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Manchester Injury Lawyers: Rear-End Collisions

Rear-End Collisions

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

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

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

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Police Reports and Insurance Companies

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

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

Assessing Liability in Rear-End Collisions

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

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

Contact the Manchester Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law Today

If you have been injured in a New Hampshire motor vehicle collision, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. To contact the experienced Manchester injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman for a free consultation, call (603) 239-2315, complete a request for a consultation or chat with us on our website, or send us an email.

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NH Injury Lawyers Discuss Home Safety

Make Your Home Safer with the “Three-F” Safety Check

According to the NH injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman Law, about 146,571 people died from unintentional injuries in 2015. The National Safety Council reports that many of these injuries were suffered at home. Safety check your home for the three F’s; Fires, Falls and Firearms.

nh injury lawyers
Sawdust is highly combustible. Remember to clean up!

Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were more than 380,000 residential fires in 2015. Most of us know common sense fire safety rules: don’t let candles burn unattended, unplug curling irons or space heaters when not in use, don’t overload outlets, etc.  Also consider:

  • Wiring: Poorly installed or old wiring is a hidden danger. One way to prevent electrical fires is to replace old circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters. These inexpensive safeguards detect dangerous electrical arcs, abnormal power surges that signal bad insulation or loose connections and break the circuit.
  • Kitchen Clutter: Almost 51 percent of home fires are caused by cooking in the kitchen. Items like kitchen towels, pot holders, and cook books can ignite quickly. Maintain a three-foot zone between any combustible items and your burners, and keep a kitchen fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Clothes Dryer: Lint buildup can spell disaster. Clean out lint traps after ever dryer use and make sure to regularly check for lint in the dryer cabinet, located in the back or bottom of the machine. The vent pipe should also be cleaned out every three months.
  • Excessive Sawdust: Sawdust burns quickly and easily. Regularly clean up with a vacuum designed for combustible dust. Also, avoid using compressed air to blow around dust – propelling it into the air can cause it to ignite.

Falls

The National Safety Council reports that 33,000 Americans died from falls in 2015. A majority of those deaths were suffered by people over age 65.

  • Clean up clutter: Scarves, hats, boots, oh my! Pulling off your cold weather gear and dumping it on the floor creates a tripping hazard. Put away anything that you or others may stumble over.
  • Keep walkways clear: Ice and snow on driveways and sidewalks can be hazardous to you or your visitors. Keep up on snow removal, and use salt when icy.
  • Avoid loose or ill-fitting clothing: Oversized clothes can easily cause a tumble for older Americans. Pants should be properly hemmed so they don’t drag on the ground.
  • Wear footwear with a sole: Shoes or slippers with a good sole are much safer to walk in than fuzzy socks that slip and slide.

Firearms

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Lock and store guns and ammunition separately.
  • UNLOADED firearms should be stored in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault, or storage case that is inaccessible to children.
  • Gun locking devices are a good second security measure that can be used in addition to locked storage.
  • Ammunition should be stored in a locked location separate from firearms.
  • Thoroughly double check firearms to confirm that they are unloaded when put in or taken out of storage.

Injured? Contact the NH Injury Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

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 NH injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman are ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 624-7200 today for a free initial consultation, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

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Manchester Law Firm Discusses Road Safety for Teens

Distractions, Inexperience and Risky Behavior Spell Trouble

According to the Manchester law firm of Manning & Zimmerman, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have reported that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. It is estimated that on average, six teenagers die every day in the United States from a car crash. As teens head back to school, you should know how to keep them, and others, safe.

Manchester law firm
Teens who text and drive are outside of
their lane about 10 percent of the time.

The Stats

The Manchester law firm of Manning & Zimmerman knows that a teen driver on the road is more likely to cause a car crash than any other driver. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash. Young men are two times more likely to get in a crash than young women.

If your teen driver has recently received his or her license, inexperience can spell disaster out on the road.  According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, teen drivers ages 16 to 17 are twice as likely to get in a car crash compared to teen drivers ages 18 to 19.

Teens are also less likely to practice safe driving behavior, such as using seat belts or maintaining a safe following distance. In 2015, only 61 percent of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding with someone else.  [Download report.]

