Many of the people who get arrested for a crime in New Hampshire every day have never been arrested before. Having never been thrown into the criminal justice system, these people do not fully know what to expect, beyond what they may have seen on TV shows or in the movies. Unfortunately, the media does not often portray the criminal justice system correctly, taking huge liberties to make things seem more dramatic than they really are.
New Hampshire, like all other states in the U.S., has an implied consent law that levies automatic penalties whenever someone refuses to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. In a 2005 survey, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had found that police requests for people suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) were refused at an astounding rate in New Hampshire. Updated statistics, however, show that New Hampshire’s refusal rate is on the decline, and is no longer top in the nation.
Study Finds New Hampshire No Longer Refuses BAC Tests the Most
Back in 2005, the NHTSA wrote a report to Congress, detailing the number of times that BAC tests were refused by drunk driving suspects on a state-by-state basis. Among the 37 states that provided data on the issue, the national average refusal rate was less than a quarter – 22.4%. New Hampshire’s refusal rate, however, was far higher than any other state recorded, coming in at a surprising 81%. The state with the second highest refusal rate, Massachusetts, was only 41%, with Florida in third, at 40%.
A wrongful death claim has been filed by the family of a motorcyclist who was struck and killed by a falling tree. Edgar Riecke, a motorcycle enthusiast hailing from Durango, Colorado was on a ride through Utah in October of 2014. Riecke was rounding a corner when he was struck and killed by a tree falling directly on top of him. The tree, however, was not simply falling on its own, in fact the tree was being cut down by a pair of two Boy Scouts out collecting firewood for their local troop. The tree fell on top of Riecke, ending his life. Riecke is survived by his son and daughters, who have begun a lawsuit for unspecified damages.
A surprising face appeared in Iowa court as a witness earlier this month in the case of Cheryl Bronson. Bronson was the victim of a drunk driving accident and has suffered a number of injuries. Bronson also happens to be the aunt of Olympic gymnast and ‘Dancing With The Stars’ champion Shawn Johnson, who appeared in court as a witness for the plaintiff, her aunt.
Bronson was once a golfer, and an Iowa Women’s pool champion in 2008, and due to her injuries is no longer able to participate in either of those activities. The incident caused her to suffer multiple fractures to her leg and although she has healed, she has had significant changes in her life. Bronson must now walk with a limp, has trouble walking, and has even had to move to a single story home. In addition to this, Bronson has 3 more surgeries planned for her injured leg in the future.
When a person is seriously injured, they will require medical treatment, or sometimes even hospitalization, depending on the severity of the situation. Typically, these bills are initially covered by the person’s medical or health insurance provider. If the person desires to pursue legal action against the one responsible for their injuries, the losses from the medical expenses will be considered in the damages pursued from the case, along with any other relevant damages that stem from the case. Health insurance is a person’s first line of defense against medical expenses. A majority of the time, the hospital will bill the insurance company so that the injured party will not be overcome with medical debt. For one hospital in Arkansas, however, patients who have been injured as a result of someone else’s actions are finding some difficulty with hospital administration accepting their insurance plans.
Turning Down Insurance
In addition to Samsung’s recent troubles with the recall of their new phone for some explosive issues, Samsung has found themselves once again in hot water. Samsung, while known primarily for their handheld electronic devices, is also a manufacturer of a number of appliances, ranging from televisions to washing machines. Samsung has been the subject of several lawsuits regarding one of their models of washing machines.
Exploding Washing Machines
On September 29, a train accident shook the walls of the Hoboken Terminal in Hoboken, New Jersey. New Jersey Transit, the state’s primary public transit system, was in charge of both the train and the station. The agency came forward right away to report that the incident resulted in three confirmed deaths and over 100 confirmed injuries, some of which landed the injured in critical condition. Reports from passengers that were not hospitalized claim that the train felt as though it was moving too fast, and wasn’t slowing down prior to the accident. After the collision, chaos ensued. There were reports of people climbing from windows and others on the pavement. Many were injured and several were unable to walk.
Nearby hospitals and care centers rushed to aid the passengers from the accident. The Hoboken University Medical Center received 23 patients, while the Jersey Medical Center took in 66 patients, even converting the hospital cafeteria into a temporary care center. Many patients were treated for minor injuries such as bruises, bumps, and chest pain. Officials reported a total injury count of 108 individuals, including those with smaller injuries and the train operator himself.
