Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

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

Early Snow Wreaks Havoc for NJ Drivers

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Nov 28, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

With more than a month remaining until the official start of winter, the snowstorm earlier this month caught forecasters, municipalities, and commuters equally off-guard. With some areas of the state receiving as much as 8 inches of snow, a far cry from the 2 inches widely predicted in the days prior, commuters across the state found themselves losing several hours to impassible roads and traffic jams caused by hundreds of collisions.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Dangerous Condition, hazardous road conditions

Keeping Joggers, Walkers, Pedestrians Safe

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Jan 04, 2017

By Francis M. Smith

Winter is beginning in earnest, and reactions to the onslaught of winter weather vary depending on who you ask. Children delight in fluffy snowdrifts and the possibility of school closures, while commuters dread the prospect of slippery roads. Die-hard joggers defy the cold weather for the sake of their morning runs, and some cautious would-be motorists would prefer to walk short distances rather than risk driving in winter conditions. However, for these latter groups, winter holds particular risks for pedestrian auto accidents. It’s easy for joggers and other pedestrians to forget the ways in which this time of year increases the danger of motor vehicle accidents, and some motorists forget that anyone might be walking or jogging in the cold to begin with. For both groups, a reminder of the ways that winter increases the risk of pedestrian traffic accidents might be useful.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Distracted Driving, Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian Safety

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Dec 30, 2016

By Francis M. Smith

Winter weather can be beautiful, but that beauty conceals many hazards for anyone who has to brave the cold and go outside – that is, almost everyone. Slippery roads can quickly spell disaster for drivers, but the danger of wintry conditions to pedestrians should not be overlooked. This is true not only for habitual walkers and joggers, but also for anyone walking between their front door and their car, or crossing a business parking lot. It’s important for everyone to keep pedestrian safety measures in mind any time they leave the house at this time of year.

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Topics: Dangerous Condition, Distracted Driving, Pedestrian Accidents

Negligent Security: Preventable Criminal Attacks

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 22, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Business owners have a duty of care toward their visitors: they must take steps to remedy any dangerous conditions on their property that they know about, as well as any dangerous conditions that they should know about as a result of reasonably careful maintenance of the property. Sometimes, however, the dangers that threaten to injure visitors to the property are not just slippery floors or icy steps. Some of the more devastating injuries that can befall visitors are suffered at the hands of other people in acts of violent crime – and for premises liability purposes, reasonably foreseeable criminal activity committed by a third party may count as a dangerous condition that a property owner has a duty to rectify through implementing reasonable security measures.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, premises liability, negligent security

Common Defenses To A Slip and Fall Injury Accident

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 20, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

When your slip and fall injury claim goes to court, you and your attorney will need to prove a number of things to the satisfaction of a jury: that you suffered an accident as a result of the negligence of the party you are suing, that the injuries you sustained were caused by that accident, and that the financial damages you are seeking stem from those injuries. As you are working to provide evidence in support of these points, the lawyer working for the insurance company will be doing his best to tear down your attorney's arguments. One of the more common points of attack for defense attorneys in slip and fall injury cases is the claim of negligence. If they can convince a jury that their client (the landowner or property manager you are suing) was diligent in fulfilling his duty of care and that your accident took place despite the client's reasonable efforts, you won't be able to collect injury damages regardless of how seriously you were injured.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury compensation, comparative fault

The Three Ingredients to a Slip and Fall - Injury: Shoes, Floor and Person

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 18, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

In any slip and fall injury case, there are three components in play that may contribute to an accident. These components are the accident victim him- or herself, the footwear the victim was wearing when the accident took place, and the flooring or other surface across which the injury victim was walking when the accident occurred. When you are injured in a slip or trip and fall accident, it's important for you and your attorney to examine all three factors thoroughly, in order to rule them out as a possible cause of the accident (and produce evidence to support ruling them out), or to demonstrate that a particular factor was at fault and gather evidence in support of this conclusion.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall

Slips and Falls Caused by How the Store Does Business? The Wollerman Rule and the Mode of Operation Explained

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, May 15, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

In some slip and fall injury claims, the cause of the accident is readily apparent: a staircase hand rail wasn't securely attached to the wall and gave way when the injured plaintiff grasped it, or the plaintiff slipped on a spilled puddle of laundry detergent, which left a soapy residue on her shoes. Unfortunately, there are many other cases in which it's clear that something caused the injured person to slip and fall, but the specific hazard that precipitated the fall is difficult to identify or prove. Sometimes the hazard that caused the accident is discovered, but it is unknown how the hazard came to be on the floor, or whether it had been there long enough for an employee of the business to discover it. In the past, this has resulted in the cases of many injured plaintiffs being dismissed on the grounds that they lacked evidence to prove negligence. A New Jersey Supreme Court decision established the Wollerman rule, making it simpler for some slip and fall victims to argue their cases by shifting the burden of proof to the defendant under some circumstances.

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Topics: Injuries, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall

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