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Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss Foodborne Illness

Tainted Lettuce and Beef Lead Increase in Foodborne Illness

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Bagged salad may be convenient but it is a breeding ground for bacteria

According to the personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law, in early 2018, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported an outbreak of E. coli found in romaine lettuce. The outbreak sickened nearly 200 people and killed five. Right before Thanksgiving, another outbreak caused the CDC to recall all romaine, fresh and bagged. In the fall, more than 19 million pounds of ground beef were recalled in three separate salmonella outbreaks.

Is our food out to get us? If you think you’re seeing more reports of foodborne illness these days, you’re right. So why are these reports increasing, and what can you do about it?

Shift in Food Culture and Economy

The boost in foodborne illness can be traced to one source: our changing food habits. New diets, a complex food economy and advanced technology are all part of the American food culture. Three key parts of how we consume food are causing more outbreaks:

  1. Healthy, easy eating. The deadliest illness offender? Produce. While food sickness is usually associated with tainted meat, it’s fruits and veggies that are the most often contaminated – especially greens like lettuce and spinach. Cooking can kill dangerous pathogens, leaving raw produce more susceptible. A stronger focus on a health-conscious diet has encouraged consumers to buy more greens. And the easiest way to purchase your leafy sustenance? Bagged salads. Millions of pounds of greens are cut, washed and then bagged for your convenience. But once those greens are in a bag, they are introduced to a moist and enclosed breeding ground for bacteria. The packaging process also makes it more difficult to find the cause of contamination and prevent more people from getting sick. Different lettuces grown at different farms are all mixed together into bags that are distributed to supermarkets and restaurants all over the country. This makes it harder for food safety officials to find a common link among farms and suppliers.
  2. Imported food. A global economy and adventurous tastes have encouraged more food imports than ever before. Currently, 80 percent of all seafood in the U.S. is imported. Half of our fruits and a third of our vegetables are imported, with estimates that this number will increase by 45 percent in the next decade. Access to healthy, inexpensive food is a great benefit of imports, but imported food is harder to regulate and track. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USDA) only samples about 1 percent of all food imports. Cases of food fraud in places like China and Costa Rica raise many questions about the safety of what is brought into the U.S.
  3. Better technology and reporting. The good news? Higher numbers of food illness reports can actually mean food is getting safer. About 1,600 deaths from foodborne illness happen each year where the pathogen is unknown, and they are classified as sporadic. The CDC is getting better at analyzing the links between various outbreaks, which helps them identify the source, announce recalls and prevent more illness. In 2008, the public-health community began using a new method of DNA fingerprinting called whole genome sequencing, which has led to a large spike in detected outbreaks. According to Benjamin Chapman, a professor of food safety at North Carolina State University, “We’re getting better at detecting the outbreaks, and there are better-trained public-health individuals now looking to solve foodborne illness outbreaks than we’ve ever had.”

Tips for Food Safety in Your Home

If you’re going out to eat, do your best to find out if the restaurant is clean. Check on the ways restaurants are rated with this guide. However, most food contamination starts in the home. The CDC recommends four steps to prevent foodborne illness:

  1. Clean: Wash hands and surfaces before and after handling food, but also after using the bathroom, handling pets or tending to a sick person. Wash all produce thoroughly before consumption.
  2. Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate. Use separate cutting boards for meat and produce, and always wash thoroughly after use. Throw out old or difficult to clean cutting boards. Do not use platters or plates for cooked food that previously held raw food.
  3. Cook: Cook to proper temperatures. Use a food thermometer to cook your food to the safe minimum internal temperature and always wash it after use.
  4. Chill: Refrigerate food promptly in airtight containers. Use up leftovers quickly.

