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Building-PI-Case-PI-Blog-edit-300x200If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you might be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and losses. Getting that compensation, however, may require you to file a personal injury lawsuit, a legal process that can be overwhelming for those without experience.

While attorneys who focus on personal injury law are best suited to help guide you through the process, what you do immediately following your accident can help determine how strong of a case you have. To learn what steps you should take to bolster your case, read “How to Build A Strong Personal Injury Case.”

Share-the-Road-PI-blog-300x200Drivers in New Jersey now face new regulations aimed at making the State’s roadways safer for all users – motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists alike.

On August 5, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law measures intended to decrease the number of accidents involving motor vehicles and others using the roads by requiring drivers to move over a lane when passing pedestrians, bicyclists or scooter riders. If changing lanes cannot be done safely, drivers are required to slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary. Failure to comply could result in fines and possible points against the driver’s license.

The pandemic and its related restrictions resulted in less vehicular traffic but more people walking and riding bikes and scooters on the roads. With restrictions now loosening and more people returning to their places of employment, motor vehicle traffic is on an uptick. NJ State Police records show that the number of pedestrian fatalities reported so far this year almost match the number reported for 2020 and are on track to result in an increase of 60%. To learn more about this new law read, “Drivers must now move over when passing people walking and on bikes.”

Distracted-Driving-PI-blog-300x200The latest research ranks New Jersey second out of all states for having the highest rate of fatal motor vehicle accidents attributed to distracted driving. Is this a reflection of drivers’ inattentiveness or the State’s efforts to combat and report this risky behavior?

The research, which looks at statistics from various government agencies including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), shows that 24.6% of New Jersey’s fatal traffic accidents resulted from some sort of driver distraction. Cell phone use – both the use of handheld phones and texting – is often cited as a major distractor, but other activities like eating and applying makeup can be contributing factors. For further information and to see which state ranked number one, read “New Jersey Gets Low Marks for Distracted Driving.”

Car accident victim on phoneMotor vehicle accidents are traumatic and unsettling for even the most experienced driver. This can make it difficult to assess the full extent of damages and injuries immediately following impact. That’s why it is important to remain as calm as possible and follow procedure no matter how minor or serious the accident appears to be.

Because of the shock and confusion that can typically follow a motor vehicle accident, many drivers overlook some common steps that, if the accident leads to a lawsuit, can hurt their chances of being awarded the compensation they may be entitled to. For a look at what those steps are, read “5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Filing A Personal Injury Claim after A Motor Vehicle Accident.”

Quality Control stamp signifies a product has been tested for safety before being sold to consumersMost consumers assume that before a product hits the store’s shelf it has been tested and has met established safety standards. Not necessarily.

According to a recent Consumer Reports article, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission oversees some 15,000 product categories; however, only about 70 of those categories are required to meet a mandatory safety standard, meaning they must comply with federally established safety requirements. The rest of the product categories are subject to voluntary, rather than mandatory, safety standards. Manufacturers of these products sometimes comply with the voluntary standards and sometimes they do not.

One way consumers can protect themselves against purchasing hazardous protects is to read the product label, although the references on these labels may not be clear. For explanations of some of the more common references and other ways you can tell if a product has been vetted, read “Is This Safe to Buy? How Dangerous Products Get—and Stay—on the Market.”

Seatback_failures_AdobeStock_213467647-300x200A faulty design and outdated safety standards may be putting your rear-seat passengers at risk in the event of a rear-end accident, according to a recent CBS News investigation.

Looking at rear-end collision data from the past 30 years, the investigation found at least 100 rear-seat passengers injured or killed as a result of the vehicles’ front seats collapsing into them. Safety experts have blamed these seatback failures, at least in part, on an outdated federal safety standard that has been in place since the 1960s. To learn more read the CBS News report on “Alleged car seatback failures….”

baby_food_contaminiation_AdobeStock_84134860-300x214Parents take the responsibility for protecting their children seriously in everything they do from baby-proofing their homes to carefully choosing age-appropriate clothes and toys. But what about when it comes to food? Most parents today rely, at least in part, on prepackaged baby foods and may be surprised to learn that, in addition to pureed carrots, peas, applesauce and the like, some baby foods on the market today also contain toxic elements like arsenic and lead.

A U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee report recently revealed the existence of surprisingly high levels of heavy metals like arsenic and lead in some baby foods made and sold by various baby food manufacturers. This report prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a statement announcing its plans to limit the levels of heavy metals contained in baby foods and reminding baby food companies of their responsibility to consider the health dangers these elements pose. Some people are asking if the FDA’s actions are enough. Read “FDA Pledges to Take Action on Heavy Metals in Baby Food” to learn more.

car_accident_AdobeStock_277615475-300x200If you thought some of the restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus – business closures, curfews, remote schooling, work-from-home orders – would mean fewer cars on the road resulting in fewer accidents, you would only be half right.

While it is true there were fewer vehicles on New Jersey roads in 2020, the number of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents was higher than it had been in the two years prior. New Jersey was not the only state to experience an increase in traffic deaths during the early days of the pandemic; similar trends were found throughout the country. Authorities point to more risky behavior by drivers as a leading factor behind these sobering statistics. To learn more, read “Fewer Cars on NJ Roads But Still More Fatal Accidents in 2020.”

seat_belt_laws_AdobeStock_117364055-300x200In its 2021 annual report, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety says there’s room for improvement when it comes to New Jersey’s traffic safety and offered several suggestions.

One of the recommendations of the coalition, which comprises representatives from various fields outside the automobile industry, is adoption of a primary enforcement seat belt law for rear seat passengers to better protect them in the event of an accident. Currently, New Jersey police can only enforce the use of seat belts by rear seat passengers if the vehicle is stopped for another violation.

The group also suggested certain changes to the state’s Graduated Driver’s License program. To learn more, read “Less Distracted Driving, More Laws Needed in NJ: National Report.”

Portable_generators_AdobeStock_379468883-300x200Many homeowners rely on portable generators to keep their homes functioning during widespread power outages especially during storm season. While these generators are effective in keeping the heat and lights running until power can be restored, they do pose potential dangers. Although warnings about these dangers and instructions on the safe use of home generators are prevalent, people die every year in generator-related accidents. Now there is a bill before Congress intended to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries attributable to portable generator use.

The bill calls for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to impose a set of standardized safety measures for all new portable generators requiring, among other things, lower carbon monoxide emissions and built-in CO shut-offs that would automatically stop generators before carbon monoxide levels reached a danger point. To learn more, read “New Bill in Congress Aims to Prevent Generator-Related Deaths and Injuries.”

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