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Rochester NH Legal Blog

Drug charges filed against 2 alleged opioid users in public parks

The public parks in Manchester were the scene for the arrest of two New Hampshire men in two recent separate incidents within 24 hours. In one case, the suspect was allegedly shooting heroin in open view in front of Bronstein Park. A police officer performed a consensual search and reportedly found a hypodermic needle with a substance consistent with heroin. Police arrested the man on drug charges, including possession, an outstanding warrant and a probation violation.

In the second case, police and medical responders went to Ball Island Park on an overdose call that was apparently communicated by the suspect's family. The second incident involved a 20-year-old male who had reportedly overdosed twice that day, according to his family. They expressed worry that the next incident would be fatal. Police say that they found suboxone strips in the man's possession, but he could not produce a prescription.

Car/truck drivers cause most motorcycle accidents by inattention

Contrary to public perception, most accidents involving motorcycles in New Hampshire and elsewhere are not the fault of the motorcycle operator. A certain perceptual failing exists that makes it difficult for larger vehicles to clearly observe cycles on the road prior to the occurrence of many motorcycle accidents. This may have been at least a partial factor in causing an event that occurred recently at a crosswalk in Laconia.

A 17-year-old teen was using a crosswalk on Union Avenue when a male motorcycle operator traveling eastward stopped for the female pedestrian. A pickup truck crashed into the stationary cycle from behind and then struck the pedestrian. Laconia police said that neither impairment nor speed were the likely culprits in causing the accident; they indicated instead that driver inattention probably caused the accident.

4 typical causes for motorcycle accidents

Motorcycle riders still face great risks out on New Hampshire roadways. In fact, an article from the Concord Monitor reported that the number of motorcycle accidents in 2015 rose significantly from the previous year. Unfortunately, many motorcycle accidents result in severe injuries or even death.

Both motorcyclists and car drivers need to be vigilant on roadways so everyone can share the roads safely. There are four common reasons why these accidents tend to occur, and by increasing their awareness, motorists and drivers can better circumvent them.

Crossover car accidents are caused by negligent/impaired drivers

Crossover accidents are among the most serious in New Hampshire and nationwide. These types of car accidents can be the most brutal and the most shocking because one of the vehicle operators is usually free of fault. Thus, when a negligent or impaired operator crosses the median or the center line and goes into oncoming traffic, there is not much that the non-negligent victim can do to stop the event from happening.

A cross-over accident occurred in Hooksett on Aug. 4 when a 69-year-old female traveling south on Hooksett Road, also called Route 3, allowed her car to cross into the northbound lanes and strike another vehicle nearly head-on. The vehicle that was hit then crashed into a third vehicle. The driver of the errant car and the driver of the first car that was hit were both seriously injured and taken to Elliott Hospital.

Man, his mother, charged with attempted murder, other felonies

Domestic disputes among New Hampshire residents can be so rancorous that a participant may occasionally get upset enough to want to have the other person eliminated. This can lead to a host of felonies being committed and charged against the accused perpetrator. Prison sentences in such matters are not lenient.

A recent New Hampshire case is an example of how these prosecutions often play out. State authorities arrested a Plainfield man and his mother recently in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme designed to kill the man's former wife to whom he owed about $18,000 from their divorce case. The person solicited to perform the murder usually turns out to be an undercover officer.

New law drops drug charges for less than .75 ounces of pot

In a matter of weeks, marijuana possession of three-quarters of an ounce or less will be a violation instead of a crime in New Hampshire. There is some consternation among law enforcement agencies regarding the task of distinguishing the weight of the pot possessed for purposes of knowing whether to file drug charges or a violation. Common sense dictates that the only certain way would be for officers in the field to carry weight machines around with them.

House Bill 640 reduces the penalty for that amount, and for 5 grams or less of hashish, to a violation that carries no criminal penalties or criminal record. A violation will provide for a fine, which may be compared to receiving a parking or traffic ticket with no criminal stigma. It is not worth debating how the legislators came upon the .75 ounce formula, or whether it is a just or wise cutoff point. A lot of grief can still be associated with having a slight bit more than the legal amount, including arrest, incarceration and a permanent criminal record.

Drunk driving cause of 3-car accident, according to police

Anytime one is involved in a car accident, New Hampshire law enforcement officers investigate what happened in an attempt to determine the facts and decide who or what ultimately caused the accident. As a part of this investigation, they analyze the accident site. In addition to this analysis, they talk to and observe those involved in an attempt to determine if drunk driving was a contributing factor.

Recently, a 21-year-old woman crashed her pickup truck into another truck that was stopped at an intersection. The impact of this crash caused the truck to then crash into a car. In addition to causing damage to the vehicles involved, both pickup truck drivers were injured and transported to local hospitals.

Operator causing rear-end collision is liable in car accidents

New Hampshire negligence law attributes fault in most instances to a driver who crashes into the rear of another vehicle stopped and stationary at a traffic light.  The driver in rear-end collision car accidents is likely negligent for failing to keep a lookout ahead and for driving too fast for traffic conditions. The driver will be liable for damages sustained by any occupants injured in the vehicle that was rear-ended.

That responsibility can mushroom if the collision was violent enough to cause a chain reaction where the vehicle in front of the rear-ended vehicle is hit from the rear and then goes forward into the rear of the vehicle in front of it, and so forth until the chain reaction stops. Where there are several vehicles stopped at a traffic light and the negligent operator ploughs into the last vehicle waiting in line at a fast speed, the likelihood of a chain reaction will be great. There was just that kind of a chain reaction accident recently in New Hampshire.

Statistics show motorcycle accidents usually fault of another

A beautiful afternoon seems to require a motorcycle ride for some New Hampshire enthusiasts. The wind rushing by as one enjoys the fresh air and scenery is just too much to pass up. All appears to be well with the world; however, even while enjoying the day, one needs to keep in mind the potential for motorcycle accidents.

Statistics indicate that in two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents that involve another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle is at fault. Most often, this driver does not allow the motorcycle the appropriate right of way. Many times, it is more difficult for the driver of another vehicle to see the motorcycle; therefore, it is possible that the driver inadvertently cuts in front of or cuts off the motorcyclist. When this happens, an accident is likely to occur.

Workers' compensation covers loss of limb in workplace accident

In New Hampshire and other states, when a worker loses a limb in a workplace accident it usually happens under violently traumatic and painful circumstances. Such accidents often involve machinery that is not well adapted to the safety needs of the particular job. One common type of crush injury comes from mishaps involving forklifts and front-end loaders. In the aftermath of such a horrendous trauma to the worker, he or she will be compensated with the full array of workers' compensation benefits.

Some state laws also provide additional compensation for the loss of an arm, hand or leg under the workers' compensation statutes. In addition, the loss of a limb will likely make the worker disabled permanently and entitled to collect compensation benefits for the maximum number of years provided. Another way for the worker to obtain a reservoir of necessary compensation for damages is to sue a third party for negligence wherever that factor may exist in causing the accident.

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