Many of you have probably read the recent media accounts of sex abuse scandals at private boarding schools in New Hampshire and throughout New England, the most recent relevations coming from Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. While law enforcement authorities in the relevant communities are investigating these disclosures from the criminal standpoint, victims of these sexual assaults, regardless of when they took place, likely have civil remedies that they can pursue against the schools. The claims essentially center around the school failing to provide a safe environment for their minor students, and hiring or retaining perpetrating faculty when they knew or should have known these people presented a serious danger to minors. The Law Offices of Peter E. Hutchins, PLLC in Manchester, New Hampshire have handled hundreds of civil cases involving the sexual abuse of minors, including abuse taking place at boarding schools. Feel free to call and speak directly to Attorney Peter Hutchins.
If you have been in an accident that is not your fault, there are a few things you should do immediately. First, call the police. That is the only way to establish a clear identification of all parties involved as well as the basics of the accident itself. If you are hurt, go to the emergency room - accept the ambulance if offered. It is very important to get immediate medical treatment, both from the standpoint of your health and also to preserve a claim for damages against the insurance company involved. Get the other party's name, address and insurance information. Notify your own insurance company of the accident right away. If possible, take photos of the vehicles and the accident scene in order to preserve the evidence. Finally, you should contact an experienced and respected personal injury attorney to help you. Injury cases are our specialty, and an initial consultation is free. We work on a contingency, so you will not owe us fees unless we recover a settlement.
Winter is coming, which means the roads will be slippery, and driving hazardous. This is a good time to make sure you have enough auto insurance coverage for you and your family. Your should have a minimum of $250,000 / $500,000 for liability and uninsured motorist coverage. A lower amount will possibly not adequately protect you or a family member in the event of a serious injury caused by an accident. You should also have at least $5,000 in medical payment coverage which will help with deductibles and co-pays. Liability and med pay coverages are relatively inexpensive, and well worth the investment in the event that winter roads cause you to be involved in a serious accident.
There has been much in the press lately regarding allegations of sexual abuse of students by faculty at New Hampshire prep schools and boarding schools, notably Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, NH. These cases have been and are being investigated by law enforcement. Much criticism has been leveled at prior administrations of the school. The question arises, does a victim of sexual assault at a boarding school, abuse which may have occurred many years ago, have a civil right or remedy to compensation for their injuries and emotional trauma. The answer is yes. In bringing legal action against the schools and their administration, there are several legal theories at the disposal of the victim. First, it can be alleged that the administration and other employees of the school knew or should have known that the perpetrator was engaged or likely to engage in the sexual abuse of minors. Second, schools have a fiduciary duty under New Hampshire law to their minor students, requiring these schools to have in place a clear, understandable and enforceable sexual misconduct policy. Third, a victim may argue that a school is vicariously or automatically liable for the wrongful conduct of its employees. These cases are complicated, however, and often require researching and investigating years of conduct and practices by the perpetrator and the school as an entity - quite similar to the Catholic Church abuse cases prevalent in New Hampshire a decade ago. We at the Law Offices of Peter E. Hutchins focus a large portion of our injury practice on precisely these types of cases, and would be happy to discuss your claims with you to explore the potential of instituting a civil claim for compensation.
Not having sufficient auto insurance can result in financial disaster if you are involved in a serious accident. In New Hampshire, insurance is not mandatory. Therefore, the road is literally full of drivers who have no insurance if they hurt someone else through their negligence. This is why it is imperative that you purchase sufficient coverage yourself, since all liability policies in New Hampshire, by law, must have uninsured motorist limits which match the liability limits. That way, if you are injured by someone who is uninsured or underinsured, you are still protected up to the maximum of the limits you purchased for yourself. My recommendation is to have a minimum of $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident for liability and UM limits. In addition, you should consider a $1m umbrella policy that will layer on top of both your auto and homeowners. That way, you are covered up to $1.25m for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages even if you are hurt through the negligence of a financially irresponsibile motorist. For more information, please feel free to contact our office for free advice on this very important purchase.
Attorney Peter Hutchins will be on the faculty of a two day continuing legal education program on Personal Injury Litigation scheduled for May 25 and 26, 2016 in Manchester, NH. He will speak on the topic of the settlement of complex personal injury cases. http://www.nbi-sems.com/Details.aspx/R-71730ER%7C?ctname=SPKEM
The short answer? As soon as possible. Lawyers can assist in the preservation of critical evidence, can call experts to assist if necessary, and can help you sort out the complicated interaction among various insurances - health insurance, your auto insurance, the responsible parties' insurance policy, disability policies, etc. At the Law Offices of Peter E. Hutchins, we have handled thousands of accident cases successfully for our clients. Call for a prompt, thorough and free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so there will be no cost to you until the case is successfully concluded.
Many people who are injured in auto accidents do not preserve certain evidence at the scene of the accident - and this failure can prove detrimental to achieving a fair compensatory settlement from the insurance company for the party at fault. If the injuries are catastrophic, it is clearly difficult if not impossible to do anything other than await medical care. However, in those cases, if you have passengers who are not as injured, they can assist. First rule, always call the police and document the accident and all involved. Second, take photos of the vehicles, scene and injuries. Third, seek insurance information from the at fault party. Fourth, make note of any admissions by the at fault party. Fifth, if interviewed by the police officer, tell him about all your injuries, even if they only feel like aches and pains at the time. The more "scene" evidence you can preserve, the better able you and a good attorney can do in the future in obtaining for you the compensation you deserve. And, it is critical to contact an attorney soon after the accident - as soon as possible. Attorneys can assist in the timely preservation of critical evidence if you are not in a position to do so. At the Law Offices of Peter E. Hutchins, we have handled thousands of auto accident cases, and are always available for a prompt and free intitial consultation.
Many times individuals involved in auto accidents or fall down accidents sustain serious head injuries. While most of these injuries do resolve with time, many are much more serious than originally believed, and can lead to long term difficulties in daily functioning, including work. It is critical that you receive proper expert medical care and that the appropriate therapies are started as quickly as possible. If the accident was the fault of someone else, it is also imperative that you seek legal counsel immediately. Insurance companies often do not "credit" closed head injuries fairly since they are often what are termed "invisible injuries." This is not fair to you. At the Law Offices of Peter E. Hutchins, we have handled hundreds of these claims, and know how to guide you through the process of healing while documenting your claim for the best possible settlement result.
Just because the weather is bad is not an excuse for causing an accident. All drivers must operate their vehicles, by law, at an appropriate reduced speed during hazardous weather conditions, and at all times must operate only as a speed reasonable for the existing conditions. If you are injured in an auto accident through the negligence of another driver, even if the roads were slippery, you probably have a case for your injuries and losses. Call the police, go to the emergency room, and give us a call to handle all your personal injury needs.