Friday, May 18, 2018

NJ Personal Injury Cases: How Do They Work?


HURT IN A SOMERSET COUNTY CAR ACCIDENT-WHAT NOW?


For those injured in a car accident in Somerset County, New Jersey, it is important to consult with a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible.  Most NJ personal injury lawyers will provide a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis so there is really no downside to consulting with one.  It will give you an opportunity to, at least, review your rights and responsibilities.

THE ACCIDENT SCENE

As soon as an auto accident occurs, word of the accident spreads pretty quickly.  Generally, the police find out immediately as someone calls them from the scene.  Later, a police report is generated and made available to the public.  If there are injuries reported to the police at the scene, the police will call an ambulance to take those injured to the hospital unless they refuse treatment.  Those requiring an ambulance and a hospital visit often forget that auto insurance is the primary insurer in NJ for the medical bills incurred from the accident unless health insurance was previously chosen as primary on the insurance application.

INJURED IN A NJ ACCIDENT

For those that elect to obtain the services of a personal injury attorney in NJ, the lawyer and the client will enter into a retainer agreement.  The attorney will usually work on a contingency fee basis under the retainer agreement.  This means that the client pays nothing up front.  The lawyer will take his or her fee at the end of the case out of any recovery.

LIMITATION ON LAWSUIT THRESHOLD

Most New Jersey residents have a limitation on lawsuit threshold on their auto insurance policy.  A limitation on lawsuit threshold prevents those injured in a car accident from filing a lawsuit against the party that caused it unless they fall into one of six exceptions:

  • Death
  • Dismemberment
  • Significant Disfigurement or Scarring
  • Displaced fracture
  • Loss of a Fetus
  • Permanent Injury (an injury to a body part that has not and will not healed to function normally)

THE PERSONAL INJURY LAWSUIT


After signing up with a NJ Personal Injury Attorney, the lawyer will have to collect the client’s medical records and review the law to determine whether there is a case.  This is based upon the lawyer’s opinion and many times lawyers disagree.  Assuming there is a case, the lawyer will file a Complaint on behalf of the client.  It is then incumbent upon the defendant to file an Answer.  The discovery period begins as well.  Discovery is the period in which the plaintiff and the defendant exchange information.  In a car accident case, this generally involves exchanging medical records, answering written questions, answering oral questions at a deposition and undergoing medical examinations.  The discovery period can take over a year to complete.

ARBITRATION

Once discovery is over, the matter will go to arbitration.  Arbitration is like a mini-trial before an arbitrator.  An arbitrator is an experienced lawyer in the community with no connection to the case who is selected at random to review it.  Witnesses can testify before the arbitrator.  Medical records are reviewed by the arbitrator.  A decision will then be made by the arbitrator as to how much the case is worth.

THE TRIAL

Arbitration in non-binding and, therefore, either party can reject the arbitrator’s decision.  If either party rejects the arbitrator’s decision, the matter will be listed for trial.  Most trials for car accident cases are over within a week.  At trial, witnesses such as the plaintiff, the defendant, the medical doctors, witnesses of the accident, experts, etc…are called to testify.  The lawyers for the plaintiff and the defendant will give opening and closing statements as well.  Following the closing statements, the jury will then decide the issues.  In a car accident case, the issues generally pertain to who was at fault for the accident, whether the plaintiff’s injures met the limitation on lawsuit threshold and how much to award in compensation.

So, when does the car accident case settle?

A car accident case can settle at any moment during this entire process.  There are many, many factors that go into when and whether the case settles.  Unfortunately, it varies on a case-by-case basis.  Sometimes, it doesn’t settle and a trial is necessary.

If you have been injured in a NJ car accident, it is a good idea to discuss the matter with a NJ Personal Injury Lawyer.  The Sloan Law Firm handles auto accident cases in Franklin, Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Bernardsville, Warren, NorthPlainfield, Somerville, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Watchung and throughout Somerset County, New Jersey and can be reached at (908) 358-2938 to discuss any matter. 

