New Hampshire Personal Injury Law
Statutes of Limitations: The amount of time you have to sue whoever caused your injury or damage.
- Personal Injury – 3 years from when the injury was discovered
- Damage to Personal Property – 3 years
- Medical Malpractice – 2 years
- Legal Malpractice – 3 years from when the damage occurred
- Other Professional Malpractice – 3 years
Where to Sue:
- Personal injury claims under $7,500 - New Hampshire Small Claims Court (a division of each New Hampshire District Court)
- Personal injury claims between $7,500-$25,000 - New Hampshire District Court
- Personal injury claims over $25,000 - New Hampshire Superior Court
How to Sue:
Small Claims Court:
- Forms: Small Claims Complaint; Small Claims Summons. These forms can be obtained from the clerk of the court where you are filing your personal injury claim.
- Where to file: You can file your personal injury case in the small claims court in the area where either the plaintiff or the defendant lives. If the defendant is not a New Hampshire resident, you may sue where the injury occurred or where the defendant does business.
- How to notify the defendant (service): Attempt to first serve the defendant by asking the clerk of the Small Claims Court to mail the forms by first class mail to the defendant. If you do not mail the forms, request that the sheriff deliver the forms to the defendant.
- Proving the defendant was notified: File a return of service immediately after delivering the Small Claims Complaint and the Small Claims Summons to the defendant.
- Attorneys: You may have legal representation in New Hampshire Small Claims Court.
- Appealing a small claim: Plaintiff or defendant may appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court within 30 days for a review of law.
New Hampshire District Court: Consulting a New Hampshire personal injury attorney is a good idea before you file your personal injury lawsuit. Preparing for and filing your personal injury case can be a complicated proces and errors could result in the loss of your case, dismissal of your case, or court fines and other sanctions.
- Forms/Filing: Complaint and Summons. These forms can be obtained from and filed with the clerk of the New Hampshire District Court where you intend to file your claim. The clerk will stamp the forms and arrange for their service on the defendant.
- How to Notify the Defendant: Either by first class mail, or by personal service on the defendant by the sheriff.
What to Do if You Are Being Sued:
- Time to respond to a Summons in New Hampshire: 30 days.
- Discuss your case with an experienced attorney, and inform your insurance company that you are being sued, if the plaintiff was injured at your home or place of business.
What to Do if a Judgment Was Entered Against You:
If you do not reply to a New Hampshire Summons and Complaint within 30 days of receiving service, the court may enter a default judgment against you, which means that the plaintiff automatically wins the case, and you must pay the damages the plaintiff seeks.
- Time to Set Aside a Judgment in New Hampshire:
- A New Hampshire District Court can set aside a default judgment in accordance with Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
- If the court has entered a default judgment against you, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a lawyer to help you set aside the judgment.
Ways to Collect Your Judgment:
- Success in your New Hampshire personal injury lawsuit is only the first step. The second step is collecting your money judgment from the defendant. You may be able to do so by garnishing the debtor’s bank accounts or wages, or by placing a lien on his real or personal property. A New Hampshire collection attorney can help you with this process.