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Breakdown Lane Accident Lawyer | Emergency Lane Crash

Rhode Island breakdown lane accident

emergency lane accident

Pulling off to the side of the road  in Rhode Island when having car trouble can be a dangerous situation when the roadway  or highway is filled with passing cars and trucks. Most courteous RI  drivers allow the disabled motorist to find a safe place along the road. However, when other  Providence drivers are impaired by alcohol, drugs or distraction, standing alongside or sitting in a disabled vehicle in the breakdown lane can be a hazardous place to be. Unfortunately, many victims are killed in breakdown lane accidents every year when another motor vehicle slams into a disabled vehicle or a pedestrian.

Disabled motor vehicles

Disabled motor vehicle,  cars, trucks and minivans should not stop in the travel lanes on highways but should seek to get off at the next exit if possible or utilize the emergency lane. If you are repairing your own motor vehicle then make sure none of your body or any tools that you are utilizing is in the way of oncoming highway traffic.

Breakdown Lane accident in RI

The breakdown lane or emergency lane is provided to motorists as a place of safeguard to change a  automobile tire, add gas or wait for automotive assistance to arrive. It is almost never designed as an express lane or passing lane to be used at high speed by autos, vehicles and trucks. Sadly, many victims are the target of irresponsible drivers who are not following safe driving habits along busy roadways.


When a driver or passenger is injured or killed by passing motorists and truckers in Rhode Island  while utilizing a breakdown / emergency  lane, the parties at fault for the accident often face civil action and in some circumstances face criminal charges.. In addition to to the possibility of facing criminal charges filed by local prosecutors, the irresponsible driver will likely have to deal with a personal injury claim in Providence Superior Court filed by the victim. In the event of a fatality on interstate 95S or 95N or other through way, the deceased victim’s family through the deceased’s estate, utilizing a RI wrongful death attorney, can file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek financial compensation.

Pedestrians are in great danger in the immediate vicinity of a disabled vehicle in the emergency lane. Motorists,  pedestrians, passengers and especially children should be as far away from oncoming traffic as possible. If a pedestrian is clipped  in a fatal breakdown lane crash, by an oncoming motor vehicle, the consequences are often deadly. A Rhode Island wrongful death attorney  or a Providence pedestrian accident lawyer can help the beneficiaries of the estate get the most possible compensation as a result of the fatal car- pedestrian accident.

It is important to remember that most breakdown lane accidents in Rhode Island and Massachusetts (MA) are not caused by vehicles and trucks illegally and negligently travelling in the breakdown lane. Here are some common causes of emergency lane car and pedestrian accidents.

Staying Safe and avoiding breakdown  lane collision

If you need to drive into the highway breakdown lane in Rhode Island (RI) to attend to your vehicle, it is essential to follow safety precautions to minimize the potential of being involved in an accident. These precautions include:

• Keep the vehicle well-maintained to minimize potential of a breakdown
• When the vehicle becomes disabled, pullover as far as possible along the side of the road and away from moving traffic
• Push the flashing hazard light and call for roadside assistance or in the event of an emergency call 911
• If possible, exit the vehicle only on the side facing away from traffic to minimize the potential of being hit by passing motorists
• Place lighted flares at a distance behind the vehicle to alert oncoming traffic
• While waiting for assistance remain behind the guard rail for added protection
• Never attempt to cross any roadway traffic on foot
• Think smart. Using common sense and good judgment while in this dangerous location can mean the difference between life and death

In many incidences, any type of accident / wreck in a breakdown lane can cause devastating catastrophic injury or fatality. Speed kills.

Hiring a Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney

If you, or a loved one, are suffering injuries from an accident in a breakdown lane, it is essential to hire a RI  personal injury lawyer. A skilled Cranston, Warwick  or East Providence  attorney can ensure that your rights are protected through a  RI personal injury claim when seeking financial compensation from the driver at fault for the accident. In the event that a loved one died in a breakdown lane accident, surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit through the executor or administrator of the estate of the person killed in the crash or collision against all responsible parties associated with the accident.

The law firm can ensure you receive compensation to cover a variety of expenses including:

• Extensive hospital bills and medical costs
• Compensation  for lost earnings due to missed work because of your injuries
• Funds for intangible costs including pain, suffering, emotional distress and mental anxiety
• Damages including the cost of vehicle repair or replacement
• Loss of companionship, consortium and diminished quality of life

Providence Personal injury attorneys who specialize in breakdown lane accident claims with fatalities and injuries provide a free, initial consultation to evaluate the case. Reputable  Woonsocket lawyers provide their legal services on contingency to avoid the need of paying any upfront fee.

The New Hampshire Department of Safety issued important guidelines concerning breakdown lane stopping:

“Stopping, standing or parking on a controlled access highway in the state of NH is not only illegal, more importantly it is dangerous… All controlled access highways have breakdown lanes for emergency stopping, when a situation arises where it is dangerous for the driver of the vehicle to continue driving, or where the driver needs to stop to report a crime or hazardous situation. Situations not considered “emergencies” are stopping to answer or make a call using a cell phone, stopping to change drivers, or stopping to take scenic photographs.  Many drivers also stop along the highways to use the woods as a restroom. This is also illegal.”

“Stopping to make a phone call or answer a phone call, unless that call itself is an emergency, is not allowed.  An emergency call may be considered calling 911 for an accident, an erratic driver or a crime in progress.  A call that seems important or an emergency to the driver does not make it an emergency.  Pulling over to talk is safer than doing so while driving, but it is better to go to the next exit or rest area.When a driver stop or parks his/her vehicle on a controlled access highway, he/she will often exit the vehicle.  Doing so on a highway where other vehicles are passing within several feet at 65 MPH can be extremely dangerous.  It is also dangerous for drivers to reenter traffic moving at rates of 65 MPH or faster.”

“Stopping on a controlled access highway will usually cause other drivers to call E911 or the State Police to report a broken down vehicle.  This causes police to respond to the “broken down” vehicle only to find the vehicle had stopped for a non-emergency or to even find the vehicle gone.  This is a waste of police time and taxpayers’ dollars.   Stopping on a highway during bad weather is even more dangerous and potentially deadly.   Inclement weather causes poor visibility for drivers and poor traction for vehicles.  Drivers unable to see during bad weather can easily drive over the white fog line and collide with a vehicle parked in the breakdown lane, causing injury to drivers and passengers.” NH