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Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death throughout the country. While these accidents can range in severity and outcome, those who receive prompt treatment tend to experience better outcomes. In the interim between the accident and emergency responders arriving on the scene, Good Samaritans can play a critical role in a New Hampshire accident victim’s outcome.

Good Samaritans refer to those who render aid to others amid an emergency or dangerous situation. In New Hampshire, the Good Samaritan law provides immunity from civil liability to those who, in good faith, renders emergency care at the place of an emergency to a victim of a crime or to someone who needs urgent care. There are various exceptions and nuances to the rule; however, it is premised on the notion that this individual should not be punished for their good faith effort to assist.

In addition to protection from liability, Good Samaritans who suffer injuries because of another’s negligence while trying to assist an accident victim may have a claim against the at-fault party. This may occur in a situation where a speeding driver strikes a Good Samaritan while they are assisting an accident victim. The Good Samaritan may file a claim against the negligent driver or another entity that caused their injuries in that scenario. However, it is important to note that the negligent driver maintains the right to present contributory negligence defenses to any claim.

Earlier this month, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a semi-truck in Littleton, New Hampshire. According to a recent news report, the collision occurred around 4 p.m., on Main Street. At this point, little else is known about the fatal pedestrian accident and authorities are asking for anyone who witnessed the accident to come forward with information.

This report illustrates one of the challenges when bringing either a personal injury or wrongful death case following an accident. More specifically, the lack of evidence indicating who was at fault for a collision.

While injured pedestrians and their families can pursue a personal injury or wrongful death claim following an accident, to bring a case successfully, they must establish that the driver was negligent. Of course, in situations where the driver was drunk or admits to being distracted, this can be straightforward. However, in cases involving less obvious mistakes, or a pedestrian who may also have shared some blame for the accident, proving that a driver was negligent can be difficult.

Winter drivers in New England are expected to modify their driving habits in response to the road conditions, and often should drive much more slowly and cautiously than would be required if the roads and weather were clear. So far this winter, several significant storms have made for very dangerous roads in the region. A recently published local news report from New Hampshire discusses some of the hazards and risks of winter driving in New England

According to the recently published news report, freezing rain, sleet, and slush have made for very hazardous roads in New Hampshire this month. Drivers are responsible to operate their vehicles in a safe manner regardless of the road conditions. It is not enough to simply follow the posted speed limit without paying attention to the roads. A driver who is traveling at a speed that is unsafe considering the road conditions (even if that speed is lower than the posted limit) can face civil and criminal liability for unsafe driving in the event of a crash.

New Hampshire state law sets the speed limits on state roadways, requiring that drivers travel at a speed slower than the posted speed limit during inclement weather conditions. Because state law mandates a lower speed limit depending upon weather conditions, a driver who is traveling at a dangerous speed (below the speed limit) can still be cited and held liable for a traffic violation as well as negligence in the event of an accident.

A man who suffered serious injuries following the harrowing 2019 New Hampshire motorcycle crash filed a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The pickup truck driver pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of negligent homicide, manslaughter, and driving under the influence. The driver admitted that he was suffering from a drug problem and regularly used heroin and cocaine; however, he denied impairment at the time of the accident. However, toxicology revealed that the driver had fentanyl, morphine, and a chemical commonly found in cocaine, in his system. The crash took the lives of seven motorcyclists when the pickup truck driver drifted across the double yellow line and slammed into the lead motorcyclist.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation points to several individual and systemic failures in the deadly crash. In addition to the driver’s impairment, the report also blamed Massachusetts for permitting the driver to continue driving, despite a lengthy history of serious traffic violations. The NTSB chairman stated that a series of avoidable failures contributed to the incident.

The Chairman stated that the collision was a preventable event that involved multiple contributing factors such as driver impairment, employer negligence, and DMV recordkeeping failure. Accident reconstructionists found that the driver, whose license was suspended in Connecticut, most likely drifted lanes due to his impairment. Moreover, the NTSB points to the driver’s employer, finding that they failed to conduct a federally-mandated background check on him. Further, an investigation revealed that the company routinely altered driver logs. Finally, court documents establish that the Massachusetts RMV failed to process a notice Connecticut sent indicating that the state suspended the pickup truck driver’s license.

Although car accidents can take place in a variety of ways, one of the deadliest is the notorious head-on collision. This is usually because when two vehicles collide head-on, they are both moving at faster speeds than usual and the force of both vehicles moving in opposite directions usually results in deadly consequences.

According to a recent local news report, a fatal head-on crash left one man dead and a woman seriously injured. Local authorities reported that a man was driving his Toyota northbound when he crossed over the center line and collided head-on with another vehicle traveling southbound. The man driving the Toyota was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the other car was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries and was later flown to a separate hospital for further treatment. The crash remains under investigation, but so far officials have noted that neither speed nor alcohol appears to be factors contributing to the accident.

Although only two percent of all car accidents are head-on collisions, they account for nearly 10 percent of all driving accident fatalities. Head-on collisions can take place for a variety of reasons but are most commonly caused by negligent drivers who are distracted, speeding, or driving recklessly.

It’s a fact of life: driving during winter weather conditions is much more dangerous than when conditions are ideal. And, while most drivers understand this, the rate of weather-related car accidents in New Hampshire remains high.

In fact, just recently, a New Hampshire news report discussed several winter-weather car accidents occurring throughout the state during and after a storm. In total, there were dozens of car accidents, most of which were caused by icy and snowy conditions. For example, a rollover was reported near Exit 2 on Interstate 89, and New Hampshire State Police reported I-89 was “all backed up” due to this, and various other accidents.

What Are Drivers’ Responsibilities During Inclement Weather?

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
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