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Is My Case Worth More If The Other Driver Was Texting? | Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C.

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Being in a car accident is bad enough — you’ve got injuries and car damage that is keeping you from going about your day and being productive. You’re trying to keep up, but now you’ve got to spend time speaking with doctors, adjusters, and lawyers all while dealing with your new pains and limitations.

This process is even more frustrating when you find out that the other driver was texting at the time of the collision. Just knowing that this could have been avoided had the other driver simply put down the phone adds a certain kind of enhanced mental suffering.

Texting and Driving is Illegal in New Hampshire

It’s natural in this situation to feel like the other person should be punished, but the New Hampshire Constitution prohibits citizens from seeking “punitive” damages in civil suits. This means that you cannot ask a judge or jury to award you more money in a case to send a message or get retributions.

There are, however, “enhanced” damages. If a judge or jury finds that a person caused injuries by way of “wanton” or “reckless” conduct, or had an evil motive of some kind, they can authorize an award that recognizes the extra mental anguish brought about by the especially egregious actions.

Can I Recover Greater Damages?

Recent developments have suggested collisions caused in part by a driver’s intoxication can qualify for an award of enhanced damages. The circumstances are limited and the legal arguments are highly technical.  To determine if your case might qualify, consult a lawyer who is trained to spot the facts needed to support an award of enhanced damages. To get started, call us at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C.,  (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.