Articles Posted in Law & Information

Whenever someone is injured in a New Jersey pedestrian accident, it is important to determine what caused the crash and who was responsible. In 2010, New Jersey expanded the rights of pedestrians and increased penalties for motorists who fail to properly yield right-of-way at intersections and crosswalks.

Under New Jersey Statute 39:4-36, motorists must come to a complete stop “and stay stopped for a pedestrian crossing the roadway within any marked crosswalk.” Before this revision, drivers were required to yield but not to completely stop at crosswalks. Drivers must also “yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.” Pedestrians do not, however, always have the right of way.

“No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield.” This means that injured pedestrians who unsafely step into traffic at a dangerous location may not be able to pursue financial compensation for the injuries they have suffered. There are a few exceptions. In cases that involve a negligent motorist or a dangerous roadway, the pedestrian may hold the negligent driver or the governing body in charge of maintaining the roadway liable for injuries, damages, and losses they have suffered.

New Jersey is a “choice state,” which means that drivers may choose no-fault insurance or a standard policy that allows them to sue an at-fault driver following a car accident. With New Jersey no-fault insurance it is typically only possible to file a lawsuit if the injuries suffered are severe and the damages suffered exceed the limits of the victim’s insurance policy. In such cases, it may be necessary to prove fault for the crash. If the injured victim has chosen a basic insurance policy, it may be necessary to prove fault even following a minor collision.

Proving fault is relatively easier when one of the drivers is cited for the crash by the authorities. Driving while intoxicated, running a red light and speeding are all forms of driver negligence that may result in a citation or arrest. A driver does not, however, need to be cited for an accident to be held civilly liable for the damages suffered.

Many car accidents involve partial liability shared between two drivers. In such cases, both drivers may share the costs of the injuries suffered. A determination must be made as to whether both drivers share equal responsibility or if one driver was more responsible for causing the crash. These are examples of cases where having an experienced and knowledgeable Princeton vehicle accident lawyer on your side could make a significant difference in the type of compensation you receive.

Following a serious truck accident in New Jersey, victims may be left not knowing where to turn or what to do. Victims of accidents involving a negligent truck driver have legal rights and options available to them. An experienced New Jersey truck accident attorney can help injured victims pursue financial compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses following a truck crash in New Jersey.

A personal injury claim is a lawsuit that allows victims of a New Jersey truck accident to pursue financial compensation for the damages suffered in the crash. Damages are defined as any losses sustained in an accident. Damages may include financial losses, such as time spent away from work because of an injury, and non-financial losses, such as mental anguish or physical pain and suffering following a devastating injury.

A successful personal injury claim should cover all medical expenses related to a crash. Emergency room bills, surgeries, medical devices, and prescription drug costs related to an accident should be included in a claim. Future medical expenses, such as physical therapy fees and return checkups should also be included. Other damages that should be considered in a claim include lost wages, physical pain, suffering, and automotive repairs. To understand all of the damages that may be recovered following a truck accident, victims have it in their best interest to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.

This winter, New Jersey drivers will be required to clean snow and ice from their windshields and vehicles or risk facing fines, according to NJ.com. A new law went into effect on October 19 that requires drivers to clean off their windshields to the best of their ability before driving. This amends a previous law that punished drivers for failing to clear their windshields if any injuries or property damage occurred because a driver failed to clean their car.

Fines for failing to clean windshields, windows, and the car’s hood and roof will range from $25 to $75, but no motor vehicle points will be assessed for a violation of the rule. If the failure to remove snow or ice from a vehicle results in an injury or property damage, drivers will be fined between $200 and $1,000. Commercial motor vehicle drivers who fail to clean their windshields will be fined between $500 and $1,500 for each offense.

According to New Jersey state officials, snow and ice left on a vehicle can become a projectile, which can create hazards for other drivers. In addition, snow and ice on a windshield can obstruct a driver’s line of vision, which can lead to New Jersey car accidents.

New Jersey may create a voluntary registry that will be used to notify family members if one of their loved ones is involved in an automobile accident, according to NewsTranscript.com.

Under the bill, individuals with New Jersey’s driver’s licenses or New Jersey-issued ID cards would be allowed to submit the name and phone number of their preferred emergency contact to the Motor Vehicle Commission. If that person is injured or killed in a New Jersey car accident, the registry would be able to notify the family. In addition, the plan would lower the age requirement for state-issued ID cards from age 17 to 14 with parental consent.

The bill is known as Sara’s Law in honor of a 19–year-old from Sayreville who was critically injured in a car accident in 2007. The family was not immediately contacted after the accident. Instead, Sara’s parents heard about the accident when a friend of Sara’s called to ask about her condition. When parents arrived at the hospital, Sara had slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness. Sara’s mother wants this situation to never happen to another family.

