Tag Archives: New Hampshire injury lawyer

playground injuries

Playground Injuries Attorneys: Be Safe and Have Fun

Tips to Keep Kids Safe on Playgrounds

playground injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), at least 200,000 children age 14 or younger are treated in emergency rooms each year for playground injuries. More than 10 percent of these are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and the rate of TBIs is rising.

Because public playgrounds are numerous and easily accessible, most kids spend their time on these rather than private playgrounds. Thus, the largest percentage of playground injuries take place on public facilities. In fact, it is estimated that seventy-five percent of playground injuries take place on public playgrounds. Monkey bars and climbing equipment are responsible for the highest number of injuries.

But despite the risks, we know kids love playgrounds and benefit from the exercise and social interaction. The good news: Adults can play a key role in keeping kids safe on their favorite playgrounds with these tips and resources:

Keep Your Kids Safe With These Tips

Pedestrian
Here are four top risks that cause playground injuries. Click for full size.
  • Areas underneath the equipment, known as fall surfaces, should be made of soft material such as wood chips, mulch, sand or rubber.
  • Inspect equipment for any piece (especially metal) that may be hot from the sun.
  • Watch for hazards or protrusions like bolts, hooks, stumps or rocks that could trip or cut children.
  • Look for neglected maintenance, such as rusty or broken equipment.
  • Make sure kids wear safe clothing. No loose scarves or hoodies with drawstrings, as these can become a strangulation hazard if entangled with equipment. Shoes should be comfortable for play and protect feet, like sneakers. Tie long hair back as well.
  • Make sure there are strong and sturdy guardrails to prevent falls.
  • Your children should be using age-appropriate equipment. Read all playground signs for warnings and instructions.
  • Most importantly, the best way to prevent injuries is parental supervision. Talk to your kids about appropriate playground behavior before you visit the playground and watch them while you’re there.

More Resources for Safe Playgrounds

To ensure your local playground is safe, the National Recreation and Parks Association has a network of Certified Playground Safety Inspectors (CPSI). The CPSI certification program provides comprehensive and up-to-date training on playground safety issues, including hazard identification, equipment specifications, surfacing requirements and risk management methods. To find your local CPSI, click here.

A thorough playground safety checklist and ranking tool, created by the National Program for Playground Safety, can be found here. If you see safety hazards or poorly maintained equipment, reach out to the owner as soon as possible. In most cases, this will be a school or park district.

Keeping our kids safe while out on the playground is an issue we can all get behind, and one that benefits the community as a whole. So let’s all get out there and have some fun!

Contact NH Playground Injuries Attorneys

If your child has been negligently injured on a playground, 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 New Hampshire playground injuries attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC offer free initial consultations for NH injury victims. Call us at (603) 239-2489, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

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Experienced, Knowledgeable & Personally Committed to Justice

NH car accident lawyers

Here’s What You Should Do After a Crash

Vehicle accidents are an unfortunate reality in America. While injuries and deaths have been on the decline for several years, the trend has reversed this year. The NH car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC urge you to be prepared to protect your interests if you or a loved one are injured in a crash.

First 10 Minutes, First 10 Hours

As the NH car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman know, keeping a level head after a crash isn’t easy, especially if there are injuries involved. First priority: make sure that help is on the way for anyone who needs medical attention. Then take steps to protect your interests. Learn how with this guide on what to do if you are involved in a roadway crash.

By The Numbers

An estimated 32,675 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2014, down slightly from 2013 but up from a record low of 32,479 in 2011. Source: NHTSA Data Resource Website

More than 1.7 million people participate annually – 67 million since 1964 – in the National Safety Council’s (NSC’s) defensive driving program. Click here to download NSC defensive driving tips. Source: Defensive Driving, National Safety Council

While two in three drivers report talking on a cell phone and driving in the past 30 days, nearly three in five say such behavior by other drivers is a serious threat to their own personal safety. Source: 2013 Traffic Safety Culture Index, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

New Avoidance Technologies Reduce Crashes

Crash avoidance technologies, such as automatic braking systems and adaptive headlights, are preventing accidents according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Read more about these new technologies (download report).

