New Hampshire was among twenty states in the U.S. that had more deaths than births in 2020 for the first time in about a century, according to one news source. The information was based on data from the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics. A researcher stated that most states would probably start to see more births than deaths after the pandemic ends. However, data shows that birth rates have been declining for many years and may continue to decline. The researcher said that in New England, recording more deaths than births “will likely continue in the future.” Interestingly, according to the Centers for Disease Control, accidents are the third leading cause of death in New Hampshire, after cancer and heart disease. Accidents cause more deaths in New Hampshire than stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and other causes.
In the devastating event of the loss of a loved one due to an accident, family members may be able to file a claim against those responsible for their loved one’s death. The loss can mean the loss of financial support that others rely on, and filing a claim against those responsible can allow family members and others to recover compensation for the financial loss, as well as the emotional loss. Under New Hampshire law, “any person interested in the estate of a deceased” may file a wrongful death claim in the state—which is a civil claim against those responsible. Unlike in many states where only certain individuals can file a wrongful death claim, New Hampshire’s law allows any individual with an interest in the victim’s estate to file the claim. However, there are some limitations on who can recover compensation in certain circumstances (such as parents who failed to financially support their children).
Plaintiffs may be able to recover damages, including funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and more. The victim’s spouse can also recover damages for the loss of companionship, guidance, and more. Unless the parties agree to a settlement, the damages must be proven by the plaintiff, though the jury normally determines the dollar amount of damages that should be awarded. There is a limit to damages in some circumstances.