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Manchester Injury Lawyers: Rear-End Collisions

Rear-End Collisions

The Manchester injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that for a number of years, car crashes were declining due to several factors. This includes the manufacturing of automobiles with advanced safety devices such as anti-lock brakes, stability control, and multiple airbags. Recently, however, the incidence of collisions on American roadways has increased sharply.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 37,461 people died on American roadways in 2016, a 5.6 percent hike over 2015.

Research has shown that one of the major factors in this rise is collisions caused by drivers who are distracted behind the wheel, primarily, though not exclusively, from the use of hand-held devices. Texting, phone calls, searching for music, and many other distractions have fueled the spike in crashes, many of which are collisions to the rear-end of vehicles that have come to a stop.

Rear-end collisions have always been one of the most common types of auto accidents, but in the past few years they have been occurring more frequently due to the increase in distracted driving. Most rear-end collisions occur when the stopped vehicle is waiting in traffic, waiting to turn left or right, or waiting for a light to change, and the driver is struck from behind by someone who is distracted and not focused on the road ahead.

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Police Reports and Insurance Companies

The police report written following a crash will frequently place fault on the moving vehicle, usually for following too closely or for inattentiveness.  The driver of the moving vehicle will often admit liability to the police officer, you, or other witnesses.

Insurers usually pay considerable attention to police reports.  However, sometimes insurance carriers or their defense attorneys will claim no liability due to sudden and unexpected stopping, failure to signal when stopping to turn, not yielding before pulling into traffic, or brake defect.

Assessing Liability in Rear-End Collisions

The  experienced Manchester injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC will want to learn about the following items when assessing the certainty of liability in your rear-end collision:

    • Vehicle position. Was your car stopped in traffic, waiting for a light to change, turning left or right, slowing down for traffic, waiting to turn into a driveway, etc.?
    • The other driver’s speed. What was the approximate speed of the vehicle that struck you?
    • His or her following distance. Did you see how far away the colliding vehicle was before the crash?
    • Your use of turn signals. If you were about to turn, did you have your turn signal on?  If so, for how long?
    • The vehicle damage. Is the damage to each car minimal, moderate, or severe?  Do you have any pictures?
    • Any driver statements. Did either you or the other driver say anything about fault at the scene?
    • The existence of witnesses. Were there any impartial witnesses to the accident?
    • Any alcohol use. Were either you or the other driver drinking prior to the accident?
    • Any credible passengers. Did either car have other riders?  How persuasive are their accounts of the accident?
    • The driving conditions. Was the road slippery due to rain or snow?  Was it sunny, dark, foggy, or stormy?
    • The functioning of your lights. Were your signal and brake lights working?
    • Any defenses. Is the insurer suggesting that brake defect, icy conditions, sun in the other driver’s eyes, or your failure to signal is to blame?

Contact the Manchester Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law Today

If you have been injured in a New Hampshire motor vehicle collision, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. To contact the experienced Manchester injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman for a free consultation, call (603) 239-2315, complete a request for a consultation or chat with us on our website, or send us an email.

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NH Injury Lawyers Discuss Home Safety

Make Your Home Safer with the “Three-F” Safety Check

According to the NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, about 146,571 people died from unintentional injuries in 2015. The National Safety Council reports that many of these injuries were suffered at home. Safety check your home for the three F’s; Fires, Falls and Firearms.

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Sawdust is highly combustible. Remember to clean up!

Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were more than 380,000 residential fires in 2015. Most of us know common sense fire safety rules: don’t let candles burn unattended, unplug curling irons or space heaters when not in use, don’t overload outlets, etc.  Also consider:

  • Wiring: Poorly installed or old wiring is a hidden danger. One way to prevent electrical fires is to replace old circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters. These inexpensive safeguards detect dangerous electrical arcs, abnormal power surges that signal bad insulation or loose connections and break the circuit.
  • Kitchen Clutter: Almost 51 percent of home fires are caused by cooking in the kitchen. Items like kitchen towels, pot holders, and cook books can ignite quickly. Maintain a three-foot zone between any combustible items and your burners, and keep a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Clothes Dryer: Lint buildup can spell disaster. Clean out lint traps after ever dryer use and make sure to regularly check for lint in the dryer cabinet, located in the back or bottom of the machine. The vent pipe should also be cleaned out every three months.
  • Excessive Sawdust: Sawdust burns quickly and easily. Regularly clean up with a vacuum designed for combustible dust. Also, avoid using compressed air to blow around dust – propelling it into the air can cause it to ignite.

