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Our Legal Blog: NJ Injury & Accident Attorneys

I was the Passenger in a Car Crash. Can I Make a Claim?

As the passenger of a car accident, you are usually not held liable for the car crash. You may have an easier case than a driver or another type of personal injury litigant. Generally, as a passenger, you do not need to prove any liability when filing a claim. This makes it easier to file the legal documents, and to receive compensation. Dealing with injury claims and accidents can get overwhelming and confusing. As a lawyer who wants to help those involved in car injuries, I am here to help. Check out the information below to learn more about filing a claim, as a passenger in a car accident. Filing the Claim Filing a passenger injury claim essentially involves a similar method to filing any other type of car accident claim. The only difference is that as a passenger, you have the ability to make the claim against both of the drivers, if the accident involved two vehicles. It is important that you get insurance details from both of the drivers, and file the claim against each driver’s insurance company. Yet, there are exceptions. For example, if the accident gained no-fault status, you should go ahead and file a Personal Injury Protection (PIP), or no fault claim against the driver, relative to your medical bills and lost earnings. Multiple Passenger Injury Claim One potential issue with passenger injury cases is when you are not the only passenger. Say you are involved in a car accident, with two other passengers. If all three of you file against the negligent driver, it may exceed the amount that his insurance can cover....

Driving Safe in the Snow: Top 5 Driving Safety Tips for the Winter

Driving during winter has its own risks. Apart from slippery roads, getting stuck somewhere might be life-threatening due to the cold temperature. Protect yourself and your family by driving safe in the snow. Here are the top 5 driving safety tips for the winter.   Prep your car.     Preparation is key to avert disaster. This is the reason why it tops the top 5 driving safety tips for the winter. Make sure that your car is in tiptop condition every time you hit the road. You can also switch to winter tires. They are specifically designed to run through snow with the works: better traction, stronger grip, easy handling, and quick braking. You also must check how much gas you have. Not just for long distance driving, a full gas tank does two things. It lessens moisture particularly in the fuel compartment, and it increases the weight of the car making it more beneficial for braking and slowing down. You should also check your lights as well.   Keep a safety kit at all times.   This should be the case whether it is winter or not. For the winter, you might have to double up on supplies, especially if you will be passing through rough roads or covering a longer distance. A typical kit includes the following things: Food (those that do not spoil) Water Flashlight Extra batteries Portable charger for your phone Booster cables Shovel First Aid Kit Special Medication (for family members who have certain health conditions) Reliable glass cleaner (for foggy windows) You can still add more stuff to your safety kit.  Find...

Got into a Car Accident in an Uber? Here’s What to Do Next

More than 50 million people use Uber. Uber has been in Morris County since 2014. Lyft, Uber’s closest competitor, has 3 million monthly active riders. Lyft is in Parsippany as well. Smartphones are everywhere today, and in the future, it seems likely that almost everyone will have one. As a lawyer who deals with passenger injuries, I want to help. Dealing with ride-sharing services is a unique and constantly evolving area of law, and we want to assist you in understanding it. Keep reading for more information on what to do if you have been in an Uber accident. The First Steps The first thing you should do after you have been in an accident of any kind is to attend to the medical needs of everyone involved. It is a good idea to check to see that the passengers in the other car are ok. You will want to keep in mind that certain problems or symptoms may not show up until hours, or even days, later so you should stay aware of your medical condition. Call an ambulance, if one is needed. After that, you should record as much of the scene of the accident as you can. This may involve taking photos of the scene of the accident, gathering statements from eyewitnesses, and getting contact info from the other driver. The app itself will give you some information on your driver, but it cannot hurt to ask them for their name and a phone number. You will want to call the police as soon as you possibly can. They will keep a record of who did...

