nh injury attorneys

Steps to Take After a Car Accident in New Hampshire

Even minor car accidents can be unsettling. And you’ll probably be pumped up with adrenaline and emotion for a while afterward. So while you may think common sense will guide you after a car accident, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself ahead of time by keeping these tips in mind. Below, the injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC discuss 7 steps to take after a car accident:

steps to take after a car accident, Manchester New Hampshire

Step 1: Stop and Pull Over

Hit-and-run can be a felony if someone is injured or killed in the accident, so don’t immediately leave the scene. Stop and pull over to the side of the road if you can. Be sure to turn on your hazard lights if you can. These actions increase the safety of the accident scene while making it easier for other motorists to pass.

Step 2: Check to See If Anyone is Hurt

Don’t get out of the car yet. Check your passengers for injuries and have them do the same for you. If you’re alone, check yourself carefully. In the aftermath of an accident, an adrenaline surge may temporarily mask the pain of some injuries. If you see and feel nothing major, wait until it’s safe to get out of your car before doing so.

Check with the occupants of the other car(s) involved. If the accident caused any injuries, call 911. Render first aid if necessary, but try not to move anyone unless you know they’re in danger.

Until everyone is safe and the authorities have arrived, don’t worry about trying to assign fault or blame.

Step 3: Call the Police If Necessary

Even if it’s not an emergency, you may need to call the police to inform them about the accident. This won’t be necessary if you’re on a busy or regularly patrolled road. If you’re on a low-traffic road or rural highway, call them as soon as possible. Don’t call 911 unless it really is an emergency. You can get the local police station’s phone number from Information.

Step 4: Swap Contact and Insurance Info

While you’re waiting, exchange insurance and contact information with all other drivers. This is one of the most important steps to take after a car accident, as it will eventually come in handy in your accident claim. Get all names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and plate numbers. If someone decides to leave the scene, try to get their license number. It may also help your insurance claim later if you can get contact information from any passengers in the other car(s).

Step 5: Take Notes and Photos

Document the accident. Don’t worry about offending anyone.

Take notes on paper or on your phone’s notes app. Include where the accident occurred, the drivers involved, your car’s damage, and any injuries. Try to get the names of all the passengers and witnesses. Include the road conditions and any road hazards. Get the names and badge numbers of the police officers who respond, too. Take photos of everything above, especially your injuries and vehicle damage.

Step 6: Ask for a Police Report

Most insurers consider the officers who handle a scene to be reliable, solid sources of information. Ask them for a police report at the scene. They should be able to tell you when it will be ready and how you can get a copy. This can help you when you make your claim.

Step 7: Call Your Insurance Agent

Contact your insurance agent ASAP. If they’re unavailable, leave a message. When they call you back, they’ll fill you in on what to do next. 

Learn More About Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Because auto damages can range into the thousands of dollars — and injury claims can go even higher — some insurance companies will do all they can to minimize or avoid paying a claim. If you get a low settlement offer, they deny your claim, or you feel you’ve been unfairly found at fault, we may be able to help. Talking to an experienced New Hampshire car accident lawyer may be one of the most important steps to take after a car accident. Contact the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC today at (603) 624-7200.

texting while driving

Texting While Driving: It CAN Wait

According to statistics released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2015 alone distracted driving was responsible for 3,477 total deaths and 391,000 injuries. The NHTSA also estimated that, in 2011, 660,000 drivers were using an electronic device while behind the wheel.

Nearly 3,500 people were killed because of texting while driving. So we ask this, was it worth it?

texting while driving

What Can Cause Distraction?

There are three main types of distraction

  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Taking your mind off the road

These three distractions are all involved when texting while driving. Reading or sending a text takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.5 seconds. This doesn’t sound like very long now does it? But traveling at an average rate of 55 mph taking your eyes off the road for 4.5 seconds would be equal to driving the entire length of a football field…blind folded! These distractions played a crucial role in the New Hampshire law, the Hands-Free Law that went into effect on July 1, 2015. This law specifically went into effect to create safer conditions for everyone on the road. The bottom line is that no one can multitask enough to make texting and driving safe. Drive now text later, it will save lives.

It Could Happen to You

This is the story about two individuals whose lives changed in the matter of seconds. Chad Belleville of Barnstead, NH was driving to pickup his order of Chinese food on December 23rd, 2010 when he looked down at his phone to read a text.

“The next thing you know, I crashed.” He told State Troopers.

In the time that Belleville looked down at his phone to read a text he crossed over a median line nearly missed one car as he plowed into the next. This car was holding Donald Flanders III (D.W. Flanders), a passenger in the car. Flanders, 17, was ejected from the vehicle. D.W. suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of the crash, leaving him developmentally incapacitated and wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. The young man who once dreamed about joining the Marines was now working on relearning the alphabet.

David Rothstein, Belleville’s lawyer stated ‘‘This is a case where you say, ‘Gosh, I might have done that. I have done that.’’’.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court unanimously upheld conviction for second-degree assault. Belleville was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Belleville said in response to this tragedy, “Texting and driving is like playing Russian roulette. It’s not ‘If’ it’s ‘When’”.

Drive Now Text Later

Distracted driving is not an issue it’s an epidemic. Drive Now Text Later, it can wait.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving crash that was no fault of your own, contact the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman at (603) 624-7200. Our attorneys are here to fight for you.

truck crash

Truck Crashes

Due to their size and weight, trucks can cause serious damage and result in fatalities if involved in a crash.

