Personal Injury Articles for the Injured of NJ

New NJ Insurance Policy Limits Disclosure Law

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Thu, Apr 25, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

A bill recently passed in the New Jersey Senate will help injured plaintiffs make informed decisions in their pursuit of fair compensation for their injuries. The bill, S-2429, passed in the State Senate at the end of March, requires that insurance providers disclose the limits of coverage on a policy held by a customer who is party to an injury claim. After receiving a request for disclosure in connection with an injury claim (which must include a statement that the attorney represents a person injured in an accident involving someone insured by the provider, the insured person’s name and last known address, the date and time of the accident, and any existing police report), the insurance company has 30 days to respond in writing with a disclosure of the policy limits in question. The bill was sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari and Senator Nellie Pou, and co-sponsored by Senator Chris Brown. Having passed in the Senate on March 25th by a vote of 27-9, S-2429 will be sent to the Assembly to be considered.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Automobile Insurance, injury compensation

Common Residual or Permanent Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 12, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

After suffering an injury in any sort of accident for which someone else was at fault, you are generally advised to wait until you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement before sending a demand letter for injury compensation to the relevant insurance company. “Maximum medical improvement” refers to the point at which your treating doctors believe that you have healed as fully as you are likely to heal, and that further medical intervention will not result in any additional improvement. For some patients, this means that they have recovered completely from their injuries, as though the accident never happened. Unfortunately, many accident victims are not so lucky. When they reach their maximum medical improvement, they still have some pain, stiffness, limited mobility, or other impairment that did not exist before their accident. These impairments are not expected to improve with time or treatment, remaining a permanent fixture in the patient’s life. These permanent injuries may prevent the accident victim from returning to a previous job or recreational activities, or impose other disruptive changes in the victim’s life. These long-term consequences are compensable harm, just as much as the medical bills, lost wages, and physical and emotional suffering that the victim incurred during treatment.

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Topics: Permanent Injury, injury compensation, residual injuries

Sussex County NJ Fatal Car Crashes Increased in 2018

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Apr 08, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

While there has been an overall downward trend in automotive accident fatalities nationwide, New Jersey stands out with one of the lowest rates of car accident fatalities, with 6.7 fatalities per 100,000 residents in 2017. Only Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and the District of Columbia reported lower fatality rates that year. In even better news for New Jersey residents, the number of fatal accidents last year decreased from the 2017 figures, with 624 automotive-related fatalities in 2017 and 566 fatalities in 2018. However, that reduction in automotive deaths was not evenly distributed; Sussex County saw an increase in fatalities from 2017 to 2018.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, injury compensation

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

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

Train Accidents

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Dec 03, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

Whether they serve as part of our daily commute or offer an affordable alternative for longer-distance travel, trains form an important part of the lives of many New Jersey residents. For some, the choice to rely on public transportation including trains is informed by the disturbing upward trend in automotive accidents, with many perceiving trains to be a safer alternative to highways packed with smartphone-wielding drivers. However, no mode of transportation is perfectly safe, and trains are no exception. Negligence or overwork can result in operator error, and inadequate maintenance and mechanical wear may lead to equipment failure, either of which has the potential to cause an accident. Due to the high speeds and massive size of trains, a derailment or collision of any kind has the potential to inflict catastrophic injuries on passengers and others nearby (such as travelers waiting on the train platform). Those who suffer such injuries may require extensive treatment and long periods of healing to recover, and even then may be left with lasting injuries. This makes it all the more important that anyone injured in a train accident be able to obtain the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Attorney, injury compensation, train accidents

Insurance Tactics to Reduce Claims for Pedestrian and Bicycle Accident Cases

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Oct 15, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

Insurance companies employ highly trained professionals known as claims adjusters to handle personal injury cases caused by the negligence of their policy holders. When a pedestrian or cyclist like you is struck by a vehicle, a claims adjuster for the driver’s insurance company springs into action as soon as the accident is reported. Regardless of what the claims adjuster may say to you, he has one goal in mind, the purpose for which the insurance company hired him: to ensure that his employer has to pay you as little money as he can manage, or none at all. To that end, insurance adjusters have a large playbook of tactics at their disposal, but a few tricks are particularly common – simply because they overwhelmingly tend to work against injured claimants who lack experience in dealing with insurance companies and injury lawsuits. By learning how to recognize these deceptive tactics and knowing how to respond, you can protect yourself from being unfairly denied the opportunity to receive the fair compensation you deserve.

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Topics: Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, injury compensation, insurance company, insurance adjuster

Boating and Jet Ski Accidents

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Oct 12, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

For New Jersey residents, taking to the water is a popular way to beat the late-summer heat, either at the beach or at one of the state’s numerous bodies of fresh water. The warm weather is an excellent opportunity to enjoy boating or the use of personal watercraft, but the popularity of boating brings its own dangers along. Car accidents remain the largest source of transportation-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S., but recreational boating accidents easily take up second place, with more than 4,158 accidents that caused 2,613 injuries and 626 deaths, as reported by the U.S. Coast Guard for 2015, an increase in fatalities over the year prior.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Case, injury compensation, boating accidents, jet ski accidents

When a Child is Injured in a School Bus Accident in NJ

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Sep 14, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

It’s a nightmare scenario for parents of school-age children: your child is riding a school bus when the bus gets into an auto accident. Families all across New Jersey rely on school buses to transport their children to and from school, and even children who don’t regularly ride the bus will most likely climb on board a few times a year for class field trips. One such accident took place in May of this year, when a bus taking fifth-graders on a field trip collided with a dump truck. The resulting crash claimed the lives of one student and a teacher, and injured 43 others.

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Topics: injury compensation, federal tort claims act, tort law, school bus accident

Do You Really Need to Tell Your Lawyer Everything About Your Case?

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Apr 27, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

After an accident, the process of initiating your personal injury case can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’ve never needed to hire a lawyer before. You may find yourself concerned about what to say, how much to share, especially if there’s anything about your case or circumstances or past that you feel may be embarrassing or damaging. If you feel tempted to hold back certain details from your attorney because you don’t want them being brought up in your case, it’s vital for you to fight that urge. Your lawyer isn’t there to judge you, but rather to help you. He can only do that effectively if he knows the whole story, and can prepare for any snags that may result from the reveal of uncomfortable or damaging facts.

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Topics: NJ Personal Injury Case, New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, injury compensation

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