Tag Archives: nh attorneys

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.

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

Do I Still Have a Personal Injury Claim If I Am at Fault Too?

The most common questions we receive in a personal injury claim are “How do I prove my case?” and “What is my case worth?” Which party is at fault determines what financial recovery you have a right to in any personal injury case. New Hampshire follows a comparative fault system. That is, the amount of liability of all parties involved in a case and the amount of the plaintiff’s financial recovery is determined by the degree of fault of each party.

Determination of Fault

Comparative fault law seeks to determine which party is, more or less, at fault for your injuries. During settlement negotiations or in a lawsuit, it is not unusual for the defendant(s) to allege that the plaintiff is partly or completely at fault for any injuries they may have suffered.

personal injury claim

Calculating Damages

Say you are walking through a grocery store talking on your cell phone and you slip and fall on a wet floor because it was not properly cleaned. In this situation, a possible outcome could be some liability by the store because of their failure to clean up the wet floor or to properly warn that it was unsafe. However, if it can be proven that you were not paying attention because you were talking on your cell phone when you fell, the percentage of the store’s liability could be reduced.

In this case, if the store was found to be 80% at fault and you were found to be 20% at fault, any financial settlement or award would be reduced by 20%. Therefore, if a jury awards you $100,000, the amount would be reduced by $20,000. However, if you were found to be more than 50% at fault, the law does not allow for you to recover for your injuries.

Preserving Evidence of Liability in Your Personal Injury Claim

There are many things you can do to preserve the evidence in your case. This is true whether you are in settlement negotiations, a jury trial, or arbitration.

Photograph the accident scene

If you are able, take as many photographs as possible of the crash scene from different angles. In a NH car accident case, take pictures of where the vehicles came to rest and the damages to all the vehicles involved in the crash. Also photograph property damages, skid marks, and grooves in the road or dirt. If you fell in a supermarket from liquid on the floor, take a picture of the area, especially if there were no warning signs in place. If you were injured from a defective product, take a picture of the product and the product packaging.

Obtain police or incident reports

If you reported the accident to the police or business owner, a report should have been generated. Obtain a copy of that report. The police report should include a description of the crash, identification of the parties involved, and any witnesses. It should also include witness statements, a diagram of the crash if necessary, whether any party was transported to a medical facility, and the police officer’s investigative findings. An incident report from the business owner should include your description of the accident. Be sure to include any complaints of injuries, along with the incident date, time and location. Some incident reports may also include an employee’s own investigation, such as confirming whether liquid was present.

Obtain any video-recordings or photographs

Witnesses may have photographed or video-recorded the accident or incident. Traffic cameras or security cameras may have also recorded the accident. Seek a copy of the video recording or photographs or have an attorney demand preservation of that evidence. This must be done as soon as possible since witnesses may delete any evidence they may have. Video recordings may be erased from traffic or security cameras that are usually set in a loop, so after a specified amount of time, the recording would be recorded over by more current data.

Obtain witness information

If possible, ask for the full name, address and telephone number of all witnesses.

Contact a New Hampshire Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Personal Injury Claim

If you were partly at fault for an accident that caused your injuries, speak to the experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC to discuss your personal injury claim.  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. Call (603) 239-2489 today for a free initial consultation.

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 attorneys

New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys Selected a “Best Law Firm”

The New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC new hampshire personal injury attorneys are honored to have been selected a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. Rankings for this recognition “are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.”

Experienced New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys

Attorneys Maureen Raiche Manning and Anna Goulet Zimmerman have a combined 50 years of experience representing those who have been injured through no fault of their own. They are joined in the practice of law by associate attorney Michaila Oliveira who handles divorce and family law cases at the firm.

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 use 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.

New Hampshire motor vehicle accident attorneys

Initial Medical Treatment Following a New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Accident

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

Following a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident, you will most likely be asked by paramedics and first responders at the scene how you are feeling and if you wish to be taken to the hospital.

Although you may not be feeling severe pain following a crash, it is still a good idea to be examined by the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and consider immediately going to an emergency room (ER) or urgent care facility. Particularly with soft tissue neck, back, and shoulder injuries, the onset of pain and symptoms may not occur until days or even weeks following an accident.

This article will explore some treatment options you should consider following a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident and the way insurance companies will likely view these treatment decisions.

Emergency Room Care and Treatment

Immediately following a crash, it is important that you seek medical treatment at a hospital or urgent care center if you are injured – and that you not drive yourself. You are typically better off traveling in an ambulance or having a friend or family member come to the accident scene and take you to the hospital.

If an insurance company learns that you did not seek treatment immediately following a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident, it will negatively affect the way they value your personal injury case. The same is true if you drive yourself to an ER for treatment. Rightly or wrongly, insurance adjusters believe that if you did not seek immediate treatment following a 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 ER treatment immediately following a crash if you feel you have been injured, even if you don’t feel intense pain or don’t believe that you have been injured seriously. Unless you have emergency medical training, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Emergency Room Doctors and Other Personnel

Ordinarily, EMTs and ER personnel will ask where you feel pain upon examination. Be sure to answer their questions completely and be thorough in describing your complaints and symptoms. ER physicians and nurses typically dictate a report which is then reduced to writing. These ER reports, along with all imaging studies (such as x-rays and MRI’s taken) and medical treatment reports , are forwarded to the defendant’s insurance company for consideration. Be as thorough and specific as possible when describing the nature and extent of your symptoms to EMTs, ER personnel, and physicians.