Reports from local news outlets suggest that the train accident may have been caused by accidental issues, or an operator error, however, as of this writing, the investigation remains open without a full conclusion regarding what the cause was. Investigators have reported that, after a background check, the train operator did not have any past career red flags. The train, however, was reported to not have been equipped with a system called positive train control, which is designed to slow down speeding trains. This system is required to be installed on all trains per U.S. federal law. Continue reading →
A family has filed a claim against Glendale, California following an unfortunate accident this part March. The claim comes from a family who lost their mother in a wheelchair accident in the city. The plaintiff in the case, James Starbird, was out with his wife, Carolyn, when the incident occurred. Carolyn Starbird was in a wheelchair, when she ran into uneven pavement. This caused an abrupt stop, which threw her from her wheelchair onto the concrete sidewalk. She received an injury to her head from the fall, causing her a severe concussive injury. Unfortunately she later succumbed to her injuries. The claim rests on Starbird’s assertion that the accident could have been prevented if the city had taken more proper care of its sidewalks.
A City’s Responsibility
In general, municipalities of any size are obligated to take care of their citizens and the upkeep of the city. While city officials have yet to comment on the status of the claim, investigations have revealed that the uneven portion of the sidewalk has not been repaired or replaced for some time. The uneven panelling has since been marked to warn others, and according to a city attorney, the city has made plans for a repair or full replacement. The city claims that whenever an unsafe portion is reported to the city, it is normally resolved within the next day or two. A representative of the city came forward to state that they were unaware of any prior claims or reports regarding this particular area before the incident.
Starbird’s claim has 45 days for the city to acknowledge it or take any action towards it. If the city fails to do so, the claim is considered rejected, and the Starbird family must file a wrongful death suit against the city.
Claims Against The State
While many personal injury or wrongful death claims arise between two individual citizens, at times a person may wish to file a claim against the state government. When this happens, a majority of states impose a stricter statute of limitations for citizens to take a legal action. As seen in the Starbird’s case, there is only a 45 day period for the claim to be acknowledged by the city. If this case, or a similar case, were to occur in New Hampshire then the plaintiffs would have a very limited time frame to file their claim in the county where the incident happened, instead of the usual three year period under the statute of limitations. New Hampshire also does not permit the filing of certain types of cases against the government, such as when actions arise from failure to remove ice and snow.
When filing a personal injury or wrongful death claim against the state, the best thing to do is consult with an attorney. If you or a loved one has been injured in the state of New Hampshire injury attorneys at Tenn A Continue reading →
Anyone who has ever had a bit too much to drink is very familiar with the phenomenon known as the “hangover.” A hangover is a period of headaches, sickness, nausea, and general unpleasantness, that frequently follows a person’s consumption of a large amount of alcohol. Many people think that the impairment from a night of heavy drinking can simply be shrugged away the next morning, or “slept off.” For some this may be true, but it is incredibly rare that a person can drink heavily, sleep for a short time, and wake up the next morning completely ready to go. In fact, one study may suggest that driving with a hangover may be just as perilous as driving while intoxicated.
Driving While Hungover
General Motors has settled two cases related to an issue with a defective ignition switch that was linked to over 124 deaths and 275 injuries. The cases reach back to a May 2014 incident in Oklahoma, involving an accident where the ignition switch prevented the airbag from deploying. The man driving the car was Robert Scheuer, 49, who was left severely injured when his car careened into a tree, and the collision safety mechanisms failed to activate. Those vehicles, the 2003 Saturn Ion model, were recalled in 2014 for the faulty ignition switch. The source of the problem was that the switch had the potential to slip out of the “run” position, which disabled the vehicle’s safety features, specifically the airbags. Scheuer’s case is one of many “bellwether” cases on the issue.
In layman’s terms, a bellwether case, or bellwether trial, is a term for a case that is meant to serve as somewhat of a test or model for heavily contested issues of the law. These types of cases are common in scenarios where one defendant has several cases filed against them in regards to one particular incident or issue. Citing bellwether cases can be helpful in court to reduce the large volume of cases. For GM, these cases will help determine the course of a number of related lawsuits have been filed against them for the problems with the ignition switch.