What to do After a Motorcycle Accident in New Hampshire
Much misinformation abounds on the subject of exactly what you, as the victim of an motorcycle accident, should do immediately following a motorcycle accident. Specific protocol is vital and can greatly effect your ability to recover compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. Remaining at the scene and exchanging information with any other individuals involved is advised. However, you should not talk about what happened to the other individuals involved, get into a confrontation with them, nor offer any apologies if how the accident is unclear to you and/or you are not sure whether you are at fault. You should contact the police and, if you are injured, ask for medical help. If you believe the other driver was at fault and your mobility remains intact, documenting the scene with a high resolution camera is a good idea. It is very important to contact an experienced New Hampshire motorcycle accident attorney as soon as practicable after a crash. You do not want any evidence relevant to your case to be lost.Dealing With Insurance Companies
After the accident, a representative from the other driver’s insurer may attempt to contact you to ask you questions, and may even offer you a quick deal. However, any statements you make to the insurer can be held against you, and any deal offered is rarely the full sum to which you may be entitled. The insurer for the other side owes his or her insured a duty, but has no special relationship with you; they are not your friend (though they may try to come across that way). You may have suffered more serious injuries than you initially believed at the time of the accident, and it can take up to a year to realize the full extent of your injuries, particularly in cases involving soft tissue injuries. Therefore, it is vitally important to consult with an attorney before speaking to the other party’s insurer.Admissions of Fault
The first and extremely critical aspect of a personal injury lawsuit is to determine exactly who is at fault. While we’re sure you would agree that most of us have been raised to be courteous and kind to others, a simple, well intended “I’m sorry” may later prove to be detrimental, in that the other side may attempt to use it against you as proof that you believed yourself responsible for the accident. An insurer may also ask leading questions, or present you with inaccurate information in order to manipulate you into admitting that you don't know what caused an accident. Or it may subsequently enable them to maintain that you accept some type of responsibility for the accident. These admissions can later to prove to be extremely damaging to your personal injury claim given the fact that the State of New Hampshire follows a modified comparative negligence doctrine. Consequently, these innocent admissions can adversely affect any damages you may be able to recover.
Under New Hampshire law, proving another party’s liability for negligence must meet four specific criteria for an injured victim to demonstrate, they are: (1) the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, (2) the defendant breached that duty, (3) the breach caused the victim’s injuries, and (4) the victim suffered actual damages as a result of the defendant’s breach. Under the contributory negligence rule in place in New Hampshire, a plaintiff’s civil remedy may be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to him or her. Therefore, any apology, simple remark to an insurer, or the other driver, no matter how innocuous, can and will be held against you to reduce, or deny compensation for your injuries. Take note of this: if you are found to be 50% or more at fault, your recovery in a personal injury lawsuit will be entirely barred in New Hampshire.Contact Us for Help
If you were hurt in a motorcycle accident, we urge you to contact an experienced and trustworthy New Hampshire motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. Our office works with an excellent former law enforcement investigator who can go to the scene of the accident, examine the police report, and evaluate any photographs in order to determine what caused the collision, and who should be held responsible. We can negotiate with insurers who play hardball, and take your case to trial if necessary. Contact Peter Thompson & Associates at 800.804.2004 or via our online form to schedule your free consultation today.