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Passengers may collect in car accidents involving negligence

It is generally considered to be at least negligence in New Hampshire and all other states when a driver goes erratically off the road, causing a vehicle rollover. When passengers in the vehicle are injured, they are in most instances going to be entitled to make a claim for personal injury damages against their driver. Car accidents caused by a driver's negligence are not held against the driver's passengers, and the passengers will generally be able to collect for their injuries.

A recent rollover accident in Rochester, New Hampshire resulted in the driver and two passengers being hurt and taken to a hospital for treatment. The accident occurred on a local road when the 20-year-old driver who was going in a southerly direction went over the center line, off the road and into a rollover that ultimately brought the car to a stop. Two passengers, a 22-year-old male and a 22-year-old woman, were injured.

Police charged the driver with operating without a valid license and reckless driving. The injuries of all three were described as non-life threatening. Injuries that are non-life threatening, however, may turn out to be serious and have permanent impact on the patient's future life. Initial reports on the nature and extent of personal injuries after an accident must await further reports on a patient's condition and need for future treatment.  

In a case of this nature, the injured should notify the driver and his or her insurance company of the claim. It is also prudent for each passenger to notify his or her own insurance company of the potential for an underinsured motorists' coverage claim. This comes into play in New Hampshire and other states in car accidents that involve a serious and permanent injury that the driver's liability insurance does not adequately cover. The best way to proceed is to obtain the counsel and services of an experienced personal injury attorney to handle all legal aspects of the claim on one's behalf.  

Source:, "Three hurt in Rochester rollover; driver charged", Kimberley Haas, April 6, 2016

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