Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

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

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Slip and Fall Injury Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, May 13, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Q: What exactly does the term “slip and fall” mean, legally?

A: Although it sounds more like plain English than legal jargon, “slip and fall” is a legal term that refers to a particular scenario in tort law. ("Tort law" simply refers to civil justice and remedies provided, as compared to criminal justice.) Slip and fall lawsuits involve cases in which the injured plaintiff suffering an accident in which they slipped or tripped and fell on a property belonging to another person or entity (who would be the defendant(s) in the case). In these cases, the defendant may be held liable, or legally responsible, for the plaintiff's injuries if the defendant was negligent in a way that breached the duty of care he owed to the plaintiff.

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Topics: Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury case

Navigating Fault: Why Are Slip & Falls Hard to Prove, Who Is to Blame, & What to Do When You Fall

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, May 04, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Though they are among the more common personal injury cases, slip and falls can be surprisingly difficult to pursue. In any negligence claim, there are three basic points that must be proven to the satisfaction of a jury if the case makes it to court. First, you must prove that you suffered losses (in the form of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of living, and other costs that result from being injured). Second, you must prove that these losses were the result of the accident in question – that your injuries were the consequence of this particular fall, and not some other incident or condition. Third, you must prove that the accident is the fault of the individuals or organizations you are suing. This is the point where many insurance lawyers will attack your case the most fervently, because fault can be tricky to prove in slip and fall cases.

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

Falls in Amusement Parks

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Apr 29, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

New Jersey is fortunate to be home to many amusement parks, from a variety of local theme parks to one of the largest amusement park and safari chains in the country. Theme parks cultivate a sense of adventure, playfulness, and safety within their borders – which is why it seems all the more jarring when something goes wrong and someone is hurt. The idea of an accident at an amusement park conjures up images of roller-coaster disasters, but as a fraction of all personal injury claims at theme parks, these catastrophes are thankfully rare. Much more commonly, the sort of accidents that result in an injury claim and a potential lawsuit are rather mundane: the same sort of slip and fall accident that can happen in a supermarket or a restaurant.

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Topics: Injuries, Trip and Fall, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, injury compensation, falls in amusement parks

Falls in Construction Sites

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 27, 2015

By Francis M. Smith

Construction sites can be, by their very nature, hazardous locations. Heavy equipment, ladders and scaffolding, holes and trenches, and other features can create dangers that can only be mitigated, not entirely erased. It is the duty of the general contractor or property manager in charge of a construction site to maintain it in as safe a condition as possible, but sometimes corners are cut or errors are made, resulting in accidents. Every year, more than 68,000 injury claims result from slip and fall accidents on or around construction sites – and of these, over 100 represent fatal accidents. Often the victims of these falls at construction sites are workers employed by one of the companies (sub-contractors) operating on the job site, but passers-by or other people are also at risk of falling accidents in these areas.

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Topics: Trip and Fall, Dangerous Condition, Dangerous Premises, Slip and Fall, Construction Accidents, Workplace Injury, Workplace Accidents

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