Share the Road: Motorcycle Accidents Can Be Prevented

Please Share the Road to Help Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

Fall is a beautiful time of year, especially here in the great state of New Hampshire. With the foliage comes more traffic to the roads, especially motorcycles. So it’s time to ask yourself if you are sharing the road and taking strides to help end motorcycle accidents.

The Truth Hurts

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2016 there were 5,286 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes nationwide. This is a 5 percent increase from 2015 (5,029). Motorcycle deaths have been on a steady increase over the last three years. Motorcycle death related accidents have accounted for 14 percent of total highway fatalities.

It is incredibly important for both motorists and riders to share the road and to take precautions to avoid fatal accidents.

What Motorists Need to Know

Driving a motorcycle and driving a car are two vastly different experiences. All motorists need to be aware of  safety challenges faced by motorcyclists.  The size and visibility on a motorcycle are completely different of that in a vehicle. Motorcycle riding practices also alter the reaction time speed and results.

Research and State-level data has  identified that other motorists (not the motorcycle driver) are at-fault in more than half of all multi-vehicle motorcycle-involved accidents. Not to mention that NHTSA-funded research has shown that people behind the wheels of passenger vehicles are distracted more than 50 percent of the time. It cannot be stressed enough that, not only for motorcyclists’ safety, but for everyone on the road, distracted driving is detrimental and fatal in many instances.

Motorcyclists Take Action

All motorcyclists need to be prepared and defensive drivers on the road. Pay attention to your surroundings and other drivers on the road. Take into consideration weather and temperatures upon riding. During fall, wet leaves can lead to slick conditions while riding. The best thing you can do to protect yourself is to use a DOT-approved motorcycle helmet. Doing so just might save your life!

They’re Not Just Warnings, it’s Real Life

As we regularly represent motorcyclists and their families, the motorcycle accidents attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman are grateful for the family of Michael Phelps. Michael was a beloved retired teacher from Concord who was killed on his motorcycle by a distracted driver. His family has shared his story (below) in an effort to help educate others and saves lives.  No one ever assumes they will be in a horrific accident and no one ever thinks they could ever be the cause of one. The sad truth is it happens. The personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman ask everyone to please end distracted driving to help save lives.

Contact Experienced New Hampshire Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the experienced NH motorcycle accidents lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 556-4685 and by email at info@MZLawNH.com. You may also use the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

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!

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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NH Injury Lawyers Ask: “Who’s Driving Your Life?”

Who’s Driving Your Life?

The NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that for many people, driving themselves from point A to point B has become a thing of the past. Today we all have access to apps on our phones. We tell the driver where we are and where we want to go, and within just a few minutes we’re on our way to our destination!

Statista reports that a recent survey found that about 53 percent of people used ride sharing services in 2017, and that Uber had net revenue in 2016 of $6.5 billion.

So who is this driver you’re trusting to be behind the wheel? What are the risks of a car crash, and what is being done to keep you safe? Let’s explore some of the precautions that transportation companies should take to ensure that you get where you’re going safely, and to minimize the risks of car crashes.

What are the precautions?

Various companies take different steps when it comes to hiring their employees. A majority of these companies perform background checks, but is that enough? Uber has come under fire over the past few years due to unsafe conditions for users. New Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has taken a deeper look into keeping users safe during their rides. Khosrowshahi has implemented safety standards across the board for Uber drivers, with Uber telling CNN it had started running screenings on their drivers’ driving records every two years, beginning in mid-2017. Uber may be setting the precedent for other transportation companies, but is this enough?

As the NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law point out, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 2,046,000 car crashes were the result of driver wrongdoing between 2005 and 2007. With Uber and Lyft servicing more than 195 million users during the first three months of 2018, it is time to look deeper into these modes of transportation and explore ways to limit car crashes across the country.

So the driver has a clean record, but what about their car?

Is it enough to ensure that the driver has a clean driving record every two years? These background screens will ensure that drivers with clean records are the only ones driving a passenger to and from their destination. However, background checks should not be the only precautions taken.