Contact Experienced 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 experienced personal injury attorneys 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 experienced NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 671-3156, 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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NH Injury Lawyers Discuss Surgery Centers

Surgery Centers Not Reporting Deadly Complications

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Medicare data shows that the most common type of surgery performed by an ASC is ophthalmology, specifically cataract surgery. [Click chart]

The rising cost of health care in America is a big concern. Small, relatively routine surgeries that are performed in a hospital can greatly increase those costs. Thus, many patients are directed toward ambulatory or same-day surgery centers. In 1970, the first freestanding surgery center was started in Phoenix to combat rising health care costs and provide more convenient, timely care for patients. The number of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in the United States has exploded since, surpassing 5,600 today.

As the number of surgeries performed in these centers has risen into the millions, so have the risks of medical complications. A new joint investigation by USA TODAY and Kaiser Health News sheds light on centers plagued by poor oversight, unqualified or ill-equipped staff, and little to no accountability.

Poor Training, Equipment, and Procedures Endanger Patients

Since 2013, more than 260 patients have died after “in-and-out” procedures at surgery centers across America. At Kandis Endoscopy Center in Arkansas, two people died and one suffered brain damage in the span of four months after complications during anesthesia. Arkansas is one of 17 states that does not have a mandate for ASCs to report deaths after a procedure.

Medicare reporting qualifications aren’t strong either, allowing ASCs latitude on reporting the number of patients that are transferred to a hospital unless more than half leave by ambulance. A hospital transfer indicates that a surgery center could not handle a serious issue that occurred during a procedure. Only one-third of ASCs voluntarily disclose how often patients are sent to an emergency department. Even the ASC Quality Collaboration, an advocacy organization run by leaders in the industry, requested that Medicare require better reporting. It also publishes a voluntary quarterly quality report.

And what happens when the doctors working at a center are also the owners? In large hospitals, committees and administrators are in place to oversee doctors. However, many surgery centers are partially or fully owned by the physicians who work there. This creates a conflict of interest between a doctor-owner’s financial interests and his/her willingness to report mistakes.

In 2001, gynecologist Dr. Paul Mackoul lost his hospital privileges after a committee reviewed his “competence or conduct” as a physician. He now runs his own surgery center with his wife. In 2015, a uterine cancer patient died after Dr. Mackoul installed a catheter into her chest, even though he was not certified to perform any type of cancer surgery. Her family sued, alleging that the doctor punctured a vein during installation, causing blood to build up in her chest and her lung to collapse. Dr. Mackoul is still performing surgeries today.

Guide to Vetting Surgery Centers

With millions of procedures or more performed each year, you or a loved one could be referred to a surgery center in the near future. What can you do to reduce the chance of complications?

  • Choose a center that has accreditation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid provide a list of approved accrediting organizations.
  • Talk to trusted friends and family about their experiences. If you know someone who has had the same procedure, ask them about the surgery center they utilized.
  • Look for a facility and surgeons that perform your procedure on a regular basis.
  • Customer reviews are your friend! Do your due diligence and look for patient reviews online before you book your surgery.
  • Make sure your center is close to a hospital just in case an emergency arises.

Contact Experienced NH 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 NH injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 671-3156, 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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NH Injury Lawyers Ask: “Who’s Driving Your Life?”

Who’s Driving Your Life?

The NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law know that for many people, driving themselves from point A to point B has become a thing of the past. Today we all have access to apps on our phones. We tell the driver where we are and where we want to go, and within just a few minutes we’re on our way to our destination!

Statista reports that a recent survey found that about 53 percent of people used ride sharing services in 2017, and that Uber had net revenue in 2016 of $6.5 billion.

So who is this driver you’re trusting to be behind the wheel? What are the risks of a car crash, and what is being done to keep you safe? Let’s explore some of the precautions that transportation companies should take to ensure that you get where you’re going safely, and to minimize the risks of car crashes.

What are the precautions?

Various companies take different steps when it comes to hiring their employees. A majority of these companies perform background checks, but is that enough? Uber has come under fire over the past few years due to unsafe conditions for users. New Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has taken a deeper look into keeping users safe during their rides. Khosrowshahi has implemented safety standards across the board for Uber drivers, with Uber telling CNN it had started running screenings on their drivers’ driving records every two years, beginning in mid-2017. Uber may be setting the precedent for other transportation companies, but is this enough?

