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New Hampshire is unique in that it is one of the only states that does not require motorists to carry car insurance. In instances where a New Hampshire’s driver’s negligence results in property damage or bodily injury, the driver must pay for the other party’s damages. In some circumstances, the liable party refuses or cannot pay the costs; in those cases, the state will suspend the driver’s license until they can arrange a payment plan or obtain coverage. However, in some situations, the at-fault motorist may not pay, and New Hampshire drivers should retain an experienced car accident attorney to help them recover for their damages.

Although New Hampshire does not require motorists to obtain car insurance, they must still offer uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. They must allow drivers to purchase an amount that equals the driver’s liability coverage. This coverage generally covers the policyholder as a driver, pedestrian, or passenger in another vehicle. Additionally, it protects passengers and other authorized drivers. Some policies even apply to passengers that suffer injuries when the driver is an authorized driver in another vehicle. However, the insurance company’s main objective is their financial interest, and there are situations where they will deny coverage.

For instance, a state appellate court issued an opinion addressing issues that frequently arise in New Hampshire personal injury lawsuits and claims against insurance companies. In that case, a special needs child suffered abuse while he was a passenger on a school bus. He evoked his mother’s uninsured motorist provision to recover for the injuries he sustained because of the abuse. The insurance company refused to pay out damages and stated that the provision only applies to injuries that “arise out of the ownership, maintenance, or use” of an uninsured vehicle. The court ultimately found in favor of the insurance company and refused to cover the child’s injuries.

Winter can be a fun and beautiful season, with many New Hampshire residents enjoying ice-skating, sledding, and the winter holidays. However, with winter comes winter weather, which is some of the most dangerous weather and causes many slip and fall accidents each season. Even just walking down the street can lead to a tragic accident; individuals might slip on built-up snow or hidden ice and fall, potentially suffering broken bones, spinal cord injuries, hip injuries, and more. And going inside does not necessarily lessen the risk of an accident. Often, floors in grocery stores can become slippery as customers walk through snow and bring it in on their shoes, where it melts and poses a slipping hazard. New Hampshire residents should be aware of the risks that winter weather poses and their options for legal recourse should they be injured.

Many people who slip and fall because of ice or snow do not consider filing a claim against the responsible party because they assume that the accident was their fault, and that they should have been more careful. However, there are many times when another party, typically the property owner, is responsible for maintaining the premises and ensuring that sidewalks and walkways are free from hazardous conditions, such as built-up ice or snow. Property owners are also responsible for maintaining safe walking conditions inside their buildings, avoiding slippery floors whenever possible. This legal doctrine is called premises liability, and it generally applies to private homeowners, businesses, and even rental properties in most situations. Therefore, when someone is injured because a homeowner failed to shovel their walkway, or a business failed to keep their floors dry and free of tracked-in snow, that person can typically bring a civil negligence lawsuit against the responsible party.

These lawsuits can be complicated, with property owners arguing that they did their best to avoid the hazard, that they had no way of knowing about it, or that they warned visitors about the danger. Many plaintiffs may be dissuaded from filing a claim, fearing that it could result in a long, drawn-out case, costing time and energy that they would rather reserve for healing and getting their life back on track. But often victims are saddled with costs after an accident, and they may struggle to pay back medical bills or account for lost wages. As a result, consulting a personal injury attorney to assist with the case may take some of the stress off the victim while still earning them compensation.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), close to 10 percent of fatal car accidents involve a distracted driver. Specifically, data suggested that six percent of all drivers involved in a deadly accident were distracted at the time of the crash, and nine percent of teenage drivers between 15 and 19 years old were distracted. Moreover, there were close to 600 non-occupants, such as pedestrians and bicyclists, who were killed by a distracted driver. Distracted drivers may be liable for New Hampshire car accidents caused by their negligent driving.

Distracted driving occurs whenever a driver diverts their attention from driving and paying attention to the road to something else. Common distracted driving behaviors include texting while driving, dialing a number on a cell phone, eating, changing the music on a device, watching a video, tending to passengers or animals, and fatigue. These behaviors can have potentially deadly consequences for everyone on the road.

For example, recently, a national news report described the harrowing details of a fatal accident that occurred because a driver was texting. A woman was texting her husband about their dinner plans when she rear-ended the car in front of her. As a result of the impact, the vehicle that she rear-ended crashed into a woman who was taking a walk while on a work break. Tragically, the pedestrian died a few days after the collision. The texting driver stated that she only looked down for a moment, and when she looked up, the car was right in front of her. A jury found the woman guilty of vehicular manslaughter, and she is facing up to 10 years in prison, in addition to possible civil claims.

In 2002, New Hampshire lawmakers passed Jessica’s Law in response to the tragic death of a 20-year-old woman who died when ice flew off a moving truck, hitting another truck, which then collided with the young woman’s vehicle. The woman’s mother lobbied for the law to prevent other parents from having to suffer the tragedy that her family endured. The law allows police officers to fine drivers between $250 and $500 for first offenses, and $500 to $1,000 for subsequent violations. Moreover, drivers who fail to abide by this law and cause New Hampshire car accidents may face civil personal injury lawsuits as well. These negligent drivers may have to pay compensation for the damages that they caused.

