All posts by M. Manning

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.

Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident?

Who Is at Fault in a Car Accident

Who is at fault in a car accident? When it comes to auto accidents and car insurance, states are either considered no-fault or fault-based. New Hampshire is considered a fault-based or tort state when it comes to car accident claims. What does that mean, exactly?

Well, a determination is made to establish which party caused, was at fault for, or to blame for the accident. This party, then, is held liable.

If you’ve been in a recent car accident and sustained serious injuries, a personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can help you recover the full amount of damages that you are owed. In this article, we’ll discuss determining fault, filing claims with insurance companies, and what that process is going to look like.

Seeking Compensation in a New Hampshire Auto Accident

In no-fault states, drivers turn to their own insurance companies when there is an accident. This insurance pays out regardless of who is at fault. In no-fault states, you have three options. Those are:

  • File a claim with your own insurance company
  • File a claim against another driver’s insurance company
  • Sue the driver directly in court

Negligence: Determining Who Is at Fault

For those who elect to file claims against the other driver’s insurance or sue them in court, the process will involve establishing that the other party’s negligence was responsible for the accident. Negligence has a three-factor test. This is:

  1. Does the defendant owe a duty of care to the plaintiff?
  2. Did the defendant breach that duty of care?
  3. Did the plaintiff’s injuries result from that breach?

When the answer to each of those questions is “yes” then the plaintiff has established that the defendant was negligent and that the defendant owes the plaintiff for damages.

What Determines If a Driver Is Negligent?

This is a very broad question that depends entirely on the situation. For instance, in accidents in which one driver rear-ends another driver, the court will almost always find in favor of the driver who was rear-ended. On the other hand, there may be mitigating factors that reduce that driver’s negligence. For instance, what if the driver who was rear-ended did not have functioning brake lights? This could very well have contributed to the accident.

Generally speaking, there is a clear reason why the accident happened. One party violated the rules of traffic and this resulted in a car accident. One party may have been driving intoxicated or was distracted while they were driving. They may have been paying more attention to their cell phone or infotainment system than on the road. Those folks are obviously negligent when they cause a car accident. Other accidents, however, are not so black and white.

What Happens If Both Parties Are Partially at Fault?

In some accidents, both drivers are assigned some of the blame. This is known as comparative fault or comparative negligence. So long as you are not more than 50% at-fault for an accident, you can pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, you are only entitled to collect damages on their “share” of the blame.

For instance, let’s say you win a lawsuit and you have $20,000 in damages. If it turns out that 25% of the blame is yours for the accident, the at-fault driver will only be required to pay 75% of your damages, or $15,000.

Insurance Company’s Role

When you file a claim against a negligent driver’s auto insurance, the insurance company wants you to be at fault for the accident. This reduces their liability. In cases where you’ve sustained serious injuries, they will be going over your old medical reports and attempting to determine what was caused by the accident and what might have been a pre-existing injury. They are going to be doing everything in their power to ensure that they have to pay you as little as possible. This could mean partially blaming you for the accident to reduce their liability or it could mean saying that your injuries were caused in another incident.

Speak to a New Hampshire Traffic Accident Attorney

The more serious your injuries are, the higher the stakes are when pursuing a lawsuit or an insurance settlement. You are entitled to collect on missed time from work, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and a host of other things as well. If you’ve been in a serious car accident, you may be wondering “who is at fault in a car accident, and who will have to pay up?”

Contact the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman. We have successfully resolved numerous cases favorably for our clients.

What Happens When an Uninsured Motorist Causes a Car Crash?

Managing an Uninsured Motorist Claim

New Hampshire is one of the few states in the U.S. that does not require its drivers to carry car insurance. In cases where one driver’s fault causes either property or bodily damage, the driver is required to pay for any expenses that the injured party suffers. The at-fault party’s license is suspended until they can show they can pay for the crash they caused. Sometimes they do this out of pocket. Other times, they come up with a repayment plan. Purchasing car insurance after a crash is another way to cover the costs owed to the injured party.