Our NH injury lawyers believe that checking the safety of the vehicles is incredibly important and a crucial aspect of keeping the passengers safe from a hazardous car crash. NHTSA has reported that between 2015 and 2017 more than 44,000 car crashes were the result of critical vehicle-related issues. These car crashes included issues and malfunctions related to the vehicle.  For instance, 15,000 car crash cases were related to tire malfunctions. Below we further examine the study of vehicle-related car crashes.  It is critical for companies to not only screen the capabilities of the driver, but also the vehicle in use as well.

Tragic results caused by a lack of regulation 

The responsibilities of finding safe drivers with up-to-date inspected vehicles is crucial for transportation companies. The consequences of any negligence in these responsibilities can be fatal. On October 6, 2018, the country witnessed one of the deadliest transportation accidents in the past nine years. Twenty individuals perished while riding as passengers in a limousine in Schoharie, New York. This was a devastating result of a company not maintaining safe vehicles, and a lack of regulation in the transportation industry which did not allow for this violation of the safety rules to be identified sooner.

In an interview with The New York TimesSenator Chuck Schumer demanded stricter transportation regulations. “Stretch limos exist in a gray area. They’re not a car. They’re not a bus. And that’s the problem, they fall through the regulatory cracks and there are no safety standards for them. That has to change,” said the Senator.

Companies should be following safety rules regardless of what the regulations require. Tragedies can be reduced by appropriate regulations and by holding the responsible businesses accountable for their actions.

Contact Experienced NH Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the experienced NH injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 624-7200 and by email at info@MZLawNH.com. You may also use the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

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!

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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Do You Have a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful Death Lawsuits: When and Why You Should Sue

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Do you have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit? At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, we can help you understand the basics of a wrongful death claim, as well as determine whether or not you can sue.

If you have you suffered from a wrongful death in your family, or suspect that you have, read on.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death occurs anytime someone dies because of somebody else’s mistake. That somebody else can be an individual or a corporate entity. For example, a car maker who manufactures a car where the gas tank explodes if somebody rear-ends you may cause a wrongful death. Similarly, a drunk person who fires a large firework into a crowd, killing someone, has certainly caused a wrongful death.

Those who cause such deaths should be responsible for everything from funerary costs to the lost income the victim might have earned during their lifetime. Under most state law, they’re also responsible for other survivor losses.

Can You Sue for Wrongful Death?

Yes, if the victim was important to you and clearly died due to someone else’s mistake, misadventure, or negligence. Most survivors file via an attorney or the executor of the victim’s estate. In legal terms, the survivors are the “real parties in interest.”

In New Hampshire, the law states that “anyone with an interest in the estate of a deceased” may file a wrongful death lawsuit, though you must bring the suit within six years of the victim’s death. Real parties in interest may include:

  • Immediate family.
  • Distant family.
  • Life partners.
  • Financial dependents.
  • Putative spouses (those who believe in good faith that they were married to the victim).
  • Former spouses.
  • Anyone else who suffers a financial loss due to victim’s death.

Whom Can You Sue for a Wrongful Death?

Anyone you can successfully argue caused or contributed substantially to the victim’s death. This may include a trucker, bus, or taxi driver in an auto accident; the architect who designed a structure that collapsed, killing the victim; the contractor who built that structure; the person who owned that structure; the person who maintained that structure, etc. In this case, the term “structure” includes roads, bridges, and other built facilities.

You can sue anyone who manufactured, sold, or installed an item that caused the person’s death, even if the victim was using the product improperly. Anyone who serves someone enough alcohol to make them drunk, resulting in their death due to alcohol toxicity, incautious behavior, or driving while drunk, can also be sued. You can sue the owner of the premises where the individual was “overserved,” too.

Typically, government employees and government agencies are immune from wrongful death suits, though not always.

