Manchester Attorneys Can Help Victims of Car Accidents
Enduring a motor vehicle accident can be one of the most frightening experiences of a person’s life. If you recently experienced this traumatic event, a Manchester car accident lawyer with the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC can help you recover the costs of your medical bills, property damage or missed time from work. Auto accident litigation is one of the best ways for injured victims to feel a sense of balance and closure over the ordeal, allowing the victim to recover some of what he lost in the accident. If you are unsure whether a lawsuit is the best course of action for you, consider making an appointment for a free consultation with a Manchester car accident lawyer at Manning & Zimmerman.
I haven’t returned to work since my accident. Can I recover lost wages?
If your accident left you too disabled to return to your job, you may be able to recover not only lost wages, but future earnings you would have received but for your accident. Generally, the court will look at several factors at the time of the injury to determine, based on your age and occupation, the amount you would have earned had you stayed at your job through the typical retirement age. Recovery of lost wages will require evidence including tax returns and documentation of your earnings.
I Think My Accident Was Due to Mechanical Failure. Can I still sue?
If your car accident occurred as a result of a defective part on your vehicle, you may be able to recover from the manufacturer under a concept known as product liability. This legal doctrine imparts a heightened standard of care in the manufacture, design and warning labels on consumer goods, including cars. If the manufacturer designed or built your car in an unsafe manner, it could face liability, along with the retailer or wholesaler.
How Do We Prove Liability in an Auto Accident Case?
Your Manchester car accident lawyer will gather volumes of evidence to help establish liability on the part of the other driver. This could include accident reports, witness statements, medical testimony or records, video evidence or even cell phone records (to show possible distracted driving).
Under New Hampshire law, establishing liability and recovering compensation from another driver requires meeting the elements of negligence. In general, negligence law contains four elements: duty, breach, causation and damages. Our attorneys will be able to help you understand each of these elements more thoroughly.
Did the other driver/defendant owe you a duty of care at the time of the collision? In general, all drivers owe one another the duty to drive cautiously and carefully taking steps to avoid unnecessary danger or reckless behavior.
Once a duty of care is established, did the defendant breach this duty in the accident? This element is often easily met by pointing to an act (or failure to act) that deviates from the standard of reasonable care. In the context of driving, this could include getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, texting and driving or running a red light.
Did the defendant’s breach cause your resulting injury in the car accident? In many cases, causation is easy to prove. In others, however, causation can be very problematic particularly if there is an intervening issue at play such inclement weather or multiple possible defendants.
For most negligence cases, there must be some sort of damage associated with the incident. While by and large the plaintiff experiences physical damages, financial and property damage also meets the definition.
If the Defendant is Claiming That I Caused the Crash, Can I Still Sue?
Absolutely, and your likelihood of recovery will depend upon the extent to which you contributed to your own injuries. In many negligence cases, evidence begins to emerge suggesting that the plaintiff may have been engaging in dangerous behavior at the time of the crash, thereby contributing to their own injuries. This is known as comparative fault, and it does not necessarily bar you from recovering. Under New Hampshire law, a plaintiff who has contributed to their own injuries may still recover from the defendant provided they are not more than 51 percent at fault.
For answers to these questions, and many more, contact a Manchester motor vehicle accident attorney at Manning & Zimmerman right away. It is essential that you have competent legal representation from the onset of your case through litigation. Big insurance companies have lawyers looking out for their interests and you should too. Call (603) 239-2489 today for a free initial consultation.
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