Articles Posted in Motorcycle Accidents

Attorneys play a vital role during New Hampshire personal injury lawsuits. Civil litigators, ordinarily known as personal injury attorneys, represent clients who have suffered injuries because of another’s negligence or carelessness. These attorneys handle New Hampshire claims stemming from catastrophic accidents, slip-and-falls, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, and other incidents that result in economic and non-economic damages. In many instances, personal injury cases are complex and require a thorough understanding of nuanced tort law. Personal injury attorneys provide critical assistance to those individuals seeking compensation for their injuries.

The professional rules of conduct provide attorneys with ethical rules they must abide by in representing their clients. These rules serve as a foundation to ensure that the attorneys provide their clients with the best possible representation. Additionally, these rules shape an attorney’s role and define their obligations. The most important rule is that attorneys must maintain a commitment to protect their client’s interests.

Commitment to a client includes taking steps to interview the client, reviewing records, interviewing witnesses, investigating the scene of the accident, reviewing applicable rules of law, and representing the client in settlement negotiations and potential litigation. In some cases, especially those involving multiple parties, settlement negotiations and litigation can become a long and drawn-out process. Dedicated attorneys can provide clients with assistance throughout every step of the process.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that motorcycles accidents continue to rise throughout the country and in New Hampshire. Naturally, a rise in motorcyclists on the road has resulted in an increased rate of motorcycle accidents. Under New Hampshire law, motorcyclists who cause injuries to other motorists, passengers, or pedestrians, along with those who cause injuries to motorcyclists may be held liable for their negligence. Negligent parties may be responsible for injury victims’ medical bills, lost wages and benefits, property damage, and ongoing pain and suffering.

Cars and trucks are typically equipped with airbags, seat belts, and other safety features, but motorcycles do not have all of these safety features. The lack of protective features often causes motorcyclists to suffer serious injuries or death after an accident. CDC data reveals that statistics show that motorcyclists tend to sustain injuries to their legs, head, upper torso, and arms, despite using approved helmets and thick leather clothing. These injuries often coincide with traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and spinal cord injuries. Even with prompt treatment and aggressive therapy, many motorcyclists face life-long debilitating conditions that may impact their ability to work or maintain relationships.

Further, because of the nature of these accidents, police often encounter challenges when trying to recreate the scene of the accident and determine liability. In many cases, motorcycles and their riders are thrown into a position that makes it challenging to determine what caused the accident. Additionally, there is often a bias toward motorcyclists that can impact insurance payouts. However, a person’s choice of a vehicle does not reduce another person’s standard of care towards them, nor does it reduce a biker’s right to compensation.

New Hampshire motorcyclists are at a heightened risk of being involved and suffering serious injuries in an accident. According to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, there are over 1,000 motorcycle accidents every year. Additionally, research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that motorcyclists are over 25 times more likely to die in an accident than car drivers or occupants. These startling statistics exemplify the serious consequences of a motorcycle accident.

For example, recently, a New Hampshire news report described a deadly motorcycle accident involving a delivery truck. According to police, a UPS truck driver was leaving a driveway when a motorcycle lost control of his bike and slammed into the truck. The motorcyclist did not suffer serious injuries, but his passenger died. Police are still conducting an investigation, but preliminary evidence suggests that speed may have been a contributing factor.

Although some motorcycle accidents involve a negligent biker, more collisions are the result of the other driver’s negligence. These accidents can result in severe injuries to motorcyclists. In fact, after an accident, many bikers suffer traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, and lacerations. Although New Hampshire law allows injured bikers to file claims against negligent parties, these motorcyclists often face difficulties when trying to recover.

A local news outlet recently reported on important updates in the tragic New Hampshire truck accident that took the lives of seven motorcyclists. Last June, a truck driver crossed into a double yellow line and killed seven motorcyclists. The man admitted that he was reaching for a drink when he swerved into the other lane. Further, police reports indicate that the man appeared impaired at the time of the accident, and an investigation revealed that the man had narcotics or amphetamines in his system at the time of the collision. Despite a lengthy and disturbing unsafe driving history, police permitted the man to leave the scene of the accident. However, he was arrested several days later in Massachusetts.

In addition to criminal charges, the man and his employer are facing several civil lawsuits. One of the survivors filed a complaint seeking monetary compensation for his personal injuries, including pain and suffering, financial losses, and medical expenses. The man’s wife is also seeking loss of consortium damages. New Hampshire allows loss of consortium claims by a spouse or family member of a person who has suffered serious injuries or death because of a defendant’s negligence. The claim is based on the idea that because of the defendant’s conduct, the injury victim cannot provide their family member or spouse with the same companionship, comfort, or sexual relations that they could before the accident. Typically, judges and juries only award these damages if the person injured suffers a permanent or long-lasting and severe injury.

