Can I Sue? Were you innocently walking across the street when–wham!–you were hit by a car? Such a startling collision can result in severe injuries. If you were hit by a car in New Jersey, you may wonder if you can sue. In many cases, the answer is: Yes! You can sue a negligent driver for causing your pedestrian-car accident injuries. As an personal injury attorney in NJ, I’ve prosecuted and defended thousands of cases. Here, I’ll show you what criteria you must meet to sue a negligent driver in New Jersey. Keep reading for answers to the following pedestrian accident questions: What kinds of pedestrian-car accident injuries take place? Who can I sue for hitting me with a car? What kind of pedestrian-hit-by-a-car compensation can I receive? What Kinds of Pedestrian-Car Accident Injuries Take Place? Since Henry Ford began producing automobiles in the early 1900s, America has been the land of the automobile. In fact, the United States was the first nation in the world that encouraged cities to implement large-scale adaptation to cars. Unfortunately, this innovation comes at the cost of pedestrian safety. While many European cities have pedestrian-friendly zones, American pedestrians encounter danger by simply crossing the street. Because automotive drivers speed and pay little attention to pedestrians, tragic accidents often occur. Statistics Here are statistics gathered by the CDC that show just how prevalent pedestrian-hit-by-a-car accidents are: Nearly 6,000 pedestrians hit by a car were killed in the US in 2016; Almost 129,000 pedestrians sustained non-fatal car-accident injuries that required an emergency room visit in 2015; Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than car occupants to be fatally injured in a vehicle accident; Pedestrians age 65 and older are most at risk, accounting for 20% of all pedestrian deaths in 2016; and Pedestrians comprise 20% of child car accident fatalities. In addition to the thousands of pedestrians killed by cars each year, many more are seriously injured. Pedestrians hit by a car in NJ can sustain life-threating or life-altering injuries that require months or years of expensive medical treatment. Here are some common pedestrian-car accident injuries. Soft Tissue Injuries Soft tissue injuries include bruises and cuts, as well as tears to tendons and ligaments. Soft tissue injuries can leave a pedestrian hit by a car disfigured or require expensive plastic surgery. If muscle damage is not properly treated, such injury could leave the victim without full mobility. Traumatic Brain Injuries Traumatic brain injuries occur from the force of the car striking the pedestrian or from the pedestrian’s collision with the ground. While many concussions heal within a relatively short time, other brain injuries linger for life. Traumatic brain injuries can impact a victim’s ability to work or function independently. Spinal Cord Injuries When a car accident injures the victim’s spinal cord, it can lead to a devastating loss of mobility. A spinal cord injury that causes nerve damage may put the victim in severe pain. Such terrible injuries may leave the victim without the ability to work or live without assistance. Broken Bones The traumatic impact of a car accident can crush bones or send the victim airborne before their bones break upon landing. In either instance, the unexpected collision leaves the victim in a great deal of pain. It also impacts the victim’s mobility and may limit job performance. Serious breaks may require surgery. Emotional Damage The unexpected car accident and long recovery process following can impact the victim emotionally. The victim may become fearful of walking outside, experience anxiety when driving, or fall into depression. Emotional damage from physical injuries is eligible for pedestrian-hit-by-a-car compensation. Death Sadly, the trauma for many pedestrians hit by a car in NJ is too severe for a person to survive. Too many pedestrians are killed by negligent drivers each year. If someone you love has been killed in a car accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Who Can I Sue for Hitting Me with a Car? You can sue a negligent driver for hitting you with a car. This means you must prove a driver’s negligence meets four elements. Duty of Care The driver had a duty to drive safely and obey the laws of the road. Drivers must obey laws designed to protect passengers, such as stopping for a crosswalk. Breach of Duty The driver breached the duty of care. For instance, if a driver speeds through a crosswalk and hits a person crossing the street, the driver breached the duty to drive safely. Breach Caused Injury The driver’s breach of duty caused the pedestrian’s injury. If the pedestrian already had a broken leg before the accident, then the pedestrian can’t sue the driver for the broken leg unless the accident inflicted further damage. Damages Occurred The pedestrian hit by a car in NJ must suffer an injury that can be reimbursed by the negligent driver. For instance, if the pedestrian hit by a car suffered only a scratch that quickly healed, that wouldn’t be enough damage for a lawsuit. The harm suffered must be worth bringing to court. Even if a pedestrian was partially responsible for the accident, the pedestrian hit by a car may be able to sue. New Jersey law allows a plaintiff to recover damages if the defendant was 50% or more responsible for the accident. You can receive damages for the defendant’s portion of responsibility. For instance, if you suffered $10,000 worth of harm, and the defendant was 70% responsible for the accident, you could receive up to $7,000. What Kind of Pedestrian-Hit-By-a-Car Compensation Can I Receive? Pedestrians hit by a car in NJ are eligible for three types of damage awards. Economic Damages These damages include financial costs such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. All medical expenses, from over-the-counter medications to ER visits and rehabilitation stays, may be reimbursed as economic damages. Property damage might include destruction to something you were carrying or wearing in the accident. Non-Economic Damages Non-economic damages include your emotional suffering that...

Read More
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.

