Tag Archives: nh injury attorneys

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.

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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.

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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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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.

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NH Medical Injury Attorneys Discuss Patient Safety: How Safe is Your Hospital?

Patient Safety: Deadly Mistakes in the American Health Care System

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If your doctor wants to admit you to a hospital for a needed medical procedure, would you refuse? Probably not. But consider this: a study published by the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that at least 210,000 hospital patients die each year from preventable medical errors, roughly equivalent to 365 jumbo jet disasters! That puts medical errors as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Refusing care is not an option for most people, but the NH medical injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC believe you should know how patient safety can help you survive a hospital stay.

NH Medical Injury Attorneys: Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones from Medical Errors

According to the NH medical injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, botched surgeries, preventable infections, improper medications and misdiagnosis are far more common occurrences in our nation’s 6,000 hospitals than most people think. The bombshell dropped in 1999 with To Err Is Human, a report from the Institute of Medicine that estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die each year as a result of medical errors.

Subsequent studies validated the Institute’s report, including a 2010 review by the Office of Inspector General that pegged annual preventable deaths among Medicare patients at 15,000 per month or 180,000 per year. Another 1.5 million people are injured, according to estimates published the same year from the Society of Actuaries. And in the Journal of Patient Safety report cited at the beginning of this article, it was estimated that the death toll is probably much higher, between 210,000 and 440,000 per year. Aside from the staggering level of human suffering, medical mistakes are costing Americans between $735 billion and $980 billion annually, according to an analysis presented in the Journal of Health Care Finance.

So while providers and policymakers debate how to address the “epidemic of patient harm in hospitals” as reported in Patient Safety, what can you do to protect yourself and those you love from health care errors? Plenty, according to the Joint Commission.

Start with Awareness and a Willingness to SPEAK UP:

  • Speak up, ask questions, and ask again if you don’t understand. Know what to expect before and after a procedure, and if something changes, ask why.
  • Pay attention and get the right treatments and medications from the right people; don’t assume anything.
  • Educate yourself about your medical history: diagnosis, medical tests and treatment plan.
  • Ask an assertive, informed family member to be there as your advocate to ask tough questions if you can’t.
  • Know what medications you take and why. Bring a list that includes supplements and allergies.
  • Use a hospital that has undergone rigorous on-site evaluation. Visit Medicare’s Hospital Compare, the Joint Commission’s Quality Check, and Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score.
  • Participate aggressively in your treatment. Ask doctors and nurses to wash their hands before touching you; check ID bracelets before treatments and medication; and label a procedure site with a permanent marker.

NH medical injury attorneys

For more details, download a copy of the Speak Up brochure. Or visit the Speak Up Web page for more information, brochures, posters and videos.

– See more in our Let America Know newsletter.

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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

New Hampshire motor vehicle accident attorneys

Elements of a New Hampshire Personal Injury Claim

What are the Elements of a New Hampshire Personal Injury Claim?

What exactly is negligence and how is it proven in a New Hampshire personal injury claim? First, someone must owe you a duty to act or refrain from acting in a certain way. For example, when anyone drives a motor vehicle, they have a duty to drive in a prudent and safe manner, observing what are known as the Rules of the Road. They have a duty to avoid causing collisions on the roadway that can lead to the filing of a New Hampshire personal injury claim.

Second, someone must breach one of those duties owed to you. For a property owner, that could mean they have failed to clean up a spill or repair a portion of their property they know will cause a hazard to you and other people entering the property. Proving that someone owed you a duty and that they breached that duty is often the biggest hurdle in filing a New Hampshire personal injury claim.

Third, the breach of the duty owed to you must cause some kind of damage to you, whether to your person or your property. Damages must be proven in a court of law through testimony, documents and/or expert witnesses. At the end of the trial, the jury will decide how much your New Hampshire personal injury claim is worth.

Valuation and Proof

It is difficult to estimate what kind of verdict a jury will return based on these three elements of negligence. At best, your attorney might be able to provide you with an estimated range that might be close to what the jury decides.

What may seem like clear negligence to you may not be as clear to twelve strangers sitting in the jury box. An experienced New Hampshire personal injury claim attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman will identify problems with convincing a jury, and will explain the specific challenges in your case before you enter the courtroom.

With a New Hampshire personal injury claim, you will be the plaintiff petitioning the court for a monetary award against the defendant, the person who was negligent. The defendant will be allowed, just like you, to present evidence and witnesses, and can even testify themselves. Experienced personal injury attorneys are used to hearing defendants tell a completely different story than the plaintiff. It is the jury’s job to listen to you and the defendant, your attorney, the defendant’s attorney, any eyewitness or other witnesses, and expert testimony, as well as review evidence submitted to the court.

