Tag Archives: car crash 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.

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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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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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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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New Hampshire Injury Lawyers: Protecting Civil Justice

Profit Motive Fuels Attack on Civil Justice Protections in 2017

Advocates for individual rights, including the New Hampshire injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law,  might someday call 2017 The Year of Reversal for an unprecedented number of attacks on America’s civil justice system. Pick your poison, for examples:

      • The rollback of restrictions on forced arbitration
      • Passage of legislation that will weaken protections against medical malpractice and nursing home abuse
      • A slew of proposed “tort reform” measures

      At the root of these initiatives is corporate profits rather than the safety and legal rights of all Americans. Here’s a closer look:

      Forced Arbitration Is Forced Injustice

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      Forced arbitration clauses, now used in a wide range of product, service, and employment contracts, prevent a wronged party from bringing a case to court. Instead, the dispute must be settled in secret arbitrations, usually by an arbitrator chosen by the defendant. These clauses often ban class-action lawsuits as well. Such lawsuits are used by thousands of consumers to hold major companies accountable for illegal or deceitful behavior. Think Wells Fargo charging millions of customers for accounts they didn’t open, for example. Or the recent Equifax data breach that exposed 143 million people to identity theft and fraud.

      Following a comprehensive, multiyear study, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a rule banning financial institutions like credit card companies and banks from adding forced arbitration clauses to customer contracts. However, in October the Senate voted to overturn this rule, giving big financial corporations the upper hand when customers are ripped off.

      Forced arbitration clauses buried in employment contracts also keep employees from suing, in some instances, for discrimination, sexual assault and harassment, and workplace safety concerns. An executive order called the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule prohibited these clauses in federal contracts. But in March this rule was eliminated, compromising workplace protections and denying 28 million American workers their day in court if wronged on the job.

      Medical Malpractice Caps Penalize Injured Patients and Families

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      An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors. Patients are injured or killed by mistakes at hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and nursing homes, or by faulty medical devices. Many victims of medical malpractice have little choice but to retain the New Hampshire injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law to take those responsible to court to receive some semblance of justice. But a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives was passed earlier this year that will cap medical malpractice damages at $250,000. That’s a slap in the face for those who have suffered extreme trauma or loss. It makes it clear that some members of Congress will only protect insurance companies and negligent healthcare providers. They should instead protect injured people.

      “Tort Reform” Will Delay and Deny Justice

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      Several other attacks on civil justice were launched this past year under the guise of “tort reform.” This is a phrase used by corporations and their allies to justify measures that would curtail access to the courts. It is also intended to reduce compensation to injury victims. One such bill, H.R. 725, would allow corporate defendants to move cases from qualified state courts into overburdened federal courts, resulting in delays and increased costs to plaintiffs and taxpayers. Another bill, H.R. 985, will “shield powerful corporations from being held accountable from scamming, injuring and discriminating against Americans” by limiting the ability of consumers and workers to join together in class action suits. One part of this bill even forces asbestos victims to add their private information to publicly accessible databases. This furthers their victimization and makes them vulnerable to identity theft and online trolls.

      According to the New Hampshire injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, both of these anti-safety, anti-consumer bills passed the House and are now before the Senate.

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

      Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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

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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.

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© James Publishing

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Bikers, Walkers Threatened By Increase In Distracted Driving

More Cars, More Walkers and Bikes, More Distractions = Higher Traffic Deaths

nh car crash attorneys
Use marked crosswalks: Eighty-two percent of pedestrian deaths occur outside the crosswalk.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016 in traffic accidents. In 2015, more than 800 bicyclists lost their lives in motor vehicle-involved crashes. Pedestrian deaths shot up 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, bicyclist deaths by 13 percent – both more than any other category of traffic-related fatalities, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

According to the NH car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, the cause of this deadly trend has been greatly debated, with different groups pointing to a stronger economy and hence more cars on the road, more people walking to work or for recreation, and distraction due to the skyrocketing use of smartphone technology. Meanwhile, most efforts to prevent distraction are focused on motor vehicle drivers and passengers rather than pedestrians and bicyclists.

