/* */


DUI must-know facts for Rhode Island drivers

It is pretty much common knowledge that it is illegal in any state to operate a vehicle while over the legal limit of alcohol. Most states have set that legal limit at .08 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). There are other areas of DUI in Rhode Island that every driver should know.

When drivers are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence, they are usually asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. Every driver has the right to refuse, but there is some information everyone should know before exercising this option.

Rhode Island has an implied consent law that states that all Rhode Island residents are expected to comply with any DUI tests administered by a police officer. A failure to comply with these tests can lead to harsher sentences with a DUI conviction.

It is important to consider this because Rhode Island has a ‘look back’ period of five years. That means the court can look back for as many as five years and consider your DUI conviction when resolving another case involving you. Although it is your right to refuse a breathalyzer test that refusal could come back to haunt you for years to come.

There is also a new law coming into effect in 2015 that every Rhode Island driver should know. Interlock devices will be used in the vehicles of repeat offenders as well as drivers who showed a BAC of 0.15 or over at the time of their arrest.

Interlock devices require drivers to pass a breathalyzer test before the car will start. The price for those devices is required to be paid by the offender. The lowest cost of a standard interlock device is a leasing option that starts around $65.00 per month. State law prohibits drivers from owning these devices and mandate that they must be leased.

DUIs can be very expensive, but if you know what mistakes to avoid, you could save yourself a lot of money in fines when all is said and done. However, just because you are arrested for DUI does not mean you are guilty right away.

A DUI attorney at Calvino Law Associates can help you put together the best possible defense for your DUI charge. We can also advise you on the best ways to reduce any penalties, fines and jail time. For an experienced DUI attorney in Providence or North Kingston, visit our downtown office or call today and speak directly to one of our lawyers.

Important things to know about personal injury lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits are filed after all kinds of injury-related incidents such as auto accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice and many more. Once you are injured, you enter a whole new world, and there are some important facts you should know when filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Most insurance carriers are looking to negotiate a deal without having to go to court. While they may talk a big game, their goal is to cut you a check without having to appear before a judge.

Mediation and arbitration are two stops on the negotiation process that may keep your case from going to court. This is an alternative to having to argue your case in a courtroom. Mediators and arbitrators aim to settle these matters, although it is extremely helpful to have your own Providence personal injury lawyer by your side.

Remember that those offering you a settlement work for the insurance carrier and not you. Their mission is to offer you as small of a settlement as possible. Your lawyer is the one working to get you a larger payout.

Several factors weigh in on how much of a settlement you will ultimately receive. There is a need to compensate for medical bills, physical therapy, pain and suffering, lost wages and financial hardship. There are also ongoing factors to consider such as a reduction in earning potential as a result of the injury, as well as permanent physical impairment.

Once a settlement is reached, there comes the reality of having to pay taxes. When a settlement covers physical injuries, it is not viewed as taxable income. However, any punitive damages received are taxable. That also holds true for any compensation you received as a result of pain and suffering.

Collecting your compensation is much easier when dealing with an insurance company. When a settlement is reached, insurance companies will just write you a check, and you can be on your way. But when it comes to dealing with an individual defendant, there is no guarantee of an immediate payday.

If the defendant does not have many assets, you may not see much in the way of compensation. Winning a judgment is one battle, but getting your compensation from an individual defendant is another battle altogether.

If you have recently suffered a personal injury in North Kingston or Providence, an attorney at Calvino Law Associates can see you through your case. One of our lawyers will be there to provide you with all the information you need to know from start to finish. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Rhode Island track system determines how long a divorce will take

Rhode Island residents seeking out a divorce usually want to know exactly how long it takes before they are single and no longer married. The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. It all depends on certain factors that have led to the development of Rhode Island’s ‘track system.’

There are two separate tracks that divorces can fall under in Rhode Island. The person filing for divorce can decide from either a ‘nominal’ track or ‘contested’ track.  In a nominal track divorce, a couple is pretty much splitting up on amicable terms.

In a nominal track divorce, a hearing date is usually set about 11 weeks from the time the petition for divorce is filed. Nominal track divorces lead to nominal track hearings and in these cases, defendants are not disputing the terms of the divorce.

Nominal track divorces filed under irreconcilable differences have a 90-day wait period before the Final Decree of divorce, which declares the parties no longer married. But there is even a quicker way, if the couple has lived separately for a time of at least three years. In those cases, couples only need to wait 20 days after the nominal hearing to get their Final Decree.

