Can You Sue A RI City That Fails To Maintain Its Stop Signs, Leading To A Car Accident?

Yes.  Here at Bottaro Law, we believe in fighting for what is right on our clients’ behalf.  We are passionate about helping those in our Rhode Island and Massachusetts communities who are injured in car accidents that are no fault of their own and who suffer personal injuries.  In today’s blog, I would like to share a recent settlement against a city that did not maintain a stop sign, leading to the below serious car accident. 

Stop Signs Crash

The crash scene photos

What If The Stop Sign Is Missing And Contributes To A Car Accident?  

Our client was a wife and grandmother.  She was simply driving down a city street with the right of way when a careless uninsured young driver came from a side street smashing into her, causing a serious car accident.

Stop Signs Crash

The crash scene photos

The police noted that the careless driver was supposed to have a stop sign, but it was not there!

The ambulance rushed our client to Rhode Island Hospital where our client suffered multiple personal injuries including liver laceration, airbag burns, contusions from the seatbelt and pain to the neck, back, shoulders, chest, and abdomen. She was admitted to the hospital for treatment.

After she called us for a free case review and we took on the case under our No Fee Guarantee, we began to investigate the stop sign issue.  Why was it not there?

Rhode Island has special laws pertaining to brining a claim against a town or city that must e strictly followed in writing very soon after a personal injury.  The failure to follow certain notice requirements can lead to your personal injury claim being forever barred – even where you otherwise have a meritorious claim!  So, we follow best practices there.  But upon inquiry, the City was not cooperative and so we filed suit.

What Is The Rhode Island “Public Duty Doctrine” Involving Towns And Cities ?

Stop Signs Injury

Our client admitted to Rhode Island Hospital after several personal injuries

Although you may have a legal right to bring suit against a town or city in Rhode Island for personal injuries, you must follow the strict laws regarding doing so, and there are additional defenses that may prevent you from winning.

In this case Rhode Island’s “Public Duty Doctrine” statute was a challenging obstacle.  Under the public duty doctrine, as a general matter, when the state engages in governmental functions, as distinguished from proprietary functions, it is immune from tort liability. O’Brien v. State, 485 A.2d 334, 337 (R.I. 1989).  The issue in these cases involve litigating the carved out “exceptions” to the public duty doctrine.  This is found in the caselaw and involves factual inquiry.

Bottaro Law: Making Our Communities Safer

The settlement helped our client… And the city has now replaced the stop sign!

Stop Sign RI

New Stop Sign in RI!







It’s Good to Know Bottaro Law – 24/7 Top Rated Personal Injury Help

At the Bottaro Law Firm, we care for people.  Attorney Mike Bottaro and his team handles all types of personal injury cases including car accident cases throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  We can also help on cases in other states as well.  Honesty. Integrity. Results.  Call or text us right now 24/7 for live help with a free case review at (401) 777-7777; chat, email, or feel free to complete our online form.  We are here to serve and help you!