Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Even though the holidays may look different this year, individuals continue to find ways to mark their accomplishments, celebrate holidays and the year’s end. Many of these celebrations, even “drive-by” celebrations, include merriment and, unfortunately, alcohol. It is imperative this year, as people are reluctant to hire car shares and taxis, that individuals take steps to ensure that they engage in safe driving to avoid a New Hampshire drunk driving accident.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly 400 people die in New Hampshire drunk driving accidents every year. Despite, sobriety checkpoints, ignition interlock laws, and license suspensions, individuals continue to take life-threatening risks by driving while impaired. Recent statistics from the Division of Motor Vehicles revealed that nearly 8,000 accidents were related to alcohol. The average blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the impaired drivers was almost twice the legal limit. These accidents do not only result in serious harm to drivers and passengers, but more pedestrians die on New Year’s Day between 1 and 3 am, than any other day of the year.

Party goers should plan in advance to avoid drunk driving on New Year’s Eve. Even though law enforcement may abound to conduct sobriety checkpoints, accidents can occur at any moment. The circumstances surrounding this year may require people to plan for safe transportation in advance. Other years people could rely on rideshare companies, but many people are fearful of being in closed spaces with strangers for any duration. However, people should understand that getting behind the wheel while impaired or if the driver is impaired can cause a fatal accident.

With social distancing measures in place, group play dates are less common than ever. This means that our kids are looking for other opportunities to stay engaged and active, and many have taken to heading outdoors on bikes, walks, or playgrounds. However, more kids out and about in the neighborhood means that New Hampshire drivers on the road need to exercise extra caution. Watching for pedestrians and bicyclists, especially as the days grow shorter, is crucial for ensuring everyone’s safety.

According to a local news report, a four-year-old boy was recently killed after being hit by a car. The child was on his bicycle in an alley when a truck driver attempted to make a right turn into the alley and hit him. Police were on the scene shortly after the collision occurred, and found the boy lying in the alley, unconscious and not breathing. Following an investigation, law enforcement found that the vehicle that struck the child was parked nearby with a single occupant inside. The circumstances surrounding the tragic accident are still under investigation, and no charges have been filed.

Like other states, New Hampshire laws allow for parties injured in bike accidents to seek compensation for their injuries. Although bicycle accidents are less common than vehicle accidents or collisions, the same legal principles apply to these collisions. For example, bike accidents can be caused by negligent or reckless drivers just like a typical car accident, and bicyclists have the same rights as motorists and pedestrians.

We’ve all seen it—a person who is overly intoxicated at the bar and ends up getting kicked or escorted out by the establishment’s security or staff. Although most wouldn’t give a second thought to what happens to that person after they’re kicked out of an establishment, there are legal implications of an establishment’s over-serving of customers. If the bar had chosen to serve the person while they were visibly intoxicated and unable to respond, the bar could be facing liability if the person subsequently left the establishment and got into a New Hampshire car accident where he hurt himself or others.

According to a recent news report, an accident involving driving under the influence left a woman dead. Based on the investigation, a man was driving his Volkswagen when the car veered off the road and crashed into some rocks and greenery nearby. His passenger died after being thrown approximately 10 to 15 feet from his car after he drove off the side of the road. Local law enforcement reported that the man initially told the police that he was the passenger of the Volkswagen, rather than the driver, and that the woman had been driving. Law enforcement reported that he was slurring his words and later admitted that he was driving after officers demanded the truth. The driver also admitted that he was operating the vehicle without a valid license, had consumed significant amounts of alcohol, and also added that he and the woman had been drinking and that she attempted to grab the steering wheel to regain control when their car began to slide off the road.

New Hampshire, like other states, has unique “dram shop” laws, where a bar or establishment that sells alcohol can be held responsible for over-serving an individual who ends up being a drunk driver and causing injuries. Dram shop laws in New Hampshire specifically state that bars or other establishments that negligently serve alcohol to minors or intoxicated people are liable for any resulting damages to a third party.

