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

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

Driving Danger Increases When Daylight Savings TIme Springs Forward

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Mon, Mar 25, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

Despite the stubborn residue of the last snowstorm still clinging to curbs and lawns, spring is only a matter of weeks away, and with it comes one of the more curious phenomena of the modern era: Daylight Savings Time. However, as we “spring forward” to chase the gradually-expanding daylight hours, it’s worth taking a moment to consider how the transition will affect our bodies and our safety as we make our daily commutes.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, Pedestrian Accidents, drowsy driving

Alarming Pedestrian Accidents and Deaths

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Fri, Mar 22, 2019

By Francis M. Smith

While automotive accident fatalities overall have been declining over the past few years, one kind of traffic-related death is dramatically bucking that trend. The rate of pedestrian deaths in motor vehicle accidents has been steadily increasing since 2009, to an estimated high in 2018 that hasn’t been equaled since 1990. These projections have been compiled in a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, a nonprofit group that represents and draws data from highway safety offices nationwide. Using reported pedestrian death statistics from the first six months of 2018 and coupling those figures with historical trends in fatal accident data, the Association has produced an estimate that 6,227 pedestrian fatalities occurred as a result of automotive accidents in the whole of 2018. This figure, the largest number of pedestrian deaths in almost 30 years, represents a 35 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities over the course of a single decade. Coming at a time when other motor vehicle accident fatalities have been declining, this trend of increasing pedestrian deaths is a dangerous aberration that demands explanation.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Distracted Driving, Drunk Driving, Pedestrian Accidents

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

Traffic Laws Help Determine Fault when Pedestrians are Struck by Motor Vehicles

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 12, 2018


By Francis M. Smith

In the majority of cases when an motor vehicle collision takes place, the cause can usually be traced to an error or lapse in attention on the part of either someone involved in the crash, or someone who contributed more indirectly to the situation (through faulty vehicle repair, poor road maintenance, and so on). More often than not, however, one or more of the parties involved in the accident will ultimately prove culpable. Everyone who uses the roads has a duty of care toward all other road users to conduct themselves in a reasonably safe and predictable manner in accordance with traffic laws. This includes both motorists and pedestrians, though of course the laws that apply to pedestrians differ from those governing automobiles and trucks. When an auto or truck accident involving a pedestrian occurs, both sets of legal responsibilities are examined to determine where the fault for the accident lies.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents

Settlement Process and Timeline for NJ Car Accidents Injuries

Posted by Francis M. Smith on Wed, Dec 05, 2018

By Francis M. Smith

After a serious car accident, it can often feel as though your normal life has come to a screeching halt: you may spend time in the hospital having your injuries diagnosed and treated, and you may not be able to return to work right away even after you are discharged. Even worse, the pain of your injuries can make every moment stretch into weeks of agony, immobility or discomfort. However, there are several ways in which time continues to tick by persistently – bills don’t stop piling up while you’re unable to work, and the administrative deadlines for your injury claim draw closer. Having a clear understanding of the claim resolution process can help you avoid the feeling that the opportunity to be fairly compensated for your injuries is slipping through your fingers.

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Topics: Motor Vehicle Accidents, settlement compensation, statute of limitations

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

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