average personla injury settlement amounts

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. The details of most settlement agreements are private. Because of this, there is no way to know the average personal injury settlement amount. Every personal injury case is different—different injuries, different defendants, different insurance policies. Hearing that your cousin got $40,000 for a broken bone in a car accident doesn’t tell you much about how much you can get for a concussion you got when you slipped at the grocery store. Instead of talking about “averages,” let’s look at how an insurer will determine a settlement amount. Then we can talk about ways to maximize the amount you receive. As always, meet with an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. How Does an Insurance Company Value Injuries? Big insurance companies have been around for decades. They have settled all kinds of insurance claims and have a good idea of how much an injury is worth. Unfortunately, they don’t share this information, so how an insurer decides a number is a little vague. Once an insurer agrees that their insured caused the accident, they will calculate the amount to offer. This can include: Medical bills. The insurer will analyze all medical care and make sure it isn’t too expensive. Usually, they cover all costs related to surgery, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and prescription drugs. Lost wages. If you needed a break from work because of your injury, the insurer will cover lost wages. Property damage. Your car might be damaged or totaled, so they will calculate how much to offer to repair or replace it. So far, all this is pretty routine. An insurer might argue that you didn’t need a certain test or that your car is only worth so much, but they are usually pretty good about covering these costs. Things get tricky when looking at future losses. You might be so injured that you are permanently disabled. You could need surgery or other medical care for decades to come. An insurer will cover future losses, such as future medical care and lost wages, but they might argue about how much to pay. How Much Does an Insurer Offer for Pain and Suffering? Insurance companies tend to be stingy when it comes to compensation for intangible losses. They only offer a few thousand dollars, even when clients have serious injuries. No one knows how insurance companies arrive at a number for pain and suffering. Some people claim they use a multiplier of your economic losses. For example, if you lost $20,000 in medical bills and lost wages, they might offer 1-4 times that for pain and suffering. Others think they look at how much they paid for similar injuries and then offer that amount. The key is to hire an attorney who can bump up the amount of money for pain and suffering. Your attorney should help you document it and make a compelling case for why you deserve that amount. How Can You Increase Your Settlement? There are many things you can do to increase the amount of money you receive in a settlement. For example, you should: Save all medical bills. This can help establish how much money you are owed. Document your pain and mental suffering. Keep a journal where you note daily where you are feeling pain, its intensity, etc. Explain how your injuries hinder your daily life.  Never discuss your case with an insurance adjuster without having an attorney present. The adjuster might try to get you to downplay your injuries or take responsibility for the accident. Both could limit the amount of compensation you receive. If you hire an attorney, he or she can take concrete steps to build a solid case. For example, we can collect evidence so that it is clear who’s at fault and document your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney will negotiate a settlement for you. Trust our experience to drive a hard bargain. Contact Us Today The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio represents personal injury victims across New Jersey. If you have been injured, don’t delay. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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how much is my case worth

Have you or a loved one been in an accident? Accidents leave many victims in severe pain and unable to work. Medical bills and other expenses swallow up a victim’s savings and other assets. People who are feeling stressed financially often ask, “How much is my case worth?” The answer to this question is simple: Your case is worth whatever you can get an insurance company to offer you in a settlement or an amount you can get a jury to agree to in court. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the factors that go into valuing injuries in personal injury cases. Medical Bills You can receive compensation in an accident for your medical care to treat your injuries. Medical care can include: Cost of an ambulance to the hospital Diagnostic tests and bloodwork Surgery Overnights in the hospital Anesthesia Prescription drugs Rehabilitation Occupational or other therapy Assistive devices (crutches, bandages, etc.) Follow up doctor visits Minor injuries like a sprain or bruise might only cost a thousand dollars to treat, but more serious injuries that need surgery can cost over a million dollars. You might also qualify for future medical expenses if you are permanently disabled. Someone with a permanent brain injury could need an at-home attendant for the rest of her life. Lost Wages Bad injuries might force you to take time off from work. You can get compensation for this missed work—even if you used sick time or personal days to cover your time away.  