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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.

Medical Treatment Following a New Hampshire Car Crash

How You Handle Medical Treatment After a New Hampshire Car Crash Will Affect the Value of Your Case

New Hampshire car crash

According to statistics compiled by the National Safety Council and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the number of car and truck crashes causing serious injuries continue to rise in New Hampshire despite the fact that there are an increasing number of safety features in automobiles.

Seeking Medical Treatment

Following a New Hampshire car crash, you will be asked by paramedics and first responders how you are feeling. They will likely ask if you wish to be taken to the hospital.

You may not be feeling severe pain immediately following a car crash. It is still a good idea to be examined by the EMT and consider immediately going to an emergency room. Particularly with soft tissue neck, back, and shoulder injuries, the onset of pain and symptoms may not occur until days or even weeks following a crash.

This article will explore some treatment options you should consider following a New Hampshire car crash. We also look at the way insurance companies will likely view these treatment decisions.

Emergency Room Care and Treatment

Immediately following a crash, if you are injured it is important that you seek medical treatment. You should consider not driving yourself and you may be better off traveling in an ambulance or having a friend or family member (i.e. who comes to the accident scene) take you to the hospital.

If an insurer learns you did not seek treatment following a crash, it will affect how they view your case. The same is true if you drive yourself to an emergency room for treatment. Rightly or wrongly, insurance adjusters believe that if you did not seek immediate treatment following your crash, or if you were “well enough” to drive yourself to a hospital, then you must not have been injured all that badly.

Your best bet is to seek emergency room treatment immediately following a crash if you feel you have been injured. This is true even if you don’t feel intense pain or don’t believe you have been injured seriously. Unless you have emergency medical training, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Emergency Room Physicians and Other Personnel

Ordinarily, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and emergency room personnel will ask you where you feel pain upon examination. Be sure to answer their questions completely and be thorough in describing your present complaints and symptoms. Emergency room physicians and nurses typically dictate a report which is then reduced to writing.

These emergency room reports, along with all other imaging studies (such as x-rays and MRI’s taken at the emergency room) and medical treatment reports following the crash, are forwarded to the defendant’s insurance company for consideration. Be as thorough and specific as possible when describing your symptoms to EMTs, emergency room personnel, and physicians.

Prior to leaving the emergency room, the doctor will likely provide you with some discharge instructions for treating your medical condition (such as taking medication on an as-needed basis, doing home exercises, or following up with your doctor or a specialist). If the ER doctor recommends that you follow up with your primary care doctor – or with a specialist or physical therapist – you should do so as soon as possible.

When a physician makes those kinds of recommendations, it is essential that you follow through. Failing to do so could severely affect your recovery and could have negative ramifications on your case in the eyes of an insurance company adjuster. You should fully comply with any discharge instructions provided by an ER physician prior to your discharge.

Getting Home from the Emergency Room

If you have been injured and it is not safe for you to be driving, it is important that you avoid driving yourself home from the emergency room following your examination and treatment. Again, from an insurance adjuster’s perspective, driving home from an initial emergency room visit (or to/from any medical or physical therapy appointment following an accident) raises questions as to the seriousness of the injuries you’re claiming you sustained. Following a New Hampshire car crash, if you have been seriously injured and need to rely on others for transportation to and from medical appointments, then you should do so. It is important to limit your activities and give your body (and mind) time to rest and get better.

You may want to keep a journal of your activities in the days following your crash. At a deposition or trial, you may be asked what you were able to do and not do as a result of your injuries. Whether you were home due to your injuries, as opposed to being able to get right back into your regular routine, will be important information.

Conclusion

Initial medical treatment following a New Hampshire motor vehicle crash can be stressful and painful. The best thing you can do is to surround yourself with a support system of dependable family and friends. They will be needed for transportation to/from medical appointments and for care as you begin the injury recovery process. The last things you want to worry about during this initial treatment period are legal filings and deadlines. That’s where the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC will be of assistance to you.

Contact the New Hampshire Car Crash Attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law

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!

