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New Jersey governor Phil Murphy recently passed a lawthat erases rules that previously “slammed New Jersey auto accident victims with up to $250,000 in medical bills” for accidents that were not the victim’s fault. The law is designed to help those who purchase cheaper auto insurance plans that can leave them with insurmountable amounts of debt in the event of a car accident.

In addition to a comprehensive $250,000 personal injury protection plan that comes with most New Jersey car insurance policies, the state also permits a less expensive option that only covers up to $15,000 in personal injury protection. While this option can be a less costly month-to-month alternative, it can set drivers back tens of thousands of dollars even if they are not at fault for their accident.

The legal action has been inspired by the story of 27-year-old Josh Haines, a New Jersey resident who was saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt after a car accident he was involved in eight years ago. According to Josh, “’I’m left in the dark … this was eight years ago and it’s still setting me back.’” In 2011, Josh was driving from Camden County Community College when he was struck by a vehicle that was hydroplaning. His medical bills totaled $30,000, which is nearly double what his less-expensive insurance plan covered.

After three months of hospitalization for schizophrenia, a 29-year old New Jersey resident Michael Vecchio has passed away after facing starvation for thirty days. Consequently, his mother Beth is suing the facility,Greystone Park psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany. The suit, filed by the patient’s mother, accuses the facility of wrongful death and negligence.

According to the hospital staff, Michael refused to eat because he claimed that he was a “‘Zen master’ and like Gandhi, would not eat”. Michael’s family is asserting that the facility should have still provided Michael adequate care given the fact that he was actively psychotic and thereby incapable of making appropriate medical decisions for himself. Unfortunately, following the irrational demands of patients is often the case in many instances of neglectful care.

Vecchio’s death is only one example of the many cases of negligent care for mentally ill patients. For example, many poorly operated care facilities use the patient’s refusal of care as an excuse to not perform their job properly.

If you are entering a New Jersey marriage, it may be wise to consider a pre-nuptial agreement before officially tying the knot.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a popular way to safeguard your assets and financial security in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements protect a variety of pre-marital assets including real estate, investment accounts, trusts, and foreign assets. Notably, if a couple is seeking a prenuptial agreement in the state of New Jersey, both parties must disclose all assets and obtain independent legal counsel.

Slip and fall cases are some of the most complex personal injury cases to litigate due a variety of compounding factors. For one, the plaintiff must be able to attribute their fall to the place of business’ negligence. This is particularly difficult to prove, considering that in order to assert the business owner’s negligence, there must be proof that they had previous knowledge of faulty conditions and did not make adjustments accordingly.

New Jersey Slip-and-Fall Accident FAQs

Slip and fall cases are often difficult to litigate due to burden of proving negligence. 

Foremost, it is important to acknowledge that slip and fall cases are typically considered negligence cases and thereby must follow the same legal patterns as negligence cases. As with other tort and negligence cases, assessing the legal liability of the accused party can be accomplished by evaluating three critical elements of a slip and fall case. These elements are duty, breach of duty and causation.

A divorce can often be a tiring and complicated process for a family. When embarking on this often long and arduous process, it is essential to consider best practices to take in order to maximize legal protections during the divorce process.

Here are some tips that can be taken in order to maintain a strong position during a divorce lawsuit:

  1. Close Joint Credit Card Accounts

A prominent New Jersey personal injury case, Tomasi v. ShopRitewas recently settled on February 25, 2019. As the case details, Woodbridge resident Michael Tomasi slipped on grapes in the produce department of ShopRite in Woodbridge, NJ in December of 2015. While he did not directly fall onto the ground, Tomasi had to contort his body in an unnatural position in order to brace himself from further injury. Following the slip, Tomasi immediately experienced strong neck pain.

Since Tomasi already suffered from a pre-existing neck injury, the slip escalated his current conditions. As a result, he needed two surgeries. One of these surgeries was a spinal fusion surgery, which is known to be particularly intensive. According to the plaintiffs (Michael Tomasi and his wife Alison), ShopRite was responsible for cleaning the aisles of the store in order to maintain the safety of shoppers.

