Motor vehicle accident victims reporting crash and exchanging information at accident sceneNo one ever plans on crashing their car, yet it has been reported that 1 out of 5 motorists are involved in a motor vehicle accident every year. Even minor fender-benders can leave drivers shaken and not thinking clearly. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place—just in case.

The first thing to do in a car accident, if possible, is to assess your injuries and those of all others involved. The next step is to call the police so that an official accident report can be filed and processed. Then comes the exchange of information—but how much personal information are you obligated to divulge to the stranger you just accidentally bumped into? Read “You’ve Been in A Car Crash in NJ. What Info Should You Exchange?” to learn more.

Waivers and personal Injury LawThese days it is hard to engage in organized physical activities without being asked to sign a waiver. Exercise classes, sporting events, charity races/challenges and the like all require participants to sign forms agreeing to accept responsibility for any inherent risk associated with the event. Unfortunately, few people take the time to read these waivers to understand exactly what they are signing, and it isn’t until an injury occurs that they learn what they have given up.

In some cases, the wording of the waiver may be too vague to hold up in court. However, most waivers clearly state that, by signing, participants agree to assume responsibility and not hold the event organizers or sponsors responsible for injuries they may incur. For an example of why it is important to read the fine print before signing any form, read about a recent case involving USA Cycling.

Slip-Fall-PI-blog-300x200When you think of a slip and fall injury, images that come to mind may be of snowy, icy conditions, or maybe an elderly person. The truth is slip and falls can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time of year.

Injuries sustained from slip and fall accidents can range from minor to major and in extreme cases even death. Victims who suffer major injuries can be faced with extensive medical expenses and potential lost wages during convalescence, and they may seek to recover damages through a lawsuit. To successfully prove a slip and fall lawsuit, certain essential elements must exist. To learn what those elements are, read “Necessary Elements to Prove in a Slip and Fall Case.”

Man with dog - pets are propertyTo many people, pets are family but, under the law, dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals are property. This question comes up in court from time to time, most often in divorce cases but more recently in a personal injury lawsuit.

According to reports, a woman claimed she was injured while attempting to rescue a dog from a local canal.  She attempted to sue the dog’s owners under a “rescue doctrine,” but the court determined that doctrine applies only to injuries suffered in an attempt to rescue another person and, only under special circumstances, to attempts to save property. Subsequently, her claim was denied. What is New Jersey’s rescue doctrine and why did the courts rule that it didn’t apply in this case? To find out, read “Woman injured rescuing neighbor’s dog cannot sue its owners, N.J. Supreme Court rules.”

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.”

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