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Auto Accidents

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Running from a Deadly Accident that Caused Serious Harm

This crash involving an SUV and two other vehicles resulted in three people being seriously injured. One person never made it home that day.

“This is one of those accidents that seem to come out of nowhere and leave the victims wondering what hit them,” said Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. “Cases involving hit and runs, like this one I heard about, are always difficult for the victims, especially when the perpetrator leaves the scene,” he added.

Evidently what happened in this particular case is that an unidentified car made a left turn in front of a northbound vehicle being driven by teenager, York Lewis (names have been changed to protect the victims). Lewis lost control of his Mitsubishi, swerved across the median and crashed head-on into a southbound Ford Expedition. The vehicle continued, and then also hit a Toyota that was traveling behind the Ford Expedition.

When EMS crews arrived at the scene of the grisly accident, they had to pronounce the driver of the Ford Expedition, as he had died as a result of his injuries sustained in the accident. The other victims, including the seriously injured Ford driver’s daughter, were taken to the nearest medical facility for treatment. The driver of the Mitsubishi was badly hurt as well and taken to another center for assistance. The third victim, with minor injuries was treated and released.

Evidently, eyewitnesses indicated that the cause of this horrific smash-up may have been street racing. Unfortunately, no one was able to get a clear look at, description or license plate number of the driver that left the scene of the accident. “When the police do find the driver of that mystery car, it’s likely he will be charged. When he is found, there will be several victims wanting to recover compensation for their injuries and for the wrongful death of the father driving the Ford Explorer,” indicated New Hampshire personal injury lawyer Charlie Donahue.

“This case cries for justice, and with some good police work, justice is what these families will get when all is said and done. If you have been in a situation like this, in a car accident that caused you or a family member serious harm or death, give me a call and I will let you know what your rights are and what to expect if you wish to file a personal injury lawsuit. That is what I do and that is what I am good at – fighting for your rights and for justice,” stated Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer who works long and hard to make the legal system work for those who need his help.

To learn more, visit http://site7v.charlesworkstesting.com.

They Just Don’t Make Things Like They Used To

Unfortunately most of the products on the market today either fall apart or have the potential to harm or kill someone. They don’t make things like they used to make them.

If you spend any time reading, watching or listening to the news, one of the first things that will strike you is that there are an awful lot of defective product recalls. Think drop-side cribs for the risk of strangulation; Mt. Vikos Brand Manouri – Sheep & Goat’s Milk Cheese because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes;  chopper-style bicycles because the bicycle stem on the handlebars can crack and cause the rider to lose control, posing a risk of serious fall and injury; and 2004 Chopper Bulldog, Ridgeback, Mastiff, Boxer and Pitbull motorcycles because of a loose connection between the harness connector and the harness controller, increasing the risk of a crash.

This list is endless and so is the potential for harm to consumers already using these and other defective products. It’s not much wonder why there seems to be an increase in the number of defective product claims these days. One thing is for sure, if you have a product like this on your hands, talk to a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer quickly and find out what your rights are and what you may do to recover compensation for any personal injuries.

A defective product claim happens when someone is hurt because of a faulty or hazardous product. Anyone who has been badly hurt, or even killed, because of a defective product, has the right to file a claim for compensation for their personal injuries, or someone may file a personal injury wrongful death claim on behalf of a deceased person. This area of the law holds a variety of people responsible for product harm – distributors of the product, manufacturers, retailers and developers.  In other words, there are really three major categories of defective product claims.

The first area is referred to as design defect claims and this means that the defect in the product in question is inside or an integral part of the item. The second area relates to production defect claim which refers to an item or merchandise that became flawed at some point during its production.

And finally, there are advertising and marketing deficiency lawsuits. These suits relate to a product being put on the market without having the proper caution labels or recommendations for use; having partial warning labels or instructions; or having the wrong warning label or wrong information with a particular item. Any one of these three areas or all three may be used in a defective product lawsuit filed by a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

In any of the above circumstances, it’s best to talk to an experienced lawyer simply because you can’t handle a claim like this on your own. In addition, defective product law does tend to be applied a bit differently in each state and you need to know what is applicable in your state before assuming you have a “good to go” case.

