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Attorney Maureen Raiche Manning a “Best Lawyer”

ATTORNEY MAUREEN RAICHE MANNING SELECTED FOR “BEST LAWYERS” DISTINCTION

Attorney Maureen Raiche ManningAttorney Maureen Raiche Manning, partner with the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman PLLC, has been selected as a 2016 “Best Lawyer” by New Hampshire Magazine for her representation of injured workers.

“I am greatly honored to have been recognized for my work on behalf of injured workers,” said Attorney Manning, who from 2011-2012 served as president of the New Hampshire Association for Justice, a statewide professional association of trial attorneys working to ensure that all citizens have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they have been harmed by the acts of others. “In my experience representing injured workers for nearly 30 years, I have witnessed the physical, mental and economic struggles that follow what are often catastrophic injuries,” said Attorney Manning. “It is, in many instances, the worst experience of a worker’s life, and helping them and their families at a time when they are in such great need of an advocate is fulfilling.”

The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, located at 87 Middle Street in Manchester, NH, handles cases involving all personal injuries, workers’ compensation, medical negligence, family law/divorce matters, and Social Security disability. Attorney Manning is joined in the practice of law by her partner, attorney Anna Goulet Zimmerman, associate attorney Dan McKenna, and of-counsel attorney and UNH Law Professor Emerita Ellen Musinsky.

In addition to the New Hampshire Association for Justice, Attorney Manning is a member of the New Hampshire and Manchester Bar Associations, was the inaugural president of the New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association, and served as a Commissioner on the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission. Attorney Manning, who lives with her family in Manchester, NH, is the author of a column describing her mission in representing those who have been the victims of negligence.

The Side Effects of E-Cigarettes

E-Cigarettes are Unhealthy, Addictive and Maybe Even Explosive

e-cigarettesThe use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed in the last few years. About 10 percent of U.S. adults now vape, as the practice is called, almost four times more than the 2.6 percent reported by the government in 2013. And that growth means big business: Sales are estimated at $3.5 billion for 2015 versus $2.5 billion in 2014 and are projected to grow 25 percent annually through 2018.

E-cigarettes use a heating element to vaporize liquid nicotine that is then inhaled by the smoker. Many smokers view them as a way to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, avoid some of the health hazards caused by regular cigarettes, or as an alternative to smoking in public places that ban the practice.

No Regulations or Warnings on E-Cigarettes

So far e-cigarettes are entirely unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a fact that surprises many users. Both the vaporizing devices and the nicotine-based liquid itself are unregulated, so manufacturers create and disperse products with no oversight. There are already more than 500 different brands of e-cigarettes, with over 7,700 flavors of nicotine liquid. The amount of nicotine in the liquid, as well as other dangerous chemicals or carcinogens, are not monitored and are not required to be represented accurately on the packaging. Nevertheless, research cited by the American Lung Association highlights the significant health risks posed by the nicotine and other hazardous chemicals found in this cigarette alternative.

E-Cigarettes Use Triples Among Teens

The fastest growing segment of e-cigarette users are teens and young adults. Between 2013 and 2014, e-cigarette use tripled from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent for teens, followed by an increase among middle schoolers from 1.1 percent to 3.9 percent during the same period.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed extreme alarm at the findings, pointing out the harm nicotine exposure can pose to brain development among young people along with the potential for long-term addiction. Public health advocates also fear that unregulated advertising in print and on television by e-cigarette companies is making the product look “cool” and is driving increased use among young users.

In addition to traditional e-cigarette use, recent studies have shown that one in four teens who vape say they’ve used them for an alternative technique known as “dripping” which produces thicker clouds of vapor, gives a stronger sensation in the throat and makes flavors taste better.

E-Cigarettes Not Working to Help Smokers Quit

For those hoping that e-cigarettes might help them stop smoking entirely, a new study suggests that the opposite may be true. Researchers in California found that users of e-cigarettes were less likely than those who never used them to quit or cut down on smoking cigarettes. “We hypothesize that maybe [users] are getting higher doses of nicotine, and so it becomes less likely they’re able to quit,” reported the researcher.