Find your most recent pay stub to check how much you make. If you missed a month of work, you can receive a month’s worth of wages. Property Damage If you were injured in a car accident, you could receive compensation to fix your car. It should be put back in the condition it existed in before the crash. You can receive compensation for any damaged property. Intangible Losses This is where things get interesting. With monetary losses, your lawyer can look at your pay stubs, medical bills, and repair estimates to calculate how much you can receive. But New Jersey law also allows victims to get compensation for non-economic losses: Pain and suffering. Did you break a leg? You can receive compensation for the pain you feel as the bone heals. Most physical injuries cause pain or discomfort. Mental anguish or emotional distress. Physical injuries can lead to depression or anxiety. The shock of an accident could cause post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. The amount clients get for these kinds of losses will depend on the circumstances. Here, a quality lawyer can make a huge difference.  At our firm, we will do everything possible to document your pain, suffering, and emotional distress so you can receive a fair amount.   Compensation for a Spouse In some situations, your spouse might have a claim for “loss of consortium.” This type of suit recognizes that serious injuries can impair a marital relationship. For example, a spouse who is disabled can no longer be sexually intimate or provide the companionship he used to. Loss of consortium claims are not common, but you can bring one if your spouse suffered permanent disabling injuries. Punitive Damages These are rarely given. NJSA § 2A:15-5.12 allows a victim to seek punitive damages when a defendant recklessly or intentionally injures you. A motorist who drives into a crowd might qualify, since he has no regard for the safety of others. A jury awards punitive damages based on how much money they think would stop the defendant and others from acting this way. Limitations on Your Personal Injury Claim There are certain factors that can reduce the amount you can receive, even if you have very high expenses. We want to give you a heads up so you better understand how much compensation you can take home. The Size of the Defendant’s Insurance Policy  Most people you sue will not have the assets to pay out compensation, but they probably have an insurance policy. If you are injured in a car accident, then the driver should have insurance. If you were injured on someone else’s property, they should have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance. You might have $100,000 in medical bills and lost wages, but if the defendant only carries $30,000 in liability insurance, then it will be hard to get the other $70,000. You can sue the defendant personally, but he or she might not have the assets needed to pay up. Businesses usually have larger insurance policy, so adding a business as a defendant is good strategy when possible. Your Own Fault  New Jersey recognizes that sometimes accident victims contributed to their injuries by being negligent themselves. This is called contributory negligence. If you are more than 50% responsible, then you can’t receive money in a lawsuit. Even if you are 50% or less responsible, your compensation will be reduced by your proportion of fault. Imagine you have $100,000 in damages but are 40% responsible; at most, you can receive $60,000. That is how negligence works in New Jersey, so your lawyer will need to understand exactly what happened in the moments leading up to an accident. Damage Caps  New Jersey law limits the amount of compensation you can receive in some cases. For example, there are damage caps for punitive damages and caps for medical malpractice cases. Meet with Us Today As you can see, the answer to “How much is my case worth?” is complicated. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss your individual case. Please call The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, today. We have helped many clients get the compensation they need.

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A car accident is one of the scariest life events you can ever experience. Everything happens so fast, with twisted metal and shattered glass being thrown all around you, airbags deploying—in an instant, your life changes completely. In an effort to help those suffering from a wide range of car and truck crash injuries, I recently came across an article from Nolo that highlights the most common types of injuries stemming from auto accidents. Soft Tissue Injury Soft tissue injuries are the most common injuries caused by auto accidents. They encompass any damage to your body’s connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons). A common example of a soft issue injury is the pain in the neck and back that come from whiplash (sudden movements imposed on the head and neck during a collision). Scrapes and Cuts Scrapes and cuts are often some of the most superficial injuries caused by car accidents. Broken glass, loose items inside the vehicle, and other projectiles are thrown around in a crash, often cutting or scraping your skin. These abrasions range from minor to serious, with some resulting in rapid blood loss. Airbags can also cause cuts or scrapes. Head Injury Head injuries are typically the most catastrophic of all car accident injury types, and occur at an alarming rate. An unexpected collision or change in direction cause the head of the driver and passenger to experience rapid, unnatural movements. This can result in bruises, cuts, or whiplash injuries, or worse—concussions or severe brain damage. More severe collision impacts can cause the fluid and tissue inside the skull to become damaged. Chest Injury Chest injuries are common in auto accidents because of the position of the chest and abdominal region behind the steering wheel. In a sudden-impact situation, your chest may smash against the steering wheel and suffer severe pull from the seatbelt or harness. In most cases this may result in bruising, but broken ribs and internal damage may occur. Arm and Leg Injuries Unlike the core of your body, your appendages are not securely fastened to any part of the vehicle. The same forces that whip your head and neck during a crash also thrash around your arms and legs, making them extremely susceptible to contusions, abrasions, and even broken bones and sprains. Depending on the severity and circumstances of your car accident, you may be suffering from any or all of these types of injuries. If the accident was caused by the negligent or careless actions of another driver, contact a New Jersey car accident attorney right away.

