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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.

The couple, who are from Wells, Maine, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening. Police arrested the teen driver on charges of felony reckless conduct. The teen's driving, consisting of racing other vehicles just before going out of control, was at least negligent and possibly was also reckless. He will likely be legally responsible for civil damages to the injured parties.

In car accidents that involve serious injuries, victims may have to turn to their own underinsured motorists' coverage to obtain damages over and above the tortfeasor's maximum policy limits. When the injured party certifies to his/her own carrier that the policy limits from the original tortfeasor have been fully tendered, an underinsured motorists claim may be opened to cover the excess in damages that remains uncompensated. In New Hampshire and other states, the injured party will send all medical records, bills, export reports, diagnostic tests and proof of lost wages to his own insurance company to establish the extent of injuries, with a demand for a dollar amount in settlement of the injured victim's underinsured motorists' claim.

Source: wmur.com, "Teen arrested after North Hampton crash leaves off-duty officer in critical condition", Oct. 9, 2017

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