Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

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

Personal Injury Torts and Defenses

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 18, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

Navigating the legal process of seeking compensation after someone else has caused you an injury can often be confusing to an injury victim without a legal background, in part because the jargon used in the legal world is unfamiliar and often archaic. This is not out of any deliberate intent to confuse the layperson, but rather because specific words and phrases carry particular meaning under the law, while words with a similar conventional definition aren’t charged with the same legal force. An important example of legal jargon that you will encounter frequently in your pursuit of injury compensation is the term “tort.”

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Topics: injury compensation, negligence, tort law, tort lawyer

Car Accidents and Collisions in NJ: Year End Review for 2018

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

By Francis M. Smith

The start of a new year is a natural time for looking at past trends and reflecting on ways to improve them going forward. As a personal injury attorney with extensive experience handling cases involving automotive accidents, I tend to turn that reflective impulse toward collision trends, in the hope of gaining a better understanding of the causes of the accidents that affect my clients. The New Jersey Department of Transportation compiles statistical records of collision rates throughout the state, broken down by county. It’s no surprise that more heavily-populated and urban counties tend to see more auto accidents than their less-populous neighbors, but what is remarkable is the way some counties see major fluctuations in the number of collisions that take place from year to year, while other areas experience a fairly consistent rate of crashes. Understanding what causes those changes, and why they affect some counties more strongly than others, may help uncover ways to keep all New Jersey road users safer.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, Distracted Driving

New Jersey Reports on Injuries from Crashes from 2017

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Feb 04, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

No motorist who is struck by another vehicle is likely to consider him- or herself “lucky” regarding any part of the incident. The fear and trauma resulting from the collision itself, the headaches of dealing with damage to the vehicle, and the pain and life disruption resulting from any injuries sustained are categorically awful experiences. The idea that “it could have been worse” is small comfort to anyone who has suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident, but statistical trends are important to examine on a larger scale for what they can teach us about making roads safer in the future.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, injury compensation

Rear-end Hit Collisions are Considered Negligence in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jan 30, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

When you are injured in an automotive accident involving another vehicle, your ability to collect fair compensation for your injuries relies on whether you can demonstrate that the other driver caused the accident through negligent behavior. In some cases, proving negligence can be a difficult task, requiring your attorney to collect witness testimony, pore over the statements given by both drivers, or even bring in experts to reconstruct the accident. However, there are certain types of collision in which it is much easier to argue for negligence.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, negligence, settlement compensation

Dangers of Slip and Falls During Freeze and Thaw Cycles

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jan 28, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

In the immediate aftermath of a snowstorm, the bitter cold and piles of snow and ice make venturing outside a daunting prospect. Winter storms can leave behind dangerously slippery conditions for anyone traveling on foot, or even walking to their cars. However, when the temperature starts to rise a little, surely that’s a sign of safer walking conditions to come, right? Not necessarily. Warmer days and sub-freezing nights result in freeze and thaw cycles that, if anything, make it more dangerous to traverse sidewalks and driveways, rather than less.

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Topics: Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, hazardous road conditions

Slip and Fall Injuries when Rain is Followed by Falling Temperatures

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jan 23, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

The fact that snowy weather can create slippery conditions that increase the danger of falling accidents is not news to any long-time New Jersey resident. However, it’s much easier to forget that a brief stretch of 40-degree rainy weather can create conditions that are just as dangerous – if not worse – when the temperature dips below freezing again during the night. The rainfall may melt away any accumulated snow at the edges of roads and walkways, but very little of that moisture is absorbed into the cold winter air. Most of it lingers on the surface of sidewalks and driveways until the weather turns cold enough that the residual water re-freezes into a slick, near-invisible sheet of ice. If that isn’t perilous enough, even a dusting of snow can completely conceal the ice on walkways, making it harder for pedestrians to anticipate the presence of slipping hazards.

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Topics: Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, hazardous road conditions

Falling is Leading Cause of Most Nonfatal Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Jan 18, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

No one who has lived in New Jersey for any length of time is surprised by the fact that snowy weather increases a person’s risk of slipping and falling. What may be surprising for many of us, however, is how great the effect of that increased risk can be, and how often these falls can lead to serious injury. While the best-case scenario for a fall on ice results in nothing more than damp dress or trousers and something to complain about for the rest of the morning, many falls cause injuries serious enough to warrant a hospital visit. In fact, the workload increase in emergency rooms during slippery, snowy days is comparable to the increase resulting from a major accident or moderate natural disaster, according to some studies.

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Topics: Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, hazardous road conditions

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