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If you’ve ever felt anxious driving near a tractor trailer, you’re not alone. Most people feel uneasy in close proximity to a tractor trailer, and there is a very good reason why. Weighing in at up to 80,000 pounds, tractor trailers have a notorious reputation for causing dangerous or even lethal accidents. The danger lies in the standard height of the area underneath the tractor trailer. In a typical collision between a passenger vehicle and a tractor trailer, a sideswipe scenario is likely to occur and standard cars can easily become wedged underneath or have the top of their vehicle sheared off. This can cause severe or even fatal injuries to the occupants, with some studies suggesting that up to 200 lives are lost on United States roads every year due to sideswipe accidents between tractor trailers and passenger vehicles. Due to their sheer size, tractor trailers need a far greater stopping distance than other vehicles. Unfortunately, trailer drivers often do not leave sufficient space between their vehicle and other vehicles on the road. These negligent driving practices are common and can put everyday drivers in grave danger. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident involving a tractor trailer, it is important to act quickly. Read on for the five things you need to do immediately after a crash with a tractor trailer in New Jersey. 1. Call 911 The first step in any motor vehicle accident situation will is to call 911 immediately. As any experienced truck accident lawyer New Jersey will tell you, injuries from a tractor trailer accident can be extensive or even fatal. Urgent medical attention must be sought while still at the scene. In most instances, a police officer will attend the scene in addition to an ambulance. While the ambulance officers provide medical attention, the police officers or state troopers will complete the official police report of the incident. This report will be important for your legal proceedings, so make sure you request a copy of the report. Make a note of the badge number and contact information of the police officers who attended the scene. 2. Do Not Leave The Crash Scene In New Jersey, leaving the scene of the crash is considered a hit-and-run. Always stay at the scene until you are advised otherwise by a police officer or have been conveyed by ambulance. If necessary, ask someone to help you move your car a safe distance away from the road and other oncoming traffic. 3. Record Videos, Pictures And Audio Accounts The more information you can collect at the scene of the crash, the easier it will be for your truck accident lawyer New Jersey to help you with your legal matter. Either write down or record yourself making a note of the details of the vehicles involved, including the make and model and license plate numbers, the weather conditions at the time, any witnesses nearby, and any other details that could become important. Take photographs or videos of the scene, including injuries to people, damage to vehicles, skid marks, and road and weather conditions. From this point on, you will need to carefully document everything that happens. Keep all medical bills, letters, receipts, policies, and any other paperwork in a safe place. Make a note of any conversation you have with witnesses, authorities, or anyone else as soon as possible, and ask for their contact details. Always seek permission before videoing or audio recording another person. 4. Seek Medical Attention It is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the incident. Most importantly, you may be suffering from potentially serious or life-threatening injuries that require urgent medical attention. Additionally, whether you were proactive about seeking medical treatment could become an important factor in your upcoming legal matter. Ensure that you follow all treatment plans provided by your doctor or emergency medical staff, attend all appointments, and take all medication is prescribed. Failure to do so could prolong your recovery and could also reflect negatively on your compensation claim. 5. Enlist The Help Of An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney The next step is to seek the help of the best truck accident lawyer New Jersey has to offer. Tractor trailer companies are experienced in dealing with accidents involving passenger vehicles and know how to protect themselves and their financial interests. They are highly experienced and specifically trained to ensure that you receive little to no compensation, and the average person will not have the necessary skills to win a compensation claim against an enormous trucking company. The sooner you can have the right truck accident lawyer New Jersey by your side, the easier the process will be. An experienced lawyer will advocate for your legal rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Focus on Your Recovery The tractor trailer company’s insurer is trained to be forceful and aggressive when dealing with the victims of tractor trailer accidents. When you have an attorney on your side, you can avoid dealing with the unpleasant process of handling the trucking company’s insurance provider and can focus your attention on your own physical and emotional