New Hampshire Personal Injury Law: What You Need to Know

March 8 2023

In New Hampshire, personal injury claims are governed by the legal concept of negligence. Under this standard, individuals must exercise reasonable care to avoid causing injury or harm to another person.

Overview of New Hampshire Personal Injury Law

New Hampshire personal injury law provides accident victims with the legal right to seek compensation when they are injured due to another party’s negligence. Under New Hampshire law, individuals have a right to bring a lawsuit against another person or company if the injury was caused by their careless or reckless conduct. Additionally, state law dictates that parties who are found liable for their negligent behavior must be held responsible for any resulting damages and losses suffered by the injured person.

The basis of recovery in an injury case is comparative negligence. This means that an individual may pursue compensation even if they were partially liable for the incident. In cases involving shared fault, New Hampshire applies a rule known as modified comparative negligence, which allows a plaintiff to recover damages if they are deemed 50% or less at fault for the incident. If a plaintiff has been found more than 50% at fault, then he/she is barred from recovering any damages associated with their claim.

Additionally, there is also a statute of limitations that limits how much time an injured person has to file their case in court. This timeframe varies depending on what type of claim is being filed. For example, in medical malpractice actions the time limit is two years from the date of injury whereas other personal injury claims have a three-year limitation period beginning from the date of injury.

To ensure this process runs smoothly, personal injury plaintiffs should seek out an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an accident so that no statutory deadlines are missed and so that all paperwork is properly prepared and filed within the appropriate timeline.

Ultimately, New Hampshire personal injury laws provide injured persons with legal recourse to seek recompense for wrongs committed against them and hold wrongdoers accountable for their negligent conduct. The next section will discuss in detail the legal rights of accident victims under New Hampshire personal injury law.

Legal Rights of Accident Victims

In New Hampshire, accident victims who sustain personal injuries as a result of another person’s negligence may be entitled to compensation. Negligence is defined as the failure to exercise reasonable care under certain circumstances, resulting in harm or injury to another person. Accident victims’ legal rights involve establishing that the other party was negligent in order to recover damages for their injuries.

In some cases, the courts may find that both parties are at fault for an accident and the amount of compensation awarded will be adjusted accordingly. Fault can arise from various situations, such as recklessness, distraction, poor road or weather conditions, or other factors outside of either party’s control. Depending on these factors, the court may reduce or even deny an award altogether if sufficient evidence is presented that neither party was responsible for the accident.

In cases where one party is more at fault than the other, they are liable for all resulting damages regardless of what percentage they were at fault unless the plaintiff has contributed to their own damages up to the point of contributory negligence which would essentially bar them from collecting any damages whatsoever. This requires a thorough review of all evidence related to an accident along with expert witness testimonies if needed.

The legal rights of accident victims also extend to medical bills, lost wages due to an inability to work while recovering, pain and suffering suffered because of the accident and any other losses resulting directly from it. While this is not a single right or guarantee in court, it does open up option for those injured by no fault of their own. It is important for each victim to assess all applicable legal options and determine a course of action based on their individual case.

With this set of legal rights in mind, it is important to explore how injured parties can seek compensation for their injuries and other losses. In the following section we will discuss recovering compensation for personal injuries after an accident in New Hampshire.

  • In New Hampshire, a plaintiff has three years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit for a personal injury claim.
  • According to New Hampshire law, victims have an additional two years after they discover their injuries to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
  • If a victim’s claim is against a state agency, they must file an administrative claim with the Attorney General’s office within one year of their injury.

Recovering Compensation for Injuries

When injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. In New Hampshire, a personal injury lawsuit allows an injured party to seek compensation for economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages and property damage. Additionally, with the appropriate evidence and proof, plaintiffs may also be able to recover non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering or emotional distress.

Under New Hampshire personal injury law, plaintiffs are generally required to prove four things in order to win their case: (1) that the defendant had a duty of care; (2) that the defendant breached said duty; (3) that this breach was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries; and (4) that the plaintiff suffered measurable damages. It’s important to note that comparative fault is applicable in New Hampshire for any award for damages, meaning that a plaintiff’s recovery can be reduced in proportion to their degree of responsibility for causing their own harm.

