In New Jersey, workplace injuries fall primarily under the Workers' Compensation law. Your employer pays into the system and, regardless of fault, the insurance pays for treatment for accidents or injuries you suffer at work. But if your employer denies coverage for your personal injury, or if intentional conduct by the employer caused the injury, you can sue for damages, as long as you file on time. You will need to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through your rights and the legal process.
Statute of Limitations for Workplace Accidents
Most of the time, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is two years, meaning you have up to two years from when the accident happened to file a claim petition or a lawsuit. However, if you are receiving treatment or payments through your employer, the time extends to two years from the date of the last payment or treatment. This helps prevent an employer who has acted wrongfully from stringing you along until the statute of limitation runs out, and also helps expedite your care without fear of losing out on a claim later if the employer does not adequately respond to the claim.
Differences for Occupational Injury
Another key difference comes when your personal injury results not from a single accident, but rather from an ongoing workplace hazard. If you suffer a repetitive stress injury or fall victim to exposure to chemicals or other dangerous elements in your work environment, you may not know about what happened--or about your employer's role in your injury--until much later. In these cases, the two years begin to run not from your first exposure, but rather from the time you learn of the exposure from a reliable source, usually a doctor or a lawyer. This allows you to seek compensation for injuries with hidden causes, so an employer cannot benefit from hiding hazardous issues.
If you have suffered a workplace injury, don't wait to seek help. Contact Stern & Stern LLP today so we can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
In New Jersey, you can sue when a commercial property owner is negligent in maintaining the property, and that negligence results in your personal injury. Your case does not always present itself as clearly when you are injured on private, residential property. Still, if a property owner does not perform maintenance that the law requires, or acts in a way that causes your injuries, you are entitled to compensation. In these cases, you should contact an experienced attorney to help with your personal injury claim.
Negligence of Private Property Owner
Unlike commercial property owners, private property owners do not have an automatic duty to keep their premises safe for visitors. The New Jersey Supreme Court held in Luchejko v. City of Hoboken that a residential owner is only liable for a slip and fall accident if the owner either created the condition or made it worse. On the other hand, if a homeowner has made his or her property more dangerous, due to work on the property or general neglect, you can gain compensation for that injury.
Dangerous Conduct or Conditions Caused by the Owner
In a sidewalk slip and fall on someone's property, proving the owner's actions caused your injury can be difficult. Other kinds of personal injury claims on private property also arise. Injuries to children on private property that happen on a trampoline, swimming pool, or other equipment can make the owner liable under the attractive nuisance doctrine. Injuries to guests or other visitors on the property due to a dangerous animal or a property problem the owner knew about but did not repair also give rise to a personal injury claim. In these cases, you can recover from the owner for your injuries even when they occur on private property.
If you have been injured due to a property owner's creation or continued refusal to repair a dangerous condition, you are entitled to recover damages for your personal injury claim. Contact Stern and Stern today to get the recovery you deserve.
When you get into a car accident, your mind will go in many different directions: taking care of your family, recovering from injury, or even what you will need to do for transportation. But you need to remember that if your car isn't paid in full, you need to continue making payments. Failing to make payments can affect your credit score and hamper your ability to either keep your vehicle or finance a new one, You need a personal injury attorney you can trust to handle your claims while you keep up with this necessity.
Cost of Failing to Make Payments
Every time you miss a car payment, your lender can charge you with a late payment fee. Not only do these add up, but interest accumulates on the amount you still owe, meaning your loan balance builds with what you didn't pay and with the charges placed on top. If you stop paying after an accident, you can quickly find yourself owing far more than you would have if you kept your payments current.
Beyond this, every late payment puts a hit on your credit report. Depending on your score and the number of payments, this can cause a big hit to your overall score. The more you put off paying, the harder it becomes to refinance or to get a new loan. If the car accident totaled your vehicle, this would create more problems for you.
Act Quickly--But Carefully
After a car accident, you need to act quickly to get your vehicle examined. If you can repair it, do so, but be sure to take pictures of it first; if it gets totaled, you need to look into a new vehicle quickly. Unfortunately, you also need to protect your rights. The other driver's insurer may try to take advantage by getting you to sign away some of the recovery to which you are entitled. Save your receipts and keep track of what you lose in the accident, but also contact Stern and Stern. We will give you the guidance you need to protect yourself and get the compensation you deserve.
