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New Hampshire is one of the only states that maintain optional auto insurance laws for motorists in the state. Under the law, drivers, excluding those convicted for specific driving offenses, can choose whether or not to purchase coverage. However, New Hampshire’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility laws require drivers to demonstrate that they have sufficient funds if they are “at fault” for an accident. Those who are unable to meet this requirement risk license suspension and other repercussions. Notwithstanding the optional coverage, all motorists should consider the implications of driving without insurance in New Hampshire.

Generally, there are three primary ways to collect damages after suffering injuries in a New Hampshire accident. The first way involves filing a claim with the injury victim’s insurance company; this method is possible if the policy covers the victim’s loss. Many times the insurance company will pursue a subrogation claim against the negligent driver’s insurance carrier. Next, the claimant may file a third-party claim against the negligent driver’s insurance carrier. Finally, the victim may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist or other entity that may be responsible for the accident.

Despite the optional laws, purchasing auto insurance is an attractive option for many motorists. Those who purchase auto insurance must have coverage that meets the statutory minimums. The minimums include at least:

New Hampshire is a “fault” state, which means that at-fault drivers may be held liable for the consequences of their negligence—as such, establishing liability after an accident is critical to securing compensation for a victim’s injuries and losses. While the law follows the “fault” theory of liability, the process requires an in-depth understanding of complex New Hampshire personal injury laws.

A common inquiry is whether passengers involved in a single-vehicle accident can recover damages against the driver. For many reasons, accident victims in these cases tend to be reluctant to pursue damages against the at-fault party. Victims may feel that their relationship with the driver may limit their ability to recover compensation. However, the law provides victims with the same rights regardless of whether they were passengers in the at-fault driver’s vehicle or another vehicle.

While some hesitate to pursue damages against a friend or family member responsible for an accident, victims must understand that there are options for recovery. Under New Hampshire’s laws, injury victims have three primary options for financial recovery after an accident. These options include filing a claim with their insurance company, a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company, or a direct claim against the at-fault driver. In most cases, the law entitles the injury victim for compensation for economic and non-economic losses such as their medical bills, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, and mental distress.

Millions of Americans attend sporting events each year, and spectator injuries are commonplace. While injuries can happen at any professional sporting event, most injuries occur at hockey and baseball games, followed by golfing events and Nascar races. New Hampshire sporting event injury lawsuits tend to involve slip-and-fall claims or struck-by-object claims. These cases are complex and require a comprehensive understanding of various theories of tort liability and defenses.

Under New Hampshire premises liability laws, stadium owners and operators must take reasonable steps to protect visitors and guests from foreseeable harm. However, generally, courts operate under the premise that professional sport event attendees should understand the risk of attending an event, as it is obvious that an object can hit them. Historically, the “baseball” rule shielded baseball teams or sponsoring organizations from liability if a spectator is struck by a foul ball batted into the stands. The rule applies if the owner or operator provided some netting or screening. However, in light of some recent cases, the rule has come under scrutiny.

While spectators who attend professional sporting events may assume the inherent dangers of the event, the venue still has a responsibility to protect its spectators as these injuries can have long-lasting and potentially fatal consequences. For instance, national sources recently reported on a settlement between the Astros and the parents of a toddler who was hit by a foul ball. The toddler attended a 2019 Houston Astros game when she was hit by a ball off the bat of a Cubs center fielder. The impact resulted in a fractured skull and permanent brain damage. The family waited two years after the accident to seek damages against the team. They stated that the delay was so that the family could completely understand the lasting impact of the incident. The girl is now four years old and has been on anti-seizure medicine since the incident.

Crossover accidents occur when a motor vehicle attempts to change directions by crossing over a road divider. The divider may be a painted line, median, grassy path, or roadway reserved for emergency vehicles. While New Hampshire crossover accidents are not the most common type of collision, the risks associated with the maneuver can have devastating consequences. These accidents tend to be serious because of the speeds of the vehicles involved.