Prior to leaving the ER, the doctor will provide you with discharge instructions for treating your medical condition (such as taking medication on an as-needed basis or doing home exercises). The ER doctor may also recommend that you follow up with your primary care doctor – or with a specialist or physical therapist – as soon as possible. When a physician makes those kinds of recommendations, it is essential that you follow through. Failing to do so can have negative ramifications on your personal injury case (at least in the eyes of an insurance company adjuster) and can severely affect your recovery. 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 ER following your examination and treatment. Again, from an insurance adjuster’s perspective, driving home from an initial ER 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 to have sustained. Following a car crash, if you have been 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 accident can be stressful and painful. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with a support system of dependable family and friends you can rely on for transportation to/from medical appointments, and for necessary daily 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 Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire motor vehicle accident lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & 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, email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com, or contact us by using the “contact us” form or chat feature on our website.

nh injury attorneys

NH Injury Attorneys: Holiday Fire Facts

NH injury attorneys offer holiday season fire information

 

Holiday fire facts

According to the National Safety Council, fires started by Christmas trees and holiday lights damage more than 400 homes and cause more than 20 deaths each season. While fire danger may be more prevalent during the holidays, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk to you, your family, and your home.

Lighting solutions
According to the Red Cross, more candles start fires over the holidays than at any other time of year. Lit candles near trees, holiday decorations, and window curtains pose a major fire hazard. It’s easy for pets or children to knock a tree over or for an unstable tree to tip over on its own. If you have lit candles near your tree, invest in a good stand and make sure to extinguish all candles throughout your home before going to bed. A safer choice would be to use an electric substitute such as LED lights instead of live candles.

Artificial trees
Flame retardant artificial Christmas trees are the most effective fire resistant trees and are an excellent alternative to live Christmas trees. They look real and require little maintenance, while a live tree can dry out and become combustible. If you or your family have a live tree, one with supple, flexible needles is desirable. Also, the NH injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman urge you to keep the tree watered while it is on display.

Kitchen stove-tops
The second most likely place for fires to start over the holidays is the kitchen stove-top. According to the Red Cross, potholders, hand towels, wooden bowls, paper plates, paper bags, food boxes, and even nearby curtains have started on fire in the past. Removing combustible items from the stove-top eliminates the possibility of fire. Fires start in microwave ovens when metal objects are placed inside by mistake, even during defrosting. Check any food destined for the microwave for metal ties or skewers.

Inspect electrical cords
The National Safety Council and the Red Cross suggest that people inspect the Christmas lights, or other electrical decorations that go up around the house, for wear and tear. Repair frayed electrical wires, and if a repair is impossible, consider throwing the decoration away or displaying it without plugging it in. The adults in the household should take responsibility for extinguishing candles and turning off Christmas lights before going to bed.

Check smoke alarms
More importantly, smoke alarms are an effective weapon to fight holiday fires. With working smoke alarms, the chances of surviving a fire are greatly enhanced. With the increased incidence of home fires during this time of year, it is a good idea check smoke alarms and replace dead batteries. It is recommended to test smoke alarms once a month as a routine. Give yourself a holiday gift of a working smoke alarm.

Contact Experienced NH Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, contact the New Hampshire injury attorneys 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 or email us at info@manningzimmermanlaw.com.

Content courtesy of Homestructions

nh attorneys

NH Attorneys: What is “Discovery”?

NH Attorneys: “Discovery” in Injury Claims

You may have heard NH attorneys throw around the word “discovery” or tell you that your case is in the discovery stage. What exactly does this fancy word mean? Discovery is the process by which your attorney and the opposing counsel’s attorney (the “parties”) gather information and evidence about the case to help prepare for trial. Inevitably, the opposing counsel will find out certain facts about your case that you may not have wanted them to know, but the bright side is that your NH attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman will also collect material that will help your case. How is this done? Basically, there are five tools attorneys use to gather this material: interrogatories, requests for disclosure, requests for admissions, requests for production, and depositions.

Interrogatories

Interrogatories are written questions between both parties. These are questions that are tailored to the facts of the individual case. These request tend to be broader than other discovery requests, such as where did the accident occur, what injuries did you sustain, or when did you last have contact with so-and-so. These requests are usually limited in number. The responses to these questions will help the opposing attorney narrow down issues and strategize on how he/she might contest your case trial.

Requests for Disclosure

Requests for disclosure are similar to interrogatories, as they are also written questions. These are usually for specific information that the Courts have determined should be exchanged in civil cases. Examples might include disclosure of any witnesses, experts, or parties with relevant information, the amount of restitution/damages the other party is seeking, and copies of all medical records. This gives the attorney an idea of the opposing counsel’s game plan for trial, which of course allows the attorney to plan and prepare counter-arguments.