recovery. Reporting There are certain reporting requirements that are necessary after any crash with a tractor trailer in New Jersey. Saying the wrong thing or admitting fault when reporting an accident can minimize your chances of receiving compensation. Having an attorney on your side prior to reporting the incident to your insurer can minimize the chances that the wrong thing being said. Rather than giving a recorded statement to your insurance company, simply refer your insurer directly to your attorney. Settlement Offers Most people know to never sign any documents or accept a settlement offer prior to speaking to an attorney. However, if you are suffering from emotional trauma following the accident or are under considerable pressure from the trucking company’s insurance representative, it can be easy to take actions that you wouldn’t normally take. The sooner you...

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If you or a loved one has been injured, abused, or neglected by a nursing home or its staff in New Jersey, you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover for damages, punish the nursing home, and even have your attorney’s fees reimbursed under the Nursing Home Act. Typical lawsuits filed under the act include those for physical abuse, assault, negligence, and improper medical and hygienic attention. Abuse does not necessarily have to be physical. Emotional abuse for mistreating a resident of a nursing home can also cause serious damage. Unfortunately, such non-physical abuse can be very difficult to detect and sue for. What Constitutes a Nursing Home? It’s important to understand what exactly constitutes a Nursing Home under NJ law. A “Nursing home” is defined basically as any place that has facilities for extended medical and nursing treatment or care for various unrelated people suffering from a serious physical ailment or disability, or who require significant assistance meeting their daily needs such as eating and bathing. The law identifies a person living in such a place as a “resident”. This distinction is important as some facilities that act similarly to traditional nursing homes like assisted living facilities and rehabilitation centers may not be afforded the same protection as a nursing home resident under the New Jersey Nursing Home Responsibilities & Rights of Residents Act. If you have a family member residing in a nursing home, it is important to be diligent in identifying signs of abuse and neglect by staff there. Some signs of such abuse/neglect and reasons to consider suing a nursing home include: Injuries that appear to be non-accidental; Unexplained “Illnesses;” Resident ceasing to socialize and becoming withdrawn; Dirty or unsafe living conditions; Insufficient staffing; Resident not appearing to be receiving proper hygienic and living assistance (look for bed sores; Reemergence of symptoms of previous illnesses and ailments (possibly demonstrating failure to properly administer or monitor medications) Typical infections among nursing home residents include Respiratoryand Urinary tract infections. But more serious infections for MRSA, Staph, and Pneumonia also commonly occur in nursing homes. Not receiving notification from the Nursing Home of significant changes in weight, consistent mood, appetite, sickness or injury; Lack of supervision of patients suffering from dementia (can lead to patient walking off home grounds); Staff failing to properly monitor diet and hydration; Suspicious death. Medical neglect. If you suspect that a loved one is being abused or neglected at a nursing home. You may consider visiting the home on different days and time to check the consistency of your observations pertaining to the staffing and facility. Ask your loved one to keep a journal so any abuse or neglect can be contemporaneously corroborated. Take detailed notes and photographs. Make sure to ask questions of the staff members about your loved one’s specific diet, activity, and medical treatment included administration of medication.  If you suspect any abuse or neglect by the nursing home or staff, contact the administration of the facility, appropriate state agency, and an attorney. Nursing home residents have rights under New Jersey law. Similarly, the homes themselves have certain proactive legal duties. Under federal law, nursing homes must provide residents with periodic assessments, nursing, rehabilitative, and pharmaceutical services, social services. Furthermore, those rights and responsibilities must be posted prominently at the nursing home. The federal government in addition to the State of New Jersey monitor nursing homes and enforce these mandates. Other Federal rights and obligations regarding nursing homes include: 1) The home must maintain complete records concerning any money or personal possessions of the resident that are administrated or monitored by nursing home. The home must provide a quarterly statement to the resident detailing these funds and/items; 2) The home must maintain records concerning certain beneficiary information of the resident; 3) The home must provide access to certain religious services and visits by clergy to the facility; 4) The home must avoid overcrowding; 5) The home not discriminate against any resident on the basis of age, race, religion, or sex; 6) The resident has the right to be safe and without being subject to unnecessary physical restraint, confinement, or corporal or medical punishment; 7) The resident has the right to receive visitors, including family members, clergy, and attorneys. 