sneakers tied together - when pranks cause injury of damageIn a few short weeks, schools will close for summer vacation and that means senior pranks will soon be underway. While most people may consider pranks to be nothing more than playful, amusing tricks intended to get a reaction, there is a fine line between mischievous and malicious. Crossing that line can lead to serious consequences.

When a prank results in damage to property or in harm or injury to another person, participants can find themselves facing criminal charges for everything from vandalism to assault and battery. Understanding the law can help you—or your teen—avoid serious consequences. To learn more, read “Teen Pranks Can Turn into a Criminal Charge.”

driver holding smartphone open to navigation appThese days it’s hard to find drivers who don’t rely on their smartphone’s navigation apps, especially when traveling along unfamiliar roads or looking for ways around traffic jams. And for good reason. These electronic guidance systems provide drivers with the clear direction they need to proceed with confidence rather than hesitantly trying to find a way out on their own and risking an accident. If you are planning to use your phone’s navigation app, though, consider activating it before pulling out of your driveway to avoid breaking any distracted driving laws.

Technically New Jersey’s ‘don’t text and drive’ laws don’t apply to opening apps on your smartphone. However, these distracted driving laws may come into play if you are required to do anything more than simply tap the screen to open your app. Read “Using A Navigation App Could Get You A $200 Ticket in NJ” to learn more.

Child injured on soccer field needs parent to file a personal injury lawsuit on his behalfFrom time to time, kids get hurt. It’s all part of growing up. Serious injuries, however, can have a lifelong impact resulting in complications as your child develops into adulthood. And when those injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, your child may be entitled to just compensation.

When an adult is injured as the result of an accident, he or she may be able to recover damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Children who have not yet reached the age of majority cannot exercise that option on their own behalf. That’s where parents or guardians step in. For more information on how to advocate for your injured minor, read “3 Tips For Handling Personal Injury Cases Involving Minors.”

Pedestrian-accident-rate-PI-blog-300x200Across the country, pedestrian fatalities have risen at alarming rates, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to recent traffic safety reports. Last year, New Jersey reported the highest number of pedestrian deaths due to motor vehicle accidents in 30 years

Why the drastic increase? Some traffic specialists attribute it to a side effect of the recent pandemic citing rising anxiety levels, increased anger, pandemic drinking, and “social disengagement” as having a negative impact on drivers’ attention to basic safety measures. Others believe that an aging population more vulnerable to such accidents, as well as the increased popularity of larger vehicles play a role. Read “Pedestrian Deaths Spike in U.S. as Reckless Driving Surges” to learn more.

Teen-drivers-PI-blog-300x200For many teens, a driver’s permit is the first step toward independence and for many parents, it’s a step toward relinquishing their chauffer duties. This initial stage of the driver’s licensing process, however, is a learning period heavily regulated by State mandated restrictions designed to lessen the chances for accidents. While it may be tempting to relax the rules once your teen driver becomes comfortable behind the wheel, doing so could lead to serious consequences for both drivers and their parents.

One northern New Jersey police department recently reported a series of incidents involving permitted drivers operating motor vehicles without adult supervision, a violation of State driving laws. To discourage this behavior, the department issued reminders of New Jersey’s driver’s permit restrictions and the possible consequences for both drivers and their parents for violating those restrictions. For a refresher read, “Police: NJ Teens With Learner’s Permits Driving Without Adults Face Serious Consequences.”

Beverage-recall-PI-blog-300x200Before you put the finishing touches on your menus for the upcoming holidays, check recent recall notices to make sure everything you’ve included is safe for you and your guests to consume.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a voluntary recall of several popular beverage products distributed under the Minute Maid and Coca-Cola brands. The recall affects eight eastern states, including New Jersey, and was issued after these products were found to contain metal fragments. Exposure to the contaminated products could result in temporary medical problems. To see a list of the affected products, read “Metal Found In These Drinks Forces FDA Recall in CT, NY, NJ, PA.”

Driver-behaviors-PI-blog-300x200The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s recent survey of driver behaviors yielded mixed results: U.S. drivers appear to recognize the dangers associated with certain risky habits that could increase the likelihood of accidents yet admit there are other unsafe activities they still engage in while behind the wheel.

The survey of self-reported driving behaviors looked at driving habits during the period 2018 to 2020. The results revealed a downward trend in such activities as running red lights and driving while drowsy or under the influence. At the same time, it showed drivers continued to engage in other risky behaviors like using handheld cell phones and driving over the posted speed limits. To see all the numbers, read “Self-Reported Dangerous Driving Habits Revealed In New Survey.”

Pain-Suffering-PI-blog-300x200When a person is injured as the result of another person’s negligence, their recourse is to seek damages for pain and suffering through a personal injury claim. However, “pain and suffering’ is subjective and difficult to quantify so, how are personal injury settlements calculated?

Determining a fair compensation requires looking at a number of factors, including the extent of medical bills incurred, the length of the expected recovery period, potential loss wages during that recovery period, and the emotional toll such injuries may take. While many of these factors will vary on a case-by-case basis, there are formulas that can help you gauge whether the settlement being offered is a fair one. To learn more read, “How To Determine The value of Pain and Suffering for Personal Injury Claims.”

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.”

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