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.
What You Should Know About New Hampshire Automobile Accidents
Without a doubt, an automobile accident can be devastating. Not only will your vehicle sustain considerable property damage, but any injuries you suffer can be life altering or even life threatening.
Automobile accidents generally occur because of negligent motorists. Any who chooses to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle has a legal obligation to exercise caution, to closely follow the posted speed limits, obey New Hampshire’s existing traffic laws, and to drive safely for whatever weather conditions might exist at that time. When a motorist fails to obey this legal duty and causes an accident to occur, such as turning in front of an oncoming vehicle or speeding through a red light or stop sign, then that motorist can be held legally liable damages caused by their negligent driving conduct.
There are multiple facets to consider in an automobile accident. In this blog post, we’re going to look at some info regarding automobile accidents and how this info relates to New Hampshire motorists. However, if you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of another motorist, then you are strongly encouraged to contact an experienced New Hampshire personal injury lawyer to discuss filing a personal injury claim in a New Hampshire court of law.
Insurance Requirements for New Hampshire Motorists
New Hampshire is the only state within the United States that does not legally require all of its motorists to maintain liability insurance of each of their automobiles. However, if you elect not to maintain coverage on your vehicle, then you must be able to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility in order to financially and legally protect yourself, your passengers, and any other parties that could be involved in an accident.
However, should you choose to keep insurance coverage, then, under New Hampshire state law, you must maintain minimum coverage standards of $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury protection, plus an additional $25,000.00 in liability for property damage claims. The $25,000.00 standard is for each individual injured with an absolute maximum payout of $50,000.00 for multiple parties. Furthermore, should you choose to insure your automobile, New Hampshire state law will require you to maintain a minimum level of uninsured motorist coverage. This also includes minimum levels of coverage for underinsured coverage.
If you currently have a loan you are paying on that was used for the purpose of purchasing your vehicle, then you’ll also be legally required to have collision insurance.
Passenger and Personal Injury Compensation
Should you be injured in an automobile accident, you must be able to demonstrate that the other involved party was at fault before you can seek monetary compensation for damages. A police investigation and eye witnesses might be able to determine fault, but many times, a personal injury lawyer’s services will be required to assist you if determining fault becomes an issue.
If another motorist is at fault in the accident, then you are legally entitled to monetary compensation at a reasonable value for your medical expenses and any future potential medical expenses that are related directly to your injuries. Compensation can also be sought and received for the loss of wages, loss of future wages, and the monetary value of any benefits lost or used.
A considerable portion of your personal injury claim will be comprised of a claim for pain and suffering. While New Hampshire does not have any particular established guidelines for determining this monetary amount, your NH personal injury lawyer can assist you in determining a reasonable value for these damages based upon the extent and nature of your injuries. Occasionally, a student becomes unable to complete their education in a timely manner, and consequently, their entry into the workforce is delayed. The services of a forensic economist can calculate the value of benefits and wages that were lost because of the accident.
Passengers who are injured in an automobile accident are also entitled to compensation. A passenger in a cab, automobile, or bus can file an injury claim against the motorist operating the other vehicle, as well as the motorist operating the vehicle they were riding in, especially if more than one party was at fault in causing the accident or is unable to be easily determined.
Hit and Run Accidents & Uninsured Motorists
A high percentage of automobile accidents in New Hampshire are caused by hit and run motorists who leave the scene of an accident (resulting in an unknown identity) or by an uninsured motorist. If your particular accident was caused by either one of these types of motorists, then you can legally file a claim for compensation under the guise of your uninsured liability policy.
In these scenarios, a claim is negotiated with one’s own insurance provider. If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, a personal injury claim will go through arbitration, as opposed to a jury trial. Arbitration requires much of the same evidentiary standards as a conventional trial, so hiring the services of an experienced NH personal injury lawyer can be enormously beneficial.
Another scenario to be on the lookout for occurs when the cost of your property damages and physical injuries exceed the monetary value of the other party’s insurance coverage. In order to collect additional compensation, you must first obtain or settle the insurance coverage limits of the other motorist’s policy before a claim can be filed under the provisions of your own underinsured motorist coverage. However, what you need to be aware of is that you can only collect up to the monetary limits of your own automobile policy – after the amount you’ve already collected from the other party has been deducted.
Accidents Involving Drunk Drivers
Each state in the United States has made it illegal for any motorist to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of .08% or higher. In the state of New Hampshire, a motorist under the age of 21 years or a minor, this legal limit is set at .02%.
If you are injured in an accident involving an intoxicated motorist, then you can collect monetary compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Although some states do enable a plaintiff to collect punitive damages from a drunk driver, New Hampshire is not one of them – regardless of how high the other person’s BAC levels might have been.
Automobile accidents and their resulting personal injury claims require the expertise and legal assistance only an experienced NH personal injury lawyer can provide. Regardless of where you might live in New Hampshire, please contact our law firm today to ensure your legal rights are protected and to receive the compensation your case merits. Your initial consultation is free.
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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