shutterstock_218645953.jpgWhen you ride in a taxi, you do not have control over your travel. Unfortunately, this means that you cannot take steps to avoid an accident when it occurs. You may be injured by colliding with the divider in front of you, or directly through the impact of a collision. Whether your driver or someone else caused the accident, New Jersey personal injury law provides ways for you to get the compensation you deserve. Make sure you take steps to get the information you need before you contact your lawyer.

Your Driver's Information

Your driver will have on display his or her license and information in the taxi. You should get this information, including that of the company for which the driver works. Regardless of who was at fault, your driver's insurance may contribute to the damages to which you are entitled. You could get injured because of the safety equipment in a taxi or the partition separating you from the driver, so the driving itself or the structure could cause your injuries. You need to be able to identify your driver to gain the full benefit that personal injury law provides for you.

Police Report

You don't have control of the driving, but you do have control over reporting the accident. Make sure you contact the police and wait on the scene until an officer appears. You can then collect the reporting officer's information and explain what happened. The police officer will give you the information you need to get a copy of your report, which you will then bring to your attorney

Pictures and Notes

If you are able, take pictures at the accident scene and jot down some notes. Personal injury law uses a combination of laws and facts to reach its outcomes. Your information gathered at the site helps you keep the facts at hand.

If you have been injured in a taxi accident, you need strong, experienced representation. Contact Stern and Stern to get the compensation you deserve.



When you lose a loved one, your world changes instantly. You need to cope with the emotional impact of the loss and figure out how to move forward. But what if someone else directly caused it to happen? In New Jersey, a wrongful death action is available when someone else's action or negligence causes your loved one's death. Your attorney will help you understand your rights and get the recovery you deserve.

Explain Your Relationship

In a wrongful death action, one of the first things your lawyer will want to understand is the nature of your relationship with the deceased. This can feel uncomfortable, but under New Jersey law, you must show dependence or an inheritance right from the estate. Understanding what your relationshipis serves as a threshold issue before you have a right to recover.

Understanding What Happened

Your lawyer will then want to understand what happened. Before you can recover for wrongful death, you must show that the person who caused it had and violated a duty of care to your loved one. This can include something as simple as a duty to drivesafely,or to provide proper maintenance to private property. But not meeting the duty must be related to how the person died.

Beyond the duty itself, your lawyer will want to understand the sequence of events that led to your loved one dying. This again is not an easy story to tell, but you must be able to show causation. For example, if someone's speeding did not create the conditions that caused the death, the fact that the person broke the law is not enough for you to recover.

Preparing Your Case

After your initial meeting, you should expect your attorney to continue gathering information. The road to a trial or even a settlement is long, and your lawyer will continue asking questions along the way, all to help prepare and earn the best recovery for you.

If someone else's actions or neglect have caused the loss of your loved one, don't leave your case to just anyone. Contact Stern and Stern today.

shutterstock_225379873.jpgWhen you think of what an attorney does for you, you likely imagine a singularly focused person with a great deal of knowledge in a narrow area. In fact, this is far from the truth. Your attorney needs to know a great deal in several areas to represent you in an auto accident case. He or she must put it all together to deliver the results you need.

Medical Knowledge

Injuries you suffer in an auto accident come from a combination of the impact you suffer and a chain of events that occur in your body. Your attorney needs to understand the injuries you suffered, and how and why they occurred. Causation is a key element to any personal injury case, so the attorneys must know how to demonstrate it in court and their filings.

Engineering and Physics

Beyond injuries, your attorney must understand the role the vehicles involved play in the accident. Each vehicle has an intricate construction and parts that work in combination to move, stop and steer, and to protect the drivers. The way everything works — or sometimes fails to work — plays a role in the damages and sometimes the parties to a suit. Mechanical engineering and physics thus play a key role.


Your lawyer serves as your advocate and your counselor. This means being able to work with you on your needs, as well as understanding the mindsets of the other party, his or her attorneys, the judge, and the jury members. A deft command of human psychology thus becomes necessary to navigate through an auto accident case, from your first consultation through trial.

