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Establishing Liability in Unusual New Hampshire Accidents

August 13, 2020

New Hampshire personal injury lawsuits can stem from all types of incidents, ranging from car accidents to slip and falls to defective products. However, in some cases, unusual accidents can lead to serious injuries or death. These cases are particularly challenging because there tends to be a lack of case law addressing the specific situation, and establishing liability may involve a complicated investigation. A New Hampshire personal injury attorney can help individuals in these situations determine their rights and remedies.

The law does not provide a distinct or clear-cut definition for the term unusual accident, but these accidents often arise after a series of unlikely events occurring around the same time. For example, a New Hampshire news report recently described an unusual incident. Firefighters were responding to a call that a woman suffered burns in a kitchen fire. While they were en route to the scene, the firefighters received another call that a pickup truck ran over a gas can, causing a fire.

Responders explained that when they arrived, they saw that three people experienced burns. The fire chief stated that a pickup truck driver ran over a gasoline can near the house of the woman they were initially responding to. The can was crushed, and the fuel spilled, and fumes entered an open window of the house. The pilot light on the stove ignited the fumes, burning the woman working near the stove. The woman ran into a lake while the other two victims worked to put out the fire.

Although accidents such as these, may be categorized as “unusual,” legally, there are very few situations that are truly faultless. Successfully recovering compensation in these cases require plaintiffs to be able to establish all elements of a negligence claim. In addition to establishing duty and breach, the most critical part of a claim is proving causation. In New Hampshire, plaintiffs must establish that the defendant was either the actual or proximate cause of the accident. In cases where there is uncertainty about causation, plaintiffs must thoroughly prepare their case by gathering, evaluating, and presenting all relevant evidence. Even if the other party caused the losses, they will likely attempt to evade liability by claiming that they were not the proximate cause of the damages.

For example, in the situation above, the accident resulted from leaking fuel from the gas can that the pickup truck driver ran over. In that case, the injury victims may file a lawsuit against the pickup driver, alleging that he was liable for running over the gas can. The pickup driver may argue that the homeowner should be partially responsible for leaving the gas can out. In the alternative, he might argue it was a coincidence that the fumes ignited over a pilot light. These cases require the experience and knowledge of a personal injury attorney.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a New Hampshire Accident?

If you or someone you know has been injured in a New Hampshire accident, contact the attorneys at Peter Thompson & Associates. The attorneys at our law firm have an extensive history of successfully recovering compensation on behalf of injury victims. Our experienced legal staff handles lawsuits stemming from various types of accidents, such as New Hampshire car accidents, truck wrecks, slip and falls, incidents of medical malpractice, and injuries caused by defective products. Contact our office at 800-804-2004 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.