Attorney Anna Zimmerman New President of Justice Association

Attorney Anna Zimmerman: President of New Hampshire Association for Justice

The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC is proud to announce that Attorney Anna Zimmerman was installed as President of the New Hampshire Association for Justice (NHAJ) before a full house at the association’s 39th Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 23rd at the Derryfield Restaurant in Manchester.

Attorney Anna Zimmerman

About the NH Association for Justice

The NHAJ is a statewide professional association of trial attorneys working to protect constitutional rights and to ensure that people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they have been harmed by the acts of others. NHAJ is dedicated to keeping the scales of justice in balance, ensuring a voice for consumers, protecting access to the courts, and helping its members obtain justice for their clients. Attorney Zimmerman’s law partner, Attorney Maureen Raiche Manning, served as President of NHAJ from 2011-2012.

About Attorney Anna Zimmerman

Attorney Anna Zimmerman focuses her practice on personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workers’ compensation, and family law/divorce matters. She recognizes that people are coming to her at one of the most difficult times in their lives, when they need an expert and caring professional to assist them through the process to protect their rights and interests. After law school, Anna joined a Texas law firm and focused her practice on personal injury litigation until returning to New England in 2007. During her years in Texas, Anna handled complex personal injury cases involving death, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, and sexual assaults.

Anna has also gained a great deal of experience in military matters, having practiced near Fort Hood in Texas. Anna has put this experience to use in family law cases where one or more of the parties is, or was, a member of the military. Anna is the author of “Divorce in the Trenches,” a guide to military divorces, published in the Bar Journal of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

If you would like to speak with Attorney Zimmerman regarding your matter,  call the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC today at (603) 624-7200 or by email to info@manningzimmermanlaw.com.

nh truck crash lawyers

Employer Liability in Manchester Car Accidents

Manchester car accidents often happen while an employee is operating a vehicle on the job or during the course of their employment.  If you are injured in a car accident while an employee is on the clock doing something for their employer, then the employer may be liable.  Whether an employer is responsible for an auto accident caused by their employee depends on whether there is some legal reason to assign liability to the employer.

This is a summary of the ways in which an employer can be held liable for an employee’s operation of a motor vehicle and the types of damages that you can reasonably expect to recover in a settlement or at trial.

There are two ways in which an employer can be held liable for the acts of their employee.  Those are negligence by the employer and vicarious liability.

Employer Negligence 

Employer negligence refers to situations in which the employer either knew or should have known about a substandard employee or that an employee was not doing their job competently or properly.  If the employer knew or should have known about an employee’s failure or inability to perform their job duties and the employee was involved in Manchester car accidents, then the employer may be liable for the acts of its employee.  These are some common situations in which employer negligence could occur.

  • A substance abuse problem with an employee. Substance abuse problems are unfortunately very common. If an employer knows or has reason to believe that an employee has a drug or alcohol problem, for example, and does not do anything about it, then the employer will likely be liable if that employee is involved in an auto accident at work.  As an example, if an employee has an alcohol problem and often comes to work hung over or still intoxicated, the employer would be considered negligent to allow that employee to operate a motor vehicle for any reason.
  • Negligent entrustment. If the employer knows that their employees are going to be operating motor vehicles on a regular basis, then that employer has a duty or responsibility to ensure that those employees are competent drivers and abide by the Rules of the Road.  For example, if an employer knows that an employee has poor night vision, has them drive at night anyway, and that employee gets into Manchester car accidents, that employer could be liable for the plaintiff’s (your) injuries.
  • Negligent hiring and retention. This refers to a situation where an employer hires an employee who will drive as part of their job and is either not qualified to do the job or turns out to be unable to operate a motor vehicle competently. If this is the case, and that employee is involved in an auto accident, then the employee could be liable since it is reasonably foreseeable that a substandard or unsafe driver could be involved in an auto accident.
  • Negligent supervision. This refers to situations where an employer fails to properly supervise an employee and to make sure that proper safety policies and procedures are in place and followed.  If the employee fails to implement those safety policies and procedures for employee drivers and the employee is careless and causes an accident, then the employer could be liable.  An example would be a commercial truck driver who routinely overloads their vehicle or a situation where employer knows that this truck driver routinely disregards vehicle safety laws.  If that truck driver is involved in Manchester car accidents that cause injuries to the plaintiff, then the employer could be liable.

Vicarious Liability

This is also known as the doctrine of respondeat superior.  That is, the employer is liable for the acts of its employee because the employee committed a wrong or injured a third party during the course of their employment.  To establish vicarious liability, the plaintiff must prove that (1) an employer/employee relationship existed and (2) that the employee was acting within the course of their duties or incidental to their employment duties when the injury occurred.  In these situations, the employer does not have to actually do anything wrong. Rather, the employee is considered an agent of the employer and the employee’s wrongful act causes the employer to incur liability.

These are some examples of situations in which an employer could be vicariously liable for the acts of its employee (or agent).

  • An employer sends its employee on an errand to get lunch for everyone in the office. The employee drives to a nearby deli to pick up lunch and gets into an accident, thus injuring the plaintiff. The employer could be liable for any damages from that accident since the employee was acting at the employer’s direction.
  • A commercial truck driver is sent to transport goods to another city. The commercial truck driver is an employee of a trucking company and is involved in an auto accident while transporting goods.  The employer could be liable for the employee’s acts since it was during the course of their employment.

If you are injured in an auto accident and an employer is found to be liable under any of these legal theories, you could have the right to recover medical costs, lost wages and earning capacity, incidental and actual damages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and enhanced compensatory damages depending on the circumstances of your case.

For more information, contact the experienced Manchester car accidents attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC at (603) 624-7200.