There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis. We are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party.

For a free consultation, contact the NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2101 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

The NH injury lawyers 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

Recreational 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

New Hampshire bicycle accident attorneys

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.

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

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Resolving your New Hampshire personal injury case

There are a number of different ways to resolve your New Hampshire personal injury case. They include:

    1.  Settlement negotiated between your attorney and the insurance adjuster
    2.  Trial
    3.  Mediation
    4.  Arbitration
    5.  Summary jury trial

New Hampshire personal injury

Settlement Negotiated Between the Attorneys

In many cases, after discovery is complete, and the insurance adjuster and attorneys from both sides have had an opportunity to review all the evidence, the attorneys can come to an agreement about the value of the case, who is at fault, and what is a reasonable settlement offer. If that occurs in your case, your New Hampshire personal injury attorney at Manning & Zimmerman will contact you to convey the settlement offer. As the injured party, you are able to make a determination about whether or not you will settle for the amount offered. Your attorney’s job is to assist you in making an informed decision.  This means they will tell you if they believe you could receive more money at trial, or if your expectations about a certain settlement is unreasonable for your injury. If you agree to settle, the lawyers will notify the court and take care of the necessary paperwork for you.

Trial

Trials are available for cases that cannot be resolved by negotiation, or by using one of the many forms of alternative dispute resolution available to the parties. At a trial, the parties both make opening statements, witnesses are examined by both sides, evidence is admitted, and the lawyers make closing arguments. Then the case is given to a judge or jury, who will decide the case. Trials can be stressful for lay people. Trials also run the risk of a lack of finality. This is because, in addition to the uncertainty that comes with letting others determine your fate, if the insurance company doesn’t want to pay the amount awarded or otherwise believe that some injustice occurred during trial, they can appeal the verdict in certain circumstances. This makes an already long wait for resolution even longer.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
In New Hampshire, all civil cases must go to some form of alternative dispute resolution. Typically parties either go to a non-binding mediation or a binding arbitration. Alternative dispute resolution proceedings are confidential. Things that are said to attempt to resolve the matter at these hearings cannot be used against the other party if the case does not settle and ultimately goes to trial.

The Effects of an Agreement

If you participate in an alternative dispute resolution to resolve your personal injury case, your New Hampshire personal injury attorney, along with the lawyer for the other side, will execute a written agreement for the court, documenting the terms of the agreement. It has the same strength and is enforceable just as any other written contract would be.

Mediation

Mediation involves a mediator, who is a neutral third party such as an attorney or retired judge. The job of the mediator is to remain impartial during the proceedings. Mediators attempt to facilitate a discussion between the parties. The goals of mediation include promoting an understanding between the parties, reconciliation, and settlement. However, the mediator is not permitted to substitute his or her judgment for the parties’ own. Alternative dispute resolution proceedings are confidential. Things that are said to attempt to resolve the matter at these hearings cannot be used against the other party if the case does not settle and ultimately goes to trial.

If you participate in an alternative dispute resolution to resolve your personal injury case, your attorney, along with the lawyer for the other side, will execute a written agreement for the court, documenting the terms of the agreement. It has the same strength and is enforceable just as any other written contract would be.

Arbitration

There are two kinds of arbitration: binding arbitration and non-binding arbitration. Regardless of whether the arbitration in binding, both parties will present their position to impartial third parties called arbitrator(s). The arbitrator or arbitrators will issue a specific award. If the parties have agreed to a binding arbitration, the arbitration decision is final and will be enforceable like any other contract. If the decision is not binding, the idea is that the decision will provide a basis upon which the parties can negotiate further.

Summary Jury Trial

A summary jury trial is designed for early case evaluation and provides a way to develop realistic settlement negotiation. In a summary jury trial, attorneys for both sides present their position to a panel of six jurors. The parties can agree to more or less jurors if they are so inclined, but typically six jurors are used. After hearing the positions of the parties, the jurors make decisions about what damages might be reasonable, and who is at fault. This is also an advisory opinion, and as such, is not binding on the parties.

