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Michael R Bottaro

Michael Bottaro’s Answers

5 total

  • I live in ri my son got in a accident with a car registered to me why does insurance company need my license number for claim.

    I wasn't there during accident

    Michael’s Answer

    Good question. You can certainly ask your insurance company. But you may wish to consult with an attorney before doing so that we may better understand the specific circumstances. Is your son listed on your policy? Was the collision your son's fault? In Rhode Island, registered owners may be named parties even when not present. Did your son have your permission to use your vehicle? As to the property damage, do you have collision coverage? These are some of the questions that may assist you.

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  • I was changing lanes and checking my side view mirrors, .And the car in front of me suddenly stopped. who is at fault?

    I was changing lanes and checking my side view mirrors when the car in front of me suddenly stopped. As I was making the change my rear view and my lights were damaged. The other vehicle barely had any damage. Who is at fault

    Michael’s Answer

    Thank you for your question. My office is located in Cranston, RI. Determining "fault," also known as "liability," presents an issue of fact in this situation. In other words, each side is entitled to present evidence to the fact finder, such as a jury, and the factfinder makes the ultimate determination. Some relevant considerations here include: (1) What was the point of impact between the two vehicles; (2) Were there any witnesses able to testify concerning the actions of each driver?. Factfinders are instructed to assess the facts and apply them to the law. For example, in Rhode Island, the Model Civil Jury Instructions include an instruction that a motorist who strikes the rear of another vehicle is "presumed" to have acted with negligence. This presumption may be rebutted with other evidence. Hope this helps.

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  • Should I hire a crime scence investigator and/or lawyer?

    I was involved in an auto accident in which another driver made a right hand turn in front of me at an intersection. He had a red light, I had a green light. He was issued a citation for failure to yield. His insurance company has accepted faul...

    Michael’s Answer

    This is a great example of why hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is advantageous to you. If you are unrepresented, it can be very difficult and frustrating to try to deal with any insurance company. First, on the bodily injury side, I would be interested to know what you mean by the statement that the insurance company is "covering my damages 100%." Without experienced counsel on your side examining and investigating the specific facts of your case, how do you know whether you are receiving "100%" recovery of your damages? You are very likely being offered a fraction of the true value of your case, becuase it is always in the insurance company's interest to pay less money. As to your own insurance company, there is an entirely separate body of law that deals with first party insurance situations and your insurance company's "duty of good faith and fair dealing." Further, your policy itself will address how to contest a disputed property damage claim and there are likely insurance regulations or other laws in your jurisdiction that address your rights in this situation. I wish you the best of luck.

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  • Personal injury, Vehicle accident

    I was sitting in a car ( not running) in a marked parking spot, when I was hit by a large 'State Vehicle' that is self-insured. The vehicle did not stop.I walked to where it was parked + told the driver he had just hit me Long story short- I w...

    Michael’s Answer

    I am a practicing Rhode Island personal injury lawyer. You should understand that there is a three (3) year statute of limitations (time in which you must be bring suit or be forever barred from doing so) applicable to personal injury claims here. This statute is codified at R.I. Gen. Laws. Sec. 9-1-14(b) and begins to run from the date of the collision. You will need to understand whether your lawyer timely filed suit against the correct parties responsible for causing your injuries. If you have terminated the attorney-client relationship with your lawyer, then this should be confirmed in writing. You have a right to request a copy of your legal file from your lawyer and hopefully, you have already done so. You should also consider asking your lawyer (or ex-lawyer if that is the case) whether he/she intends to place an attorney's lien on the file. The case is less attractive to other lawyers if an ex-lawyer intends to seek a portion of any future attorneys' fees based on quantum meruit. This should also be confirmed in writing. If the case is pending in Superior Court, for example, then you must be aware of any time limits, discovery deadlines, etc. that may be upcoming. If you do not find another lawyer immediately, then be sure to contact the Civil Court Clerk and seek a hearing to obtain some extension of time limits while you continue to search for counsel. I wish you the best.

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  • Can you file a personal injury claim for an accident even if it is your fault

    can personal injury claims be filed even if the accident was your fault

    Michael’s Answer

    Thank you for your question. I assume that your question refers to a car accident bodily injury claim. Generally, it is the jury who ultimately determines the percentage fault of each party. If your question is as clear cut to mean that you were injured in a situation where you 100% caused an accident with another motorist, then you will not recover for your bodily injury claim. However, if the other driver was partially at fault and your percentage fault was less than 100%, than you should understand the doctrine known as "comparative negligence."

    The rule is applied differently in different jurisdictions, so you will want to consult a personal injury lawyer in your area. In Rhode Island, where I practice, we use a pure comparative negligence scheme. This means that a jury is entitled to assess the percentage fault of all parties. If the other driver is found negligent, then you may still be allowed to recover for your damages. But if you were found to be negligent up to 99%, you would be limited to recovering 1% of your damages. Other states require that you are 50% or less negligent in order to make a recovery.

    Separate from a bodily injury claim, you may have suffered property damage. If you have purchased collision insurance, then you may submit a claim for the property damage to your vehicle even if you are at fault. Good luck.

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