nh truck crash lawyers

NH Truck Crash Lawyers: Collisions With Commercial Vehicles

According to the NH truck crash lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman, collisions can happen anywhere and at any time. More and more, these crashes involve distracted drivers. In New Hampshire, a comparatively small state, traffic fatalities have been rising higher than the national average. In some instances, crashes involve a commercial vehicle. Liability in these case may rest not just with the driver and their insurance company, but also with the company that owns the truck involved.

What is a Commercial Vehicle?

There are a number of different types of these vehicles. A commercial motor vehicle is one that is used on state and interstate roadways to transport people and property. The other requirements for a commercial motor vehicle are:

  • A gross vehicle rating or weight of more than 10,001 pounds
  • Transports more than eight people for compensation
  • Transports more than fifteen people not for compensation
  • Is used to transport material deemed hazardous by the Department of Transportation

There are a number of requirements in order for a vehicle to be classified a commercial motor vehicle. For the most part these are large vehicles that can cause a significant amount of personal and property damage.

Crashes Involving Commercial Vehicles

Because of the size and weight of these vehicles, collisions with commercial trucks often cause devastating injuries and, sometimes, have fatal results. If you or a loved one have been involved in a crash that involved a commercial motor vehicle, there are some important items to know. In cases involving commercial motor vehicles, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has listed a number of items that need to be recorded. These include

  • The date of the crash
  • The city or town nearest where the crash happened
  • The driver’s name
  • How many injuries occurred
  • If there were any fatalities and, if so, how many
  • Whether or not any hazardous materials were spilled as a result

These reports are used by the FMCSA to determine whether or not a company or organization needs to review its safety management in order to prevent further crashes. The question most people have in regards to crashes involving commercial motor vehicles is who is liable for any damages.

First, it is important that the names of those who were involved in the crash be recorded for proper identification. It is also important to record the business or organization that the driver is employed by and that owns the vehicle involved in the crash. This is critical information. If the names of people or businesses involved in the crash are left out of the reports and the court documents, then that unnamed party may not later be found liable even if the crash was their fault. While many assume that only the driver is at fault, that is not correct. The driver may be found liable, but the employer, the manufacturer of the vehicle, and the organization that owns the vehicle may be as well.

Contact the NH Truck Crash Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

Our civil justice system provides for victims of negligence to recover full, fair and adequate compensation for their injuries. The NH truck crash lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC handle cases in all areas of personal injury law. We work diligently to ensure that our clients receive compensation for their injuries. There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2315. You may also email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.

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elder abuse

NH Nursing Home Injury Attorneys: Institutional Elder Abuse

America’s Aging Population

America’s “Baby Boom” generation continues to age. And the average lifespan is increasing due to advances in medical care and medications. As a result, our nursing home population is expected to increase dramatically. Having to place a loved one in a nursing home is often a very difficult and emotionally draining decision. However, we have the right to expect they will be well cared for once they can no longer live independently. Unfortunately this trust is sometimes betrayed and elder abuse occurs due to negligent care including, as reported by CNN, sexual abuse.

New Hampshire’s Negligence Laws

Under New Hampshire law, establishing liability and recovering compensation requires meeting the elements of negligence. In general, negligence law contains four elements: duty, breach, causation and damages. The NH Nursing Home Injury Attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC can help you understand each of these elements more thoroughly.

The liability of a nursing home owner or employer may stem from negligent supervision/care, negligent hiring and retention of employees, negligent maintenance of the premises, and/or negligent selection/maintenance of equipment. In order to hold a nursing home liable for negligence concerning the treatment of a resident, the injured party must be able to prove that the nursing home owner/employee breached a duty of care owed to the injured person, that the resident’s injury was caused by this breach, and that the nursing home owner’s/employee’s conduct caused the injury.

Civil Actions vs. Criminal Actions

Abused nursing home residents are often reluctant or unable to reveal the harms and threats they face. It often rests with family members to look for troubling signs of abuse and take any necessary, appropriate legal action. This includes civil action to hold the nursing home responsible for any negligence that may occur. Any criminal actions are covered under the laws of New Hampshire that govern the abuse of the elderly.

The NH Nursing Home Injury Attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC bring civil actions against nursing homes for abuse and neglect of their residents. Criminal actions are the purview of the New Hampshire Department of Justice.

Contact NH Nursing Home Injury Attorneys

It is important to objectively evaluate the facts of the case before pursuing a civil action for institutional elder abuse. The NH Nursing Home Injury Attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC provide aggressive yet caring legal representation to those whose loved ones have been the victims of institutional elder abuse. Our goal is to help our clients receive full and fair compensation for the injuries they have suffered. This includes any pain and suffering that has been sustained due to negligent care of the elderly.

If you need help bringing a NH nursing home liability claim, or have any questions, including needing information about a nursing home requiring the signing of a forced arbitration clause, we are available to help. There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2315, email us at info@MZLawNH.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.

