Lithium-ion batteries offer significant advantages over other batteries, and many common consumer products use these cells. However, despite the benefits of lithium batteries, they can pose significant hazards, including the risk of explosion and fire. New Hampshire consumers who suffer injuries from a lithium-ion battery should contact an experienced attorney to discuss holding the responsibility entity responsible for damages.

Lithium battery refers to electronically connected cells that contain a positive electrode, a negative electrode, a separator and an electrolyte solution. The solutions allow the ion to flow between the electrodes freely. Although many of these batteries are safe, defective batteries present the risk of an explosion. Last year more than 100 fires stemmed from e-bike explosions; these accidents caused 79 injuries and four fatalities.

In response to a growing number of lithium-ion battery explosions, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) engaged in a ‘High Energy Density Batteries Project”. The findings indicated that more than 400 types of lithium-ion cells resulted in over 25,000 overheating incidents over the past five years. In addition, the CPSC issued warnings notifying the public not to purchase loose 18650 lithium-ion batteries.

Earlier this month, an accident between a motorhome and a passenger car resulted in two of the vehicles’ occupants being hospitalized with severe injuries. Accidents such as these often result in serious, life-changing injuries for those involved. Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may provide accident victims with meaningful compensation, allowing them to more easily move on with their lives after the collision.

According to a recent news report, at around 11:45 a.m., law enforcement officers received a call reporting a two-vehicle accident on Route 3A in Hill, New Hampshire. Evidently, a Honda Accord was traveling south when the driver began to drift into the northbound lane. At the same time, a motorhome was approaching. Because the Accord was encroaching into the motorhome’s lane, the driver of the motorhome tried to swerve in an attempt to avoid a collision. However, the driver of the motorhome was unable to do so, and the vehicles collided. As a result, the motor home went off the highway and burst into flames.

The driver of the motor home was able to exit the vehicle before it became completely engulfed in flames. However, the driver of the Accord had to be extricated by an emergency crew. Both drivers suffered serious injuries in the collision and had to be hospitalized as a result. Thankfully, both are expected to make a full recovery.

New Hampshire motorists should exercise a higher duty of caution when driving during bad weather conditions. While inclement weather may increase the likelihood of a collision, the weather alone is rarely the cause of an accident. Under New Hampshire traffic laws, drivers must adjust their driving to the pertinent road and weather conditions. Even if an accident occurs because of bad weather, a negligent driver may still be held liable.

Drivers can avoid an inclement weather accident by:

Reducing their speed – Slick road conditions contribute to many New Hampshire weather-related collisions.

Leaving a greater distance between vehicles – Allowing a greater distance between cars can provide motorists with additional time to brake.

Maintaining their vehicles – Drivers should take extra steps to conduct maintenance before the winter season.

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Driving while impaired (DWI) refers to operating a vehicle while under the influence of any substance that impairs the driver’s ability to operate their vehicle safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that higher numbers of drunk driving deaths generally tend to be in more populated states. However, the most recent 2021 New Hampshire statistics indicate that nearly 40% of all car accident fatalities involved alcohol. In addition to the myriad of issues this negligent conduct has on society as a whole, families directly impacted by drunk driving can face a lifetime of financial, emotional, and psychological struggles. As such, the law permits individuals to recover damages from driving while impaired and causing an accident.

Generally, New Hampshire law permits three types of damages to injury victims or their families:

  • Economic damages

Drunk driving and other impaired driving accidents have devastating and potentially fatal consequences. Despite widespread public service campaigns against this conduct, motorists across the country continue to engage in this risky behavior. While some New Hampshire personal injury lawsuits involving drunk drivers may be straightforward, many involve complex theories of liability. This is especially relevant in cases involving a negligent bartender or another party who serves alcohol to someone who goes on to cause injuries because of drunk driving.

Drunk driving cases involving a third party typically fall under New Hampshire’s Dram Shop laws. New Hampshire statute § 507-F:4, third party liability applies in cases when an establishment that serves alcohol serves to:

  • A minor; or

The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that New Hampshire’s DUI-related arrests are significantly above the national average. Despite widespread knowledge of the dangers of impaired driving, motorists continue to engage in this risky behavior. State officials permit sobriety checkpoints and ignition interlock laws to prevent severe New Hampshire drunk driving accidents. However, approximately 55 people in New Hampshire die in an alcohol-related accident every year.

For instance, local news sources reported that a New Hampshire man died and another individual suffered serious injuries in a drunk driving accident. According to State Police, a 37-year-old pickup truck driver veered into the center line and slammed into a small sedan. The sedan driver suffered fatal injuries in the accident, and his passenger remains in critical condition. Law enforcement arrested and charged the pickup truck driver for negligent homicide and aggravated driving while intoxicated. The initial investigation indicates that the driver’s impairment was the leading cause of the accident.

Under New Hampshire’s wrongful death statute, the families of fatal accident victims may recover damages from an at-fault party or entity. Unlike many other state’s New Hampshire permits “any person interested in the estate” of the accident victim to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. Damages available after a successful lawsuit typically include compensation for economic and non-economic losses such as payments for the psychological and physical pain the victim endured before death, medical and funeral expenses, lost income the victim could have earned if they survived.