8) The home must provide the resident or their guardian with a copy of their service contract. The U.S. federal government also provides its own protection to nursing home residents.  Those rights include: The Nursing Home Reform Act established the following rights for nursing home residents: 1) The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect; 2) The right to freedom from physical restraints 3) The right to privacy; 4) The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs; 5) The right to participate in resident and family groups 6) The right to be treated with dignity; 7) The right to exercise self-determination; 8) The right to communicate freely; 9) The right to participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility; and 10) The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal. Filing a lawsuit against a nursing home is relatively complicated, and should be handled only by an experienced attorney. Such a lawsuit is “civil” and can be filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey – Civil Division, usually in the county in which the nursing home is located.  Nursing homes are of course required to carry insurance. If you or a family member are injured at a Nursing home, you may be contacted by their insurance carrier. Before signing anything they ask you for, or even speaking with the insurance company at all, you should consult with an experienced attorney.  If you sue a nursing home, they will be indemnified by their insurance company, who will then become your adversary in the litigation that follows.  Most civil lawsuits in New Jersey have a two-year statute of limitations within...

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will new law put an end to rideshare programs

A newly proposed law has generated quite a bit of controversy here in New Jersey. According to myCentralJersey.com, legislation backed by the New Jersey insurance and taxi industries could bring an end to rideshare programs like Uber. The proposed law would enforce strict regulatory requirements that ridesharing services may be unwilling or unable to meet. As it currently stands, about 7,500 people in New Jersey are making a living or supplementing their income as Uber drivers. The demand for more Uber drivers has risen dramatically in the past few years, fueled in part by the convenience and cost-saving benefits customers routinely receive. If the new law goes into effect, it could drive Uber out of the state, leaving thousands of people without the extra work and many more without this affordable alternative transportation option. What Does the Bill Propose? The synopsis of the bill states it is intended to establish “insurance and safety requirements for companies that use digital network or software application to match passengers with drivers.” Once enacted, the bill would require transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar to: Obtain a permit, issued by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, to legally operate within the state. Provide coverage of no less than $250,000 per incident for liability, property damage and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, as well as medical coverage for no less than $10,000 per person per incident. Have commercial insurance coverage go into effect from the moment the driver turned on the app, not once a ride request is accepted, as is the current process. Require drivers undergo routine vehicle inspections at least once every other year. Require driver applicants submit to state police criminal background checks and drug testing. Require all drivers display a commercial driver insignia. Verify each driver has a valid license, registration and insurance coverage. Conduct periodic checks into drivers’ records so the company can prohibit drivers from providing transportation to passengers if the check uncovers instances of reckless driving behavior, drunk driving, driving with a suspended license, or other violations. Conduct periodic checks into drivers’ criminal history records so as to prohibit drivers from providing transportation to passengers if the check uncovers a criminal conviction for assault, rape, burglary, kidnapping, robbery, sexual assault or endangering the welfare of a child. Pay the state a fee of 10-cents per passenger transaction. Opposition Uber Is Facing Taxi and limousine drivers in New Jersey are aggressively fighting to get the same regulatory restrictions that apply to their industries imposed on TCNs. Forbes is reporting that Uber has been facing resistance in others area as well: Germany has temporarily banned Uber and stated its drivers would face fines of as much as $323,700 per trip. Hundreds of taxi drivers in Spain opted to strike in protest of unregulated TCNs. In India, three of Uber’s competitors have made claims that Uber is “violating foreign-exchange laws.” If government of Sao Paulo, Brazil chooses to push for the suspension of all Uber services, further legal problems