An experienced New Hampshire personal injury claim attorney at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman will prepare you with regard to what to expect when testifying in court. They will have carefully gathered all relevant evidence well before trial. As a plaintiff in a negligence action, you and your attorney are responsible for proving to the jury that the defendant was negligent and directly caused you harm or damage as a result of his/her negligence.

Two Types of Damages

There are two main types of damages — special and general damages. Special damages are damages that can be proven down to the exact penny. They include items like medical bills, prescription receipts, repair bills, credit card receipts, lost wages shown by tax returns or pay stubs, etc. General damages are considered items that cannot be assigned a dollar value easily. General damages include, past, present, and future pain and suffering, permanent injury, loss of a normal life, etc. In many cases, the general damages suffered are far greater than the special damages. An experienced attorney can readily secure documents proving your special damages. An experienced attorney will also know to talk to witnesses about your general damages. Some of the best witnesses to prove your general damages are family members and close friends. People close to you will able to testify about how your life has changed and can give the jury an idea of how you have suffered as a result of the negligence of the defendant.

Once our attorneys have submitted evidence and called witnesses to testify for your case, the defendant’s attorney may choose to present evidence and call witnesses. In some personal injury actions, the defendant may not submit any evidence or call any witnesses. However, that does not mean the jury will render a verdict in your favor. As the plaintiff, you and your attorney bear the “burden of proof.” What this means is that if there is not enough evidence showing that the defendant owed you a duty, breached that duty, and caused you damages that can be proven in a court of law, the jury will not award you anything … even though the defendant and their attorney did not present any evidence or witnesses.

Trial Experience

It is important that you select an attorney experienced in not only settling personal injury claims, but also with trial experience. The attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman have many years of trial experience in both federal and New Hampshire courts.

 

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NH Personal Injury Attorney: Overcoming Common Tort Defenses

Common Defenses in Injury Claims

If you are suing a defendant for personal injury or medical malpractice, the defendant will likely try to derail your case by raising one or more defenses. It is important that you have an experienced NH personal injury attorney at Manning & Zimmerman to assist you in overcoming common defenses, and recovering fair compensation for your losses.

Defendants Attempt to Avoid Liability

A defendant may try to avoid liability by arguing that you are at fault for your own injuries, a legal doctrine known as comparative fault. In a negligence case, the defense may try to argue that the plaintiff is at least partially at fault for his or her own injuries. For example, if you sued a defendant for negligence after you were injured by a car driven by the defendant, the defendant may claim that you are at least partially at fault for your injuries because you failed to notice the defendant’s car or because you were driving above the speed limit.

Defendants Claim That Plaintiff Assumed Risk

Similarly, a defendant may raise the defense of assumption of risk. If you sued a defendant for negligence after you were injured as a pedestrian by the defendant’s car, the defendant may argue that you assumed the risk of being hit by a car by walking outside of the crosswalk. A seasoned NH personal injury attorney will be able to assist you in addressing these defenses, and admitting if you do have some percentage of fault which contributed to the collision. A skilled NH personal injury attorney will utilize legal processes, such as depositions, to develop a record of strong evidence and even obtain the defendant’s admission of liability.

Defendants Minimize the Plaintiff’s Injuries

Despite your daily pain and suffering, a defendant may try to argue that your injuries are non-existent or insufficient to warrant any compensation. For example, if you suffered from severe back pain after slipping and falling on the defendant’s premises, the defendant may argue that you should not be compensated for your injuries because you did not break or fracture any bones.

Defendants Argue Failure to Mitigate Damages

A defendant may also raise the defense that you failed to mitigate your damages. Generally, a person who is injured by the actions of another person has the responsibility to lessen the effects and loss related to his or her injuries. For example, if you were injured by a defendant but delayed medical treatment for your injuries, the defendant may argue that you failed to mitigate your damages and should not be compensated (conversely, in some cases where there is no delay, the defendant will argue that you should have just given your injuries some time to resolve on their own).

Defendants Claim Injuries Pre-Existed Accident

A defendant may also try to avoid liability by arguing that your injuries pre-existed the accident. For example, if you sustained a herniated disc after a collision with the defendant’s car, the defendant may argue that your back pain was caused by an unrelated slip-and-fall that occurred prior to the accident. An experienced NH personal injury attorney will help gather and present any medical evidence that supports you claim.

Defendants Claims Sovereign Immunity

If you are suing a state employee or agency for your injuries, the state may raise the defense of sovereign immunity. State officials and employees are immune from liability under certain circumstances. There are several rules that apply to claims against state, municipalities, and employees of these entities. A skilled NH personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through the complex rules governing claims against the governmental entities.

Call Manning & Zimmerman For a Free Consultation

Despite a defendant’s attempt to avoid responsibility, if you were injured by a defendant’s negligence or fault, you deserve to be properly compensated. An experienced NH personal injury attorney at Manning & Zimmerman will prepare your case and respond to unfounded arguments being presented by the defendant in an effort to avoid accepting responsibility.

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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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.