For instance, a news report described an accident involving a driver trying to change directions on I-95. The driver and her passenger were driving southbound on the highway when she attempted to change directions. She used the crossover and entered the passing lane to make the turn. While attempting this unsafe turn, another driver was traveling in the passing lane and could not avoid colliding with the woman. Emergency responders transported the woman to a local hospital for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries. However, her passenger suffered serious injuries and was life-flighted to a nearby medical center. The woman faces charges of Aggravated Driving to Endanger and Operating with an Expired License.

Crossover accidents typically involve a vehicle crossing over a physical barrier or prohibited area on a highway. Barriers are self-explanatory; however, areas without physical barriers tend to have signage indicating that motorists cannot cross the area. Further, changing directions on a major highway is a risky move. Motorists who wish to change directions must do so by exiting the highway and reentering through the appropriate lanes.

The public generally associates impaired driving accidents with negligent drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol. However, many New Hampshire accidents involve drivers impaired by prescription medications. While prescription medications may be necessary for individuals to function and remain healthy, these medications can also cause significant impairment to the user.

Many prescription medications cause the user to have a slower reaction time because of drowsiness or confusion. Although medications typically have warnings on their bottles, many users fail to review the warnings or abide by them. Moreover, even when the user takes the medication as prescribed, they may still experience adverse or unexpected side effects. These side effects generally occur when the user mixes medications or uses alcohol with the medication.

Prescription and illicit medications can impair a person’s ability to make educated and safe decisions while driving. Further, the person may experience diminished control over their gross motor skills. This combination can be deadly to the driver and anyone in their path. For example, local news reports described a fatal New Hampshire crash. A 66-year-old Maine woman admitted that she took nerve and heart medication the morning of the accident and drank three glasses of wine. She also consumed a THC gummy the night before.

New Hampshire accident victims may incur sizeable financial losses related to the incident. In these situations, the victim may pursue compensation against the at-fault party for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and similar losses. While many cases settle, a significant number of cases proceed to litigation. Even if the plaintiff is successful at trial, the challenges do not necessarily end. In many cases, defendants do not have the means to pay the judgment. It is vital that accident victims consult with an attorney to determine a viable way to recover compensation.

After a favorable judgment, the defendant should voluntarily and promptly pay the judgment. However, if the defendant fails to do so, the plaintiff has various methods for collecting the judgment or settlement amount. Recovering compensation is a complex process, and each form of recovery depends on the defendant’s unique circumstances. However, generally, New Hampshire plaintiffs can garnish the defendant’s wages. In some cases, the court will garnish a portion of the defendant’s wage towards the judgment amount. However, if the defendant is low income and surviving on government assistance, the court will not garnish those payments.

Next, a court may place a levy on the defendant’s property, such as their bank accounts, real estate investments, and vehicles. The plaintiff needs to record their judgment with the appropriate government entity to ensure that all or part of the proceeds will go to the judgment if the property is sold. Further, this applies to certain businesses the defendants own. The income from the business or proceeds from a sale may go to the plaintiff’s judgment. Finally, the defendant’s future or income may go towards the judgments. Moreover, New Hampshire’s uninsured and underinsured motorist laws may work in the plaintiff’s favor.

While most New Hampshire car accidents are between two cars, some accidents involve many vehicles. These multi-vehicle collisions are sometimes unavoidable for motorists who are suddenly confronted with a hazard, such as another vehicle that spins out of control or an unexpected pile-up occurring right in front of them. Often, multi-vehicle accidents are considered “chain reaction” car accidents.

A chain-reaction car accident is one in which an accident between two or more vehicles creates an unavoidable hazard for other motorists, who then end up getting into subsequent collisions. These accidents often occur on busy roads and highways. For example, in a recent New Hampshire chain-reaction car accident, four people were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

According to a local news report, the accident occurred on Interstate 93 near the Hooksett tolls. While details surrounding the accident are sparse, authorities noted that the collision involved three passenger vehicles and a semi-truck.

Car accidents involving property damage are a common occurrence in New Hampshire. While some degree of property damage is an unfortunate consequence of many accidents, people do not expect a vehicle to barrel through and destroy their homes. Although it is rare, this can occur, especially when a home is close to a major roadway or intersection. On top of sheer shock, these accidents can result in severe property damage and injuries to the home’s occupants.

