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Motor Vehicle Speed

New Hampshire Attorneys Helping Victims of Serious Car Accidents

The state imposes speed limits on public roads to make the roads safe for all drivers and their passengers. Although all drivers are required by law to obey posted speed limits, not all drivers do, and driving at unsafe speeds is a frequent cause of car accidents. If you were hurt in a collision caused by another driver’s failure to obey the speed limit, you may be able to recover compensation from that driver. You should meet with a New Hampshire car accident lawyer to evaluate your case and to help you determine a plan of action. Collectively, the attorneys at Peter Thompson and Associates have over 60 years of experience representing individuals injured in car accidents caused by excessive motor vehicle speed. We will work tirelessly to help you develop a strong case and assist you in seeking damages from the party responsible for the accident.

New Hampshire Laws Regarding Motor Vehicle Speed

The speed limit imposed on drivers generally depends on the type of road. Highways have higher speed limits, while roads in rural or suburban areas generally have lower limits. While drivers are obligated to drive at or below the posted speed limit, they also have duties imposed by the New Hampshire Vehicle Code regarding the minimum and maximum speeds at which they are permitted to travel. The Code forbids people from driving at a speed higher than what is reasonable for the circumstances, in consideration of any actual or potential hazards. This means that even if a driver is traveling at the speed limit, it may not be a reasonable speed, due to the weather or issues with the roadway. Although fewer accidents are caused by slow drivers than by drivers who drive too fast, the Code also imposes an obligation on drivers not to drive at a speed that is so slow that it will impede the progress of traffic, and it requires people driving at speeds slower than the normal flow of traffic to stay in the right lane.

Proving Liability for a Car Accident Caused by Excessive Motor Vehicle Speed

Lawsuits arising out of car accidents generally allege that someone’s negligence caused the accident. To prove negligence in a New Hampshire car accident case, your attorney must first show that the other driver owed you a duty. In cases involving car accidents caused by driver speed, the duty is typically the duty to travel at a safe and reasonable speed under the circumstances at the time of the accident. You must then show that the other driver breached the duty, either by violating the speed limit or by driving too fast for the conditions. Lastly, you must show that the breach of the duty is what caused the accident to occur and that the accident caused you to sustain damages. You do not need to show that the breach was the only cause of the accident to prove negligence. Instead, you must show that the breach was an actual cause of the accident, meaning that the accident would not have occurred absent the breach, and the breach substantially contributed to the cause of the accident.

In car accident cases, it is common for a driver accused of driving in a negligent manner to allege that the injured person drove in a negligent manner as well and that the injured person’s negligence contributed to the accident. Even if you are proven to have been negligent, however, you may still be able to recover damages, as long as your responsibility did not exceed 50%. A skilled car accident attorney can assess the circumstances surrounding your accident and help you gather evidence to show that the other driver’s speed caused the accident.


Car accidents often result in significant financial losses. If you were involved in a car accident caused by another driver’s failure to drive at a safe speed, you may be able to recover damages. Damages generally recoverable in car accident cases include the cost to repair any property damage. Additionally, if you were injured due to the accident, you may be able to recover the costs incurred in treating your injuries, including the costs of future treatment. If you were unable to work for a certain time, you may be entitled to damages for lost wages as well. In many cases, people injured in car accidents are also able to recover damages for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries. If you wish to pursue damages, it is important to act in a timely manner, since in New Hampshire, any person who files a lawsuit to recover damages following a car accident must do so within three years of the date of the crash.

Set Up a Consultation With a Motor Vehicle Collision Attorney

If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver’s failure to drive at a safe speed, you should consult a knowledgeable attorney to help you hold the driver liable for your injuries. At Peter Thompson and Associates, our attorneys can work diligently to help you formulate a case that will provide you with a strong chance for a favorable result. Our knowledge and skill in recovering damages in car accident cases have given us a high rate of success. We have offices in Bedford, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Manchester, from which we represent clients throughout New Hampshire. Contact us at 800.804.2004 or complete our online form to set up a free consultation.