Can a Motorcyclist Injured While Lane-Splitting Recover in a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Can a Motorcyclist Injured While Lane-Splitting Recover in a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuit?

by Adam Callahan | June 11th, 2018

Lane-splitting – or the act of a motorcyclist riding the dotted lines between lanes of traffic on a street or highway – is not specifically prohibited by statute in New Jersey, nor is it specifically allowed either. That said, the New Jersey state driver’s manual implies that it is not allowed, and New Jersey law enforcement can cite motorcyclists for failing to stay in a lane.

At the same time, however, many motorcycle advocacy groups point out how lane-splitting can protect the safety of motorcyclists who are worried about being rear-ended by careless drivers, and can even promote traffic efficiency by not taking up a full space in a lane.

Lane-splitting of course does not fully prevent motorcycle accidents from occurring, especially where a careless driver swerves across lanes without noticing the motorcyclist. When such an accident occurs, the driver and/or his insurance company (or attorney) may try to argue that the motorcyclist cannot recover in a New Jersey motorcycle accident personal injury lawsuit, but this is not necessarily the case.

Why Lane-Splitting May Not Bar Your New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Recovery

When a motorcycle accident collision occurs with a car or truck, there are generally three possibilities for why it occurred:

    • It was the fault of the driver
    • It was the fault of the motorcyclist

It was the fault of both the driver and the motorcyclist

“Fault” here means that there was a careless and/or unlawful action taken which led to the collision. This could include drunk driving, changing lanes without a turn signal, speeding, swerving, texting while driving, and other traffic violations. Again, whether or not lane-splitting is necessarily going to be considered careless is somewhat vague in New Jersey.

But let’s assume for a moment that it is determined that lane-splitting is careless, such that the collision was at least partly the fault of the motorcycle. If the driver was also careless in causing the accident – such as by not using a turn signal or failing to notice the motorcyclist – then both the motorcyclist and the driver could be considered at fault.

In such shared-fault cases, New Jersey employs what is called “modified comparative negligence” to determine whether a motorcyclist can recover, and for how much of his injuries. Under this rule, the motorcyclist can still recover in a personal injury lawsuit so long as his fault was not greater than that of the driver who also played a part in causing the accident

That said, the motorcyclist’s recovery will be reduced by his portion of fault. Thus, if a motorcyclist suffers $100,000 in injuries (based on calculation of medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering), but it is determined he was 30% at fault, then he can recover $70,000.

Obviously, determining who was at fault and by what percentage in a split-second motorcycle accident can be quite complex, and, thus, if you are injured in a New Jersey motorcycle accident, you are encouraged to reach out to a New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible to begin the process of investigating the matter and building your best case for recovery.

Call a New Jersey / New York Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over millions in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your motorcycle accident.

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured at the Gym in New Jersey

by Adam Callahan | June 4th, 2018

Gyms and workout studios are some of the fastest growing businesses in the U.S., with new establishments seeming to pop up every month on metropolitan street corners across New Jersey. Whether it’s CrossFit, spinning/cycling, yoga, mixed martial fights, boxing, or your classic all-purpose gym, the potential for personal injury is there, especially when careless business owners and their employers are improperly staffed/trained and defective or improperly maintained equipment is employed.

If you have suffered an injury while at a gym or workout studio in New Jersey, you may face weeks and even months of high medical bills, lost income, and prolonged pain and suffering. If another party was negligent in causing your gym injury – whether it be the staff of the gym, another user of the gym, or even the manufacturer of the equipment used – it is possible that you could bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover your costs of medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Here are a few things to keep in mind in doing after you have been injured at a New Jersey gym.

Take Pictures of the Injury Scene

Whether you will be able to recover from another party for your New Jersey gym accident will in part depend on whether another party acted carelessly or a defective product was used. Proving this after the fact can be challenging, thus taking pictures at the scene (assuming you are able to) can be helpful to proving your case later. For example, take pictures of your injuries, any defective equipment, and/or dangerous conditions (e.g. a slippery floor).