Have you been in a serious car crash? If so, did it involve bodily injury and/or major damage to your car? In that instance, it helps to have a NH injury lawyer representing you in your uninsured motorist claim against the at-fault party. The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC has helped numerous New Hampshire motorists recover damages from negligent drivers who either did not carry car insurance or did not carry enough car insurance.

Worst Case Scenario: The Motorist Won’t or Can’t Pay

No insurance system in any state is foolproof, and New Hampshire has its strengths and weaknesses. If an uninsured driver causes a major crash they can prove payment by purchasing car insurance. Their new car insurance policy would cover the difference. But what about situations in which a motorist cannot afford car insurance?

While you can sue the motorist directly and their license won’t be restored until they start paying you for your damages, a motorist who cannot afford to make insurance payments is not a motorist who has a vast quantity of assets. You can sue them and win a verdict. But if they file for bankruptcy, you still may never see very much of the money they owe you. Now what?

This is where having uninsured motorist coverage can be a great asset. This form of insurance covers you in the following three cases:

  • The at-fault driver is uninsured;
  • The at-fault driver does not carry enough coverage to settle your damages;
  • You’re involved in a hit-and-run crash.

When a motorist is uninsured and causes a crash, your uninsured motorist policy pays out. In other words, you make an uninsured motorist claim against your own policy and the insurance company reimburses you for your damages. They can then turn around and sue the at-fault driver for the money they paid to you.

Understanding Uninsured Motorist Coverage

The State of New Hampshire requires auto insurance companies to offer Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UMC) in an amount that equals your liability coverage. So if you have a liability coverage of $25,000, the insurance company must offer you a UMC of $25,000. If you carry $75,000 in liability coverage, the insurance company must offer you a UMC of $75,000.

The reason the state has to force insurance companies to offer this insurance is because they would really rather not. Simply put, if forced to pay out should an uninsured motorist causes a crash, it can be difficult to recover that money from the motorist. In many instances, they will look for reasons to deny your uninsured motorist claim.

Are you locked in a battle with an insurance company over a claim? If so, it helps to have a New Hampshire injury lawyer prepare the case for you.

Why? Because insurance companies will go out of their way to deny a claim whenever possible. Every claim you make needs the backing of proof. A Manchester injury attorney at Manning & Zimmerman Law can help you with this process.

Contact a New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney

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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The NH injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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Why Car Accident Photos Could Be Crucial to Your Accident Claim

Car Accident PhotosIn the aftermath of a collision, good car accident photos can be crucial to building your personal injury case. In fact, they may make the difference between a successful insurance claim and a failed one. That way, you can avoid piling financial insult on top of your personal injuries.

We realize it may be tough to remember to take photos in such a stressful situation, but doing so will protect your interests in the long run.

At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, we’re here to help. So let’s do a quick walk-through of the process.

What Should I Include in My Car Accident Photos?

After everyone is safe and you’ve called the authorities, you can start taking your photos. Opt for both overview shots and close-ups of the details. You never know what might be important, so photograph everything you can think of, such as:

  • The surrounding area. This helps put the crash in context.
  • All nearby traffic signs, no matter how minor. Are they partially or fully concealed by anything, like foliage from trees or plants?
  • Any road construction signs and indicators.
  • Road conditions.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Skid marks.
  • Accident debris.
  • Any damaged structures, fences, utility poles, guard rails, etc.

Next, move on to photos of the vehicles themselves, and the people involved.

Take Photos From Multiple Angles

Start by taking multiple photos of the damage from as many angles as possible. Don’t forget to include the inside of your vehicle. Shoot general photos of all the cars as well, even from angles showing no damage. Be sure to photograph the license plates and the signage showing the makes and models of all vehicles involved.

Take Photos of Your Injuries

As hard as it may be, photograph your own injuries as soon as possible, then photograph the injuries of your passengers. By the time you end up in court, the injuries will have partially or completely healed. Be aware that some injuries like bruises might not show up for hours or days, so take pictures of those when they appear.

