All posts by Donald Manning

NH injury lawyers

NH Injury Lawyers Offer Post-Crash Advice

What to Do Following a Car Crash

Immediately following a car crash, people are often rattled and unsure of what to do. The experienced NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that by taking a few simple steps, you can protect your legal rights. Most importantly, if you are injured, seek medical treatment right away. Immediate medical treatment offers the best opportunity to avoid additional harm and to make a full recovery.

Important Steps to Help Protect Your Legal Rights

    • Immediately following a crash, call the police to have them come to the scene and complete a crash report. NH requires that any crash with a minimum of $1,000 dollars in damages be reported to the police. If the police did not come to the scene, you can contact them later to file a report. However, they will likely not do their own investigation or talk to witnesses.
    • Do not move your car until the police tell you to. Unless the cars are creating a safety hazard, wait until the police arrive on the scene to move your car. Allowing the police to document the location of the cars will help if a reconstruction expert is needed.
    • If the police do not come to the scene, be sure to collect insurance information. Write down the other party’s insurance information, including the insurance company’s name and the policy number.
    • If possible, get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any potential witnesses before they leave the scene. Witnesses sometimes leave before the police arrive, so it is helpful for you if you can get their contact information.
    • Take pictures of the damage to the vehicles. It is also useful to take photos of the injuries sustained in the crash.
    • In addition to pictures, save any other evidence. Was your vehicle totaled, or was any type of malfunction responsible for the crash? If so, you should have your vehicle stored until you can speak with the experienced NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law. This will allow the damages and any problems with the vehicle to be documented.
    • Finally, notify your insurance carrier about the crash. You may be assigned up to three insurance adjustors. One adjustor will likely deal with the damage to your car, one for medical payments coverage, and one for your potential bodily injury claim.
    • The insurance company will likely ask you to sign medical records authorizations and give a “recorded statement” about the crash. We recommend that before you sign any releases or give a statement, be sure to speak with a New Hampshire injury attorney at Manning & Zimmerman Law.

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Contact Experienced NH Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured due to another person’s careless acts? If so, 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!

For a free consultation, contact the NH injury lawyers 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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Courts Wrestle with Damages When Pets are Injured

New Hampshire Injury Attorneys
Discuss Pet Injuries

The New Hampshire injury attorneys at Manning and Zimmerman Law know that furry, scaly, or feathered companions are nearly a given in most American homes (including ours). It is estimated that 68 percent of all American households own pets, and in 2017 these households spent over $69 billion on food, vet care, and more for their beloved companions. Clearly, an injury to a pet can be traumatic and expensive for owners, especially if it was caused by the negligence of another party. Consider these legal options:

Criminal and Civil Actions

Criminal charges: There are criminal laws against animal cruelty in all 50 states. If you believe there was willful and malicious intent to injure or kill your pet, the New Hampshire animal cruelty laws might apply. Immediately file a complaint with local law enforcement and provide as much detail as possible. If charged and found guilty, perpetrators of animal abuse can serve jail time and be held responsible for damages.

Civil action: According to the New Hampshire injury attorneys at Manning and Zimmerman Law, you may also be entitled to monetary damages in civil court if someone negligently injures or kills your animal companion, regardless of whether it was intentional or accidental. In these cases, you are generally entitled to the “market value” of your pet. Pets are considered property, and a market value is assigned based on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Pedigree
  • Purchase price
  • Special abilities, training, or awards
  • Age and general health

You may also recover the veterinary costs incurred while caring for your pet after the injury.

Emotional Distress

Legal descriptions aside, we all know that pets are not mere personal property. They become beloved friends, companions, and part of the family. Over the years, pet owners and animal advocacy groups have pushed the courts to recognize emotional distress after a pet is negligently injured or killed. One recent case of note involved a 2012 lawsuit filed by a family in California after a neighbor attacked the family dog with a baseball bat. The injuries were so severe that surgery was required. The family was awarded veterinary costs as well as damages for emotional distress.

However, most courts have followed years of precedent and ruled against recognizing emotion-based damages in animal injury cases. In the recent case of a dog that was accidentally euthanized, the Supreme Court of Texas said: “We acknowledge the grief of those whose companions are negligently killed. Relational attachment is unquestionable. But it is also uncompensable. We reaffirm our long-settled rule … Pets are property in the eyes of the law, and we decline to permit non-economic damages rooted solely in an owner’s subjective feelings.”

