NH Personal Injury Basics – Part 1: Defining Personal Injury, Claims and Settlements

Posted by Ryan Russman | Oct 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Definition of Personal Injury

If you break your arm because you've been hit by another vehicle, or are bitten by a dog at someone's house, you have sustained two types of personal injury.

What legally differentiates a personal injury from other physical injuries, such as carelessly cutting your own finger?  In legal terms, a so-called personal injury results from someone else's negligence – someone not acting in a responsible manner.

You've suffered a personal injury — next steps?

New Hampshire law states that in the event of a personal injury, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses (past, present and future), lost time at work, any permanent disfigurement or disability, and more.

So how do you begin your pursuit of fair and just compensation?

Some start by telling the responsible party's insurance company about your injuries. If you do so, you may find they minimize your pain and suffering and don't really care about what you're going through. The truth is that most insurance companies are in business to make money and they will try to disparage your claim or, if need be, settle it as fast as possible for as little as possible.

Better idea: start by consulting with a personal injury lawyer. Most do not charge you for a consultation, but instead work on a contingency fee basis; if the attorney can't get a settlement for you, you won't owe him anything. A personal injury attorney will tell you whether or not you have the basis for a claim and subsequent settlement.

Insurance Settlements

Your attorney will begin by negotiating with the insurance company for a settlement. If your attorney cannot obtain a suitable offer, he may talk to you about other options, such as arbitration, mediation, or filing a lawsuit.

By hiring your own personal injury attorney, you won't have to deal directly with an intransigent insurance company. Your claim will be in the hands of a New Hampshire professional who knows the law and has experience in obtaining the best possible settlement for you.

Stay tuned for Part 2 – a discussing about how to file a lawsuit, and the subsequent pros and cons of your filing.

About the Author

Ryan Russman

Attorney Ryan Russman has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of New Hampshire citizens. His practice, based in Exeter (Rockingham County) New Hampshire, is limited to cases involving DWI and DUI, other motor vehicle and criminal cases, and many cases involving personal injury. He is, however, best known as one of New Hampshire's leading legal authorities on DWI.


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