Nine toll plazas in New Hampshire require a fee to cross at a bridge or toll road. Before approaching a toll booth, drivers should stop or reduce their speed. The failure to abide by these safety regulations can result in a serious accident and injuries to the driver, their passengers, other motorists, and toll booth operators. In some instances, toll booth accidents result in minor fender benders with little to no bodily injury or property damage. However, because many motorists are speeding while approaching a toll booth, these accidents often cause serious injuries and damages.

Many variables affect New Hampshire tollbooth accident rates. Some of the factors include the prevalence of mainline barriers, barriers at interchanges, toll collection options, high occupancy lanes, zipper lanes, and slip ramps. These accidents often occur because of speeding, sudden lane changes, and impaired or fatigued motorists. Impaired or fatigued driving accidents are particularly prevalent because of the prevalence of long-haul truck drivers on these routes.

These accidents tend to result in multi-vehicle pileups and serious bodily injury. For instance, a news report recently described an accident involving a collision at a New Hampshire toll booth. A Maine driver was traveling north approaching the toll plaza, when she lost control of her vehicle and slammed into a New Hampshire toll booth. Her vehicle collided with a concrete abutment, sending her vehicle into the air, and into an unoccupied toll booth. Fortunately, the woman suffered only minor injuries.

Accidents happen every day. When these accidents result in a fatality, however, those who are survived by the deceased accident victim may have the ability to file a New Hampshire wrongful death claim in court. These claims can often be complex, and like other states, New Hampshire has state-specific rules governing who can file such claims and what damages and remedies are available for the parties who decide to bring these claims to court.

According to a recent news report, a local New Hampshire man was arrested after a roadway accident killed the passenger on his motorcycle. The driver of the motorcycle failed to account for a curve in the roadway and lost control. After losing control, the driver and his passenger were both thrown from the motorcycle off the shoulder of the roadway where his passenger sustained fatal injuries from the crash. The driver sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital where he was charged with negligent homicide. The investigation into the crash is still ongoing, but local authorities reported that alcohol was potentially a factor in the crash.

To advance a successful wrongful death claim in New Hampshire, one must first be eligible to bring such a claim to court. New Hampshire allows wrongful death suits to be filed in cases where the “negligent, reckless, or intentional act” of another party causes death. Wrongful death claims are just like other personal injury claims, except the injured person is deceased and no longer able to bring a suit on their own for damages. Instead, the deceased’s estate or family must file on their behalf.

In New Hampshire, the state’s “live free or die” motto rings especially true when it comes to car insurance laws and requirements. Most states across the country require auto insurance for all drivers, but New Hampshire, uniquely, does not. The state does, however, have other requirements that operators of vehicles are responsible for. Because the state laws are so anomalous compared to other states across the country, it is crucial that every driver knows what the expectations are for them under New Hampshire laws.

Although New Hampshire does not require car insurance for drivers, it does require drivers to cover expenses relating to property damage and bodily injury if they are the at-fault party in a vehicle accident. The New Hampshire Department of Safety, despite a lack of a statewide mandate for auto insurance, strongly recommends owners and operators of automobiles obtain standard car insurance to best protect themselves in the event of an accident.

Even though auto insurance is not required in New Hampshire, having it is the best way to cover these cost requirements. New Hampshire drivers who do decide to purchase auto insurance are subject to certain coverage minimums. The policy must have at least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $25,000 in property damage coverage, and at least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for accidents involving multiple people. Policies are also required to include at least $1,000 in medical payments coverage so that if an accident occurs, you are able to pay a portion or all of your own medical bills.

New Hampshire law does not require residents to purchase vehicle liability insurance. However, if a person chooses to purchase coverage, they must include Uninsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). The Insurance Research Council reported that about 10% of New Hampshire drivers do not have vehicle insurance. In light of these numbers, drivers must understand their rights and remedies if they are involved in a New Hampshire car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Under New Hampshire Statute RSA 264:15, insurance policies cannot be issued without uninsured motorist coverage, equal to the amount of bodily injury coverage the policyholder purchased. New Hampshire requires policyholders to purchase at least $25,000 for single accidents involving death or injury and $50,00 for accidents resulting in death or injury to two or more individuals.