Injured? Contact the New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, it is essential that you have competent NH injury lawyers representing you 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 Manning & Zimmerman are ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 239-2459 today for a free initial consultation, send us an email to info@MZLawNH.com, or reach out to us using the “contact us” or the chat feature on our website.

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

Experienced • Knowledgeable • Committed to Justice

Stephanie, family member of a New Hampshire personal injury client

The Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman were absolutely phenomenal when it came to helping our family. My husband got into a horrible car accident and they made everything so easy and the amount of kindness and professionalism shown was comforting. Anna and Brenda were such a good team and my family was truly lucky to have them all on our side. We were satisfied with the outcome and are eternally grateful. Thank you!!

James, a NH Personal Injury Client

NH Personal Injury AttorneysWe highly recommend the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman. Our case took about 18 months to resolve and throughout that time Maureen and Brenda were always professional, thoughtful and accessible. They answered every question, explained the process along the way and were attentive to our concerns. Maureen’s extensive experience and knowledge are impressive and my wife and I feel fortunate to have had her on OUR side of our case!

Distracted Driving: Mayhem on the Roads

Distracted Driving: Making Our Roadways Less Safe Everyday

distracted drivingAccording to an article on distracted driving by the American Rental Association, “When you look at the statistics, it’s a wonder anyone voluntarily gets behind the wheel; it’s mayhem on the roads and driving is becoming more dangerous on a daily basis. Consider, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): From 2014 to 2015, vehicle accidents resulting in fatalities rose by more than seven percent, the biggest increase in almost 50 years. Over that same time frame, the number of injuries from motor vehicle crashes jumped up by nearly five percent.”

The article continued, “During that same period, the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased by nearly four percent; the largest increase since 1992. The fatality rate per 100 million VMT increased by the same. Fatal accidents caused by distracted driving rose by almost nine percent. In 2015, there were over four percent more fatalities involving crashes with large trucks — any medium or heavy truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 10,000 lbs., excluding motor homes and buses — than in 2014.”

The article concluded, “It gets more troubling. Again, according to NHTSA data, during the first six months of 2016, highway deaths rose by more than 10 percent to 17,775, compared to the same period in 2015. Data indicates that rather than vehicle/equipment failure, drivers — particularly distracted drivers — were the primary factor behind these fatalities.”

What is Distracted Driving?

So what exactly is distracted driving? According to Distraction.gov, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.

New Hampshire’s “Hands-Free” Law

Distracted driving has now been categorized as a national epidemic. In an effort to address distracted driving and make roads safer in New Hampshire, lawmakers took action by making handheld cell phone use and texting while driving  a violation of state law. New Hampshire law enforcement officials are authorized to stop drivers who have been observed texting or using a cell phone while driving, even if the driver is not committing any other offenses. This is what is known as a “primary offense.”

New Hampshire’s “Hands-Free” law went into effect in 2015, prohibiting the use of any hand-held device while driving. New vehicles are manufactured with Bluetooth capability, allowing for hands-free and voice-activated connections to electronic devices. For those drivers with older vehicles without this technology, an update is necessary to enable hands-free capability. Research has shown that older drivers who commit violations of the law do so while using a device to make and receive phone calls, while younger drivers are far more likely to be texting.

At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, we have seen an increase in the number of cases we handle that are the result of injuries caused by distracted drivers. We must ALL develop strategies and the discipline necessary to eliminate distractions while driving to ensure our own safety as well of the safety of all others on our roadways.

Distracted Driving Presentations in Schools

At Manning & Zimmerman Law, we are committed to helping to reduce the number of distracted driving crashes on New Hampshire roadways. Attorneys Maureen Raiche Manning and Anna Goulet Zimmerman, who combined have more than 50 years of experience in the practice of law, have volunteered their services to provide distracted driving presentations at local high schools. This is being done as part of a state-wide initiative being organized by the New Hampshire Association for Justice, an organization of trial lawyers of which Attorney Zimmerman is the current president and Attorney Manning is a past-president. More information on the program provided to schools is available at EndDD.org or, if your school would like a presentation, please contact Attorney Zimmerman at our office.

