NH Personal Injury Law Attorneys
Attorneys at Welts, White & Fontaine, P.C. have extensive experience in assisting injured parties in personal injury cases, and are available to help you assess your legal, medical and financial options to reach the best result in your injury case. Click here to contact us right now. Our consultations are free and our fee only gets paid if we settle your case or prevail at trial. There’s no upfront cost to you.
As Nashua’s largest law firm, we have the experience and resources to handle all types of personal injury lawsuits and claims. We represent individuals all across New Hampshire, including Nashua, Hudson, Hollis, Amherst, Merrimack, Bedford, Windham, Pelham, Milford, and Brookline, among others.
Our Personal Injury Lawyers are able to assist clients in all Personal Injury claims, including the following:
- Injuries that Cause Death
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Head Injuries
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Slip & Fall Injuries
- Property Liability Injuries
- Skiing, snowboarding, or ski lift accidents
- Workplace Injury Cases
- Traumatic injuries to organ, bones and soft tissue
- Facial Fractures and Facial Scarring
- Burn Cases
- Construction Site Accidents
- Animal attacks, including dog bite cases
- Medical Malpractice
- Personal Injuries not listed above
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What kinds of personal injury cases does Welts, White and Fontaine handle?
Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury case, followed by slip and fall accidents (which include trips-and-falls and other injuries caused by negligent maintenance of a premises). We also represent pedestrians who are injured by cars, trucks, or other vehicles.
Dog bite injuries are also common. Under state law (RSA 466:19), dog owners are “strictly liable” for injuries caused by their animals. That means that, unlike the typical personal injury case, the victim does not need to demonstrate any negligence.
Injuries caused by skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, or ski lifts are also prevalent in New Hampshire. These cases can be difficult due to state law immunizing ski areas (in some situations), as well as the growing use of liability waivers. However, we have had success surmounting these legal challenges. Similarly, we represent victims of accidents occurring at trampoline parks and other recreational facilities.
If you feel like you were injured as a result of someone’s negligence, call us or contact us through our website for a free consultation.
What is a personal injury law case?
The term “personal injury law” covers a broad range of claims. The most common personal injury cases are car accident lawsuits. These include collisions such as rear-end and “t-bone” accidents.
More generally, the term “personal injury” refers to a category of law known as “torts.” A “tort” is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “a civil wrong, other than breach of contract, for which a remedy may be obtained . . . .”
In practice, the colloquial use of “personal injury” refers to injuries caused by another person’s negligence.
How is negligence defined in New Hampshire?
In New Hampshire, negligence has been defined as the lack of reasonable care. When someone in New Hampshire acts, they have the responsibility to “exercise the care of a reasonable person to protect [others] against an unreasonable risk of harm.” See Coan v. N.H. Dep’t of Env’t Servs., 161 N.H. 1 (2010). That means that someone driving on the highway has a duty to drive in a reasonable manner: not speeding, not texting, and keeping their eyes on the road.
Similarly, a property owner has a duty to correct dangerous issues on their land (such as black ice or hidden potholes), or at least warn patrons of the problems. Reasonable care does not require perfection: just because someone causes an injury to another person does not mean they were negligent. By the same token, however, a person could have completely pure intentions and “accidentally” injure someone, and still be guilty of negligence. Negligence is an objective standard, meaning that “reasonableness” under the circumstances is adjudged by considering an imaginary “average reasonable person,” rather than the defendant (tortfeasor) himself.
I was injured, but I really don’t want to be part of a lawsuit. Do I have to go to court?
We recognize that litigation is stressful. Our firm does our best to resolve claims with insurance companies before a lawsuit needs to be filed. A large majority of our personal injury cases settle prior to any litigation. Even if a lawsuit does need to be filed, we are usually successful in settling the case before trial.
We are able to settle most of our cases because insurance companies know we are not afraid to try cases when necessary. Our firm is one of the largest in New Hampshire (and the biggest in Nashua) and we command respect for our experience and success.
What are the most common personal injury law cases in New Hampshire?
Car accident lawsuits are the most common personal injury cases in Nashua, just like everywhere else in the country. These car crash claims include rear-end accidents and t-bone motor vehicle collisions.
How much is my New Hampshire personal injury accident case worth?
The biggest factor in determining case value is the extent of your injuries and the amount of corresponding medical bills. Keep in mind that the relevant medical bill amount is the “sticker price” (i.e., the original billed amount, not your out of pocket cost after insurance adjustments).
Pain and suffering damages are a substantial component of a personal injury case. Generally speaking, however, they are directly correlated directly to the amount of medical bills. So, the greater the amount of medical bills, the more pain and suffering damages typically available. Other types of damages are loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, and loss of consortium.
Case value will be greater where the injury is permanent in some way (for example, having a limp for the rest of your life). Additionally, the case will likely be worth more if the duration of treatment is long.
In sum, each case is different. The value of a case is very fact specific. It depends on the clearness of negligence/liability, the severity of the injury, the victim’s age and occupation, and many other factors. Our attorneys can help you evaluate your case value and likelihood of success.
How much does a personal injury lawyer cost? What is a contingency fee?
We typically handle personal injury cases on a “contingency fee” basis. A contingency fee means that the lawyer recovers as their fee a percentage of the settlement or verdict in your case. There is no upfront cost to you. The most common contingency fee is 1/3. So, if your case settles for $75,000, our fee would be $25,000.