Legal Expertise

Finally, beyond everything else, your attorney must be an expert in the legal system: the laws and regulations related to driving, insurance, and personal injury law; the rules of civil procedure that govern your case; and the rules of practice in the individual court.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you need someone who can wear multiple hats to get you the best result. Contact Stern & Stern today to reach the recovery you deserve.

shutterstock_342224417.jpgAfter an auto accident, the wait until your trial can feel like an eternity. The accident likely occurred months ago or more. The way you felt immediately after has subsided; some injuries have healed, and you've become used to dealing with those that haven't every day. But after all of that, you need to be ready to give your version of events to a jury. To do so, you must work with your attorney and prepare carefully for your day in court.

Review the Details

As your court date approaches, take some time each day to review your memories and your notes about the accident. The opposing attorney will try to trip you up and pick at anything that does not match deposition testimony, police reports, or eyewitness accounts. You need to make sure you recall precisely what happened, how and why. For you to remember under pressure on the stand, you need to be able to remember during the buildup.

Practice Telling Your Story

Beyond remembering, you need to be able to tell the jury what happened. Your attorney will practice with you, both in terms of letting you tell the story on direct examination and answering questions oncross examination. Don't get discouraged when you make mistakes; this is your chance to work out the kinks and prepare so that, when the time comes, you can talk smoothly about your auto accident. While you practice, make sure you ask questions as well, so you can feel confident in what you're doing at trial.


This is the hardest part. Jury members react to nervousness in unpredictable ways, so you cannot risk looking flustered. In the end, though, your jobisto tell the truth about the auto accident and let your attorney and the system work for you.

If you have been hurt in an accident, contact Stern & Stern to get the representation you need.


If you've been in an auto accident, your mind tends to jump quickly from one thought to the next. You worry about yourself, your car, your family, and all the other obligations you have. All this makes it difficult to sort out your thoughts and focus on any one thing. But you need to take care of some details in the short term. These few important steps can help you move forward quickly.

1. File a Police Report

If you or anyone else in the accident was injured, or if there is any damage of more than $500 caused in the accident, you need to report it to the police. Besides it being a state law requirement, a police report is an official record of what happened, and you can rely on it later in court. Do not rely on the other driver for this; that person might not reportit, or may give false informationto to avoid taking responsibility. As soon as possible, tell the local or state police what happened.

2. See a Doctor

Injuries that you don't treat right away get worse quickly. Even if you don't feel hurt, the effects of an auto accident can hit you hours or even days after you sustain an injury. Don't wait until it hurts; see someone to get a diagnosis. In the midst of everything, you need to protect yourself first. Cars can be replaced, but you cannot. 

3. Take Notes

Don't count on remembering everything that happened later on. Write down as much as you remember while it's fresh in your mind. Your ability to recover damages later depends in part on being able to explain what happened. Even before you contact a personal injury attorney, you need to make sure you understand what happened.

4. Find a Lawyer

After an auto accident, you'll have many people telling you what to do, but not all of them are on your side. A personal injury attorney can help you understand and exercise your right to recover. After an accident, contact Stern & Stern to get the help you need.

shutterstock_356019131.jpgIf you have lost a loved one because of someone else's negligence, it can be hard to keep going. You depended on this person for income and for personal and emotional support. Now, you find limits to whether and how you can pursue wrongful death cases in New Jersey. Before you give up your right to damages for the wrongful death of someone close to you, you should take the time to work with an attorney. He or she can help you understand your options and your rights.

Statute of Limitations

One aspect you need to keep in mind is that, after your loved one dies, you only have two years in which you can file a wrongful death action. This can go quickly; you don't have long to mourn and to understand what your rights may be before you have to decide whether to file a suit. There is good reason for this; as time passes, it can be difficult to keep track of witnesses and information critical to your case. In wrongful death cases, this can be especially difficult, since the person responsible may be facing related criminal charges. Your lawyer can help you navigate the system and find and serve the right person to get your case started.

Limits to Your Recovery Rights

Even after you get started, you can run into difficulties. New Jersey wrongful death cases depend on the rights of the person who died; the lawsuit essentially belongs to that person, and recovery becomes what he or she would have been entitled to in a suit. Furthermore, your options differ depending on your relationship and the extent to which you depended on that person. A good attorney can help you determine whether and how much you have a right to recover.

Understanding your rights in wrongful death cases can be difficult and frustrating. Before you trust your recovery to the estate's attorney or to chance, take the time to contact the lawyers at Stern and Stern. We will work with you to understand your case and get you the recovery you deserve.

shutterstock_265836425.jpgIf you've been through an auto accident, you know the process you go through to defend your rights and reach a result that you deserve can be daunting. Few results come quickly, and how much you can recover depends on the specific facts of your accident. The more information you can provide, the more your attorney can do to help you.

