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2016 brings with it a host of new traffic laws for NH motorists.  New Hampshire has its fair share of traffic-related mishaps. Most of the unfortunate incidents have to do with driving habits and road conditions.  For instance, drinking and driving, especially during holidays, have been major causes of accidents. Driver distractions and inattentiveness, particularly in curvy roads and dark areas has also contribute to may accidents and injuries. new laws 2016download (1)

In 2016, The state has drawn up its own action plans aiming for zero-fatality accidents, total elimination of substance-impaired driving (DWI), enhanced driving discipline, and greater public awareness about safe driving.

As of the New Year 2016, there have been new laws added to the list.  These new laws cover fines or penalties incurred for specific traffic violations, as well as conditions where a New Hampshire driver may be liable for getting cited and penalized.

To all drivers in New Hampshire, here is a rundown of some of the new traffic laws as well as existing ones that you should still be aware of.

Passing a school bus

 It is generally prohibited to pass a school bus that has stopped but still have children on board.  The fine for this offense has been increased to $500.  In addition, you get a 30-day suspension of your license even if you were only a first-time offender.  Further offenses can set you back as much as $1,200 plus a mandatory date with the judge.

Not yielding to ambulances and other emergency vehicles

Again, this has always been considered a traffic violation.  Fees are now $150 compared to the previous $100 for first offenses, and $250 for repeat offenses.

Speeding

 The speed limit in the northern part of the state is still at 70 mph and decrease through the narrowest parts of the highway. The fine has been increased at an incremental basis, ranging from $65 for one to five miles over the limit, going up to $400 for 20 mph beyond speed limit.  Speeding along a construction work zone can set you back anywhere from $250-500.

Not yielding to road construction equipment or to a traffic officer upon his order

 Be careful whom you ignore!  Penalties have been stiff for this type of offense as it is a defiance of authority.  First-time offenders will pay $75 at the minimum, while repeat offenders may pay up to $250.

Burden of proof in vehicular accidents

 In case of a vehicular accident where you are the one at fault, it will not be necessary for the authorities to have to identify the traffic rule you violated in order to slap you with penalties and lawsuits.

DWI restricted license for first-time DWI offenders

It used to be that the driving licenses of people arrested for DWI were suspended for at least six months upon first offense.   In 2016, a first-time offender will be able to request for a restricted license on the grounds that specific circumstances compel his operation of a motor vehicle.  For example, he or she has an occupation that depends on driving, like delivers goods or operating a taxi.  For a list of frequently asked questions related to DUI. Click here.

Cell phone use while driving

Drivers aged above 18 on the road are banned from using handheld devices like cell phones and iPads but may be able to use hands-free devices.  Novice drivers aged 18 and younger are also banned from using any type of cell phone while driving either to call or text.  And drivers of all ages are not allowed to text at all while driving.

Impaired driving due to substance abuse  

 While New Hampshire strictly enforces laws against driving under influence of alcohol, the laws are not too clear cut about other substances, particularly marijuana.  Possession and use of marijuana is legal in the state but only for medical purposes.

Seat belt laws

Children younger than seven years and lighter than 57 pounds must wear child restraints.  All others must wear seat belts while on the road.  The state has not enacted either a primary or secondary seat belt law for adults.

Helmets for bikes

People under the age of 16 are required to wear helmets.

Senior drivers

 License renewal for drivers older than 65 is still every five years.  Those older than 75 must pass a road test.

 

 

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There is a great deal of excitement as everyone gets prepared to ring in the New Year 2016 in New Hampshire. If you are planning an unforgettable night out with loved ones, it is important that you get to your destination and then get home safely. Statistics show that nearly 42 percent of all fatalities on New Year’s Eve are related to drunk driving accidents that could have been avoided. This includes drivers who were under the influence, passengers in the car, innocent drivers on the road, and pedestrians. If you are planning a big night out on the town in New Hampshire on New Year’s Eve, there are a few driving safety tips that you should follow. 

Stay Alert and Focused

When you are on the road on New Year’s Eve, it is important to stay alert and focused. If you are out and start feeling tired, it is best if you head home. If you get drowsy and fall asleep at the wheel, you are putting yourself, your passengers, and other people on the road at risk.