As the NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law point out, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 2,046,000 car crashes were the result of driver wrongdoing between 2005 and 2007. With Uber and Lyft servicing more than 195 million users during the first three months of 2018, it is time to look deeper into these modes of transportation and explore ways to limit car crashes across the country.

So the driver has a clean record, but what about their car?

Is it enough to ensure that the driver has a clean driving record every two years? These background screens will ensure that drivers with clean records are the only ones driving a passenger to and from their destination. However, background checks should not be the only precautions taken.

Our NH injury lawyers believe that checking the safety of the vehicles is incredibly important and a crucial aspect of keeping the passengers safe from a hazardous car crash. NHTSA has reported that between 2015 and 2017 more than 44,000 car crashes were the result of critical vehicle-related issues. These car crashes included issues and malfunctions related to the vehicle.  For instance, 15,000 car crash cases were related to tire malfunctions. Below we further examine the study of vehicle-related car crashes.  It is critical for companies to not only screen the capabilities of the driver, but also the vehicle in use as well.

Tragic results caused by a lack of regulation 

The responsibilities of finding safe drivers with up-to-date inspected vehicles is crucial for transportation companies. The consequences of any negligence in these responsibilities can be fatal. On October 6, 2018, the country witnessed one of the deadliest transportation accidents in the past nine years. Twenty individuals perished while riding as passengers in a limousine in Schoharie, New York. This was a devastating result of a company not maintaining safe vehicles, and a lack of regulation in the transportation industry which did not allow for this violation of the safety rules to be identified sooner.

In an interview with The New York TimesSenator Chuck Schumer demanded stricter transportation regulations. “Stretch limos exist in a gray area. They’re not a car. They’re not a bus. And that’s the problem, they fall through the regulatory cracks and there are no safety standards for them. That has to change,” said the Senator.

Companies should be following safety rules regardless of what the regulations require. Tragedies can be reduced by appropriate regulations and by holding the responsible businesses accountable for their actions.

Contact Experienced NH Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the experienced NH injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 624-7200 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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NH Injury Attorneys Discuss Rise in Elder Abuse

As U.S. Population Ages, Reports of Nursing Home Abuse on the Rise

National data on cases of elder abuse in America’s 15,600-plus nursing homes and other elder-care programs is hard to come by. But several recent studies by government investigators, advocacy groups and the news media have chilling implications.

Elder Abuse
Protect the elderly in your life by learning the signs of elder abuse

According to the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS), 14,258 (7.6 percent) of approximately 188,599 complaints reported to state ombudsman programs in 2014 involved abuse, gross neglect or exploitation. Another study of nursing home staff throughout the country found that 36 percent had witnessed at least one incident of physical abuse of an elderly patient in the previous year, 10 percent committed at least one act of physical abuse and 40 percent admitted to committing psychological abuse. It gets worse: A CNN special investigation in February of 2017 found that the federal government cited more than 1,000 nursing homes for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of sexual assault and abuse from 2013 to 2016.

Given that 1.4 million aging adults already live in nursing homes and that the number of Americans 65-plus will double between 2010 to 2050, this issue will only become more pressing.

Keep a Watchful Eye

Nursing Home Abuse
Financial abuse is often overlooked, costing older Americans more than $36 billion a year

Elder abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviors, including physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse and neglect. Beyond the physical scars left by abuse, neglect and mistreatment have dangerous effects on the quality of life left to an aging person. Elders who have been abused have a higher risk of early death compared to those who have not been mistreated. If your loved ones are in a nursing home or other elder care program, watch for these warning signs:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Bruising, cuts or welts
  • Bedsores
  • Frequent infections
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Mood swings and emotional outbursts or unusual depression
  • Reclusiveness or refusal to speak
  • Refusal to eat or take medications
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Poor physical appearance or lack of cleanliness
  • Caregivers not wanting patients to be left alone with others
  • Sudden changes in financial situation or missing personal items