Unlike bodily injury claims, which are typically made against a third party and their insurance company, UIM claims are made against the policyholder’s insurance company. Coverage disputes are generally based on contract law and may require civil lawsuits. Many lawsuits involve disagreements about the number of medical bills, how the injury occurred, and the vehicles involved. In some cases, insurance companies will argue that the circumstances do not fall into the coverage parameters.

Hosting social gatherings nowadays may look a bit different than they did before COVID-19 began. Some things, however, remain the same at these events, even with social distancing requirements. Alcohol being present at a gathering, for example, is still common. However, hosts may have a greater responsibility than they expect or are aware of when serving adult refreshments at a party. Following a social gathering, if a host’s guest leaves the event intoxicated and gets into an accident, it may give rise to liability on the part of the host.

In a recent state opinion, a deceased accident victim’s parents filed a wrongful death action on behalf of their son who, after leaving a social gathering, got into a fatal car accident. On the night in question, an underage friend of the deceased allowed him and a couple of other friends to consume alcoholic beverages in his home. The victim and another friend were intoxicated when they left the gathering, and on the way home, the deceased’s friend lost control of his vehicle and crashed. The plaintiff died on the scene. His friend’s blood alcohol concentration was twice the legally permitted amount.

The victim’s parents filed a complaint against their son’s friend who was operating the car, who, in turn, filed a third-party complaint against the host of the social gathering. The trial court ruled in favor of the host, holding that he did not have a duty to supervise his friends.

Drunk driving kills thousands of people every year and leads to a substantial number of corresponding arrests and charges. Even in states like New Hampshire that have strict drunk-driving laws designed to prevent the frequency of such incidents, drunk driving accidents still remain common across the state. In fact, New Hampshire drunk driving accidents have ranked among the leading causes of fatal car accidents for years.

In a recent news article, New Hampshire state police arrested ten drivers during a drunk driving saturation patrol. During the DWI Saturation Patrol, 92 vehicles were stopped, and ten arrests were made. Four people were arrested on driving under the influence (DUI) charges, and one of them was a felon in possession of a stolen handgun, receiving stolen property, and conduct after the accident. Another who was arrested on an aggravated DUI and speeding charges also incurred an open container violation. Various other individuals were arrested on different charges in addition to DUI and DWI charges, ranging from theft to operating the vehicle without a valid license to breach of bail.

According to recent reports, the New Hampshire State Police have taken on a more aggressive role to prevent drunk driving throughout the state. Although New Hampshire has some of the most strictly enforced laws in the country to counteract and prevent drunk driving, the practice remains common across the state.

New Hampshire car accident victims have a variety of legal remedies to recover damages for the losses they suffered because of another motorist’s negligence. However, the law imposes strict deadlines and other requirements for injury victims pursuing these claims. Victims who fail to abide by these requirements may risk the dismissal of their case or an inadequate compensation award. New Hampshire car accident victims should contact an experienced attorney to assist them through this challenging process.

After an accident, New Hampshire drivers must report the crash in writing to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 15 days. This applies in situations where any party suffered injuries or died in the accident, or if anyone suffered property damage over $1,000.

After receiving medical treatment, injury victims should promptly contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies. Quick action is critical to ensuring that a potential lawsuit complies with the state’s statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time New Hampshire law allows victims to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. The statute of limitations does not apply to insurance claims, as insurance companies provide their own specific reporting requirements. In most cases, insurance claims should be made as soon as possible, and usually no more than a few weeks after an accident. New Hampshire law generally provides that personal injury lawsuits must be filed within three years of the incident giving rise to the claim. However, there are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations. These exceptions only apply under a limited set of circumstances.

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