Contact the NH Personal Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC.  Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2315, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.

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.

New Hampshire Personal Injury Law and Proportioning Fault

New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawyers: “What is Negligence?”

Negligence is defined as “the failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another” and is the crux of a New Hampshire personal injury case.  In order to receive compensation for personal injuries suffered in a motor vehicle collision, an injured person (known as the “plaintiff”) has the burden of proving negligence on the part the person being sued (known as the “defendant”) – usually, the other driver.

In order to prove negligence in a New Hampshire personal injury case, an injured plaintiff must show that the defendant driver owed him or her a duty; that this duty was breached; and that breach of this duty factually and legally resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries and damages (including both economic and non-economic damages).

Duty and Breach

In New Hampshire personal injury cases, a defendant’s duty is measured by the standard of a reasonable person.  In the case of personal injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident, the injured plaintiff must show that the defendant driver owed a duty to the injured plaintiff (and all other drivers on the roadway) to act as a reasonably prudent driver under the same or similar circumstances. “Same or similar circumstances” means that a defendant driver’s duty is “fluid,” depending upon environmental circumstances like traffic volume, weather, and other external forces.

For example, a defendant may have a duty to drive slower when road conditions are bad or if driving through an area where there are a lot of pedestrians or children present. These factors are taken into consideration when determining whether or not a defendant driver breached the duty of care owed to the injured plaintiff and other drivers on the roadway.  The injured plaintiff must ordinarily be able to prove this breach to prevail in a personal injury case and receive monetary compensation.

Defendant’s Admission of Fault vs. Taking Responsibility

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

In fact, when this is done and the case proceeds to trial anyway it is because the defendant (or his/her insurance company) is still failing to accept financial responsibility for all the harms and losses which were caused by the defendant’s conduct. The admission of fault is often done simply because the defendant wants to avoid the jury hearing about what he or she did wrong, with the hope that this might result in a smaller verdict.

Causation and Damages

In a New Hampshire personal injury case, an injured plaintiff must ordinarily show that the defendant driver’s breach of duty was both the factual cause and legal (foreseeable) cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.  In addition to causation, the plaintiff must have suffered damages – usually in the form of personal injuries.  These damages are classified into two main types:  economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are those damages that can be measured numerically – such as medical bills, physical therapy bills, and compensation for missed time from work (also known as lost wages).  The injured plaintiff must demonstrate that the treatment, bills, and lost wages are the proximate result of injuries sustained in the accident.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering; aggravation and inconvenience, psychological and psychiatric harm, loss of earning capacity, and loss of companionship or consortium (i.e. spousal support).  The value of these losses can be difficult to determine, but are often far greater than the non-economic damages as this is the category of damages within which the jury is compensating a plaintiff for the change in the plaintiff’s ability (whether for a period of time or permanently) to live and enjoy life in the same what that he or she once did. Again, the injured plaintiff must demonstrate that these damages were proximately caused by the accident.

Plaintiff’s Contributory and Comparative Negligence in New Hampshire

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

New Hampshire, like most states in the country, uses a modified comparative negligence scheme – otherwise known as the “51% Rule.”  Under this rule, an injured plaintiff’s contributory negligence does not completely bar his or her recovery, so long as the plaintiff’s negligence was not greater than the defendant’s.  Under New Hampshire personal injury law, a judge will reduce an injured plaintiff’s damages (the total amount of the damages as determined by a jury) in proportion to his or her amount of negligence. For example, if a defendant driver was 75% at fault for the accident, and the injured plaintiff contributed 25% to the accident, then the injured plaintiff is only entitled to recover 75% of the damages found by the jury.

Contact the New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman, PLLC. There are no up-front costs for our services. All personal injury and workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2427, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “request a free consultation” feature on our website.