Visit the Animal Legal Defense Fund for more information on what to do if your companion animal has been wrongly injured or killed.

10 Steps to Follow After a Pet Injury

Aside from the pain, an injured pet will most likely be confused or scared. Take these 10 steps immediately after your pet is hurt:

  • First and foremost, be aware that injured pets may bite or scratch even their owner. Pain and fear can make your pet unpredictable.
  • Perform an examination slowly and gently. Stop if the pet becomes more agitated.
  • If necessary, muzzle your pet – but NOT if it is vomiting.
  • Call your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic before you arrive so they can prepare.
  • Stabilize any injuries if you can with splints, bandages, etc.
  • Transport the animal in a carrier to prevent additional injuries.
  • Keep your pet’s medical records accessible and bring them with you. Take copies on vacation as well.
  • If your animal has been mistakenly or deliberately injured or killed, take pictures. Include wide shots of where they were found and close-ups of injuries. Ask your veterinarian to document all injuries.
  • Following your veterinary visit, contact law enforcement. Report the incident and ask them to come to the scene. Get contact information for any and all witnesses.
  • If your animal has been killed, ask your veterinarian to perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

This comprehensive Pet First Aid brochure from the American Veterinary Medical Association can be printed, filled out, and kept with your pet’s medical records in the event of an injury.

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Contact New Hampshire Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

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!

For a free consultation, contact the New Hampshire injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315 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 New Hampshire injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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Civil Litigation Could Help End Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to control victims for the purpose of commercial exploitation. This can encompass sexual exploitation, indentured servitude, forced labor, forced marriage, or even organ harvesting. Human trafficking is a silent and insidious industry that affects an estimated 45 million people worldwide, including an estimated 57,700 right here in the United States.

Human Trafficking Types
2012 global estimate of forced labor, International Labour Organization

MYTHSex trafficking is the only form of human trafficking. FACTLabor trafficking – a form of modern-day slavery – is much more common but rarely prosecuted. According to the International Labour Organization, 68 percent of human trafficking worldwide (and a majority in the U.S.) involves forced labor, 10 percent state-imposed labor and 22 percent forced prostitution.

MYTH: Human trafficking occurs only on the black market. FACT: Human trafficking touches many legitimate industries, including agriculture, mining, hospitality, restaurant and food services, domestic and home services, health care, the garment industry and more. In fact, most consumers here in America and throughout the world have likely benefited at some point from low-cost products or services made possible by men, women, and children who are forced into slave labor.

“On the Cusp of a New Movement”

Very few perpetrators are ever brought to justice through criminal proceedings. In the United States, for example, only 208 federal indictments were handed down for human trafficking in 2014, and only 18 of those were for alleged forced labor. Many reasons are cited for this failure, from corruption to insufficient resources for law enforcement to lack of political will. But as pointed out in a recent report by The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, “a number of landmark cases heard by civil courts, as well as by regional and international human rights bodies, have resulted in significant verdicts.”

human trafficking
Men hired after hurricanes Katrina and Rita were held in forced labor by a U.S. company.

In one recent case, a U.S. maritime services corporation paid corrupt brokers for hundreds of skilled workers from India to help repair damage from Hurricane Katrina. After several workers sued, a jury found the company held the men in forced labor, awarding the workers $20 million. Meanwhile, food giants Nestlé, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland are facing lawsuits in the U.S. for the alleged use of child slaves in cocoa farming in the Ivory Coast.

How Civil Litigation Could Help End Modern-Day Slavery

Civil litigation hits companies where it hurts, both in the bottom line and in the court of public opinion. Government leaders and rights advocates are beginning to push for more scrutiny of global supply chains, as exemplified by the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, which was written “to ensure that large retailers and manufacturers provide consumers with information regarding their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains…”

According to the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center, “Slowly, victims held in modern-day slavery are learning that they can bring their own suits for damages against the perpetrators. We are on the cusp of a new movement: accountability litigation to end modern-day slavery.”