Types of Damages Claimable in Wrongful Death Suits

Real parties of interest can sue for:

  • Economic damages, ranging from medical and funeral expenses to loss of expected earnings, pensions, benefits, and goods the victim might have provided during their lifetime.
  • Non-economic damages, including less tangible things like mental anguish; pain and suffering; loss of companionship, love, protection, nurturing, and guidance; and loss of consortium (that is, deprivation of a spousal and family relationship).
  • Punitive damages. Monetary punishment for negligence. This can amount to millions of dollars in some cases.
  • Attorneys’ fees.

How Are Damages Calculated?

It can be very hard to calculate damages in a wrongful death lawsuit, and what you can receive may depend on who you are to the victim and why you’re suing. Don’t try to calculate damages by yourself; you need an experienced attorney’s help.

An Experienced New Hampshire Attorney Can Help With Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If you’re considering filing a wrongful death suit in New Hampshire, contact us at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We’ll provide you the advice you need before you start, and the support you need during the lawsuit. With our help, you can prosecute your wrongful death lawsuit with confidence.

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Falls Affect People of All Ages, Not Just the Elderly

Every Person, Regardless of Age, is Susceptible to Unintentional Falls

Falls Increase
Deaths from falls in the U.S. have dramatically increased since 2000.

According to the NH injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law, every year millions of Americans suffer from a preventable fall injury.  More than 800,000 of these result in a visit to the emergency room with a fracture or head injury. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, falls are the most common cause of nonfatal unintentional injuries and are responsible for slightly more than three in 10 injuries overall. Deaths because of a fall have also skyrocketed since 2000, from 13,322 to 34,673. Half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall.

Surprising Facts About Falls

  • Most fall injuries in the home happen at ground level, not from an elevation.
  • Falls are also one of the most common causes of fatalities in the workplace [download report].
  • The most common victim of a fall is a person over age 65, but other common age groups are women ages 20-30 and children under three. Some researchers suggest that because young women in their child-bearing years more often provide childcare and perform household chores compared to their male partners, they are more susceptible to falls.
  • Bunk beds made for children are required to pass federal safety rules, but these requirements don’t apply to institutional beds found in places like college dorms. For college students, it’s up to them and not the school to ensure their beds are safe.
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries.
  • Falls account for about 38 percent of worker fatalities in construction accidents.

Safety Starts in the Home

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Approximately 3,000 stair-related injuries happen every day in the United States, which averages out to one injury every 30 seconds.

Falls can occur in businesses and at the workplace, but the statistics still show that most falls occur at home. Prevent accidental injuries at home by following these guidelines:

Stairs and Steps
  • Have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs, and provide enough light to see each step and landing.
  • Install handrails on stairways and be sure to use them.
  • If you have bare-wood steps, put nonslip treads on each step.
  • Do not use patterned, dark, or thick carpeting on stairs. Solid colors show the edges of steps more clearly.
  • Do not leave objects on the stairs.
Bathroom
  • Install grab bars on the bathroom walls near the toilet and along the bathtub or shower if needed.
  • Place a slip-resistant rug next to the bathtub for safe exit and entry.
  • Use nonskid adhesive textured strips or mats on the bathtub/shower floor.
Bedroom
  • Place a lamp and flashlight near your bed.
  • Sleep on a bed that is easy to get into and out of.
  • Make sure your route from the bedroom to the bathroom is well lit.
Living Areas
  • Arrange furniture to create clear pathways between rooms.
  • Clear clutter from the floor.
  • Install easy-access light switches at entrances to rooms.
  • Secure loose area rugs with double-sided tape or slip-resistant backing.
  • Keep electric, appliance and telephone cords out of your pathways.
  • Repair loose flooring immediately.
  • Throw away wobbly chairs, ladders and tables.
Kitchen
  • Immediately clean up any liquid, grease or food spilled on the floor.
  • Use a step stool with an attached handrail to reach upper cabinets.

Contact NH Injury Attorneys

If your uninsured motorist claim is denied, you may need the help of an injury attorney to make your case. Don’t leave such decisions to the insurance company’s discretion. For a free consultation, contact the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 605-0547 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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