What Happened

You should gather as much information about the accident as possible to discuss with your attorney. He or she will conduct an investigation as well, including getting a copy of the police report for the case. Any responsibility you may have for the accident will weigh in, as well as details about the other driver. A drunk driving auto accident can result in dram shop liability for those who served the other driver. If you lost a loved one in the accident, the state wrongful death statute comes into play.

The more information you can provide about the accident, the more your attorney can do to examine and review your legal options. Go in ready to discuss what happened in great detail so your attorney can go to work for you.

Damages Incurred

The other aspect your attorney will want to consider is what damages you have incurred. This includes damage to your vehicle and to you: medical costs, lost wages, loss of consortium, and any other personal or professional losses. You should always start by taking care of yourself. Your doctor will be the best source of information on any injuries you have sustained and the costs associated with those. You should then gather any information on the accident and its cost to you that you can recall and collect. Any detail of the impact the auto accident has on your life can make a difference in your recovery.

If you have been in an accident, take the time to gather the information you have, and then come to us. Stern and Stern has the experience and expertise to help you get the recovery you deserve. Contact us today to learn more.

shutterstock_98521079.jpgNo one plans to get into an accident. It's no wonder, then, that many people are not prepared for what they need to do after it happens. But if you do go through this, you can take steps to help yourself even before you see an auto accident attorney. These five tips can help you avoid some of the usual pitfalls.

1. See Your Doctor

It can be hard to tell whether you are injured after an accident. Your adrenaline will make you feel strong even if you have suffered major damage. Make sure you take care of your health by seeing your doctor right away.

2. Take Notes

You may have trouble remembering all the details of your accident. The longer you wait to write down what you remember, the less you are likely to remember later. Write down what happened, when, where and how. The more you can get about what the other driver did, the better.

3. Don't Take the First Insurance Offer

If the other driver caused the auto accident, his or her insurance company will want to make everything go away quickly. The chance at getting paid a settlement quickly may well be appealing, but it usually means you sign away your rights before you fully understand what they are. Listen, but don't take the offer right away.

4. Don't Jump at Non-Local Attorneys

Similarly, you will probably hear from lawyers before you even get home. Out of town lawyers scan accident reports and try to get you to agree to representation before you can look into the firm. Take your time, and make a thoughtful decision about who should represent you.

5. Seek Legal Help

While you don't want to jump at every attorney with a postcard and a promise, you do need to find legal help. If you have been injured in an auto accident, take the time to discuss your claims with an experienced attorney who understands how the process works. Contact Stern and Stern today and we will work to get you the recovery you deserve.

shutterstock_273634958.jpgAfter an accident, an attorney usually represents the person who was injured. If negligent or reckless behavior causes that injury, the attorney helps represent the person to ensure his or her rights are protected. But what if the injured person dies? In those situations, a wrongful death attorney represents the rights of the victim's dependent family members instead. The loss is devastating emotionally and financially, and the attorney provides a way to recover damages fromwhomever is responsible.

Who Can Recover

The New Jersey Wrongful Death Act defines who may recover in any civil action for actions that result in a person's death. It is based on the claim that the victim would have had against the person who caused it, and is usually limited to the damages that could have been recovered if the accident victim had lived. For this reason, the person's estate often files this kind of lawsuit, with the executor hiring a wrongful death attorney to handle the case.

That said, if the person who passed has a will, that doesn't determine the distribution of any award. Any award in a wrongful death action instead can only be distributed to those who were actually dependent on the person who died.Generally this means a spouse or children, and sometimes the parents or grandchildren need to look to protect their rights as well.

Protecting the Family

In many cases, the person who dies was a critical means of support for the family he or she leaves behind. The estate may need an attorney, but it may also not represent the real needs of the family. When you hire a wrongful death attorney, you should know that person has your interests at heart. The estate's attorney looks to maximize the value of the estate; you need someone who will look out for you.

Have you lost a loved one due to a careless or reckless action by someone else? Stern and Stern has wrongful death attorneys who can protect your rights. Contact us today to learn more.

shutterstock_104383127.jpgIn New Jersey, a lawsuit for wrongful death is brought by the executor of the estate of the person who died, or by surviving dependents of that person. Since you have an interest in the estate, relying solely on the executor and his or her lawyers means your interests do not get the attention they deserve. You need a wrongful death attorney working on your behalf to ensure someone is protecting your rights.

