Tag Archives: auto accident lawyer manchester nh

Determining Fault by Location of Damage NH Car Accident Lawyer

Determining Fault by Location of Damage in Car Crashes

Determining Fault by Location of Damage | NH Car Accident LawyerIf you’ve been in a car accident, you may know that the crash happened differently than the at-fault driver is now saying. And you’re probably well aware that determining who was at fault for the crash is critical to negotiating compensation for damages and making sure that you protect your rights.

When it comes to determining fault, the location of damage to the cars involved often sheds light on the circumstances leading to the accident and any laws that could have been broken. But determining fault by location of damage has its limits. There are situations where damage doesn’t tell a clear story about who had the right of way.

If you have questions about car accident fault, a Manchester NH car accident lawyer can help. To learn more, speak to a car accident attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC today.

Why Is Determining Fault So Important?

Determining fault in a car accident is necessary to recover costs you may have incurred. If the other driver is at fault, you can seek reimbursement from them for damages – this is usually done through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. These damages can compensate you for repair expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.

How Does Location of Damage Help in Proving Who Was at Fault in a Car Crash?

Location of vehicle damage often tells a story, and can shed light as to how the accident may have occurred. A car moving in a certain direction at a particular speed will often cause specific type of damage to the other vehicle. Looking at this damage immediately after an accident can be useful to corroborate your story events.

Sometimes, the location of damage paints the whole picture of how the accident unfolded. Other times, it tells only part of the story. But is still useful to rule out what didn’t occur. An experienced car accident attorney can examine both vehicles and help establish that you were not at fault for the accident.

Example of When Damage Location Proves Fault

For example, a rear-end crash will leave damage to the back of your vehicle and the front of the other car. Most often, the driver that rear-ended you will be determined at fault in the accident. This is because drivers are required to leave sufficient stopping distance between themselves and the car in front of them. When they crash into the car in front of them, they fail to maintain this distance and are at fault.

But what if the other drive claims their brakes didn’t work? In a rear end collision, an evaluation of the heights of the vehicles at rest and at the time of impact can help show if the rear car was breaking hard (which causes the front of the car to dip down slightly) or not.

When Does Location of Damage Not Prove Fault?

Sometimes, looking at the location of damage to both vehicles isn’t enough to establish fault. For example, damage to your passenger side and the front of the other car could show that you were the collision occurred. But it wouldn’t show which car ran the red light. If you had a green light and the other driver ran through a red light, they would be at fault. But if you turn ran the red, then you would be at fault. In this case, location of damage alone wouldn’t provide sufficient proof of who was to blame for the crash. Witnesses (if available) and the credibility of the driver’s become key in these cases.

That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced Manchester NH car accident attorney who can help you gather additional information about the accident. This information could include speeds, acceleration, weather, intoxication, and tire marks. Such evidence could be gathered from witness testimony and supplement location of damage to complete the paint the whole picture.

Learn More About Determining Fault by Location of Damage in a Car Crash

If you’ve been in a car accident and are seeking recovery for damages, an experienced Manchester NH injury attorney can help. At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, we can explain the evidence you need to build your case. Contact us today.

Sideswipe Collision Fault Car Accident Attorney Manchester NH

How Is Sideswipe Collision Fault Determined in New Hampshire?

Sideswipe Collision Fault Car Accident Attorney Manchester NHSideswipe collisions can be just as catastrophic as head-on or rear-end collisions because they often happen at high speeds. But how is sideswipe collision fault determined? And how does New Hampshire’s comparative fault system work?

If you’ve been in a sideswipe accident, an experienced Manchester NH car accident lawyer can help you recover damages. At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, we pride ourselves on our experience, client service, and professionalism. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How Do Sideswipe Collisions Happen?

Sideswipe collisions most commonly involve two cars moving in the same direction that crash into each other. They often occur at high speeds after one driver changes lanes when it’s not safe to do so. Typically, the right side of one car and the left side of the other car will be damaged.

The most common causes of sideswipe accidents are drunk or distracted driving and changing lanes without signaling or carefully checking blind spots. This type of collision can also occur when two drivers move into the same lane at the same time.

Who Is at Fault in a Sideswipe Collision?

Drivers in New Hampshire have a duty to maintain a single lane of travel. If you change lanes, you must do so only when it’s safe to do so. So a driver who leaves their lane and sideswipes another car is considered at fault. If two drivers changed into the same lane at the same time before sideswiping each other, both may be at fault.

Fault is usually determined in the accident report completed by the responding police officer, but this is not the final determination. If there is disagreement regarding who is responsible for a crash, ultimately it is a jury that gets to make the decision about how much fault to give each driver. An experienced personal injury attorney can carefully review all the facts and help evaluate what a jury might decide in any given case.