Take Photos of Witnesses, as Well as the Other Driver

The witnesses. You or an investigator may need to speak to them later, and your injury attorney will want to know about them if the accident goes to trial. You may not remember them later, so get a record of who was on the scene. Photograph the police officers on the scene for the same reasons, as well as the other driver(s) and all passengers.

Make Sure the Correct Time and Date Are Set Up on Your Phone or Camera Beforehand

Take a many car accident photos as you can, even if that’s far more than you think you’ll need. If you’re using a digital camera, set up the time- and date-stamp properly before you start. Your phone may or may not time-stamp the photos. If it does, the stamp will be based on your cell network’s clock and should be quite accurate.

What If I’m Injured and Can’t Take Photos?

Ask someone to do it for you. Provide detailed instructions. The more responsible and logical the person taking the car accident photos is, the better. If you’re alone, you may have no other choice but to depend on the police photos taken, if any. Otherwise, you can return to the accident site later to photograph most of the things on the above list. You can photograph the damage to the vehicles wherever the vehicles end up.

We Can Help You Maximize Your Damages in a Car Crash Claim

New Hampshire doesn’t require drivers to carry auto insurance (even Personal Injury Protection), though at-fault drivers have to prove their ability to meet New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements. The minimum liability insurance coverage for New Hampshire is 25/50/25, or up to $25,000 per injured person with a maximum payment of $50,000, with a $25,000 maximum for damages.

Whatever insurance you have, it may not be sufficient to pay all your costs, especially medical bills. If not, call the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 624-7200 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com for a free consultation. 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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The NH injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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Bike Accident Claim

Bike Accident Claim

More and more people are using bicycles as an alternative means of transportation. Communities are investing in creating “Rail Trails” to promote bicycle riding. With more bicyclists on the roads, there has also been an increase in bike accidents and serious injuries to bicyclists, often caused by distracted drivers. The number of hospital admissions from bicycle trauma injuries more than doubled from 1998 to 2013. This increase has been primarily due to increased ridership and hospital admissions of people older than 45.

Under New Hampshire state law, the “Rules of the Road” mandate that every person riding a bicycle “shall have all of the rights and be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle.”

Injuries to bicyclists involved in accidents with vehicles are often serious and sometimes fatal. In June 2016, a bicyclist in Hudson, New Hampshire was making a left turn when a car failed to yield and struck the bicyclist. The bicyclist slammed into the windshield and front passenger side of the car. The bicyclist suffered injuries to his lower body and was transported by ambulance to the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. In July 2016 the driver of a motor vehicle fled the scene after striking and killing a bicyclist  in Conway, New Hampshire, and in August 2016 another hit and run driver struck and injured a bicyclist in Wentworth, New Hampshire.

Human error is a factor in most bike accidents. Vehicles pulling out of driveways are a common cause of injuries to bicyclists. Under the New Hampshire Vehicle Code, the “driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a way from a private road or driveway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on said way.” NH Rev Stat §265:32.

Comparative Negligence

New Hampshire law governs those situations in which both parties involved in a crash may have some degree of fault. In this instance, an injured person may still file a lawsuit so long as his/her negligence is not greater than the party causing the injury. Damages are reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributed to the injured party. Bicyclists involved in an accident should review their case with the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman who represent injured bike riders. Insurers will look for ways to place the fault for an accident on the person riding a bicycle. Thorough investigation and skilled representation are essential to obtaining a recovery for injuries suffered by a bicyclist.

The following safety tips for bicyclists will help keep you out of accidents, reduce your injuries if you are in one, and help if you decide to file a bike accident claim.

