Articles Posted in Car Accidents

The winter weather in the Northeast, and the wet or icy roads that accompany it, put many Granite Staters at risk during each holiday season. Drivers are often on a schedule to see family for holiday celebrations, and the increased traffic and stress involved can result in dangerous situations. Earlier this month, a semi-truck driver lost control of his vehicle and veered into oncoming traffic, causing a multi-vehicle collision that left one person dead.

According to a local news report discussing the tragic crash, a Massachusetts man driving a semi-truck earlier this month was traveling southbound on Route 16 near Dover. The truck driver appeared to lose control of his vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway and enter the northbound lanes. The truck then collided with two smaller sedans, while another other vehicle left the road and crashed into guardrails to avoid colliding with the out-of-control semi. The driver of an Acura vehicle that was the first to be hit by the semi was pronounced dead at the scene, with other drivers reportedly injured in the crash.

Determining financial liability for multi-vehicle accidents in New Hampshire can be difficult, as some injuries and damage can result from incidents that are only tangentially related to an initial act of negligence. If a driver decides to leave the roadway and crash into a guardrail to avoid a more dangerous collision up ahead, they may or may not be entitled to compensation under New Hampshire law. New Hampshire courts follow a rule for determining negligence in such cases, commonly referred to as “the 51% rule.” Under this rule. Any driver who is a party to an accident can recover damages from other negligent drivers, so long as the recovering driver is less than 50% responsible for the accident. If a driver negligently attempts to avoid another accident and crashes, they may be entitled to recover from the party causing the initial accident if they can make this case to the courts.

Rollover accidents can be some of the most dangerous and deadly incidents on New Hampshire roads. When vehicle occupants are not using their seatbelts and a rollover occurs, they are often ejected from the vehicle, which greatly increases the likelihood of serious injury or death. High-clearance SUVs and trucks are even more likely to be involved in a rollover accident because of their high center of gravity. Late last month, an SUV lost control and rolled over near a Portsmouth intersection, ejecting several occupants and leaving at least one woman dead.

According to a local news report discussing the tragic accident, a Porsche SUV with at least 6 occupants was approaching a roundabout intersection in Portsmouth at about 1:45 AM on November 24th. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed and the driver lost control of the vehicle, and it began to roll. According to investigators, the vehicle rolled several times off the roadway, and several passengers were ejected in the process. Emergency crews arrived at the scene and transported six injured occupants to nearby hospitals. One 21-year-old female passenger died from the crash later that morning. The article notes that investigators believe that impairment and speed both played a role in the crash.

Drunk driving continues to be one of the biggest threats to the safety of New Hampshire drivers. Drunk drivers not only put themselves and other drivers at risk but their passengers as well. Consuming alcohol impairs decision-making, judgment, as well as driving ability. Drunk drivers commonly drive too fast to safely maintain control of their vehicle, and cause an accident as a result. Passengers (or their families) who are injured or killed in an accident caused by a New Hampshire drunk driver may be entitled to compensation from the drunk driver or their auto insurance company. Most New Hampshire drivers have bodily injury liability insurance coverage on their vehicles, which covers injuries or death to passengers in their vehicle in the event of an accident. Although New Hampshire does not require auto insurance coverage, uninsured drivers can still be held accountable by taking action against them personally.

As winter storms begin to pick up throughout the country, and specifically in the northeast, New England drivers should be prepared for the dangerous winter driving conditions that come along with the change in seasons. Winter driving increases the risk of snow and ice on roadways. Winter conditions also affect visibility, and the impacts of high winds can be dangerous to New Hampshire drivers. A woman was killed earlier this month when she crashed her car into a tree that had fallen into the roadway as a result of the high winds in a winter storm.

According to a local news report discussing the tragic accident, the victim was driving on Route 11 in Sunapee on December 1st during a winter storm. As the woman was driving, a tree was blown over by the high winds and fell into the roadway. The 22-year-old woman reportedly crashed her car into the fallen tree and was killed in the impact. This tragic crash demonstrates that New Hampshire drivers should be especially careful when driving during winter conditions.

Defining financial liability for a single-vehicle collision is not always easy. Although no auto insurance coverage is required in our state, most New Hampshire drivers carry bodily injury insurance coverage that will pay damages related to the injury or death of anyone hurt in a crash except for a negligent driver. This type of insurance coverage does not compensate a driver for their own injuries in the event of a single-vehicle accident caused by road conditions. Many New Hampshire drivers also purchase Medpay insurance coverage (sometimes called PIP), which does cover injuries to an at-fault driver that are incurred in a crash, although the coverage is usually limited to less than $10,000 per accident.

For many reasons, highway accidents can turn into major inconveniences for those involved. The repercussions can be minor or major, but they are always disruptive for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in the vicinity of a collision.

Over the week of Thanksgiving, a highway accident in New Hampshire altered dozens of travelers’ plans. According to a local news report, a truck on the highway crashed into a smaller car just past one of the exit’s on-ramps. The driver of the car was injured, and when first responders arrived at the scene, they immediately took him to the hospital to be treated. To allow investigators to look into exactly what had happened, authorities closed several lanes of the highway for approximately half an hour, causing a backup on what is already a busy travel week. The accident happened in the middle of the afternoon, and so far, no foul play or alcohol use has been suspected.

As the holidays approach, keeping an eye on the state of the highways will be important in maintaining a sense of road safety. Especially as many travelers continue to show hesitancy about airplane travel due to the lingering effects of COVID-19, families will be driving to each other’s homes in order to be together. As traffic ramps up, especially in December and January, driving safely and carefully will be more important than ever.

Car accidents can be especially difficult to process when the victim is a passenger. When the driver is involved in a car accident, injured passengers suffer the same consequences despite lacking control of the vehicle. Whether passengers suffer injuries from a single-vehicle accident or a multi-vehicle collision, they may bring a negligence claim to recover damages. In the tragic event that a passenger accident becomes fatal, a victim’s family may decide to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

As a recent news article reported, a Portsmouth, New Hampshire car accident left one passenger dead. The deceased was riding as a passenger in a car when it suddenly rolled over. As the driver was approaching a traffic circle, he veered off the roadway and into a lane divider, causing the vehicle to crash into the median. The vehicle then rolled over several times, throwing multiple passengers as a result. The deceased, the driver, and the other four passengers were hospitalized for their injuries. Although local authorities are still investigating the crash, they cite excessive speed and impairment as potential factors.

How Can Victims Recover Compensation in a New Hampshire Passenger Accident?

A victim of a New Hampshire passenger accident can bring a negligence claim for monetary damages. To bring a successful negligence action, plaintiffs must show the defendants owed them a duty of care, breached that duty, that the breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a result. In New Hampshire, accident victims can typically seek damages for their physical injuries, property damage to their vehicle, medical expenses, and emotional distress.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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