Monday, May 14, 2018

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Points


NJSA point schedule


NJSA
Section
Offense

New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway
27:23-29
Moving against traffic
2
27:23-29
Improper passing
4
27:23-29
Unlawful use of median strip
2
All roads and highways
39:3-20
Operating constructor vehicle in excess of 45 mph
3
39:4-14.3
Operating motorized bicycle on a restricted highway
2
39:4-14.3d
More than one person on a motorized bicycle
2
39:4-35
Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk
2
39:4-36
Failure to yield to pedestrian in crosswalk; passing a vehicle yielding to pedestrian in crosswalk
2
39:4- 41
Driving through safety zone
2
39:4-52
Racing on highway
5
39:4-55
Improper action or omission on grades and curves
2
39:4-57
Failure to observe direction of officer
2
39:4-66
Failure to stop vehicle before crossing sidewalk
2
39:4-66.1
Failure to yield to pedestrians or vehicles while entering or leaving highway
2
39:4-66.2
Driving on public or private property to avoid a traffic sign or signal
2
39:4-71
Operating a motor vehicle on a sidewalk
2
39:4-80
Failure to obey direction of officer
2
39:4-81
Failure to observe traffic signals* (Red Light Camera- 0 pts.)
2
*No points assessed for red light camera violation
0
39:4-82
Failure to keep right
2
39:4-82.1
Improper operating of vehicle on divided highway or divider
2
39:4-83
Failure to keep right at intersection
2
39:4-84
Failure to pass to right of vehicle proceeding in opposite direction
5
39:4-85
Improper passing on right or off roadway
4
39:4-85.1
Wrong way on a one-way street
2
39:4-86
Improper passing in no passing zone
4
39:4-87
Failure to yield to overtaking vehicle
2
39:4-88
Failure to observe traffic lanes
2
39:4-89
Tailgating
5
39:4-90
Failure to yield at intersection
2
39:4-90.1
Failure to use proper entrances to limited access highways
2
39:4-91
39:4-92
Failure to yield to emergency vehicles
2
39:4-96
Reckless driving
5
39:4-97
Careless driving
2
39:4-97a
Destruction of agricultural or recreational property
2
39:4-97.1
Slow speed blocking traffic
2
39:4-97.2
Driving in an unsafe manner (points only for third or subsequent offense within five years of most recent 39:4-97.2 conviction)
4
39:4-98
Exceeding maximum speed 1-14 mph over limit
2
Exceeding maximum speed 15-29 mph over limit
4
Exceeding maximum speed 30 mph or more over limit
5
39:4-105
Failure to stop for traffic light
2
39:4-115
Improper turn at traffic light
3
39:4-119
Failure to stop at flashing red signal
2
39:4-122
Failure to stop for police whistle
2
39:4-123
Improper right or left turn
3
39:4-124
Improper turn from approved turning course
3
39:4-125
Improper u-turn
3
39:4-126
Failure to give proper signal
2
39:4-127
Improper backing or turning in street
2
39:4-127.1
Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing
2
39:4-127.2
Improper crossing of bridge
2
39:4-128
Improper crossing of railroad grade crossing by certain vehicles
2
39:4-128.1
Improper passing of school bus
5
39:4-128.4
Improper passing of frozen dessert truck
4
39:4-129
Leaving the scene of an accident -
no personal injury
2
Personal injury
8
39:4-144
Failure to observe stop or yield signs
2
39:5C-1
Racing on highway
5
39:5D-4
Moving violation committed out-of-state
2


The Sloan Law Firm serves clients in traffic ticket matters in Franklin, Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Bernardsville, Warren, North Plainfield, Somerville, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Watchung and throughout Somerset County, New Jersey.  If you have been charged with a traffic infraction, the Sloan Law Firm may be able to get the amount of motor vehicle points reduced or eliminated altogether.  For a free initial consultation, call (908) 358-2938.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Somerset County NJ Marijuana Possession Law


IS MARIJUANA POSSESSION IN SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ STILL A CRIME?


In Somerset County, NJ, possession of any amount of marijuana without a valid prescription is a crime even if you have no amount of marijuana in your system.  It is very common for those arrested for marijuana possession to have their matter heard in municipal court.   This is because marijuana possession less than 50 grams is a disorderly persons offense.  Many times, those arrested for marijuana possession are also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia as well because the police find the marijuana in a grinder or other paraphernalia.  Drug paraphernalia is also handled in municipal court because it is a disorderly persons offense.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION IN NEW JERSEY?


Marijuana possession less than 50 grams is a disorderly person offense and is punishable up to a maximum of 6 months in jail, hefty fines and driver’s license suspension. A conviction for possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana can result in up to 18 months in jail and $25,000 in fines.  Possession of drug paraphernalia has the same penalties. 

WHY DO I HAVE TWO TICKETS FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION?


Those arrested for drug possession are frequently arrested while in their car.  As a result, the police will typically issue a traffic ticket for marijuana in the vehicle in addition to the separate offenses of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

If you have been charged with marijuana possession in any Somerset County town, including: Franklin, Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Bernardsville, Warren, North Plainfield, Somerville, Bound Brook, Branchburg, Watchung, Green Brook, Raritan, Peapack, Far Hills, Bedminster, Bernards, it is a good idea to consult with a Somerset County NJ Marijuana Possession Lawyer.  The Sloan Law Firm handles these types of cases throughout Union County, NJ and offers free initial consultations - (908) 358-2938.

NJ Personal Injury Cases: How Do They Work?

HURT IN A SOMERSET COUNTY CAR ACCIDENT-WHAT NOW? For those injured in a car accident in Somerset County , New Jersey, it is important...