Obtain Identifying Information From Others

If possible, obtain names and contact information from others who were involved in the accident or who may have witnessed what occurred. First off, this will make it easier to identify potentially liable parties. Furthermore, your attorney may need to obtain statements from eyewitnesses who can provide accounts of the injury, especially if the defendants attempt to pin blame on you later.

Do Not Sign a Waiver or Accept “Gifts”

You likely signed some sort of waiver as a condition of using the gym, but you should not sign any additional documentation without speaking to an attorney first, as doing so may limit or block your ability to recover for your injuries. And, while a previous waiver may indeed limit liability, do not take the gym owner’s word for it, as there are numerous situations in which a waiver will not prevent you from obtaining recovery. Furthermore, do not accept any “gifts” offered to you by gym staff or others (e.g. a gift certificate, a free month of membership, etc), as a defendant might argue the gift was a settlement of your claim.

Get Medical Attention and Contact an Attorney

Obviously, you should get medical attention if you have been injured. But, beyond the necessity of getting the care you need, failure to seek medical attention may make it difficult to bring a claim later as the defendant might argue you were not truly injured.

Finally, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your injury, so that your attorney can begin the time-sensitive process of collecting the evidence necessary and pursuing your case to win the financial recovery you deserve.

Talk to an Experienced NJ Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have suffered injury in a NJ gym accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law are here to help.  We have won millions in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Our attorneys have built up a strong reputation for providing compassionate legal counsel to those who have suffered serious injury while aggressively and quickly taking all necessary legal action to recover for our clients to get their lives back to normal by winning compensation for all costs, losses, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your potential personal injury claim today.

What You Need to Know About Insurance for Uber and Lyft (Ride Sharing) Auto Accidents in New Jersey

by Adam Callahan | May 21st, 2018

Ride sharing services such as Uber and Lyft have fundamentally changed the way we get around in just a few years, and this is especially true in many areas of New Jersey which have not had traditionally had widely available and convenient taxi services. Over five billion rides were taken on Uber in 2017 alone, with many more taken through Lyft, Ola, Didi, and the countless new ride sharing startups entering the market, and the popularity of ride sharing looks to keep rising across the state of New Jersey.

But what happens when you get in a car accident in New Jersey while travelling as a passenger or driver in an Uber or Lyft (or other ride sharing app), or experience a collision with a driver working through a ride sharing app?

The good news is that New Jersey at long last codified rules in 2017 which mandate the level of insurance that drivers for ride sharing services and/or the ride sharing services themselves must maintain. In some cases, the amount of coverage available for those injured in ride sharing accidents is vastly favorable to that typically available in an auto collision.

You should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney – ideally one that has a proven track record of recovering significant financial settlements and verdicts for auto accident victims in New Jersey – as soon as possible, but below we provide an overview of the current coverage requirements for ride sharing services in New Jersey.

NJ Insurance Law When the Ride Sharing Driver Has a Fare

The general rule for auto accident liability in New Jersey is “no fault,” which means that injured drivers and passengers must typically look to their own PIP insurance coverage initially before recovering from the other party. Furthermore, the injured victim’s ability to recover may depend on his or her own insurance coverage (i.e. whether or not they have a “verbal threshold” or a “no limitation on lawsuit” policy).

This is not the case when a party is injured in an accident involving a ride sharing service vehicle which, at the time of the accident, is transporting a user of the service. In such cases, the injured party (other than the ride sharing driver) can sue the ride sharing driver and/or the ride sharing service provider directly for their injuries, and there is no “verbal threshold” limitation (described below) on the types of injuries for which they can recover.

Ride sharing services are required to carry at least $1,500,000 in insurance coverage for bodily injury, property damage, and death. Again, this provides significantly better options for recovery for those injured in accidents involving ride sharing services currently carrying client passengers than many other types of auto accidents in New Jersey.  

The driver of a ride sharing service car who is carrying a passenger must also be provided with $10,000 in medical payment coverage, which is the coverage the ride sharing service provider’s insurer must carry to pay for injuries suffered by the driver himself or herself. Thus, the driver of a ride sharing service vehicle does not have to look first to his or her own personal insurance when suffering injury while driving a passenger for the service.

