beer_7_morgueFile.jpgThere are few things in life that are worse than being the victim of a drunk driver in NJ. Not only can it cause significant damage to your vehicle, it can quite literally change your life. Fortunately, NJ has very strict drunk driving laws and the law is on the side of victims.

When dealing with a drunk driving case, it's usually best to wait for the criminal case to conclude before filing civil suit. The standard of proof within the criminal system is greater, and often, by waiting for the criminal case to conclude, the evidence will already be proven and beyond a reasonable doubt.

That doesn't mean you should wait to seek treatment for your injuries. In fact, you should begin that immediately so that any health conditions you are facing can be addressed. This also gives a clear picture of your long-term health needs and can make seeking compensatory damages easier. 

Further, the person who injured you may not be the only one responsible. In NJ, "Dram Shop Acts" can help you hold bars, clubs, stores, or restaurants liable should their patrons cause an accident. Thus, it's important to fully investigate your case and determine the appropriate legal avenue to pursue in order to ensure that you're not left paying the tab for someone else's negligent actions and behavior. 

We invite you to contact Stern & Stern LLP. at 201-567-2900 if you have been the victim of a drunk driver in NJ. We'll be happy to discuss your case with you and to start preparing your case so that you can obtain the compensation you're entitled to.

SafeCell_App_Facebook.jpgSafe driving for teens is something that every parent takes seriously. From teaching them the rules of the road and ensuring their vehicle is in good condition, no stone should be left unturned when it comes to keeping your kids safe as they take to the wheel.

One way to do this is to download the SafeCell app. This fabulous tool makes it easy for you to track your child as they drive. More importantly, it warns drivers not to answer the phone or text while they are driving. It won't prevent these things from happening, however, it will track the habits and use.

Thus, you can follow-up with your child when they return home and determine whether or not they've followed the rules and laws, or if they've broken them. And, if they've broken them you can take the opportunity to remind them that in New Jersey, it is illegal to talk on a handheld phone, text, or otherwise use your phone for any purpose while driving.

So, download the SafeCell App and talk with your children before you hand them the keys to the car. By helping them learn the rules and develop safe driving habits now, they will be less likely to cause an accident later on. Further, by teaching them to be responsible behind the wheel, they'll stay alert for their friends behavior as well which will have an overall positive effect on our communities. 

Safe driving for teens is something you should discuss with your children long before you ever hand them the keys. Stern & Stern LLP. would be glad to answer your questions about the law and ways you can educate your children to stay safe behind the wheel. We invite you to contact us at 201-567-2900 with your questions and to seek our advice.

icicle_FreeDigitalPhotos.jpgCold weather injuries can come out of nowhere and sideline your life. Whether you are involved in an automobile accident caused by ice, or slip and fall on some snow in the parking lot you first must find proper medical care and follow your health care providers advice.  Second. you need to call a personal injury attorney. Once that advice is followed we suggest these tips to help you get moving forward again:

  1. Dress in thick layers. This will help protect you from falls that may happen, thus lessening the damage to your body.

  2. Stay inside. Outdoor temperatures can cause muscles and joints to ache and freeze up. If you're healing from cold weather injuries, the cold will only prolong your recovery.

  3. Use a cane/walker/wheelchair until you're healthy. This is important because a second fall while you're already recovering from one is bad news. A second fall can compound your health issues and negatively impact your recovery regimen.

  4. Eat well. The body is a machine, and when you're injured or sick, it needs plenty of fuel to heal it. Make sure that you're eating a well-balanced diet. If you're not sure what foods you should eat, consult your doctor and they'll provide recommendations based on your specific medical condition.

  5. Don't overexert yourself. Instead of shoveling snow, or deicing your driveway, pay the neighbor kid to do it for you. He will appreciate the Friday night money, and you'll appreciate relaxing in your living room with a cup of cocoa.

  6. Wear the right footwear. Thick boots and waterproof shoes with good tread are essential in cold weather. The right footwear will keep your feet warm and dry and help you avoid spills and falls as you go about town.

