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?

Estate planning can be a complicated and time consuming process. If you have financial or physical assets that you'd like to leave for your heirs, there are a number of things you'll need to consider. At the top of that list, you'll need to know the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts in New Jersey.

Both begin as what is known as an intervivos trust, and this means that it goes into effect while you're still living. A revocable trust allows you to change your mind and alter provisions within the document, while an irrevocable trust is far more permanent, but can potentially be changed with permission from the court. 

Further, with an irrevocable trust, you cannot retrieve your property, even if you change your mind, while revocable trusts allow you to add or remove property. Additionally, each trust has its own set of rules and differences when it comes to taxes and estates. 

Navigating the realm of revocable and irrevocable trusts can be difficult and confusing, so don't do it alone. Stern & Stern, LLP would be happy to assist you with both revocable and irrevocable trusts in New Jersey.

We invite you to contact us at 201-567-2900 to set up a meeting where we can discuss your specific needs and help guide you to the right legal solutions for your assets.

Drafting legal documents in New Jersey requires a sound knowledge and understanding of the law and legalese. Without the guidance and facilitation of a legitimate legal professional, drafting legal documents in New Jersey can be risky.

Don't Leave Your Business Vulnerable When Drafting Legal Documents in New Jersey

One misused phrase or a single oversight when fine-tuning the wording in your small business contracts and other business transactions can put your business at risk. An experienced business lawyer will help you to:

  • Form your business. Make sure your business is structured with regards to income tax, business continuity, and the legal liability your company may be exposed to. Your legal team will assist you with the drafting of Partnership Agreements, Incorporations and the formation of LLCs.
  • Draft wise partnership agreements or dissolution. Whether you are forming or dissolving a business and/or partnership, you want to make sure that your rights, wants and needs are equally represented in any contracts or agreements.
  • Document reviews. Perhaps your prospective business partner(s) or associates have already drafted the contracts and agreements. In this case, it's imperative that you consult with a lawyer well-versed in business law to ensure your rights are being protected and that you are getting everything you are entitled to. Your lawyer's review can protect you from being tricked into anything that would be difficult to remedy once you sign the dotted line.

In addition to any agreements related to the formation of your business, your legal team will also assist you with business purchases and sales, as well as any real estate or contractual needs for your business.

Interested in learning more about how a lawyer can assist you with your business negotiations, contracts, and agreements? Schedule a consultation with the business law team at Stern & Stern.

Mistakes can cost you a fortune when you're closing a business down. When it comes to business dissolution in New Jersey, you'll want to make sure that everything is in order before you close your doors. 

Following the proper procedure is essential in order to protect you from tax liens and from creditors. While any business (LLC, LLP, and LP's) formed before 3/20/2013 is not required to go through a formal dissolution process, it's still recommended that you do so for both peace of mind and to ensure that your business' affairs are formally concluded.

The process of business dissolution in New Jersey can be straightforward, but it's always prudent to have your attorney help you with the process. From inventory to employees, you'll want to make sure that you're doing everything in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey.

Get your tax clearance certificate and have your attorney assist you in filling out the form. It is then filed to the Division of Taxation for approval and the issuance of the certificate. 

Failing to do this can lead to penalties, additional taxes, and fees that may be assessed by the Special Procedures Branch, Judgment Section. This can be a rather lengthy, and quite frankly, painful process especially if your business has closed down because of adverse economic conditions. 

Stern & Stern would be happy to assist you as you navigate the process of business dissolution in New Jersey. We invite you to contact us by calling 201-567-2900 to speak with our team and to determine the proper steps you need to take.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday cheer,New Jersey also experiences its fair share of rain, snow, ice and freezing temperatures. This leads to an increase in unnecessary and preventable slip and fall accidents. The right (or wrong!) combination of experiences can lead pedestrians, workers and others to become victims to injuries sustained from falls.

Are You Entitled to Slip and Fall Compensation in New Jersey?

Slip and fall accidents are prevalent at this time of year when black ice and other winter hazards are more common. If you have been a victim of a slip and fall accident you may be entitled to compensation from aNew Jerseybusiness or residential homeowners insurance policy.

Examples of slip and fall injuries this time of year include:

  • Icy sidewalks or parking lots. Accumulated ice, snow and snow plow drifts can make public sidewalks and parking lots a major hazard. One slip and the victim can land hard, causing serious injuries.
  • Snow accidents. Snow can also form a visual barrier between you and potential hazards such as parking curbs, exposed tree roots, raised sidewalk concrete etc.
  • Accidents on the job. Wet and/or freezing conditions make it dangerous for those who work outside. Even office workers can be exposed to slip and fall scenarios via snowy or icy walkways or slick hard surface flooring that has become wet due to snow melt, water dripping from jackets and umbrellas, etc.

If you're injured, get medical attention immediately. Sometimes, seemingly harmless injuries can become more serious down the road, especially if your head, neck or back were injured. Immediate medical attention will ensure you get the care you need. You should also call a legal professional who can determine if you are entitled to slip and fall compensation inNew Jersey.

Contact the lawyers' at Stern & Stern LLP to learn more about your rights and damages to which you are entitled regarding slip and fall accidents.