NJ Insurance Law When the Ride Sharing Driver is Looking for a Fare

If the ride sharing driver is logged into the ride sharing network and looking for a passenger when an accident occurs, then the coverage available to injured parties may be quite different, as New Jersey law imposes a lower type of coverage limit in such instances.

When the ride sharing driver is looking for a passenger, the liability coverage requirement for the ride sharing service is to provide at least:

  • $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person,
  • $100,000 for death or bodily injury per incident,
  • and $25,000 for property damage

Unlike the approach taken when the driver is currently transporting a passenger (described above), other injured parties must first look to their own PIP insurance coverage before suing the driver and/or service when the driver is looking for a fare. In New Jersey, PIP insurance is the coverage that your own insurance policy (or the driver/owner of the car you are travelling in) provides for your injuries. Depending on the type of policy purchased, this coverage can be as low as $15,000, which may not be enough to cover the costs associated with serious accidents and injuries.

If an individual’s injuries are greater than the PIP coverage they are under, then their ability to recover may be dependent on what type of insurance policy they have and what type of injury they suffered. Some drivers carry so-called “no limitation on lawsuit” policies, which cover all injuries suffered in an accident. If you are subject to a “verbal threshold” policy (which are generally less expensive than “no limitation on lawsuit” policies), then you may only be able to recover for further losses above your PIP coverage if you or a family member suffered:

  • Death
  • Loss of a body part
  • Significant disfigurement or scarring
  • Loss of a fetus
  • Permanent injuries and/or fractures

Winning recovery against insurers can often involve working with an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you in your claim against the insurance company, as insurers typically will take legal actions to limit your liability by contesting the severity and cost of your injuries, but your attorney will provide strong arguments in your favor to win maximum recovery.

An experienced New Jersey auto accident attorney can also represent you in pursuing a legal claim against another driver (whether you are the ride sharing driver or are injured by a ride sharing driver) if that driver acted negligently in causing your accident, such as through speeding, texting while driving, driving drunk or drugged, or other careless actions.

Contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible after your ride sharing auto accident to ensure that you are being taken care of and guided towards your maximum recovery for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and any other forms of financial recovery to which you are entitled.

Talk to an Experienced NJ Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have suffered injury in a NJ motor vehicle accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law are here to help.  We have won millions in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Our attorneys have built up a strong reputation for providing compassionate legal counsel to those who have suffered serious injury while aggressively and quickly taking all necessary legal action to recover for our clients to get their lives back to normal by winning compensation for all costs, losses, and pain and suffering. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your potential car accident claim today.

Winning a Product Liability Claim in NJ if You Didn’t Follow the Product Instructions

by Adam Callahan | May 18th, 2018

We’ve all done it. We get a new product – or maybe even use a product we’ve had for years – and when something goes wrong, we realize that actually reading the instructions might have helped avoid the troubles. It can be easy to feel foolish, and that the problem was all your fault (and let’s be honest, in some cases it is), but when a manufacturer creates a dangerous and/or defective product, it is not necessarily your fault that there was a confusing or “fine print” instruction deep in a lengthy and jumbled instruction manual.

Certainly, some product misuses are boneheaded and non-consequential, with the only losses being the few dollars you spent on the product and a temporary loss of dignity, but when you are seriously injured by a dangerous or defective product, you should take the step of speaking with an experienced defective product attorney in your jurisdiction to determine whether you have legal recourse for your physical and emotional injuries, even if you are concerned that you failed to follow the product instructions.

Your Misuse Does Not Necessarily Mean You Cannot Recover

Failure to follow the instructions in a New Jersey product liability lawsuit touches on two separate but related questions that can arise: 1) Was the consumer’s misuse or alteration of the product which resulted in the injury foreseeable to the manufacturer?; and 2) Were the printed warnings and/or instructions that accompanied the product sufficiently clear to help a reasonable person using the product in avoiding injury?

