Posts Tagged ‘motor vehicle accidents’

Staying Safe When Your Motor Vehicle Breaks Down On A Highway

By Thomas R. Smith

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Only July 4th a motorist who exited his vehicle after stopping on Route 80, in Western New Jersey, was struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle that had veered onto the shoulder of the highway.

The NJ State Police and the American Automobile Association advise motorist never to leave their vehicles, for any reason, while stopped on a highway. This even applies to vehicles that become disabled. The better choice is to pull the car to the shoulder, as far from the highway as possible, stay in the vehicle with the safety belts secured, and wait for help. Activate the car’s hazard lights, and, if dark out the interior lights.

Motorists should not exit the vehicle to obtain flares and place them on the ground behind the car. If a deflated tire is the problem, and must be fixed, never work on the side of the car exposed to traffic. Exiting the vehicle while stopped on a highway creates a risk of being struck by an oncoming vehicle and sustaining serious bodily injury, or even wrongful death.

If you have been injured due to a negligent motorist contact a lawyer who has experience handling personal injury matters to discuss your rights.

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.

Limitation On Lawsuits – When Small Savings Don’t Add Up

By Thomas R. Smith

Friday, February 24th, 2012

A victim who suffers personal injuries from a motor vehicle accident may have restricted their ability to be compensated under New Jersey law.  Choosing the Limitation on Lawsuits options when purchasing automobile insurance, will restrict your access to compensation.  With this option, you will only be able to recover damages if your injuries result in one of the following defined categories:  death, displaced fracture, disfiguring scarring, dismemberment, loss of a fetus, or a permanent injury – which must be proven by objective medical evidence.

Your choice of insurance will not only restrict your rights to recover, but also those family members residing in your household, or others listed on the insurance policy.  This often results in an unfair denial of compensation to those suffering personal injuries due to a negligent motor vehicle operator.

Insurance companies vigorously defend claims brought against them by injured victims who choose the Limitations on Lawsuits threshold.  Juries appear reluctant to find permanent injuries and thus fewer awards are made.

While you may save a few dollars in the policy’s cost by electing the threshold, you in turn will give up important rights to be fairly and adequately compensated by a careless driver that caused you pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and/or disability.  Give much consideration when purchasing your policy if the small savings is worth it.