According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 4,317 fatalities occurred in 2016 involving large trucks. This is 5.4% higher when compared to 2015 and is the highest level of large truck crash deaths since 2007.  

Trucks vary in weight, size, and utility purposes. As a result, these vehicles can cause different extents of damage when involved in a truck crash. Below are statistics specifically related to the type of truck involved in a crash.

truck crash

SEMI & HEAVY TRUCKING CRASH STATISTICS

  • Of the 15.5 million trucks in the U.S., nearly 13 percent are big rigs, tractor trailers, and semis
  • About 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality
  • Tractor trailer crashes cost more than $20 billion each year. Of this amount, $13.1 billion is associated with loss of quality of life
  • For every 100 million miles driven on U.S. roads, there are 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries caused by big rigs

COMMERCIAL TRUCK CRASH STATISTICS

  • The average cost of a commercial truck crash is about $59,150
  • Nearly 90 percent of commercial truck crashes are caused or worsened by some sort of human error. This is either on behalf of a truck driver, other drivers, other vehicle passengers, cyclists, or pedestrians
  • About 75 percent of commercial truck crashes are caused by drivers of other smaller passenger vehicles, rather than truck drivers
  • Driver fatigue is responsible for roughly 30 percent of all commercial truck crashes

TRUCK CRASH INJURY STATISTICS

  • About 130,000 individuals are injured each year in truck collisions
  • About 22 percent of all truck crashes result in injuries
  • In most truck crashes (about 70 percent), there are no injuries or deaths – only property damage

IN THE NEWS

The most recent tragic truck crash was the loss of 16 Canadian junior hockey players. On April 6, 2018, these players were killed and others injured when a trailer truck struck their bus. The driver of the semi-truck failed to yield at the flashing stop signal, colliding with the bus carrying the team. Police charged the driver of the semi-trailer with 16 counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

The driver had only one year experience driving trucks and two weeks in the vehicle involved in the crash. He had only been driving the vehicle on his own for two weeks when the crash occurred. In October 2018, Sukhinder Singh, the owner of the trucking company, was charged with violating federal and provincial safety regulations.

Contact a Truck Crash Attorney

The loss of these individuals hit the US, Canada, and the hockey world very hard. The truck crash attorneys at Manning and Zimmerman Law have more than 50 years representing injured clients. Our office helps those in need of representation in injury cases. For a free consultation, call us at (603) 624-7200.

NH injury lawyers

NH Injury Lawyers Discuss Toy Safety

Trouble in Toyland

Protect Smiles: Buy Safe Toys

The annual Trouble in Toyland survey provides toy safety guidelines and buying tips. [Download report]

According to the NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, U.S. consumers spent about $20 billion on toys in 2017 with projections for a seven percent increase in sales for 2018. In short, toys are big business. The downside: a market flooded with toys that, in some cases, are not tested for safety.

Fortunately for American toy buyers (and kids), the definitive annual toy safety survey from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) is here. For more than 30 years, the Trouble in Toyland report has identified toys on store shelves that pose potential safety hazards to children. You can download the report here. Key findings this year include:

  • Toxic Slime: Several popular ‘slimes’ on the market have levels of boron that are 15 times the level recommended by the European Union. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, ingesting boron can cause nausea, vomiting, rashes and seizures. [Download report]
     
  • Missing Choking Warnings: Among children’s toys and products, balloons are the number one cause of suffocation death. [Download report] However, in a survey of five search pages for balloons sold on Amazon, U.S. PIRG found no choking hazard labels on 87 percent of the latex balloons marketed to parents of children under two. This is a violation of the law. Never let a child under the age of three play with balloons.
     
  • Smart Toys Can Be TOO Smart: Websites, apps, and smart toys are all capable of collecting information about users. This includes children under 13. Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission charged electronic toymaker VTech with collecting personal data on hundreds of thousands of children without parent consent or knowledge. It was also alleged that a hacker gained access to that data during a security breach in 2015. Amazon’s popular children’s tablet, the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition, can share a child’s private information with third parties for advertising purposes while not deleting the data it stores.

Keeping Kids Safe

Onward and upward to the toy store! If you are shopping for kids this holiday season, our NH injury lawyers urge you to be sure to keep this safety checklist handy – and check it twice.

  • Toys with sound: If a toy is too loud for you, it could be loud enough to damage your child’s hearing. Test toys to make sure the sound level isn’t painful. 
  • Ingredients: Read labels on the back of toys to look for dangerous ingredients or chemicals. If these substances are ingested your child could get very sick.
  • Toys with small parts:  Toys marketed to children six and above may contain small parts that pose choking hazards for younger children. Look for age guidelines. “Hatching” toys are very popular, but the break-apart packaging can create very small pieces. Before your child plays with a toy for the first time, see if smaller parts fit through a toilet paper roll. This is a great test to indicate if there is a possible choking hazard.
  • Smart Toys: Sites, apps, games and smart toys might be collecting private data from your child  and could be hacked. Always evaluate privacy policies before using, and monitor any data requested on your child. 
  • Makeup: “Children’s” makeup is not considered a toy, so it is not regulated at the same level. Avoid makeup for kids.
  • Previously owned or older toys: Search for recalls on older toys to ensure a safe gift.

Contact the Experienced NH Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

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) 232-7278 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.

NH Injury Lawyers