How You Can Identify and Support Victims of Human Trafficking

Most victims of human trafficking are fearful of physical or legal retaliation for attempts to escape their situation. They are also manipulated and exploited into complacency. There are, however, many federal, state and local protections in place to help these people come forward. This is true even if they are in this country illegally or are involved in forced illegal activity. Be alert to these signs of human trafficking:

  • High-security measures in living areas
  • Large debts that can’t be paid off
  • Excessively long or unusual hours
  • Is not paid, paid very little or paid only through tips
  • Fearful, anxious, or submissive, especially if law enforcement is mentioned
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Poor physical health, including signs of abuse or malnourishment
  • Has no possessions, is not in control of money or identification
  • No knowledge of whereabouts or inability to provide a home address

For more details, click here.

If you suspect trafficking or are a victim or survivor yourself, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Call toll-free from anywhere in the country 24-7, text, or chat online with a volunteer. You can also send an email or submit anonymous tips. Assistance is available in more than 200 languages.

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.

Injured Workers: Don’t Overlook Third-Party Actions

Workers’ compensation insurance is required of employers to protect an injured employee while shielding employers from a lawsuit. In return, injured workers can file a claim to help with medical costs, disability benefits, lost wages, and death benefits.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.9 million workers were injured in the workplace in 2016, and 5,190 died from those injuries [download full report]. More than 30 percent of workers required time off because of an injury, and workplace injuries cost employees, employers, and insurance companies more than $250 billion a year.

Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Discuss Third-Party Liability Claims

workers' compensation
If a workplace injury is caused by defective equipment, manufacturers can be liable.

Many people think that workers’ compensation is their only source of benefits if they have an on-the-job injury. While workers’ compensation is provided without regard to fault on the employee or employer’s part, there are situations where a negligent third party might be held responsible. Called third-party claims, this legal action allows injured employees to seek additional compensation from the negligent party. There is a movement underway to cut workers’ compensation benefits in many states. As a result, a third-party claim may be critical to achieving full financial recovery from a devastating work injury.

Here’s an example: Let’s say a gravel truck driver working for one company backs over and severely injures a construction site worker employed by a second company. The accident investigation shows the trucking company disabled the backup warning horn on the truck. While the workers’ compensation insurance for the construction worker’s company would still cover medical bills and lost time at work, the construction worker might have an additional claim against the trucking company for disabling the horn.

Other types of third-party claims include:

  • Equipment or manufacturer defects: When equipment malfunctions and causes an injury, the manufacturer may be held accountable.
  • Improper safety practices: An employee may work for one employer on a job involving other companies (as described above). If the second company should have and did not follow proper safety guidelines, it may be held liable.
  • Premises liability: An injury sustained by a worker on someone else’s property as a result of a known danger. This may result in a third-party liability claim.

Bottom line, workers’ compensation is limited. It does not cover non-economic or punitive damages. Big bills can stack up quickly. If recklessness or negligence caused the injury, third-party claims might be one more path to justice.

Because these are often complicated legal issues, your best bet if injured at work – no matter how straightforward it looks – is to contact a personal injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman Law.

workers' compensation

Contact Experienced NH Workers’ Compensation Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured at work? If so, 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!

For a free consultation, contact the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315 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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NH Injury Attorneys: Holding Big Pharma Accountable

According to the NH injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law, deaths due to opioid use have drastically increased in the last 20 years. In 2016 alone, according to a special report from Time magazine, nearly 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses – “roughly as many as were lost in the entire Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan wars combined.” An average of 115 people die each day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Life expectancy in the U.S. – one of the richest countries in the world – went down in both 2015 and 2016. So just how did we get here?

An Explosion of Pills and Prescriptions

The original marketing for OxyContin as providing long-lasting and non-addictive pain relief was based on questionable research.

Last year, 236 million opioid prescriptions were doled out in the U.S. The amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, yet there was no overall change in the amount of pain that Americans reported. Deaths from prescription opioids – drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone – have also quadrupled since 1999.

Until the mid-1990s, opioids were only prescribed for pain from severe injuries or to cancer patients. That all changed in 1996 with the introduction of OxyContin, an extended-release opioid from Purdue Pharma. This drug was heavily promoted to doctors as less addictive and therefore appropriate for more common conditions. As prescription opioids became a cash cow for many pharmaceutical companies, they continued to trivialize the risks while overstating the benefits of opioid usage.

Battling the Big Pharma Goliath

nh injury attorneys
Trial lawyers are working with advocates to hold opioid makers accountable.

