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Our Legal Blog: NJ Injury & Accident Attorneys

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...

Dash Cams in Auto Accidents

Can dash cams help in automobile accidents? Dashboard-mounted cameras, or dash cams, provide valuable evidence when there is uncertainty about a case. With proper use, footage from your dash cam will establish evidence and help you settle an auto accident claim in your favor.   Read more to find out the role dash cams can play in auto accidents, and see if it is a worthy investment for you. Why Use Dash Cams in Auto Accident Claims? Auto accidents happen unexpectedly. No matter how careful you are, you cannot account for the behavior of other people on the road. A car can suddenly cut you off, a person can jump in front of your car, or a distracted driver can ignore a red light and hit your car while going through the intersection. Settling auto accident claims often become a tedious process because both parties can claim innocence. But technology has made it possible to add a layer of objectivity in auto accident cases. Before personal dash cams became popular on the market, they were already associated with the police. Police vehicles have dash cams installed as another potential source of documentation and evidence. Now, dash cam footage from privately-owned cars provides the same benefit in auto accident claims. In fact, law enforcement authorities prefer the use of dash cams in settling auto accident claims. Dash cams record video directly to an SD card. Some can even record sound, have night vision, and built-in GPS. Though having dash cam footage does not mean you automatically win the claim, it still benefits the proceedings of the case overall. In this...

Post-Accident Symptoms and Treatments

Death by vehicular accidents is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Every year, millions of people are injured or killed in car crashes. In order to lessen these accidents, car developers continue to make all sorts of safety improvements. Countless lives have been saved through these developments. However, accidents just simply cannot be avoided. Being part of a car accident is truly an unfortunate situation. This may cause stress, trauma, and all sorts of physical injuries. In more serious accidents, you will be able to see the more obvious symptoms of injury immediately. But sometimes, symptoms of injury may only be felt hours or days later. Headache Headaches are common to experience after having been involved in a car accident. If you strike your head hard, your brain may hit the inside of your skull, causing you to sustain a concussion. Symptoms do not often show up immediately. Apart from headaches, you may also feel disoriented, nauseous, and have difficulty in thinking and retaining information. A splitting headache may also mean you have incurred another undiagnosed head injury, or even a blood clot.  A doctor will typically prescribe pain relievers so that you will feel some immediate comfort. You must also get some good rest and avoid doing any strenuous activities. In order to more precisely diagnose your injury, have a CT scan of your brain done. Joint and Muscle Pain Being involved in a car accident means that your body may have taken in a lot of force and trauma. This may cause you to feel sore and all banged up. One of the...

2017 Summer Tips to Prevent Construction Heat Illness

The temperature is rising. Summer is coming, and in many parts of the country, it is already here. While there are very many who are ready to shrug off their winter coats as they look to the beach, construction workers ready themselves for the high season. The statistics for heat-related deaths in the US is absolutely staggering: 3,332 people perished from the heat between 2006-2010 (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr076.pdf). Construction workers are incredibly prone to the heat, as most of their work is done outside and the work is strenuous. Here are three tips to make sure your health is not jeopardized while you are on the job. 1. Know the Signs Heat-related maladies are important to recognize. The two most common forms of heat-related illnesses are heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion is the milder of the two and is often accompanied by dehydration, which exacerbates its symptoms. The malady is divided into two categories: water depletion and salt depletion. The signs of the disease are confusion, dark-colored urine, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headache, cramps, pale skin, accelerated heart rate, and profuse sweating. Heat strokes are far more serious and can take lives when not cautioned for. Medically, a heat stroke is when your internal body temperature reaches 104 degrees, but on a construction site rarely has thermometers for people. This temperature is the point at which heat impacts the central nervous symptoms, and the symptoms include a throbbing headache, lack of sweating, dizziness, confusion, red and dry skin, muscle weakness, nausea, rapid breathing, and an accelerated heart rate. In more extreme cases, unconsciousness and seizures may occur. If you see...

Injured at Work? Take these Next Steps

Despite any number of regulation-appropriate workplace precautions, safety protocols such as training and simulations, and physical preventative measures such as warning signage, employees still face unfortunate accidents while at work. Your top priority when injured at work is to ensure everyone’s safety and health, in the current situation and also for the future.   There are several concrete steps you can take to immediately address an injury at work. Some of these actions will take weeks or even months. However, the first 24 hours after an injury are the most crucial.   These steps are designed to protect the physical, emotional and mental interests of the employee. The Proper action also protects the interests of the company, especially in terms of liability. In instances of workplace accidents, both the employee and the employer need to take certain steps.   Steps to Take After an Injury   Employees who are injured while working on the job have to take certain steps to ensure their physical and also legal interests. Here are the steps any employee should keep in mind:   1. Receive Medical Attention If you become injured at work, stop whatever you are doing immediately and seek medical attention. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to be transported to a healthcare facility or treated on site.   2. Ensure Report of Injury Make sure that you report the injury to your superior. This may be before you receive medical attention, for less severe cases, or after you’ve already received medical treatment. If you do not report your injury immediately, it is less likely for your...

What is Personal Injury Law?

Victims of personal injury cases can get just economic and non-economic compensation as provided for by personal injury law. Personal injury law deals with cases that involve victims of accidents or intentional wrongs. The usual goal in this type of lawsuit is compensation whether it is economic (damages, lost wages), non-economic (rehabilitation, household help) or both.  However, in some situations, a punitive outcome such as possible jail time may be reached. What are the causes of personal injury? Anything that causes injury to a person as a result of the action of another can be a basis for the victim to file a personal injury lawsuit. The most common include the following: Negligence – This is the usual reason behind injuries caused by vehicular accidents or medical practice. Liability – Manufacturers of a certain product that causes harm to a consumer can also be brought to task through the personal injury law. The same goes with toxic exposure from industries situated near communities and injuries from faulty construction. Social wrong – Victims of bullying or preferential treatment because of race or gender, among others, can also file a personal injury lawsuit.   Intentional wrong – This pertains to any voluntary act that injures another person.   When does a victim need a lawyer? Victims can opt for a legal remedy especially in the following situations: Medical malpractice – Anyone who has experienced negligent or incompetent health care services needs a legal representative to get the most of his/her claim. Permanent disability – This covers appearance and physical abilities. A lawyer helps in figuring out the terms of compensation that...
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