It can be complex to determine the amount of damages owed after an accident has occurred. Depending on the facts surrounding a case, determining the true value of an injured parties’ losses can vary from one situation to another. Experienced injury attorneys understand how to speak with experts, use analysis tools and conduct financial analyses leading to a settlement or trial award that best reflects all economic and non-economic losses suffered as a result of a negligent party’s actions.

The next section will cover obligations of negligent parties in order to gain an understanding regarding what outcomes may apply when an individual is found liable for someone else’s injuries.

Obligations of Negligent Parties

Under New Hampshire personal injury law, a negligent party that causes harm is obligated to compensate the injured party for damages. This includes compensating for any medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses sustained as a result of the injury. Proper compensation must take into account both economic and noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.

The duties of a negligent party are based on a variety of factors including the degree to which they were at fault and the severity of injuries caused. The court may consider how long it took after an incident to seek treatment or whether negligence was a one-time event or continuous pattern of behavior.

The extent of an individual’s financial responsibility due to his or her negligence will vary based on their legal classification. For instance, employees can usually only be held liable up to the amount of insurance coverage that is provided by their employer. However, employers may still be held accountable if they fail to provide adequate coverage or fail to protect their employees from unreasonable workplace risks.

On the other hand, businesses and independent contractors have greater responsibility for any harm caused by their negligence since they are required by New Hampshire personal injury laws to maintain liability insurance in the event of an accident. In addition, non-compliance with safety regulations or failure to warn about dangerous conditions can also subject them to additional liability if someone is injured on their property.

New Hampshire personal injury laws are complex and determining an appropriate level of compensation can be complicated. Therefore, negligent parties should consult experienced attorneys who understand both the state’s laws and all local court rules. With an expert attorney on their side, individuals will be in the best position to determine their legal obligations and seek proper compensation for their wrongdoings.

By understanding each party’s obligations under New Hampshire personal injury law, filing a successful personal injury claim becomes more achievable. In the next section, we will walk you through how to go about filing a personal injury claim in this state.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

When someone is injured due to the negligent action (or inaction) of another person, they may be entitled to monetary compensation for the harm suffered. The best way to pursue this type of claim is through filing a personal injury lawsuit. In New Hampshire, it is important to understand several key steps when filing a personal injury claim.

First, there are certain deadlines that must be followed when filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Hampshire. Generally speaking, if the injury occurred on or after July 1, 2017, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the incident. However, some cases (such as medical malpractice) have different deadlines. Therefore it is important for an injured party consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure that all applicable deadline requirements are met.

Next, it is important to understand what types of damages can be sought in a personal injury lawsuit. A plaintiff in such an action can make claims for their economic losses (such as medical bills), their non-economic losses (such as pain and suffering), and even permanency (if necessary). The amount of compensation that can be recovered will depend largely on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.

Finally, there are also defenses available to defendants in personal injury cases in New Hampshire. While the burden of proof in these cases rests with the plaintiff, defendants may argue negligence, assumption of risk, or contributory negligence as valid defense strategies against any potential recovery by a plaintiff. Therefore it is important that both parties adequately consider these and other potential defenses prior to filing suit.

With all these considerations in mind, it is clear that filing a personal injury claim in New Hampshire can be a complex process that requires careful analysis and thoughtfulness. It is imperative for injured parties to seek experienced legal counsel who can guide them through this process and help obtain all possible compensation under the law. With that understood, let’s move on to discuss civil actions for wrongful death in New Hampshire.

Civil Actions for Wrongful Death

When a person is injured as a result of another’s negligence and dies, then their surviving family members may be able to pursue civil action against the negligent party. Such an action is known as a wrongful death lawsuit and governed by the New Hampshire Wrongful Death Act. In this type of case, the wrongful death plaintiffs are able to pursue compensation for damages such as loss of consortium, medical expenses (for the care they received before they passed away), funeral costs, and mental anguish suffered due to the deceased’s death. The amount of damages will depend on factors such as the severity of suffering involved, economic losses suffered by the survivors, and other issues related to the particular incident in question.

In some cases, individuals with special relationships to the deceased may also be entitled to seek legal recourse for the wrongful death of their family member through suing for damages. People who may have this standing include a parent or guardian if their child has died, a spouse if their partner has died, or any other family member depending on their relationship to the decedent at the time of death. Some states also allow life partners who we not married but dependent upon each other financially or emotionally to bring claims for wrongful death on behalf of themselves or their families.