  • Obey the Rules of the Road
  • Ride with traffic
  • Wear a helmet
  • Do not ride your bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Use reflectors
  • Equip your bicycle with a lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of 300 feet in front of the bicycle, and with a red reflector on the rear also visible to a distance of 300 feet
  • Don’t carry bulky packages or bundles
  • Don’t use your cell phone while riding
  • Always do a bicycle safety check before riding
  • Make sure brakes are in working order
  • Don’t carry passengers
  • Expect the unexpected
  • Watch for hazards

If you have been injured on a bicycle through no fault of your own, contact the NH bike accident claim attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman at (603) 239-2451 for a free consultation.

How Do Your Medical Bills Get Paid?

How Your Medical Bills Get Paid

The injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman are frequently asked how medical bills are paid following a motor vehicle accident. Most importantly, if you have sustained an injury, you must seek appropriate medical treatment. Then your New Hampshire personal injury attorney will explain how the various medical bills will be paid.

Your Insurance

Let your New Hampshire personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC know about any health insurance coverage you have through your employer, spouse, parents, or individual coverage. Your health insurance may be responsible for the medical bills you incur. If you were the driver in an accident, your car insurance may cover medical costs.

New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney

Other Insurance

If you were a passenger in a car accident, his/her insurance will likely be responsible for your medical bills. Your New Hampshire personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC will explain that workers’ compensation insurance will cover the cost of treatment for work injuries. Liability insurance carried by the party who caused your injuries will pay your medical bills at the time of settlement if the injury occurred on that party’s property.

Other Sources

If there is no insurance option available, your New Hampshire personal injury attorney will discuss what other sources may be used to pay your medical bills. Unfortunately, this may mean paying the bills out of pocket yourself. Usually, if you are unable to stay current with payments, your injury attorney can negotiate with the providers so that you are not accountable for payment until your case has settled.

Contact a New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney

Proper treatment is essential for any injuries you’ve sustained. Speak to a New Hampshire personal injury attorney about any billing concerns you have. For a free initial consultation, call the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC at (603) 239-2315 .

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Elements of a New Hampshire Personal Injury Claim

What are the Elements of a New Hampshire Personal Injury Claim?

What exactly is negligence and how is it proven in a New Hampshire personal injury claim? First, someone must owe you a duty to act or refrain from acting in a certain way. For example, when anyone drives a motor vehicle, they have a duty to drive in a prudent and safe manner, observing what are known as the Rules of the Road. They have a duty to avoid causing collisions that can lead to a New Hampshire personal injury claim.

Second, someone must breach one of those duties owed to you. For a property owner, that could mean they have failed to clean up a spill or repair a portion of their property they know will cause a hazard to you and other people entering the property. Proving that someone owed you a duty and breached that duty is often the biggest hurdle in filing a New Hampshire personal injury claim.

Third, the breach of the duty owed to you must cause some kind of damage to you, whether to your person or your property. Damages must be proven in a court of law through testimony, documents and/or expert witnesses. At the end of the trial, the jury will decide how much your New Hampshire personal injury claim is worth.

Valuation and Proof

It is difficult to estimate what kind of verdict a jury will return based on these three elements of negligence. At best, your attorney might be able to provide you with an estimated range that might be close to what the jury decides.

What may seem like clear negligence to you may not be as clear to the jury. An experienced New Hampshire personal injury claim attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman will identify problems with convincing a jury, and will explain the specific challenges in your case before you enter the courtroom.

With a New Hampshire personal injury claim, you will be the plaintiff suing the defendant. The defendant is the person who caused your injuries. The defendant will be allowed, just like you, to present evidence and witnesses, and can even testify themselves. Experienced personal injury attorneys are used to hearing defendants tell a completely different story than the plaintiff. It is the jury’s job to listen to you and the defendant, your attorney, the defendant’s attorney, any eyewitness or other witnesses, and expert testimony, as well as review evidence submitted to the court.

An experienced New Hampshire personal injury claim attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman will prepare you with regard to what to expect when testifying in court. They will have carefully gathered all relevant evidence well before trial. As a plaintiff in a negligence action, you and your attorney are responsible for proving to the jury that the defendant was negligent and directly caused you harm or damage as a result of his/her negligence.