Even if you don’t drink and drive on New Year’s Eve, you can’t be sure that other drivers on the road aren’t. It is important that you remain alert while driving, just in case a drunk driver veers into your lane of traffic. If you remain alert and focused, you will be able to avoid potential accidents.

Don’t Drink and Drive

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It can happen anywhere: you’re walking on a property (either commercial or residential) and you slip and fall. The CDC reports that each year, millions of elderly people (65 and older) fall and only one out of three tell their doctor.  A slip and fall accident can have long lasting injuries you may not even be aware of. fallshutterstock_43725862

The first thing to do after any fall, accident or injury  is to seek medical attention. Take care of yourself first. Go to your nearest hospital, urgent care center or see your private doctor. This ensures your injuries will be taken care of by a professional and you’ll begin your path to recovery as soon as possible. But seeing a doctor right after your accident also starts a paper trail that will work to your benefit. You now have documentation of your injury and hopefully a treatment plan to get you back on your feet and headed toward a full physical recovery.

Now what? Do you move on with your life and hope your injuries heal and you don’t drown in medical debt? Or should you consider taking further action because you believe you were injured because of a property owner’s negligence?

To File a Clam , Or Not To File a Claim in New Hampshire

Legal claims and lawsuits are serious business. They are not only costly, but can be very time consuming and become an emotional drain on all parties involved. After you have had an accident on a someone’s property which has resulted in serious injuries,  you may have some substantial medical expenses to pay. And don’t forget about lost wages if you are forced to miss work because of your injuries.

While there are a lot of variables on whether or not a legal claim or lawsuit against a property owner will succeed, there are a few basic questions you can ask to see if it’s even worth your time.

  1. Could the accident have been prevented? Not all accidents are created equal. Slipping on ice that has been building up on a property owner’s walkway for a week is a lot different than tripping over a rock in a garden. In the latter case, it’s reasonable to assume there will be rocks in a garden. The ice build-up is a case where the property owner might have been neglectful.
  1. Were you being careless? If you trip and fall because you were walking and talking on your cell phone, it’s reasonable to assume you probably weren’t paying attention to your surroundings. Everyone is responsible for being mindful of their surroundings.
  1. How well does the property owner maintain their property? Just like people are supposed to be aware of their surroundings, property owners must take reasonable steps to keep their property free of hazards. For example, in the winter, keeping the drive and walkway clear of snow is a legitimate responsibility. If ice is present in places where people will be walking, throwing down salt or other de-icing solvents is another reasonable task for any property owner.

In court, these 3 questions will be weighed against each other to determine if you are deserving of any compensation for your injuries. Because every accident is different, and because laws vary in different states, you may think you have a solid case, only to end up with nothing.

The only way to know for sure if your case has merit  is to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney. Most will provide you with a free consultation so you don’t have anything to lose. And just like hiring any other professional, it’s better to talk to an experienced lawyer who regularly practices personal injury law. Getting injured is never fun, so find an injury lawyer that has experience in slip and fall cases and one that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

 

 

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Drones are commonly used now in deliveries, leisure activities, photography, and criminal law enforcement.  They are generally safe if handled professionally and if operated within a wide airspace without humans or structures.  Flying Drone

But they are not completely accident-proof.   As with any remote-controlled device, pilots of drones can have moments of miscalculation.  If they are operating through remote cameras or from a distance, pilots can have visibility limitations of the surrounding areas, especially those covered by trees, posts, and buildings.  The drone can get caught in tree branches or crash into concrete surfaces. Or weather conditions can affect the drone’s flight path.  The worst possibility is that they fall on or fly in the path of humans, causing serious injuries.  And drone-related injuries have been growing since 2009.

If you have been hit by a drone, you can file a personal injury claim against its operator.  Drones are covered under a 1981 Federal Aviation Administration advisory which includes model planes and other remote-powered gadgets.  This advisory specifically states that drones should not be flown higher than 400 feet, and its operator needs to inform airport control towers when he’s flying it within three miles of the airport.  According to the FAA, all drone operators are in fact pilots and therefore have a huge responsibility over their flying gizmos.