If these sound like complicated questions, they are, and ultimately such issues may be heavily litigated between a plaintiff and defendant in court. An experienced New Jersey product liability attorney can give you a through overview of how these issues affect your particular situation in a free consultation, but the basics are as follows.

Foreseeability and Adequate Warnings/Instructions in New Jersey

With regard to the question of whether a consumer’s misuse of a product prevents them from recovering in a lawsuit, a New Jersey court will look at whether the manufacturer could have reasonably anticipated that a consumer would have misused the product. For example, if you buy a blender with a blade that flies off unless very specific and unusual instructions are followed, it is probably foreseeable that a person who bought the blender would operate it without fully understanding (or even reading) the instructions, and thus a person injured by the blade could likely recover.

Similarly, a person who makes a reasonably foreseeable alteration to a product that results in injury – such as removing a highly restrictive plastic guard piece which impedes efficiency – might still be able to recover.

With regard to warnings and instructions provided with a product, while these statements are important in helping consumers avoid injury, such instructions must be clearly understandable and apparent to a reasonable consumer. Confusing, poorly worded, dense, and easy-to-miss instructions will not necessarily save a manufacturer from liability. Furthermore, no matter how well the instructions are written, some products are so inherently defective that a lawsuit may nonetheless be successful.

Again, speak with an experienced product defect attorney about your situation.

Call a New Jersey / New York Product Liability Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over $100 million in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your personal injury and what our team can do to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.

Settling a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer

by Adam Callahan | May 15th, 2018

After an injury caused by another party occurs – whether it be due to a vehicular accident, a fall in a store, an injury from a defective product, and so on – it is not uncommon for the party who is liable for the accident to make a quick offer of money to you. This may be out of the goodness of their heart in trying to make things right, but make no mistake that an offer to pay you money is most likely going to involve you giving up your rights to bring a legal claim for your injuries later on.

Certainly, being offered a check without your having to do anything to pursue your legal claim can be very tempting, but understand that potential defendants who know they are liable for a person’s injuries will often try to use a victim’s desire to get paid quickly as a way to keep them from hiring an attorney who will pursue a lawsuit. But while settling a personal injury claim without having your own lawyer represent you may feel convenient, ask yourself what you are giving up for this momentary convenience.

Do You Understand the Ultimate Costs You Will Face?

One risk in accepting a quick settlement offer for your injury is that you may well not understand the full cost of your injuries over the long term. An injury might cause ongoing symptoms and repercussions for months and years which necessitate further medical visits, surgeries, in-home care, medical equipment, and other costs, not to mention the long-term cost to your ability to earn income.

An experienced personal injury attorney who has dealt with situations just like yours may have a better sense of the total costs you will face over your life from your injuries, and can work with your medical providers to reach a number that could be well higher than what you are being offered.

Do You Know What Your Claim Is Actually Worth Under the Law?

Related to the above point, many people do not understand what they are entitled to in a personal injury lawsuit. If it is possible to show that the other party indeed was negligent in causing your injuries, you are entitled to the lifetime costs of your medical needs stemming from the injury, your lost income and reduced earning potential, as well as pain and suffering.

By working with an attorney, you can understand what your claim is truly worth the law, and your attorney can fight on your behalf to recover this amount.

Does the Other Party Have a Lawyer?

If your injuries were caused by a person working as an employee at the time of the accident, there may well be vicarious liability on the part of the employer, meaning that the employer would be liable to you. In most cases, when a business is offering you a settlement, there is going to be an attorney working on their behalf, advising them on the settlement. As a personal injury victim, you should feel confident in giving yourself the same benefit by working with an attorney who can advise you on your rights.

Call a New Jersey / New York Personal Injury Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over $90 million in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your personal injury and what our team can do to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.

How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Jersey?

by Adam Callahan | May 8th, 2018

It is generally a good idea to reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident/injury occurs (for reasons further discussed below), but that doesn’t always happen for one reason or another. For example, you might not have understood your rights to legal recovery, you might have thought your injuries were not that bad, or perhaps you mistakenly assumed the person who caused your injury would do the right thing and pay your costs without the need for legal action.