Cold weather injuries are common this time of year. If you've suffered a slip, a spill, or a fall, contact Stern & Stern LLP at 201-567-2900 and we will be glad to help you get back on your feet again.

hand_FreeDigitalPhotos.jpgIt is not every day that you need to hire a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey. As such, if you have suffered an injury you are probably wondering whether you need to hire one, and when you should do so.

If you have suffered an injury that will result in long-term or permanent disability, you will want to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. That is because a personal injury attorney can help you prepare and organize your documentation. This makes staying on top of things easier and more efficient over the long-run.

This is true whether your case stems from a fall down, car accident, or medical malpractice. These are all situations where hiring a personal injury attorney in New Jersey is the most effective way of pursuing your claim. Further, because personal injury attorney's have extensive experience in dealing with such claims, your attorney, rather than you can deal with the mountains of paperwork. Your personal injury attorney will  ensure that you don't leave money on the table to which you are justly entitled.

This is crucial because it is not uncommon for insurance companies to offer settlement checks and other benefits hoping for a quick resolution. In fact, it's standard procedure that is undertaken in the hopes that you will forego the right to future legal actions for a few dollars "right now." Ultimately, if you are dealing with an injury that will create long-term disability, or require long-term medical care, you could find yourself considerably out of pocket and without legal recourse 5, 10, 50 years from now.

Stern & Stern, LLP can be reached at 201-567-2900. We invite you to contact us to discuss your case and to discover the services we can perform for you as your personal injury lawyer in New Jersey.

defense_FreeDigitalPhotos.jpgAs personal injury lawyers in New Jersey, we're often asked what timeline our clients can resolve their cases within. This is a tough question to answer because no two cases are the same and many variables can come into play to either expedite the process or drag it out. To that end, it is best to focus on the steps that are required rather than the time it will take.

The first step is to pursue medical treatment following an accident. Taking care of your health is paramount and there's no reason to delay seeking treatment. As you undergo treatment, simultaneously begin the process of searching for a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey to handle your case. This will also help you to organize your medical paperwork and the documentation you'll need to prove your case in the courtroom.

Throughout this process, your attorney will carefully review the accident, the medical issues stemming from the accident, etc. This is a time when you'll want to be open and honest as it will set the tone for your case and make everything move forward smoother and faster. Next, a lawsuit will be filed, discovery will take place, followed by mediation and/or negotiation. Should mediation and negotiation fail to secure a favorable settlement, the case will proceed to trial. Trials can last for days, weeks, or even longer. Ultimately, from accident to conclusion depends on the strength of your case and the preparation of your documentation.

If you believe you have a personal injury case to pursue, contact Stern & Stern, LLP. with your questions and to learn more about our services. We'll be happy to answer your questions about hiring a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey and begin helping you take the steps towards a full physical and financial recovery.

x-ray_FreeDigitalPhotos.jpgIt's a bit icy outside and there's a better than even chance that you're going to slip and fall sometime between now and the final thaw. If you've been injured due to the negligence of others, you may need the assistance of slip and fall lawyers in New Jersey who can help seek justice for your injuries.

Thousands of people every year slip and fall on ground that has been improperly cleared of snow and ice. While not every slip and fall can be avoided, it's a property owner's responsibility to take reasonable measures to protect visitors to the property.

Thus, the law requires that any slip or fall be the result of things that a reasonable person would act responsibly to prevent. For instance, cleaning off a sidewalk, entryway, or parking lot. Conversely, shoveling the grass, clearing off an unused roof, or cleaning a flower bed would not be expected of a property owner.

Further, the law requires that a property owner acted negligently to create conditions that led to the accident. For example, using water to melt ice even through temperatures are freezing, or failing to clearly mark potholes or other obstructions that could make traversing a sidewalk or parking lot dangerous.

All of these factors as well as the safety precautions you took will be taken into account to determine whether or not your case merits legal recourse. If it does, you'll want to work closely with an attorney to prepare your documentation and begin the process as soon as possible.

As slip and fall lawyers in New Jersey, Stern & Stern, LLP. can help you navigate the legal process as you seek justice for your injuries. We invite you to contact us at 201-567-2900 to learn more about our services and the ways we can assist you.