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Heroin Addiction in New Hampshire – Heroin Epidemic in NH

There’s a disturbing trend going on in the Granite State, and has exceeded the fatality rate over traffic accident related deaths.  According to latest statistics, heroin and other addictive substances killed about 300 people last year. Out of those deaths, 97 were caused by heroin addiction or its variants and combinations. Heroin

Even in a small town like Dover, there have been seven drug-related deaths in the last six months, averaging about two overdoses a week.

Several possible factors account for the heroin epidemic, such as the recession which causes depression enough for people to turn to drugs for comfort.  The state also seems wanting in terms of state resources for prevention and treatment education, as well as imposition of tighter measures on heroin prescriptions.  According to some sources, the drug is quite easy to manufacture in clandestine laboratories.  Implementation of drug laws in the state didn’t seem adequate to curtail drug abuse.

Heroin Users & Stereotypes

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If you’re a typical American, you would be one of those folks who are hosting or attending a Thanksgiving dinner in a few days. A Thanksgiving dinner is always a great opportunity to reunite with loved ones, most of whom you probably haven’t seen for a long time. It is a time of feasting on turkey, pumpkin pie, candied yams, cranberry sauce, and other traditional Thanksgiving fare.
But did you know that one of the happiest American holidays is also one of the deadliest? In New Hampshire alone, there were more than 100 fatalities due to road accidents. This is partly due to road conditions during the season, as well as the general festive mood giving rise to increased alcohol intake and consequent mishaps by drunk drivers. Happy Thanksgiving

Check Weather Reports Before Traveling

Visitors to New Hampshire during Thanksgiving face less deadly but inconvenient situations, usually caused by weather conditions. Last year, some airlines had to divert, reschedule, or even cancel flights due to New Hampshire and nearby states because of an impending snowstorm. What a way to spoil your Thanksgiving plans!

Fortunately, this year’s weather forecasts for New Hampshire during Thanksgiving week promises to be more pleasant. Temperatures will average between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit, with mostly sunny to cloudy conditions around Thursday.

To make your travel to and around New Hampshire free of an automobile accident and worries, here are some useful travel safety tips. Continue reading →

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Annually celebrated on November 11th in America, this U.S. Federal Holiday was started to honor men and women that have served loyally in the armed forces of the country. While originally celebrated as Armistice Day, the Holiday transformed into Veterans Day in 1954 to recognize the contribution of the armed forces.  Veterans Day

Celebrating Veterans Day in New Hampshire

Veterans Day parades are held throughout the country to commemorate the United States Armed Forces. In New Hampshire, the State Veterans Cemetery and the Department of New Hampshire Veterans of Foreign Wars are hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony from 11 am on November 11th (Wednesday) at the NH State Veterans Cemetery. The ceremony is expected to last for approximately an hour. The Manchester Veterans Day Parade starts at Elm Street in Manchester and ends at Veterans Park on Elm Street. Interested war veterans can get in touch with Parade Chairman, Ron Boisvert for participation.

On November 11th, the Manchester VA Medical Center will observe Veterans Day with a moment of silence at 11 am. The center will also host a Manchester VA Medical Center Veterans Day Program in the Granite State Room at 2 pm. The invitation is open to everyone and the program will be followed by a social. The program includes a color guard, a Pledge of Allegiance from the Community Living Center Residents, an acoustical prelude and a special wreath presentation to the Community Living Center veterans. The festive celebration will include visits from Ms. New Hampshire and Elvis Presley. If any person wants to get in touch with the team for their Veterans Day Celebrations, they can send an email to Kristin.Pressly@va.gov. Continue reading →

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With its quaint rustic atmosphere and large stretches of raw lands, New Hampshire has a moderate number of car crashes each year as compared to many other states.  Yet, like many other states, New Hampshire has its own share of car crashes, particularly during the Halloween season.  Our NH injury lawyers have reviewed the safety statistics and have outlined below some of the most common reasons why road accidents are at their height during Halloween, even in a quiet state like New Hampshire. Halloween_Safety

Trick or Treaters. During the Halloween season in New Hampshire, you can expect many trick or treaters on the road.  Most are young children who may not be aware of road signs and approaching vehicles as they scoot around the neighborhoods seeking candy and other treats. And since trick or treating usually occurs after sundown, children are often outside in the dark and may not easily be seen by motorists until they run out in front of vehicles.  Costumes may also be partly to blame as they can be too bulky or impair a child’s vision (especially masks and headgear).  Some costume accessories, such as very tall and heavy hats or oversized footwear, can cause children to lose balance or trip on the road.

