It’s like a scene from a movie: troopers driving after a car that is headed in the wrong direction, and this wrong-way driving causes multiple accidents and maneuvers by other drivers simply trying to avoid a head-on collision. Between 2010 and 2018, there were 3,885 deaths resulting from wrong-way crashes, with over half of those killed being the wrong-way driver according to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Wrong-way driving can lead to dangerous and even fatal circumstances and can lead to pileups and serious injuries for multiple people.

According to a recent news report, a man from Milford, New Hampshire was arrested on several charges after a wrong-way driving incident involving driving while intoxicated. A sedan was traveling north on the southbound side of an interstate, and multiple vehicles had been forced off the road. As a result, one driver made an evasive maneuver to avoid a head-on collision with the wrong-way vehicle. The wrong-way driver continued until Mile Marker 18.8 when the vehicle was forced to come to a stop by troopers. The driver was taken to a local hospital for his injuries and later arrested for driving while intoxicated, reckless conduct, conduct after an accident, and reckless driving charges.

What Factors Lead to Wrong-Way Driving?

It should come as no surprise that driving under the influence can have detrimental, even deadly, consequences for drivers and pedestrians on the roads. One seemingly minor decision to get in a car after consuming alcohol can have ripple effects, and we often meet with clients who are not aware of their options after sustaining injuries in accidents of this kind.

Earlier this month, four cars in New Hampshire were recently subject to a horrible, alcohol-related collision that left at least one driver injured. According to local news report, the crash ensued after a driver began going the wrong way on the highway one evening. Apparently, the car entered the highway going southbound on a northbound road, and he kept going the wrong direction even as he noticed incoming traffic heading his way. The driver quickly collided with a smaller car, and his car continued going for a short distance before it halted in the middle of the highway.

Moments later, a motorcycle on the highway was forced to quickly turn in order to avoid colliding with the two cars that had just crashed. The motorcycle hit another car, causing severe confusion on the highway as four vehicles were suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. First responders came to the scene immediately, and the driver of the motorcycle was taken to the hospital with serious injuries sustained in the crash.

Car accidents can happen even when none of the parties involved are speeding, driving under the influence, or engaging in distracted driving. Head-on collisions, T-bone reactions, and sideswipes are car accidents with which many people are familiar. However, accidents can sometimes result from bizarre circumstances that none of the parties involved can anticipate. These unusual accidents may involve some sort of obstruction on the road, including an animal.

For example, a man was fatally struck by a car in Charlestown, New Hampshire after exiting another vehicle when it hit a bear. The man was riding as a passenger in a car when the driver collided with a bear crossing the highway. The collision left the vehicle significantly damaged and unable to move from the northbound lane. Following the accident, the driver and passengers exited the car to assess the damage. As soon as the victim left the vehicle, a car driving north struck the victim and the damaged vehicle. Sadly, the victim died at the scene. Another passenger was taken to the hospital for minor injuries. The Charlestown police chief found no indication of distracted driving, excessive speed, or driving under the influence. Instead, the accident seems to have resulted from an unfortunate and bizarre sequence of events.

How Do I Stay Safe in a Bizarre Accident?

If your vehicle strikes an animal or an obstruction on a roadway, resist the urge to swerve out of the way. Swerving can lead you to lose control of your vehicle and collide with another car. Once you have stopped the vehicle safely, exercise caution before exiting. Monitor your surroundings to make sure there are no other vehicles approaching. If you are pulled over on the shoulder of a highway or roadway, you should exit your vehicle on the side closer to the shoulder to avoid being struck by a passing vehicle. Once you exit the vehicle, assess any damage and determine if you can still operate your vehicle. Report the accident to police and request assistance if you cannot operate the vehicle. Finally, if you hit a bear, contact your local conservation department, as they may be interested in monitoring bear sightings on the road.

Continue reading

Construction sites can often disrupt the surrounding road and create a traffic backup near the site. Unfortunately, on a highway or turnpike, a traffic backup near a construction site can result in dangerous injuries. Highway drivers often travel at faster speeds compared to local roads. As a result, the failure to brake when approaching a traffic buildup can lead to a high-speed collision, which may result in significant injuries and property damage.

For example, a recent news article reported that four vehicles collided near a construction site on the Spaulding Turnpike in Dover, New Hampshire. The ongoing construction had led to a traffic backup on the southbound highway. The chain collision occurred after one driver did not slow down soon enough at the traffic backup, crashing into the car in front of him. The driver of the car he hit then crashed into the GMC Yukon in front of her. This caused the GMC Yukon driver to hit the Chevrolet Equinox in front of him. Following the chain-reaction crash, three people were hospitalized. According to police, one factor in the crash appears to be distracted driving.

How Does New Hampshire Apportion Fault in Multi-Vehicle Construction Site Collisions?

New Hampshire law allows injured plaintiffs to recover damages if they are less than 51% responsible for the accident. This means plaintiffs can recover even if they are equally at fault for the accident compared to the defendants of their suit. However, in a multi-vehicle collision, proving that a defendant’s actions caused the accident can be difficult. For example, a distracted driver that hits the back of one vehicle may cause the vehicle to hit the back of the car in front of it. In this scenario, the driver of the vehicle that was hit may have technically caused the second accident, but it likely would not have happened if the first driver were not distracted. Due to these complex issues of causation in multi-vehicle collisions, plaintiffs may benefit from a personal injury attorney to help gather and sort through the evidence to establish the actual cause of an accident.