 

 

 

elder abuse

How to Prove a NH Nursing Home Liability Claim

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by the year 2030, three million Americans age 65 and over will live in nursing homes. Elderly residents in nursing homes and assisted care facilities need more care than most. As a result, they are more dependent on good quality care and professionals working in those facilities are held to a higher standard of care.  Though most facilities meet this higher standard of care, many others do not, sometimes with tragic results. According to Masters in Health Care, more than 30% of all nursing homes experience some form of resident abuse, including sexual abuse of the elderly.

Standard of Care for NH Nursing Home Liability Claims

When a health care professional fails to meet the standard of care and an elderly resident is injured, that facility may be the subject of a NH nursing home liability claim. This is an overview of how NH nursing home liability claims work and how a nursing home or assisted care facility may be liable for injuries sustained by an elderly loved one.

To prevail in a NH nursing home liability case, you must prove the following:

  • That a duty of care was owed to the elderly resident. Any liability that is incurred must involve some duty of care.  This is relatively easy to prove if the elderly resident was a patient or resident at a particular facility.
  • There was a breach of that duty of care. Essentially this requires a showing that the care provided to the elderly resident was not up to the standards established by the medical care profession and standards for elder care.  Evidence that can be used, for example, would be testimony from doctors or health care providers in similar facilities as to standard practices and procedures that should be employed to care for an elderly resident. For example, if an employee was not properly supervising an elderly resident with dementia and that resident wandered off the premises and was injured, then the facility providing that resident’s care could be subject to a NH nursing home liability claim for those injuries.
  • Causation (the but for factor). This requires that the plaintiff (the injured person) prove that their injuries would not have happened but for the care provider’s negligence.  It is the cause and effect part of the case.  For example, if a health care provider allows an elderly person to walk unassisted on a wet floor and that elderly person falls and breaks their hip, liability is likely.  Conversely, if an elderly person is at home visiting family for the weekend and is injured, the health care provider and facility would not likely be liable unless there was a medication error or some other negligence that contributed to the elderly person’s injury.
  • Plaintiff’s (the injured person’s) damages. This refers to the actual damages incurred as a result of the health care provider’s breach of their duty of care to the elderly resident. For example, an elderly person slips and falls on a wet floor in a nursing home while walking unassisted.  If that elderly person sustains injuries, such as a broken bone, the nursing home would be liable.   However, if the elderly person was not injured at all from the fall, there would be no damages.  In some cases, emotional distress and punitive damages are available to successful plaintiffs.

These are some instances in which nursing home and assisted care facilities could incur liability if they are negligent or do not otherwise provide health care to an elderly resident at an appropriate standard of care.

  • Negligent supervision. This refers to a situation where the facility failed to exercise proper supervision of an elderly resident and the elderly resident was injured. Some examples of negligent supervision are improper hygiene resulting in infection, an elderly patient with dementia wandering off the premises, ignoring financial and physical abuse, improper feeding procedures, and slip and falls either due to improperly maintained premises.
  • Negligent supervision of employees. Each facility has a duty to properly supervise its employees.  If the failure to do so results in an injury to an elderly resident, the facility could be liable.  Some examples would be mistreatment of an elderly resident, financial and physical abuse, leaving an elderly resident unattended, or failing to provide prescribed medications in a timely manner.
  • Medication errors. This refers to a situation where a nursing home or assisted living facility makes a mistake on an elderly resident’s medication which results in injury.  Some examples are administering improper medications, over-medicating a patient or failing to administer medication in a timely manner.
  • Abuse. These are situations where the elderly resident is being abused by a staff member at the nursing home or facility.  Some examples include sexual abuse, financial abuse, physical abuse, and sexual harassment.
  • Wrongful death. This occurs when an elderly resident dies as a result of the assisted care facility’s negligence.
  • Failure to properly maintain the premises. These are situations where the premises are not maintained according to medical and established practices.  For example, if the premises are not kept clean and up to the hygiene standards established by the medical profession and other state laws and an elderly resident becomes ill because of it, then the nursing home or assisted care facility would be liable.

These are just some of the signs to look for if you have good reason to believe that a loved one in an assisted care facility is not being cared for properly.

  • Poor hygiene.
  • Infections, wounds, bruises, or broken bones.
  • Signs of fear, distress, disorientation, or other discomfort with the elder care facility.
  • Any changes in the elderly person’s emotional or physical well-being.
  • Loss of contact with the elderly person whom you once communicated with regularly.
  • Depleted bank accounts or changes in spending habits such as taking out new credit cards or unexplained charges or large amounts of cash being withdrawn from accounts.
  • Changes in mood or behavior. For example, if an elderly person who once trusted family members now starts accusing a family member or others of stealing or other inappropriate behavior when there is no basis for it, it could be a sign that the elderly person is being manipulated or otherwise abused.

If you need help bringing a NH nursing home liability claim, or have any questions about a nursing home requiring the signing of a forced arbitration clause, we are available to help.

Manning Zimmerman 7th Amendment Scholarship Recipients Announced

Manning Zimmerman 7th Amendment Scholarships

Manning Zimmerman Scholarship

The response to the Manning Zimmerman 7th Amendment scholarship program was tremendous! Following the May 1st deadline, we carefully considered each entry and are pleased to announce that the 2016 recipients of the two $1,000 Manning & Zimmerman 7th Amendment scholarships for 2016 are Hannah Waris  of Milford High School and Shaunna Knight of Timberlane High School. Hannah submitted a written essay and Shaunna presented a video with each of these young women displaying a depth of knowledge of the 7th Amendment and the importance of every American citizen’s right to a trial by jury. Congratulations Hannah and Shaunna!