When you purchase a life insurance policy, you do so to protect financially against death. The policy pays out to designated beneficiaries if the insured person dies, regardless of your age or cause of death. This provides some peace of mind for you and those you designate; whether you die of natural causes or injuries in a car accident, the policy pays the same. But the certainty also limits your recovery to a defined amount that may not cover all your losses. You still need an experienced attorney to help make you whole after an accident.
How Life Insurance Works
Life insurance generally comes as either term, whole, or accidental death and dismemberment coverage. Whichever policy is in place, whoever is designated in the policy receives payment after the policyholder dies. If you are named in a policy, and the policy is in effect, you will receive payment of the amount covered. In the case of a car accident, you gain the benefit of a payment that comes typically within 1-2 weeks.
In some ways, the certainty of your life insurance payment works against you. The policy terms determine how much the policy will pay, and have little to do with the losses you suffer. The contract sets the amount for which the insured is covered, so a car accident that takes away years of expected income or creates other financial burdens will not change the amount of the payment. And if premium payments on the policy lapse between the accident and when the insured dies, you may lose out on benefits entirely.The terms of the contract, rather than the need you have after a loss, dictate how much you will receive.
A life insurance policy can help cover some losses and expenses, but it is not designed to make you whole in all circumstances. If you have lost someone you love in a car accident, contact Stern & Stern LLP today. We will help you understand your rights and recover what you deserve.
New Jersey, like every other state, requires that you carry auto insurance for you to be allowed to drive. Because it becomes part of an automatic process, most people do not really think about their coverage until they need it. When you do, though, understanding your right to file a lawsuit under your policy becomes important. Working with an experienced lawyer will help you protect those rights when you are in a car accident.
A basic auto insurance policy generally fits whose drivers who are younger or have relatively few assets or family members. If you have a basic policy, you have a limited right to sue in a car accident. This is somewhat different from a pure no-fault coverage; you can sue for economic damages like lost wages or medical costs. However, you may not sue for pain and suffering except in cases of serious injuries like lost limbs, permanent injuries, or death.
The standard policy gives you a choice when you sign up for coverage. You can opt either for the same limited right to sue that you receive under the basic policy, or pay higher premiums in exchange for an unlimited right to sue. If you select the latter, you have the ability to sue for pain and suffering even without the level of injury required under the basic policy. This gives you greater options and the ability to make yourself whole after an accident in ways the limited option does not allow.
Car Accident Representation
Regardless of the kind of policy you select, you have rights under your auto insurance policy. If someone's reckless driving causes you a serious injury, you need not resign yourself to the coverage limits that your policy or the other driver's policy affords. Contact Stern and Stern today to protect your rights and get the recovery you deserve.
Most people have heard the phrase "emotional distress" at some point. But from a legal perspective, it means much more than being worried or upset. Rather, to file a claim, you need to have physical symptoms that manifest as a result of the distress you are enduring. But if someone's conduct has caused you to go through those symptoms, you should meet with a personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim.
Symptoms of Emotional Distress
When you suffer through a traumatic experience, it creates impact beyond the moment itself. Some of the symptoms you may experience include:
If you have been going through any of these problems, you should see a doctor. But if you can trace them back to someone else's intentional or reckless conduct, you should also see an attorney. He or she can help you examine your situation and determine whether you are entitled to damages.
Infliction of Emotional Distress
A claim for damages can either be for intentional or negligent causation. For intentional infliction of emotional distress, the person has to have either intended to cause it or acted so recklessly that you were likely to suffer as a result. And even then, your distress must be severe enough that no reasonable person could be expected to endure it.
For negligent infliction of emotional distress, the person's conduct does not have to be intentional, but it still has to involve dangerous conduct that results in your physical symptoms of distress. If you are suffering due to an injury or death of a family member, you have to have witnessed it directly to collect damages for a distress claim.
If you are suffering from distress that another person caused through intentional, reckless, or negligent behavior, you have a potential claim for damages. Contact Stern and Stern today to have an expert attorney evaluate your claims and get you the recovery you deserve.
When you file an insurance claim, the process can be long and frustrating. Still, there are some people who intentionally abuse the process by filing false claims. In New Jersey, as in most places, the state takes these claims seriously. The penalties for insurance fraud are onerous, so missteps can leave you in big trouble. Working with an experienced attorney can thus help you file your claims properly.
