Articles Posted in Personal Injury

Eighteen New Jersey medical professionals have faced legal trouble during the past year due to reasons such as opioid, sex, fraud, or stabbing charges involving patients. Some of these cases include a registered nurse who stabbed a 10-year old autistic child with a needle when he was behaving disruptively. The nurse, Naomi Derrick of Sicklerville, supposedly threatened the autistic child with a needle while he was being hospitalized in an Atlantic City psychiatric unit.

According to reports from the Office of Attorney General, Derrick stabbed the child at least six times throughout the duration of the 12 hour shift. Derrick’s conduct was recorded using a security camera found in the room, which revealed footage of her stabbing the child on his “upper arm, thigh, kneecaps, [and] foot and hand” resulting in an accumulation of blood droplets. Derrick claims she did not actually stab the child, but did admit to using the needle as a threat to encourage good behavior.

Other cases of poor ethics in the New Jersey medical community include individuals who have been accused of taking bribes, such as the case of a Bergen County pharmacist, Eduard Shtindler, who is charged with conspiracy for health care fraud. Shtindler supposedly paid kickbacks to a Hudson County based psychiatrist in order to provoke the doctor to direct his patients to the pharmacy that Shtindler owns in West New York. This scheme resulted in nearly $3 million worth of medications prescribed by the doctor which were filled by Shtindler’s pharmacy.

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.

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 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.

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.

Nobody plans on getting into a New Jersey car accident. However, according to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there are approximately 270,000 car accidents in the state each year. Of those, a driver or passenger is injured in over 60,000 accidents. In a state with a population of less than 9 million, this is a particularly startling statistic.

Given the fact that many New Jersey residents will be involved in a car accident at some point in their life, it is worth being prepared. The moments after an accident can be a blur, and motorists will benefit from committing a few important steps to memory. Better yet, the list below can be printed out and placed in the glovebox.

  • Check for injuries – Immediately after an accident, motorists should check to see if they are injured. Motorists should be careful just because there are no visible injuries does not mean that there was no damage caused by the accident.
  • Do not admit fault – It is natural to speak to the other motorists involved in the collision; however, resist admitting fault or apologizing for your driving. It will ultimately be up to a judge or jury to determine who was at fault, and your statement may be used against you.
  • Keep your cool – Some drivers get angry after an accident. Motorists should do everything they can to avoid escalating the situation.
  • Exchange information – New Jersey law requires motorists who are involved in an accident remain at the scene and exchange information, including name, address, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information.
  • Document the scene – When possible, motorists should photograph the scene and talk with any witnesses. While police officers should do this, there is no guarantee that they will, and this information could be critical to a subsequent New Jersey car accident lawsuit.
  • Call the police – The law in New Jersey requires that motorists call the police if they were in an accident resulting in injuries or property damage. The responding police officer should complete a police report, which can be helpful to memorialize what happened.

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Aretsky Law Group, P.C. congratulates partner, Eric J. Aretsky, Esq. for being selected by his peers as a 2019 Bergen Top Personal Injury Lawyer as seen in 201 Magazine June 2019.  Mr. Aretsky is devoted to fighting for the monetary compensation that accident victims deserve for their injuries.CCF06102019_0003-230x300CCF06102019_0004-230x300CCF06102019_0005-230x300

We are pleased to announce that our Managing Partner, Eric J. Aretsky, Esq. has been selected2018-2019-10-best-pia by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys (AIOPIA) as a 10 Best Personal Injury Attorney in New Jersey.  Mr. Aretsky is devoted to fighting for the monetary compensation that accident victims deserve for their injuries.

STEPS IN THE AIOPIA SELECTION PROCESS

STEP 1: The Attorney must be nominated by the Institute, Client, and/or Peer.

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