Tag Archives: Manchester car accident lawyer

How Is Rear End Collision Fault Determined in New Hampshire?

Rear end collisions can result in severe injuries, and the damages can be devastating. Your vehicle might be ruined, especially if you’re pinned between the car that hit you and a car in front of you in a “ripple” accident. The damage can even propagate to other vehicles ahead of them in heavy traffic. But how is rear end collision fault determined?

Manchester NH Rear End Collision Lawyer

Is the Guy in Back Always to Blame?

In some states, investigators always assign rear end collision fault to the person who hit the other driver. New Hampshire is not one of those states. Admittedly, rear end collisions do often result from the following driver not being alert, but that’s not always the case — and New Hampshire law recognizes that reality.

Rear end accidents can also be caused by the leading driver pulling out unexpectedly into traffic, braking suddenly, changing lanes without using signals, driving without taillights at night, or by road conditions that combine to cause the leading driver to lose traction on a slick road, while the following driver skids into them.

Can You Recover Damages in a Rear End Collision?

Whether you were the person who did the rear ending or the person struck, you may be able to get compensation for your damages in a rear end collision. The accident investigators will apportion the blame for the accident between the drivers. If you’re 51% or less to blame, you can make a claim for damages against the other person’s insurance.

If you were rear ended, it’s easier to make a case. You do have to produce evidence that you were exercising due care when the accident occurred, while the other person was not. The court will ask for documentation to prove the other driver’s liability, including:

  • a police report,
  • notes and photos from the scene,
  • photos of the auto damage,
  • witness statements,
  • medical bills, and the like.

If you rear ended someone else, you may be able to prove that one of the circumstances mentioned in the previous section caused you to strike the other vehicle. However, the real determinant will be what the accident scene investigators decided. If they assign more than 51% of the blame to you, you won’t have a case.

What Happens If You Decide to Make a Claim Against the Other Driver?

If you decide to sue for damages, we strongly recommend that you hire an experienced Manchester NH injury lawyer to represent you in court. As part of their due diligence, they’ll advise you on the types of damages to consider while making your case.

You can expect vehicle damage from a rear end collision, and it may be significant. This is the most obvious type of damage to consider, along with any injuries. Don’t forget to take photos of both your auto damage or personal injuries to you or your passengers for use in court.

When you make the claim, remember also to take lost wages into account, and any potential long-term harm. If you end up with a hurt neck or back, it may result in years of pain. Include those potential costs in your medical expenses, as a step toward making you legally whole. This is especially true if the injury will likely impact your ability to earn future income.

You can also request compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and even punitive damages, though the latter are rarely awarded. Needless to say, you’ll need the documentation to back up any and all claims.

To Learn More About How to Determine Rear End Collision Fault

At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, we pride ourselves on our experience, client service, and professionalism. If you have questions about a rear end collision fault, contact us for a free consultation at (603) 624-7200.

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Steps to Take After a Car Accident in New Hampshire

Even minor car crashes can be unsettling. And you’ll probably be pumped up with adrenaline and emotion for a while afterward. So while you may think common sense will guide you after a car crash, it’s a good idea to prepare yourself ahead of time by keeping these tips in mind. Below, the New Hampshire Car Accident Attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC discusses 7 steps to take after a car accident:

steps to take after a car accident, Manchester New Hampshire

Step 1: Stop and Pull Over

Hit-and-run can be a felony if someone is injured or killed in the accident, so don’t immediately leave the scene. Stop and pull over to the side of the road if you can. Be sure to turn on your hazard lights if you can. These actions increase the safety of the accident scene while making it easier for other motorists to pass.

Step 2: Check to See If Anyone is Hurt

Don’t get out of the car yet. Check your passengers for injuries and have them do the same for you. If you’re alone, check yourself carefully. In the aftermath of a collision, an adrenaline surge may temporarily mask the pain of some injuries. If you see and feel nothing major, wait until it’s safe to get out of your car before doing so.

Check with the occupants of the other car(s) involved. If the accident caused any injuries, call 911. Render first aid if necessary, but try not to move anyone unless you know they’re in danger.

Until everyone is safe and the authorities have arrived, don’t worry about trying to assign fault or blame.

Step 3: Call the Police If Necessary

Even if it’s not an emergency, you may need to call the police to inform them about the accident. This won’t be necessary if you’re on a busy or regularly patrolled road. If you’re on a low-traffic road or rural highway, call them as soon as possible. Don’t call 911 unless it really is an emergency. You can get the local police station’s phone number from Information.

Step 4: Swap Contact and Insurance Info

While you’re waiting, exchange insurance and contact information with all other drivers. This is one of the most important steps to take after a car accident, as it will eventually come in handy in your accident claim. Get all names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and plate numbers. If someone decides to leave the scene, try to get their license number. It may also help your insurance claim later if you can get contact information from any passengers in the other car(s).