A contested track divorce takes a bit longer as those hearing dates usually fall 13 to 16 weeks after the petition for divorce has been filed. A divorce is classified on this track when there is a minimum of one issue that cannot be resolved by the couple. This then puts the final decisions in the hands of the court.

This is the part of the process that could elongate a divorce. There is a need to produce witnesses, testimony and proof. Timetables could be as short as a day but could also extend  to several months.

While the divorce process is unfolding, there may also be a need to appear in court regarding temporary orders in the areas of child support, child custody, visitation rights and even contempt. These temporary orders are upheld until the divorce can be final.

No matter which track you take, divorce is never an easy time for families. A Providence divorce lawyer at Calvino Law Associates can help you through what can be a complex process. Lean on our years of experience as we strive to get North Kingston and Providence couples through their divorce as quickly and productively as possible.

What a criminal attorney can do for you

When anyone is charged with a crime, it is strongly recommended that the next move should be to hire a criminal attorney. There are tremendous benefits that come with having an experienced attorney to represent you.

First, your attorney will dispel any myths you might have about your current situation. Every criminal offense is different, and there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. Your lawyer will tell you exactly where you stand as well as offer best and worst case scenarios.

The moment you hire a criminal defense attorney, you already have an advantage. When it is time to go to court, the prosecuting attorney is less inclined to negotiate a favorable deal with a defendant who is representing himself. This holds true even in cases involving less serious criminal charges. Your attorney will give you an edge in the negotiating process, which could mean a much lighter sentence.

There are even instances when your criminal charges could be dropped altogether with the help of an attorney. Proving a lack of evidence or improper procedure could get your case thrown out. One way to get your charges dropped would be to show that the arresting officer did not have probable cause.

Familiarity with the local court system is also important. Certain prosecutors are known to have certain tendencies. Having knowledge of how they negotiate is important to your case. There are always unwritten rules in courtrooms, rules that defendants do not know about.

A qualified Providence criminal lawyer can also be of great help in the information gathering process. That includes collecting potential witnesses, hiring investigators, conducting research and inspecting documents.

If a charge winds up leading to a sentence, criminal defense attorneys can tailor sentences that are more beneficial to clients. Sentences can mean a lot to your future in terms of employment, possible expunges and more. And if there is very little chance of being found not guilty, a defense attorney could use plea bargain to get you a reduced sentence.

Criminal charges can be very serious, and you will only compound your problems by attempting to represent yourself. When charges are filed, your next move should be to find an experienced criminal attorney.

Calvino Law Associates can provide you with an attorney who will perform all the important duties required of a criminal lawyer. Our lawyers know the local court systems, including the Providence and North Kingston areas as we give you an advantage from the moment you retain our services.

Rhode Island laws attempt to reduce bike accidents

Every year, the number of bike accidents in Rhode Island continues to rise. That has prompted the state to enact more laws that are aimed to protect bicycle enthusiasts. Many times, victims have just cause to take legal action against those responsible for their accidents.

Bicyclists are expected to share the road with vehicles by riding as far to the right side of the road as possible. When passing a bicycle rider, drivers are expected to move over to the left to pass at a safe distance. This way there is sufficient room between the bike and the car should the rider experience a fall.

However, drivers are not deemed to be at fault when bike riders exceed 15 mph or are traveling in the opposite direction of vehicles into oncoming traffic.

Similar to motorcycle helmet laws, biker helmets are optional for adults in the state of Rhode Island. However, bikers 15 years of age and under are required to wear helmets at all times.

Bikers are not required but encouraged to use bicycle paths located right next to roadways. This is not mandated by law. Bikers are also required to obey stop signs and traffic lights just as the operator of a motor vehicle would do.

Sidewalks can also be used for bicycles or any other means of transportation operated by human power. When bikers opt to ride on sidewalks, they are afforded the same rights as pedestrians.

Those riding bicycles should also note that in the state of Rhode Island, a bicycle is considered a type of vehicle. Therefore, bikers must comply with the same DUI laws as motor vehicle operators. Having a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) over .08 can subject bikers to arrest, fines and potential jail time just like automobile drivers.

Car operators are held liable in bike accidents caused by the opening of a vehicle door. Right turns in which cars windup cutting off bikers, and accidents that occur when entering or leaving a parking lot.

If you have been injured in a North Kingston or Providence bike accident, it’s time to turn to the experience at Calvino Law Associates. John A. Calvino has built a solid reputation based on years of experience and success in Rhode Island. It’s time to put that experience to work for you and get the most out your recent bike accident.