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NH Medical Injury Attorneys Discuss Patient Safety: How Safe is Your Hospital?

Patient Safety: Deadly Mistakes in the American Health Care System

NH medical injury attorneys

If your doctor wants to admit you to a hospital for a needed medical procedure, would you refuse? Probably not. But consider this: a study published by the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that at least 210,000 hospital patients die each year from preventable medical errors, roughly equivalent to 365 jumbo jet disasters! That puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Refusing care is not an option for most people, but the NH medical injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC believe you should know how patient safety can help you survive a hospital stay.

NH Medical Injury Attorneys: Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Medical Errors

According to the NH medical injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, botched surgeries, preventable infections, improper medications and misdiagnosis are far more common occurrences in our nation’s 6,000 hospitals than most people think. The bombshell dropped in 1999 with To Err Is Human, a report from the Institute of Medicine that estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die each year as a result of medical errors.

Subsequent studies validated the Institute’s report, including a 2010 review by the Office of Inspector General that pegged annual preventable deaths among Medicare patients at 15,000 per month or 180,000 per year. Another 1.5 million people are injured, according to estimates published the same year from the Society of Actuaries. And in the Journal of Patient Safety report cited at the beginning of this article, it was estimated that the death toll is probably much higher, between 210,000 and 440,000 per year. Aside from the staggering level of human suffering, medical mistakes are costing Americans between $735 billion and $980 billion annually, according to an analysis presented in the Journal of Health Care Finance.

So while providers and policymakers debate how to address the “epidemic of patient harm in hospitals” as reported in Patient Safety, what can you do to protect yourself and those you love from health care errors? Plenty, according to the Joint Commission.

Start with Awareness and a Willingness to SPEAK UP:

  • Speak up, ask questions, and ask again if you don’t understand. Know what to expect before and after a procedure, and if something changes, ask why.
  • Pay attention and get the right treatments and medications from the right people; don’t assume anything.
  • Educate yourself about your medical history: diagnosis, medical tests and treatment plan.
  • Ask an assertive, informed family member to be there as your advocate to ask tough questions if you can’t.
  • Know what medications you take and why. Bring a list that includes supplements and allergies.
  • Use a hospital that has undergone rigorous on-site evaluation. Visit Medicare’s Hospital Compare, the Joint Commission’s Quality Check, and Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score.
  • Participate aggressively in your treatment. Ask doctors and nurses to wash their hands before touching you; check ID bracelets before treatments and medication; and label a procedure site with a permanent marker.

NH medical injury attorneys

For more details, download a copy of the Speak Up brochure. Or visit the Speak Up Web page for more information, brochures, posters and videos.

– See more in our Let America Know newsletter.

NH Car Accident Lawyers: Experts Looking for Answers to Rising Traffic Injuries and Deaths

Cheaper Gas, Better Economy, Distracted Driving Among Contributing Factors

For decades, auto accidents have trended downward. Road fatalities steadily declined from more than 50,000 annually in the early 70s to just over 30,000 in recent years. Credit goes to many advances in safety, including:

  • Crash worthy vehicles that better protect those involved in crashes
  • New technologies like anti-lock braking, vehicle stability controls and self-driving sensors that prevent crashes in the first place
  • Educational programs and tougher laws aimed at seat belt use, teen drivers and driving while impaired

But starting in 2015, road safety hit the skids when the number of people lost in crashes jumped 7.2 percent from 2014, the largest percentage increase in 50 years. And the news for 2016 may be even worse as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently projected an 8 percent increase in traffic deaths for the first nine months of 2016 over 2015.

Some safety experts have blamed the increase on more drivers traveling more miles. Longer commutes and more road trips, coupled with cheaper gas and lower unemployment, add up to more drivers on the road. Even those not in vehicles are at a higher risk as car-pedestrian and bike fatalities have risen as well.

But NHTSA’s Administrator Mark Rosekind said he and his colleagues can’t accept that a better economy means more people are going to die on our roads. “We still have to figure out what is underlying those lives lost,” he said. To that end, NHTSA and the National Safety Council joined forces to launch the Road To Zero campaign which aims to end all traffic fatalities in the U.S. in the next 30 years. This campaign provides grants to non-profits that help research and implement innovative highway safety measures.

Car Crash? There’s an App For That

According to the NH car accident lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman, the spike in injuries and deaths from crashes is often blamed on the use of smartphones. Data from the Pew Research Center shows that almost 80 percent of U.S. adults own smartphones. More than 600,000 of those people are operating a smartphone while driving at any given time.

Texting and driving have proven to be a dangerous combination, with 78 percent of distracted driving-related crashes attributed to texting drivers. However, dangers from non-texting apps that encourage driver interaction have also arisen.

The messaging app Snapchat features a speed filter that tells users how fast they are traveling, which some have argued encourages drivers to travel at unsafe speeds. A man who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a recent collision is suing both the other driver for her recklessness as well as Snapchat for encouraging the teen to drive at unsafe speeds. Waze, a navigation app, rewards users for reporting traffic jams and roadside obstructions while driving. The “Gotta Catch ’Em All” mentality of Pokémon Go has caused accidents when users ignored safety to play the game.

