New Hampshire Personal Injury Blog
EVERY CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION SHOULD HAVE A LAWYER
Through many years of representing condominium associations,it has become clear to me that every condominium and homeowners association, large or small, should have the advice of competent counsel at the ready to assist the Board of Directors in the decisions necessary to the operation of the association. It seems that most associations avoid lawyers until the problem arises and then scramble to locate the right lawyer or team necessary to address their concerns. In general, that is the worst way to seek out good legal advice and assistance. I find that the primary reason is cost. Yes, lawyers can be expensive but, like anything in this world, you get what you pay for. At Feniger & Uliasz we understand that. We bill for the work we do and we don’t require retainers. So there is never a time when we are holding your money, looking for something to do and some way to spend it. We only work to address your needs, when you request our help. Wouldn’t it be better to have an experienced team on your side to avoid a problem or at least respond before it gets out of hand?
So, what are some of the issues that we can help with? First off, the board of directors owes a fiduciary responsibility to the unit owners. That means board members are held to the highest standard when making the decision for the association. Boards must employ the business judgment rule in the decision-making process. Do you know what that requires? Often times it requires a legal opinion on the interpretation of your Declaration, Bylaws, or a statute. If you get it wrong and have no back up to support your decision there could be a liability. All it takes is one disgruntled unit owner. When that happens, how do you respond? If you do so directly, anything you say or write may be an admission later on. You might rather respond through your lawyer. So you had better have one ready. If there is a claim, does your insurance cover it? Is it a liability claim? A D&O claim? Something else? We know the answers.
How about accommodations? The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act (FHA), dealing with Housing and Urban Development (HUD). What about that service dog or emotional support animal that a unit owner is requesting an accommodation for? Get it wrong and you will spend thousands of dollars on attorney fees defending a claim. The answer is often not what you may think. We know the answers and out lawyers have even made presentations on the subject before members of the New England Chapter of the CAI.
Do you know how to deal with collections for delinquent unit owners? Do your policies and procedures comply with the state consumer protection laws? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). How do you collect the money when you win?
Are your condominium documents even in compliance with current statutes? New Hampshire recently amended its condominium act. How does that affect your association? Does the Board have a responsibility to bring the documents into compliance? If you didn’t and you run afoul of the statute the actions of the Board may be invalid and unenforceable. We can review your documents and recommend the necessary changes and draft the amendments.
What if the association, the Board of Directors, or even individual Directors get sued? What do you do when the Sheriff serves you with the lawsuit? At that point, you won’t have much time to respond. You need to know whether to report it as an insurance claim and how to report it. What if the master policy denies coverage? What if the insurance company is wrong? You will need a lawyer right away to respond and protect the association and/or the Board. Are Board members indemnified? Do you know what that means? We do.
Sometimes an association is the victim of a dishonest or incompetent developer. We handle those claims as well.
The point is that the potential issues are endless and often handled best through sound legal advice and representation. Wouldn’t you rather have a law firm at the ready, familiar with your association and condominium documents than scouring the internet, as most of us do these days, in an emergency? At Feniger & Uliasz we are the team of lawyers that you can count on for all these issues and more. Call us now and rest assured that we will be at the ready to meet your needs.
Labor Day Weekend 2017 and Safe Car Driving in NH
Labor Day weekend is once again upon us and New Hampshire’s roadways will be crowded with thousands of motor vehicles. The weather is still warm and vacation spots are filled with vacationers looking to party and revel one last time before the coolness of fall arrives followed by the chill of winter. Although AAA no longer considers the weekend to be one of the top automotive travel weekends nationally, New Hampshire is an exception. There are a number of festivals and outdoor activities planned, college students are returning and shopping for back to school is still in full force. And while most of us will look to take advantage of the long weekend, we should all be mindful of safe driving practices.
1. Distracted Driving: The rise in use of in car electronic options and of course the use of cell phones related texting and status updates, present ongoing dangers.
2. Drinking and Drugs: Backyard barbecues and get-togethers present additional opportunities for impaired driving. Make plans for a designated driver if you are planning to drive, especially at night.
3. Check for Motorcycles: The warm weather and Labor Day weekend means that motorcyclists will be out in full force. Motorcycles are less visible than cars and unlike experienced bicyclists; motorcyclists do not prefer the colorful and highly visible dress options.
