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Rochester NH Legal Blog

Alleged drug charges must be preceded by a valid stop and frisk

New Hampshire authorities take abuse of prescription medication seriously. That was proved true just recently in the arrest by Manchester police of a 23-year-old woman on drug charges relating to three loose gabapentin prescription pills found inside one of her pockets. According to a spokesperson for the police, an officer stopped to talk with a woman who was walking in the middle of Merrimack Street at about 2:45 p.m.

The officer determined that the woman had two electronic bench warrants for her arrest from Franklin. After arresting her on the warrants, he found the three pills in her coat while searching it. Gabapentin is known as Neurontin, which is allegedly a drug that is currently being abused on a widespread basis. Authorities allege that studies show that Neurontin, a sedative, is often used with opioids and is sometimes associated with fatal overdoses.

Workers' compensation benefits cover serious worker injuries

Falls on construction sites are a major source of worker injuries in New Hampshire. Whenever a construction worker or other employee is injured while at work, state law mandates that the medical expenses and partial lost wages be paid to the worker for as long as he/she remains disabled. The laws governing such matters are the state's workers' compensation laws.

Recently, a construction accident in another state injured six workers, four of them seriously. The roof on the gutted building caved in after a load of cinder block was placed on it. This caused some of the workers to fall through the roof opening. The cinder blocks were too much weight for the roof and it collapsed, according to local fire department authorities.

Drug charges sought against dealer of fentanyl to overdose victim

The New Hampshire Attorney General is seeking a conviction against a purported drug dealer in a fentanyl overdose case that involves an out-of-state dealer and an out-of-state drug transaction. Three others have been charged in the 30-year-old male decedent's overdose death for their alleged roles in obtaining and providing the drug to the victim in this state. The Attorney General states that this is the first pursuit of an out-of-state resident for the drug charges called "drug distribution, death resulting."

The interesting twist in the case is the issue of whether the Attorney General Gordon MacDonald can arrest a dealer in another state who never came into this state to conduct the transaction. A spokesperson for MacDonald's office asserted that because the crime "touched" this state and because the death occurred here, New Hampshire has jurisdiction. At least one of those charged has entered a guilty plea and is serving a sentence of six years.

Car accidents may involve multiple insurance recoveries

The New Hampshire State Police reported an accident that occurred recently on Interstate 95 South in North Hampton. An off-duty police officer from a neighboring state was operating a motorcycle southbound on I-95 when he was hit head-on by a northbound car that crossed the median. The officer was seriously injured and is currently in critical condition at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, according to police reports. In car accidents with serious injuries, the victim's family will best protect the injured person's rights by consulting immediately with an experienced personal injury attorney. 

The driver of the crossover vehicle, an 18-year-old male, was racing other vehicles going northbound when it abruptly changed course and went into the southbound lane, according to witnesses. After the initial impact, a 63-year-old male SUV operator could not stop and crashed into the rear of the car driven by the tortfeasor. The man and his 61-year-old female passenger were injured.

Slip-and-falls cause added risk to health of elderly people

New Hampshire residents suffer serious injuries from slip-and-fall accidents. Elderly residents have a particularly high risk of falling and possibly an increased danger of not recovering as well as their younger counterparts.

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slip-and-falls cause over 1 million emergency department visits per year. Such accidents are also the most common cause of missed work days.

Typical consequences of motorcycle accidents

Road accidents can cause serious injuries, regardless of the modes of transport of those involved. However, New Hampshire bikers might be most vulnerable because, unlike motorists, they are not in enclosed vehicles in which modern safety devices such as airbags, seat belts and crumple zones protect them. The only protection available to them is helmets and protective clothing. A significant number of motorcycle accidents lead to severe injuries or death, and some say bikers need more skills than automobile drivers.

The Center for Neuro Skills says bone fractures are the most frequently suffered injuries in bike accidents, with leg fractures being number one. Then comes arm and wrist fractures, followed by pelvis and shoulder fractures. Furthermore, any exposed skin will be exposed to road rash, which can vary from mild abrasions to conditions in which the underlying layers of fat and tissues are exposed.

Car accidents involving crossover usually caused by negligence

Crossover accidents are common in New Hampshire and nationwide. A crossover occurs whenever an operator loses control of his or her vehicle and crosses over the median directly into oncoming traffic. The crossover operator may suffer from impairment or may have been distracted. He or she may have also fallen asleep at the wheel. In car accidents of this kind, the crossover operator is nearly always deemed to have been negligent in operating the vehicle without having control over it.

A New Hampshire high school teacher was the apparent cause of an accident on Route 101 in Wilton recently when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed over the median and struck a cargo van head-on. The 29-year-old school teacher was declared dead at the scene. The driver of the cargo van was transported to an area hospital with what police described as serious injuries.

Registered sex offender may have criminal defense to allegations

The enforcement of the laws against sex offenders represents a major resource that is required by police departments across the country and in New Hampshire. They must, in many cases, monitor the whereabouts and activities of registered sex offenders and devote the resources necessary to oversee their status, which is similar to providing a probation system for sex offenders. Before conviction, of course, resources must be provided for the criminal defense of all individuals charged with serious criminal wrongdoing.

Sex offenders tend to travel from state to state to avoid the heavy emphasis that public agencies place on their reporting and registering, and to find privacy from the glare of public scrutiny. In all states, failing to register as required by a court's sentencing order will be a major violation that can lead to a new sentence of imprisonment. Therefore, a state must also search for and take into custody accused sex offenders who have failed to register or who have absconded from prosecution in other states.

Motorcycle accidents often involve improper left turns by cars

There are unfortunately some common patterns that mark the occurrence of accidents involving motorcycles in New Hampshire and nationwide. These common patterns in motorcycle accidents are often caused by the negligence of car and truck operators. They often fail to keep a close lookout for the more diminutive motorcycle vehicles that popularly dot the highways and roads of the state.

For example, a recent event occurred between a car and a motorcycle on Route 125 in Kingston at about 9 p.m. when the car attempted to make a left-hand turn onto Debra Road. The operator of the car failed to see the motorcycle coming in the other direction on Route 125, and the car traversed directly into the motorcycle's path, according to State Police reports. The 31-year-old motorcycle driver was ejected from his vehicle when the collision occurred.

Safety consciousness may reduce workers' compensation disputes

Due to the high incidence of workplace injuries in New Hampshire and nationally, workers must try to take their own protective measures whenever possible. This is especially true where an employer does not focus on safety-conscious practices due to negligence or intentional cost-cutting measures. When a work-related accident does occur, it is compensated through the workers' compensation insurance system, which is sometimes subject to abuse by employers and insurers.

For those reasons, it is important for workers to keep their eyes out for dangerous conditions while at work. Whatever a worker can do in that respect will help the worker to stay one step ahead of the dangers that may exist. In that respect, the worker should stay informed and trained in all safety measures pertinent to the job.

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