Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

Signing a Pre-Injury Release Document on Behalf of a Child

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jun 13, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

For many children, sports and other physical activities are an excellent way to stay active, bond with friends, learn teamwork and sportsmanship, and simply have fun. Of course, it can't be overlooked that most of these recreational activities carry a certain element of risk as well. The gymnasiums, sports leagues, and other organizations that offer these activities are certainly aware that those dangers exist, and many require parents to sign a liability waiver on their child's behalf in order for the child to be allowed to participate. As a parent, it's vital to understand what exactly you're agreeing to when you sign these release forms, and what kind of legal weight and enforceability they carry in the state of New Jersey.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, Settlement Offer, injury compensation, waiver of liability

Determining the Value of a Child's Injury Claim

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jun 10, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

As you begin legal action in your child's injury claim, the natural and obvious first question to ask is, “how much money can I expect to recover on my child's behalf?” Unfortunately, there's no simple and definite answer to that question. You may have heard about an “injury compensation formula” that insurance companies use to calculate the value of claims, but this is not a precise mathematical model that delivers a precise dollar value for a child's injuries based on the cost of their medical bills. Some insurance companies, instead of trusting their claims personnel to accurately evaluate claims, use a computer program into which information is added- like medical bills, days of treatment, days out of school or work, etc. When allowed to do so, insurance adjusters use a large array of variables – including the outcomes of similar recent cases in the same jurisdiction, the child's age, and the amount of successful trial experience the family's personal injury lawyer has – to estimate a value range for the amount a hypothetical jury would likely award the injured child. You can use a similar process to approximate how much your child's claim is worth, but the number and variety of factors that can affect the value of a child's injury claim make it tremendously difficult to estimate accurately without the help of an experienced professional.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, injury compensation, insurance company

Children and Dog Bites

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jun 08, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

For many children, the family dog is a loyal friend and protector. Sadly, numerous other children develop a justifiable fear of dogs at an early age, often due to the traumatic experience of a dog bite attack or close call. Seeking to protect their kids from this kind of awful experience, it's not uncommon for parents to hesitate before bringing a new family pet into the home, or regard friends' and relatives' dogs with wariness.

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Topics: Dog Bites, Injuries to Children

The Wrongful Death of a Child

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jun 06, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

At times in my practice as a personal injury attorney, parents come to me for help after the unthinkable has happened – unthinkable, because what loving parent doesn't flinch away from contemplating the loss of their child in an accident? No amount of money can ever make up for the wrongful death of a child or erase their parents' grief. However, New Jersey law acknowledges the financial burdens imposed on a family by a fatal accident, and the liability borne by the negligent parties who contributed to the child's death. New Jersey's Wrongful Death Act provides an avenue for bereaved parents to seek compensation for these burdens from those responsible for their child's death.

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Topics: Wrongful Death, Injuries to Children, lost income

Can You Believe This? Textalyzer Roadside Tests To Catch People Who Text While Driving

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jun 03, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

It's a brave new world out there. Law enforcement agencies nationwide are becoming increasingly aware of the very real dangers that hand-held cell phone use by drivers poses to everyone on the road. Talking or texting on a cell phone are forms of distracted driving, one of the leading causes of car accidents. Experts estimate that 1 in every 4 car crashes is caused by cell phone use by a driver. Up until last year, the rate of fatal accidents on our nation's roads had been experiencing a downward trend; in 2015, it rose by 8 percent, thanks to distracted drivers who are unable (or unwilling) to keep their hands off their cell phones. It's clear that distracted driving can be every bit as dangerous as drunk driving, and so some safe-driving advocates are pushing for a similar response to combat the behavior: Textalyzer roadside tests.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Distracted Driving, Drunk Driving, Text While Driving

Turn Signals Past and Present - Car Crashes Resulting from Failure to Communicate

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jun 01, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

One of the greatest potential hazards for any driver on the road is the behavior of other motorists. In order for large numbers of fast-moving vehicles to be able to share the road safely, drivers need the ability to anticipate speed and direction changes made by other cars. When motorists fail to communicate their intent to turn or to move left or right within a road or highway, disastrous car crashes are too often the result.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, turn signals

The Legal Process for Child Injury Claims

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 30, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Understanding the legal process ahead of you is crucial to pursuing any personal injury claim. This is doubly true in the case of child injury claims, as there are several important differences between claims involving children and those only affecting adults. Many of these differences in procedure exist to protect the rights and well-being of the injured child, who has unique needs due to their age and cannot act on their own behalf in the way that an adult can.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, injury compensation, statute of limitations

Child Injuries: Role of Clinical Experts and Evidence

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 27, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

When a child is injured in an accident, typically the last thing on their parents' minds is gathering and preserving evidence for a future legal claim. Between worrying about the child's well-being, seeking medical treatment for the child, making arrangements to take time off work to care for the child, and other immediate concerns related to the child's injury, even thinking about future legal action -- let alone making preparations for a lawsuit -- is nowhere close to a priority for many parents. However, if filing a claim for your child's injuries proves necessary, failure to collect and preserve witness statements, important documents, and other evidence can be highly detrimental to your child's case. To solve this problem, it's advisable to hire a lawyer as early in the process as possible; your lawyer can handle the legwork of gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and finding medical experts to testify in your case, while you focus on taking care of your child.

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Topics: Injuries to Children, Evidence, injury compensation

Motorcycle Crash Injuries Settled for $465,000

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 25, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

A $465,000 settlement was reached recently for a client that was seriously injured in a motorcycle
accident. The client was injured while riding as a passenger when the motorcycle was driven into the
street from a parking lot. Unfortunately, a car was coming down the road at the same time. A crash ensued and the passenger on the bike was thrown over the car. The passenger was airlifted from the scene of the accident and underwent emergency surgery, which placed plates and screws in both an arm and a leg to stabilize multiple serious fractures. My client was left with a lot of medical bills and some limitation of movement and pain at the fracture sites. The amount of the settlement reflects the seriousness of the injuries.

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Topics: Motorcycle Accident, Success Stories, motorcycle injuries

Snapchat's Speed Filter Contributing to Distracted Driving and Devastating Car Accident

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 25, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Mobile devices are an integral part of modern life for most Americans, with apps and features that make them useful for much more than just making a phone call. The development of mobile apps is a booming industry, with apps designed to help us find products, track our health and fitness, and keep in touch with our friends. However, as mobile devices become more useful and more engaging, they also become more distracting – which can have disastrous consequences when we get behind the wheel. A Georgia man discovered the truth of this danger firsthand when he suffered a devastating car accident caused by a teenager using her smartphone to take selfies on Snapchat.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Distracted Driving

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