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New Hampshire Negligence Laws

The vast majority of injury lawsuits involve negligence, in which an individual is held liable for doing (or not doing) something that a reasonable person in the same situation would not (or would) do. Negligence claims may only be filed if there is some kind of injury resulting from the alleged negligence, which may also include emotional or financial injury. For instance, a motorist who fails to check her rearview mirror before backing out of the driveway and then hits a pedestrian -- causing injuries -- the motorist likely will be held liable for her negligence.

In the above example, the motorist owed a duty to the pedestrian and failed to act as a reasonable person by not checking her rearview mirror prior to backing out. Her negligence (failing to check) would be considered the cause of the pedestrian's injuries.

To owe someone a particular standard of care depends on the situation, the person's role, proximity, and other factors. Lawyers owe a duty to their clients and are expected to "zealously" represent their clients' interests -- professional malpractice in this instance is a form of negligence.

Negligence Law in New Hampshire: The Basics

In New Hampshire, the plaintiff's own contributory negligence to his or her injuries reduces the amount of damages that may be claimed in proportion to the defendant's role in causing the injuries.

Additional details about how New Hampshire handles negligence claims are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Negligence section for more articles.

Code Section 507:7-d
Comparative Negligence -
Contributory Negligence-Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery Contributory negligence does not bar recovery if claimant's negligence is not greater than defendant's. But any damages allowed is diminished in proportion to claimant's attributed negligence.
Contribution Among Tortfeasors Yes; §507.7-f
Uniform Act No

Note: State laws are subject to change at any time through the decisions of higher courts, the enactment of newly signed legislation, and other means. Make sure you contact a New Hampshire personal injury attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Elements of a Negligence Case

A plaintiff must be able to prove the following five elements in order to collect damages for injuries resulting from the defendant's negligence:

  1. Defendant owed a duty to commit an act or refrain from committing an act
  2. Defendant breached this duty
  3. This breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff
  4. Defendant's actions (or inactions) were the proximate cause of the injury (the defendant should have known that this action could have caused injuries)
  5. Plaintiff suffered actual damages (i.e., lost wages, hospital bills, suffering, etc.)

Research the Law

New Hampshire Negligence Law: Related Resources

Your Next Steps: Get Legal Help with Your Negligence Claim in New Hampshire

Have you been injured in an accident? Do you believe that someone else is at fault? If so, you may have the basis for a negligence claim, but it's important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible because there are important deadlines you may have to meet and evidence to gather. An experienced attorney can help you with this process and advise whether you may be eligible for compensation.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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