New Hampshire Car Accident Lawyers
Filing an Auto Accident Claim in New Hampshire
The aftermath of a car accident can be a stressful time. Victims will likely require medical care that may last weeks, months, or even years, as well as mounting bills in connection with such care, other injury-related expenses, and lost wages. After an accident, you will also have the additional stress of trying to deal with the other driver’s insurance company. These companies employ teams of people whose sole job is to pay you as little as possible for your claim.
At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., we fight back against major insurance companies and work to stop you from being at their mercy. With our decades of experience as aggressive negotiators and trial attorneys, we bring the leverage you need in leveling the playing field where legal claims and lawsuits are resolved.
In the wake of an auto accident, you have enough to deal with. Let our New Hampshire car accident lawyers focus on your injury claim so that you can focus on recovering your health and moving on with your life.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, your first priority should be your safety. If possible, remain where you are; if your location is unsafe, try to move away from danger. You should also call 911 immediately if you or anyone else is injured. Do not move anyone who appears severely injured (unless absolutely necessary); instead, wait for paramedics and/or law enforcement to arrive.
At the scene, you should also exchange information with the other driver/parties involved in the accident. If possible, collect the driver’s contact information, as well as their driver’s license number, car registration, and insurance information. Be sure to give the police a statement and try to collect witness statements and witnesses' contact information, as well.
We also strongly recommend that you do NOT talk about the accident with the other driver and avoid discussing the accident with the insurance company. If the other driver’s insurance company reaches out to you, it is in your best interests to speak to a lawyer about your legal rights and options. The insurance company will likely try to dispute or undervalue your claim, but an experienced lawyer, like those at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., can advocate for you and work to ensure you recover every penny you deserve.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Some of the most common injuries associated with car and other motor vehicle accidents include:
- Broken bones/fractures
- Back and neck injuries
- Bruises, cuts, and lacerations
- Herniated (or ruptured/slipped) discs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Treating these types of injuries often requires extensive, ongoing care. Victims may be hospitalized and, depending on their specific injuries, may need surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and medication to manage chronic pain.
When someone else’s careless or reckless conduct caused your injuries, you should not have to deal with the physical, emotional, and financial consequences on your own. Our attorneys at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. can help you understand your options when it comes to recovering compensation and can assist you in filing a claim with the appropriate party. If necessary, we are prepared to file a lawsuit on your behalf against the at-fault driver or another third party. Our trial lawyers bring more than 140 years of combined experience to every case and are ready to aggressively represent you in the courtroom.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Car Accident Claim?
After an accident, victims are likely to experience significant physical and emotional injuries, as well as financial losses. Collectively, these injuries and losses are referred to as “damages.” By filing a car accident claim in New Hampshire, you can seek monetary compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
Every case is different, but you may be able to recover compensation for the following damages:
- Emergency medical care
- Ongoing and future medical treatment
- Hospital and ambulance fees
- Medications and medical devices/equipment
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income/wages
- Lost future earnings and earning ability
- In-home assistance and care
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Counseling services/therapy
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, etc.
At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., we understand how difficult it can be to get back on your feet after a serious crash. Whether you were injured in a distracted driving accident or rear-end collision or lost a loved one due to a drunk driver, our New Hampshire car accident attorneys are here to fight for you and the justice you deserve.
Establishing Fault in Your Car Accident Claim
If you have been injured in an auto accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Fault for car accidents is rarely obvious. While there are certainly instances in which one party is clearly to blame over another, many collisions exist in more of a gray area. It is common for both drivers (if an accident only involves 2 people) to be partially at fault for a car accident. For example, a car accident can result if a driver changes lanes without checking their mirrors or using their turn signal. While this driver is clearly in the wrong, the other driver may have been speeding and is partially at fault for the accident as well.
Because New Hampshire follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accident claims, you will need to prove that the other driver (or another party) was to blame for the accident. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you cannot file a claim or recover compensation from the other driver.
If your accident was caused by any of the following on the part of the other driver, please call us now to learn how we can help with your claim:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI/DWI)
- Texting and driving
- Distracted driving, including using a cell phone and other distractions
- Fatigued driving/falling asleep at the wheel
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Unsafe driving maneuvers, including turns, merging, and passing
- Traffic law violations, such as running a red light or stop sign
- Aggressive or reckless driving, including road rage
These and other forms of negligence on the road can have disastrous consequences. If you believe the driver who hit you or caused the accident that left you injured was acting negligently or wrongfully, reach out to our New Hampshire car accident lawyers to learn more about filing a claim for damages.
How Do Auto Accident Claims Work in New Hampshire?
Under New Hampshire’s fault-based system of liability, you have three options for recovering compensation for your damages after an accident.
These options include:
- Filing a claim with the other party’s insurance company
- Filing a claim with your own insurance company
- Filing a lawsuit against the other party
People who are injured in car accidents generally must file a claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company in order to recover compensation for their damages. While you may be partially at fault for an accident, the other driver may be more at fault and may have directly caused the accident. In this case, you would still be able to file a claim with their insurance company. However, it is likely that their insurance company will attempt to use your partial fault against you. For this reason, it is best to have a skilled attorney on your side to represent you.
Our team can help review your auto insurance policy to determine if you are entitled to compensation from your provider based on your coverage. Even if you only have liability coverage—or do not have auto insurance at all—you can still pursue compensation from the at-fault driver if you can prove that they were to blame. If you were partially at fault for the accident, you can still file a claim for damages, as long as you were less than 51% at fault.
Because New Hampshire is one of the few states that does not require motorists to purchase auto insurance, you may find that the person who caused your accident is uninsured. When this happens, it will become necessary to file a lawsuit against them to recover compensation on your behalf. Our attorneys understand that collecting compensation from an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be extremely difficult, which is why we look for all possible avenues of compensation for our clients.
Contributory Negligence in New Hampshire Car Accidents
It’s possible that contributory negligence laws may apply to your case. Under contributory negligence laws, a person’s compensation can be reduced according to their level of fault for a collision. So, a person who is determined to be 10% at fault for a car accident could have their compensation reduced by that amount. This allows multiple parties to be found liable for a car accident and still receive compensation.
Why You Should Work with a Car Accident Attorney
Insurance companies and their legal teams handle insurance claims on a daily basis and are geared up to use developed tactics to deny, delay, or reduce what you should receive in rightful compensation. It is critical, therefore, that you preserve and gather relevant evidence to back up your claim. When you hire Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., we immediately begin investigating and building your claim. We put together powerful evidence and testimony and present our clients’ cases to the insurance company and/or jury in a way that clearly outlines their damages and the rightful compensation they are owed. This may involve witness interviews, consultations with accident reconstruction experts, and more.
As soon as you hire our team, we work to stop all calls from the insurance company while we investigate the facts of your accident and put together the most effective legal strategy to maximize your recovery. We have the resources and experience needed to build your case, as well as negotiate for a fair and just settlement. When necessary, we are prepared to take your case to court. Our firm will not agree to a settlement that is not in your best interests.
Talk to a New Hampshire car accident lawyer at our firm about your case today; call us at (603) 288-1403 for a free, no-obligation consultation.