In our blog we will try to provide you with general information regarding car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and personal injury cases, as well as updates in important cases and statutes dealing with family law in New Hampshire. This is not to be construed as legal advice. Every case is unique and small facts can make a difference.
New Hampshire Automobile Accident Lawsuits and Settlements
Any New Hampshire resident who has been involved in an automobile accident on our state’s roadways must understand how our state’s unique laws could potentially affect their lawsuit or settlement over the accident. In this blog, we’re looking to provide a general, comprehensive guide to the info you need to know the most.
New Hampshire Automobile Accident Laws
Should you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at fault party after an automobile accident in New Hampshire, or even if you are only simply involved in an insurance claim, there are a handful of state laws that you should be familiar with, starting with the established time limit for initiating a personal injury lawsuit within New Hampshire’s civil court system. Within the legal arena, this established time limit is referred to as a statute of limitations.
New Hampshire’s specific statute of limitations provides an injured party with three years after the injury occurred (for example, the date of the actual accident) in which a lawsuit can be filed. The starting of a lawsuit generally involves the filing of the initial complaint and the issuing of summons within civil court. In our state, this filing deadline applies regardless of whether your suit concerns vehicular damage or personal injury.
So what happens if you fail to file a personal injury claim within the statute of limitations? In such cases, a New Hampshire court will almost always refuse to hear a personal injury claim. This is why it is imperative for NH citizens to be aware of the state’s statute of limitations, even if they believe that their case will be settled outside of the court system. The option of filing a personal injury lawsuit should always be left open, not only for the leverage it provides during settlement negotiations, but to ensure that a victim has the option of turning to the New Hampshire court system for resolution in case the settlement process does not provide a satisfactory outcome.
Financial Responsibility Requirements In New Hampshire
New Hampshire is different from other states within the US in the fact that it offers its citizens a choice between purchasing traditional forms of car insurance coverage or the option of demonstrating independent proof of their level of financial responsibility. For motorists who choose to purchase traditional car insurance, New Hampshire state law requires them to have the following minimum amounts of coverage:
§ $25,000 per person involved in a vehicular accident
§ $50,000 of coverage per collision if more than one party is injured
§ $25,000 in coverage for the purpose of covering property damage
§ $1,000 in med pay (medical payment) coverage
While property damage coverage covers the cost of any damage done to another party’s vehicle or personal property, it cannot be applied to the insured’s own vehicle.
New Hampshire motorists who elect not to purchase car insurance also have the option of proving their financial responsibility by filing a document called an SR-22 form with the New Hampshire Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This document essentially states that the motorist has the financial means to provide the aforementioned amount of money for each requirement in the event that they are involved in a serious accident.
Contacting an Experienced New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorney
A New Hampshire motorist does not necessarily have to contact a personal injury lawyer for each claim they decide to file after an automobile accident. For example, in a scenario wherein the other motorist’s insurance provider does not dispute that their insured was at fault in the accident, a victim suffered only minor injuries, and the settlement seems to provide more than enough compensation, it might be alright for a victim to handle the claim themselves; however, you should exercise the utmost caution when making such a judgment call.
However, what if the other party’s insurance provider believes that you were the cause of the automobile accident? What if your injuries were severe (and expensive!) and the insurance provider is balking at paying the cost of your immediate expenses and ongoing treatment? In these situations, things can quickly become contentious and complicated relatively quickly, and you should contact an experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorney. Most NH personal injury lawyers accept cases on what is called a contingency basis, which means that your attorney will be paid a pre-established percentage of any successful court award or settlement you receive. However, if a settlement is not successfully reached, then they don’t get paid at all.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in New Hampshire, please contact our law firm today. Each of our skilled and experienced personal injury lawyers has the know how required to successfully negotiate with automobile insurance adjustors, but also know how to manipulate the personal injury lawsuit process should your case need to proceed to civil court. Your initial consultation is 100% free, so please contact us today.
Serving all of New Hampshire. Offices in Nashua, Manchester, Concord, and Portsmouth.
This site does not constitute legal advice. An attorney client relationship is formed only after an agreement is entered into between an Attorney of Liberty Legal and a client is reached. Past results do not guarantee future results.
Disclaimer: Some cases are referred to other law firms with consent of client.
Liberty Legal Services PLLC. Main office: 250 Commercial St #3020 Manchester NH 03101. (603) 262-3196