Frequently Asked Questions

Martin & Hipple are attorneys who handle automobile and motor vehicle accident cases for the entire states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Martin & Hipple have a history of successfully obtaining settlements for people injured in such cases.

Being involved in a motor vehicle accident can change your life in an instant. When you’re injured in an auto accident, you need an advocate to help you get quality medical care, keep the insurance company at bay, negotiate with the insurance company to ensure that you don’t give any of your rights away, negotiate health insurance liens, and put you at ease so you can focus on getting better.

Unfortunately, it is more complicated to obtain compensation for your auto accident injuries than ever before. Insurance companies often try to give as little as possible, or even will deny any liability whatsoever, all the while your medical providers will want payment. Also, you may be able to recover against multiple drivers or even your own insurance company. You need an experienced, knowledgeable, and aggressive attorney who will answer your calls and keep you informed about your case.

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  • Are your consultations free?

    Yes, our personal injury consultations are always free.

  • It's not easy for me to get around. Can you come to me?

    Yes, we make hospital and home visits anywhere in New Hampshire. Contact our office to set up an appointment.

  • How much does it cost to hire you?

    We don’t get paid at all unless we put money in your pocket. If we do get money for you, we will take a percentage of what we settle your case for, usually 1/3. You may also hire us on an hourly basis, but nearly all of our clients prefer to pay us a percentage with nothing up front.

  • How much is my case worth?

    That’s a more complicated question than it might seem at first. We have set up a personal injury calculator where you can input some of the relevant information to get an idea of what your case could be worth, but, honestly, we won’t be able to give you a clear answer until we have reviewed any police reports and medical records.

    In New Hampshire, damages primarily consist of three categories: medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The amount of your settlement or verdict will highly depend on the amount of your medical bills and lost wages, so much of the work Martin & Hipple will do will be to document those damages. 

  • Is my settlement or recovery taxable income?

    No, personal injury compensation is not considered taxable income.

  • What if the person who hit me doesn't have automobile insurance?

    We may still be able to get you money, especially if you have auto insurance yourself. In New Hampshire, all automobile insurance policies have what is known as “uninsured motorist coverage,” which means that you can still recover even if the person who is at fault does not have insurance. In addition, we will investigate to see if the at fault party has any other insurance policies that may cover your injury.

  • I was hit by a hit-and-run driver. Can you still help me?

    Probably yes. If you have a New Hampshire automobile insurance policy, the hit-and-run driver will be covered under your uninsured motorist coverage. We will review your policy for free to determine what your policy covers.

  • I was in an automobile accident. What should I do?

    Take a look at our auto accident section by clicking the tab above for more information.

  • My medical providers want me to pay their medical bills now but I can't afford it? Can you help?

    Yes, we will send something called a Letter of Protection to your medical provider asking them not to send your bills to collections in exchange for us promising to pay the bill in the future after we have settled your case. Not all medical providers accept letters of protection so you should give us a call to get more information.

    Additionally, some insurance policies have medical payments coverage, so it is important to have an attorney look at your policy to see if this is an option for you.

    As a last resort, Martin & Hipple can help you obtain what are known as “pre-settlement funds.” This is money borrowed against your future settlement that you can use to get your medical treatment now.

  • Is this something I can do on my own?

    It’s very unlikely. Most personal injury cases involve complex legal issues and negotiation with an insurance company. In general, we believe that people who negotiate on their own without an attorney will get less. Plus, there is a very large amount of work related to obtaining records, sifting through them, analyzing them, picking out the relevant data, and then compiling it in a way the insurance company (or jury) can understand. Having a law firm not only may help you get more in a settlement, but it will almost definitely be less stressful.

    According to studies conducted by insurance companies, individuals recover two-and-a-half times more for their auto accident case if they are represented by a personal injury attorney. After all, the insurance company makes its money by paying as little as possible on your claim. Hiring an attorney lets them know you are serious.

  • Will I have to go to court?

    If there is no settlement offer, obviously our lawyers will take your case to trial. In most cases, whether we accept their offer or reject it and go to trial is a decision we leave up to you. Most of our clients’ cases settle without the need for trial, but, since every case is different, it is impossible to say whether you will have to go to trial or not.

  • How much time will this take?

    After the initial client intake, your work is mostly done and you can focus on getting better. Your responsibilities become ours. Of course, if the case goes to trial, there will be preparation required, but, otherwise, the vast majority of the work will be taken care of by us and our staff.

  • How long can I wait to bring my case?

    The sooner you come to us, the better. The statute of limitations in New Hampshire is usually three years, meaning you cannot recover after that time. However, the sooner you get us involved, the sooner we can begin setting up your case, which helps us bring it to a quick resolution.

  • Will I hurt the person I am suing by bringing a case against them?

    Not usually. Virtually all injury claims are handled by insurance companies, so the defendant almost never pays money out of pocket.   

  • Do I still have a right to recover my medical bills if they were covered by insurance?

    Yes. Under the Collateral Source Rule, you have the right to recover your medical bills, even if they were covered by insurance. However, your medical provider may have the right to some of that money through a process called subrogation. Our attorneys handle all aspects of this and make sure that all claims are settled before closing your case.

  • What if I decide you're not the attorney for me?

