Posts Tagged ‘injury lawyers’

Personal Injuries: Be Careful, it’s Nice Out There

By Thomas R. Smith

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Finally, the cold dreary days of winter are behind us and spring is in the air. With the warmer, nicer weather, comes an increase in motor vehicle accidents, and personal injuries motorcyclists, bike riders and pedestrians.

Drivers and pedestrians have the right to use the roadways, and have mutual duties and obligations to do so in a safe manner, and to look out for each other. More people are out walking and using some portion of the roads during the nice weather, and longer days. Both drivers and pedestrians must use reasonable care to observe anyone crossing into their paths of travel.

Motorists are faced with new challenges as the weather changes. Conditons that block normal observations, such as sun glare, fog, rain and lightening can lead to accidents. Drivers are expected to act prudently, and take the proper precautions associated with the conditions they are presented with to reduce the risk of harming someone else using the roadway, such as a pedestrian. Sometimes, if the conditions are such to severely impede visibility, they should pull over to the side of the road until the condition improves.

Pedestrians, which include bicyclists, using the roadways have similar duties and obligations to look out for their own safety as well as others. Pedestrians may only cross a street at a crosswalk, marked or unmarked, and once in that walkway, an approaching driver has an obligation to stop its vehicle, as opposed to merely yielding to the crossing pedestrian. Any collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian who is within the crosswalk, it will be presumed the driver did not exercise due care. When sidewalks are available, it is unlawful for one to walk along the roadway.

Bicyclists must follow the rules of road to help avoid personal injuries from accidents with motor vehicles. Operators must ride as far to the right of the roadway as possible, but may move left to make left turns, avoid hazards, or to pass a slower moving vehicle. A bicycle being operated a night should have a lamp in the front and red light in the rear. Bicyclists under the age of 17 must wear helmets.

Motorcycle accidents also increase during the nicer weather as ridership increases. More people are out riding in the Spring and Summer then in the winter months. The major causes of accidents with motorcycles involve driver inattention, or the inability to notice motorcycles, and driver speed, usually a motorcycle driving too fast for the conditions. Operators must take extra caution to ensure are seen by other cars and trucks on the road and don’t drive at excessive speeds. So doing will cut down on the number of an extent of injuries involving motor cycles.

According a New Jersey State Police report, many more crashes and fatalities involving motor vehicles, motorcycles and pedestrians occur during the nicer spring and summer months. The majority occur during clear weather and on a Saturday or Sunday. Therefore, take extra caution when using the roads during the nice weather. If you have been injured by a motor vehicle, contact my office so I, as an experienced personal injury lawyer can advise of your rights to recover for you injuries, losses and any other ways you have been harmed.

Car Accidents: Uber

By Thomas R. Smith

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

With one tap of a smart phone app, Uber is forever changing the taxi business as well as the way people commute. The rise of Uber, and other ride-sharing services offer convenience and savings for riders while creating new work opportunities for drivers. However, these services are not problem-proof and with them come a number of legal questions and concerns – specifically liability for car accidents.

Uber and other ride-sharing companies make it clear that they aren’t in the transportation business but instead are technology services that simply connect riders and drivers. The drivers are independent third parties; therefore the rider accepts ALL risk, as clearly stated in the Uber terms and conditions:
“By using the services, you acknowledge that you may be exposed to situations involving third party providers that are potentially unsafe, offensive, harmful to minors, or otherwise objectionable,” Uber states, and “that using the services is at your own risk and judgment. Uber shall not have any liability …” The Uber contract also includes a forced arbitration clause, which greatly limits an individual’s right to take the company to court.

Additionally, Uber drivers typically don’t meet the same licensing and inspection requirements that apply to traditional taxi and limousine services.  According to the company’s safety page, Uber drivers are required to undergo rigorous background checks. The company also provides insurance for its drivers; although gray areas exist that raise serious concerns about whether or not Uber’s insurance would apply in certain situations.

Like many new and groundbreaking business models, Uber has clearly created great opportunities and challenges that previously didn’t exist. Uber car accidents can be particularly complicated. If you’ve been injured in an accident with a ride-share driver, or as a ride-share passenger, contact one of our personal injury attorneys at 800-432-LAWS (5297) to discuss your case.

