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Bringing a Maine Personal Injury Claim Following a Head-On Accident

June 30, 2023

Head-on collisions occur when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions crash into one another. Sometimes, one driver is clearly responsible for the collision. On other occasions, both drivers may share responsibility for the crash. When seeking compensation as a passenger in a New Hampshire head-on collision, you may choose to sue one or both drivers for your injuries. Alternatively, if you were a driver involved in a head-on collision, the other driver may argue that you share some level of fault for your resulting harm.

For example, according to a recent news article, one person was killed, and three people suffered injuries in a New Hampshire head-on crash. Local police in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, observed a Volkswagen Jetta driving erratically and speeding in the westbound lane. The Jetta then reversed directions, crossed into the westbound lane, and hit a Jeep head-on. On impact, a passenger in the Jetta was ejected and died at the scene. Both drivers and another passenger were transported to the hospital for their injuries. Police are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash.

How Does New Hampshire Apportion Fault Among Multiple Defendants?

In a head-on collision, multiple parties may share responsibility for the same person’s injuries. For example, if both drivers in a head-on crash acted negligently, they may both be at fault for a passenger’s harm. In these situations, a plaintiff can sue multiple defendants for negligence. Under New Hampshire law, a defendant is solely liable for their share of fault for an accident. For example, if a defendant is only 10% at fault for an accident, they will only have to pay 10% of the ultimate damages award. However, this rule does not apply if any defendant is more than 50% at fault. Under a rule known as joint and several liability, a plaintiff can potentially collect their entire damages award from a single defendant. If any of the defendants cannot pay their share of the damages award, the plaintiff can recover that defendant’s share from another defendant who was more than 50% at fault.

Can You Still Recover Damages if You Were at Fault?

If you were a driver involved in a head-on collision, the other driver may argue you were partially to blame for the accident in court. However, admitting some degree of responsibility for your injuries doesn’t always defeat your claim. Under New Hampshire’s modified comparative negligence system, plaintiffs can recover damages so long as they were less than 51% at fault for their accident. By contrast, if a plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, they cannot recover any damages. New Hampshire plaintiffs should also note that a judge or jury will reduce their damages award based on their degree of fault for their injuries. For example, if a jury finds that a plaintiff was 20% responsible for their injuries, the plaintiff will sustain a 20% reduction in their total damages award.

Have You Been Hurt in a New Hampshire Head-On Collision?

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died in a New Hampshire head-on collision, you may have a claim for relief. To discuss your case with an experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorney, contact Peter Thompson & Associates today. The attorneys at our firm have successfully represented clients in several areas of personal injury law, including car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, bicycle and pedestrian accidents, and dangerous property conditions. To learn more, and to schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our team, call 800-804-2004 or use our website.