Decade of Action for Road Safety

The National Safety Council is urging all Americans to get involved in the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011–2020, an initiative of the World Health Organization. The goal: prevent road traffic deaths and injuries that could take the lives of 1.9 million people annually by 2020.

Graduated Driver Licensing Saves Lives

Motor vehicle crashes are the number-one cause of death for teens. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) reduces the crash risk for new teen drivers 20 to 40 percent by emphasizing experience while minimizing hazards like nighttime driving. Look up GDL laws in New Hampshire.

Get a Free 10 Minutes, 10 Hours Wallet Card

Make sure important information is handy when you need it with our free 10 Minutes, 10 Hours  wallet card on what to do after a vehicle accident. Perfect for your wallet, handbag or glove box.

 Talking the Issues

Check out podcasts featuring topics from past issues of You Should Know  and subscribe to future shows via iTunes or RSS feed.

Contact Experienced NH Car Accident Lawyers

If you have been injured in a crash, 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 us at (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

Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Safety

Workplace Safety

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Economic swings are common in capitalist economies, often thought of simply as “good times” and “bad times.” Sometimes, however, we experience extreme swings, from the Great Depression of the 1930s on the low end, to the “DotCom” and housing boom covering the years from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s on the high end.

Each of these economic events were followed by swings in the opposite direction; America’s entry into the Second World War led to a wartime economy and the end of the Great Depression, while the Internet and housing boom led to the Great Recession during which many people lost their jobs and their homes. Those who held onto their homes lost most if not all of the equity they had built up over many years, and they saw the value of their retirement savings drop dramatically as the stock market plummeted. Fortunately, the economy has stabilized, unemployment and interest rates are at historic lows, and consumers have begun buying homes, automobiles, and many other goods again.

The Great Recession and Job Losses

Many workers were hit very hard during the Great Recession, particularly those in manufacturing and the trades, jobs that typically pay well when the economy is stable and consumers are feeling confident about making significant purchases. As a community, state and nation, we all do well when not only we have jobs, but so too do our neighbors, friends, and family members.

One of the clearest signs of an improving economy is the increase in “hard hat” jobs. While it is frustrating to sit in traffic, it is good to once again see our roadways being paved, office buildings being constructed, and homes being built. In southern New Hampshire, the widening of Route 93 from Salem to Manchester is ongoing, employing hundreds of hard working men and women earning good wages. Office, school, and home construction creates numerous jobs for those in the building trades; iron and steel workers, heavy equipment operators, pipe fitters, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, brick layers, landscapers, etc.

Staying Focused on Workplace Safety in an Improving Economy

However, while we all breathe a sigh of relief that the economy has finally recovered, we must remember the human cost which can occur when an employer focuses on building too fast or overlooks workplace safety measures that protect the lives and livelihoods of those employed in these physically demanding and, often, high risk jobs. While it is important to build well, so too is it important to build safely to protect workers.

Fortunately, Congress and state lawmakers have put in place policies to ensure workplace safety and to provide financial protections for injured workers and their families. At the federal level, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the Department of Labor. The purpose in passing OSHA was to “assure as far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions.”

workers' compensationFor OSHA to be effective in preventing workplace injuries and deaths, however, it is critical that Congress continue to provide the funds necessary to ensure that it can fulfill its mission to keep workers safe on the job. Despite the workplace safety mission of OSHA, on average 16 Americans are killed on the job every day and many more are injured, some of whom are permanently disabled.

Remembering the Lives We’ve Lost

On April 28th of every year, “Workers’ Memorial Day” is observed “to honor those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers.” For their efforts in promoting safe workplaces, the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman is pleased to recognize the efforts of the New Hampshire Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health (NH COSH), “a group of health and safety activists who work with a nationwide network of COSH groups to advocate for stronger worker health and safety laws for all workers.”

OSHA is in place to prevent injuries from happening. But what if injuries do in fact take place? In New Hampshire, by law an employee who is injured on the job, through either an accident or occupational disease, is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This law is administered by the New Hampshire Department of Labor. New Hampshire employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to cover employees in the event of such injury. New Hampshire’s workers’ compensation law provides that the injury must be related to the work and occur in the course of employment.