Addiction prevention and recovery organizations, law enforcement, and health care advocates are doing their best to combat the many-headed monster of opioid abuse. Now, multiple states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions are banding together and filing lawsuits to hold opioid companies responsible for the consequences of the crisis. In so doing, they are borrowing a page from the playbook of Mike Moore, a lawyer and former attorney general for Mississippi. In 1994, Moore was the first state AG to sue the tobacco industry for lying about nicotine addiction and to hold them accountable for the cost to the public of treating sick smokers. He gathered lawyers and other AGs from across the country to take on Big Tobacco – and won. It was the largest corporate legal settlement in history, with 50 states participating and an enormous $246 billion agreement. This money funds smoking cessation and prevention programs to this day.

The Important Work of Trial Lawyers

Last year, Moore decided to turn his sights on Big Pharma. Since then, more than 400 cities, counties and Native American tribes have filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and pharmacy chains. In February, the Justice Department announced it was standing behind the plaintiffs and plans to file a statement of interest as well.

Meanwhile, trial attorneys are working with the authorities in many of these jurisdictions to help claw back the millions spent on law enforcement, opioid-related crime prevention, and addiction treatment. Trial attorneys are also representing individuals and their families who have suffered the consequences of opioid addiction and forcing Big Pharma to acknowledge the shattered lives left in the wake of the opioid crisis.

Personal Responsibility and Activism

What can you do to help stem the growth of opioid addiction and create a future with fewer overdoses? One way is to support lawmakers who are taking on Big Pharma and holding them accountable. The other is by exercising extreme caution when coming in contact with prescription opioids in your life. If your doctor prescribes one of these drugs for you or a family member, ask about and seriously consider less addictive medications, appropriate therapies and other ways to manage pain. If you do decide to go with opiates, consider these tips:

  • Make sure you are getting the right medication.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor to make sure that the medication you are taking is working and that the dose is appropriate.
  • Follow directions carefully. Use your medication the way it was prescribed.
  • When you are nearing the end of your prescription, discuss the safest way to discontinue use and prevent withdrawal.
  • Never use someone else’s prescription.
  • Secure your prescription drugs.
  • Properly dispose of medications. Don’t keep unused or expired drugs. Check the label or patient information guide for disposal instructions, or ask your pharmacist for advice.

Contact Experienced NH Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured due to another person’s careless acts? If so, 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!

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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Calculating Lost Income After a Car Crash

Are you seeking damages after a car crash? If so, the NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law will be able to help you calculate the total amount of compensation to which you are entitled. You will need to recover any lost earnings as part of the compensation you seek.

Time Off Work

Missed attendance at work due to your crash usually results in lost income and/or benefits. This can include lost wages; using any paid-time-off, such as sick or vacation time; or the need to work extra hours in the future in order to make up the time you missed. As your NH injury lawyers, we will need to confirm these losses through documentation from your boss or the human-resources department. We will request the following information:

  • Did you miss working any overtime while you were off?
  • How much time were you off work due to your injury?
  • Did missing work cause you stress or concern about losing your job or being able to complete assignments?
  • How much money would you earn as a result?
  • Did you use vacation or sick time in order to cover the time off?
  • Did missing work impact any opportunities for promotions?

Partial or Permanent Disability

The issue of time off work becomes even more complex if you suffer a permanent partial disability as a result of the crash. In addition, you might be placed on restricted duty with less pay after the crash. Our personal injury attorneys can help you determine lost income in this event. The U.S. government has data that addresses decreased earning capabilities for anyone who suffers a partial or permanent disability.

Special Considerations for the Self-Employed

A person working on straight commission or is self-employed might have some difficulty proving their amount of lost wages. You might be able to compare income tax records to show the difference in earnings before and after the crash. However, if you experience an increase in earnings, you will likely need to call on an industry economic expert in order to verify the related losses. You can also include the cost of hiring any substitute workers when calculating damages.

Contact Experienced NH Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Determining lost earnings is an important part of resolving your lawsuit. At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, we will help you calculate this figure, and any other monies you may be due, in order to arrive at a fair and just amount of compensation following a car crash.

Have you or a loved one been injured due to another person’s careless acts? If so, 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!