The right action to take after an Auto Accident

Auto accidents occur every day on all kinds of roadways. Some accidents may be just a fender bender while others can be catastrophic in nature. Whatever accident you are involved in, there are certain procedures to follow immediately after the collision.

Even if the damage may seem minimal, remain at the scene. Stop to check out the damage and also make sure no one is hurt. Also remember that if you are involved in a rear end collision, injuries such as whiplash could take longer to surface.

The next step is to call 911. Some people might just want to exchange insurance information, but there is no way of guaranteeing the other driver will keep his word. Phoning the authorities will provide you with legal documentation of an accident. Without a police report, things could get difficult should you decide to take legal action.

Before the police arrive, it’s recommended that you attempt to make the accident scene as safe as possible. Turn your hazard lights on and set up some road flares if you have them. Not only are other drivers in danger because your accident, but you are also susceptible to being hit again if you do not secure the area.

While you are waiting for the police to arrive, take as many pictures as you possibly can. That includes damage to your car, the other car, injuries you or one of your passengers, and anything else that might serve as evidence.

As previously mentioned, injuries like whiplash do not always show symptoms right away. However, it can be a painful and debilitating injury. That is why it is important to seek medical attention after an accident. Nerve damage is another common injury that may take a little longer to surface. Get yourself to a doctor and get checked out. It could help your Rhode Island auto accident attorney in a number of ways.

After you have returned home, begin making a file. Include documentation of everything involved with the accident. That includes medical visits, missed days of work, aches and pains, auto repair bills and more. All of that information necessary can be used as evidence should your case ever wind up in court.

One of the most important things to do after an auto accident is to contact an auto accident attorney. Calvino Law Associates has a team of capable auto accident lawyers waiting to help residents of Providence, North Kingston and other nearby areas. There may be more to your auto accident than you know, and our professionals are ready to point out every helpful detail.

What to do after you are hurt at work in Rhode Island

If you are hurt at work, there is no reason to suffer through agony. Rhode Island residents are protected by workers’ compensation laws, which can quickly work to your advantage.

The first thing you need to do after suffering an injury on the job is report the incident. State law stipulates that any company with at least one employee is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. Once you report the incident, your employer must then file a claim with the company’s respective insurance carrier; if your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance, that needs to be reported immediately.

If the injury occurred in front of other people, gather as many witnesses as you can. Make a list of their names and, if possible, retrieve written statements. Then, make sure to fill out an incident report immediately.

The next step in the process is to seek immediate medical attention. In the event that you are deemed unable to work, bring a written doctor’s note to your supervisor and Human Resources representative.

It is also important to know that you can choose to visit any health care provider you like. Your employer does not have the right to determine which health care facility you need to visit. This is an area where workers should be careful as some companies will urge their injured employees to go to a ‘friendly’ health care provider, which might conveniently recommend a premature return to work.

Next up is seeking out a Providence workers’ compensation attorney. While you are injured, an attorney can help you keep tabs on lost wages and your weekly compensation rate. There is also a need to keep precise medical records and conduct a review of all your information to determine what kind of disability you are entitled to receive.

It is also important to refrain from speaking with an insurance company without first contacting a personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies are always looking for quick and easy settlements so you need to make sure someone is on your side. Do not sign anything without first consulting your lawyer.

If you have been hurt at work in the Providence or North Kingston areas, Calvino Law Associates can provide you with an attorney who will make sure your rights are protected and your mind is at ease. Our courtroom experience and familiarity with workers’ compensation laws are at your service so that you are treated fairly throughout the entire process.

Rhode Island workers’ compensation helps those with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

When most people think of workers’ compensation injuries, more severe injuries come to mind. The reality is that these injuries can come from simply doing a daily task like typing on a computer or working on a production line. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome affects many workers every year and can be covered under worker’s compensation.

Rhode Island state law gives employees two years after the time of an injury to file a claim. It is not always an easy task to diagnose the exact time when a Carpal Tunnel injury occurred. Nevertheless, that  gives Carpal Tunnel victims in Rhode Island a little more flexibility when filing a claim.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is classified as a repetitive strain injury. That is a term used to define the type of injury usually found in the upper body, primarily the forearm, wrists, elbow and hands. Symptoms include constant pain, stinging or tingling sensations, numbness, and cramps. There may not be any broken bones, but Carpal Tunnel Syndrome severely affects ligaments, tendons and muscles.

In some instances, those afflicted with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome require surgery to correct the problem. Recovery from such a procedure can take up to three months, which means more time out of work and the urgent need for a source of income.