Attention Shoppers: Injuries Due to Defects, or Other Dangerous Conditions

By Thomas R. Smith

Friday, April 24th, 2015

A pleasant trip tpi - pico a supermarket or shopping mall can turn into a nightmare if you encounter a dangerous condition on the property which causes you to fall and sustain a personal injury. Generally, the owner of a store or shopping center must take reasonable care to provide a safe place for those invited, the public, to enter their premises. Any defects, or other dangerous conditions, inside or outside the store, must be corrected, and effective warnings of those conditions must be provided. The owner or occupier of the premises has a duty to inspect for any dangerous conditions. A shopper, who falls because the owner failed to make the premises safe, is entitled to be compensated for any losses caused by resulting personal injuries.
Ordinarily, in order to be compensated, an injured victim must show there was a dangerous condition that caused the injuries and the condition was known, or could have been known, by the owner upon a reasonable inspection in time to correct or warn against the condition. However, if the owner, in their normal operations or course of business created the condition they will be liable for damage regardless of whether they knew of it or not.

If you have suffered personal injuries because of a danger condition at a supermarket or shopping center you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your rights.

Put A Lid On It: Head & Brain Injury

By Thomas R. Smith

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Head or brain injuries are on the rise as more people engage in sports, competitively or recreationally, ride bikes, ATVs, and motorcycles, all of which have a high risk of injury.  Head injury is any trauma that injures the scalp, skull or the brain.  It can be due to a minor bump, as well as a major external force.  Head injuries include traumatic brain injuries and concussions, either of which can come from not just a blow to the head, but also as simple jolt of the head or body, most common in motor vehicle, truck and motorcycle accidents.

The residuals from a head or brain injury can be temporary and minor, such as lingering headaches, dizziness, and nausea.  More significant injuries can cause long and short-term memory loss, loss of balance or coordination and other cognitive defects leading to permanent disability.

The NFL has recently drawn much attention to head injuries, with more players suffering season and often career-ending concussions, and/or neck injuries as a result of on field collisions, despite the use of state of the art protective helmets.  Many athletes in high school or younger are not required to wear helmets in risky activities like soccer and girl’s lacrosse and field hockey.   Recently a local school district required, at least athletes in the elementary schools, to wear some sort of protective headgear.  Princeton Township schools will soon require even those students in high school to likewise wear protection on the head while engaging in a sport in which a helmet is traditionally not worn.

Registration for motorcycles has increased dramatically in recent years with more people taking up riding across the country.  As a result, the number of reported head and brain  injuries or fatal accidents has likewise gone up.  Riding without a helmet increases the chance of death, or catastrophic head, and/ or neck injury.  Some states, like New Jersey mandates helmets for all motorcyclists.  Other states don’t, like Pennsylvania, which, for some reason changed its law 10 years ago to make helmets optional.

If you suffered a head or brain injury in an accident, contact a lawyer who specializes in person injury to maximize any compensation you may be entitled to for your losses or harms.  If you engage in any activity subjecting you to more risk, use your head, and wear a helmet.  For more information call us at 1-800-432-LAWS for a free consultation.

Personal injuries: Suing State and Local Government

By admin

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”- Thomas Jefferson

Personal injuries are a fact of life. The entire system of personal injury law is in place for the purpose of compensating individuals for the damage they suffer because of someone else’s negligence. Injured parties should not have to bear the burden of medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering because of the lack of care of others.

Generally, when you suffer a personal injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, if the negligent actor is the government or one of its employees, special restrictions apply.

Under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, public entities and their employees must be put on formal notice of a potential personal injury claim within 90 days of the accident. The notice allows the government entity to have six months to investigate the accident before a lawsuit can be filed.

The notice must include the name and address of the injured part as well as the date, place and circumstances of the accident. The injured party must describe the injury and the name of the public entities or employees causing the injury. Finally, the notice has to state the amount of damages suffered.

Failing to adhere to the 90-day requirement results in an absolute bar to bringing a lawsuit. This means that you may not be compensated for the injuries that you suffered because of the negligence of the government or one of its employees. As a result, your rights will not be properly asserted.

Deciding to sue a state or local government is a decision that your attorney will make following your initial consultation. But it is critical for anyone who suffers an injury on government property or because of a government employee’s action to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. When it comes to state and local government, timing is critical. Time is money.

The personal injury attorneys at Pellettieri, Rabstein & Altman have handled cases against state and local governments since 1929. Following your injury, the first step in asserting your rights is sitting down with one of our experienced attorneys. The rest is up to us.