New Hampshire Car Accident Law, Lawyers and Attorneys
UPDATED: February 24, 2020
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Car accidents occur on a daily basis in every state across the nation. Even for a small state such as New Hampshire, the number of traffic accidents is large. If you or a loved one has been in an accident and you are looking for help, you’ve come to the right place. Of course, it’s important to remember that if the accident just occurred, or you or someone else involved is injured, the first thing you should do is call 911 immediately.ï¿½ The information available here on FreeAdvice.com on such topics as assessing your rights and responsibilities, and on where to go for help after the accident, will come into play after you’ve addressed your immediate health concerns. Our car accident articles cover issues ranging from claims and fault data, to liability issues and the context behind structured settlements. You’ll also find rules, laws and other information specific to the state of New Hampshire, as well as links to New Hampshire personal injury attorneys who can assess your claim and provide you with advice on the best course of action for you.
New Hampshire Car Accident Articles:
How an Auto Accident Insurance Claim Works
What is Your Car Accident Injury Claim Worth
Who is at Fault?
Car Insurance and Auto Accidents: Are You Covered?
What You Can Expect to Recover for Property Damage in Auto Accident Cases
Auto Accidents: Options if You’re at an Impasse with the Insurance Adjuster
Car Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers
Do I Need to Contact an Attorney After a Car Accident
New Hampshire Car Accident Lawyers:
Find an experienced New Hampshire Car Accident Attorney at AttorneyPages.com
Article: How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Special Rules for New Hampshire Car Accidents:
New Hampshire Fault: Proportional Comparative Fault @ 51%
New Hampshire Car Insurance Requirements/Limits: New Hampshire does not automatically require motorists to carry car insurance. Those who have been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or who have been involved in accidents in the past in which they were at fault or otherwise have engaged with the law in a way that illustrates a lack of responsibility, may be forced to carry bodily injury and property damage liability insurance in the following amounts:
The minimum level required by law is:
$25,000 per person for bodily injury AND $25,000 for uninsured motorist coverage per person for bodily injury
$50,000 per accident for bodily injury AND $50,000 for uninsured motorist coverage per accident for bodily injury
$25,000 per accident for property
If required, proof of this liability insurance must be kept available in the vehicle at all times, including when registering a vehicle with DMV or renewing license plates. Even those who are not required by law to carry liability insurance are strongly encouraged to do so, as accidents are frequently very costly, and if you get into an accident and do not have sufficient financial responsibility for that accident, your license and registration could be immediately suspended.
New Hampshire Small Claims Limits: $7,500. Any amounts over $5,000 are subject to mandatory mediation.
New Hampshire Personal Injury Statute of Limitations: 3 years
Requirements for Filing Against Government Entities:
1) For filing against the Federal Government: Use Standard Form 95 and follow the instructions on the back page. The form must be completed and submitted to the appropriate agency within two years after the claim accrues.
2) For claims against the State of New Hampshire: Contact the Accident Information Line at the Department of Safety Division of Motor Vehicles and file a Motor Vehicle Accident Report, for any accidents where injury or damage over $1,000 has occurred. This form needs to be filed within 15 days after the accident occurs, unless a police officer is present, in which case the responsibility to do so is theirs, and not yours. Note that the information in this accident report cannot be used as evidence against any party involved for a criminal trial arising from that accident. You can also get more information on filing claims by contacting the Department of Safety.
Most importantly for filing a lawsuit, though the 3-year statute of limitations applies here, there is a 60 day notice period from the time of the injury/damage in which to notify the clerk of the government agency of the date, time and location where the injury/damage occurred. If this notice isn’t provided within 60 days – and before the commencement of the lawsuit – the government has the right to argue to the court that it was “substantially prejudiced” by the lack of written notice, which essentially means a lack of actual knowledge or opportunity to gain knowledge about the injury. The government has the burden of proof on this point, but if it meets that burden, your action will end before it even begins! Be certain to stay on top of all of this contact information, and contact a qualified New Hampshire car accident lawyer if you have any questions.
3) For filing claims against a New Hampshire county or municipality: There is no separate local/municipal immunity law in New Hampshire. The earlier laws to that effect were repealed in the early 1990s, with a general trend toward increased government liability in the state (essentially to the level of private liability). So where a government entity is being sued directly, that entity should also be contacted directly for an explanation of the specific requirements for filing suit. See New Hampshire Personal Injury Venue below for more information on where and how to file a claim.
In dealing with accidents involving government entities and workers, be aware that there are always special notices to be filed against the appropriate government unit responsible, whether in risk management, attorney general’s offices, or local agencies, and the time periods are limited in all cases (as little as 30-180 days). The rules can be confusing, so carefully check the forms linked above before you fill them out, and/or call the Department of Safety Division of Motor Vehicles directly before filing your claim. Accident claims involving the government can be complicated. Any mistakes in filing or failing to file on time could result in losing your ability to recover for your damages and injuries. Consult an experienced New Hampshire attorney right away to preserve your rights. Also seeCar Accidents Involving Government-Owned Vehicles and Government Workers.
New Hampshire Personal Injury Venue (Where to File Your Lawsuit): In the municipal or justice court located where the defendant (the person you are suing) lives or does business. Alternatively, you might consider filing in a court located where the accident occurred. For small claims, you might want to read the information published by the New Hampshire Department of Justice. If you are filing a claim against a government agency and are unsure of which agency is responsible, the most prudent course is to file a separate claim against each agency, or contact a New Hampshire auto accident attorney. ï¿½