Teens Account for 25 Percent Increase in Pedestrian Deaths Over Past Five Years

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Bicycle fatalities have risen sharply for adults (especially men) 20 years or older since 1975. Click on graph to enlarge.

Even if a person is not behind a wheel, they can be at risk if walking while talking on a cell phone or listening to music through headphones. Among kids, teens account for 50 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the United States, and unintentional pedestrian traffic injuries are the fifth leading cause of fatalities for ages 5 to 19. Older teens have accounted for a staggering 25 percent increase in pedestrian injuries in the past five years. Over half of all adults have been involved in a distracted walking encounter.

Tips To Stay Safe

Walking or bicycling are healthy for both people and the environment. Perhaps that is why we’ve seen a 60 percent increase in commuter biking during the past decade. But while bicycle deaths among children have thankfully decreased by 88 percent since 1975, deaths among bicyclists age 20 and older have more than tripled. From the NH car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind that will increase your chances of arriving safely at your destination, whether on foot or by pedal!

* Look left, right and left again before crossing the street
* Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
* Be aware of drivers even when you’re in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
* Don’t wear headphones while walking or biking
* Never use a cell phone or other electronic device while walking or biking
* If your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic
* Never rely on a car to stop
* Only cross at designated crosswalks (82 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur outside crosswalks)
* Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, especially at night
* Always wear a helmet while biking
* Walk in groups, if possible
* Follow all traffic laws and road signs, and signal to turn

Contact Experienced NH Car Crash Attorneys Today

If you have been injured in a New Hampshire pedestrian accident and sustained any of the types of injuries discussed above, 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. The experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC offer free initial consultations to NH injury victims. Call (603) 239-2489, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

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

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New Hampshire Personal Injury Law and Proportioning Fault

Negligence is the crux of a personal injury case.  In order to receive compensation for personal injuries, an injured person has the burden of proving negligence on the part the defendant – for example, the other driver. In order to prove negligence under New Hampshire personal injury law, an injured plaintiff must show that:

  • the defendant driver owed him or her a duty;
  • this duty was breached; and
  • breach of this duty factually and legally resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries and damages (including both economic and non-economic damages).

Duty and Breach

personal injury lawIn New Hampshire negligence cases, a defendant’s duty is measured by the standard of a reasonable person.  In the case of personal injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, the injured plaintiff must show that the defendant driver owed a duty to the injured plaintiff (and all other drivers on the roadway) to act as a reasonably prudent driver under the same or similar circumstances.  “Same or similar circumstances” means that a defendant driver’s duty is “fluid,” depending upon environmental circumstances like traffic volume, weather, and other external forces.  These factors are taken into consideration when determining whether or not a defendant driver breached the duty of care owed to the injured plaintiff and other drivers on the roadway.  The injured plaintiff must ordinarily be able to prove this breach to prevail in a personal injury case and receive monetary compensation.

In some cases where the defendant driver’s insurance company is not contesting fault (i.e. where the insurance company concedes that its driver caused the accident), it may “admit” to satisfying the duty and breach elements of negligence.  In many cases, a plaintiff’s lawyer will insist that the defense lawyer stipulate to this admission in writing – especially if the case has a good chance of proceeding to trial.

Causation and Damages

In New Hampshire, an injured plaintiff must ordinarily show that the defendant driver’s breach of duty was both the factual cause and legal (foreseeable) cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.  Tort law sometimes refers to foreseeable cause as the “zone of danger” which the injured plaintiff must be in for negligence to exist.