Because New Hampshire is a comparative negligence state, you can pursue a personal injury claim against the other at-fault driver. However, you can only recover if you were 50% or less at fault. If you were 51% or more at fault, you will receive no compensation for your injuries. If you were 50% or less at fault, your recovery will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

What Should You Do If You Are Sideswiped?

Anytime you are in an accident, you should, first and foremost, tend to your own safety and the safety of others at the scene. Prevent the occurrence or worsening of any injuries by calmly regaining control of your car. Move over to the side of the road without suddenly changing lanes.

If you feel you’re not at-fault, you should take action to protect your rights. Here are five things you should do to preserve the evidence about what happened:

  1. Call the Police.Once you’ve safely moved over to the side of the road, call the police and request medical assistance if needed. Do not let the other driver convince you not to call the police. You will need the police to create an accident report and gather all the proper information about who is at the scene and what happened.
  2. Take Pictures.While you’re waiting for the police to arrive and if you are safely able to, take photos of damage to your and the other driver’s cars and any debris or skid marks on the road. Also, take photos of the accident scene and any injuries you may have suffered. Photos can help prove who changed lanes and caused the sideswipe collision.
  3. Gather Witnesses.If there are witnesses to the accident, write down their names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Their testimony will be valuable to proving the other driver’s negligence.
  4. Get a Copy of the Accident Report.After a day or so, go to the police station to request a copy of the accident report.
  5. Speak With a Lawyer.Even if you don’t have serious injuries from the sideswipe collision, you may need an experienced New Hampshire lawyer. A good car accident lawyer can help you understand the process, gather additional evidence you will need for your case, and protect your rights.

Learn More About Sideswipe Collision Fault

If you’ve been in a sideswipe collision, don’t delay. Learn more about how sideswipe collision fault is determined in New Hampshire and whether you can recover compensation for your losses. Contact the experienced Manchester NH car accident attorneys at Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 671-3156 for more information.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

NH personal injury attorneys

New Hampshire Injury Lawyers Discuss Jessica’s Law

New Hampshire Injury Lawyers Discuss Jessica's LawImagine driving down the highway after a snowstorm. The roads have been cleared and traffic is moving along. Suddenly, snow and ice fly off the vehicle in front of you and strikes your windshield. It’s unsettling, dangerous, and can be deadly.

Since 2002, New Hampshire drivers have been legally required to clear snow and ice off their vehicles before getting on the road. According to the New Hampshire injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, Jessica’s Law was named after 20-year-old Jessica Smith. She was killed in a car crash in Peterborough after a 9-foot piece of ice flew off a tractor-trailer, hitting a box truck, which crashed head-on into her car.

What is Jessica’s Law?

Jessica’s Law falls under New Hampshire’s broader negligent driving law which means that anyone who “drives a vehicle negligently or causes a vehicle to be driven negligently” or “in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property shall be guilty of a violation and shall be fined not less than $250 nor more than $500 for a first offense and not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 for a second or subsequent offense.”

In spite of the law, according to statistics provided by New Hampshire State Police, some drivers still don’t adequately clear snow and ice from their vehicles. During the month of February, troopers pulled over 268 vehicles under the Negligent Driving Statute, and after a recent snowstorm, one trooper reported stopping 20 vehicles for Jessica’s Law violations in just under three hours!

Just last month on Route 202 in Henniker, police reported that snow and ice shattered a motorist’s windshield. And in Massachusetts, a 6-year-old girl was injured when a large piece of ice flew off a tractor-trailer. The ice hit the windshield of the vehicle she was riding in on Interstate 495.

In New Hampshire it is your legal responsibility to clear the snow and ice off your car before proceeding onto the roadway. It only takes a few minutes and it can save a life

What You Should Do

But what should you do if snow and ice from someone else’s vehicle strikes your vehicle and causes damage? Experts say your safety is always the highest priority. Make sure you have control of your vehicle and that you and your occupants are safe. If you can get the license plate of the vehicle responsible that can be helpful to authorities for their investigation.

“It takes not even five minutes to clean off your car,” stated Linda Smith, Jessica’s mother, in an interview. “It can take three seconds to kill somebody.”

Contact Experienced New Hampshire Injury 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 New Hampshire injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 624-7200, by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or 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.

Was Your Car Insurance Claim Denied?

Car Insurance Claim Denied New HampshireWas your car insurance claim denied by the other driver’s carrier after a recent crash? If so, you’re probably confused and unsure of what steps to take next. Car crashes are expensive, and if you or someone else suffered injuries, the costs can run into tens of thousands of dollars. Few of us have that much money available.