If you’re not sure you have a case, but are sure you got hurt badly using a product, it’s a smart idea to contact the nearest New Hampshire personal injury lawyer and explain what happened to you. If you have a case, you’ll know about it quickly.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Is a Medical Emergency an Excuse in a Bus Crash?

This unusual case has many twists and turns. The bottom line is whether or not a sudden medical emergency is a defense for wrongful death.

I’ve been practicing personal injury law in New Hampshire for over 27 years, and I’ve seen a lot of interesting cases and a lot of lives thrown into chaos. This case was interesting to me when I read about it, because it has a variety of elements that will make it a difficult case in the long run for the families of the two dead women who lost their lives in a bus crash.

In this instance, the young son of one of the deceased women filed a wrongful death suit against the driver of a tour bus and the tour bus company itself. The crash in question took place in 2009. The deceased was 52-years-old at the time of the wreck. She and several other people were on the bus that had taken them to a casino, when all of a sudden it went out of control, crossed the median and flipped over on its side in a ditch. Two passengers were killed and 20 others were seriously injured.

The woman’s son, who was 17 at the time of the wreck, filed the wrongful death suit when he turned 18 and is seeking compensation for the death of his mother. The suit argues that the driver of the bus failed to control it and was reckless and negligent in driving it, causing it to crash. The suit further alleges that the driver was unfit to be driving that day and that the bus tour company was negligent in entrusting their bus to his care.

The bus line company filed a countersuit asking to have the case dismissed, as they state the driver had a medical emergency that he didn’t cause to happen, and thus under the rule of law in the state where the accident took place (Minnesota), the crash was a “sudden, unforeseen medical emergency” and state law precludes any liability on the part of the defendants in those circumstances. They added the driver was fit to drive at the time of the crash.

The interesting thing here is that the driver alleges he lost consciousness because he had a rapid onset of an undiagnosed condition. This makes me consider something about human nature. If he lost consciousness then, due to a medical condition, chances are he had done that before and had not informed his employer because it hadn’t happened at work – yet. Certainly the case would bear closer scrutiny, but there are some warning flags for a personal injury attorney that would make me dig deeply into the bus driver’s medical condition.

Every personal injury case is different, and while things may look one way on the surface, what you find later may be something entirely different. Never take an accident at face value. Talk to a skilled New Hampshire personal injury attorney and find out if there is more than meets the eye in “your” personal injury accident.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Narcotics and Cars Don’t Mix

Why people think that taking narcotics and driving is safe is unbelievable. This case is a clear example of the deadly consequences of mixing narcotics and cars.

Being a New Hampshire personal injury attorney, I often have the chance to read about other cases that involve things like car crashes, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, and medical malpractice and wrongful death. This one case stood out for me because it seemed senseless. It involved a rollover that killed one and injured four others, including a toddler.

This was a single vehicle crash and from the looks of the police report, it happened when a silver Infiniti was heading east on the highway, when the driver tried to pass a slower vehicle on the left. Just as the passing Infiniti got to the midway point in passing, the driver saw another oncoming car, swerved right suddenly and hit the right shoulder, causing the vehicle to flip over and land on its roof in the ditch.

When EMS crews arrived they immediately took the backseat passenger, a 60-year-old man, to the local hospital. He was dead on arrival. The driver, a 32-year-old man, his wife and two kids (2 and 12) were taken to the hospital by other rescue teams. Thankfully, although badly shaken up and sporting a variety of crash related injuries, they were all treated and released. Narcotics were found on the 60-year-old man who died in the hospital. There will be a full investigation.

The presence of narcotics raises a lot of unanswered questions, and it’s a good bet the local police will be running tests on the driver of the car to check for drugs and other substances. No one knows for sure if the man in the back seat was related in any way to the driver and his wife, or was a friend.

