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Liability for injuries in car accidents depends on negligence

The most difficult accident to see is the one where the most seriously injured victims are totally innocent of any carelessness or wrongdoing. Car accidents in New Hampshire come in all varieties and degrees of seriousness, just as in any other state. In all states, the defining parameters of liability are based on the negligence of the respective drivers. Although comparative negligence now divides liability into shares based on the drivers' respective degrees of negligence, there are some multi-car accidents that are caused by one operator only.

That kind of accident occurred in Salem on Nov. 1 at about 4:30 p.m. when two motorists were seriously injured and one died in a three-car crash. The Salem Police reported the accident occurred on Route 111 near the intersection of Ermer Road, when a first car driven by a 45-year-old man turned onto 111 and, while heading west, crashed into a second vehicle also heading west. The first car pushed the second one into the east bound lane of 111, where it collided head-on with a third car traveling in an easterly direction.

The second and third vehicles were demolished from the violent head-on crash. The passenger in the third vehicle, a 69-year-old woman, died at the scene. The operators of both vehicles were taken to hospitals with serious injuries. Salem Police indicated that they are considering filing charges against the operator of the first vehicle.

The estate of the deceased woman and the two seriously injured persons are entitled to pursue claims for damages against the driver of the first vehicle, based on the reported facts indicating his sole responsibility as the triggering event. Based on the facts currently known, there does not appear to be any degree of negligence on the part of drivers two and three. When car accidents in New Hampshire and elsewhere are caused by a single triggering event as in this case, the other drivers are not held to as high a standard of care in responding due to being placed in an emergency.

Source: Salem, NH Patch, "Elderly Woman Dies in Route 111 Crash: Police", Tony Schinella, Nov. 1, 2016

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