Keep Your Kids Safe from These Top Childhood Accidents

An estimated 9.2 million children go to the emergency room every year due to an unintentional injury. As a NJ injury lawyer, I want to help you understand the accidents that are most likely to harm your children. Falls Falls are by far the most common cause of accidents in the home. By some measures, they account for 44% of all accidents. While a fall onto a carpet may not be so bad, falling down the stairs could lead to broken bones. Additionally, falling onto hard concrete or from a bed could lead to serious injury. If your children are very young, you can put a safety gate at the top of the stairs. Teaching your children to clean up after themselves is very important. It teaches them diligence and hygiene, but it also eliminates things they can trip over. Making sure your carpet does not have any tufts or holes in it may also help keep your kids safe from falls. Burns Every single day, more than 300 children go to the emergency room because they have been burned. Little kids are more likely to be burned by hot liquids or steam, and older children are more likely to be burned by direct contact with fire. Children’s skin is much more sensitive than adults’. An adult may be able to handle a hot drink or a hot bath, but a child will be more sensitive to that. If the water is too hot for you, it is definitely too hot for your child. When the drink or the bath water tests your pain tolerance, it is definitely too...

Is Technology the Problem or Solution to Distracted Driving?

Around 1 out of 4 car accidents in the United States are caused by someone texting while they are driving. There is more to it than just this though. As your New Jersey car accident lawyer, I want you to understand how you can best avoid collisions while you are on the road. Pros Perhaps the biggest benefit of having technology close by is the fact that you can easily call an ambulance. Accidents happen, with or without technology. When you leave your phone at home, you are opening yourself up to a whole host of possibilities. If you strike a deer, or a tree, you might not have anyone to call emergency services for you. Having a phone close by means that you are taken care of when there is no one else around you. In addition to calling the ambulance, you will also be able to call a loved one so that you can let them know what is going on. Many people use their phones to help them navigate. The phone can direct you through its speaker. You do not even have to look at the phone if you do not want to. This can be far safer than consulting a map every so often. In addition, you can set it to avoid the unsafe parts of town. Cons There is a very strong correlation between distracted driving and getting into a car wreck. There are three different types of distractions while you are driving: manual, visual, and cognitive. Manual distractions mean that your hands are taken off the wheel. Visual distractions take your eyes off...

What is Wrongful Death and What Do I Need to Prove?

Wrongful death statutes were created so that widows and orphans could ask for financial support from the offending party. This is because in the past, only the victim could file a complaint. In cases where that person dies, the claim dies with the plaintiff. What is Wrongful Death? When a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another, the surviving family or heirs may sue for “wrongful death” and ask for compensation for pain and suffering, lost financial support, funeral expenses, and other damages. Although wrongful death statutes vary from state to state, all lawsuits are civil in nature. Because they are not criminal cases, the required burden of proof is lower. A criminal case must establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt but a civil case only requires a preponderance of the evidence. Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death? Every state has a set of wrongful death statutes which establishes the procedures for wrongful death claims. In general, those who can sue for wrongful death include: A surviving spouse Immediate family members Children Parents A personal representative of the estate of the deceased Wrongful Death Lawsuits after a Criminal Trial Most wrongful death lawsuits are filed after a criminal trial. Although similar evidence is presented, there is a lower standard of proof in wrongful death suits. Someone found liable for wrongful death may or may not be convicted criminally. Elements of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit A wrongful death cause of action must have the following elements present: The death of a human being Another person’s negligence or intent to cause harm is the proximate cause of the death...

Keep Safe in Holiday Traffic with These 7 Tips

Every single year, the number of deaths in the US spikes around Thanksgiving. The death rate remains fairly high throughout the winter. While some of these deaths can be attributed to coronary issues, many are due to traffic accidents. As a car accident attorney, I want you to stay safe over the holidays. Accelerate and Decelerate Slowly Applying the gas slowly is one of the best ways to gain traction and avoid skids. It takes more time to stop when the roads are icy, so you should take your time to slow down for a stop sign or a red light. Do not hurry, or you will hurry on the way to the hospital. Avoid Hills if You Can Going up or down a hill presents a massive challenge when the roads are snowy. When you press the accelerator while going up a hill, you may just be spinning your wheels. If you can, try to build up some momentum before getting onto the hill. On the descent, remember that it takes longer to come to a complete stop. Apply the brakes before you think you need to. Give Other Drives Space Chances are, not every driver is as careful as you are. Turning, stopping, and speeding up are all far more difficult when conditions are poor. Other drivers do not always understand that, and may do something unexpected to compensate for a bad decision they made. Carry Emergency Supplies There are a few items that every car should have: Tow and tire chains Antifreeze Small folding shovel Basic tool kit Warning flares Road salt All of these can...