Whatever the case is, you may still be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit for your losses even if the events that caused your injury occurred many months in the past, but you should not delay in reaching out to a personal injury attorney as doing so may limit your ability to win full recovery.

The Statute of Limitations in New Jersey

Under New Jersey state law, a plaintiff has two years in which to initiate a lawsuit a personal injury lawsuit, and this two-year statute of limitations also applies to medical malpractice actions, wrongful death lawsuits, and injuries based on defective products such as drugs, medical devices, or appliances.

This two-year statute of limitations generally begins to run when the injury occurred, meaning you would have two years from the date of an accident or similar event to file suit. But if you did not discover your injuries until a later date – as sometimes happen with medical malpractice suits or defective drug actions – then the two-year clock will not begin to tick until the date at which you discovered your injury, or should have discovered your injury with reasonable diligence.

The statute of limitations can be shorter or longer in some cases. For example, those injured while children may have a longer period in which to bring a case. If your action is against a New Jersey county or municipality, you may have a shorter window in which to bring the action.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Bring Your Case

Although it is the case that you have up to two years in which to file a personal injury lawsuit in New Jersey, sitting on your claim without speaking to an attorney is not recommended. Personal injury lawsuits required evidence of fault, and, the longer you wait, the harder it may be for your attorney to collect the physical evidence and eyewitness evidence necessary to make a compelling case for recovery. Furthermore, waiting to bring a claim also can mean a delay in the recovery of your medical expenses, lost income, and money owed for pain and suffering.

Call a New Jersey / New York Personal Injury Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over $90 million in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your personal injury and what our team can do to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.

What’s the Timeline For Winning a Personal Injury Claim?

by Adam Callahan | May 1st, 2018

If you have suffered an injury due to another person’s negligence or carelessness, your first question after whether you can sue that person (and/or their employer or a third party) is how quickly you are going to be able to collect the compensation you are owed under the law. That’s exactly what you should be thinking about, as the whole point of a personal injury lawsuit is to require that those who negligently cause injury and losses to others should bear the costs for the consequences of their actions. And persons who are injured often face large medical bills at the same time they are dealing with physical and emotional injuries that may make it difficult to earn income, thus making a speedy recovery all the more desirable.

Every case is of course different, but the three primary factors that will likely affect your timeline for financial recovery in your personal injury suit are: 1) the strength of the evidence in your favor showing fault on the part of the other party; 2) the amount of damages you are claiming (the more money at stake, the longer it may take to litigate and negotiate an outcome); and 3) the willingness of both parties (you and the defendant) to reach a settlement.

The Initial Stage of Building Your Claim

The first step in a personal injury claim is to reach out to a personal injury attorney who will make an initial assessment of whether you have a potential claim and what evidence is available and/or necessary to prove that claim. While the fact that you are injured may of course be undeniable, you will only be able to recover if your attorney is able to present enough evidence of fault on the part of the other party (essentially that the other party acted unreasonably in a given situation, and you were foreseeable injured as a result) to the other party in the case of a settlement or a judge or jury in the case of a trial.

Some cases present more clear evidence of negligence, such as when a drunk driver hits a pedestrian while running a red light and the whole thing is caught on video. But other cases may take weeks or even months to collect and present evidence of fault, which can make the process last longer.

Negotiating a Personal Injury Settlement

Your attorney will also be collecting evidence of what your full range of damages are during the process, which includes working with medical caregivers to understand the extent of your injuries and the total cost of care for your injuries over your lifetime. Again, this can vary greatly based on the injury, especially with catastrophic injuries such as brain and spinal injuries.

Once your attorney has a solid sense of 1) your total damages; and 2) the evidence in your favor showing fault, the attorney will be well-equipped to negotiate with the defendants to reach a settlement for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Litigation is expensive for defendants, and so they are often motivated to reach a settlement which avoids the cost and uncertainty of trial.

If the defendant is willing to settle for an amount that is amenable to you, then the process can end here. But neither plaintiffs or defendants are required to accept a settlement that is less than ideal, and so either party can choose to go on to trial, which lengthens the process.

