Wednesday, February 24, 2016


                As of July 1, 2015, the State of New Hampshire banned the use of a cell phones while driving, and limited any use of a handheld electronic device. This included not only cell phones, but tablets and GPS devices as well.

                Since the law was passed, the State of New Hampshire has tried to inform all citizens of New Hampshire and those that travel here that such use is banned. Since the inception of the law, police officers have been paying much closer attention to seeking out the use of cell phones while driving. This has led to increased tickets, and escalating fines for those that are using their phones while driving.

                Since the ban, we are discovering that police officers investigating motor vehicle accidents are much more focused on the use of cell phones while driving. The primary goal is to limit and hopefully eliminate distracted drivers from using their phones while operating a motor vehicle. When such drivers are cited for use of a cell phone, this becomes a key part of any motor vehicle accident case and can be used to establish liability in a given case.

                It is always important for any citizen to be aware of the rights and laws that affect them on a day to day basis. If you find yourself injured by a distracted driver, contact the experienced attorneys at Parnell, Michels & McKay.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Hampshire Primary – Get out and Vote!

                Today is New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary for the presidential election. This primary has been a jumping off point for the presidential election each year, and is an important event both from a national perspective, but also from a state perspective. New Hampshire can often surprise the nation in these primaries in terms of who ultimately wins, but the tradition is an important one for our state.

                It is an important part of any citizen’s duty to vote in this country. At Parnell, Michels & McKay we always encourage community involvement, and have a passion for our local community. Voting is just one of the many ways you can go out and be involved in your community and have your voice heard. Moreover, voting is part of our national fabric and everyone having an equal voice is something the founding fathers of our country were proud of.

                So, no matter when you do it, if you are eligible to vote, get out and vote today and do your civic duty and vote!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Medical Payment Legislation in NH - Why Senate Bill 303 should be passed.

      A proposal in front of the New Hampshire legislature this month was Senate Bill 303. Senate Bill 303 clarifies language in the medical payment statute relative to payment of health insurance liens in personal injury cases. In every private health insurance policy is a provision involving a right of reimbursement, or "subrogation clause". This clause states that if a person receives a judgment or settlement from someone relative to injuries they sustained, then the health insurer has a right to be reimbursed for any bills they paid related to those injuries. This is a complicated provision, so it is important to ensure you seek the advice of an attorney before trying to deal with this on your own.

      The issue that was created by the initial version of RSA 264:16 was that the payment of private health insurance liens was never specifically mentioned in the statute. Auto insurers dealing with medical payment claims took the position that if a medical bill was paid by the health insurer, then that relieved them of their obligation to pay the bill except for any out of pocket costs like co-pays. Plaintiff's attorneys in our office and elsewhere took the position that the private health insurer's had to be paid back, and that the statute prevented double recovery of a medical bill, and the auto insurer would be required to pay either the bill in full, or to pay the private health insurer lien that is created through their subrogation clause in the contract. This created a number of issues with the Courts, and led to fights between Plaintiff's counsel representing the injured, and defense counsel representing the insurance companies.

      Senate Bill 303 clarifies this language, and reaffirms the intent of the legislature that the health insurance lien can be paid by the auto insurance medical payment carrier. While the bill has yet to be passed in full, we see this as a large step forward to protecting the rights of the insured and it is our hope it passes.

      At Parnell, Michels & McKay we have over four decades of combined experience in navigating the complex and difficult personal injury litigation cases with insurers. Coordination of your insurance benefits through the many statutes that regulate the insurance industry is just one of the major issues you may face. If you are injured in an unfortunate accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Parnell, Michels & McKay so we can help you navigate the complex insurance field and make sure your rights are protected.