Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Common Residual or Permanent Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 12, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

After suffering an injury in any sort of accident for which someone else was at fault, you are generally advised to wait until you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement before sending a demand letter for injury compensation to the relevant insurance company. “Maximum medical improvement” refers to the point at which your treating doctors believe that you have healed as fully as you are likely to heal, and that further medical intervention will not result in any additional improvement. For some patients, this means that they have recovered completely from their injuries, as though the accident never happened. Unfortunately, many accident victims are not so lucky. When they reach their maximum medical improvement, they still have some pain, stiffness, limited mobility, or other impairment that did not exist before their accident. These impairments are not expected to improve with time or treatment, remaining a permanent fixture in the patient’s life. These permanent injuries may prevent the accident victim from returning to a previous job or recreational activities, or impose other disruptive changes in the victim’s life. These long-term consequences are compensable harm, just as much as the medical bills, lost wages, and physical and emotional suffering that the victim incurred during treatment.

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Topics: Permanent Injury, injury compensation, residual injuries

Sussex County NJ Fatal Car Crashes Increased in 2018

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 08, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

While there has been an overall downward trend in automotive accident fatalities nationwide, New Jersey stands out with one of the lowest rates of car accident fatalities, with 6.7 fatalities per 100,000 residents in 2017. Only Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and the District of Columbia reported lower fatality rates that year. In even better news for New Jersey residents, the number of fatal accidents last year decreased from the 2017 figures, with 624 automotive-related fatalities in 2017 and 566 fatalities in 2018. However, that reduction in automotive deaths was not evenly distributed; Sussex County saw an increase in fatalities from 2017 to 2018.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, injury compensation

Head Injuries: National Youth Football Organization Changes Rules to Reduce Risk of Head Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Tue, Apr 02, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

The sport of American football has come under scrutiny in recent years at all levels of play, from the schoolyard to the Super Bowl, for the heightened risk of head injury that its players experience. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), the more medically-accurate term for concussions, can have lasting effects on a sufferer’s physical, cognitive and emotional health, especially as repeated injuries accumulate over time. This year, the largest youth football organization in the US is implementing policies that it hopes will make the game less dangerous for participants in its youngest leagues.

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Topics: Sports Injuries, concussion, traumatic brain injury

Increased Cell Phone Usage While Driving Creates Greater Accident Risks for Drivers

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 29, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

For years,a common rallying cry used in efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, especially involving the use of mobile devices, has been, “Hang up and drive!” While the intent behind this slogan remains as relevant as ever, the language may be due for an update, based on roadside surveys conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. While distracted driving involving the use of cell phones remains a major contributing factor to deadly automotive collisions, the manner in which drivers are interacting with their mobile devices has changed over the past few years.

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Topics: Distracted Driving, Text While Driving

Driving Danger Increases When Daylight Savings TIme Springs Forward

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 25, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

Despite the stubborn residue of the last snowstorm still clinging to curbs and lawns, spring is only a matter of weeks away, and with it comes one of the more curious phenomena of the modern era: Daylight Savings Time. However, as we “spring forward” to chase the gradually-expanding daylight hours, it’s worth taking a moment to consider how the transition will affect our bodies and our safety as we make our daily commutes.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, Pedestrian Accidents, drowsy driving

Alarming Pedestrian Accidents and Deaths

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 22, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

While automotive accident fatalities overall have been declining over the past few years, one kind of traffic-related death is dramatically bucking that trend. The rate of pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle accidents has been steadily increasing since 2009, to an estimated high in 2018 that hasn’t been equaled since 1990. These projections have been compiled in a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit group that represents and draws data from highway safety offices nationwide. Using reported pedestrian death statistics from the first six months of 2018 and coupling those figures with historical trends in fatal accident data, the Association has produced an estimate that 6,227 pedestrian fatalities occurred as a result of automotive accidents in the whole of 2018. This figure, the largest number of pedestrian deaths in almost 30 years, represents a 35 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities over the course of a single decade. Coming at a time when other motor vehicle accident fatalities have been declining, this trend of increasing pedestrian deaths is a dangerous aberration that demands explanation.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, Drunk Driving, Pedestrian Accidents

When Insurance Companies Ignore Demand Letters

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 06, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

If seeking compensation for injuries you suffered in an accident were a chess match, the demand letter you send to the other party’s insurance company might be the opening move. In this letter, your attorney lays out the facts of the case: the circumstances of the accident and why the insurance company’s client was at fault; what injuries you suffered and the costs of the treatment those injuries required; any other expenses and financial losses following from your injuries; and a description of the harm your injuries have caused you beyond the financial, for which you are also entitled to compensation. But what happens if the insurance company decides that their best move is not to play at all – if they offer no response whatsoever to your demand letter? The response to a demand letter is meant to open negotiations over an injury settlement, and the absence of a response leaves you and your attorney arguing with thin air. So what can you do in this case?

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Topics: insurance company, settlement compensation, personal injury demand letter, insurance adjuster

Winter Slip and Fall Hazards Continue into Spring Months in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 01, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

Spring has arrived at last, bringing with it warm temperatures and clear skies…. April Fool! Winter has been hanging on stubbornly this year, ushering in the new season with a vernal nor’easter and starting out the month of April with fresh snow. This unpredictable and unseasonable weather is more than a minor inconvenience that prevents us from packing away the ice scrapers for another season; it creates an unfortunate mix of hazards for anyone venturing outside at this time of year. Slip and fall risks associated with winter weather linger on, while fluctuating temperatures bring springtime slipping hazards into the mix.

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Topics: Slip and Fall, traumatic brain injury

What is the Difference between Trip and Fall Accident and a Slip and Fall Accident?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 27, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

One of the most common causes of injury is a fall to the ground after losing one’s balance or footing. If you suffer such a fall because of a hazard on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a personal injury claim. Depending on the nature of the fall, these claims are generally referred to as “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” accidents. In many ways these two types of accidents are identical, but there are some key differences that may have relevance to your injury case if you have suffered one of these accidents.

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Topics: Trip and Fall, Slip and Fall

Pre-litigation in Personal Injury Cases Explained

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Feb 20, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

For many people who suffer injuries in an automotive or other accident, their efforts to obtain compensation for their injuries are the first experience they have with civil courts and litigation. The procedures and jargon surrounding personal injury suits can be confusing to anyone encountering it for the first time, and that confusion only adds to the stress of dealing with serious injuries and the resulting financial pressures. As an example, an injured plaintiff might anxiously wonder what “pre-litigation” is, what role it plays in their pursuit of compensation, and how a suit can be successful even if it never moves past the pre-litigation stage.

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Topics: Car Accidents, Slip and Fall, Bicycle Accidents, motorcycle injuries, personal injury complaint

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