Injured workers should consult with attorneys experienced in workers’ compensation law, construction accident law, and Social Security disability law to assist with their claim. Family members of a worker killed on the job should consult with an experienced wrongful death attorney. There are numerous deadlines and countless rules and regulations that require the injured worker, their employer, their doctor(s), and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier to take certain action.

Contact Experienced New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Insurance carriers have access to experienced and knowledgeable lawyers to work for them – injured workers should have an attorney on their side as well. At the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, the firm’s legal, medical, and extensive trial experience is utilized to obtain full and fair compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and permanent injury. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2427, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.

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Experienced, Knowledgeable & Personally Committed to Justice

New Hampshire Personal Injury Law and Proportioning Fault

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

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

Duty and Breach

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

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

Causation and Damages

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

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

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

Plaintiff’s Comparative Negligence in New Hampshire

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

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

Contact a New Hampshire Personal Injury Law Attorney Today

If you have been injured in a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident and sustained any of the types of injuries discussed above, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation.  Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. The experienced New Hampshire personal injury law attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC are ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 624-7200 today for an initial consultation.

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Experienced, Knowledgeable & Personally Committed to Justice

How Much Is My Motorcycle Injury Case Worth?

motorcycle injury caseWith Spring finally arriving in New Hampshire, the weather is warmer and the days are longer – and motorcyclists are taking to our state’s roadways. All motorists are reminded to safely “Share the Road” with motorcycles, to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists and their passengers safe, and to avoid causing a motorcycle injury case.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and often have high performance capabilities. When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they’re more likely to be injured or killed. The National Highway Safety Administration estimates that per mile traveled in 2013, the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 26 times the number in cars.

Before setting off on what should be a fun and safe ride,  be sure to take the time  to educate yourself about how to avoid a motorcycle accident in the first place. There are plenty of things you can do to educate yourself on how to avoid motorcycle accidents and we are pleased to share this article from the folks at Best Motorcycle Jackets.

What are the factors you should consider when evaluating what your motorcycle accident case is worth?

Motorcycle accidents are unique and results will depend on the facts of your case, but here are the most influential factors.  Your personal injury lawyer in Manchester NH at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can also be an excellent source of valuation information.

Actual costs

Actual costs are the real costs that you incur as a result of your motorcycle injury.  These are similar to car accident damages.  Damages such as lost wages or earning capacity, reasonable value of medical bills, vehicle damage, and related expenses are certain damages which are relatively easy to prove.  Make sure that you have all of your paperwork to prove your damages.

Subjective costs

Subjective costs refer to damages, such as pain and suffering, and are harder to quantify for purposes of settlement.  A motorcycle injury case attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can help give you a range of pain and suffering damages so that you have an understanding of what your case is worth.  It is important when detailing your pain and suffering damages, that you give a clear picture of how your life was affected.  For example, if you were an active person before the accident and are no longer able to be physically active because of the limitations from your motorcycle injury, details as to your loss of enjoyment of life and your life before and after the accident can help you obtain a bigger settlement.

Evidence of the defendant’s fault in a motorcycle injury case

Whether you can prove that the defendant was at fault in your motorcycle injury case will significantly increase your chances of a higher monetary recovery.  For example, if you have evidence that the defendant was driving too fast or ran a red light or was otherwise not observing traffic laws, establishing liability becomes much easier and the chances of a larger monetary recovery increase.  Evidence such as witness statements, police reports, and traffic cams can be used to prove a defendant’s fault in your motorcycle injury case.

Whether the defendant can afford to pay on a jury award

Whether the defendant can afford to pay the total a jury may award is another consideration when deciding whether to accept a settlement offer.  If the defendant has no assets or ability to pay on a judgment, then your attorney may advise you to accept an offer from their insurance within policy limits.  Conversely, if the defendant has assets which you can collect upon, it may increase a settlement offer or your chances with a jury.  Your attorney can advise you as to whether it is worth collecting against a defendant’s assets and how long it would take to collect on a judgment as opposed to accepting an insurance company’s settlement offer.