A 55-year-old East Windsor woman has been charged with vehicular homicide after it was discovered she was under the influence of prescription medication when she struck and killed a handicapped cyclist riding on Dutch Neck Road on February 16th.

The 54-year-old East Windsor male resident with cerebral palsy was pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton shortly after the accident near the intersection of Dutch Neck Road and Wilmor Drive. The man was operating a specially designed tricycle. According to police, the man was riding west on Dutch neck Road when he was struck from behind by the woman’s vehicle. The force of the impact sent him flying into a snow bank at the side of the road.

The man’s close relatives will be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. There are multiple elements to a wrongful death lawsuit in New Jerseythat an experienced wrongful death attorney can explore.

Conscious pain and suffering is one important element of a wrongful death lawsuit. An experienced wrongful death attorney will hire a medical expert who can review the autopsy and medical reports and opine as to the pain and suffering that the decedent experienced before his or her death. This pain and suffering is compensable.
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A chemical plant worker in DuPont, West Virginia has died from exposure to phosgene that took place on January 23, 2010, according to a money.ca.msn.com article. The federal Occupation Health and Safety Administration stated that inspectors are examining a series of leaks that shut down the eastern Kanawha County plant and caused the employee to die. The plant was closed temporarily due to three leaks being reported; however, one leak went undetected for an entire week. The plant is currently reviewing operating procedures and there are no pressing plans to begin production.

Phosgene is a colorless gas that, as demonstrated in this particular incident, can be extremely dangerous because its odor may not be noticed and symptoms of exposure are usually gradual to appear. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who have been exposed to an unsafe amount of phosgene are typically observed by doctors for up to 48 hours since it may take that long for symptoms to develop or re-emerge. Some delayed effects of phosgene exposure may include difficulty breathing, low blood pressure, coughing up white to pink-colored fluid as a sign of pulmonary edema, or heart failure. While most individuals who survive phosgene exposure experience a full recovery, many of those affected develop emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
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Based on New Jersey State Police fatal accident statistics and data from the Ocean County and U.S. Census, Ocean County has been deemed the deadliest place to drive in New Jersey. According to a jacksonnjonline.com article, there were 589 roadway fatalities in the state of New Jersey in 2009. 64 of these tragic accidents took place in Ocean County. More specifically, fatal auto accidents in Ocean County averaged 34.5% higher than the state’s average per county and 16 more than Burlington and Middlesex Counties.

New Jersey Route 527 was the site of two serious school bus accidents which in total sent 5 children to hospitals in 2009. The reports also revealed that the county seat of Toms River lead Ocean County in fatalities with 10, 50% of which occurred on State Highways 37, Garden State Park and 35. Only 5 of the fatal Toms River accidents happened on city and county roads. In addition, Jackson Township experienced 9 auto accident fatalities, 2 of which took place on Interstate 95.
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It may come as a surprise to many New Jersey residents to learn that there has not been a fatality-free New Years since 1986. Preliminary statistics have been released by the New Jersey State Police that reflect zero fatal auto accidents for the designated New Years holiday period. This phase began at 6:00 p.m. on December 31, 2009 and ended on January 4, 2010. However, based on a jacksonnjonline.com report, the Christmas holiday week brought 11 fatal accidents. The article also mentions that one individual was killed in an auto accident on New Years Eve Day in Egg Harbor Township, but the incident did not fall within the “holiday period.”

According to the article, the U.S. Department of Transportation distinguishes these holiday periods, which may range from one to five days. The preliminary numbers mentioned above are subject to change if municipalities report any crashes at a later time. These statistics may also change if a victim of an auto accident in New Jersey during the New Years holiday period succumbs to his or her injuries within 30 days of the incident.
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A New Jersey Appellate Division Court ruled on January 13, 2010, in the case of Cooper, Sr. v. Barnickel Enterprises, A-1813-08T3, that an employee who has some “time to kill” during his workday and decides to drive a company truck to a local delicatessen about five miles from his place of employment for a cup of coffee is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits if he or she is involved in an accident during the trip to or from the delicatessen. In this case, an employee suffered multiple compound comminuted fractures to both legs and his left arm as a result of a motor vehicle accident on his way for the coffee. He was operating a company truck at the time of the accident. The injured worker had arrived for a meeting at a union hall in Winslow Township, New Jersey. The individuals with whom he was to meet were not available. The worker had some time to kill and decided to drive to a delicatessen five miles away.

The New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Court ruled in this case that the injured worker was in the course of his employment at the time of the accident and used both the “personal comfort” and the “special mission” doctrines to reach the ruling. The worker was deemed permanently and totally disabled due to his injuries and worker’s compensation benefits were awarded accordingly.
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