Resolving your New Hampshire personal injury case

There are a number of different ways to resolve your New Hampshire personal injury case. They include:

    1.  Settlement negotiated between your attorney and the insurance adjuster
    2.  Trial
    3.  Mediation
    4.  Arbitration
    5.  Summary jury trial

New Hampshire personal injury

Settlement Negotiated Between the Attorneys

In many cases, after discovery is complete, and the insurance adjuster and attorneys from both sides have had an opportunity to review all the evidence, the attorneys can come to an agreement about the value of the case, who is at fault, and what is a reasonable settlement offer. If that occurs in your case, your New Hampshire personal injury attorney at Manning & Zimmerman will contact you to convey the settlement offer. As the injured party, you are able to make a determination about whether or not you will settle for the amount offered. Your attorney’s job is to assist you in making an informed decision.  This means they will tell you if they believe you could receive more money at trial, or if your expectations about a certain settlement is unreasonable for your injury. If you agree to settle, the lawyers will notify the court and take care of the necessary paperwork for you.

Trial

Trials are available for cases that cannot be resolved by negotiation, or by using one of the many forms of alternative dispute resolution available to the parties. At a trial, the parties both make opening statements, witnesses are examined by both sides, evidence is admitted, and the lawyers make closing arguments. Then the case is given to a judge or jury, who will decide the case. Trials can be stressful for lay people. Trials also run the risk of a lack of finality. This is because, in addition to the uncertainty that comes with letting others determine your fate, if the insurance company doesn’t want to pay the amount awarded or otherwise believe that some injustice occurred during trial, they can appeal the verdict in certain circumstances. This makes an already long wait for resolution even longer.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
In New Hampshire, all civil cases must go to some form of alternative dispute resolution. Typically parties either go to a non-binding mediation or a binding arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution proceedings are confidential. Things that are said to attempt to resolve the matter at these hearings cannot be used against the other party if the case does not settle and ultimately goes to trial.

The Effects of an Agreement

If you participate in an alternative dispute resolution to resolve your personal injury case, your New Hampshire personal injury attorney, along with the lawyer for the other side, will execute a written agreement for the court, documenting the terms of the agreement. It has the same strength and is enforceable just as any other written contract would be.

Mediation

Mediation involves a mediator, who is a neutral third party such as an attorney or retired judge. The job of the mediator is to remain impartial during the proceedings. Mediators attempt to facilitate a discussion between the parties. The goals of mediation include promoting an understanding between the parties, reconciliation, and settlement. However, the mediator is not permitted to substitute his or her judgment for the parties’ own. Alternative dispute resolution proceedings are confidential. Things that are said to attempt to resolve the matter at these hearings cannot be used against the other party if the case does not settle and ultimately goes to trial.

If you participate in an alternative dispute resolution to resolve your personal injury case, your attorney, along with the lawyer for the other side, will execute a written agreement for the court, documenting the terms of the agreement. It has the same strength and is enforceable just as any other written contract would be.

Arbitration

There are two kinds of arbitration: binding arbitration and non-binding arbitration. Regardless of whether the arbitration in binding, both parties will present their position to impartial third parties called arbitrator(s). The arbitrator or arbitrators will issue a specific award. If the parties have agreed to a binding arbitration, the arbitration decision is final and will be enforceable like any other contract. If the decision is not binding, the idea is that the decision will provide a basis upon which the parties can negotiate further.

Summary Jury Trial

A summary jury trial is designed for early case evaluation and provides a way to develop realistic settlement negotiation. In a summary jury trial, attorneys for both sides present their position to a panel of six jurors. The parties can agree to more or less jurors if they are so inclined, but typically six jurors are used. After hearing the positions of the parties, the jurors make decisions about what damages might be reasonable, and who is at fault. This is also an advisory opinion, and as such, is not binding on the parties.

Injured? Contact the New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, it is essential that you have competent NH injury lawyers representing you from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. The experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman are ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 239-2459 today for a free initial consultation, send us an email to info@MZLawNH.com, or reach out to us using the “contact us” or the chat feature on our website.

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Manchester Law Firm Discusses Road Safety for Teens

Distractions, Inexperience and Risky Behavior Spell Trouble

According to the Manchester law firm of Manning & Zimmerman, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have reported that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. It is estimated that on average, six teenagers die every day in the United States from a car crash. As teens head back to school, you should know how to keep them, and others, safe.

Manchester law firm
Teens who text and drive are outside of
their lane about 10 percent of the time.

The Stats

The Manchester law firm of Manning & Zimmerman knows that a teen driver on the road is more likely to cause a car crash than any other driver. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. Young men are two times more likely to get in a crash than young women.

If your teen driver has recently received his or her license, inexperience can spell disaster out on the road.  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers ages 16 to 17 are twice as likely to get in a car crash compared to teen drivers ages 18 to 19.

Teens are also less likely to practice safe driving behavior, such as using seat belts or maintaining a safe following distance. In 2015, only 61 percent of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding with someone else.  [Download report.]

The Risks

Teens are also much more likely to drive distracted. Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related crashes. Carpooling seems like a convenient way to get to school, but teens riding with other teen drivers increase the risk of distraction with every additional teen passenger. Here are all eight of the CDC danger zones most often linked to teen crashes:

1.  Driver Inexperience
2.  Driving with Teen Passengers
3.  Nighttime Driving
4.  Not Using Seat Belts
5.  Distracted Driving
6.  Drowsy Driving
7.  Reckless Driving
8.  Impaired Driving

The Parents

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So what can parents do to prevent teen driving tragedies?

  • Most important, lead by example. Forty-eight percent of young drivers have seen their parents talking on a cell phone while driving, and 15 percent of those have seen their parents texting while driving. Show your kids how to drive responsibly by driving distraction free, wearing your seat belt, and following all speed limits and traffic laws.
  • Set limits. Multiple teen passengers and late-night driving lead to more crashes. Limit the number of passengers for your teen drivers and set a curfew.
  • Buy a safe car. The car your teen drives should be reliable. Purchase from a reputable dealer, and check all cars at Safercar.gov for recalls. Make sure your young driver knows what to do if a car breaks down.
  • Practice driving with your teen. Provide your teen driver with 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving practice over at least six months. Practice on a variety of roads, at different times of day, and in varied weather and traffic conditions. Stress the importance of continually scanning for potential hazards including other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Create a Parent-Teen driving agreement. Put your driving rules in writing to clearly set limits, as well as the consequences for not following those rules.

Injured? Contact the Manchester Law Firm of Manning & Zimmerman

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, it is essential that you have competent NH injury lawyers representing you from the onset of your case through litigation.  Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. The experienced Manchester law firm of Manning & Zimmerman has  NH injury lawyers ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 239-2489 today for a free initial consultation.

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

Experienced • Knowledgeable • Committed to Justice