The Risks

Teens are also much more likely to drive distracted. Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related crashes. Carpooling seems like a convenient way to get to school, but teens riding with other teen drivers increase the risk of distraction with every additional teen passenger. Here are all eight of the CDC danger zones most often linked to teen crashes:

1.  Driver Inexperience
2.  Driving with Teen Passengers
3.  Nighttime Driving
4.  Not Using Seat Belts
5.  Distracted Driving
6.  Drowsy Driving
7.  Reckless Driving
8.  Impaired Driving

The Parents

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So what can parents do to prevent teen driving tragedies?

  • Most important, lead by example. Forty-eight percent of young drivers have seen their parents talking on a cell phone while driving, and 15 percent of those have seen their parents texting while driving. Show your kids how to drive responsibly by driving distraction free, wearing your seat belt, and following all speed limits and traffic laws.
  • Set limits. Multiple teen passengers and late-night driving lead to more crashes. Limit the number of passengers for your teen drivers and set a curfew.
  • Buy a safe car. The car your teen drives should be reliable. Purchase from a reputable dealer, and check all cars at Safercar.gov for recalls. Make sure your young driver knows what to do if a car breaks down.
  • Practice driving with your teen. Provide your teen driver with 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving practice over at least six months. Practice on a variety of roads, at different times of day, and in varied weather and traffic conditions. Stress the importance of continually scanning for potential hazards including other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Create a Parent-Teen driving agreement. Put your driving rules in writing to clearly set limits, as well as the consequences for not following those rules.

Injured? Contact the Manchester Law Firm of Manning & Zimmerman

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 Manchester law firm of Manning & Zimmerman has  NH injury lawyers ready to represent you immediately.  Call (603) 239-2489 today for a free initial consultation.

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Krista, a New Hampshire personal injury client

Anna was amazing. She took over my case when the original lawyer had parted from the firm. She was fully knowledgeable of my case and really worked hard for me. She always made sure I was aware of what was going on and even made sure I was feeling okay before she settled my case. I had a case going for a while and the firm even sent me birthday cards on my birthday. I had to have surgery and they sent me a get well card. This is a law firm and a lawyer who truly cares about you and not just about the money. I was so nervous about even going through this but she made the process personal and simple to where I felt comfortable and trust worthy of my case. I would hands down recommend her and the law firm to anyone who needs a lawyer and law firm that will fight for you and make you feel like you are the only case they have.

Contact New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have been injured through no fault of your own, 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! Attorneys Maureen Manning and Anna Zimmerman have a combined total of more than 50 years representing injury victims and would be glad to speak with you about you case.

For a free consultation, contact the experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman 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.

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New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawyers Offer Insurance Company Insights

The New Hampshire personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC know that if you’ve ever had to file an insurance claim, frustration seems baked right into the maze of endless forms and confusing small print. Companies that once lived up to their promise to “be on your side” when disaster strikes dramatically shifted business practices in the 1990s to meet Wall Street demands for short-term profits. The result is chronicled in the book Delay, Deny, Defend: Why Insurance Companies Don’t Pay Claims and What You Can Do About It by distinguished Rutgers law professor Jay Feinman. Not surprisingly, insurance companies are recording astronomical profits. Here’s how it works:

Delay, Deny, Defend: Profits Over People

new hampshire personal injury lawyers
Endless forms, arbitrary rules and a sea of fine print discourage claims

Trick #1: Deny, Deny, Deny Claims
The New Hampshire personal injury lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman know that insurance companies will outright deny that a crash occurred or that the policyholder was seriously injured. Some companies even offer gifts and bonuses to employees who deny claims and keep payments to a minimum. Arbitrary rules will crop up, often referencing provisions that do not exist or that contradict a previous statement. The hope is that denial after denial will defeat and deflate claimants, making them feel they have no choice but to throw in the towel.

Trick #2: Delay Paying as Long as Possible … Even Until Death
You’ve jumped through all the hoops and the insurance company has agreed to pay the claim, so you can rest easy, right? Think again. Delaying payment is another common tactic to boost profits. Insurance companies have been known to send out incorrect forms and then blame claimants for the error, or set very short time limits on when a claim can be made after an accident, injury or illness. In cases involving elderly or gravely ill claimants, some insurance companies have even delayed payments in hopes that the customer dies before they have to pay.

