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New Hampshire Negligence Laws

Accidents happen every day, and sometimes others are at fault. 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 prevail 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 their rearview mirror before backing out of the driveway and hits a pedestrian, causing injuries, will likely be held liable for their negligence.

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

This article provides a general overview of negligence laws in the state of New Hampshire.

Negligence Law in New Hampshire: The Basics

In New Hampshire, the plaintiff's own contributory negligence to their injuries reduces the amount of damages that may be claimed in proportion to the defendant's role in causing the injuries. This is true unless the plaintiff is found to be more negligent (51% or more) than the defendant. In this instance, New Hampshire law, following what's called the modified comparative negligence standard, would bar the plaintiff from recovering any damages.

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 et seq. of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes

Modified Comparative Negligence

Contributory negligence does not bar recovery if the claimant's negligence is not greater than the defendant's. But any damages allowed are diminished in proportion to the claimant's attributed negligence

Contributory Negligence — Limit to Plaintiff's Recovery


Contribution Among Tortfeasors

Yes, but only for that defendant's share of fault

Uniform Act


Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an 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. Duty: Defendant owed a duty to commit an act or refrain from committing an act
  2. Breach: Defendant breached this duty
  3. Causation: This breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff
  4. Damages: Defendant's actions (or inactions) were the proximate cause of the injury (the defendant's actions are reasonably related to the cause of the plaintiff's injuries). The 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.

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