Read More
attorney for car accident

Many people like to handle their own legal issues, Whether it’s drafting a will using an online program or handling a DUI on their own. However, making a car accident claim is more complex than either of those issues. A lawyer can provide many important services, especially if you have serious physical injuries from the crash.Please contact a personal injury attorney to get started on your case. Your Attorney Gathers Evidence You will only receive compensation if someone else was negligent. Usually, this means that the driver who caused the accident did not operate his motor vehicle with enough care. If another driver wasn’t negligent, his insurance company will deny your claim. In many cases, negligence is not arguable. If a driver ran a red light and slammed into you, then there is no question about liability. However, other cases are not clear cut, so you will need to:  Identify witnesses and interview them about what they saw. Search for dash cam or surveillance video that might have captured the accident. Visit the scene of the accident to reconstruct it. Examine the vehicles involved for clues about how the accident unfolded. This type of work takes time, which you might not have if you are trying to recover from serious injuries. Your attorney can pull together this evidence in a logical and compelling way. A Lawyer Properly Values Your Injuries The weeks following an accident can be scary, and you might be too injured to go to work. With no income, you have giant medical bills and wonder how you will keep a roof over your head. It is very tempting in this situation to agree to the first settlement offer made. Many people immediately agree to too little money because scared and need cash now, so they sign on the dotted line. This is a terrible mistake. By working with a car accident lawyer, you can properly value your injuries. This will give you some idea of how much you should receive. Once you agree to a settlement, you’ll release the defendant from any future liability. You need to get a fair settlement now, and you have one shot to do it. An attorney understands the value of medical care and lost wages. He also knows how much you can receive for things like pain and suffering or mental anguish. Don’t guess; trust a professional. Your Attorney Negotiates with an Insurer Insurers in New Jersey are known for being stingy. They don’t like to pay full and fair compensation, and only do so if the person on the other side holds out. This is where a lawyer can be very helpful. After gathering evidence, your lawyer can draft a demand letter and submit it to the driver’s insurer. This demand letter should state how the driver caused the crash and why you deserve a fair settlement. You can expect the insurance company to reject your request and make a much lower counteroffer. If you don’t know how to bargain, you might never get the insurer to increase their offer. Some insurers hold out, confident that an injured victim will fold. By hiring an attorney for your car accident case, you won’t be misled into accepting a small settlement. An Attorney Can Bring a Lawsuit in Court Negotiations sometimes fail. If they do, your only chance to get compensation is to file a lawsuit. New Jersey’s laws and regulations on lawsuits are complex and can take years to learn. If you try to file your own case, you might make a mistake, like filing in the wrong court or naming the wrong defendant. You might also take too long, since New Jersey’s statute of limitations gives injured motorists only 2 years to file a case in court. If you miss the deadline, a judge will dismiss your case and you’ll get nothing for your injuries. Hire an attorney for your car accident case so you file your case the right way. Your lawyer will collect all evidence so that the jury can understand it. Do you know how to interview witnesses in court? A lawyer does. An Attorney for a Car Accident is Surprisingly Affordable Many people want to handle their own cases because they do not want to pay for an attorney. However, you should understand how car accident attorneys charge before deciding whether their services are worth it. Most car accident lawyers in New Jersey charge on contingency. This means that the client does not pay any lawyer fees upfront. Instead, clients agree that their attorney will take a percentage of any financial recovery, such as a settlement or verdict. The standard percentages are 33-40%. If the lawyer does not get any money for you, then you don’t pay any attorneys’ fees. Legal Representation You Can Trust The Law Offices of Anthony J. Vecchio, LLC, has represented many injured car accident victims in New Jersey. We have negotiated with several large insurance companies, and we know our way around a courtroom.  If you want to discuss your case, contact our office today for a free consultation.

Read More
how much is my case worth

Have you or a loved one been in an accident? the first questions you may be asking is, “how much is my personal injury case worth in New Jersey?” 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.

Read More

A car accident is one of the scariest life events you can ever experience. Everything happens so fast. Twisted metal and shattered glass being thrown all around you, airbags deploying—in an instant, your life changes completely. We 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. Whiplash is the 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. This 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. This is 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. Or you may 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.

Read More

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. This can result in standard cars easily becoming wedged underneath or have the top of their vehicle sheared off. This can cause severe or even fatal injuries to the occupants. 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. 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. Ambulance officers and EMTs will 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 better. This will make it 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. Include the make and model and license plate numbers. Also note 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. Make sure 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...

Read More

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. Signs of Abuse and Neglect 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. Stay Watchful and Take Notes 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. Get Justice 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 which time...

Read More
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. This is 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. This could leave 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 do the following. 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. This is the current process. Require drivers undergo routine vehicle inspections at least once every other year. Requirement that the 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. This would apply 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. This would include convictions 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.” The 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. This has resulted in 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)

Read More

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. Manner of Distribution 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.

Read More

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. The luxury limousine bus transporting the entertainers was then 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. Police charged Roper 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. Injured in an Accident? Like for Mr. Morgan, the time away from work can cause irreversible losses. Mr. Morgan’s reputation as a comedian will probably not suffer as badly as the extent of his physical injuries. However, 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. This 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. They could also be held responsible for 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.

Read More