Arguments for tort reform have been made concerning wrongful death suits in recent years suggesting that plaintiffs should receive only economic damages such as lost wages during the remainder of their loved one’s projected working years. These arguments suggest that claims for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress should be eliminated because they can lead to overly large awards that are out of proportion with actual losses sustained. Supporters of this viewpoint argue that these non-economic awards are subjective and can often be seen as frivolous by juries leading to inflated awards which drive up insurance premiums.

Opponents argue that monetary compensation for non-economic pain and suffering is necessary in order to fully compensate survivors whose lives have been forever altered by sudden loss. Non-economic compensations help cover intangible losses like loss of guidance or companionship and it allows survivors achieve some semblance of closure after tragedy strikes instead being faced with insurmountable grief without justice.

Ultimately it’s up to individual states like New Hampshire determine the scope and amount of damages available through wrongful death litigation in order arrive at a fair outcome while avoiding runaway juries or excessively large insurance payouts.

With this backdrop in mind, this section now turns its focus towards statutory limitations which shape recovery in New Hampshire personal injury cases involving wrongful death.

Statutory Limitations for Recovery

Statutory limitations for recovery can serve an important function in personal injury law cases. Statutes of limitation set the maximum amount of time one person has from the date of their injury to file a claim against another party for compensation. Any claims that are submitted after this period of time has lapsed will almost always be summarily rejected, regardless of how compelling the evidence is.

In New Hampshire, plaintiffs have 3 years from the date of the injury to file their case with a court of law. This limit can be waived in certain circumstances such as if one or both parties are minors or when the victim was unaware of the cause at the time of their injury. In these cases, suit may still be filed up to 3 years after the cause was discovered.

These statutory limitations serve an important purpose in that they protect defendants from protracted legal proceedings over long forgotten injuries. Without them there would be no definite term for when a case would need to be decided and thus no way to protect a defendant from carrying an open-ended liability on a long forgotten incident.

However, critics point out that these limits can be too restrictive and canfunction act as a de facto bar to justice for many victims who simply needed more time to organize their case and secure legal representation due to financial issues or other extenuating circumstances. Regardless, it remains in place throughout New Hampshire as one of the essential components for filing a successful personal injury claim within the jurisdiction.

Now that we have discussed statutory limitations for recovery, let us turn our attention to financial damages awarded in court which serves as an important benchmark for measuring success rate in such cases.

Financial Damages Awarded in Court

Financial damages awarded in court can play a major role in resolving a personal injury case. Financially compensating victims of personal injury is a natural part of the legal system that holds people and companies responsible for their actions. In New Hampshire, these financial damages include both economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are recommended to compensate victims for quantifiable losses such as medical bills, lost wages from time taken off work, and other out of pocket costs due to the injury. Whereas, non-economic damages are intended to cover emotional and psychological suffering caused by the injury and may take into account any permanent physical impairments the victim experiences.

The following summarizes some of the key arguments surrounding financial awards:

On one hand proponents argue that awarding damages in civil courts serves to deter potential wrongdoers, as well as providing much needed relief to individuals who are suffering financially due to someone else’s negligence. On the other hand opponents believe that many awards are excessive and are seen as form of punitive justice not authorized by New Hampshire legislature or federal law.

The controversy continues even after an award is determined – many settlements require confidentiality provisions which prohibit either party from disclosing the settlement amount. This privacy has been argued to protect businesses from public scrutiny, but can also be beneficial for victims who would rather not disclose their financial information.

In any case, it is clear that the efficient resolution of financial damage awards needs to be a priority for court’s handling Personal Injury Cases in New Hampshire. With this in mind, let us now turn our attention to the best way(s) answer this challenge; involving a personal injury lawyer may be your best option.

Involving a Personal Injury Lawyer

When dealing with the consequences of a personal injury, it is important to remember that you may not have to go through the process alone. A lawyer experienced in New Hampshire personal injury law can help you navigate the intricate rules and regulations involved. Consulting with an attorney can be especially beneficial if there is potential for disagreement over liability or if negotiations with insurance companies become difficult or prolonged.

Should you decide to involve a lawyer, it is important to hire a reputable attorney who has experience with cases similar to yours. An experienced lawyer will be familiar with the laws and procedures related to personal injury claims in New Hampshire and can advise you on whether your case should be settled or taken to court. Furthermore, knowledgeable attorneys are often successful at settling cases quickly and efficiently; this can save time and money by avoiding costly litigation fees. This makes consulting a lawyer an advantageous choice for anyone considering making a claim for compensation.