This would raise the issue of whether the man’s family could file a wrongful death lawsuit for the negligence of the 32-year-old driver for attempting to pass while it was not safe. If the investigation shows negligence, a civil suit can be expected. There may also be a chance of a criminal investigation. In circumstances like this, you sometimes you get both. “Frankly, it looks like someone screwed up, because passing while unsafe to do so is negligence, plain and simple, and this case screams for a civil suit,” added Donahue.

Like many personal injury car crashes, sometimes things look one way on the surface, and yet on further investigation, they turn out to be something else. If you have been involved in a car accident or other vehicle crash, and you suspect drugs may have been involved on the part of the other driver, you might want to speak to a seasoned New Hampshire personal injury lawyer; one whose only job is to help injury victims.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Two Teens Injured by Snowplow

Following the rules of the road applies to everyone. That includes snowplows.

“The way I heard about this case was that it involved a snowplow operator who blew a yield sign,” explained Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

The way this accident happened was that two teens were headed home in their white Pontiac Grand Prix when they were broadsided by a snowplow. “While the plow operator admitted he was tired and wasn’t seeing straight, there is still a duty on the driver to take care and obey the rules of the road – more so because of the size of the vehicle he was driving and the fact that he didn’t pay attention to a sign right in front of him,” said Donahue.

The other question here was how fast was the snowplow operator going, as the impact totally crushed the car; enough so that the EMS crews needed the Jaws of Life to extricate both teens. “Both teens were immediately taken to the nearest medical facility for treatment, where it was discovered they had sustained non-life threatening, yet serious head and leg injuries,” Donahue outlined. At the scene, the plow operator admitted he’d put in some very long hours clearing snow. If that was the case, one wonders why he was behind the wheel of a deadly vehicle.

“It should be mentioned here that head injuries have a nasty habit of turning out worse than they may appear, simply because the head is a very vulnerable area. If there was any traumatic brain injury involved and it is permanent and debilitating, one or both of these kids will need a serious settlement to be able to live a normal life,” Donahue added.

Responding police personnel issued the snowplow driver with a citation for failure to yield the right of way causing bodily harm. Whether or not alcohol or another drug played a factor in this case, no one is quite sure. The investigation will turn up that kind of evidence later.

Both teens will be in a good position to file personal injury lawsuits to recover the costs of their medical expenses, therapy, medications, pain and suffering, disability, impairment, anguish, counseling, loss of wages if they had jobs, possible wheelchair and rehab expenses, renovations to homes to allow for their injuries and possible home care if one of both of them are permanently impaired. While it may take a while for the case to get to court, they should stand a good chance of getting a fair and equitable settlement.

Being in an accident like this, or any other type of accident, is devastating for those involved and they feel like their lives are out of control. “My best advice to those facing something like this is to call an experienced personal injury attorney immediately and discuss the case. Find out what your rights are; find out how to handle the fallout from the case; and find out if you may be able to receive compensation from the person at fault in the accident,” added Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel Causes Serious Injury and Death

This vehicle rollover killed one and severely injured four others. Falling asleep at the wheel can be fatal.

This is a case that Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer, heard about that took place in Idaho and involved several young adults. The odd thing is that it took place early in the morning, not late at night, and thus falling asleep at the wheel was rather strange. It would likely prompt the responding police to check for alcohol or drugs in the driver. The outcome of any tests would certainly make a difference in what types of charges may be laid, or what evidence would be needed in court.

The Chevrolet Cobalt was heading east on the highway when the driver, a 20-year-old male fell asleep while driving. When the car sideways angled toward the side of the road, the driver jolted awake, instantly over reacted and did a sudden and deadly overcorrection at high speed.

The vehicle responded by rolling over and ejecting three backseat passengers, none of which were wearing seatbelts. The backseat passengers ranged in age from 9 years old to 22 years old. The 17-year-old ejected from the backseat and was alive when EMS crews arrived and airlifted him to a medical facility where he later died from his trauma.