The Estate's Attorney

Under New Jersey law, if the deceased has a will, the executor of the will is required to file any wrongful death action. The attorney representing the estate of the person who died does indirectly represent your interests. After all, you're entitled to receive proceeds from the estate, and money received by the estate is part of what will be distributed. Still, the wrongful death attorney hired by the executor works for the estate as a whole; he or she seeks to increase the value of the estate as a whole, rather than concerning your share or your needs in any specific way.

Your Rights

You have damages specific to you that you can recover in a wrongful death lawsuit. The damages often include loss of support, loss of companionship, and others that apply not equally among everyone entitled to proceeds from the estate. Further, a wrongful death attorney who represents you specifically can delve into your particular loss, including the emotional and personal aspects that do not apply to the estate as a whole. Hiring your own attorney helps you both understand how the lawsuit applies specifically to you and directs his or her efforts on your behalf to help ensure you have a chance to recover those damages other heirs do not have.

If you have lost a spouse, parent, or child due to someone else's wrongful act or negligence, do not sit back and hope someone will represent your interests. Contact Stern & Stern Attorneys at Law today so we can get to work on your behalf.

shutterstock_418304143.jpgWhen you get into an auto accident, the world will not stop spinning. Unfortunately, you need to adjust to what happened and move to protect your rights. To do so, these ten steps can make all the difference.

1. Get the Other Driver's Information

You should get the other driver's name, contact information, and insurer. Before you can pursue your right to recover damages, you need to know from whom you will recover.

2. See a Doctor

Auto accidents affect everyone differently. You need to know whether you've been hurt and get any treatment you need.

3. Write Everything Down

Take notes as soon as possible. A trial might not start for months or years. Your memory will fade, so writing what happened, when, where and how helps immensely.

4. Get the Police Report

This is the official record of the accident. Your insurer will want one, and it will give you the vital information you need.

5. Talk to Your Insurer

Your insurer can answer questions about your policy, including whether you have a no-fault or traditional policy. Your right to recover can differ depending on the specifics of the accident and your coverage.

6. Talk to the Other Insurer

The insurer for the driver who caused an auto accident will likely be the one to pay damages. Make sure they exist and that the other driver is covered, but do NOT provide them with a statement either in writing or a recording.

7. Wait to Act

Settlement offers come quickly and give the allure of a quick payment. Listen, but do not accept an offer before you understand your rights.

8. Gather Your Paperwork

Your medical records, notes and police report will all play an evidentiary role if you go to trial. Make sure you have everything you need.

9. Take Time to Decompress

Keeping your wits about you allows you to think through what happened and how best to respond. Find time to calm down after the accident.

10. Talk to an Attorney

Experienced representation makes all the difference after an auto accident. Contact Stern and Stern today to help get the recovery you deserve.

shutterstock_412479100.jpgIn New Jersey, a "wrongful death" includes any death "caused by a wrongful act, neglect or default of another." The wrongful death statute of limitations provides that, with certain exceptions, an action must be brought within two years after the person dies. If your spouse, parent, or child dies due to someone else's wrongful act or negligence, then, your right to recover only continues if you file a lawsuit within two years after the death occurs.

Why the Statute Applies

With the emotions involved, it may seem harsh to have to think immediately about whether to file a lawsuit. But the wrongful death statute includes a time limit in part for your protection. Memories fade and waiting several years to sue the other person means relevant facts become less clear. Witnesses, too, can disappear or forget, leaving you unable to fully exercise your right to recover.

Even so, there are times the wrongful death statute of limitations will not apply, or can be adjusted. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through these possibilities, and whether they apply to your situation.


Within the wrongful death statute of limitations lies an exception for cases in which the defendant was either convicted or found not guilty due toinsanityof murder, aggravated manslaughter, or manslaughter. The evidence established in trials for those crimes is preserved on record, and the wrongful acts themselves make the reasons for the statute of limitations less compelling in those cases.

The limitations period also expands if you are a minor at the time the death occurs or are mentally incapacitated. In that case, the statute of limitations starts at the time you turn 18 or are determined competent to bring suit. Further, if there is a reason you could not have known of the death or the wrongful act, you may argue that the period should start when you discover the grounds for a suit.

If you have lost a loved one because of someone else's wrongful act, don't wait until it's too late. Contact us today to protect your right to recover.