4. Tourists and Bad drivers: While we all love visitors to our beautiful state, be mindful that they are prone to getting lost and/or making quick lane changes on the roadways.
The number of motor vehicle accidents in New Hampshire and nationally continues to increase at a disturbing rate. We encourage all to make wise driving decisions not only this Labor Day, but at all times. If you have the unfortunate experience to have a motor vehicle accident or other personal injury caused in part by the negligence of another, please call an experienced personal injury law firm in New Hampshire. The Feniger and Uliasz Law Firm with offices in Manchester and Dover, New Hampshire, will return your call immediately and advise you as to your next steps.
How Do I Prove That I Have A Personal Injury in Nh?
If you were in an accident or suffered personal injury caused in part or whole by the negligence of another, it is critical that you seek proper medical treatment. The sooner the better to document your injury. Let us look at an example of an occurrence.
You are seeking to merge onto a busy roadway, stopping and starting to move as you look for your opening. Suddenly you experience an unexpected jolt; your head whips backward and then forward from the force. You pull over, adrenaline pumping as you attempt to control your anger at the negligent driver that rear ended you.You exchange information, take pictures, obtain any witness contact information, refrain from saying anything unnecessary and call the police.
Your next step should be a trip to the hospital, emergency care facility or your personal physician. Human nature tends to dissuade us from taking such a step as we want to believe that there is nothing wrong. In truth, the adrenaline is likely masking symptoms of personal injury. Be smart, ignore the emotions and have yourself checked out immediately if you have any symptoms of injury of soon thereafter if you develop pain.
The attending physician will ask you questions regarding the mechanics of the accident, how it happened and what impact to your body in the vehicle when you were hit. The physician will then ask about your pain, where it is and how much it hurts. It is important that you give an accurate and truthful account because the physician is seeking to diagnose the extent of your injury and the cause. His/her medical notes become a trusted and important record of the incident. You may also ask the attending physician to include other information in their documentation. For example, noting that you had no previous history of neck and back discomfort. This is a crucial piece of documentation and critical if an injury claim is to follow.
In summary, gather as much information and documentation as possible, including pictures, roadway conditions, eyewitness information, police reports, and medical check-up. You should contact your insurance company and make an appointment or speak by phone with a law office that is experienced in these types of personal injury cases. Do not speak to the insurance company claims adjuster until you know your rights.
Please call the Feniger & Uliasz (www.fenigeranduliasz.com) today to talk to an experienced lawyer and if necessary schedule an appointment. We will listen, suggest next steps and provide you with an effective plan based on over twenty-five years of experience in handling personal injury cases inNew Hampshire and Massachusetts. Phone us at #603-627-5997 7 days a week.
NTSB Study Indicates Speeding Kills Almost as Much As Drunk Driving
Recently, (7/25/17) the National Traffic Safety Board released a research study that indicated motor vehicle speeding is almost as big a factor in traffic deaths compared with other risky driving behaviors such as drunk driving, in part because “there is a less social stigma surrounding speeding than drunk driving or texting”. The NTSB research determined that 112,500 people died in speeding related US highway deaths from 2005-2014. The Board noted: “speeding is one of the most common factors in motor vehicle crashes in the US”. From 2005 to 2014 nearly 1/3 of all traffic fatalities were related to speeding. Locally, deaths on New Hampshire roads were 61% higher in 2016 than the first six months of the two preceding years according to data from the National Safety Council (Concord Monitor). One exception to the trend is the decrease in motorcycle deaths in New Hampshire according to the New Hampshire Department of Safety. Lower gas prices and increased tourism have translated into more traffic on New Hampshire’s highways.
The NTSB suggests countermeasures for decreasing speeding fatalities include increased speeding enforcement on highways, point–to- point enforcement (measuring time to go from point A to point B), and more public awareness campaigns addressing the risks of speeding. Increased use of speed cameras in states that do not have them –including all New England states – has also been proven to be an effective deterrent to motor vehicle speeding.
The Law Office of Feniger and Uliasz has represented hundreds of New Hampshire and out of state clients involved in traffic accidents over the past 25 years.If you have been involved in a traffic accident consult with an experienced and dedicated New Hampshire personal injury law firm. At Feniger and Uliasz, we will assist you with your legal options as you contend with the insurance companies. For a no-obligation consultation please call us today at #603-627-5997.