New Hampshire also uses a modified comparative negligence system when determining financial compensation after a car accident, also sometimes called the “51% rule.” This that a person hurt in a car accident can still recover damages if they were less than 51% at fault for what happened, but their compensation is reduced by their level of fault. So if a person is awarded $100,000 by a jury after a car crash but was found to be 10% at fault, the total amount recovered would be $90,000.
Insurance companies are very familiar with this rule. That’s why they may try to blame you if you file a claim for compensation. And it’s why you need an experienced lawyer who knows how to build strong cases that get results.
What should I do after an accident?
Many people aren’t sure what to do after they’ve been involved in a car crash. There are steps you can take that can help protect your health and your rights.
First, call the police. They will secure the scene and call for an ambulance to treat people who are injured. Police officers will also conduct an initial investigation and fill out an accident report documenting what happened.
Get medical attention. You may think you feel fine and don’t need a doctor. But some injuries may have delayed symptoms. It’s best to see a doctor who can give you a medical exam and begin treatment for any injuries you have. A doctor will also document these injuries.
Gather information. If you can, take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, any nearby traffic signs or signals, any skid marks or debris on the road and any visible injuries that you have. Collect license and registration information, as well as contact information, for people involved in the accident. But don’t discuss what happened. Get contact information for any witnesses, also.
Put it in writing. Write a narrative account of how the accident happened as you remember it. Include all details that come to mind.
Next, call a lawyer. It’s important to talk to an attorney who can explain your legal options and get started on your case.
How a lawyer can help
Insurance companies may try to claim you were at least partially responsible for what happened. They also use many other tactics to try to pay you less. They may question the seriousness of your injuries. They may seek access to your medical records to try to look for evidence that your injuries were pre-existing.
You may be contacted shortly after your crash by an insurance adjuster with a settlement offer. They’ll say they’ve evaluated your claim and are ready to send you a check. But it will most likely be a lowball offer that falls far short of covering your damages. Always seek legal advice before accepting any settlement from an insurance company.
Our attorneys like to get the facts for ourselves. That’s why our legal team investigates your accident. We gather evidence, review accident reports and medical records and interview witnesses. If needed, we consult accident reconstruction experts or other specialists who can help us understand how the crash happened.
We build strong cases insurance companies have to take seriously. Our attorneys deal with the insurance companies so you can focus on getting better. We’ll keep you informed every step of the way. Many times, we are able to negotiate a settlement that meets your needs without going to court. But we are always ready to fight for you at trial, if that’s what it takes.
If you’ve been hurt in a New Hampshire car accident, we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.