Requests for Admissions

Requests for admissions are written questions asking the other party to admit or deny certain allegations or the truth of a specific matter. For example, NH attorneys may ask the other party to admit or deny whether he/she was wearing a seat belt at the time of an accident. These requests simplify for the trial by eliminating matters about which there is no real controversy. The biggest threat with requests for admissions comes when a party does not admit or deny by the deadline to respond to such requests (generally within 30 days of being served). When this happens, the requests are automatically deemed admitted for all purposes! The responding party may state that they neither admit nor deny a request but must give a reason for doing so, such as they do not have proper information to respond or need to make a reasonable inquiry.

Requests for Production

Requests for production are written questions propounded asking a party to produce particular documents or tangible evidence. This may include requests to inspect certain tangible evidence or documents. Any requests must specify which documents or evidence needs to be produced and the place for production. The opposing party has the responsibility to produce such documents/evidence or to make them available. Examples of certain requests would be requesting copies of insurance or indemnity agreements, phone records, health records, etc. There may be possible privacy or confidentiality objections to certain requests depending on whether it is relevant to the case.

Depositions

Depositions are probably the most nerve-wracking of the discovery processes, because it requires the client or witness being deposed to be present. A deposition is a sworn testimony, usually conducted in person or occasionally by video/phone conference. It is much like an interview, where the attorney gets to ask questions. Usually depositions are stenographically recorded and sometimes even videotaped. NH attorneys may request to depose the other party/client or witnesses. This is a useful tool in gathering information. As a client, you may be deposed by opposing counsel. Your attorney will generally meet with you ahead of time to help you understand the process. It is alright to tell opposing counsel that you do not know the answer to a question or to ask for clarification, but you must respond to all questions asked unless your attorney makes an objection. Usually NH attorneys may only make limited objections at depositions, such as based on harassment or privilege.

wrongful death

NH Attorneys Discuss Wrongful Death Claims

If you have lost a loved one due to negligence, the New Hampshire wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can explain the legal options you may have to hold the responsible party or parties accountable.

Wrongful Death is a Civil Action

Under New Hampshire law, a wrongful death claim may be filed if one party’s negligent, reckless or intentional act caused the death of another person. Although the allegation in such an action is that the defendant’s conduct is the legal cause of the person’s death, a wrongful death action must be distinguished from a criminal charge, which is brought by the government. In some instances, the New Hampshire wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC will explain that a criminal case will be filed separately from the civil action for wrongful death, but the two cases are independent of one another. Unlike a criminal conviction that may result in incarceration, fines and probation, the only remedy that is available under a wrongful death claim is monetary compensation.

Wrongful death cases may be the result of motor vehicle crashes, workplace injuries, medical malpractice, defective products, or other catastrophic injuries.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim

Each state has laws that control who has standing to file a wrongful death action. New Hampshire allows any person interested in the estate of a decedent to file such a claim. Typically, a wrongful death action is brought by the administrator of the estate or surviving family members of the decedent. See this article for more in-depth information on who can bring a wrongful death claim, and this list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Damages that May be Recovered

There are different categories of damages that are recoverable in a wrongful death claim. It may be helpful to consider compensation that the deceased could be entitled to had he or she lived, as distinguished from the economic losses suffered by those individuals the decedent left behind. Consequently, damages for the cost of medical treatment incurred by the decedent prior to death may be recovered, as well as any other expenses incurred as a result of the negligent act. This may include pain and suffering. Additionally, funeral and burial expenses are included as damages, as well as compensation for what the deceased would have earned in his or her lifetime. Family members are also entitled to compensation for the loss of care, comfort, and companionship of the decedent, and may also have a claim for pain and suffering damages. A spouse is entitled to recovery for loss of consortium.

The Measure of Damages

In determining the proper amount of damages, various factors are considered, including the age of the decedent. How many years, based on life expectancy data, were taken away? Years of work until the expected retirement age are established and compensation for salary, pension and benefits are calculated. Each survivor had a different relationship with the deceased, and compensation for that loss is based on individual factors. Additionally, the loss of the services the decedent provided, such as cooking, cleaning and household maintenance, is recoverable.

Limitation on Damages

Despite efforts to place limitations or caps on damages, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has generally found caps on non-economic damages in wrongful death cases to be unconstitutional. By statute, however, recovery for certain types of damages are available only to a spouse, child, parent or dependent relative.

Manchester-Wrongful-Death-Attorney-297x300Statute of Limitations

The general rule is that a wrongful death action must be initiated within three years of the date of death. An exception may be permitted if it is reasonable to conclude that the cause of death was not discoverable until a later time. If the defendant is a government entity, notice of the intent to file a wrongful death action may be required prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations and damages may be limited.

Other Considerations

New Hampshire is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that recovery is not barred if the decedent was, in some measure, responsible for his or her own death, as long as the defendant’s fault exceeds that of the deceased.

Contact NH Personal Injury Attorneys for Legal Advice

Wrongful death actions involve an extremely complex are of law. For compassionate and experienced counsel, call the New Hampshire wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC, at (603) 624-7200.