Although most drivers stay on the scene after an accident, some drivers choose to flee the scene of the accident, often complicating things for other drivers and for themselves. In New Hampshire, any driver of a motor vehicle that causes a death, personal injury, or combined damages of more than $1,000 must report the accident in writing to the state’s DMV within 15 days of the accident. In the event that police respond to the scene and investigate the accident, the officer will send a written report of the state—otherwise, the driver is required to file the report after a New Hampshire motor vehicle accident. Under the New Hampshire Revised Statutes, any driver who “knows or should have known” that they were involved in an accident that resulted in property damage, personal injury, or death, must “immediately stop” their vehicle and give any other involved drivers, any injured persons, and any vehicle owners, their name and address, license plate number, insurance provider and policy information, registration number, and the name and address for every occupant of their vehicle.

When another driver flees the scene of the accident, it is important to report the accident and allow law enforcement to investigate. They may be able to locate the driver or the owner of the vehicle. Drivers should also take down any information about the vehicle or the driver that they have, including the license plate number and a description of the person and the vehicle. Even if the driver cannot be located, the victim may be able to recover compensation through their own insurance. Uninsured motorists coverage provides coverage for injuries resulting from a hit and run or accidents with an at-fault uninsured driver. In a lawsuit, victims may be able to recover financial compensation, including medical expenses, property damages, mental suffering, and more.

Driver Flees After Two Injured in New Hampshire with Disabled Vehicle

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, the purpose of a guardrail is to provide a safety barrier to shield motorists who leave the roadway. However, several prominent guardrail manufacturing companies have come under fire for defective products. Defective guardrails can pose serious dangers to New Hampshire motorists, passengers, and bystanders.

In the best-case scenario, a driver veering off the roadway would come to rest without colliding with any vehicle or object. However, many New Hampshire roadways abut embankments, slopes, trees, bridge piers, and utility poles. In these cases, a guardrail provides a stopping point that may be safer than the alternative. The guardrail can deflect a vehicle back to the roadway, slow the vehicle down to a complete stop, or slow down to a safer stopping point.

While federal safety experts do not claim that guardrails completely protect drivers and passengers, they are still responsible for ensuring that the guardrail is installed correctly and free of defects. Many factors, such as the size and speed of a vehicle, can affect how well a guardrail protects drivers. However, guardrails that contain serious defects can pose additional dangers to motorists.

Car accidents involving pedestrians often result in the most serious injuries and damages. A recent fatal New Hampshire pedestrian accident is shedding light on worrying crash statistics in the state. In 2020, 16 New Hampshire pedestrians suffered fatal injuries; 2021 has seen seven pedestrian deaths. While statewide traffic accident data involving vehicles and pedestrians is similar to the prior year, bicycle incidents are rising. There were 113 bicycle accidents in 2020, and as of July 2021, New Hampshire reported 77 bicycle accidents. Moreover, New Hampshire motor vehicle accidents are on the rise.

The New Hampshire State Police Captain reported that there had been a rise in fatal traffic accidents. While speed and driver impairment are often cited as reasons for these accidents, distracted driving seems to be the leading cause. A recent pedestrian accident highlights this harrowing issue. News sources reported that a part of Route 28 east shut down following a pedestrian accident. According to witnesses, a pedestrian attempted to cross a busy roadway to get to a gas station when a driver hit him. The accident occurred during inclement weather conditions. Emergency responders transported the man by helicopter to a trauma hospital. The driver remained at the scene of the accident and explained she was devastated by the incident. According to investigators, the area lacks a crosswalk, and the driver explained that she did not see the man until it was too late. The police captain explained that the roadway is difficult to cross in good weather conditions, and the dark and rainy weather only made conditions worse.

Unlike many other types of accidents where damages may be split amongst several drivers, pedestrians often take the brut of the damages. While drivers tend to be responsible for these accidents, various factors may contribute to the incident. For instance, a dangerous roadway, missing sign, or contributory negligence on the pedestrian’s part may increase the likelihood or severity of the accident. Pedestrians should consult with an attorney to discuss the best way to pursue a claim and recover compensation. An attorney can identify all responsible parties and apportion liability accordingly. After these accidents, victims may be entitled to damages for their medical expenses, ongoing medical costs, rehabilitation, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Under New Hampshire law, “reckless driving” occurs when a motorist operates their vehicle in a manner that presents a “substantial and unjustifiable” risk to others, and they were aware of the risk but disregarded the risk. Those engaging in this conduct may face serious criminal or civil penalties. In the context of civil law, reckless driving generally falls under the state’s negligent driving statute.

In New Hampshire, negligent driving refers to situations when a driver fails to meet their duty to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others on the road. While negligence does not always meet the standard of recklessness, the consequences can be the same. Both negligent and reckless driving can result in serious injuries or death to anyone in the vicinity of the motorist. The difference between these two types of conduct generally rests with the driver’s intent. While negligence tends to fall under the category of “careless” or “accidental,” recklessness requires an element of intent.

During a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, the distinction may impact the amount of compensation that a victim recovers. Some common examples of reckless or aggressive driving are:

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