Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

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

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

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

Reporting Deadlines for Car Accident Injury Cases in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Nov 16, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

After a serious car accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the unexpected new demands on your attention – you may have medical appointments and physical therapy to get to, you might have to take time away from work or find someone to take care of your kids, not to mention the hassles of getting your vehicle repaired. With all these demands on your time and concentration, it’s easy to forget about the reporting deadlines for your accident. However, missing these deadlines can cause tremendous problems for your injury case, and may prevent you from getting the care you need or the compensation you deserve.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, New Jersey motor vehicle accident attorney

What legalization of marijuana in NJ might do to car accident rates

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 14, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

With a new year and a new governor, New Jersey residents can expect some significant legislative changes on the horizon. In particular, Governor Phil Murphy is expected to move forward on campaign promises regarding the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the coming months. Understandably, this predicted move has provoked questions from New Jersey drivers about the possible effects that a newly-legalized intoxicant might have on road safety and accident rates. However, accurate answers to these questions are not easy to come by.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents

How Are Semi Truck Accidents Different from Car Accidents?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Jan 22, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

Car accidents are not uncommon, and in the aftermath of a serious crash, it's natural to reach out to friends and family with similar experiences for guidance on how to proceed. However, some kinds of automotive accidents are very different than others, and the experience of friends who have dealt with an accident involving another passenger car may not be very useful if you find yourself injured after a crash with a commercial truck, be it a box truck or a semi truck. These collisions are unlike average car accidents in several respects, and require the help of an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights are protected.

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Topics: Car Accidents, Truck Accidents

Warning: Used Tires May Not be Safe

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 26, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Automotive repairs can be very expensive, and often the need to make a repair arises unexpectedly when something goes wrong outside of normal vehicle maintenance schedules. In order to save money, some people look for used parts to replace components that need to be replaced. Many auto repair shops will offer to install used parts to reduce the cost of the repairs they make. Naturally, used parts have already experienced some wear, and can be expected not to last as long as new replacements. With your car's tires, the cost of choosing used replacements can be too high -- old tires can result in deadly crashes.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents

Taxis and Ride-Sharing -- Who is Liable for Crashes?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jul 19, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

To most people who are familiar with the transportation phenomenon of ride-sharing, services like Uber and Lyft seem to be very similar to taxi companies, though cheaper and more convenient. This is certainly how the customer experience appears when all goes well, but unfortunately, accidents happen. Car crashes involving an Uber or Lyft driver reveal the substantial differences between these services and traditional cab companies, and any rider should be informed of the risks before deciding how they're going to get home.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, NJ Auto Insurance, Car Accidents, insurance company

Will Driverless Car Legislation Come from the States or Federal Government?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Mar 08, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

As advances in technology bring driverless cars closer to an everyday reality on our roadways, the laws of the country will need to adapt to keep up with the changes that self-driving vehicles will effect. The question remains, however, as to where those legal changes will take place: within the court system, in state legislatures, or at the federal level? Although in many cases federal regulation can be a strong tool for consumer protection, it can have its drawbacks when dealing with emerging technologies that have a substantial corporate interest. The danger to consumers comes when federal regulations are considered to preempt, or override, stricter state laws and civil liability.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, driverless cars

Driverless Cars and Liability Alternatives

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 06, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

As automation moves into more and more aspects of everyday life, it generally makes things safer and easier for the people who use the automated products. With respect to potentially dangerous activities like driving a car, automation removes the possibility of driver error from the equation, making the task much safer… until something goes wrong with the programming or the machinery. Auto accidents will not be eliminated with the introduction of driverless cars, so the question remains of how liability will be handled. The most obvious answer is an extension of the current system, with manufacturers carrying strict liability for any harm resulting from negligence or wrongdoing on their part. However, other systems of liability have been suggested (often by auto manufacturers and their advocates, to no one’s surprise) that would place less of a burden of liability on the manufacturers of driverless cars.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Car Accidents, driverless cars

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