Under a contingency fee arrangement, you owe no attorney’s fees unless we achieve a settlement or verdict. To put it another way, you don’t pay unless we win (note: clients are typically responsible for out of pocket expenses, such as medical records requests, regardless of case outcome. However, we do advance those costs).
Contingency fee arrangements are beneficial because we have a vested interest in the outcome of your case. The better result you get, the better off we are. Of course, all clients have the option of hiring us at our hourly rates.
Why should I hire a personal injury attorney?
If you were injured in a car accident, you may have been contacted by an insurance company and offered a settlement. It may even sound like a lot of money.
So why should you hire an attorney and give them a share of your settlement? It’s a fair question. But here’s the bottom line: in most situations, an insurance company is going to offer more money when you are represented by a lawyer. Why? Because the insurance companies know there is a real threat of a lawsuit if they don’t settle. A lawsuit means having to pay an expensive defense lawyer and the possibility of a big verdict.
Hiring a lawyer means you can rest assured you aren’t leaving money on the table and aren’t being tricked into something by a big insurance company. Additionally, your lawyer may be able to assist you with things like negotiating outstanding medical bills or insurance liens.
At the very least, you should consult with a personal injury attorney. We offer free consultations, so there’s no risk to you.
I have health insurance and limited out of pocket costs: is my case still worth something?
Yes. Whether or not you have health insurance should make no difference to your case’s settlement “value.” That’s because New Hampshire follows a legal doctrine known as the “collateral source rule.” The collateral source rule prohibits a defense lawyer from telling the jury that the plaintiff had medical insurance. An overwhelming majority of New Hampshire judges considering the issue have concluded that the collateral source rule applies to health insurance in car accident lawsuits.
If a jury could only consider the amount of out-of-pocket bills, a victim could be penalized simply because they have health insurance. Thus, courts have decided that a defendant should not be “let off the hook” for their negligent behavior.
Who is the best car accident lawyer in the Nashua, New Hampshire area?
New Hampshire is lucky to have many good lawyers. At Welts, White & Fontaine, PC, we consider ourselves among the best. We’re the largest law firm in Nashua. We were the only Nashua law firm featured in Business NH Magazine’s feature of the “Top Law Firms in New Hampshire.” We have appeared in the New England Edition of Super Lawyers Magazine. Our proudest accomplishment, though, is the support and gratitude we receive from our clients after a job well done. Check out our reviews on Google if you want to see for yourself.
My loved one was killed in an accident. What can I do?
When a family member or other loved one passes away, it is never easy. If someone else is at fault, the tragedy may be even harder to take.
A wrongful death claim is brought by the administrator or executor of the deceased person’s estate. In New Hampshire, wrongful death claims are specifically permitted by statute.
At Welts, White & Fontaine, PC, we are uniquely suited for pursuing wrongful death claims because our law firm has attorneys specializing in both probate law and in personal injury law. We can help you navigate these very difficult cases.
In a wrongful death case, the time period immediately following the accident is critical. In a typical personal injury claim, one of the most important witnesses is the injured person herself. Obviously, that’s not possible where the victim is killed. A well-coordinated investigation could be critical to preserve evidence and build a solid case.
The Driver who injured me doesn’t have insurance. what should i do?
If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, one of the first things to determine is whether the responsible driver has auto insurance coverage (also called “liability coverage”). If the police were called to the scene of the accident, they may have collected the insurance information of both drivers and you may be able to make a determination that way. That’s one of the reasons why we recommend always calling the police if you are involved in an accident, even if you think your injuries aren’t that serious.
If it appears the other driver does not have insurance, hopefully you have your own auto insurance. Your auto insurance policy contains a type of coverage called Uninsured (or “Underinsured”) Motorists Coverage. As the name implies, UIM coverage applies when the defendant driver does not have insurance, does not have enough insurance, or when the incident was a hit-and-run type accident.
It is very important to make sure you have adequate UIM coverage. We recommend that the average person carry at least $250,000 in coverage. In many situations, increasing your coverage to $250,000 or more involves only a minimal premium increase.
If you do have UIM coverage, then your attorneys will assist you with making a claim against your own insurance, much the same way you would against the other driver’s insurance. If the insurance company will not agree to settle for a fair amount, you may have to file a lawsuit (or arbitration claim) against your insurance company.
If you do not have UIM coverage and the other driver also has no insurance, things become more difficult. You can still make a claim against the other driver; however, recovering any funds could be difficult depending on the driver’s financial situation. As the saying goes, “you can’t squeeze blood from a stone.” In this situation, it is extremely important to determine whether the responsible driver has assets (such a vacation home) which could be attached as leverage to settle a claim. An attorney can help you investigate whether an uninsured driver has assets to pursue.
I slipped and fell at the store, restaurant, or supermarket. Can I sue them?
The first question: was the store negligent in some way? As noted above, a party must have been negligent in order to be liable for an injury. Negligence can manifest in many different ways.
All owners of property in New Hampshire have a duty to “use ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition, to warn entrants of dangerous conditions and to take reasonable precautions to protect them against foreseeable dangers” on the premises. Rallis v. Demoulas Super Markets, 159 N.H. 95 (2009).
So, when a premises owner (whether a commercial business or a private landowner) fails to keep their property reasonably safe, they may be liable for negligence.