There are many reasons why a vehicle may slam into a house or fixture on a person’s property. Although most accidents are unexpected, they are usually avoidable and often involve some degree of negligence. Typically accidents involving a car running into the home occur because of driver fatigue, a medical event, a hazardous roadway, vehicle malfunction, or an impaired driver. On top of property damage that may exceed tens of thousands of dollars, the home’s occupants and bystanders may suffer serious or fatal injuries.

For instance, local news reports described a horrifying incident when a man crashed into a New Hampshire home. The driver was speeding in his SUV when he slammed into a mailbox and crashed into the home before finally coming to a rest after hitting a tree. The homeowner explained that they were sitting in their home when he saw his front glass door fly across the room. The driver slammed into a granite mailbox, which fell on the hood of his SUV and catapulted the vehicle straight into the home and then a tree. The father quickly ran to his young son and daughter, who were playing in the front room, where his son told him that he thought the house blew up and his sister was dead. The father grabbed his daughter and ran outside for help. The daughter was airlifted to a Boston hospital for emergency surgery. Authorities believe that speeding and intoxication contributed to the driver’s conduct. The man has been charged with driving while intoxicated, first-degree assault, and three counts of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon.

Car accidents can be very stressful experiences, especially when they result in serious, potentially lifelong injuries. Cases involving drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol tend to result in serious injuries and are more likely to cause a fatality. As such, New Hampshire drunk driving cases often leave victims with significant medical expenses and other losses. While drunk drivers can face criminal charges, including incarceration and fines, they may also face liability under the civil justice system through a personal injury lawsuit filed by the accident victim.

These accidents often result in serious injuries involving brain and spinal cord trauma, paralysis, lacerations, organ damage, and psychological distress. The impact of these accidents can be long-lasting and require ongoing medical treatment. While insurance may cover part of these expenses, the coverage is often inadequate. This can leave victims and their families to experience additional trauma. For instance, recent reports described a New Hampshire drunk driving accident that took the life of a New Jersey man. A 66-year-old Maine woman was driving northbound when she hit a minivan, crossed into the median, and hit a southbound Jeep. The 27-year old Jeep driver was ejected from the car and later died from his injuries. The 66-year-old woman suffered severe injuries and is facing charges for aggravated driving while under the influence.

In cases like this, the victim’s family or estate may file a claim under New Hampshire’s negligence per se laws. Negligence per se is a doctrine where a person’s conduct is negligent because it violates a statute that the law is intended to protect again. In New Hampshire, negligence per se only applies to alcohol-related claims. In this context, it means that evidence of the at-fault party’s intoxication is enough to establish negligence. In contrast, in typical personal injury cases, victims must establish that the defendant’s conduct was not reasonable. As such, a person who operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit will be negligent per se.

After many months of lockdown, people are eager to take full advantage of the summer months and New Hampshire’s abundant coastline. Many people are taking to the water to enjoy boating and other recreational water activities. While the state welcomes these activities, it is important that individuals understand the inherent dangers of boating in New Hampshire. Boating carries an inherent risk, and those who take to the water must be aware of boating regulations and how to prevent an accident.

After a boating accident, law enforcement or marine authorities will usually respond to the scene to render aid and determine who is at fault for the accident. However, injury victims often experience a delay in treatment because of the challenges reaching the scene. Further, in many cases, passengers and operators are thrown out of their vessels, causing additional difficulties. As such, boating accidents tend to result in more serious injuries to everyone involved. New Hampshire boating injuries can cause victims to experience property damage, lost time at work, and a difficult road to physical and psychological recovery. In some cases, boating accidents result in lifelong disabilities and death.

For instance, the U.S. Coast Guard recently released its most recent Recreational Boating Statistical Report. The startling report indicated 767 boating fatalities in 2020, which is over a 25% increase from the previous year. As other recreational activities were on the decline during the pandemic, boat sale records, insurance policies, insurance claims, and boat emergency reports all indicate an increase in boating during this period. The increased exposure to boating likely contributed to more vessels on the water and a higher number of inexperienced boaters on the water.

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