may ensue for the TCN. Uber has also faced cease-and-desist orders in numerous cities throughout the United States, with some local governments being pressured to block Uber operations altogether. While Uber may face even greater resistance in its future, the Forbes article also notes that companies like Uber, Pandora, iTunes, Airbnb and Craigslist are making dramatic changes to the way we, as a society, are able to receive goods and services. The question is, should these companies be regulated by the same rules and restrictions as past companies, or do the times necessitate a change? How the Public Views Uber and Other Digital Mobile Businesses When a recent poll from New Jersey 101.5 asked viewers whether they agreed with actions by NJ lawmakers to require Uber and other digital mobile businesses adhere to insurance and safety requirements, more than 50 percent of those surveyed stated lawmakers should leave these businesses alone. Another 13 percent said Uber, Lyft and other TCNs should be allowed to continue operating, as long as legislation governing their actions was in place. Approximately 28 percent believe ridesharing, digital mobile services of this type should be discontinued. Uber has also made a few recent changes, which Engadget reports were done in the hopes of making riders feel safer and eliciting higher approval for its services. New initiatives, a driver “code of conduct” and Incident Response Teams who will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will hopefully address some of the bad publicity the company faced last year. Widespread Impact If New Legislation Goes Into Effect As the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio are based here in New Jersey, and our primary practice area is DWI law, we are well aware of the widespread impact this new legislation could have should it go into effect. Each day, we fight to defend those accused of driving under the influence. If regulatory restrictions are put in place, it could cause existing and future Uber drivers to unfairly lose their sole income-earning activity. On the other side, those with DWI convictions on their records could lose Uber and other TCNs as their main source of transportation to and from work. Either way, safety for drivers and passengers must remain the primary concern. As long as the two sides can come to an amicable agreement, this does not have to signify the end to rideshare programs such as Uber. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio today for more information about New Jersey’s new rideshare law. Sources: myCentralJersey: Will legislation put the brakes on New Jersey’s Uber drivers? NJ Spotlight: Uber Tries to Steer Clear of New Rules and Regulations in Garden State New Jersey Legislature: Assembly Bill A-3765 New Jersey 101.5: Should Uber continue in New Jersey? – Poll Forbes: Uber vs. the Law (My Money’s on Uber)

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A deadly car accident in nearby Paterson, New Jersey has left behind two fatalities and two badly injured people, along with many more questions. While investigators piece together the cause of the wreck, speculation about either drivers’ intoxication as well as questions about slippery road conditions continue by the grieving family and friends of those involved. If your family has suffered a loss due to the negligence of another person, the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC wants you to know that you don’t have to struggle through the legal system alone. We are here to assist in your time of loss. You have legal rights under New Jersey’s Wrongful Death Act as well as under the state’s intestacy (or probate) laws. The United States Dept. of Justice (DOJ) created this informative chart intended to help families understand some facts about victim compensation in New Jersey. When a family member dies at the hand of another person, the surviving family is entitled to compensation. But you may not know that the compensation is not equally divided among the relatives. So what are the laws determining how much each person receives? When someone dies without first creating a will, we say that person died intestate. New Jersey’s intestacy laws determine the priority by which the probate court distributes that person’s estate, and it all depends on family relationships. For example, if the intestate person was married at the time of his or her death, the spouse inherits everything. The DOJ’s chart explains when the deceased leaves a spouse and children, the “spouse takes the first $50,000 plus half of the balance of the estate if the children are also the spouse’s. If they are not, spouse only take half of the estate. Remainder is divided equally among the children in the same generation.” These are just two examples of ways the intestacy rules work in New Jersey. When we’re dealing with a wrongful death lawsuit, any compensation recovered for pain and suffering, including loss of companionship, loss of parental guidance, and loss of domestic help, will be divided according to the intestacy rules (as incorporated into the Wrongful Death and Survival Statutes). For more information on your rights surrounding a wrongful death claim, contact an experienced New Jersey wrongful death attorney.