Protect Your Most Vulnerable Loved Ones

For a family member or caregiver choosing a care facility, the risk of abuse can be overwhelming and traumatic. The best way to prevent elder abuse is to choose the right care facility, which is not always easy given location or financial constraints. Nevertheless, here are factors to consider:

  • Talk to residents or other patients. Observe their physical well-being and behavior. Also visit with residents’ families if possible, and learn whether they have experienced problems with the facility.
  • Avoid facilities that have restricted access.
  • Meet with key personnel (nurses, aides, social workers, administrators and doctors).
  • Read contracts carefully before signing and look for a forced arbitration clause. The rights of your loved one may be denied even if they are abused. Ask that the forced arbitration clause be removed or consider another facility.
  • Visit frequently. Vary your visits to different times of the day and evening to assess the care provided during the day, night, weekends and holidays.
  • Trust your gut. Pay attention to whether residents appear clean, well fed and free of bruises or other wounds. Also note if the environment is peaceful and feels safe.
  • Document in writing the details about any problems or concerns.
  • Compare facilities. Look up state survey reports here.

Contact NH Elder Abuse Attorneys

Before pursuing  a civil action for institutional elder abuse, it is important to objectively evaluate the facts of the case. The NH Nursing Home Injury Attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC provide aggressive yet caring legal representation to those whose loved ones have been the victims of NH nursing home abuse. Our goal is to help our clients receive full and fair compensation for their injuries. This includes pain and suffering that has been suffered due to negligent care of the elderly.

If you need help bringing a NH nursing home abuse claim, or have any questions, including needing information about a nursing home requiring the signing of a forced arbitration clause, we are available to help. There are no up-front costs for our services. All NH personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2101, email us at info@MZLawNH.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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

 

So Why is it Called an “Accident” Anyway?

NH personal injury attorneysWe all know that words have meaning. Choose the right word and everyone knows what you mean. But use the wrong word, usually by mistake, and you cause confusion and misunderstanding.  We’ve all done this. We’ll say or write a word and then realize a different word probably would have been better and more easily understood. We also know that the world is full of “word police” who are only too eager to point out errors in vocabulary, and they’re not all teachers!

As NH personal injury attorneys, the most commonly misused word we encounter  is “accident.” Is there such thing as a “car accident?” Although rare, it is possible that what happened was unavoidable. But why, when a crash takes place that is clearly not accidental, is it referred to as an “accident?” Did a driver reading something on their phone and failing to see that a traffic light turned red “accidentally” crash into the car in front of them? Of course not! Is the word accident the most appropriate word to use in that scenario? Of course not! So why is the word accident so often used when it is clearly not, in anyone’s understanding, the right word?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Continued use of the word accident implies that these events are outside human influence or control. In reality, they are predictable results. These are not “Acts of God” but predictable results of the laws of physics. The concept of accident works against bringing all appropriate resources to bear on the enormous problem of highway collisions. Use of accident fosters the idea that the resulting damage and injuries are unavoidable.”

So, again, why do we use the word “accident?” If a drunk driver collides with another car and injures or kills its occupants, why is a polite word like “accident” used when another, much more accurate word, is so clearly appropriate? According to the NH personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law, it’s a case of common usage, otherwise known as word persistence. We tend to use words we hear repeatedly despite not being correct for the situation. And when we hear a different word, though it may be more accurate, we perceive it as being incorrect. In this instance, the word “wreck” is used in the southern states in place of “accident” in New England. Now think again about the drunk driving scenario. Clearly, it would be better to say that a drunk driver responsible for a collision caused a “wreck” and not an “accident.”

In the context of a car crash, the word accident is actually what is known as a misnomer. Classic examples of misnomers include several types of berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc) that are not actually berries. Jellyfish and starfish are not actually fish. Peanuts are not actually nuts – peanuts grow underground and nuts grow on trees. But sometimes, words are used incorrectly to be purposely misleading. Would anyone actually use the word “accident” to be purposefully misleading? Yes – the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and the insurance industry.

Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars on insurance premiums. This includes life, homeowner’s, renter’s, and business policies, and policies providing protection in case of a motor vehicle crash. One cannot turn on a television without being subjected to a steady stream of car insurance commercials featuring talking geckos, retired football players, and a number of other clever ad devices. What do all these insurance companies want you to do? To part with your money by purchasing their insurance product. And what do they not want you to do – ever? To file a claim against one of their policyholders.

Doesn’t it sound nice and polite for an insurer to claim that your injury was caused by “accident?” Doesn’t it make financial sense for the insurance industry to persist in calling these events “accidents?” Nothing makes it easier for insurance companies to undervalue claims and underpay compensation to injury victims than the use of the word “accident.” Yes, it’s cynical. And yes, it works.

Fortunately, progress is being made. Many drivers use Waze, a GPS app that warns drivers when there are dangers on the roadways such as crashes, cars that have broken down, and roadkill. As recently as last year, Waze used the word “accident” but they now use “crash.” As far back as 1997, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) dropped the word “accident” from their lexicon. Nevada has changed its laws and legally no longer refers to car crashes as accidents. And the advocacy group “Crash Not Accident” has launched a campaign asking that people pledge to not use the word “accident” to describe crashes that are anything but accidental.

There is still a long way to go. Hopefully soon, though, we will use the word “accident” only when something has happened – by accident.

Contact Experienced NH Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you have been injured by another person’s careless acts, contact the NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 210-4464, by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or by using 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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The NH personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter.

New Hampshire Bicycle Accident Attorneys: Bike Accidents

New Hampshire Bicycle Accident AttorneysRecreational bicycle riding has long been popular in New Hampshire. The number of people commuting by bicycle has been increasing in recent years. For road bikers, many communities are creating bike lanes in roadways. Old railroad beds are being reclaimed for those who like off-road biking, There are many upsides when more people opt for a bike over an automobile. These include the health benefits from the physical exertion of peddling a bike. There are also environmental benefits from fewer fuel-burning cars on our roadways.

When automobiles and bicycles share the roadways, however, there is the potential for accidents and injuries. With the growing incidence of distracted driving, there is an even greater risk of accidents and injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 467,000 bicycle-related injuries and 1,000 bicycling fatalities in the United States in 2015.

The New Hampshire bicycle accident attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law have repeatedly seen the effects of motor vehicle collisions with bicycles that have caused devastating injuries. This includes concussions, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and many other injuries that can be severe, life-threatening, and sometimes fatal.

Dangers From Distracted Drivers

As New Hampshire bicycle accident attorneys, we know that bicycle accidents can occur under a variety of scenarios. This is often due to a driver’s failure to check bike lanes in intersections or when changing lanes. Other common biking accident scenarios include:

• Failure to yield to cyclists with the right of way
• Colliding with cyclists at stop signs or traffic signals
• Side-swiping cyclists on busy streets
• Backing into a bicyclist while navigating a parking lot or recreational area
• Operating a vehicle at excessive speeds in areas heavily populated with cyclist

Steps to Take for Bicycle Accident Injuries

Many bicyclists we see on our roadways are very avid riders. They are often on their bikes every day, but even the most experienced cyclist can become involved in a serious collision. If you or someone you are riding with is injured in a biking accident, take the same precautions you would anytime an injury has been suffered. Seek immediate medical attention as major injuries often initially seem minor.

Here is our advice for bicycle accident victims

Take care of your medical needs. Few things are more important than your health.  A delay in necessary treatment can result in a worsening of an injury or a delay in recovery time.
• Note the date, time, and location of the crash. This is extremely important information.
• Call the police. Call the police who will identify the parties involved. Ask how you can get a copy of their report for your records.
• Gather detailed information. Take note of the vehicle(s) involved in the collision. Get the license plate number and state, and the year, make, model, and color of the vehicle(s).
• Get the names and contact information of any witnesses. This will be helpful information during an investigation.
• Take photos.  If you have a phone or a camera, document the scene. This includes photos that will show the weather and road conditions.