The other survivors, including the driver who dozed off and another front seat passenger, were transported to the nearest medical facility to have their injuries treated. Both the driver and front seat passenger managed to come out of the crash with non-critical injuries.

In this case the driver is clearly at fault for this horrific single vehicle crash, and he can be thankful he didn’t hit another vehicle at the time or the body count would be higher. The survivors of this accident will have solid grounds to file personal injury lawsuits to recover damages for their medical bills, etc. The family of the young boy killed in this accident should be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit based on the facts of this case. All they would need to do is to contact a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer.

If anyone is faced with a situation like this one, don’t wait to contact a skilled New Hampshire personal injury lawyer. Time is of the essence in any case like this and if you wait too long before filing, you may run afoul of the Statute of Limitations. Find out what your rights are. It’s a call well worth making.

Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

Goofing Around Can Kill a Person

Wrongful death lawsuits may come about as a result of many things. Unfortunately, even goofing off may have deadly consequences.

Consider this case that Charlie Donahue heard about. A 19-year-old high school senior killed on Valentine’s Day 2008. His passenger and girlfriend was also severely injured; injuries that completely altered her life from the day of the impact. She remains in a wheelchair and is hoping to recover enough mobility to attend a university. Three other people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time were also victims of this tragic accident; an accident that should never have happened.

“The young man and his girlfriend were on their way to a Valentine’s party at a friend’s place that ill-fated evening. They were minding their own business and discussing the party, when out of the blue a 22-year-old man driving a smaller car, crossed the double yellow line, pulled next to the young man’s vehicle, and swerved in the direction of the driver’s door,” explained Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury attorney.

This action caused the young man to boot his vehicle into high drive to get away from the second vehicle. Unfortunately, he lost control of his car, hit another vehicle and was ejected through the windshield. He was pronounced dead at the scene by attending paramedics.

“Aside from the criminal charges laid in this case (vehicular homicide and 5 counts of reckless conduct), the wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the driver who swerved into the young man’s vehicle was driving his auto in a careless and negligent manner. The criminal matter will proceed later this year. The civil lawsuit was tried first. Often, it is easier to prove a case in civil court because the burden of proof is different,” outlined Donahue.

Under circumstances like this particular hypothetical case or in other instances where someone has lost their life as the result of the negligence of another, they may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. “Don’t wait to speak to a highly skilled personal injury attorney, as the statute of limitations needs to be strictly observed in order to even be able to file a lawsuit. Nothing is more important to the family who lost a relative than being able to find ‘justice’ for the wrongful death of a family member,” added Donahue.

To learn more, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.

go-to guy

Over the last few days I heard from a client who was very seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash almost 10 years ago.

It was quite a battle, but we were victorious.

The defendant was a big corporation, and was represented by a powerful law firm out of Manchester, N.H.

She had a question on another legal matter, and, because it was not injury law, I recommended her to a specialist in the field of employment law.

This happens a lot to me, and I’m really glad it does.

I want folks to think of me as their go-to lawyer on any kind of legal question.

Even though I only practice injury law, personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death, I know many lawyers in New Hampshire and across the country who can help with other kinds of cases.

It was great to hear how well her children turned out– one lives on the west coast, and the other is about to graduate from college after taking a class at Harvard. During the case, they were both young guys, and now they are young men out on their own.

This lady is a terrific person. The financial arrangement / settlement will protect her for life. She deserves every bit of it because her case was a life-changing event.

In the injury law business it is rewarding to see old clients, to see how their lives have turned out, and to see all the good that was done through the civil justice system.

The money does not ever really amount to compensation. I think that idea is a myth. There is really no amount of money that makes the suffering worthwhile. But it does make live easier, and gives the injured person the help, comfort, and protection s/he needs and truly deserves.

Being set- for- life is far better than having nowhere to turn all the time!

Think of me as your go-to guy.

I’d be honored to help any way I can.

Keep your strength.