Imagine being under contract for a house, only to find out the title isn't completely free or the legal property lines were surveyed incorrectly, making your contract null and void. These are just two examples from a myriad of scenarios that can impede the sale of a home.

Use a Real Estate Lawyer in New Jersey When You're Ready to Buy or Sell a Home

A real estate lawyer in New Jersey is trained to handle all of the legal aspects that pertain to real estate sales. Your lawyer will protect your interests, ensuring that ownership of the property in question is transferred free and clear without any pending issues.

There are multiple steps involved in buying and selling residential property, including:

Initial contract. Typically, the buyer and seller are introduced via their real estate agents and the realtors will draw up the contracts. Most contracts are fairly straightforward but there may be slight variations according to the needs or desires of each party.

Attorney review period. After you've signed the contract, you have three days to get it in the hands of an attorney. Your attorney can help you draft any amendments to your sales contract. Once the attorney has reviewed it, they can submit any necessary amendments to the contract. 

Contingencies. These are conditions that must be met or events that must happen before the contract can officially close. Typically they consist of mortgage contingencies, home inspection contingencies or the need for the buyers' home to sell before closing can occur. The needs and contingencies differ for buyers and sellers, but your real estate attorney can help represent your best interests.

Your real estate attorney can help see that all contingencies are filled and that your interests have been represented in the contract. All home purchases or sales in New Jersey require a lawyer in order to close.

Contact Stern & Stern today to help with your home buying or selling process.

In New Jersey, all estates have to go to a surrogate office and all wills are probated. What does this mean for the executor and beneficiaries? You should find an attorney who can help guide you through the process. 

Use an Experienced Estate Lawyer When You Need Assistance with a Loved One's Will Probate

The will probate process can be complicated and tedious, especially when you're simultaneously dealing with the grief associated with a loved one's death. While some wills can be probated easily with a walk-in appointment to the county clerk, other situations can be infinitely more complex. Consulting with an experienced estate lawyer can help you navigate the realm of will probate in New Jersey as stress-free and efficiently as possible.

How Can an Estate Lawyer Help?

A lawyer can function in several capacities when an estate moves into probate. For example:

  • Identifying probate and non-probate assets. Your lawyer will help to identify the probate and non-probate assets so you don't waste any time on assets or inheritances that aren't included in the probate proceedings. If there is any real estate present in the will, obtaining an attorney is necessary because you will need one to close on the new deed.

  • Protecting the deceased's wishes. If a will or trust is being contested, you have a vested interest in protecting your loved one's intentions. A lawyer will review the will or trust in question and defend it as needed to respect the deceased's wishes.

  • Assisting you as the executor. Being asked to serve as executor or trustee is an honor and it's easy to say, "Yes," when death seems like a remote reality. However, serving as executor or trustee demands a significant amount of organizational skills as well as time. Your legal team will assist you with the entire process, saving time, energy, and money.

Contact Stern & Stern to learn more about will probate in New Jersey or to receive personalized assistance with a current probate issue.

If you have assets that you want to pass down to your heirs, you may want to consider setting up an irrevocable trust. Whether you have property, valuables, bank accounts, etc., it is always wise to plan ahead so that your heirs receive your property according to your wishes. 

An irrevocable trust offers a number of benefits you should consider. Irrevocable trusts are more permanent than their counterpart (the revocable trust,) but can still be amended with the court's permission. An Irrevocable trust is an estate planning tool to minimize taxes.

If you require long-term care, putting your assets into an irrevocable trust can protect them from Medicaid or medical claims, depending on the situation. The cost of setting up an irrevocable trust can differ depending on your situation as well, so your best bet is to consult with an attorney who can help you navigate the complicated field of trusts in New Jersey to evaluate your situation and help you protect your assets in the best way possible. 