Two Types of Damages

There are two main types of damages — special and general damages. Special damages are damages that can be proven down to the exact penny. They include medical bills, prescription receipts, repair bills, and credit card receipts. They also include lost wages shown by tax returns or pay stubs, etc. General damages are considered items that cannot be assigned a dollar value easily. General damages include, past, present, and future pain and suffering, permanent injury, loss of a normal life, etc. In many cases, the general damages suffered are far greater than the special damages.

An experienced attorney can readily secure documents proving your special damages. An experienced attorney will also know to talk to witnesses about your general damages. Some of the best witnesses to prove your general damages are family members and close friends. People close to you will able to testify about how your life has changed. They can give the jury an idea of how you’ve suffered as a result of the negligence of the defendant.

Once our attorneys have submitted evidence and called witnesses to testify for your case, the defendant’s attorney may choose to present evidence and call witnesses. In some personal injury actions, the defendant may not submit any evidence or call any witnesses. However, that does not mean the jury will render a verdict in your favor. As the plaintiff, you and your attorney bear the “burden of proof.” What this means is that if there is not enough evidence showing that the defendant owed you a duty, breached that duty, and caused you damages that can be proven in a court of law, the jury will not award you anything. Even though the defendant and their attorney did not present any evidence or witnesses.

Trial Experience

It is important that you select an injury attorney experienced in settling personal injury claims and with trial experience. The New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman have many years of trial experience in both federal and New Hampshire courts.

For a free consultation, contact the Manchester injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315, by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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We invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

 

How to Prove a Wrongful Death Claim

The death of a spouse or a family member through the action of another is one of the most stressful and traumatic events that can occur in a person’s life.

wrongful death claim attorneys

Wrongful death statutes allow the representative of a deceased person (usually the decedent’s estate or a surviving spouse) to file a lawsuit against the party legally responsible for the death.  If you have lost a loved one through the wrongful act of a third party, you have rights against the wrongdoer and could have a right to a substantial monetary recovery.  This is an overview of how a wrongful death claim can be proven, and the damages you can reasonably expect in a successful case.

A wrongful death claim is appropriate when there is either an intentional act or negligence of a third party that causes the victim’s death.  That is, when a victim who would have otherwise had a personal injury claim is killed through the intentional act or negligence of a third party, a wrongful death claim is substituted for a personal injury claim.

These are some examples of situations can give rise to a wrongful death claim.

  • A victim is intentionally killed by a third party. An example would be when a third party takes a gun and shoots and kills a person without mitigating circumstances.  Another example would be when a person hits a pedestrian with their car intentionally and the pedestrian is killed
  • A victim dies as a result of medical malpractice. This refers to situations in which a treating health care professional provides substandard medical care, or fails to diagnose or takes other negligent action during the course of providing medical care to the decedent which caused their death.  An example would be if a physician fails to properly administer medication in a timely manner which causes the death of their patient.
  • A victim dies in an auto accident involving negligence. This would be any situation in which a vehicle driver’s negligence caused the death of the victim.  An example would be if the driver of a vehicle runs a red light, hits a car, and kills the driver or passenger.
  • A victim dies in an auto accident involving a drunk driver. If a drunk driver hits and kills a pedestrian or the driver of a vehicle, this could give rise to a wrongful death claim.  This would be in addition to any criminal action, fines, and penalties.

In order to be successful in a wrongful death claim, you will have to prove the same elements as you would have in a personal injury claim if the victim had lived.  These are some examples of what a claimant would have to prove in a personal injury case.

