because of defective test kits. Failure to diagnose patients with COVID-19, or a delayed diagnosis, could prove fatal. Immunity for Healthcare Professionals What has proved challenging for patients is that many states are implementing new laws to provide immunity to healthcare workers. For example, as the crisis unfolded, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimundo imposed sweeping emergency orders, including declaring healthcare workers “disaster response workers” and providing immunity from legal liability for nursing homes for death or injury related to COVID-19 unless “gross negligence can be proven.” Also, under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), frontline volunteer workers have immunity from lawsuits. Section 3215 of the CARES Act provides immunity to healthcare professionals who are volunteering their expertise during the pandemic. Those protected under this section of the CARES Act may not be held liable for services they provide relating to COVID-19 and patient care. However, in addition to only applying to volunteer healthcare workers, the services rendered must remain in the scope set forth by the worker’s medical license. How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help Our medical malpractice lawyers have a thorough knowledge of state and federal laws that apply to medical negligence and the pandemic. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or became infected with COVID-19 due to the negligence or misconduct of another, we can help review the facts and circumstances of your case to determine whether you have a basis for a malpractice claim. If you have contracted COVID-19, you may incur hospital bills, miss several weeks of work and even suffer long-term symptoms that could affect your ability to return to normal life. These costs are severe enough to threaten an individual or family’s financial stability. It is important to determine whether you may have legal recourse and the opportunity to recover compensation for your losses. Our lawyers are here to help you understand your rights and offer guidance during these challenging times. In such cases, we’ll need to thoroughly investigate the injury and harm you’ve suffered, including factors that may have contributed to your condition. You deserve maximum compensation for the injuries, damages and losses you have sustained. The experienced Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Call our firm at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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Recently d’Oliveira & Associates attorney, Cara Gallucci, obtained a $170,000 settlement from Liberty Mutual Insurance for a RI man, who was injured in a car accident. Our client was in the course of his employment and the vehicle he was operating was struck in the rear while he was lawfully waiting to turn. This accident left our client with back, neck and shoulder injuries. Within a few days of the accident, he called our Woonsocket office where he was assisted by attorney Cara Gallucci and paralegal Kristen DiChiaro. Attorney Cara Gallucci said, “It is very satisfying to have helped such a lovely man get back on his feet after such a severe accident.  He worked very hard to get back to baseline and return to the workforce, and I am very happy that we could help him on this journey.” Our firm has, for over 30 years, successfully represented victims in car accidents occurring in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. To learn about each states laws, please visit our Rhode Island car accident page or our Massachusetts car accident page. Contact a Woonsocket Car Accident Lawyer If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost time at work and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our Woonsocket Car Accident Lawyers will fully take care of all the legal aspects of your case so you focus solely on your recovery. Call our Woonsocket office at 401-762-4006 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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A Massachusetts man’s estate obtained a $1,950,000 settlement for a medical malpractice claim. This man went to a local hospital for a procedure. A couple weeks later, it was found that he had a massive infection from the surgery that paralyzed most of his body. As a result, he would later succumb to his injuries due to the medical negligence. d’Oliveira & Associates remained jointly responsible with a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer, who obtained this settlement for this client’s estate. As a personal injury firm that has practiced for over 30 years, we assist with many types of personal injury cases. Visit our webpage to see if we can take on your case. Contact a Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Lawyer If you or a loved one were injured due to the medical mistake of a doctor and have suffered a permanent injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, as well as any other related losses or damages. You should contact an experienced Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Lawyer to fight for your rights and to get you the best possible compensation for your injuries. Call us at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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A Rhode Island man’s estate obtained a $300,000 settlement for a nursing home negligence case. While at a nursing home facility, this man suffered from severe bed sores and infections. After being treated in a hospital, he returned to the same nursing home. Not long after his return, he developed the exact same conditions, which resulted in death. Seeing the same injuries twice, the family reached out to our firm for assistance. In the end, d’Oliveira & Associates maintained joint responsibility with a Rhode Island nursing home negligence lawyer, who settled the case. Our firm handles a wide range of personal injury cases directly and with co-counsel. View our Cases We Handle page to see how we can assist you. Contact an Experienced Rhode Island Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer If you believe you have a nursing home negligence case, you should call our firm. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and pain and suffering, among other related losses. We work with experienced Rhode Island Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers who will fight to get you the best possible compensation. Please call us at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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