Going to Trial

If settlement does not occur, the parties will proceed to trial. Before the actual trial begins, there may be depositions and other requests by both sides to provide information relating to the case. There may also be various motions asserted by both parties to the judge overseeing the case prior to trial. This process generally takes months, although the parties are free to reach a settlement at any point during this process.

The actual trial itself may take only a few days, but can go longer when the case is more complicated and involves an abundance of complex evidence. A judge or jury will then deliberate to decide the outcome.

Again, every case is different and the timeline for recovery will depend greatly on the personalities involved. Speak to an experienced personal injury attorney about the specifics of your potential case.

Call a New Jersey / New York Personal Injury Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over $90 million in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your personal injury and what our team can do to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.

When Is a Store Liable for a Slip and Fall in New Jersey?

by Adam Callahan | April 20th, 2018

We’ve certainly all taken a tumble or two in our lives, but a serious fall can create huge medical bills and pain and suffering, especially when there is head trauma, back and spinal injuries, or broken bones. When a “slip and fall” (as they are frequently referred to in personal injury lawsuits) occurs on the property of a store or other commercial establishment in New Jersey, the law may impose liability on the owner, meaning the store could be liable for a fall victim’s medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Speak to an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a slip and fall to determine your legal options, as it is often necessary to act quickly in collecting physical and eyewitness evidence to improve your chances of recovery. Here are a few broad points relating to slip and fall liability in New Jersey.

The Duty Commercial Property Owners Have to Guests

A person visiting a store or other commercial property open to the public in New Jersey is considered an “invitee.” You are considered an invitee so long as you are legally on the property (e.g. you are not trespassing after hours or going to an employees-only part of the store), and this is true whether you purchased something or not, and even if you have no intention of purchasing anything.

The legal duty that commercial property owners (as well as those who lease space) owe to invitees is to use ordinary care to prevent hazardous conditions from occurring, to make hazardous conditions safe or to provide warnings (e.g. putting a barrier and obvious signs around puddles on the ground), and to take reasonable steps to inspect the property for hazardous conditions such as spills on the ground.

Notice and Constructive Notice in New Jersey Slip and Fall Law

When the defendant or its employee in a slip and fall lawsuit causes the hazardous condition to occur – for example, a grocery store worker allows a freezer to leak fluid all over the ground – then the store should be liable if it did not clean up the spill or create adequate warnings.

But when the hazardous condition is created by another party, for example a customer who spills milk all over the floor, then the question for determining the store’s liability will be two-fold: 1) Was the defendant on notice about the dangerous condition?; and 2) If the defendant did not know about the dangerous condition, should it have known?

Because defendants will want to limit their liability, they will often try to claim they had no notice of the hazardous situation leading to the slip and fall, but the second question goes to whether there is constructive notice, again meaning it should have known.

An experienced slip and fall attorney will fully investigate the facts to make a strong showing that there was indeed constructive notice, which can be shown through a number of ways, including looking at how long the hazardous situation existed, what the store’s policies and practices were, the foreseeability of the accident occurring, and so forth.

For this reason, it is again important to contact a slip and fall attorney as soon as possible after an accident occurs to help in the process of collecting the evidence necessary to win your claim.

Call a New Jersey Slip and Fall Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over $90 million in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your slip and fall and what our team can do to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.

Can I Win Damages for Lost Income in a NJ Personal Injury Suit If I’m Unemployed?

by Adam Callahan | April 18th, 2018

The three common types of financial damages that are typically relevant in a New Jersey personal injury suit are: 1) the cost of medical bills resulting over your lifetime for your injuries; 2) the pain and suffering you have endured as the result of the injuries; and 3) your lost income resulting from the injuries. With regard to lost income, one way to measure this in a settlement or verdict is to look at the specific amount of wages that were lost by the plaintiff following the injury.

But what about a situation in which a person is unemployed at the time of the injury? Being unemployed does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to recover damages relating to your ability to work, but it may make that process more complex.