Many vapers also practice dual use, meaning they smoke traditional cigarettes but then use e-cigarettes where traditional smoking is banned. This makes it more likely that people addicted to nicotine can get a fix whenever they have the desire, thus actually increasing the amount of nicotine they are ingesting every day.

Exploding E-Cigarettes Cause Serious Injuries

Another serious problem with e-cigarettes can now be added to the list of hazards. A growing number of users have been injured by e-cigarettes that explode due to unstable lithium-ion batteries. Recently a 29-year-old California man suffered a broken neck, facial fractures, burns to his mouth and shattered teeth after an e-cigarette exploded while he was using it.

Although these incidents are rare, federal officials report 25 such incidents between 2009 and 2014. Because there are so many makers of e-cigarettes and none are regulated, shoddy manufacturing practices can go unchecked. Federal transportation officials have already banned e-cigarettes from packed luggage for fear of explosions inside the luggage hold.

Our Manchester Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Mental or Emotional Injuries

Manchester Personal Injury LawyersWhen the Manchester personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC work with people regarding their car accident injury cases, they often are asked about the possibility of early settlement. While an early settlement may sometimes occur, it is very rare if your case includes mental or emotional injuries. Here is what your Manchester NH attorneys want you to understand about accidents that involve these unique injury types.

Most Insurance Adjusters Aren’t Used to Valuing Mental Health Claims

When your case is at the claims stage, the insurance adjuster will use a company formula to estimate the value of your case. While adjusters are used to valuing physical injuries, the formulas they use do not take into account mental health or emotional injuries. They will often undervalue claims that include such injuries and make offers that are too low to account for your losses due to them.

The Effect of Mental and Emotional Injuries Varies Widely

Just like physical injuries, mental and emotional injuries and their effects are individual to each person. The degree of injury with mental and emotional issues arising from accidents may vary far more from person to person than do physical injuries, however. This factor can also contribute to the difficulty in proper claim valuation.

Your Credibility Is Likely to Be Tested

Your Manchester NH attorneys understand that the defense is likely to question your credibility when your claim includes allegations of emotional or mental injuries. Consequently, your lawyers may attempt to educate the insurance company about such injuries, but a good understanding of them requires a level of sophistication that most adjusters don’t have. While a rare insurance adjuster might be motivated to settle a particular claim quickly, you should not expect that to happen in your case. Instead, you should expect to have to file a personal injury lawsuit in your case when it involves mental and emotional injury claims. After filing your claim, the discovery process will commence. During the discovery process, you may expect to be deposed by the defense lawyers who are working for the insurance company. Those lawyers are likely to cross-examine you about the effect of your mental and emotional injuries in an attempt to test your credibility. They might also hire a psychiatrist or psychologist and ask that you submit to an evaluation. These types of actions are designed to determine the true nature of your mental and emotional injuries and how they affect your daily life and quality of living. Cases involving mental and emotional injuries often do not settle until well after the discovery process has started. Some of them must be fully litigated in order for you to recover damages sufficient to fairly compensate you for the losses your injuries have caused.

Contact Our Manchester Personal Injury Lawyers

To schedule an appointment with the Manchester personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, call (603) 624-7200.

The Importance of the U.S. Civil Justice System

NH Injury Attorneys: 2015 Top Safety & Justice Stories

It was a busy year for those who fight for the health, safety and legal rights of all Americans. While this short list is by no means exhaustive, here are some of the top stories the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman were watching in 2015:

NH injury attorneys
Many Americans are signing away their right to a day in court.