These violations are taken seriously by police because the consequences of flying snow and ice can be deadly to New Hampshire drivers, motorists, and pedestrians. Flying snow and ice can cause property damage to other vehicles, vision obstruction, and loss of control. Statistics indicate that close to 2,000 deaths and 137,000 injuries occur each year related to icy and snowy road conditions. Snow and ice removal before traveling does not take much time and can go a long way toward preventing a potentially fatal situation.

In some cases, ice and snow accumulate while a driver is already on the road. To address these situations, safety experts recommend that drivers keep a roadside safety kit in their car. Some essential items in the kit include cables, blankets, ice scrapers, and kitty litter. These items can help drivers safely and quickly remove snow while they are on the go. Additionally, it is a good practice for drivers to check a vehicle’s brakes, batteries, lights, tires, and seat belts before the winter driving season.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, inclement weather, including snow and ice, is responsible for over 1,800 deaths and 136,000 injuries each year. Some car accidents are not preventable; however, many occur because drivers, property owners, and pedestrians do not take appropriate precautions when driving or walking through snow and ice. The high rate of weather-related car accidents should serve as a warning to drivers that it is crucial to operate their vehicles safely during these weather conditions.

New Hampshire drivers should make sure to prepare their vehicles for winter conditions. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some steps that drivers can take to avoid a weather-related car accident are to clear off headlights and windshields, remove snow from their car, make sure that their car has enough antifreeze, and periodically inspect their tires. Drivers should also check weather reports to prepare for the road conditions and consider alternative routes, since bridges and overpasses may become icy before other surfaces do. Furthermore, drivers should take steps to improve their visibility by keeping their headlights on. Most importantly, drivers should reduce their speed and keep a safe distance from the car in front of them. The winter season brings both higher rates of vehicle travel and treacherous weather conditions, so drivers must engage in these safe behaviors. Recent reports indicate that many cities are urging their residents to take additional precautions when traveling during the holiday season. Some are suggesting that residents use public transportation and evaluate whether travel is necessary or safe.

When New Hampshire drivers engage in unsafe driving behaviors, they may be liable for the injuries that their actions cause. Accidents can occur when snow and ice fly off car roofs, when a driver follows too closely, or when their excessive speed causes a collision. Additionally, New Hampshire has statutes in place that require property owners to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance of their property. This means that property owners that do not rely on commercial salt applicators must ensure that their property is salted for people visiting their property.

New Hampshire has a wealth of beautiful lakes and coastline, making the state a popular location for boaters and tourists. Boating is a fun and exciting leisure activity, but without proper education and training, the activity can have disastrous consequences. New Hampshire boating accidents can result in injuries to the boat’s drivers, passengers, and those enjoying water sports. Negligent New Hampshire boat drivers may face severe criminal and civil consequences, including jail time, fines, and personal injury claims.

New Hampshire boaters must have a state boating license or certificate; however, if they do not, they must complete a classroom course and pass a supervised exam. Additionally, New Hampshire law prohibits boaters from operating their boats under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a boater’s blood alcohol level (BAC) is .08 or higher, they may face a criminal Boating Under the Influence (BUI) charge in addition to civil liability for injuries they caused. Boating injuries may be the result of other boating accidents, as well. Some common situations that may result in injuries are when a boat hits a wave, another boat’s wake, or a submerged object. The boat itself may be dangerous if it has defective equipment or slippery surfaces. Further, individuals may suffer more severe injuries when a boat does not have adequate safety equipment on board.

A recent news report illustrates the deadly consequences a boating accident can have. Recently, two New Hampshire men died in a boating accident on Lake Winnipesaukee. New Hampshire emergency personnel arrived at the scene after receiving reports that a boat was adrift. Reports indicate that there was a female passenger aboard the boat suffering from severe injuries, and the boat’s operator, who was pronounced dead at the scene. While responding to the scene, helicopters and divers found a deceased man on a submerged boat. Witnesses indicated that two vessels collided with each other. Details are few, and police report that they are still investigating the cause of the accident and determining which boats were involved.

According to a recent news report, the auto insurance company for the trucking company involved in the June New Hampshire motorcycle crash that killed seven former marines filed a claim asking the court to relieve them of their responsibility. The request comes several months after the tragic accident in which a truck driver, under the influence of drugs, collided into the motorcyclists. Following the accident, the insurance company received 15 claims from the relatives and surviving victims of the collision. In response, the insurance company filed a lawsuit claiming that they were unable to determine how much to allocate to each party and therefore requested the court to determine the payouts. Additionally, the insurance company asked that the court release them from their duty to defend the trucking company.