With more people working on computers, there are more and more cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome popping up among workers. There are ways to diagnose this type of injury. Doctors administer tests to see if workers do indeed have Carpal Tunnel and those tests include an examination of the median nerve, which rugs up the length of the upper arm.

If diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Rhode Island, there are several forms of workers’ compensation you can receive. There are temporary disability benefits that will provide you with a source of income while you recuperate from your injury. There are also permanent disability benefits should you be deemed unable to return to work. A Providence worker’s compensation lawyer can help you figure out which benefits are right for you.

The Law Firm of Calvino Law Associates has years of experience handling all types of workers’ compensation cases, including ones dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. When the pain is too much to bear, take action by getting the compensation you deserve. Calvino Law Associates will appoint you an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will help you on the road to relief.

Certain slip and falls constitute a premises liability lawsuit in Rhode Island

Many people believe a simple slip and fall could result in a big payday. That is not always the case, although there are certain occasions when a slip and fall on someone else’s property could land you a large amount of compensation.

After any slip and fall, there needs to be a determination of whether or not reasonable action should be taken. This is the first fact-finding endeavor in any premises liability lawsuit.

To first determine the necessity for reasonable action to be taken, the injured person cannot be a trespasser. Illegally entering someone’s property will disqualify you from filing a lawsuit. Next, there needs to be a determination as to whether or not your injury was foreseeable prior to the incident.

Once reasonable action is determined, it’s then time for your Providence premises liability attorney to prove your claim. The defense will likely counter by claiming comparative negligence, which means the injured person showed some negligence and contributed directly to their injuries.

Nevertheless, the jury must decide that a person is 100% at fault for that comparative negligence. If even 1% of the blame falls on the property owner, the jury must rule in favor of the plaintiff.

Property owners are responsible to provide safe surfaces for those who lawfully enter onto their property. It is irrelevant whether the property is open to the public of a more restrictive nature. All property owners need to either repair defects or warn people about them.

Negligence on their part would be due to things like uneven surfaces, excess ice, debris on the floor or other kinds of defective conditions. These are the primary causes for slip and falls, which are the most common reason for premises liability lawsuits in Rhode Island.

Slip and fall accidents can occur in many different places such as retail stores, apartment buildings and construction sites. Victims span all ages as there is no particular demographic that is exempt from this accident.

If you or someone you know has experienced a recent slip and fall, there may be a need to file a Rhode Island premises liability lawsuit. The Law Firm of Calvino Law Associates is staffed with an experienced team of personal injury attorneys. Serving Providence and the neighboring communities, one of our qualified lawyers can help bring you the compensation you deserve.

Many hazards provide motorcycle accident victims

Motorcycle accidents can turn into painful experiences where motorcycle operators are often faced with a painful recovery period. However, motorcycle accidents are often the fault of other drivers, which can lead to lawsuits.

Many hazards on the roadway can cause other drivers to practice negligence when sharing the road with motorcycles. That negligence leaves drivers liable for damages, medical bills as well as pain and suffering.

Poor visibility, especially at night, can cause drivers to neglect motorcycle operators. Some intersections and intricately-designed roads can wind up hiding motorcycles from the other drivers’ line of sight.

There is obviously more protection when driving a car, which leaves motorcycle operators more at risk when drivers fail to yield. This simple act could turn deadly in an auto accident involving a motorcycle.

There is no driver helmet law in Rhode Island law, but there are several laws which make motorcycle operators drive more responsibly. The use of eye protection is mandatory by state law and helmet speakers are also prohibited. While some people may claim the lack of a helmet law leads to more injuries, which still has no effect on the negligence of motorcycle operators.

Just because there are, risks involve to riding a motorcycle does not excuse the negligence of other drivers. Negligence occurs when a driver acts in a careless or reasonably unsafe manner. This kind of negligence is much easier to do when sharing the road with motorcycles. Other forms of negligence include speeding, DUI, reckless driving, aggressive driving and distracted driving.

Texting while driving is illegal in Rhode Island There is no law which prohibits the use of hand-held devices, which means drivers are free to talk on the phone as they drive. Still, that poses a substantial threat to motorcycle operators as a distracted driver could easily swerve their way and induce a whole lot of pain and suffering.

Motorcycle operators need to be aware of negligent drivers because the reality is they take to the roadways every day in mass numbers. Driver negligence can also make for the need to hire a Providence motorcycle accident attorney.

When that time comes, Calvino Law Associates is the right choice as we are staffed with a team of experienced motorcycle accident lawyers. Your pain and suffering needs to be addressed, and the guilty parties brought to justice. Contact us today to get started on your North Kingston or Providence motorcycle accident lawsuit.