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Personal Injury Settlement for Injuries after a Truck Accident: $375,000.00

A union county woman was struck in the rear of her vehicleby a tractor trailer, resulting in injuries to her back which required backsurgery.  This client had an extensive history of back problems from prior car accidents.  The firm was able to establish that the new accident aggravated the pre-existing back problems.   The case settled for $375,000 after arbitration.  

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$975,000.00 for worker who received an electric shock

A former Lowes Employee was injured while working when he was operating a defective carpet cutting machine. While attempting to use the machine, he sustained an electric shock and was thrown back. The client suffered neck and back injuries as well as nerve damage, necessitating surgeries. The liability expert’s testimony established that the carpet machine wire was defective and was the cause of the injury.

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Thanksgiving: Most Grateful for Safety

Everyone has heard of this little theory before: Thanksgiving Eve is when all the car accidents happen.

A recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration credits the increase in accidents during this time of the year primarily due to the fact that there are just many more vehicles on the road than during other times of the year.

Doctors have long known that the overall U.S. mortality rate annually spikes around Thanksgiving, and remains elevated through the winter. Some of that is because of seasonal effects, like the increasingly chilly weather and the annual spread of the flu. But Thanksgiving sticks out as an especially dangerous day, and there are two major culprits: Car accidents and coronary events. Increasingly at risk this time of the year are the elderly who deviate from their normal daily routines due to last minute supermarket runs, traveling to see family, and preparing for the long weekend ahead. It would be remiss if not mentioned: there is ample hard cider and spiked eggnog to go around, increasing the likelihood of drunk drivers on the road. So while it is fun to be in the holiday spirit and all, let’s all be a little more cautious on the roads this Thanksgiving holiday-surely something everyone can be grateful for.

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving from our family at the Law Offices of Gregg Williams to your family.

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Truck Drivers and Fatigue Laws: You May Want to Opt for the “Cars Only” Lane

Based on a USA Today Investigation, it has been shown that there are “hundreds of impaired drivers on the road” in violation of federal regulations that say commercial truck drivers should take a 10 hour break approximately every 14 hours. Unfortunately, many of these commercial truck drivers are not adhering to this very important regulation, resulting in truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel, causing very serious and fatal crashes. Even more alarming is that there currently does not exist a live accurate tracking system to ensure that violations of fatigue laws are being enforced. Until such a tracking system is developed, then it is very possible, that truck drivers are driving on the road with very little to no sleep and are a risk to everyone else on the road.

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Driving and Cell Phones Do Not Go Well Together

In New Jersey, driving while using a cellphone, whether it is talking, texting, or emailing, is banned. As distracted driving leads to thousands of car crashes, many of them fatal, the legislature is cracking down its laws. New Jersey’s cellphone and texting laws are deemed “primary” laws, which means that a police officer can pull someone over for the offense of utilizing a cellphone without having to witness any other violation. The penalties for texting and driving in the first offense include a fine of $200-$400. The second offense fine increases to $400-$600. The third (or subsequent) offense includes a fine of $600-$800, three motor vehicle points on your license and a possible 90-day license suspension. If a pedestrian or another driver or passenger is injured or killed because of a distracted driver using a handheld cell phone, that driver could be charged with an indictable crime or felony. In the case of an injury, depending on the severity, you could face between 6-18 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. If there is a death, the driver could be charged with vehicular homicide, which involves between 5-10 years in jail and up to a $150,000 fine. Being charged with any of these violations leaves the driver susceptible to potential punitive damages that the insurance will not cover.

Yet despite these serious laws, people, teens in particular, are STILL using their phones while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10% of all fatal crashes and 15% of all injury crashes were caused by distracted drivers. 9% of drivers between the ages of 15-19 involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the accident.

One study found that texting while driving can be just as dangerous and driving while drunk, because distracted drivers were more likely to drift into another lane, change speeds, or abruptly slam on the breaks compared to drunk drivers. That being said, stay on the safe side of the road and keep your cell phones out of reach when driving.