Continue reading

Head-on collisions are a dangerous type of car accident, typically caused when a driver crosses a yellow dividing line into oncoming traffic and hits the front of another vehicle. Unfortunately, these accidents can often lead to serious injury or death. For example, a recent news article reported that three people were injured following a collision in Andover, New Hampshire on Route 11. According to the article, a car crossed the yellow dividing line and collided with another vehicle head-on. On impact, both vehicles caught on fire. A passerby helped pull the drivers and passengers from the burning vehicles. However, three people required transportation to a hospital, two by helicopter and one by ambulance.

How Do I Avoid a Head-On Collision?

Even if you cannot control other drivers on the road, there are steps you can take to avoid causing a head-on collision. First, keep your undivided attention on the road. Distracted driving can lead to drifting into another lane and colliding head-on with another vehicle. Wait to make any phone calls or send texts until you are parked at your destination or can safely pull over. Similarly, do not attempt to multitask while driving. Refrain from activities such as eating or applying makeup until you are parked or pulled over safely. Besides keeping your attention on the road, you should also avoid crossing a yellow dividing line to pass a car. Even if you do not see another vehicle approaching, one may turn onto the road, or another object may block it from your view. Your safety is more important than arriving at your destination quickly.

In the quick second that it takes to have a car accident, car collisions can be scary, and navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be just as daunting. From laws that deal with the deadline for filing a claim, to laws that govern the amount of recovery you may be able to receive from a claim, there are factors that accident victims should consider when navigating lawsuits. Each state has different laws governing various aspects of a lawsuit, and depending on the specifics of a car accident, an accident victim may have a variety of considerations to make.

A recent news report revealed that two people were seriously injured in a car crash on South Stark Highway by Martin Road in New Hampshire. The drivers of both vehicles suffered serious injuries and were transported to a local hospital, and according to initial investigations, it appears as though a car going southbound crossed the center line into oncoming traffic and caused the crash.

Negligence Claims After a Car Accident in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, there are various claims a person can bring if he or she suffers damages from a car accident. One of the most difficult and, unfortunately, the most common, cases we encounter in our practice is a wrongful death claim, which allows family members of a deceased car crash victim to sue for monetary compensation in light of their loved one’s death.

Recently, a crash in Rollinsford, New Hampshire, left four people dead – two upon impact and two after short stints in the hospital. Police officers reported that a 2014 Subaru Forrester crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with a 2010 Dodge Caravan. Tragically, one of the drivers and one of the passengers involved in the crash were pronounced dead at the scene. The remaining two individuals were transported to the hospital, where they later died from accident-related injuries. Reports thus far have not included details on potential causes of the accident.

In general, when family members grieve from accidents of this nature, there can be a lot to think through and consider. And while filing a wrongful death claim can often be the last thing on a loved one’s mind, it is important to fully evaluate options moving forward. In many states, wrongful death claims are only available for immediate family members. In New Hampshire, however, anyone with a legal interest in the deceased person’s estate is eligible to file a wrongful death claim.

Too often in our practice, we meet with clients who are injured because one driver violated what seemed (at the time) to be a minor traffic law. Unfortunately, these apparently minor violations can have dire consequences, injuring and even killing other drivers and passengers on the road.

According to a news article from early September, one driver’s snap decision to cross a yellow line ended up killing another driver on a New Hampshire highway. Around 7:30pm one evening, a white sedan and a dark-colored Jeep collided head-on after one of the vehicles crossed the yellow line. Each of the cars had one driver and one passenger, and three of the individuals were immediately rushed to the hospital when emergency responders arrived at the scene.

Police officers closed the highway for approximately five hours as they cared for the victims and cleaned up the damage from the roadway. Shortly after the accident, one of the women involved tragically died due to injuries suffered at the scene.

Too often in our practice, we see firsthand how one seemingly minor mistake can have dire consequences. Unfortunately, driving is an inherently dangerous activity, and when drivers fail to obey traffic laws, it often affects other drivers and passengers on the road for the worse.

Recently, a driver in a 2006 Toyota Camry was driving eastbound on a major highway when it crossed over a yellow line and into the westbound lane. A second driver in a Jeep was going westbound on the same road and the two cars collided. Emergency responders immediately arrived at the scene to survey the damage and to address the needs of the two drivers and their passengers. Three people were rushed to the hospital, two of them flown by helicopter. One of the women was eventually pronounced dead.

It took police officers approximately five hours to re-open the part of the road where the accident occurred. Even as traffic began operating as usual, though, the families of the woman who died mourned her death and worked with investigators to figure out exactly what happened to cause the collision. Reports thus far have not indicated on whether any alcohol was involved in the accident.

Multi-Vehicle car accidents often start as minor collisions between two vehicles, which are then struck by other vehicles that are unable to stop in time to avoid a collision. Often, the damage and injuries that result from the secondary collisions are worse than the effects of the initial crash. A local news report recently discussed a multi-vehicle accident near Westmoreland, New Hampshire earlier this month that resulted in four accident victims being hospitalized.

According to the news report, the accident occurred on Route 12 when one vehicle slowed down, attempting to turn from the highway, and was struck from behind by another vehicle that may have been following too closely. Two other following vehicles were then unable to avoid the crash. According to the report, a separate fatal crash earlier this month occurred less than a mile away on the same road.

Following too closely is one of the leading causes of car accidents in New Hampshire and nationwide. Many accidents caused by other situations could be avoided if drivers would leave more space between themselves and the car in front of them. As the speed of a vehicle increases, the distance it takes to stop increases exponentially. Most highway drivers do not realize the distance it would take to stop when traveling at higher speeds, and follow too closely as a result, resulting in deadly accidents.

Contact Information