New Hampshire law does not require motorists to obtain car insurance. However, under the state’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Requirements, motorists must pay for losses that they cause in an accident. Although, in most cases, New Hampshire commercial truck drivers do not need to have car insurance, federal law requires that trucking companies who operate across state lines must have at least $750,000 in liability insurance. This federal law was designed to protect those who are involved in a crash with a truck driver, because injuries and damages in these accidents are typically severe.

Commercial insurance covers things such as property damage that the vehicle caused and medical and burial expenses that a victim or their loved one incurred. Injured New Hampshire motorists may face challenges with covering their costs because the state does not mandate insurance coverage. In these instances, victims may have to cover their expenses by filing a claim with their insurance company or filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other party.

Recently the state’s high court issued an opinion stemming from a New Hampshire slip and fall accident occurring in the plaintiff’s employer’s parking lot. According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff slipped on ice in an employee parking lot as she exited her vehicle before beginning her shift as a nurse at the hospital. As a result of her slip and fall, she suffered severe injuries requiring surgery. Her employer, a hospital, was immune from liability, so the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the company that the hospital hired to clear snow and ice.

The plaintiff alleged that the snow company breached their duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition because they failed to clear and salt the parking lot. The plaintiff cited the contract between the snow removal company and the hospital. The contract provided that the company would clear the lots as frequently as possible, before each shift, and salt before and after a storm. The company moved for dismissal, arguing that they did not owe the woman a duty of care. The plaintiff appealed, contending, amongst other issues, that a duty exists under the doctrine of foreseeability and third-party liability.

Under New Hampshire law, plaintiffs intending to hold an at-fault party responsible for their injuries must meet the legal elements of a negligence claim. Generally, plaintiffs must establish that the at-fault party owed them a duty, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach resulted in foreseeable, proximate injuries and damages. In many cases, the foreseeability prong is easy to establish; however, challenges occur when the defendant argues that the victim’s injuries were not foreseeable or the party themselves were not a foreseeable plaintiff. New Hampshire law provides that parties owe a duty to those “foreseeably endangered by their conduct, whose likelihood and magnitude make the conduct unreasonably dangerous.” In this case, the court found that the snowplow services did not amount to unreasonably dangerous conduct, and the negligent activity did not outsize the harm sufficient to create a duty.

Pharmacists are medical professionals who, like doctors and nurses, owe patients a duty to provide an acceptable level of medical care. While medical professionals are not expected to be error-proof in their judgment, it is expected that they do not make careless mistakes, which can have a significant impact on a patient’s life. When a pharmacist incorrectly fills a prescription, and a patient is harmed as a result, the injured patient may be able to pursue a New Hampshire medical malpractice case against the pharmacist, as well as the pharmacy that employs them.

Recently, a New Hampshire man filed a claim against a hospital pharmacy that he claims was responsible for his ongoing kidney stones. According to a local news report, the man had a procedure to remove kidney stones at Concord Hospital Center. After the hospital discharged the patient, he was issued a prescription for “Potassium Citrate ER 10 MEQ (1080mg) CR-TABS” with instructions to take two of the pills per day.

The hospital printed out the prescription, and the patient took it to a satellite location. Despite being provided with the correct prescription, the pharmacist on duty filled the patient’s prescription with “Potassium CL 10 MEQ 120.” It is disputed as to how the prescription was transferred, but the patient claims the hospital pharmacy called in the prescription to a local Rite-Aid. The hospital pharmacy admits that it incorrectly filled the prescription, but denies that it transferred the prescription to the Rite-Aid pharmacy. Regardless, the prescription ended up at a Rite-Aid, which filled the prescription seven times.

According to a recent news report, the driver who killed seven in a New Hampshire crash in June will face 23 criminal charges. The driver admitted to being under the influence of drugs when he crossed a double yellow line and slammed into seven motorcyclists, fatally injuring them. Prosecutors indicted the driver on seven counts of manslaughter, negligent homicide, and one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated and reckless conduct. In addition to the seven motorcyclists that the driver killed, he also seriously injured one other motorcyclist and placed 14 people in danger of bodily injury. The driver may face civil charges from the family members of the motorcyclists, along with a potential 30-year prison sentence.

According to statistics released by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services, New Hampshire motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of severe bodily and fatal injuries in the state. In many cases, these accidents are the result of distracted or inattentive driving, speeding, or mechanical issues. However, many fatalities are the result of a driver driving while impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The injuries in these cases are typically the most severe and have the most devastating impact on the victim and their family.

Under New Hampshire law, injury victims who want to recover against another driver must establish that the driver was negligent and that negligence caused the victim’s injuries and damages. However, plaintiffs may be able to recover under the theory of negligence per se when the other party caused the accident because they were under the influence or impaired. Negligence per se applies when a party violates a law and causes injuries that the law was designed to prevent. When negligence per se applies, the defendant is determined to be legally negligent and the plaintiff need only prove that the defendant’s acts caused their injuries. For example, in this case, the driver admitted that the accident occurred while he was driving under the influence; therefore, the families may be able to recover damages based on negligence per se.

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