Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil, PLLC

Firm Overview

Main Office
Main Office
P.O. Box 575
Laconia  NH  03247
  • 603-524-4380
  • 603-527-3579
Personal Injury
For more than 100 years, Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil, PLLC has championed the rights of clients by putting the power of our experience and excellence to work.
All too often, devastating harm can result from a moment of carelessness or inattention. When this happens, and someone else is hurt, the victim typically has the right to bring a negligence claim against any party that was responsible.

To succeed in a negligence claim, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a duty of care, the defendant failed to conform to that duty, the defendant's actions caused an accident, and the plaintiff incurred damages. In most situations, the duty consists of exercising reasonable care to avoid foreseeable harm to other people. However, depending on the relationship of the parties and other facts involved in the case, the appropriate standard may be more specific. In premises liability cases, for example, property owners are expected to inspect their premises for hazards and either fix them or warn customers and guests about the associated risks.

If a defendant's conduct does not conform to the applicable standard of care, the defendant will be found to have breached his or her duty to the plaintiff. Next, the element of causation may be established through evidence that the defendant's unreasonable conduct actually and proximately caused the injuries suffered by the plaintiff. This involves proof that the accident would not have occurred "but for" the defendant's careless actions and that the harm caused was a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant's conduct. Even if the plaintiff partially caused the accident, he or she may still be awarded damages that are proportionate to the defendant's percentage of fault, if the plaintiff was not more than 50 percent responsible.

Compensatory damages that are typically available in personal injury cases may cover both economic and non-economic forms of harm. General damages are comprised of pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, lost earning capacity, and other factors that are relatively subjective. By contrast, special damages are designed to compensate you for medical bills, physical therapy, and other items that are more easily quantified.

In some of the most tragic cases, an accident can result in a needless loss of life. When this happens, the family members of the victim can bring a wrongful death claim to seek damages on their loved one's behalf, as well as damages based on the harm that their loved one's death caused them. Forms of compensation may range from burial expenses and the victim's conscious pain and suffering before death to the loss of comfort, care, companionship, and guidance endured by the family.

Bill Woodbury

Bill Woodbury

Jerry O'Neil

Jerry is a lifelong resident of the Lakes Region. He was born and raised in Laconia and now resides in Meredith with his wife, Donna.

Jerry earned his bachelor of arts degree from St. Michaels College in 1976, and his juris doctorate from DePaul University in 1979. Following graduation, Jerry joined Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil and became a partner with the firm in 1989.

A past president of the New Hampshire Trial Lawyers Association, Jerry served on the Board from 1985 through 1995, including three years as an officer. He is currently a sustaining member of the New Hampshire Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice, as well as a member of the American Bar Association, New Hampshire Bar Association and Belknap County Bar Association. He was admitted to the U. S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire in 1979, to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in 1995, and to the United States Supreme Court in 1996.

He currently heads the firm's litigation department and maintains an active personal injury practice representing victims of defective products, severe automobile accidents, and police misconduct and civil rights violations. He also frequently represents workers who have been injured in work related accidents before the New Hampshire Department of Labor and Workers' Compensation Appeals Board.

Jerry was voted one of New Hampshire's Top 6 Workers' Compensation Attorneys in Woodward-White's "The Best Lawyers in America" poll, as printed in the October, 2004, issue of New Hampshire Magazine and in each succeeding year.

J.D., DePaul University, 1979
B.A., St. Michaels College, 1976
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
United States Supreme Court, 1996
U. S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, 1995
U. S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, 1979

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