What Is Insurance Fraud?
If you file an insurance claim, you have an obligation to both be honest and include all relevant details. If you either lie in your claim or omit information that would affect your claim, the State can charge you with insurance fraud. This includes problems with applications, using fake insurance cards, or filing false claims, and it can occur under many kinds of insurance:
This is a third-degree felony in New Jersey. If you are convicted, you can face jail time and fines up to tens of thousands of dollars. The punishment varies depending on the kind of insurance and the type of fraud, but any will leave you with a felony on your record and a significant dent in your finances.
Avoiding Insurance Fraud
Because insurance fraud subjects you to criminal charges, you need to be careful when applying for or using insurance coverage. An error in judgment or an honest mistake can result not only in your losing coverage for your claim, but having to defend yourself with a great deal at stake. And the state is even proposing rules to reward people who report fraud!
Insurance companies function by paying out as little money as possible. If you file a claim and the administrators see any kind of irregularity, you risk having your claim denied and possibly being prosecuted. If you have to file a claim after an accident or injury, contact Stern and Stern first. We will help you with the process and make sure you prepare any insurance claim correctly.
When you are injured in an accident, your first focus should be on getting healthy. Unfortunately, an important question for most is how to pay the medical bills that accumulate. Because the legal process takes time, you usually can't wait to start paying the bills. Understanding the sources of funding available to you is thus critical to getting yourself up and running.
One tempting source of payments for your health costs is an early settlement offer from the insurance company of the person who caused the accident. They will typically offer to pay for your damages in a lump sum and avoid the time, cost, and uncertainty of litigation. Faced with a long recovery and legal battle, the temptation to take the offer is understandable.
Unfortunately, once you accept a settlement offer, you sign away your right to more. If you do not know what your final medical costs will be, you cannot go back for more as new bills roll in. You should talk to a personal injury attorney before you ever
If you have health insurance or PIP coverage on your auto policy, your insurance company will typically pay for your medical bills under the terms of the contract. This often covers a portion of your costs, depending on the coverage you have, up to the coverage limits.
In many states, the insurance company can file a lien against any recovery you eventually get, and recover its costs against the judgment or settlement. But New Jersey as an anti-subrogation state, does not allow insurers to recover costs from accident victims. The most significant exceptions are federal policies like Medicare or Medicaid, which can recover under federal law.
Out of Pocket
Whatever your insurer does not cover, you must pay out of pocket until your case is resolved. You are responsible for that amount; you can't wait for the other party to pay. This can be a source of stress the other side uses against you. If you have been injured, contact Stern & Stern LLP today to discuss your case and understand your options.
New Jersey, like all other states, requires drivers to carry liability insurance coverage. But for a variety of reasons, not everyone does. And for those that carry the minimum coverage, there may not be enough to pay all of the damages you suffer in an accident. A good accident lawyer can help you find ways to recover damages, but carrying the right uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help you protect yourself.
Insurance coverage works as a contract. For coverage to apply, the insured has to pay premiums on time and otherwise fill his or her end of the bargain. Unfortunately, this means that other drivers on the road may let their coverage lapse, through non-payment or failure to meet other conditions of the contract. If this occurs, that driver's insurer has no duty to make payments on your policy.
If you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist who causes your accident, your insurer will only pay if you have uninsured coverage. To protect yourself and avoid out of pocket costs, you need to include it in your policy and file an uninsured claim.
Even if the other driver carries insurance, the minimum coverage may not cover all your damages. Damage to your vehicle and your personal injury claim are often more extensive than the other policy covers. And almost always, the other driver cannot afford to pay a judgment beyond his or her insurance coverage.
Underinsured coverage gives you a buffer to cover costs that are outside the limits of the other driver's liability policy. Your insurer then subrogates and pursues the other driver for the remaining damages, but it prevents you from being personally liable for another driver's mistake.
Auto insurance is there to protect you against liability, and if you carry additional underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage, it can pay out even when the other driver's liability coverage will not. If you have been in an accident and need help filing an uninsured or underinsured claim, contact Stern & Stern LLP today.
