Car Accident FAQs
While car accidents are not uncommon, most people do not think about what they would do after a car accident until it happens. If you were involved in a car accident, you may have many questions going through your mind. The New Hampshire car accident attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates have over six decades of combined experience guiding people injured in accidents through the legal process. We are ready to answer your questions and take the burden off your shoulders.
- What are Some Common Causes of Car Accidents?
- What are the First Things That I Should do After an Accident?
- Do I Need to Call the Police?
- How is Fault Determined in a Car Accident Case?
- What is my Car Accident Case Worth?
- What if I was Partly at Fault?
- Why Should I Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Almost all car accidents result from some form of human error. One common cause of car accidents is distracted driving, which happens when a driver does not pay enough attention to their surroundings and the task of driving. While cell phone use is often associated with distracted driving, it can arise from other activities as well, such as eating or adjusting the GPS in a car. Another unfortunately common cause of car accidents is drunk driving. Even if a driver is not convicted of a DUI, they can be held liable for damages in many situations. Drivers also may engage in aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating or swerving among lanes. Or they may simply be rushing toward a destination, which may result in speeding, failing to yield at an intersection, and other traffic violations.
The first and most important consideration following an accident is the safety of the people involved in the accident. If anyone involved in the accident may be injured, you should call for an ambulance. After any medical issues have been addressed, you should exchange insurance and contact information with the other drivers involved in the accident. You should also obtain the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. If possible, you should take photographs of the scene of the accident, any damage to the vehicles, and your injuries.
While it is not mandatory to call the police, it is prudent to do so. The police will take statements from any people involved in the accident and witnesses to the accident, and they will issue a report outlining any information gathered in the investigation of the accident. Sometimes the report can be useful in establishing the fault of a driver, since it can contain information regarding the cause of the accident. If the police respond to the accident, you do not need to file a separate report. If the police do not respond to the accident, however, you are required under New Hampshire law to file an operator report if the accident resulted in property damage greater than $1,000 or in any injuries. The report must be filed within 15 days of the date of the accident.
Usually, a car accident results when one or more drivers does something careless or fails to take an appropriate precaution. A driver who failed to do what a reasonable person would do in the circumstances will be found at fault if their careless behavior caused the accident.
This will depend on the severity of your injuries and the extent of their impact on your life. If you were involved in a car accident, you can seek compensation for your property damage and the cost of any medical treatment for injuries incurred in the accident. If you could not work due to your injuries, you can pursue damages for lost income as well. In addition to economic damages, you may be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
Under New Hampshire law, even if a person is partly responsible for causing an accident in which they were injured, this does not automatically prevent them from recovering compensation. Instead, New Hampshire's comparative fault rule permits an injured person to recover damages if the injured person’s fault does not exceed the defendant’s fault. If fault is attributed to the injured person, however, any damages awarded to the injured person will be reduced proportionately to their fault.
A car accident case is not always as straightforward as it seems. It can make a big difference to retain a professional who can investigate the accident from the victim’s perspective and gather evidence on their behalf. Insurance companies have teams of skilled attorneys on their side, aiming to reduce or eliminate liability, so a victim should level the playing field by hiring an attorney of their own. Your attorney can take the stress out of the situation by handling settlement negotiations and any necessary litigation on your behalf, while you focus on your physical and emotional recovery. You do not need to pay a personal injury attorney up front, since they are paid from any settlement or verdict that you recover. Thus, there is no downside to contacting a lawyer.
No one anticipates being involved in a car accident, and when an accident occurs, most people are caught off guard and are unsure about which actions to take. At Peter Thompson & Associates, our car accident lawyers will work diligently to help you develop strong arguments. We have the skills and experience needed to present a winning case, as shown by our record of favorable outcomes. You can reach us at 800.804.2004 or through the online form to schedule a free consultation.