If you were careful to take notes, speak with the police, and cooperate with the insurer, and your car insurance claim was still denied, you may be wondering, “Now what?”

In this article, we’ll help you answer that question by explaining why your car insurance claim may have been denied. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC today.

Why Your Claim May Have Been Denied

While insurance companies are picky, they also tend to be very careful, if only because they don’t want you to sue them. Most of them will work with you in good faith to try to get your claim resolved ASAP. However, sometimes there are hiccups in the process.

The main reasons an insurance company may deny your car insurance claim is because it either hopes you won’t pursue the claim any farther and will just go away, or it thinks the claim lacks merit. They may be relying on an unreliable witness or some other form of evidence you lack. Even if their driver was totally at fault, they won’t admit it. Their primary evidence may be the other driver anyway, and their story is almost always going to contradict yours — especially if they lack a police report.

Other reasons for an insurance claim denial are more feasible. They include:

  • Exclusions. The at-fault driver may have provisions in their policy whereby the insurance company can get out of paying you. The most common is the “acts of God” exclusion, where they claim a natural event actually caused the crash. They can argue there was a bad storm when the crash occurred and was not the result of their driver’s wrongdoing.
  • Lapsed Policy. The insurer can refuse to pay if their driver failed to pay their premium on time and had no coverage when the crash occurred. At this point, your own uninsured or underinsured motorist provision may have to pick up the slack.
  • Failure to Notify. Most car insurance policies specify a certain time-frame during which you must report the crash. If you fail to do so, they may deny your claim when you do. Always report a crash to both insurers ASAP.

What to Do If Your Claim Is Denied

You’ll need an experienced NH car crash attorney to help you fight the insurance company on a denied claim. Usually, the process starts with a demand letter, which includes:

  • Your side of the story in detail.
  • The total cost of your vehicle damages.
  • Your medical expenses.
  • Your argument as to why the other driver was responsible.

Once your NH injury attorney has prepared and sent a demand letter to the insurance company, they either have to provide you with a specific reason they denied your car insurance claim, pay you the full amount, or make you a smaller offer.

What Is the Appeals Process?

If the insurance company’s response does not satisfy you, your New Hampshire injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman Law  can engage in an appeals process. Some states require a formal appeals process for all denied claims. New Hampshire isn’t one of them, but it does require insurance companies to provide at least one level of appeal, and ideally two. Either way, you’ll have a better chance of negotiating a settlement.

If the appeal system fails, you can still file a lawsuit against the insurance company. Discuss this with your injury lawyer before you finalize this decision. It may be the best option under the circumstances, though your injury attorney will be sure to let you know if your chances of success are low. If that’s the case, or if the cost of a lawsuit will exceed what you could reasonably recover (assuming you win the case), then they’re likely to caution you against a lawsuit and trial.

Was Your Car Insurance Claim Denied? We Can Help

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the experienced Manchester injury attorneys 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

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.

uninsured motorist claim

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

new hampshire car crash attorneys

Compensation for Victims of a Distracted Driver

New Hampshire Car Crash Attorneys Discuss Distracted Driving Cases

New Hampshire Car Crash AttorneysThe New Hampshire car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman see it all the time. A driver is making their way down the road, carefully, responsibly, and obeying all the Rules of the Road. Suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, another vehicle causes a collision.

If you have been the victim of a car crash, you rightly want to know how that other driver didn’t see you. How did they not see the red light or the stop sign? What could they possibly have been doing that they drove so carelessly, endangering your life and the lives of other drivers, and pedestrians as well?  Who would drive like that? Why would they drive like that?

Distracted Driving on the Rise

We live in an age of ever-increasing distraction. We see people walking down the street all the time with their head down looking at their smartphone. Checking email and texts. Dialing a phone number. Doing all kinds of things except the most important thing; paying attention to what they are doing!

Now take the scenario above and place the person as the driver of a car.  Talking. Checking email. Texting. Making a music selection. Again, doing all kinds of things except the most important thing; paying attention that what they are doing!

Study after study has shown that, despite knowing how dangerous it is to engage in distracted driving, people do it anyway. Teenagers acting like teenagers – while operating a several thousand pound piece of machinery at high rates of speed! Workers stressed out about running late for an appointment. And yes, parents, who despite knowing that they are endangering the lives of their children, do it anyway.

New Hampshire’s Distracted Driving Law

In response to the overwhelming evidence that distracted driving was on the rise, the New Hampshire Legislature passed a law in 2015 banning the use of any hand-held electronic devices while driving. The law took effect after a lengthy public education campaign. It warned New Hampshire drivers about the dangers of, and penalties for, driving while distracted.