Bike Accident FAQs: What to Do and Who to Call

In 2015, 818 bicyclists were killed in crashes. Many more are injured year in and year out, especially in New Jersey. As a New Jersey bicycle injury lawyer, I want you to know what you should do if you have been hit by a car while on your bike. Before we begin, it is impossible to overstate how important it is to wear a helmet if you are riding a bike. If you are riding a bike and are under the age of 17, the law states that you must wear a helmet. While those over the age of majority do not have to wear head protection, having a helmet could save your life. Most deaths and serious injuries are due to damage to the head or spine. As much as 98% of bicycle deaths happen when the rider does not wear a helmet. What to Do after a Bike Wreck If someone has hit you while you are on your bike, it is important to keep calm. The adrenaline will be flowing, and you may have suffered an injury. You may feel stress and anxiety, but we want you to know what to do in the event of a wreck. Immediately after the collision, you should establish if you are injured or not. Depending on how the accident occurred, you may be facing some serious injuries. While it is unlikely that the driver of the car is injured, you should check if they have been hurt as well. Should paramedics be needed, call an ambulance. Something that you will want to keep in mind is that certain injuries...

I was the Passenger in a Car Wreck. Can I Make a Claim?

There were almost 13,000 car accidents in Morris County alone last year. Many of us ride with passengers. They can be our friends, family members, or anyone. The aftermath of a car accident is scary and confusing for everyone involved, especially people who have no control over the situation. That is where we can help. At DeZao Law, we want you to know your rights, duties, and responsibilities. As part of our service as New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers, we want to enlighten you on this area of law. Passenger Injury Claims In a vast majority of car accidents, someone is considered to be at fault. When someone hits another car, a pedestrian, or an inanimate object with their vehicle, the court may hold them legally responsible. The judge weighs their actions or inactions to determine who was negligent. Sometimes, no one is negligent. No one can reasonably expect a wild animal to jump out in front of their vehicle, and it is possible that the driver might not be found to be negligent. When a drunk driver hits someone because they were not in control, it is likely that they will be found negligent. If the accident involved multiple vehicles, an investigation will be conducted to determine who is at fault. Incidents, where neither party is deemed to be at fault, are extremely rare. If you were a passenger in a car accident, you will almost never be deemed to be at fault. This makes the entire process easier for you. The only exceptions might involve a passenger grabbing the steering wheel or otherwise causing the accident. You...

the 411 on Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

Dogs bite more than 4 million people every year in the United States. Between 6,000 and 13,000 people are hospitalized because they are attacked by dogs. In worst case scenarios, a dog bite leads to death. Dogs are not the only pets that harm people. Exotic pets, such as snakes and tarantulas, have injured 336 people and killed 45 Americans. It seems as if every home has a pet. In New Jersey, we love our animals. For some people, their cat or dog is essentially a member of their family. It is important to keep in mind that they are still animals. An animal’s actions are not always predictable. Dog Attacks in New Jersey Two-thirds of people who are attacked by a dog know the canine before the bite. Sometimes the dog is your own, while at other times it is the dog of a friend or family member. Legally, if someone else’s dog clamps down on you with its teeth, you have the legal right to sue. New Jersey is known as a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. This means that you are allowed to make a legal claim even if the owner did not know the dog might bite or took reasonable precautions to restrain the dog. The owner is always legally responsible for a dog bite. If someone is bitten, they have a right to sue to recover damages. The exact amount of compensation depends on the severity of the injury. Strict liability only applies to dog bites. Citizens of New Jersey can sue for damages due to negligence. When a dog...
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