Step 5: Take Notes and Photos

Document the crash. Don’t worry about offending anyone. Take notes on paper or on your phone’s notes app. Include where the accident occurred, the drivers involved, your car’s damage, and any injuries. Try to get the names of all the passengers and witnesses. Include the road conditions and any road hazards. Get the names and badge numbers of the police officers who respond, too. Take photos of everything above, especially your injuries and vehicle damage.

Step 6: Ask for a Police Report

Most insurers consider the officers who handle a scene to be reliable, solid sources of information. Ask them for a police report at the scene. They should be able to tell you when it will be ready and how you can get a copy. This can help you when you make your claim.

Step 7: Call Your Insurance Agent

Contact your insurance agent ASAP. If they’re unavailable, leave a message. When they call you back, they’ll fill you in on what to do next.

Learn More About Steps to Take After a Car Accident

Because auto damages can range into the thousands of dollars — and injury claims can go even higher — some insurance companies will do all they can to minimize or avoid paying a claim. If you get a low settlement offer, they deny your claim, or you feel you’ve been unfairly found at fault, we may be able to help. Talking to an experienced New Hampshire car accident lawyer may be one of the most important steps to take after a car accident.

For a free consultation, contact the NH injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 624-7200 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.

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.

Car Accident Traumatic Injuries: The Lasting Impacts

Car Accident Traumatic Injuries: The Lasting Impacts

Have you been in a car crash that was no fault of your own? Not only are car accidents an incredibly stressful event, but the injuries that could result from them can be severe and long-lasting. Injuries can vary from minor to serious. It is important to note that all injuries should be documented from the time of the accident, through the following weeks, and until you are fully recovered. Not all injuries will present themselves at the scene of the crash or upon impact. For instance, whiplash can take several days for its symptoms to arise. If injuries begin to arise after the accident these should be treated in a timely manner. The following information are common injuries and symptoms that may occur after a car accident.

Physical Injuries

Physical effects from your accident can be both visible and invisible. Because of this it is important to be examined by a medical professional if you have been injured or think you might be injured. Most common injuries resulting from a car accident can include the following:

  • Neck and Back Injuries: these injuries are the result of your head neck and back being thrown at high speeds resulting in what is often referred to as whiplash. When the neck, head, and back are whipped in such an aggressive manner, it can result in severe inflammation and tissue damage and can even result in disc problems.
  • Head Injuries: these injuries in car accidents can be among  the most severe. These injuries can vary from minor concussions to serious brain traumas. The traumas and injuries can follow a victim for the rest of his/her life. Head injury symptoms include, but are not limited to, headaches, loss of vision and hearing, memory loss, changes in personality and mood swings, loss of cognitive function, speech difficulties, and a disruption in sleep patterns. Sometimes your loved ones notice these changes before the actual victim. Take it seriously and talk to your doctor if family members or friends say you are acting differently or forgetting things.
  • Muscular Injuries: like whiplash, when your body is thrown at high speeds the way in which your body can contort results in serious injury. Common muscular injuries can affect the neck, back, hands, hips, shoulder, and knees. Injury to muscles resulting from a car accident can affect your abilities to work, play sports, or participate in everyday activities.
  • Broken Bones: high-speed impacts can result in broken bone or fractures. Depending on the severity this can leave you out of work or immobile. Broken bones and fractures can have an effect on your everyday life and normal activities.

Emotional Damages

Car crashes do not just affect an individual physically. The emotional impacts can be just as severe as physical impacts. Following a car crash many individuals experience anxiety related stress that can affect personal and work lives. Because of that it is important to watch for these symptoms following your accident. These symptoms might include:

  • Intrusive thoughts: Involuntary, distressing thoughts, or recurrent nightmares.
  • Negative mood: Inability to experience positive emotions.
  • Dissociative symptoms: Time slows down, you feel numb, or you’re in a daze.
  • Avoidance: An inability or refusal to think about anything associated with the trauma.
  • Arousal symptoms: Trouble falling asleep, irritable behavior, and concentration issues.
  • A fear of driving or the actions that other drivers around you might take.

Above all, if these feelings continue, be sure to inform both your doctors and attorneys as these might be a result of your accident.

Contact Experienced New Hampshire Car Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the experienced NH car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 605-0547 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.

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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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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 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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How To Improve Visibility in the Snow

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

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

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

WIPER BLADES

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

WINDSHIELD WIPER CONTROLS

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

HEADLIGHTS

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

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

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

DEFOGGER

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

Contact Experienced NH Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

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

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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

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

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

Where We Are Today

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

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

What Autonomous Vehicles Mean to You

New Hampshire car crash lawyers

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

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

Operators Still Blamed for Crashes

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

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

In the Meantime …

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

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

Contact Experienced New Hampshire
Car Crash Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured by another person’s careless acts? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

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

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

nh car accident lawyers

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