In addition to causation, the plaintiff must have suffered damages – usually in the form of personal injuries.  These damages are classified into two main types:  economic and non-economic damages.  Economic damages are those damages that can be measured numerically – such as medical bills, physical therapy bills, and compensation for missed time from work (also known as lost wages).  The injured plaintiff must demonstrate that the treatment, bills, and lost wages are the proximate result of injuries sustained in the accident.

Non-economic damages include compensation for permanent injury, pain and suffering, aggravation and inconvenience, psychological and psychiatric harm, loss of earning capacity, and loss of companionship or consortium (i.e. spousal support).  Again, the injured plaintiff must demonstrate that these damages were proximately caused by the accident, and proving these types of damages often requires expert testimony at trial.

Plaintiff’s Comparative Negligence in New Hampshire

New Hampshire personal injury law penalizes personal injury plaintiffs when the evidence shows that they somehow caused or contributed to the accident in which they sustained their injuries.  Examples of contributing to an accident might include slightly exceeding the speed limit, violating a traffic law, or engaging in some type of distracted driving.

New Hampshire, like some other states in the country, uses a modified comparative negligence scheme – otherwise known as the “51% Rule.”  Under this rule, an injured plaintiff’s contributory negligence does not completely bar his or her recovery, so long as the plaintiff’s negligence was not greater than the defendant’s.  Under New Hampshire’s modified comparative negligence scheme, an injured plaintiff’s permissible damages are lessened in proportion to his or her amount of negligence.  For example, if a defendant driver was 75% at fault for the accident, and the injured plaintiff contributed 25% to the accident, then the injured plaintiff is only entitled to recover 75% of the available damages.  New Hampshire’s modified comparative negligence scheme is codified as part of the state statute.

Contact a New Hampshire Personal Injury Law Firm Today

If you have been injured in a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident and sustained any of the types of injuries discussed above, 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. The experienced New Hampshire personal injury law attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC are ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 624-7200 today for an initial consultation.

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New Hampshire Lawyers Present Top 2016 Stories

New Hampshire Lawyers: Top Safety and Justice Stories of 2016

Are you making all those lists and checking them twice? Gifts? Holiday cards? Party invitations? New Year’s resolutions? From the New Hampshire lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, here’s one more for you courtesy of the American civil justice system: safer products and services.

This past year we have been following several stories of dangerous products or unfair practices that threaten the health, safety and legal rights of all Americans. Think exploding batteries, lead-laced drinking water, forced arbitration or faulty medical devices, for example.

But thanks to the courage of citizens like you and the power of the civil justice system, New Hampshire lawyers are holding accountable many of those who put profit over public well-being. And that’s a list we can all be proud of, as these stories so richly illustrate.

Read More >>>

BY THE NUMBERS /

2x
Recalls
According to a recent study by the U.S. Food and Drug   Administration, medical device recalls doubled from 2003 to 2012. [Download report]
27,000
Children
Nearly 27,000 children were exposed to lead poisoning from the contaminated water supply in Flint, Michigan.
$1
Billion
After years of denying any link between repeated concussions and brain injury, the NFL settled a lawsuit that sets aside almost $1 billion for players suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

 

BOOKMARK FAVORITES /

400,000 Heart Defibrillators Subject of Recall

St. Jude Medical issued a recall for some of its 400,000 heart defibrillators after two people died when the batteries failed prematurely.   View video.

Inside Flint’s Lead Poisoning Disaster

Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN investigate the aftermath of massive lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan, which was initially denied by government officials. View video.

Five Facts – Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall

More than 1 million Samsung Galaxy Note 7s were recalled when users reported that the popular smartphone overheated or, in some cases, even exploded. Here are five vital facts about the recall.  View video.

 

What Concerns You the Most?

Browse the 2016 top safety and justice issues, and then tell us which one keeps you up at night. You could win an iPod shuffle for participating.

Add your thoughts here

Forced Arbitration: The Threat Continues

Forced arbitration continues to threaten the safety and legal rights of all Americans. Tia shares her story of sexual harassment and Circuit City.

Listen now