For a free consultation, contact the NH injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 671-3156 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 lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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Truck Crashes Involving Multiple Parties

truck crashesOver the past five years, the number of truck crashes has increased by 20% in the United States. Any crash that involves a commercial truck requires a special investigation to determine the cause. Many of these crashes can create severe injuries to the parties involved in the crash. Damages can include lifelong disability, exorbitant medical bills and, sometimes, paralysis or death. Importantly, unlike car crashes, truck crashes often have multiple parties that may be liable for the damages.

The Law and Truck Crashes

There are a host of laws and regulations that affect how truck crashes are to be handled by the parties involved. Truck crashes involve more than just state laws. These collisions are regulated by federal laws and regulations as well. The liable parties could include the trucking company, the owner of the truck, the manufacturer of the vehicle, or other parties associated with the truck driver. Under the current federal laws, a trucking company may be responsible for damages caused by their truck drivers. Additionally, these parties have insurance companies who assess damages and provide financial liability support.

The Investigation Process

The investigation starts shortly after the crash. One of the major factors that should be included in the investigation is the number of hours the driver was on the road. Fatigue and exhaustion often contribute to truck crashes, and unfortunately, truck drivers often violate hours of service regulations in order to meet deadlines. In some cases, an expert will have to be hired to examine the truck and/or the black box data.

Trucking companies and their insurance companies will make sure they investigate the causes of the crash. Avoiding liability and paying out compensation will be the basis for their decisions. However, reviewing the trucking company’s past or present compliance failures can provide additional support for your case.

Within a short time period, what may seem like a clear-cut matter to you can become quite complex. With the complexity of the liability in these accidents, it is important for an individual injured in such a crash to consult with an experienced New Hampshire injury attorney. The experienced attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law will understand the common reasons for truck crashes. We can help to determine whether there are multiple parties who can be held liable for your injuries.

Contact Experienced NH Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured due to another person’s careless acts? If so, 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!

For a free consultation, contact the NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 671-3156 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 lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

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How To Improve Visibility in the Snow

nh personal injury attorneysAs we all know, it snows in New Hampshire. Sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot. It’s great for the skiing industry and our economy, but driving on snow-covered roads can be treacherous and requires patience and focus. According to the NH personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law, visibility is one of the most important factors in order to avoid a motor vehicle crash when driving on snow-covered roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that weather conditions were the critical reason for an estimated 58 percent of the motor vehicle crashes attributed to environmental factors:

• 50% caused by slick roads
• 4% caused by fog, rain, or snow
• 4% caused by other weather-related conditions

Driving in the snow increases the risk of a crash because the roads are wet and potentially ice-covered, and it reduces visibility. You cannot do anything about the roads being snow and ice-covered, but there are steps you can take to improve your visibility.

WIPER BLADES

Make sure you have good wipers that do not scrape or catch on the surface of your windshield. If you have a wiper for the rear window of your vehicle, check it as well. Replace any wipers that are worn out and not effectively clearing your windshield.

WINDSHIELD WIPER CONTROLS

The best wiper blades in the world will not do you any good if your windshield wiper controls are not working. Properly functioning controls are an essential piece of safety equipment for your vehicle. If your wiper controls begin to malfunction, immediately take your vehicle in for repair. Weather can be unpredictable, and having broken wiper controls is an unacceptable risk.

HEADLIGHTS

Your vehicle headlights are vital for your safety. They illuminate your driving path and help other drivers see you. If you are driving with old headlights that have become dull, you may struggle to see in front of you and other drivers may not see you as well in snowy conditions. Also, be sure to remove the snow covering your headlights when cleaning the snow from your windshield and windows. Check these factors, in particular, to make sure your headlights are in good working order:

• Brightness – How well do they light your path?
• Distance – How far down the road can they illuminate?
• Haze – Do you have build-up on the surface of your headlights?

If your headlights are no longer sufficiently doing the job, you can replace the bulbs. Even if only one bulb is not working well, replace the bulbs in both headlights at the same time. This is an inexpensive safety upgrade. If your headlights are covered with a dull build-up, try removing the build-up to improve performance. There are many good products on the market for removing the build-up and then sealing the headlight covers to protect against future build-up. In some snowy conditions, your high beams might cause glare and reflection. If this is the case, consider using your low beams if they provide sufficient illumination.

DEFOGGER

The defogger for your windshield and your rear window need to be working properly to prevent your windows from fogging up and obscuring your view. If your defoggers are not working correctly, take them in for repair right away.

Contact Experienced NH Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, 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!