Contact the New Hampshire Bicycle Accident Attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law

If you suffer injuries through no fault of your own in a biking accident, it is essential to have New Hampshire bicycle accident attorneys representing you 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 with the experienced NH injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, call (603) 239-2459, complete a  “contact us” form on our website, or send us an email.

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A client’s review of Attorney Anna Zimmerman

Attorney Anna ZimmermanThis was the second time I hired Attorney Anna Zimmerman to solve a legal problem for me. Based on my first experience I knew I had the right lawyer to represent me, and as expected she did a marvelous job to achieve the result I was seeking.  Anna is very knowledgeable in the law and aggressive in pursuing the case, always responsive to phone calls and questions. She is sensitive to the needs of a client. As a retired Colonel of Marines and possessing a PhD, I do the detailed homework before hiring anyone, particularly a legal representative. I will definitely use her next year for advice on my will. I would highly recommend her to anyone. In fact, I already have and they were impressed with Anna and said they should have hired her sooner in lieu of the lawyer they originally hired. – Normand

Manchester Wrongful Death Attorneys Answer FAQs

Wrongful Death Frequently Asked Questions

As Manchester wrongful death attorneys, we often receive questions from people who have lost a loved one due to the wrongful or negligent actions of another. The death of a loved one is difficult under normal circumstances. When the death occurs as a result of someone else’s fault, however, it is traumatic for all involved. Often, family and friends have not had any time to say “good bye” and come to terms with the passing. In terms of the legal matters that may arise after a traumatic death, we have compiled a list of some questions that are frequently asked of us.

What occurs when the person dies before filing a personal injury lawsuit?

If your loved one was injured through no fault of their own and then died from those injuries, the law allows you to file a lawsuit to seek recovery of damages. If your loved one had a personal injury claim and then died due to causes that were not related to the injury accident, the personal injury claim will still be able to be pursued by the loved one’s personal representative or estate executor.

How are wrongful deaths handled criminally and civilly?

When someone dies due to the negligent actions of another, both civil and criminal cases may be filed separately. In a criminal case, the government seeks to punish the person responsible for your loved one’s death if their behavior falls under those outlined in the state’s criminal code. Civil law cases are filed by one person, such as you, against the person who caused the death, and civil wrongful death cases have to do with allegations of violating the rights and duties owed by people to others. As such, it is possible to file a wrongful death civil lawsuit even if criminal charges are not also filed. Similarly, both a criminal case and a civil lawsuit may proceed separately and simultaneously, and the burden of proof required in the civil matter is a lower one than that required of the prosecutor in the criminal action.

Can punitive damages be recovered?

While some states allow the recovery of punitive damages in a wrongful death case, punitive damages are not recoverable under New Hampshire law.

Do all states have the same wrongful death laws?

Wrongful death laws vary by state. New Hampshire has its own laws that may differ from those of another state.

Is it possible to sue for wrongful death if my loved one never worked?

Yes, it is still possible to sue even if your loved one did not work. In that case, the question would be looking at the value of other contributions they made to the family.

Are damages for pain and suffering recoverable?

New Hampshire allows you to bring a lawsuit for your loved one’s pain and suffering.

Is it possible to sue for the death of a child or elderly relative?

Yes, you can sue for either. The damages can still be considerable but will be looked at a bit differently.

Contact Experienced Manchester Wrongful Death Attorneys for a Free Consultation

Has your loved one has passed away as the result of negligent medical care? 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 wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 379-6319, 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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Put Down Your Phone: Distracted Driving Still on the Rise

Cell Phones Not the Only Cause of Distracted Driving

Teens Most at Risk but Often Learn Dangerous Behavior from Parents

Americans hate to waste time, even while driving. Whether via smartphones or the new hands-free systems standard in many vehicles today, we can talk with friends, family or business associates, search for the nearest gas station, or pull up a review of that new restaurant. Most people also think they can do all this while driving and not cause a crash. But that’s where they’re wrong. An estimated 431,000 people were injured in distracted driving-related motor vehicle accidents in 2014, up from 424,000 in 2013. The death toll was 3,179. This CNN article asks, “When you are driving, how often do you see other drivers checking their phones while behind the wheel? And, be honest, how often do you do it yourself?”

distracted driving
Any and all of these behaviors can contribute to distracted driving. To expand, click here.