Protect Yourself and Others

According to the NH car accident lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman, traditionally the six root causes of serious accidents are driver inattention, fatigue, impaired driving, speeding, aggressive driving and adverse weather conditions. With those factors in mind, here are some tips you can use to prevent traffic accidents and protect yourself and others:

  • Silence and put away all phones for the duration of your drive.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and leave the distractions at home.
  • When buying a new or used car, prioritize safety ratings and purchase cars with safety features. Also be sure to run a recall check on your car at SaferCar.gov.
  • If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist, pay attention to vehicle traffic even if you have the right of way. A distracted driver could mean disaster.
  • Follow all posted speed limits and wear your seat belt.
  • Always drive alert, awake and sober.

Contact the NH Car Accident Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

Our civil justice system provides for victims of negligence to recover full, fair and adequate compensation for their injuries. The NH car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC handle cases in all areas of personal injury law, and we work diligently to ensure that our clients receive compensation for their injuries. There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2315, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

New Hampshire motor vehicle accident attorneys

Initial Medical Treatment Following a New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Accident

According to New Hampshire motor vehicle accident statistics compiled by the National Safety Council and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, despite the fact that there are an increasing number of safety features in automobiles, the number of car and truck crashes causing serious injuries continue to rise.

Following a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident, you will most likely be asked by paramedics and first responders at the scene how you are feeling and if you wish to be taken to the hospital.

Although you may not be feeling severe pain following a crash, it is still a good idea to be examined by the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and consider immediately going to an emergency room (ER) or urgent care facility. Particularly with soft tissue neck, back, and shoulder injuries, the onset of pain and symptoms may not occur until days or even weeks following an accident.

This article will explore some treatment options you should consider following a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident and the way insurance companies will likely view these treatment decisions.

Emergency Room Care and Treatment

Immediately following a crash, it is important that you seek medical treatment at a hospital or urgent care center if you are injured – and that you not drive yourself. You are typically better off traveling in an ambulance or having a friend or family member come to the accident scene and take you to the hospital.

If an insurance company learns that you did not seek treatment immediately following a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident, it will negatively affect the way they value your personal injury case. The same is true if you drive yourself to an ER for treatment. Rightly or wrongly, insurance adjusters believe that if you did not seek immediate treatment following a crash, or if you were “well enough” to drive yourself to a hospital, then you must not have been injured all that badly.

Your best bet is to seek ER treatment immediately following a crash if you feel you have been injured, even if you don’t feel intense pain or don’t believe that you have been injured seriously. Unless you have emergency medical training, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Emergency Room Doctors and Other Personnel

Ordinarily, EMTs and ER personnel will ask where you feel pain upon examination. Be sure to answer their questions completely and be thorough in describing your complaints and symptoms. ER physicians and nurses typically dictate a report which is then reduced to writing. These ER reports, along with all imaging studies (such as x-rays and MRI’s taken) and medical treatment reports , are forwarded to the defendant’s insurance company for consideration. Be as thorough and specific as possible when describing the nature and extent of your symptoms to EMTs, ER personnel, and physicians.

Prior to leaving the ER, the doctor will provide you with discharge instructions for treating your medical condition (such as taking medication on an as-needed basis or doing home exercises). The ER doctor may also recommend that you follow up with your primary care doctor – or with a specialist or physical therapist – as soon as possible. When a physician makes those kinds of recommendations, it is essential that you follow through. Failing to do so can have negative ramifications on your personal injury case (at least in the eyes of an insurance company adjuster) and can severely affect your recovery. You should fully comply with any discharge instructions provided by an ER physician prior to your discharge.

Getting Home from the Emergency Room

If you have been injured and it is not safe for you to be driving, it is important that you avoid driving yourself home from the ER following your examination and treatment. Again, from an insurance adjuster’s perspective, driving home from an initial ER visit (or to/from any medical or physical therapy appointment following an accident) raises questions as to the seriousness of the injuries you’re claiming to have sustained. Following a car crash, if you have been injured and need to rely on others for transportation to and from medical appointments, then you should do so. It is important to limit your activities and give your body (and mind) time to rest and get better.

You may want to keep a journal of your activities in the days following your crash. At a deposition or trial, you may be asked what you were able to do and not do as a result of your injuries. Whether you were home due to your injuries, as opposed to being able to get right back into your regular routine, will be important information.

Conclusion

Initial medical treatment following a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident can be stressful and painful. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with a support system of dependable family and friends you can rely on for transportation to/from medical appointments, and for necessary daily care, as you begin the injury recovery process. The last things you want to worry about during this initial treatment period are legal filings and deadlines. That’s where the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC will be of assistance to you.

Contact the New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire motor vehicle accident lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC. There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury and workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 624-7200, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.