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.
Sometimes when people are in auto accidents which they initially believe to be minor, they decide not to call the police to the scene. This is a huge mistake. While the other driver may be nice and even admit fault to you at the scene, without that admission being documented it is useless if the person then changes their mind or denies what happened. The police will obtain all driver and insurance information, will document the precise time and location of the accident, and will describe the accident and assign legal fault where appropriate. This is crucial for you to have when submitting insurance claims to any insurance company for your property damage as well as any injuries and medical expenses you may have incurred. It is also critical to prove that you were not at fault. Finally, it is extremely helpful for an attorney to have so that he or she may correctly and promptly present your claims and process your case.
In 32 years of personal injury practice, I have represented thousands of individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents. I can tell you that people who are injured while riding motorcycles suffer far more serious injuries than those in cars or trucks. Unfortunately, in many of these cases, the "at fault" driver either has no insurance or insufficient insurance, and the motorcyclist has NO insurance. As a result, any compensation for these life changing injuries is often minimal. You can and should protect YOURSELF by purchasing motorcycle insurance - it will provide you with uninsured motorist protection in the event you are injured by someone with no or insufficient insurance themselves. And, you should have limits of NO LESS THAN $250,000.00 per person. You should also have medical payment coverage of at least $5,000.00, even if you have health insurance, but particularly if you do not. If you need further advise of the right amount of motorcycle coverage, please feel free to give me a call for my free recommendations.
Fall in New Hampshire brings with it earlier sunsets, falling leaves, and fall rain. All of this can lead to slippery and dangerous road conditions - importantly, roads that are more hazardous than in the summer months. Drive carefully, make sure your windshield wipers are working properly, keep your lights on and slow down. Accidents can cause serious injuries and financial catastrophe. And, with winter approaching, there is no better time than to review your auto insurance to make sure that you have adequate coverage in the event that you are in an accident. We at the Hutchins Law Offices recommend no less than $250,000 / $500,000 in liablity and uninsured motorist limits, and no less than $10,000 in medical payment benefits. Any questions about New Hampshire auto insurance law, or if you were unfortunate enough to have been involved in an accident where you were injured - give us a call for a free consultation - (603) 625-5555.
As of July 1, 2015, it will be illegal for motorists on New Hampshire roads to use hand held devices while driving - or even stopped at a red light. The fines, which start at $100 for the first offense, can increase dramatically for subsequent convictions. While this measure has met with some criticism for representing an over regulation of individual rights, the purpose is public safety. Accidents caused by drivers distracted by cell phones and texting have increased dramatically over the past several years, and quite often, these accidents have catastrophic and/or fatal consequences.
Many of our new clients who have been injured in an auto accident wish to pursue compensation for their injuries, however prefer not to go to Court. THe majority of these cases are settled without having to file a lawsuit, and of those cases where a lawsuit is necessary, only about 5-10% go to an actual trial or require the injured party to actually appear in a courtroom. Therefore, if you are injured in an auto accident, your first priority should be to seek the advise of an experienced lawyer without the fear that making a claim automatically means that you must "go to court" or "sue." We would be happy to discuss your injury claim with you and provide you with all the details about how claims are brought, and how they can be settled in a timely and fair manner.
Many people injured in auto accidents unfortunately compromise their chances at receiving reasonable and fair compensation by not following some basic steps. A person may not think they are seriously injured, or may not want to take the time to seek immediate medical treatment, however in so doing, they provide the insurance company for the negligent driver with immediate and persuasive defenses. Here are some basic things you should do:
Most people don't really pay much attention to their personal insurance until they need it - and unfortunately, when they need it, they find they don't have enough, or don't have the right coverage. In New Hampshire, it is not mandatory to have automobile insurance. Unlike Massachusetts and other states, New Hampshire does not have no-fault insurance. Therefore, it is critical that you purchase sufficient insurance to protect not only your personal assets from a lawsuit and judgment, but also sufficient insurance to protect you and your family in the event that you are seriously injured in an automobile accident that is the fault of an uninsured motorist. In New Hampshire, an insurance company MUST provide you with the same limits for uninsured motorist protection that you purchase for liability protection. While a minimum policy in New Hampshire is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, my recommendation is to purchase a minimum of $250,000 per person, and $500,000 per accident. The added cost is really minimal, and you should shop around for a reasonable premium. I also recommend purchasing at least $5,000 in medical payment coverage - which protects you and anyone in your car for medical bills arising from an accident - regardless of fault. Finally, you should consider an "umbrella" or personal liability policy. You can purchase $1,000,000 in additional coverage with an umbrella policy that will provide coverage in excess of both your automobile and homeowners' limits. Better safe than sorry, especially with the high cost of medical treatment these days.
Driving in the winter months in New Hampshire is not only treacherous, but potentially dangerous or deadly. More than ever, it is critically important to drive at a reduced speed, avoid all forms of inattention, including cell phones and texting, and keeping a long distance and thoughtful lookout to see what the "other guy" is doing. Sometimes, however, accidents happen. If you are seriously injured in an auto accident, you should consult with an attorney who can assist you with all of the difficult questions and situations you will confront - property damage, medical bills, various insurances, rentals, etc. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter Hutchins, PLLC can help. Give us a call, and let us go to work for you. The first consultation is always free of charge.
Under New Hampshire law and the law of most states, governmental units are immune from civil liability for certain governmental functions. However, when it comes to the operation of a motor vehicle, employees of government units, including the state, cities and towns, can be held liable just like any other citizen. Also, while snow plows are certainly entitled to a certain level of deference from other drivers since they are doing difficult jobs during difficult weather conditions, by the same token plow operators must use reasonable care in the performance of their duties. Therefore, the bottom line is that if a motorist is injured in an accident caused by the negligence of the operator of a snow plow, they can recover for their injuries. Quite often, government units purchase special liablity insurance specifically for their fleets of vehicles including plows. So, if you are injured through the fault of a state or city vehicle, you should contact a personal injury attorney to pursue your rights under the law.