When you have a personal injury claim, you need to prove damages before you can recover any money. This is true whether you go to trial or gain an insurance settlement. And while reports and testimony form a critical part of your proof, pictures of the scene provide both critical evidence and immediate impact. The more clearly you can document your accident, the more your attorney will be able to help you.
How Pictures Help
In New Jersey, and in most states, you have a duty to move your car to the side of the road if possible after an accident. Right away, then, you are changing something about the scene. Similarly, if you are injured in a slip and fall or other accident, it may not take long for the scene where you are injured to change. If you take pictures, you can show the conditions that led to your injury. In addition, you can get immediate visual evidence of your condition, and your vehicle's damage in a car accident, that otherwise would depend on testimony and police reports after the fact.
What Pictures to Take
When you take pictures, more is better. You want to take pictures of the over-all and specific area where the accident occurred, as well as any physical damage to the area and, in an auto accident, to your vehicle. You should also take pictures if you can of any injuries. You should capture as many angles as you can, and note any signs or other guides that someone may have ignored or missed. The better you can do at documenting the scene and aftermath of the accident, the more effectively you can demonstrate both what happened and the damages you have suffered.
Anytime you are taking pictures of other people, you of course need permission. But the damage, the area, and anything else you can document will help you when you go to prove your case. After your accident, get all the pictures you can, and then contact Stern & Stern LLP to get the experienced representation you need.
Social media today is more prevalent than ever. Facebook has over two billion active users, with over 800 million on Instagram and 300 million on Twitter. This helps connect you to your friends and family. But it may also complicate a personal injury case. While you are proving your damages, the defense can use public posts on social media to undermine your case. Social media usage should become part of the strategy you discuss with a personal injury attorney.
Proving Your Personal Injury Case
A key part of your personal injury case is demonstrating how you were injured. Until you can show that someone else caused the incident, you cannot show that someone owes you damages. But causation isn't enough; you must also show the effect the injury has on you. Damages depend on your out of pocket costs and other costs that the injury imposes on your life. If you cannot work, you are entitled to lost wages. If you suffer losses to your ability to enjoy your personal life and relationships, that too entitles you to damages.
How the Defense Can Use Social Media
When you are working to prove your claims, the defense attorney looks for ways to undermine them. Social media can give fertile ground for the defense. Pictures and posts of you enjoying days out, celebrating special occasions, and enjoying an active life can push against your claims. Even innocuous posts can work against you. And in New Jersey, as in most states, any public post on social media is a public record. The defense is entitled to find your posts and use them against you.
Protect Your Privacy and Your Case
To protect yourself, you should make sure your social media settings maximize privacy. But even when you share only with friends and family, what you post can get out. Approach everything you post as something that could show up in your case.
If you have a personal injury claim in New Jersey, contact the lawyers at Stern & Stern LLP. We can help you protect your claim and get the recovery you deserve.
You carry auto insurance to protect yourself and other drivers after an accident. But what if, after an accident, your company denies your insurance claim? This unfortunately happens far too often, and leaves drivers confused about their options. If your claim has been denied for any of the reasons below, working with an experienced attorney can help.
1. The Policy Wasn't In Force
If you let a policy lapse, or switched insurance companies, your former insurer can deny your insurance claim. You have to file with a company that was covering you at the time of the accident.
2. You Only Carry Liability
New Jersey law requires a minimum coverage level that you can obtain with a basic insurance policy. This gives you liability coverage, meaning it pays out for damage you cause to another driver. If you get into an accident without collision coverage, the company may not pay for the damage to your own vehicle.
3. Your Information Changed
If you have moved or gotten a new vehicle without telling your insurer, it may deny a claim based on not having your current information. Insurers base premiums on risk that they assign, and may deny your insurance claim if they do not have the right information.
4. You Reported Late
Insurance policies demand that you report accidents in a specified time frame. If you fail to do so, the insurer can deny your insurance claim--even if the accident should be covered.
5. Your Policy Excludes the Claim
Insurance policies contain conditions and exclusions that affect coverage. The person driving may not be included in the policy, or you could be driving under the influence or doing something else that keeps the company from covering the claim based on the specific policy language.
Sometimes insurance companies deny claims that they should cover. If your insurer has wrongly denied your insurance claim, you don't have to just accept the decision. Contact Stern and Stern LLP to let us fight the insurance company and get the compensation you deserve.