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manchester truck crash lawyers

Commercial Truck Collisions

Manchester Truck Crash Lawyers Discuss Common Causes of Truck Crashes

Did you know that commercial trucks are six times the length of an average vehicle and nearly 20 times their weight? It seems like every day that we see a story about one of these trucks being involved in a collision. Passenger cars share the roadways with commercial trucks, and when a collision occurs, drivers and their passengers often sustain extensive damages and injuries, sometimes with tragic results.

Driving a truck for a living requires skill, patience, and the ability to react quickly. Commercial vehicles of all sizes need to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Passenger vehicles must also use caution when driving near these vehicles.

The following issues are the most common causes of truck-related collisions:

  • The driver was inadequately trained to operate the vehicle
  • The driver was operating the vehicle for more hours than allowable by law
  • Unrealistic schedules caused the driver to operate the vehicle recklessly
  • The trailer was packed incorrectly, causing the trailer to shift while moving
  • Proper maintenance was not performed on the truck, causing mechanical failure
  • Falling asleep while driving or using medications that make an operator drowsy

manchester truck crash lawyersHowever, it should be noted that these are not the only truck driver related issues that cause serious collisions. The Truck Safety Coalition provides an abundance of information on trucking crashes and is a good resource. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also provides helpful information.

Contact Experienced Manchester Truck Crash Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Have you or a loved one been injured in a truck-related collision? If so, it is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too!

For a free consultation, contact the Manchester truck crash lawyers at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 605-0547 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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Courts Wrestle with Damages When Pets are Injured

New Hampshire Injury Attorneys
Discuss Pet Injuries

The New Hampshire injury attorneys at Manning and Zimmerman Law know that furry, scaly, or feathered companions are nearly a given in most American homes (including ours). It is estimated that 68 percent of all American households own pets, and in 2017 these households spent over $69 billion on food, vet care, and more for their beloved companions. Clearly, an injury to a pet can be traumatic and expensive for owners, especially if it was caused by the negligence of another party. Consider these legal options:

Criminal and Civil Actions

Criminal charges: There are criminal laws against animal cruelty in all 50 states. If you believe there was willful and malicious intent to injure or kill your pet, the New Hampshire animal cruelty laws might apply. Immediately file a complaint with local law enforcement and provide as much detail as possible. If charged and found guilty, perpetrators of animal abuse can serve jail time and be held responsible for damages.

Civil action: According to the New Hampshire injury attorneys at Manning and Zimmerman Law, you may also be entitled to monetary damages in civil court if someone negligently injures or kills your animal companion, regardless of whether it was intentional or accidental. In these cases, you are generally entitled to the “market value” of your pet. Pets are considered property, and a market value is assigned based on a number of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Pedigree
  • Purchase price
  • Special abilities, training, or awards
  • Age and general health

You may also recover the veterinary costs incurred while caring for your pet after the injury.

Emotional Distress

Legal descriptions aside, we all know that pets are not mere personal property. They become beloved friends, companions, and part of the family. Over the years, pet owners and animal advocacy groups have pushed the courts to recognize emotional distress after a pet is negligently injured or killed. One recent case of note involved a 2012 lawsuit filed by a family in California after a neighbor attacked the family dog with a baseball bat. The injuries were so severe that surgery was required. The family was awarded veterinary costs as well as damages for emotional distress.

However, most courts have followed years of precedent and ruled against recognizing emotion-based damages in animal injury cases. In the recent case of a dog that was accidentally euthanized, the Supreme Court of Texas said: “We acknowledge the grief of those whose companions are negligently killed. Relational attachment is unquestionable. But it is also uncompensable. We reaffirm our long-settled rule … Pets are property in the eyes of the law, and we decline to permit non-economic damages rooted solely in an owner’s subjective feelings.”

Visit the Animal Legal Defense Fund for more information on what to do if your companion animal has been wrongly injured or killed.

10 Steps to Follow After a Pet Injury

Aside from the pain, an injured pet will most likely be confused or scared. Take these 10 steps immediately after your pet is hurt:

  • First and foremost, be aware that injured pets may bite or scratch even their owner. Pain and fear can make your pet unpredictable.
  • Perform an examination slowly and gently. Stop if the pet becomes more agitated.
  • If necessary, muzzle your pet – but NOT if it is vomiting.
  • Call your veterinarian or emergency vet clinic before you arrive so they can prepare.
  • Stabilize any injuries if you can with splints, bandages, etc.
  • Transport the animal in a carrier to prevent additional injuries.
  • Keep your pet’s medical records accessible and bring them with you. Take copies on vacation as well.
  • If your animal has been mistakenly or deliberately injured or killed, take pictures. Include wide shots of where they were found and close-ups of injuries. Ask your veterinarian to document all injuries.
  • Following your veterinary visit, contact law enforcement. Report the incident and ask them to come to the scene. Get contact information for any and all witnesses.
  • If your animal has been killed, ask your veterinarian to perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

This comprehensive Pet First Aid brochure from the American Veterinary Medical Association can be printed, filled out, and kept with your pet’s medical records in the event of an injury.

new hampshire injury attorneys

Contact New Hampshire Injury Attorneys for a Free Consultation

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!

For a free consultation, contact the New Hampshire injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315 or by email at info@MZLawNH.com. We may also be contacted by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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The New Hampshire injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman Law invite you to subscribe to our newsletter. You can also 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.

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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.

New Hampshire 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 Injury Attorney to Discuss Your New Hampshire 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

<IMG SRC="Construction Job.jpg">

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.”

For 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 Personal Injury Attorneys in New Hampshire 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 personal injury law firms as part of the formal submission process.”

Contact Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys in New Hampshire

New Hampshire 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

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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 that can lead to 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 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 the jury. 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 suing the defendant. The defendant is the person who caused your injuries. 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 medical bills, prescription receipts, repair bills, and credit card receipts. They also include 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. They can give the jury an idea of how you’ve 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 injury attorney experienced in settling personal injury claims and with trial experience. The New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at Manning & Zimmerman have many years of trial experience in both federal and New Hampshire courts.

For a free consultation, contact the Manchester injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman PLLC. We may be reached at (603) 239-2315, by email at info@MZLawNH.com, or by using the “contact us” or chat feature on our website.

Experienced.  Knowledgeable.  Personally Committed to Justice.

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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.