Charlie Donahue
Injury Lawyer

A surprise visit from an injured friend

Today at the Donahue Law office we had a terrific surprise. We got a visit from a client who was injured in a horrific car crash a few years ago. She was broken up and down her body. The fact she survived was miraculous. To see her walk into the office without assistance was inspirational.

All her prior visits involved either a wheel-chair or walker. Today she came with a close friend.

Interestingly, after she got in the auto accident someone convinced her to see a different injury lawyer, one with a habit of dishonesty, lying and breaking the rules of lawyer ethics.

She didn’t know that stuff; she was fooled.

It’s not the kind of information that injury lawyer was putting in his ads.

The client decided to see me after she felt the lawyer was doing something unethical with her case.

We took her personal injury case and proceeded to victory in a way she says helped save her life.

She is financially secure forever, but she deserves to be.

She is the hero, not us.

She has managed to conquer the incredible ordeal, and has done so with strength, courage and dignity.

Her difficulties are far from over, but she sees- in a very real way- the gift of life.

When she walked through our front door today, she helped remind us why we do injury law.

This work has real life consequences on our clients… it’s all worthwhile.

Keep your strength.

Charlie Donahue
Injury Lawyer
Keene, N.H.

New law starts today: no texting while driving

House Bill 34 goes into effect today in our State of New Hampshire– with our motto of ” Live free or die.”

As a personal injury lawyer, I am interested in any legislation dealing with the operation of a motor vehicle.

In my line of work I see more than my fair share of needless suffering by injury victims.

Some laws are good and sensible, while others are more feel-good and don’t work.

Be that as it may, New Hampshire drivers can no longer legally text message and drive on the roadways, as of today, January 1, 2010.

The law prohibits a driver from writing a text message or using two hands to type or operate an electronic or telecommunications device while driving.

Governor Lynch praised the new law, saying that texting while driving poses a serious danger because drivers need to be attentive at all times.

Opponents of the new law, which carries a fine of $100, contend it is an infringement on liberty, and, at best an inconsistent, feel-good measure.

It is still legal to read, select or enter a name in a wireless communications device to make a phone call.

It is also still legal to use a cell phone while driving.

If the concern is driver distraction, these actions are distracting as well.

There is little difference between typing a name, which is legal, and typing a message, which is illegal.

Talking on a cell phone while driving is distracting, as is reaching for something in the vehicle, turning around to talk with back seat passengers or to yell at youngsters, or tuning the radio.

There are lots of distracting things that take place in a vehicle.

On a personal level, I remember an incident about 15 years ago. I was driving on Route 9 to Concord, New Hampshire for a court hearing. Thinking more about my case than my driving I got a brilliant idea ( I thought), so I reached for a pad of paper on the passenger’s seat to write it down.Taking my eyes off the road, my car went off the road and almost tipped over. I smashed into the guard rail. Fortunately I did not run into anyone else, nor was I injured.

The point is that lives can be changed permanently and irreversibly changed in a second or two. Driver distraction is a real problem. With all our new gadgets things are bound to get worse.

There is a law on the books against driving while distracted.

Some contend the new law against texting is leveled against the youth, because it is mainly younger folks who use text messaging. While I don’t know about that, I am certain that the youth are better and more proficient at text-messaging than older folks.

I doubt the law is youth-oriented because it is still legal to use an iPod while driving.

Scrolling through albums on an iPod has to be even more distracting to the driver, and it is has not been made illegal.

There will always be a tension between individual liberty and public protection.

At least this is law made on the state level, and is not mandated by Washington, federal politicians.

Like most laws, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Best wishes for a happy and safe New Year.

Keep your strength.

Charlie Donahue
Injury Lawyer
Keene, N.H.

ps…………… You might have noticed the hyper-links in this blog, when the other day I was saying I didn’t know how to do them. Thanks to my son, Patrick, who is home on college vacation, I learned how to hyper-link. Thanks Pat!

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Atticus Finch was right:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”