Almost everyone has been or knows someone who has been involved in a car accident. But the fact that car accidents are common does not mean that they are harmless. The New Hampshire car accident lawyers at Tenn and Tenn, PA have significant experience litigating car accident cases of all types.
Car Accidents Are Costly
U.S. auto accident statistics are staggering. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, Americans average roughly six million auto accidents each year. Three million people are injured on our nation’s roads, and more than 40,000 are killed annually.
he New Hampshire Department of Transportation reports that in this state alone, there are about 15,000 injury crashes each year. These accidents can be costly for the victims. Just one year of New Hampshire fatal motor vehicle accidents cost $143 million in medical bills and lost wages alone.
Legal Help for Car Accident Victims
Victims of car accidents have legal options under New Hampshire law. A person injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver may file a civil claim or negligence lawsuit.
To win, the plaintiff must prove:
- The other driver (the defendant in the case) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached that duty owed; and
- The other driver’s breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries.
All drivers on New Hampshire roads have a duty to drive reasonably, which means no texting, aggressive driving, or speeding. A driver who breaches this duty by driving below the standard of care can be held liable to any person injured.
In New Hampshire, legal claims must be filed no later than three years from the date of the injury. It is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. The longer you wait to file your claim, the harder it may be to collect the necessary evidence.
Not all car accidents are caused by another driver. Some are caused by dangerous road conditions or even faulty automotive components. No matter the cause, those responsible for the accident and subsequent injuries may be held liable, even if you are partly at fault.
Determining who is at fault for a car crash can be complicated, so contact an experienced attorney if you are not sure of the cause of your collision.
What is Considered Driver Negligence?
The failure of a driver to exhibit due care while operating a vehicle, resulting in danger or damage to others, is referred to as driver negligence. It includes a wide variety of acts or behaviors that differ from what a reasonably sensible driver would do in the same situation.
Driving carelessly includes things like speeding, running stop signs or red lights, using a phone or texting while operating a vehicle, driving while intoxicated, driving aggressively, and neglecting to cede the right of way. These behaviors can result in collisions, injuries, or even fatalities on the road and show disrespect for other people's safety.
To establish driver negligence, certain elements must be proven, such as the duty of care owed to others on the road, a breach of that duty, causation linking the negligence to the harm suffered, and actual damages. When a driver is found to be negligent, they may be held legally responsible for the consequences of their actions and may be liable for compensation to the injured party.
Two Types of Compensatory Damages Are Available
An injured driver is entitled to compensatory damages under New Hampshire law. Damages that reimburse the plaintiff for things such as hospital bills, property damage, or lost salary/wages are called economic damages.
Plaintiffs can also claim noneconomic damages, which are intended to compensate victims for things like emotional distress, pain and suffering, or loss of consortium.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Auto Accident Claims in New Hampshire?
The statute of limitations for filing car accident claims is three years from the date of the accident. Individuals who have been harmed or suffered damages as a result of a car accident must file a lawsuit within this time frame.
Unfortunately, the ability to file a lawsuit for compensation may be lost after three years. It is important to remember that there may be exceptions to the statute of limitations that may apply in particular circumstances. For more information on the facts of your case, it is best to consult with an experienced auto accident attorney near you in New Hampshire.
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