NH Car Crash Attorneys Share Winter Driving Tips

NH Car Crash Attorneys Share Winter Driving Tips

Reduce Speed

* When it snows, the NH car crash attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law urge you to use your head – not your feet. Slow down for wet, snowy, or icy conditions; when visibility is poor; or when conditions are changing or unpredictable. Stay alert!

* Slow down when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady spots. These are all candidates for developing black ice – a thin coating of clear ice can form on pavement surfaces that may be nh car crash attorneys, nh injury lawyers, nh car crash lawyers, nh accident lawyerdifficult to see.

* Drivers should allow additional room between their vehicles and others. Winter road conditions often result in longer stopping distances.

* Don’t take chances when pulling out in front of approaching vehicles. Remember, they may not be able to slow down, and you may not be able to accelerate as quickly as on dry pavement.

* Avoid using cruise control in winter driving conditions. You need to be in control of when your vehicle accelerates based on road conditions – don’t let cruise control make a bad decision for you.

Driving Maneuvers

* Stopping on snow and ice without skidding requires extra time and distance. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, NH car crash attorneys urge you to give yourself plenty of room to stop.

* On snow and ice, go slowly, no matter what type of vehicle you drive. Even if you drive an SUV with four-wheel drive, you may not be able to stop any faster, or maintain control any better, once you lose traction. Four-wheel drive may get you going faster, but it won’t help you stop sooner.

* When you’re driving on snow, accelerate gradually. Avoid abrupt steering maneuvers.

* When you’re driving on snow, ice or wet roads, merge slowly, since sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide.

* It takes more time and distance to stop your vehicle in adverse weather conditions, so use your brakes carefully. Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes.

* Look farther ahead in traffic than you normally do. Actions by other vehicles will alert you to problems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to react safely.

* Avoid distracted driving – texting, eating, handheld devices, etc.

* Winter conditions call for different driving tactics. “When there’s ice and snow, take it slow” is sound advice from the NH car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC.

Safe Travel Around Snowplows

* Don’t crowd the plow. Snowplows plow far and wide – sometimes very wide. The front plow extends several feet in front of the truck and may cross the center line and shoulders during plowing operations.

* Don’t tailgate or stop too close behind snowplows. Snowplows are usually spreading deicing materials from the back of the truck may need to stop or take evasive action to avoid stranded vehicles. If you find yourself behind a snowplow, stay behind it or use caution when passing. The road behind a snowplow will be safer to drive on.

* On multiple lane roads, watch for snowplows operating in either lane.

* Snowplows can throw up a cloud of snow that can reduce your visibility to zero in less time than you can react. Drive smart. Never drive into a snow cloud – it could conceal a snowplow.

* Snowplows travel much slower than posted speeds while removing snow and ice from the roads. When you spot a plow, allow plenty of time to slow down.

* A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them but they may not see you.

* Plows turn and exit the road frequently. Give them plenty of room.

Trip Preparedness

* Before leaving home, find out about the driving conditions. Safe drivers know the weather, and they know their limits. If the weather is bad, remember, ice and snow, take it slow, or just don’t go.

* Before venturing out onto snowy roadways, make sure you’ve cleared the snow off all of your vehicle’s windows and lights, including brake lights and turn signals. Make sure you can see and be seen. Always buckle up, and remember, when driving in winter, ice and snow, take it slow.

* Give yourself extra time to reach your destination safely. It’s not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation, just to be on time.

* Winter conditions can be taxing on your vehicle. Check your vehicle’s tires, brakes, fluids, wiper blades, lights, belts, and hoses to make sure they‘re in good condition before the start of the winter season. A breakdown is bad on a good day, and can be dangerous on a bad-weather day.

* Wear your seat belt! Nearly three-quarters (71%) of all traffic fatalities in New Hampshire over the past 10 years have involved non-seat belt use.

Contact Experienced NH Car Crash Attorneys

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman, PLLC. There are no up-front costs for our services.  All personal injury and workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that we are only paid for our services if we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 624-7200.

Source: https://www.nh.gov/dot/