What exactly is distracted driving?

Cell phones factor into many kinds of distractions, but there are plenty of other ways to lose focus while driving. The three types of distracted driving as identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are:

* Visual: taking your eyes off the road
* Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
* Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving

This can include texting, talking on a phone, eating, grooming, and reading. Also included is using a navigation system, adjusting music, or reacting to the behavior of a passenger.

Texting while driving tops the list of dangerous distractions and has already been banned in 46 states. Research has shown that texting and driving is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Texting is also the communication method of choice for most young people. Therefore, it is not surprising that drivers under 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. In fact, according to this New York Post article, texting while driving is now the leading cause of teenage deaths in this country.

Parents can play an important role in teaching their teens about the dangers of distracted driving. They do so by setting a good example, yet 48 percent of the parents of teens use phones while driving. Fifteen percent have seen their parents texting while driving.

Watch for Other Distracted Drivers and Pedestrians

Good drivers stay focused on the road at all times but have to be aware of others who are distracted. Ninety percent of adults consider distracted driving unacceptable, yet 35 percent of those same drivers admit to driving distracted. Defensive, focused and cautious driving is your best bet to prevent an accident with a careless driver.

Another dangerous behavior on the rise is distracted walking. Pedestrians can be at risk if walking while talking on a cell phone or listening to music through headphones. Among those 19 and under, teens account for 50 percent of all pedestrian deaths. 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.

Stop Distracted Driving Before It Stops You

Distracted driving accidents may be on the rise, but these incidents are 100 percent preventable. Here are some commonsense tips on how you can protect yourself and others:

Visual distractions: Keep your eyes on the road, pull over to read directions, and put your phone away.
Manual distractions: Keep your phone out of reach, make all adjustments before driving, and don’t reach for items while driving.
Cognitive distractions: Avoid phone calls (even hands-free), stay focused on the road, and keep your emotions in check.

Also consider visiting EndDD.org for a safe driving agreement that you can print and share with your family. Together, we can keep our streets safe for pedestrians and drivers alike.

Contact a New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured due to someone else’s careless acts, contact the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC for a free consultation. We may be reached at (603) 605-0547 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

uninsured motorist claim

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

Manchester Personal Injury Attorneys: A Few Key Facts Every Plaintiff Should Know

Have you been injured in a car crash in New Hampshire? If so, it is wise to contact the Manchester personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. Our attorneys will advise you on filing a claim to receive compensation for your injuries. While many personal injury cases typically go straight to the settlement phase, it is possible for a personal injury case to go to trial. If that happens, the Manchester personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law will prepare you for what might happen.

You have the right to reject any settlement offer that is presented to you. Your Manchester personal injury attorneys cannot settle a case without your consent. If you feel the amount is not fair, then you can ask for your case to be brought to a trial where a jury will decide what is fair. The defendant also has a right to take the case to a trial. No one can be forced to settle and both parties have the option of allowing a jury to settle the case for them. Allow your Manchester personal injury attorneys to work the settlement for you.

Manchester Personal Injury Attorneys

Don’t appear too anxious to settle. You may end up with a lower amount than you could have settled for. If your case goes to trial, you may be asked to testify on your own behalf. You will need to tell the judge and jury what happened during the accident. Witnesses for both parties will be allowed to testify as well. Based on the testimony, the jury will make a decision in the case. While your Manchester personal injury attorneys will fight hard for your rights, there is no guarantee of winning your case. However, if you do win, the defendant will be required to pay the amount that the jury decides upon. After the trial, either side may attempt to appeal the verdict.

Contact Manchester Personal Injury Attorneys Today

For an experienced professional, contact the Manchester personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC at (603) 624-7200. Our attorneys can help you navigate through a personal injury claim. They will help you fight for what you deserve.

Contact Experienced Manchester 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 personal 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.

nh car accident lawyers

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