On the other hand, considering how expensive hiring an attorney may be, many individuals handle their claims on their own by navigating both the legal system and negotiating with insurance companies themselves. It is important to note that insurance companies tend to take advantage of those lacking legal knowledge, so general caution should be exercised when attempting to settle a claim without professional representation.

No matter what option suits you best, concluding your personal injury claim process successfully requires understanding all aspects of the legal process and the rights available to claimants in New Hampshire. The following section will discuss these topics in greater detail as well as provide information on concluding the personal injury claim process in New Hampshire.

Concluding the Personal Injury Claim Process

The personal injury claim process can be a lengthy and drawn-out affair, but ultimately, it ends with the conclusion of your case. Whether you reach a settlement or go to court, there are a few key steps you will need to take as you enter the final phase of your claim.

First, it is important to prepare yourself for what comes next following the resolution of your case. Your situation may require you to make decisions about how to proceed with future medical care and other related issues. It’s critical that you make well-informed decisions prior to closing out your case.

Once you have considered the course of action that is right for you, there are a few important documents you will need in order to finish this process. Any settlement agreement must be reviewed and accepted by both parties before it can be signed and delivered. If a trial has taken place and a judgment is rendered in your favor, both parties must also agree on any terms set forth in the judgment. Finally, if necessary, any applicable liens from health insurers or lienholders need to be signed off on as well.

Depending on your circuit court system in New Hampshire, you may opt for arbitration or mediation services instead of going through traditional litigation proceedings. Arbitration is voluntary and involves submitting evidence before an impartial third party who then makes a decision about the outcome of the case – which is binding on both parties regardless of whether either agrees with the decision or not. Mediation is similar in that it also utilizes an impartial third party, but allows both sides to negotiate their own settlement agreement while receiving input from the mediator.

Whether you file suit or utilize alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services, all personal injury claims should ultimately be treated seriously so as to ensure that justice is served and parties are fairly compensated for any harm incurred due to negligence or intentional harm inflicted upon them. To ensure that all recommended steps are completed prior to concluding each individual claim and arriving at a satisfactory result.

Frequently Asked Questions and Responses

What types of compensation can be awarded for personal injuries in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, an injured party may be awarded both economic and non-economic damages related to personal injury claims. Economic damages are any forms of financial loss related to medical expenses, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, property damage, and other costs associated with the injury. Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress caused by the injury. In addition to monetary compensation, punitive damages for particularly egregious behaviors may also be awarded in certain cases.

Under the law in New Hampshire, it is important to consider all losses accrued from an injury when seeking compensation. Careful analysis of all costs associated with the injury should be considered when settling a claim or filing a lawsuit for damages.

What are the time limits to filing a personal injury claim in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, personal injury claims must be filed within three years of the date of injury. This is known as the statute of limitations and applies to all types of civil lawsuits in the state.

There are certain exceptions that could extend this period. If a foreign object was left inside the body during a medical procedure, a petitioner may have up to two years from the date of discovery of the foreign object to file the claim. In rare cases where the injured party is classified as an “infant” (under 18 years old), they can potentially file up to seven years after becoming an adult.

It’s important to note that filing a claim outside of these time limits can result in it being dismissed by the court due to invalidity. Therefore, if you’ve been injured, it’s best to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible and get started on your case.

What types of personal injuries are covered by New Hampshire law?

New Hampshire law covers a wide range of personal injuries, including those caused by slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, auto accidents, workplace injuries, product liability, dog bites, and more. These types of injuries can result in physical or emotional harm and may be caused intentionally or unintentionally. Slips and falls are particularly common in New Hampshire due to its colder climate, which can lead to significant injuries ranging from broken bones to head injuries. Medical malpractice is also covered by New Hampshire law and includes doctor negligence, medication errors, failure to diagnose an illness or injury correctly, birth injuries, surgical errors, and more. Auto accidents are a major cause of personal injury in New Hampshire and can include both property damage as well as personal injury, such as whiplash or traumatic brain injury. Workplace injuries are also covered by New Hampshire law and may include exposure to hazardous chemicals or materials, repetitive motion injuries, falls from heights, construction site accidents, and more. Lastly, product liability cases cover injuries caused by defective or dangerous products that were not properly tested before being put on the market.