Additionally, the truck driver’s employer is facing negligence charges because the truck driver was operating as an employee when the accident occurred. The plaintiffs contended that the truck driver’s employer should be responsible because they negligently hired the driver despite his many arrests and license suspensions. A judge denied the company’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

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.

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.

The continuing investigation into Boston’s Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) following the New Hampshire crash that killed seven, revealed that employees knew of computer problems a year before the crash. The inquiry into the RMV follows a tragic New Hampshire accident when a truck driver under the influence of drugs crossed a highway and collided and killed seven motorcyclists. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a detailed investigation of the accident and discovered that the truck driver’s serious traffic and safety violations dated back to 2012. The truck driver obtained a commercial driver’s license despite his disturbing driving and criminal history.

The RMV has been under scrutiny following this accident because it is unclear why a driver with prior arrests in six states for various drug and driving offenses was able to obtain a license. The former head of the RMV admitted that it was her understanding that the agency did not process out-of-state driving histories and notifications until she took over in 2015. She claimed that she began addressing the issue, however, the agency lacked the resources to keep up with the backlog.

According to a recent news report, more recent investigations uncovered a 2018 email written by an RMV officer in which he noted that there were “serious problems” with the agency’s computer system. The email was written in 2018 and forwarded to various RMV employees. It referenced the various lapses and divergence from policies and procedures. The hearings officer also questioned why Massachusetts driving records did not indicate that drivers had out-of-state violations. However, despite being informed that there was a problem with their reporting system, no one at the RMV took steps to address and correct the problem.

Earlier this month, one man was killed in a New Hampshire motorcycle accident on Route 106, in Belmont, just north of Brown Hill Road. According to a local news report, the driver of a car was traveling southbound on Route 106 when she veered over the center median. The motorist traveled for about 300 feet before crashing head-on into a motorcycle. Another northbound car was struck by both the at-fault motorist’s car and the motorcycle.

The motorcyclist, who was wearing a helmet at the time, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders. The at-fault motorist was initially trapped inside of her vehicle, but was freed by responders. The driver of the third vehicle was able to walk away from the crash. Police are in the midst of an official investigation, and are trying to determine the driving behavior of the motorists immediately before the collision.

The fatal accident is the third in 14 months on this particular portion of Route 106 near Belmont. In the wake of the most recent accident, one state representative has called for rumble strips to be installed along the median to prevent this type of accident.

A national news outlet recently reported that a truck driver was under the influence of drugs and reaching for a drink when he crashed into seven motorcyclists on a New Hampshire highway. The truck driver crossed a double yellow line and fatally hit the motorcyclists. These motorcyclists were part of a biker group comprised of Marine veterans and their spouses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a thorough investigation and released a detailed report regarding the crash. Evidently, after the accident, the truck driver told police officials that he was reaching for an unspecified drink on the passenger’s seat when the accident occurred. The investigation revealed that the truck driver had a lengthy and alarming driving history.

Apparently, before this accident, he was arrested in several other states for various drug and driving offenses. Despite a license suspension, he was still able to receive a Massachusetts commercial driver’s license. His driving offenses date back to when he was 16 years old in 2012. One of the accidents should have resulted in the driver’s commercial driving license being suspended. However, the truck driver slipped under the radar and was able to retain his license. The inspection following this accident uncovered over 20 safety violations with both the driver and his vehicle. The trucking company that employs the driver is also under investigation.

Earlier this year, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a New Hampshire motorcycle accident case discussing whether the plaintiff was entitled to underinsured motorist coverage. Ultimately, the court concluded that a clause in the insurance policy was not valid or enforceable. The provision required the plaintiff to obtain a certain amount of underlying insurance as a condition of the uninsured motorist benefits outlined in the plan. As a result of the court’s finding, it held that the insurance company could be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries under the policy.

According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was involved in a New Hampshire motorcycle accident when an SUV struck him. The plaintiff claimed that the other driver was at fault, and that while that driver had an insurance policy, the policy limits were insufficient to cover the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff maintained two insurance policies on the motorcycle, one with Allstate and one with the defendant. Thus, the plaintiff filed a claim with Allstate, under the underinsured motorist provision (UIM) of his policy. The limits of this policy were $25,000/$50,000.

The plaintiff, believing that his injuries exceeded the amount of compensation provided through the other two policies, filed a claim with the defendant insurance company seeking additional coverage under the UIM provision. However, the policy with the defendant insurance company contained an endorsement, requiring the plaintiff to obtain a certain amount of underlying insurance as a precondition to the UIM benefits outlined in the policy. Thus, the insurance company denied coverage. The plaintiff initiated this case to compel the insurance company to cover the claim.

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