How your case will look to a jury

Juries are comprised of human beings, each with their own ideas about motorcycle accidents, perceptions of trials and litigants, and values.  How you will present to a jury, how the defendant will present to the jury, and how the facts of your case will present to a jury can factor into what a jury will award you and whether the defendant’s or the insurance company’s settlement offer is the best choice for you.  Your personal injury lawyer is your best choice for guidance in this area.  An experienced personal injury lawyer in Manchester NH can value your case and give you a realistic idea of what to expect with a jury and how that can help your case.

Do you want to have your case tried before a jury?

When deciding whether to accept a settlement offer in your motorcycle injury case, you do have to ask yourself whether you really want to go to trial and whether this is something that you can handle.  Some personal injury claimants relish the idea of taking their chances in court while other claimants would not want to go to trial under any circumstances.  Ask yourself honestly whether you want to go through the trial process.  There is no right or wrong answer.

Jury verdicts and settlements in your courthouse

There is a considerable amount of motorcycle injury case data available on jury verdicts and settlements in New Hampshire.  It is worth reviewing those jury verdicts and settlements to get an accurate understanding of what juries tend to award in a motorcycle injury case. Your personal injury attorney can give you a reasonable, well-researched idea of what to expect from jury verdicts and settlements in New Hampshire.

Call Experienced Motorcycle Injury Case Attorneys

Big companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. If you feel that you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company, the NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can help. When representing injured victims, we are only paid for our services when we successfully recover damages from the responsible party. For a free consultation, call (603) 239-2459, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.

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Experienced, Knowledgeable & Personally Committed to Justice

New Hampshire Injury Lawyer

New Hampshire Injury Lawyer: Valuing Damages in an Injury Case

In personal injury cases, the term ‘damages’ refers to the amount of money that should be paid to an injured party (or plaintiff) who suffered harm due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional act of the defendant.  It is intended to make the plaintiff whole after the incident and put the plaintiff in the position they would have been if they had not been injured.

Valuing your personal injury case is an essential part of your injury claim.  It is often hard to put a dollar figure on an injury if it involves, for example, pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life – although these losses can be very significant.  Many injury victims consult with a New Hampshire injury lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC to discuss what their case is worth and how personal injury damages work.  Fortunately, personal injury damages can be categorized and simplified to give you a better understanding of the injury claims process and your real case value.  An experienced New Hampshire injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman can help in valuing your case so that you can make informed decisions about any settlement offers or court proceedings.

General and Special Damages

The two categories of losses in your personal injury case are general and special damages (often called non-economic and economic damages).

General damages are those damages which flow naturally from a claimant’s injury.  For example, if you were injured in a car crash, the defendant should be responsible for all injuries you sustained.  In addition, if you had a pre-existing injury which was worsened by the crash caused by the defendant, the defendant should be held responsible for those damages as well.

These are the types of general damages in a personal injury case.

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Physical disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Mental anguish or emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lowered quality of life

Computing general damages depends on the type of injury you have sustained and the nature and extent of your injuries.   What a jury will award and what you could be awarded in a settlement varies depending upon the facts of each case.  An experienced New Hampshire injury lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman can guide you through the damages valuation process and give you a realistic idea of what your case is worth.

Special damages refer to your actual out of pocket damages, such as medical bills or time off work, because of your injuries.  These are more readily quantifiable. Each personal injury case is different as to what type of special damages a personal injury claimant can claim, but these are the categories of special damages that you can expect in a personal injury case.

  • Repair and replacement of damaged property
  • Medical expenses (past and future)
  • Loss of irreplaceable items
  • Lost wages (past and future)
  • Any limitation on ability to work because of the accident or injury

It is important that you quantify these damages.  For example, if your car was totaled in a car crash and you had to take time off work to recover from your injuries, it would be important to have a verifiable value for your vehicle, your medical bills, and evidence of lost wages as evidence in your case.  The use of experts or documentary evidence is helpful in presenting your special damages.  A New Hampshire injury lawyer at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can advise you as to what is the best evidence to prove your claims.

When reviewing your personal injury claims, it is helpful and advisable to have an experienced New Hampshire injury lawyer assess the value of your case.  It will help you make informed decisions about your case and how to proceed.