Trick #3: Defend in Court
Following a denied claim or a delayed payment, insurance companies know they can further delay writing a check by defending their questionable tactics in court. Billions of dollars in profits and thousands of high-priced lawyers on the payroll means they are always ready for a trial. Insurance companies know that many of their customers may be afraid or unwilling to hire a lawyer, and they use that fear to convince claimants that a court battle would only end in an insurance company victory.

Getting Paid What You Deserve

New Hampshire personal injury lawyers
Forcing a claimant to sue for benefits owed is one way insurance companies fail their customers

What can a David do against these insurance company Goliaths? Here are some tips on what to do before, during, and after making a claim to an insurance company:

  • Pick a reputable company: It pays to do a little homework before you sign on the dotted line. Start with this list of best/worst insurers ranked on claim denials and bad-faith practices.
  • Read your policy carefully: You should know exactly what is covered and what you need for an appeal in case your claim is denied.
  • Double- and triple- check forms: An incorrectly filled-out form can be used by an insurance company to deny or delay claims. Past forms can even be used as a way to retroactively deny coverage. Be thorough and honest on every piece of paper you fill out.
  • Do not cash the check right away: Insurance companies will send checks with very low offers, or pay premium refunds if they rescind your coverage. Cashing these checks can be legally interpreted as accepting their offers.
  • Get everything in writing: If you need to fight your insurance company, you must be able to produce every bill, form and piece of correspondence.
  • Reach out for help: An experienced plaintiff’s lawyer can guide you through your claims process and provide the firepower necessary to challenge the insurance company in court if necessary.

Contact Experienced New Hampshire Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have been injured through no fault of your own, 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 lawyers 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.

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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.

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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.

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Bikers, Walkers Threatened By Increase In Distracted Driving

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

nh car crash attorneys
Use marked crosswalks: Eighty-two percent of pedestrian deaths occur outside the crosswalk.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), almost 6,000 pedestrians were killed in 2016 in traffic accidents. In 2015, more than 800 bicyclists lost their lives in motor vehicle-involved crashes. Pedestrian deaths shot up 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, bicyclist deaths by 13 percent – both more than any other category of traffic-related fatalities, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

According to the NH car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, the cause of this deadly trend has been greatly debated, with different groups pointing to a stronger economy and hence more cars on the road, more people walking to work or for recreation, and distraction due to the skyrocketing use of smartphone technology. Meanwhile, most efforts to prevent distraction are focused on motor vehicle drivers and passengers rather than pedestrians and bicyclists.

Teens Account for 25 Percent Increase in Pedestrian Deaths Over Past Five Years

nh car crash attorneys
Bicycle fatalities have risen sharply for adults (especially men) 20 years or older since 1975. Click on graph to enlarge.

Even if a person is not behind a wheel, they can be at risk if walking while talking on a cell phone or listening to music through headphones. Among kids, teens account for 50 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the United States, and unintentional pedestrian traffic injuries are the fifth leading cause of fatalities for ages 5 to 19. Older teens have accounted for a staggering 25 percent increase in pedestrian injuries in the past five years. Over half of all adults have been involved in a distracted walking encounter.

Tips To Stay Safe

Walking or bicycling are healthy for both people and the environment. Perhaps that is why we’ve seen a 60 percent increase in commuter biking during the past decade. But while bicycle deaths among children have thankfully decreased by 88 percent since 1975, deaths among bicyclists age 20 and older have more than tripled. From the NH car crash attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind that will increase your chances of arriving safely at your destination, whether on foot or by pedal!

* Look left, right and left again before crossing the street
* Make eye contact with drivers of oncoming vehicles to make sure they see you
* Be aware of drivers even when you’re in a crosswalk; vehicles have blind spots
* Don’t wear headphones while walking or biking
* Never use a cell phone or other electronic device while walking or biking
* If your view is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic
* Never rely on a car to stop
* Only cross at designated crosswalks (82 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur outside crosswalks)
* Wear bright and/or reflective clothing, especially at night
* Always wear a helmet while biking
* Walk in groups, if possible
* Follow all traffic laws and road signs, and signal to turn

Contact Experienced NH Car Crash Attorneys Today

If you have been injured in a New Hampshire pedestrian accident and sustained any of the types of injuries discussed above, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation.  Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. The experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC offer free initial consultations to NH injury victims. Call (603) 239-2489, complete a request for a consultation on our website, or send us an email.