1> Forced Arbitration Is Forced Injustice

There’s a legal land mine buried deep in thousands of consumer and employment contracts called a “forced arbitration” clause that threatens our right to hold major corporations accountable for wrongdoing. This loophole prohibits Americans from taking companies to court and instead forces them into secretive arbitrations, which are typically stacked in favor of the company. An investigation by The New York Times has focused renewed scrutiny on the harm caused by forced arbitrations in claims of medical malpractice, sexual harassment, hate crimes, discrimination, theft, fraud, elder abuse and wrongful death. You can join others in petitioning Congress to ban forced arbitration right here.

2> Food That Sickens Rather Than Nourishes
Major cases of food contamination at Chipotle Mexican Grill and Blue Bell Ice Cream this year illustrate the growing problem of foodborne illness. According to a new report from the American Association for Justice, 48 million people fall sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and at least 3,000 die each year from foodborne illnesses. Questionable production techniques and cost-saving measures, combined with weak state and federal oversight, threaten to make the situation worse. According to the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, litigation helps shed light on dangerous practices and hits companies back hard with large financial penalties and damaged reputations.

NH injury attorneys
Trinity Industries guardrails may spear cars on impact, as illustrated here.

3> Cost Savings Creates Deadly Defect in Guardrails
Trinity Industries modified its highway guardrails to save money but instead created a deadly hazard, all of which didn’t come to light until it was sued by a whistleblower and those who suffered injuries as a result of the defect. Rather than slow down a vehicle when impacted, the Trinity guardrails spear through the passenger compartment. A federal judge recently ordered the company to pay $663 million in penalties for concealing the design modification from federal officials. At least 14 lawsuits blame the guardrails for causing injuries in crashes, including five deaths, according to The New York Times.

4> Exploding Airbags Seriously Injure Motorists
Airbags made by Takata and installed in vehicles from 12 different automakers can explode when deployed, injuring or even killing occupants. A report published in The New York Times alleges that Takata knew of the defects for years but failed to take action. Since then the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled 19 million vehicles in the United States, fined Takata for failing to cooperate with its investigation and handed down a record civil penalty of $200 million.

5> New Regulations Protect Nursing Home Residents
The federal watchdog for nursing home safety has proposed sweeping new regulations designed to improve patient care and safety for more than 1.5 million Americans living in long-term care facilities. Such regulations are long overdue, according to patient safety advocates, family members and the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, who report numerous cases of abuse and neglect. If the regulations are finalized, “unnecessary hospital re-admissions and infections would be reduced, quality care increased and safety measures strengthened,” according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

6> VW Trumps GM as Most Untrustworthy Car Maker
The scandal at Volkswagen over rigged emissions in more than 11 million cars worldwide reminds Americans once again that car manufacturers are often willing to jeopardize the health and safety of consumers to protect their profits. News of the VW scam comes just over a year after GM admitted it had covered up a defect in an ignition switch that has been blamed for at least 124 crash deaths. Both companies might have gotten away with their misconduct if not for a wrongful death lawsuit (in the case of GM) or a chance discovery by a small research team at West Virginia University (in the case of VW). Meanwhile, some in Congress are considering a bill that would bail out VW: learn more and tell Congress to vote no here.

7> Defective Products Create “House of Horrors” 
Toxic drywall, failing sprinklers, leaking windows and even bursting toilets … these are just a few of the defective and dangerous products that are featured in the “House of Horrors,” an informative infographic from the American Association for Justice. Each case demonstrates how consumers have fought back against shoddy manufacturers through class-action lawsuits, a right that is threatened by forced arbitration clauses as discussed above.

8> Toys Still Injuring Kids
Nearly 260,000 kids visit emergency rooms each year for toy-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. And sadly, 11 children under the age of 12 died while playing with toys in 2014. The most common injuries include poisoning, choking, ingesting magnets or falling from riding toys. While regulators, safety advocates and the parents of injured children have succeeded in ridding store shelves of many unsafe toys, too many still get through. Learn more.

Contact NH Injury Attorneys Today

If you have suffered a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, call for a free consultation with the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 624-7200.