    That’s fine. We’d still love to hear from you so that we can help you find an attorney who will meet your needs. We will provide you a referral to an attorney that we trust to handle your case in the way you would like it to be handled.

  • When I call Martin & Hipple, will I talk to a lawyer?

    Absolutely. One of our knowledgeable staff members will take your call first, but will send you along to one of our attorneys right after that. If an attorney is not available, leave us a message and we will return your call quickly, usually the same business day.

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  • What should I do if I'm involved in a motor vehicle accident?

    First, make sure that you and your loved ones are safe. Do not move your car unless you have been instructed to by proper authorities. You want to preserve the scene for the investigating police officer. It is important that you obtain the name, license plate number, and address of the other drivers and any witnesses.

    Do not say more than necessary to the other driver. Call an attorney as soon as possible and do not speak to any insurance company, including your own, until you have consulted with an attorney. 

  • Should I wait to contact an attorney about my car accident?

    Absolutely not. It is extremely important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. In some instances, it may be necessary to send an investigator to the scene, locate and interview witnesses, or take photographs of your injuries or the accident scene. By getting an attorney involved as soon as possible, you can ensure that you preserve your rights and all necessary evidence.

  • Should I take pictures or get contact information for witnesses?

    Absolutely. Often, pictures or witness statements can make or break your case. If you can, take pictures before any vehicles are moved. Also, take photographs of the damage to the vehicles from multiple angles. Look to see if there are skid marks, damaged guard rails, or other relevant images that you can capture and preserve.

    Witnesses are also important. You should never assume the other party will admit fault, even if you and the police officer think fault is clear. A third party witness can make or break your case.

  • Should I go to the hospital or a doctor?

    Your health should be your primary concern following an accident. If you have any doubt about whether you are injured, go to see a doctor immediately. Also, insurance companies look for prompt treatment when evaluating your claim. The best way to document your injuries is in a medical record.

    This is not the time to play tough. If you are hurting, don’t tell the doctor you’re doing “fine.”  Be honest and thorough with your doctor when explaining your injury.

  • Should I call my insurance company?

    No. Don’t call your insurance company or any insurance company. Statements you make to your own insurance company can still be obtained by the other party’s insurance company. You need to consult with an attorney before making any statement.

  • I already talked to an insurance company. Do I still have a case?

    Yes. While it’s best to talk to us first, we have obtained significant settlements for people who have talked to insurance companies before talking to us. While we advise against it, it does not prohibit you from obtaining compensation for your injuries.

  • I'm making a claim with my own insurance company. Do I still need an attorney?

    Yes. Your insurance company, like every insurance company, wants to pay as little as possible on any claim. Their interests may be different than yours. It never hurts to have a lawyer looking out for you. 

  • My car is a "total loss." What does that mean?

    A vehicle is said to be a total loss when the cost to repair the damage exceeds the value the vehicle would have after being repaired. Insurance companies will typically declare a vehicle to be a total loss if initial estimated costs are 90% of the vehicle’s value. This is because latent damages are often discovered during repairs.

    If your vehicle is a total loss, you are entitled to payment that would allow you to purchase a replacement of the same type and in the same condition as before your car was destroyed.

  • What am I entitled to for my car accident injuries?

     In a personal injury case you are generally entitled to the following damages: (i) past and future medical bills, (ii) past and future lost wages, (iii) compensation for past and future pain, suffering, and inconvenience, (iv) compensation for mental anguish, and (v) compensation for any other expenses proximately caused by the accident or incident that injured you.

    In some cases, a spouse may be entitled to loss of consortium damages (loss of aid and comfort) as a result of injuries to a spouse. When a death is involved, family members and the estate of the deceased person may be entitled to economic damages as well as compensation for pain, suffering, and mental anguish, depending on the jurisdiction. Finally, in cases generally involving wanton or malicious conduct, including driving under the influence of alcohol in some instances, you may be entitled to punitive damages.

    The best way to determine what you are entitled to is to consult with an attorney.

  • How much is my car accident case worth?

    That depends on many factors unique to your case; there is no simple answer. However, take a look at our personal injury calculator so that we can give you an idea of what your car accident case may be worth.

  • The person who hit me has no insurance. Should I bother to call an attorney?

    Absolutely. You may still be able to obtain full compensation for your injuries as if the other driver had insurance. This depends on insurance available to you from other sources, including your own auto insurance policy, and any other insurance you may have.

  • I was in a hit-and-run accident. What should I do?

    Just like in cases where the other driver is uninsured, you may still be able to recover for your injuries from other insurance sources. You will want to talk to an attorney as soon as possible to determine if other options are available to you.

  • Are cases involving tractor-trailer trucks or semis different from other auto accident cases?

    Tractor-trailer trucks are subject to state and federal regulations to which other drivers are not. There are regulations governing the amount of hours that drivers can operate per day, the frequency with which inspections of the vehicle must be made, the weight of the vehicle and its load, and many other factors. Also, the accidents themselves can be more complex and may require the work of an accident reconstructionist. 

  • Are auto accident cases involving DUI, DWI, or drunk drivers different from other auto accident cases?

    Yes. Oftentimes, a toxicologist is required to provide expert testimony as to the other driver’s level of consumption and impairment. Plus, cases involving drunk driving will likely include a criminal case in which you may need to participate as a witness. It’s best to have an attorney every step of the way.