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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

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Falls Affect People of All Ages, Not Just the Elderly

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

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

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

Surprising Facts About Falls

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

Safety Starts in the Home

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

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

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

Contact NH Injury Attorneys

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

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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

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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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.

Restrictions

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.

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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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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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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

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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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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

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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.