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Tracy Morgan, the television comedy actor known for his work on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” was badly injured recently on the New Jersey highways. Mr. Morgan was traveling after a performance on his stand-up comedy tour with several other comedians when the luxury limousine bus transporting the entertainers was hit head-on. The other vehicle involved in the collision was a Walmart semi-truck. After impact, four more vehicles added to the chain-reaction crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in Cranbury Township, NJ. All of the passengers in the Mercedes-Benz van suffered life-threatening injuries, with Mr. Morgan originally listed in critical condition but then upgraded to fair condition as of June 17. One of the other comedians traveling with Mr. Morgan, James McNair, died on the scene of the semi-truck accident. The driver of the Walmart truck, Kevin Roper, has been charged criminally with “one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto,” according to this news story from the New York Times. The New York Times article quotes Walmart’s chief executive, Bill Simon, as stating, “This is a tragedy and we are profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved. We are working quickly to understand what happened and are cooperating fully with law enforcement to aid their investigation.” The investigation into the crash is ongoing. When passenger vehicles collide with massive tractor-trailer or semi-trucks, the personal injuries can be overwhelming. Like for Mr. Morgan, the time away from work can cause irreversible losses. While Mr. Morgan’s reputation as a comedian will probably not suffer as badly as the extent of his physical injuries, his career depends on the ability to continue performing on stage. Some New Jersey residents can’t count on their reputations alone to carry their careers forward. After suffering a semi-truck and car crash, you would likely require time to heal away from work, which could mean lost wages. Medical bills and ongoing therapy demand payments – but who should pay? If the facts in the Tracy Morgan crash reveal that Walmart could be held vicariously liable for the crash, then Walmart would be responsible for paying for those medical bills, lost time from work, and even loss of enjoyment of life. Even if Walmart had not issued a public statement, the company would still be responsible for personal injuries resulting from an employee’s actions. If you have questions about personal injury, contact the Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC for more information.

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How Long Do I Have To File A Personal Injury Claim In New Jersey? With over 130 miles of Atlantic coastline and a rich and impressive history, New Jersey is a wonderful place to live. That’s why more than 9 million people call the Garden State home. But with so many people living in such a densely populated area, accidents are bound to happen. Luckily, New Jersey has a well-established legal system that allows anyone to bring a personal injury claim following an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. However, the right to commence a claim for compensation following an accident doesn’t last forever. Read on to find out how long you have to file a personal injury claim in New Jersey, as well as important exceptions that you need to know about. Example Of Personal Injury Claims That Can Occur In NJ Personal injury is an overarching term that includes a wide number of accidents and injuries. Adults and children alike can suffer personal injuries and become entitled to bring a personal injury claim in a New Jersey court. Common forms of personal injury include the following: Car accidents are a leading cause of injury for adults and children alike. Small children are particularly at risk of injury in a car accident, especially if they are not using an age- and size-appropriate child restraint. Dog bites are a common occurrence in New Jersey and can cause significant emotional trauma, in addition to physical injuries. Workplace accidents remain relatively common even today, despite recent pushes for stricter regulations in the workplace to protect workers. Product liability can cause personal injury to adults and children alike, with people needing to be increasingly vigilant about the products they choose to bring into their home. Sports and recreation incidents can unfortunately occur, putting a dampener on what would otherwise be wholesome and enjoyable pastimes like sports, swimming, and even just enjoying time outside. The Statute Of Limitations For A Personal Injury Claim In New Jersey While everyone has the right to file a personal injury claim following an accident, that right doesn’t last forever. All American jurisdictions impose a statute of limitations on claims for personal injury in New Jersey, which can be thought of like a deadline for commencing a civil claim in court. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations is two years from the date that the injury or incident occurred. This simply means that you must commence your proceedings within two years the incident, not that the entire matter must be resolved within two years. The idea behind imposing a statute of limitations is to preserve the evidence available in the matter, including physical evidence and evidence from witnesses in the form of oral testimony. Claims commenced after the two-year New Jersey statute of limitations physical evidence are very likely to be dismissed, making it vitally important that you act without delay and get advice on the New Jersey personal injury matter as soon as possible after the incident occurs. Exceptions To Statute Of Limitations Rules While the statute of limitations for personal injury in New Jersey is two years, there are some exceptions that can apply. It can be difficult to understand if one or more of these exceptions apply to your circumstances, making it important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to give you specific advice. Exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations in personal injury matters can include: If the injured person was mentally incompetent at the time of the incident, the statute of limitations may be paused to allow additional time for a claim to be filed. If the injured party was a child at the time of the incident, the two-year countdown doesn’t begin until the child’s 18th birthday. However, any associated claims relating to adults, such as lost income or other injuries suffered by a parent, will still be subject to the usual two-year limitation. Birth injuries are a special of personal injury claim and carry their own time-limit. Children born before July 2004 have until their 20th birthday to file a claim, while children born after July 2004 must file a birth injury claim before their 13th birthday. If the injury or damage is not discovered immediately, such as some cases environmental pollution or medical malpractice, the two-year clock won’t begin running until after the injury is discovered. This is known as the discovery rule. If your claim involves a government employee undertaking their normal duties or a government agency, other time limits apply. A Notice of Claim form must be filed within 90 days of the accident. This additional deadline can be extended to up to one year, but only in extraordinary circumstances. Case Study Gina was on her way to work when she was sideswiped by another vehicle. In the moments before the accident, Gina could see that the other driver was using their cell phone. Feeling dazed and confused, Gina asked a bystander to call the authorities, aware that all automotive accidents in New Jersey must be reported to the police by the quickest means available. Gina suffered a head injury from the collision and missed several weeks of work, before returning to work part-time for a number of months. She knew that she was not in the right frame of mind to take the matter further on her own, but also knew that she could be entitled to compensation for her injuries. Gina contacted a personal injury attorney in New Jersey who took full carriage of the matter, doing their best to help Gina get the compensation she deserved while giving her the opportunity to recover and rebuild her life. The attorney filed a written report on the correct paperwork provided by New Jersey’s Department of Transportation within the 10-day window and opened a claim with Gina’s car insurance provider since New Jersey is a no-fault jurisdiction. Next, the attorney took the appropriate steps to file a personal injury claim on Gina’s behalf. With a strict two-year statute of...

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In New Jersey, a recent dog bite injury case resulted in a six-figure settlement for the plaintiff; an arbitrator awarded the victim over $560,000 in damages. The settlement may be one of the largest in the state’s history for a personal injury case involving a dog bite. For the 43-year-old victim, what had started as an average night working as a security guard transformed into a nightmare that left him struggling to survive. The night of the attack, two dogs—a pit bull and a Rottweiler—escaped their chain link enclosure and inflicted bites over the majority of the man’s body. The dog bites were so severe that the man was left, according to the article, in a “coma-like state, intubated in a hospital bed, for 10 days… suffer(ing) muscle damage and permanent scarring.” The news article includes a discussion about New Jersey laws specific to dog bite injury lawsuits. Some of the highlights of the statute include: An employer owes a duty to warn employees of a dangerous dog within the premises, and to make conditions safe for the employee. This rule also applies to independent contractors, as stated in a recent court of Appeals case dealing with a part-time dog-sitter who was bitten. Any landlord whose premises is open to the public—or otherwise legally on the property—will be liable for any dog bites on the premises. This is true regardless of the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s previous reputation as a non-violent animal. The defendant can rebut the strict liability by showing evidence that the plaintiff provoked the dog, or that the plaintiff was actually trespassing on the property. For anyone interested in reading the statute in its entirerty, N.J.S.A. 4:19-16 says: “The owner of any dog which shall bite a person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. For the purpose of this section, a person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner when he is on the property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner thereof.” Dog bite injuries can leave permanent emotional and physical scars. If you believe that you were legally on the premises where the injury took place, you ought to know your legal rights to compensatory and special damages from the dog owner and the location’s landlord.

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