Excessive drinking and partying.  Halloween isn’t just for children.  Adults also hold many house and office parties during this time.  And at adult parties, expect a lot of eating and drinking.  Irresponsible adults will insist on driving even after drinking.  Excessive drinking of alcohol can cause a serious if not fatal automobile accidents.  Vision and driving acuity can be impaired by the driver’s costume, especially if the costume blocks vision or limits movement while he is behind the wheel.

Time of trick or treating and partying.   Halloween-related activities are done after dark to create an eerie atmosphere.  Parties usually last after midnight so people are either very tired or possibly intoxicated by that time as they walk or drive home.  Keeping a look out for pedestrians may not be a driver’s primary focus after a eventful Halloween party.

Winter weather.  Like its New England neighbors, New Hampshire’s winters are generally earlier and heavier than most other states .  New Hampshire has seen snow in October, particularly at Halloween.  Snowfall leads to icy roads which can cause collisions, and fog can lead to poor road visibility.  Freezing rain, cold temperatures and /or snow may cause obstruction and risk of collision.

The key to avoiding accidents during this season is to follow some sensible Halloween safety tips.

Install snow tires.  Even before the start of snowfall, have snow tires or chains to prevent skidding on icy roads.

Teach trick or treaters the safety rules.  Ensure your children take precautions while walking, especially obeying traffic signs and lights.  Let them bring flashlights or lamps to light their path and make them more visible to motorists.  Encourage them to go out in groups, as there is safety in numbers.  Better yet, you or another adult should accompany them while trick or treating.

Don’t drink and drive.  Avoid a possible DUI.  If you have had too much to drink, consider staying at your host’s place for the night or appoint a designated driver to bring you home.  Even when you’re just walking home, consider having someone accompany you to ensure that you don’t cross into the path of oncoming vehicles.  If you are injured while trick or treating, contact an experienced and award-winning NH accident attorney at Tenn And Tenn, PA in Manchester, NH.  We are here to help.  We wish everyone a happy and safe Halloween season.

 

 

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Bicycle Safety & Riding Laws in New Hampshire

Whether you’re in a large cosmopolitan district in New York, or a quiet rustic town in New Hampshire, you face the same risks of getting into an accident while riding a bicycle.  The risks of significant injury are especially  heightened if you don’t wear protective gear.Bicycle to School

The first recorded bicycle crash was in 1896 when a motor vehicle collided with a bicycle. Ever since 1932, there have been more than 50,000 recorded bicycle accidents which involved death for the riders.

Most of the time, bicycle accidents are caused by inattentiveness (like not checking for any passing car or bike before opening the car door), failure to signal, violation of traffic rules (such as making illegal turns or speeding), and substance abuse.  And it’s either the vehicle driver or the cyclist who may have been at fault.  And about 40% of all bike fatalities were due to alcohol abuse.  This is in fact the most common cause.

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Motorcycle Accidents in NH on the Rise

Summer weather in New Hampshire brings motorcycle rides out in full force. With an abundance of spectacular scenery, NH offers motorcycle enthusiasts great destination rides.  Start a day in the White Mountains, travel through the Lakes Region and end your day at the Seacoast.  NH offers motorcyclists some wonderful adventures. Despite the joy and freedom associated with motorcycling,  there has been an increase in motorcycle accidents and fatalities in New Hampshire lately.  During the month of July alone there have been a handful of serious and or fatal accidents involving motorcycles. Such collisions have occurred throughout the state including Manchester, Nashua, Concord and other communities. share roadhutterstock_190724723

Nashua, NH for instance, was voted  Best City to Live in America which is quite a feat for any U.S. city.  It certainly deserves the title given its ideal bedroom community setting amidst dozens of shopping outlets, representing almost any American store chain, along with its vast array of  multicultural dining spots.

But Nashua, like any other American city, is also home to serious motorcycle collisions and auto accidents. And these collisions can be life changing for an injured accident victim, especially motorcycle rides and their passengers.

Common Types of Motorcycle Injuries

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