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

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Website Helps Disabled Reduce Living Expenses

According to the federal government’s census website, people living with a disability make up almost 20% of our population and are more than twice as likely to experience persistent poverty. To help reduce costs, Coupon Chief has created a guide that offers a great deal of information on different discount programs available to these individuals. The NH personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning and Zimmerman, PLLC are pleased to share this information to help those living with disabilities with their day-to-day living expenses.

NH Car Accident Lawyers: Experts Looking for Answers to Rising Traffic Injuries and Deaths

Cheaper Gas, Better Economy, Distracted Driving Among Contributing Factors

For decades, auto accidents have trended downward. Road fatalities steadily declined from more than 50,000 annually in the early 70s to just over 30,000 in recent years. Credit goes to many advances in safety, including:

  • Crash worthy vehicles that better protect those involved in crashes
  • New technologies like anti-lock braking, vehicle stability controls and self-driving sensors that prevent crashes in the first place
  • Educational programs and tougher laws aimed at seat belt use, teen drivers and driving while impaired

But starting in 2015, road safety hit the skids when the number of people lost in crashes jumped 7.2 percent from 2014, the largest percentage increase in 50 years. And the news for 2016 may be even worse as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently projected an 8 percent increase in traffic deaths for the first nine months of 2016 over 2015.

Some safety experts have blamed the increase on more drivers traveling more miles. Longer commutes and more road trips, coupled with cheaper gas and lower unemployment, add up to more drivers on the road. Even those not in vehicles are at a higher risk as car-pedestrian and bike fatalities have risen as well.

But NHTSA’s Administrator Mark Rosekind said he and his colleagues can’t accept that a better economy means more people are going to die on our roads. “We still have to figure out what is underlying those lives lost,” he said. To that end, NHTSA and the National Safety Council joined forces to launch the Road To Zero campaign which aims to end all traffic fatalities in the U.S. in the next 30 years. This campaign provides grants to non-profits that help research and implement innovative highway safety measures.

Car Crash? There’s an App For That

According to the NH car accident lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman, the spike in injuries and deaths from crashes is often blamed on the use of smartphones. Data from the Pew Research Center shows that almost 80 percent of U.S. adults own smartphones. More than 600,000 of those people are operating a smartphone while driving at any given time.

Texting and driving have proven to be a dangerous combination, with 78 percent of distracted driving-related crashes attributed to texting drivers. However, dangers from non-texting apps that encourage driver interaction have also arisen.

The messaging app Snapchat features a speed filter that tells users how fast they are traveling, which some have argued encourages drivers to travel at unsafe speeds. A man who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a recent collision is suing both the other driver for her recklessness as well as Snapchat for encouraging the teen to drive at unsafe speeds. Waze, a navigation app, rewards users for reporting traffic jams and roadside obstructions while driving. The “Gotta Catch ’Em All” mentality of Pokémon Go has caused accidents when users ignored safety to play the game.

Protect Yourself and Others

According to the NH car accident lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman, traditionally the six root causes of serious accidents are driver inattention, fatigue, impaired driving, speeding, aggressive driving and adverse weather conditions. With those factors in mind, here are some tips you can use to prevent traffic accidents and protect yourself and others:

  • Silence and put away all phones for the duration of your drive.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and leave the distractions at home.
  • When buying a new or used car, prioritize safety ratings and purchase cars with safety features. Also be sure to run a recall check on your car at SaferCar.gov.
  • If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist, pay attention to vehicle traffic even if you have the right of way. A distracted driver could mean disaster.
  • Follow all posted speed limits and wear your seat belt.
  • Always drive alert, awake and sober.

Contact the NH Car Accident Lawyers at Manning & Zimmerman

Our civil justice system provides for victims of negligence to recover full, fair and adequate compensation for their injuries. The NH car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC handle cases in all areas of personal injury law, and we work diligently to ensure that our clients receive compensation for their injuries. 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.

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