  • An intentional or reckless tort or act. This refers to a situation where a third party acts either with the intent to harm another or acts so recklessly that it is likely to harm another.  An example would be if the wrongdoer throws a bomb into an office building intending to harm the owner of the building.  A guest is in the office at the time and is injured or killed along with the owner.  Even though the bomb thrower did not know that there was a guest in the building it is reasonably foreseeable that the owner of a building would have a guest now and again.  Thus, the bomb thrower would be liable for any injuries to the owner of the building and the owner’s guest or their deaths.
  • Medical malpractice. A successful medical malpractice claim can be proved with evidence that the treating health care professional was negligent in providing medical care to the victim and that negligence caused the decedent’s injuries.  For example, if a doctor improperly treated a patient while the doctor was intoxicated and the patient died as a result of the improper treatment and would have otherwise have lived but for the inadequate medical care, then this would probably be a successful medical malpractice claim and wrongful death case.
  • Auto accident involving negligence. This refers to a situation where the driver of a vehicle is negligent in the operation of a vehicle which causes an injury to another.  An example would be if the driver of a vehicle is driving 30 miles over the speed limit, does not stop in time, rear ends another vehicle, and kills the driver or passenger.  This would be the negligent operation of a motor vehicle and likely result in liability.
  • Auto accident involving a drunk driver. This refers to any situation in which the driver of a vehicle has an illegal blood alcohol level, drives the vehicle anyway, and kills a third party.  In this situation, the injured party or wrongful death claimant would likely have a strong wrongful death case.

These are the types of damages which a wrongful death plaintiff can reasonably expect to recover in a wrongful death claim.

  • Reasonable medical expenses and funeral expenses for the decedent.
  • The compensation that the deceased would have earned or could have reasonably been expected to earn if the deceased had lived. This is based on actuarial tables and may require an expert to prove the decedent’s life expectancy and estimated earnings.
  • Pain and suffering endured by the deceased before death.
  • Unlike many states, in most situations New Hampshire law does not allow for punitive damages – which are designed to not only compensate the victim but to punish the defendant. However, New Hampshire does provide for “enhanced compensatory damages” when the negligence was particularly severe.
  • For the surviving spouse, damages are available for the loss of care, comfort, companionship, and guidance of the deceased.
  • For surviving children under the age of 18, damages are available for the loss of a familial relationship.

 

 

Attorney Anna Zimmerman New President of Justice Association

Attorney Anna Zimmerman: President of New Hampshire Association for Justice

The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC is proud to announce that Attorney Anna Zimmerman was installed as President of the New Hampshire Association for Justice (NHAJ) before a full house at the association’s 39th Annual Awards Dinner on Thursday, June 23rd at the Derryfield Restaurant in Manchester.

Attorney Anna Zimmerman

About the NH Association for Justice

The NHAJ is a statewide professional association of trial attorneys working to protect constitutional rights and to ensure that people have a fair chance to receive justice through the legal system when they have been harmed by the acts of others. NHAJ is dedicated to keeping the scales of justice in balance, ensuring a voice for consumers, protecting access to the courts, and helping its members obtain justice for their clients. Attorney Zimmerman’s law partner, Attorney Maureen Raiche Manning, served as President of NHAJ from 2011-2012.

About Attorney Anna Zimmerman

Attorney Anna Zimmerman focuses her practice on personal injury, medical malpractice, wrongful death, workers’ compensation, and family law/divorce matters. She recognizes that people are coming to her at one of the most difficult times in their lives, when they need an expert and caring professional to assist them through the process to protect their rights and interests. After law school, Anna joined a Texas law firm and focused her practice on personal injury litigation until returning to New England in 2007. During her years in Texas, Anna handled complex personal injury cases involving death, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, and sexual assaults.

Anna has also gained a great deal of experience in military matters, having practiced near Fort Hood in Texas. Anna has put this experience to use in family law cases where one or more of the parties is, or was, a member of the military. Anna is the author of “Divorce in the Trenches,” a guide to military divorces, published in the Bar Journal of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

If you would like to speak with Attorney Zimmerman regarding your matter,  call the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC today at (603) 624-7200 or by email to info@manningzimmermanlaw.com.