Recovery For Reduced Earning Potential

New Jersey courts understand that many unemployed people who become injured will suffer financial losses when they are unable to pursue work due to their injuries. Thus, courts will award financial damages when an injury causes a plaintiff to have a reduction in their earning potential, even if they were not employed at the time of the accident, and even if they were not yet working in the field related to their lost earning potential.

For example, a person in medical school training to become a surgeon may not yet have earned any money from the medical field yet, or even have a job lined up, but if a serious accident means that person can no longer pursue being a surgeon, his or her attorney can seek damages equal to the amount they would have made over their career as a surgeon and what income they can earn in light of the accident.

The Complexities of Seeking Reduced Earning Potential Damages

Because arguing for lost earning potential is not as straightforward as showing the court what your wages were before and after the accident, it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who has the sophistication and skill necessary to present compelling evidence of your reduced earning potential.

Factors that might affect your ability to recover for reduced earning potential include:

  • The length of time a plaintiff was unemployed prior to the accident
  • The efforts made by the plaintiff to seek work prior to the accident
  • What evidence exists for the plaintiff having the skills necessary to earn money in a specific field
  • Evidence of preparation (e.g. schooling) for working in a particular field

Speak to an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an injury to determine what legal options are available to you.  

Call a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over $90 million in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your personal injury and what our team can do to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.

Does It Matter Which New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney I Go With?

by Adam Callahan | April 16th, 2018

You probably can’t go a few blocks in New Jersey without seeing advertisements for personal injury attorneys on bus stops and billboards promoting their services, not to mention radio and TV commercials and the pages and pages of results that show up when you do a google search for “New Jersey personal injury attorneys.”

So how does one make sense of it all when trying to find a personal injury attorney right for the situation? And does it really even matter which New Jersey personal injury attorney you go with?

Absolutely. Not all personal injury attorneys are the same, and who work with can have enormous implications for the results of your case. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Is Personal Injury a Primary Focus of the Attorney’s Practice?

First off, let’s be clear that there are many, many New Jersey attorneys out there (as there are in every state) who just want and need clients, plain and simple, and so they will present themselves as being able to take on any case, whether it be a breach of contract matter, a divorce case, or a personal injury.

Does this mean they are not able to adequately represent you? Not necessarily, but a lawyer who presents himself as doing a little bit of everything in a bid to get any client he can may not have the same level of knowledge of personal injury as a firm that makes personal injury a primary aspect of its practice.  

What is the Attorney’s Experience in Personal Injury?

Following from the last point, you will want to evaluate potential attorneys to determine what their experience is in personal injury cases. Some attorneys take on a personal injury case here and there because they think it’s easy money to pick up a legal fee on a quick settlement for an injury (more on that below). But the truth is that winning maximum recovery in complex personal injury suits often requires many years of experience in investigation, the nuances of trial prep and trial advocacy, negotiation strategies, and finding and incorporating expert witnesses into the overall lawsuit strategy.

Do They Have a Track Record of Success in Winning Recovery?

All that said, an attorney’s experience is really just a means to an end, that end being winning you the maximum recovery that you are owed for your injuries.

Again, an attorney may want your case because it means picking up a quick settlement for your injuries, but what would you rather have: an attorney who spends a couple hours negotiating a $25,000 settlement, or an attorney who goes to the mat over months to win you the six- or seven-figure settlement or verdict you are truly owed for your injuries?

One way to approach this is to look at the attorney’s past successes. Have they won large verdicts and settlements for others in similar situations?

Do You Feel Comfortable With the Attorney?

While your focus should be on finding an attorney who is going to win the maximum recovery you are owed, you also should find an attorney with whom you feel comfortable. You are entrusting an attorney to make sure all of your losses are compensated as you go through what is likely a difficult time of pain, suffering, and financial certainty.

When speaking with attorneys, find one that makes you feel like your needs are being cared for and who has your best interests at heart.

Call a New Jersey / New York Personal Injury Attorney Today

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Judd Shaw Injury Law have won over $90 million in compensation for our clients, and we are here to stand by your side as your allies and champions in winning the recovery you deserve from all potential defendants. Contact us today to speak to a personal injury attorney about your personal injury and what our team can do to fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.