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

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Who’s at Fault When Robot Cars Crash and Injure People?

New Hampshire car crash lawyers
Engineers rank vehicle automation from zero to five. Click chart to expand.

Where We Are Today

Most cars now already feature some form of self-driving technology. This includes cruise control and electronic stability control. It also includes recent innovations like automatic braking, lane departure alerts, and self-parking. The latest technologies, like Autopilot from Tesla and Drive Pilot from Mercedes-Benz, automatically steer, adjust speed, and brake. Instead of relying on eyes, ears and a brain for control, autonomous vehicles depend on data. This includes data from cameras, radar and high-tech sensors that detect light – all fed into an onboard computer.

Since we share the road with both old and new vehicles, all with a mix of technologies, the Society of Automotive Engineers created a six-level ranking system. Level Zero, One and Two vehicles still require human drivers to monitor the driving environment. Level Three, Four and Five vehicles put the computer in charge of monitoring the driving environment. Only Level Three vehicles, like the Tesla, are commercially available today. But traditional manufacturers, along with new players like Google and Uber, are testing fully autonomous Level Five vehicles. They predict these cars will be available to the public in the early 2020s.

What Autonomous Vehicles Mean to You

New Hampshire car crash lawyers

The most encouraging prediction from the transition to driverless cars is a dramatic reduction in crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 37,000 people died in auto accidents in 2016 and millions more were injured. NHTSA estimates that 94 percent of crashes are caused by human error.  Self-driving cars are never tired, distracted, or impaired. They could dramatically reduce accidents, saving 30,000 lives or more each year.

The reality, however, is that Americans will still suffer injuries and deaths from auto crashes as self-driving technology is perfected. No technology is foolproof, especially when it involves the highly complex sensors and artificial intelligence central to self-driving cars. We’ve also learned the hard way that automakers deny responsibility or cover up manufacturing defects to protect profits. And even if Level Five automation is available to the public in 2020, it will be another 15 to 20 years before all vehicles on the road have the latest self-driving technologies.

Operators Still Blamed for Crashes

According to the car crash lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, in a collision involving autonomous vehicles, the question of liability is murky at best. Is the operator at fault, the manufacturer, the software designer? Unfortunately, the trend has been to blame the operator. Manufacturers suggest that humans should be ready to take over when self-driving systems hand over the controls. Research shows, however, that humans are not well adapted to re-engage with complex tasks. These tasks include driving in an emergency situation, once attention has been allowed to wander.

As more and more vehicles become completely driverless, it makes less and less sense to hold their human operators liable. Instead, the car crash lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law see strict liability as the best solution, where manufacturers take full responsibility for crashes when the robot system is driving. This same principle already applies to common carriers like bus companies, airlines, or train operators, where passengers are completely dependent on the carrier for their safety. Auto insurance as we know it today would be eliminated under this scenario. Who needs an insurance policy if they’re not driving?

In the Meantime …

Self-driving technologies and eventually fully autonomous cars will likely be a reality sooner than later. Consider these tips along the way:

      • Do your research: Cars that already have backup cameras or automatic braking are already on the road today. Before you purchase a new car, review safety ratings for both the mechanical and the computer-driven technologies already on board.
      • Stay vigilant: Just like driving a car with no automated features, keep your attention on the road. It’s tempting to believe that once self-driving cars are introduced, you can relax your focus. Don’t exclusively rely on automated features to keep you safe.
      • Support accountability: There are laws currently being written about liability and safety when it comes to driverless cars. Support the laws and lawmakers that insist on strict liability for autonomous vehicle manufacturers.

Contact Experienced New Hampshire
Car Crash Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, 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!

For a free consultation, contact the Manchester car crash lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315 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.

nh car accident lawyers

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What are the Stages of a Personal Injury Case?

3 Stages Of A Personal Injury Case

Contact Experienced New Hampshire Attorneys for Your Personal Injury Case

Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, 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!

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 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.

nh car accident lawyers

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

Our personal injury attorney take the time to educate our clients about their rights and the disability claim process and equip them with the tools and information needed to succeed in the injury claim.

Our experienced  attorneys will provide you all the attention you would expect from us until your injury case is resolved.  Clients are always kept informed as their cases progress and receive continual legal counsel and guidance. The experience and reputation we have earned will give you the advantages you need to gain the best results possible in your case.