As with other tort and negligence cases, assessing the legal liability of the accused party can be accomplished by evaluating four critical elements of a personal injury case. These elements are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal illustrates a declining divorce rate in the United States. Since, 1979, the United States divorce rate has fallen 29% from 22.6 out of each 1,000 marriages, to 16.1 out of each 1,000 marriages. Many researchers attribute this decline to delayed marriages. For example, the median age of marriage for woman has increased from 20 years old in 1963 to 27 in 2017.

Interestingly, the divorce rates among age-categorized groups was not as uniform. The divorcer rate for couples under 54 years old consistently dropped, though the trend was reversed as individuals neared 55 and above. This category of “gray divorces” experienced a nearly doubled rate since 1979. Many researchers note that the rate of divorce is particularly high for this age group – which consists of baby boomers – since this group is more likely to be on their second marriage, which has a statistically higher rate of divorce.

If divorce is something going through your mind, there are some steps to take to ensure that you pursue it in a way that is ideal for you and your family. Primarily, understand your objectives of the divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all of the most important matters, then an uncontested divorce may be possible. These issues include child support and parenting arrangements; spousal support, better known as alimony; and distribution of marital property.

In New Jersey and across the United States, nursing home abuse cases have been on the rise. In fact, at Boonton Care Center in Morris County, NJ, a patient was recently pulled off of the toilet by her hair at the hands of an abusive CNA (certified nursing assistant). As with many nursing home abuse cases, witnesses can be intimidated and refrain from reporting the poor behavior. To complicate matters, many victims of nursing home abuse are incoherent and suffer from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and dementia that can make it difficult for them to recall traumatic abuses. Typically, residents without regular visits from loved ones and friends are most susceptible to nursing home abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse in New Jersey

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “abuse related citations nationwide are on the rise, jumping from 3,083 in 2016 to 4,107 in 2018”. Last year alone, there were over 350 complaints filed to the hotline controlled by New Jersey’s long term care ombudsman. Clocking in at 364 reported incidents, the bulk of nursing home abuse cases in New Jersey in 2018 are classified as “resident-to-resident physical or sexual abuse”. Notably, verbal abuse is another popular mechanism of mistreatment at long-term care facilities.

Following a spike in the number of pedestrian strikes and personal injuries, North Haledon in Passaic County recently reduced speed limits on numerous roads in mid-February. The new ordinance dictates speed limit reductions on Belmont Avenue, High Mountain Road, North Haledon Avenue, and Squaw Brook Road.

Despite adequate notice being provided to local motorists, speeding violations have increased significantly since the ordinance was put into effect nearly six months ago. In fact, the amount of speeding tickets issued on those roads has increased from 13 to 148 during the year. Drivers who are issued speeding tickets typically pay between $85 and $420 in fines, depending on the particular incident and its severity. Contrary to assumption, these fees are usually allocated amongst the municipality, county government, and state government.

Officials reiterate that safety is the cornerstone of this new ordinance, citing over 200 car accidents in a 1.2 mile radius. Last year, an elderly man was hit on the road’s busiest stretch, and was seriously injured. Despite hospitalization, he has never recovered fully and still suffers from these personal injuries.

A wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed by the fiancée of treasured New Jersey school principal Derrick Nelson, following his April 7, 2019 death. Nelson, 44, was the principal of Westfield High School in Westfield, New Jersey, and died while receiving bone marrow transplant surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center. Nelson was undergoing the surgery in order to donate his bone marrow to a 14-year old boy suffering from cancer in France, when the procedure went awry. Nelson’s fiancée Sheronda Braker has sought the counsel of New Jersey wrongful death attorneys to litigate this matter.

Nelson perished after falling into a coma during the transplant surgery. According to his family, Nelson should have not been administered anesthesia during the surgery due to preconditions such as sleep apnea and being overweight, which medical personnel should have recognized. The lawsuit acknowledges that Nelson had an oxygen level of 91 when he was administered anesthesia, which is not considered medically appropriate.

According to the suit, filed by Nelson’s fiancée Sheronda Braker, the eleven defendants breached the standard of care by taking too long to recognize the bradycardia that Nelson was suffering from, and failing to provide adequate ventilation, eventually leading to Nelson’s coma.

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