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.