Tag Archives: Manchester car accidents

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Manchester Injury Lawyers: Rear-End Collisions

Rear-End Collisions

The Manchester injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that for a number of years, car crashes were declining due to several factors. This includes the manufacturing of automobiles with advanced safety devices such as anti-lock brakes, stability control, and multiple airbags. Recently, however, the incidence of collisions on American roadways has increased sharply.  According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 37,461 people died on American roadways in 2016, a 5.6 percent hike over 2015.

Research has shown that one of the major factors in this rise is collisions caused by drivers who are distracted behind the wheel, primarily, though not exclusively, from the use of hand-held devices. Texting, phone calls, searching for music, and many other distractions have fueled the spike in crashes, many of which are collisions to the rear-end of vehicles that have come to a stop.

Rear-end collisions have always been one of the most common types of auto accidents, but in the past few years they have been occurring more frequently due to the increase in distracted driving. Most rear-end collisions occur when the stopped vehicle is waiting in traffic, waiting to turn left or right, or waiting for a light to change, and the driver is struck from behind by someone who is distracted and not focused on the road ahead.

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Police Reports and Insurance Companies

The police report written following a crash will frequently place fault on the moving vehicle, usually for following too closely or for inattentiveness.  The driver of the moving vehicle will often admit liability to the police officer, you, or other witnesses.

Insurers usually pay considerable attention to police reports.  However, sometimes insurance carriers or their defense attorneys will claim no liability due to sudden and unexpected stopping, failure to signal when stopping to turn, not yielding before pulling into traffic, or brake defect.

Assessing Liability in Rear-End Collisions

The  experienced Manchester injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC will want to learn about the following items when assessing the certainty of liability in your rear-end collision:

    • Vehicle position. Was your car stopped in traffic, waiting for a light to change, turning left or right, slowing down for traffic, waiting to turn into a driveway, etc.?
    • The other driver’s speed. What was the approximate speed of the vehicle that struck you?
    • His or her following distance. Did you see how far away the colliding vehicle was before the crash?
    • Your use of turn signals. If you were about to turn, did you have your turn signal on?  If so, for how long?
    • The vehicle damage. Is the damage to each car minimal, moderate, or severe?  Do you have any pictures?
    • Any driver statements. Did either you or the other driver say anything about fault at the scene?
    • The existence of witnesses. Were there any impartial witnesses to the accident?
    • Any alcohol use. Were either you or the other driver drinking prior to the accident?
    • Any credible passengers. Did either car have other riders?  How persuasive are their accounts of the accident?
    • The driving conditions. Was the road slippery due to rain or snow?  Was it sunny, dark, foggy, or stormy?
    • The functioning of your lights. Were your signal and brake lights working?
    • Any defenses. Is the insurer suggesting that brake defect, icy conditions, sun in the other driver’s eyes, or your failure to signal is to blame?

Contact the Manchester Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law Today

If you have been injured in a New Hampshire motor vehicle collision, 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 contact the experienced Manchester injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman for a free consultation, call (603) 239-2315, complete a request for a consultation or chat with us on our website, or send us an email.

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Bikers, Walkers Threatened By Increase In Distracted Driving

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

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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.

Experienced, Knowledgeable & Personally Committed to Justice

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Employer Liability in Manchester Car Accidents

Manchester car accidents often happen while an employee is operating a vehicle on the job or during the course of their employment.  If you are injured in a car accident while an employee is on the clock doing something for their employer, then the employer may be liable.  Whether an employer is responsible for an auto accident caused by their employee depends on whether there is some legal reason to assign liability to the employer.

This is a summary of the ways in which an employer can be held liable for an employee’s operation of a motor vehicle and the types of damages that you can reasonably expect to recover in a settlement or at trial.

There are two ways in which an employer can be held liable for the acts of their employee.  Those are negligence by the employer and vicarious liability.

Employer Negligence 

Employer negligence refers to situations in which the employer either knew or should have known about a substandard employee or that an employee was not doing their job competently or properly.  If the employer knew or should have known about an employee’s failure or inability to perform their job duties and the employee was involved in Manchester car accidents, then the employer may be liable for the acts of its employee.  These are some common situations in which employer negligence could occur.

  • A substance abuse problem with an employee. Substance abuse problems are unfortunately very common. If an employer knows or has reason to believe that an employee has a drug or alcohol problem, for example, and does not do anything about it, then the employer will likely be liable if that employee is involved in an auto accident at work.  As an example, if an employee has an alcohol problem and often comes to work hung over or still intoxicated, the employer would be considered negligent to allow that employee to operate a motor vehicle for any reason.
  • Negligent entrustment. If the employer knows that their employees are going to be operating motor vehicles on a regular basis, then that employer has a duty or responsibility to ensure that those employees are competent drivers and abide by the Rules of the Road.  For example, if an employer knows that an employee has poor night vision, has them drive at night anyway, and that employee gets into Manchester car accidents, that employer could be liable for the plaintiff’s (your) injuries.
  • Negligent hiring and retention. This refers to a situation where an employer hires an employee who will drive as part of their job and is either not qualified to do the job or turns out to be unable to operate a motor vehicle competently. If this is the case, and that employee is involved in an auto accident, then the employee could be liable since it is reasonably foreseeable that a substandard or unsafe driver could be involved in an auto accident.
  • Negligent supervision. This refers to situations where an employer fails to properly supervise an employee and to make sure that proper safety policies and procedures are in place and followed.  If the employee fails to implement those safety policies and procedures for employee drivers and the employee is careless and causes an accident, then the employer could be liable.  An example would be a commercial truck driver who routinely overloads their vehicle or a situation where employer knows that this truck driver routinely disregards vehicle safety laws.  If that truck driver is involved in Manchester car accidents that cause injuries to the plaintiff, then the employer could be liable.

Vicarious Liability

This is also known as the doctrine of respondeat superior.  That is, the employer is liable for the acts of its employee because the employee committed a wrong or injured a third party during the course of their employment.  To establish vicarious liability, the plaintiff must prove that (1) an employer/employee relationship existed and (2) that the employee was acting within the course of their duties or incidental to their employment duties when the injury occurred.  In these situations, the employer does not have to actually do anything wrong. Rather, the employee is considered an agent of the employer and the employee’s wrongful act causes the employer to incur liability.

These are some examples of situations in which an employer could be vicariously liable for the acts of its employee (or agent).

  • An employer sends its employee on an errand to get lunch for everyone in the office. The employee drives to a nearby deli to pick up lunch and gets into an accident, thus injuring the plaintiff. The employer could be liable for any damages from that accident since the employee was acting at the employer’s direction.
  • A commercial truck driver is sent to transport goods to another city. The commercial truck driver is an employee of a trucking company and is involved in an auto accident while transporting goods.  The employer could be liable for the employee’s acts since it was during the course of their employment.

If you are injured in an auto accident and an employer is found to be liable under any of these legal theories, you could have the right to recover medical costs, lost wages and earning capacity, incidental and actual damages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and enhanced compensatory damages depending on the circumstances of your case.

For more information, contact the experienced Manchester car accidents attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC at (603) 624-7200.