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Initial Steps To Take When Injured In An Accident

The first reaction people have when they are involved in a motor vehicle or fall down accident is almost always masked with a rush of adrenaline. When an accident first occurs, initial feelings of being disoriented and perhaps even frenzied are common. It is important, however, to try to keep your wits intact and to take the following steps.

1. Safety First! The first priority for you and your family after an accident is to make sure you are in a safe place. If you are remaining inside your vehicle, make sure there is no smoke or suspicious fumes coming from your automobile. Also, make sure you are in a safe place on the roadway or highway.

2. Always take photographs. In a motor vehicle accident, take photographs of property damage and the scene of the accident.

3. Report it. Call the police in case of a motor vehicle accident or give your statement to a store manager if you fall down inside a store. Make sure that you get the police report or incident report.

4. Always report your motor vehicle accident to your insurance.

5. Go to the Emergency Room! Due to that adrenaline rush, many people do not feel or recognize the pain in the moment, but quite often injuries resurface later on, sometimes even that same evening!

6. Do not ignore any pain that you are feeling. Follow up with your doctor and get into treatment right away!

7. Never admit fault.

8. Contact one of our car accident specialist attorneys at 732-514-6635 and receive a free case evaluation as you may be entitled to money damages for time lost from work, medical expenses, and your injuries.

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Why Extended Medical Coverage Is Important

In all standard New Jersey auto insurance policies the insured is provided with PIP coverage. PIP provides medical benefits to the insured, relatives of his/her household and occupants of the vehicle when involved in a car accident that involves an “automobile”. Not all vehicles are considered an “automobile.” For example, motorcycles, buses, cabs, and limousines do not meet the definition of “automobile.” So under most circumstances when involved in a motor vehicle accident you will be covered by PIP.

But what happens when there is an accident and you are the occupant of some other type of vehicle such as a motorcycle, bus, cab, or limousine? In those instances, PIP will not be available because those vehicles do not meet the definition of “automobile”. So if PIP benefits are not provided in those types of situations, who will cover your medical expenses?

Under New Jersey law your auto insurance policy is required to have another type of coverage known as Extended Medical Expense benefits. This part of your policy covers you if you are injured operating or as a passenger in a vehicle other than those defined as an “automobile.” NJ auto insurance carriers are required to provide a minimum of $1,000 of extended medical expense benefits, and the insured driver can choose to increase that coverage up to $10,000. It is always better to choose $10,000 in coverage because you can never predict how much medical care you will need in case of an accident.

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Uber & Lyft Accidents: What You Need To Know

Now that ride sharing has become the new norm of transportation, there have been developments in the law that everyone should be aware of. With more drivers on the road, there have inevitably been more accidents. It is important to understand how PIP and UIM/UM operate when ride sharing enters into the scenario. The law continues to evolve regarding this new subject, but here is what you need to know now.

There are typically three modes if one is an Uber/Lyft driver: not logged on nor accepting passengers, logged on to accept passenger but not driving a passenger to a destination, and logged on and driving a passenger to a destination.
If an Uber/Lyft driver is not logged on nor accepting passengers, then his own PIP benefits and UM/UIM coverage applies.

Similarly, if an Uber/Lyft driver is logged on to accept passengers, but is not actually driving someone, then the driver must have his own PIP and UM/UIM coverage under his own insurance policy.
So under what circumstances does Uber/Lyft become responsible for providing a driver with PIP benefits and/or UM/UIM coverage?

According to a recently enacted New Jersey legislation, Uber/Lyft cannot allow a driver to accept a request until Uber/Lyft discloses in writing to the driver the following: what insurance UBER/LYFT will provide the driver and also tells driver that driver’s own personal insurance may or may not provide coverage if driver is logged on or is driving someone.

It would appear the reasoning behind this is because LYFT/UBER are more knowledgeable than a driver about insurance coverages, then they have a duty to inform their drivers of the insurance coverages and policies. So the burden is on the companies to provide PIP/UM/UIM for their drivers or at the very least make certain the driver himself has these coverages when in driver mode.