Stern & Stern LLP can help you set up both revocable and irrevocable trusts in New Jersey. We invite you to contact us at 201-567-2900 to determine which is right for you, and to set up a time to meet with us. We'll be happy to walk you through the steps and begin the process of protecting your assets with you.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be inflicted in major car accidents, but they can also manifest from a seemingly harmless slip and fall accident or a knock on the head at work. If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, Stern & Stern can file a claim on your behalf so you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

File an Injury Claim with Stern & Stern if You of a Loved One has Been a Victim of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injuries occur when the brain is jarred so hard within the skull that nerve fibers are actually stretched apart. Typical causes of TBIs include whiplash, hard falls or the blunt force of a hard object coming in contact with the head. Victims of a TBI can have a host of side effects, including things like severe concussion and/or lack of consciousness, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and more.

These side effects may or may not correct themselves over time. When the effects of a TBI do not heal, it can mean the inability to remain employed, may require extensive medical treatment, and may require physical, cognitive, or occupational therapy. This can all take a financial toll on the family. 

If you feel as though you have a case to sue for TBI, first ask yourself these questions:             

  • Were your injuries caused by the actions (or inactions) of the person you're suing?
  • Has the person you're suing failed to act with reasonable care towards you?
  • Have you measured injuries or losses that are measurable under the law?

Don't take the law into your own hands. If you think you have a case, contact the legal team at Stern & Stern. Their experienced personal injury lawyers can review your case and help get you what you deserve.

Before you decide to obtain worker's compensation in New Jersey, make sure you know the facts. Medical expenses, lost wages and other hardships as the result of a work-related accident, or cumulative work-related physical degeneration, can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Get Familiar With the Ins and Outs of Worker's Compensation in New Jersey

Worker's Compensation was designed for workers like you. Unfortunately, the system has been so exploited and abused that regulations, paperwork and document requirements have become exceedingly stringent. The more you understand about the system beforehand, the easier it will be to navigate. You should also consider enlisting the assistance of a legal professional to keep the process moving forward in an efficient and timely manner.

Here are some of the basics regarding New Jersey worker's compensation claims:

Work-related injuries. The term "work-related injury" includes more than just a slip and fall accident or acute injury obtained at work. It also covers chronic injuries and debilitating physical conditions, like carpal tunnel syndrome or lower-back injuries, that occur "in the course of State employment." Work-related injuries also include any injury or accident that transpires while you are attending an off-site meeting, at a conference or any other off-site activity or task related to your work.

Notification. It is imperative that you notify your employer within 14 days of the injury. If the accident or injury occurs onsite, you, a coworker or a manager should report the accident immediately. If possible, file a detailed accident report within 24-hours and take pictures in the event they can help your case.

Seeking medical treatment. Your employer has the right to select the healthcare provider(s) you attend for diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, etc.

Are you are considering pursuing a worker's compensation claim in New Jersey? Contact Stern & Stern for professional, competent assistance.

When you dream of building a new home, remodeling or finally taking care of lingering home improvement items, a courtroom is the last place you want to end up. Unfortunately, a contractor's word isn't always what it should be.

If your contractor or home improvement specialist didn't finish the job or didn't finish it to the specifications in the contract, you have a right to sue.

Tips on How to Handle a Contractor Who Didn't Finish the Job

The best way to avoid a lawsuit is to hire a reputable, licensed contractor who is both bonded and insured. Even so, you can still find yourself the victim of one of the following scenarios:

  • A job that was left unfinished or is taking significantly longer than originally specified for no identifiable reason.
  • Work that is sub-par and/or doesn't meet the specifications of the work laid out in the contract or your work agreement.
  • Overbilling by the contractor. It is common for some projects to come in over bit but overbilling should not be a consistent issue
  • Staged or completed work that fails the building inspections of your local governing building officials.

In certain instances, home improvement work may be left in a state such that your home is unlivable. If this is the case, take pictures and carefully document the status of the work before a new contractor takes over.

If you have recently experienced, or are currently experiencing, any of the above scenarios, contact legal professionals who specialize in these types of issues. Failure to provide proper proof, documentation or evidence can negatively affect the outcome of your lawsuit. Your legal team will be able to tell you how to proceed based on the specifics of your particular situation.

Wondering how to handle a contractor who didn't finish the job?