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Employer Liability in Manchester Car Accidents

Manchester car accidents often happen while an employee is operating a vehicle on the job or during the course of their employment.  If you are injured in a car accident while an employee is on the clock doing something for their employer, then the employer may be liable.  Whether an employer is responsible for an auto accident caused by their employee depends on whether there is some legal reason to assign liability to the employer.

This is a summary of the ways in which an employer can be held liable for an employee’s operation of a motor vehicle and the types of damages that you can reasonably expect to recover in a settlement or at trial.

There are two ways in which an employer can be held liable for the acts of their employee.  Those are negligence by the employer and vicarious liability.

Employer Negligence 

Employer negligence refers to situations in which the employer either knew or should have known about a substandard employee or that an employee was not doing their job competently or properly.  If the employer knew or should have known about an employee’s failure or inability to perform their job duties and the employee was involved in Manchester car accidents, then the employer may be liable for the acts of its employee.  These are some common situations in which employer negligence could occur.

  • A substance abuse problem with an employee. Substance abuse problems are unfortunately very common. If an employer knows or has reason to believe that an employee has a drug or alcohol problem, for example, and does not do anything about it, then the employer will likely be liable if that employee is involved in an auto accident at work.  As an example, if an employee has an alcohol problem and often comes to work hung over or still intoxicated, the employer would be considered negligent to allow that employee to operate a motor vehicle for any reason.
  • Negligent entrustment. If the employer knows that their employees are going to be operating motor vehicles on a regular basis, then that employer has a duty or responsibility to ensure that those employees are competent drivers and abide by the Rules of the Road.  For example, if an employer knows that an employee has poor night vision, has them drive at night anyway, and that employee gets into Manchester car accidents, that employer could be liable for the plaintiff’s (your) injuries.
  • Negligent hiring and retention. This refers to a situation where an employer hires an employee who will drive as part of their job and is either not qualified to do the job or turns out to be unable to operate a motor vehicle competently. If this is the case, and that employee is involved in an auto accident, then the employee could be liable since it is reasonably foreseeable that a substandard or unsafe driver could be involved in an auto accident.
  • Negligent supervision. This refers to situations where an employer fails to properly supervise an employee and to make sure that proper safety policies and procedures are in place and followed.  If the employee fails to implement those safety policies and procedures for employee drivers and the employee is careless and causes an accident, then the employer could be liable.  An example would be a commercial truck driver who routinely overloads their vehicle or a situation where employer knows that this truck driver routinely disregards vehicle safety laws.  If that truck driver is involved in Manchester car accidents that cause injuries to the plaintiff, then the employer could be liable.

Vicarious Liability

This is also known as the doctrine of respondeat superior.  That is, the employer is liable for the acts of its employee because the employee committed a wrong or injured a third party during the course of their employment.  To establish vicarious liability, the plaintiff must prove that (1) an employer/employee relationship existed and (2) that the employee was acting within the course of their duties or incidental to their employment duties when the injury occurred.  In these situations, the employer does not have to actually do anything wrong. Rather, the employee is considered an agent of the employer and the employee’s wrongful act causes the employer to incur liability.

These are some examples of situations in which an employer could be vicariously liable for the acts of its employee (or agent).

  • An employer sends its employee on an errand to get lunch for everyone in the office. The employee drives to a nearby deli to pick up lunch and gets into an accident, thus injuring the plaintiff. The employer could be liable for any damages from that accident since the employee was acting at the employer’s direction.
  • A commercial truck driver is sent to transport goods to another city. The commercial truck driver is an employee of a trucking company and is involved in an auto accident while transporting goods.  The employer could be liable for the employee’s acts since it was during the course of their employment.

If you are injured in an auto accident and an employer is found to be liable under any of these legal theories, you could have the right to recover medical costs, lost wages and earning capacity, incidental and actual damages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and enhanced compensatory damages depending on the circumstances of your case.

For more information, contact the experienced Manchester car accidents attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC at (603) 624-7200.