Falls

The National Safety Council reports that 33,000 Americans died from falls in 2015. A majority of those deaths were suffered by people over age 65.

  • Clean up clutter: Scarves, hats, boots, oh my! Pulling off your cold weather gear and dumping it on the floor creates a tripping hazard. Put away anything that you or others may stumble over.
  • Keep walkways clear: Ice and snow on driveways and sidewalks can be hazardous to you or your visitors. Keep up on snow removal, and use salt when icy.
  • Avoid loose or ill-fitting clothing: Oversized clothes can easily cause a tumble for older Americans. Pants should be properly hemmed so they don’t drag on the ground.
  • Wear footwear with a sole: Shoes or slippers with a good sole are much safer to walk in than fuzzy socks that slip and slide.

Firearms

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Lock and store guns and ammunition separately.
  • UNLOADED firearms should be stored in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault, or storage case that is inaccessible to children.
  • Gun locking devices are a good second security measure that can be used in addition to locked storage.
  • Ammunition should be stored in a locked location separate from firearms.
  • Thoroughly double check firearms to confirm that they are unloaded when put in or taken out of storage.

Injured? Contact the NH Injury Lawyers at 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 NH injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman are ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 624-7200 today for a free initial consultation, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

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New Hampshire Divorce Attorneys: Inherited Marital Property

Is my inheritance considered marital property?

new hampshire divorce attorneysAccording to the New Hampshire divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, marital property includes anything and everything owned by either of the parties. This includes homes titled in only one party’s name, retirement funds, and yes, even inherited funds or property. It does not matter when (even if the property was purchased or received prior to the marriage) or how the property was purchased. Everything goes into the pot to be divided.

New Hampshire Divorce Law

The definition of marital property is found in New Hampshire law at RSA 458:16-a, which states:

Property shall include all tangible and intangible property and assets, real or personal, belonging to either or both parties, whether title to the property is held in the name of either or both parties. Intangible property includes, but is not limited to, employment benefits, vested and non-vested pension or other retirement benefits, or savings plans. To the extent permitted by federal law, property shall include military retirement and veterans’ disability benefits.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Decision

More particularly, the New Hampshire Supreme Court specifically addressed inheritances  in its decision In the Matter of Henry and Henry, writing:

To the extent that the respondent asserts that the trial court erred as a matter of law by dividing assets that the respondent inherited from his parents during the marriage, we disagree. By statute, marital property subject to equitable distribution “shall include all tangible and intangible property and assets, real or personal, belonging to either or both parties, whether title to the property is held in the name of either or both parties.” [citation omitted]. This statutory definition of marital property subject to equitable distribution does not exclude inherited property “belonging to either or both parties.” [citation omitted]

Dividing marital property “equitably” vs. “equally”

However, just because all funds, interests, and property belonging to either party can be divided by the court, it doesn’t mean the court will do so.  The New Hampshire divorce attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that state law allows the court to divide marital property “equitably” and equitably does not always mean “equally.” The courts have wide discretion to deviate from an equal distribution based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the age of the parties, the length of the marriage, and the earning capacity of the parties. Every division is based on the particular facts and circumstances of the marriage being dissolved.

For questions about divorce, contact the New Hampshire divorce attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman today

The New Hampshire divorce attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law would be pleased to discuss your matter with you and be your partner throughout the process. Our firm is experienced and prepared to deal with any situation that may arise. For a free consultation, please feel free to call us at (603) 210-4464, send us an email to info@MZLawNH.com, or reach out to us using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

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