The ban includes the use of hand-held devices even when drivers are stopped at a red light. This means that if you have stopped for any reason without pulling off the roadway, you may not use a hand-held device. Restricted devices include cell phones used for emailing, calling, and texting, as well as GPS systems. Hands-free cellphone operation is permitted. These regulations are stricter than the prior law that only restricted texting while driving. Additionally, all similarly distracting activities are prohibited. The law also bans all minor drivers from any cell phone usage while operating a vehicle, even if they are using hands-free technology. Emergency calls are still allowed.

Penalties for Violations

The first offense results in a fine of $100 for those found to be in violation of the law. The second offense results in a $250 fine, and the third offense within two years results in a $500 fine. Additional penalties may be assessed in addition to the monetary fines.

Contact our New Hampshire Car Crash Attorneys

If you have been injured by a distracted driver and would like more information on filing a personal injury lawsuit, contact the New Hampshire car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman. We may be reached at (603) 605-0547 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com.  Stricter distracted driving laws may enable victims of negligent drivers to receive compensation for their injuries. This includes medical expenses and compensation for lost wages.

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.

car accident photos

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.

nh car accident lawyers

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

New Hampshire auto accident 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.

nh injury lawyers

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.

nh car accident lawyers

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


car crash lawyers

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

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

personal injury attorney

What to Expect at Your First Meeting With a Personal Injury Attorney

1. Bring all relevant documents

These may include accident or incident reports, medical bills, medical records, witness statements and/or lists of potential witnesses. Also included are any papers or journals you have kept to describe your injuries, recovery, and limitations, etc.

2. Write things down before the meeting

It is important to have all information available that may help your attorney get you a fast and positive result. Remember, it’s a team effort. Make lists of potential witnesses, insurance companies covering your property damage and injuries, and healthcare providers, with contact information. Keep a journal listing your injuries, your limitations, your doctor visits, and how your injuries are progressing over time. A meeting (and a legal case) will always progress more smoothly if you come prepared.

3. Be prepared to fill out some paperwork

When a personal injury lawyer decides to take your case (and sometimes before taking the case), one of the first and most important things that will happen is the collection of medical records related to your injury. You will be asked to sign releases to allow the medical providers to send your records to your attorney for review and use in your case. If the attorney takes your case, he or she will mail these releases to everyone who has treated you, with
requests for your records.

Another thing that might happen is that the attorney will ask you to sign a contract for his or her services. In a personal injury case, this will usually mean that you agree that your attorney will receive a percentage of your compensation in the case of a courtroom victory or settlement. This is known as a contingency fee arrangement which is agreed upon instead of paying for legal services on an hourly basis.

The Importance of Being Thorough and Truthful with Your Attorney

4. Answer all your lawyer’s questions thoroughly

Your lawyer will need to gather as much information as possible to assess whether your case is worth pursuing and what the likely outcome of your case will be. Questions can include, among other things:

• The details of the accident;
• The details of your treatment;
• Which daily tasks you can and cannot do since becoming injured;
• How long will your recovery take;
• If a full recovery is possible;
• How the injury has impacted your personal and professional life;
• Your pain level; and
• Your medical bills and costs to date.

This is where journaling about your injuries and writing down the information about your accident and the health care providers can really come in handy! Lists of other people the attorney can talk to, like witnesses, insurance companies, and healthcare providers, are also useful at this stage. The more information you can provide, the
easier it will be for the attorney to decide how to move forward with your case.

5. The importance of being truthful with your attorney

In addition to providing all the necessary information, it is also important to be truthful with your personal injury attorney. Do not withhold details that you are concerned to talk about because they are too personal or even embarrassing. Your attorney has a duty of confidentiality. Your case will go more smoothly if your attorney has all the information about your case.

Be Sure to Listen to Your Personal Injury Attorney

6. Listen to your attorney: He or she will give you a preliminary opinion and explain what happens next

If you have been able to provide your attorney with a pretty thorough breakdown of your injuries, expenses, and limitations, the attorney will most likely be able to provide a preliminary opinion on your case at the initial consultation (though he or she may need to gather more information first).

You might find out if the attorney thinks you can win this case in court, whether it is best to settle your case outside of court, and what some of the parameters are for figuring out the compensation you should seek. Considered here are your medical and loss-of-work expenses, your long-term limitations, and the level of fault of the other party. Your attorney may decide to take your case or, in some cases, refer your case to another attorney who may be able to better assist you due to your particular circumstances.

The personal injury attorney representing you may also tell you that you should wait to begin your case until you have reached your maximum level of recovery from the injury.

Contact an Experienced New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact a personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 239-2489 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!

To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. We are also on Facebook and you can follow us on Twitter.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

© James Publishing