Category Archives: Personal Injury

Injured In Woodbridge? What Should I Tell My Personal Injury Attorney?

When you meet with your Woodbridge personal injury attorney, you discuss many subjects. We want you to tell us about how your accident happened, the injuries you sustained, and how you are coping each day. Our experienced NJ lawyers want to hear about the expenses you incurred because of the accident and the money you lost because you could not work. We also answer your questions about the process for filing a personal injury claim, attorney’s fees, and recovering compensation for your losses.

There are certain things that you might not think are important to tell our Woodbridge attorneys during your initial consultation. However, some of this information can have a substantial impact on your personal injury case and your ability to recover full compensation for your damages, injuries, and losses.

Six Things We Want You to Tell Us Now

If any of the situations below apply to you, we want you to tell us as early in your case as possible.

  • Treatment for Prior Injuries or Accidents
    The fact that you were injured or were involved in a prior accident does not mean you cannot receive compensation for the current claim.  However, the insurance company for the other party may try to use this information to deny your claim or undervalue your claim. It is better to tell your attorney so that he can face the argument head-on instead of being blindsided by the other side.
  • Divorce or Separation
    If you are separated or in the middle of a divorce action, tell your lawyer in Woodbridge NJ. Your spouse could claim a portion of your settlement or be called as a witness. An angry spouse may not be who you want in court testifying for the other side.
  • Unreported Income
    A substantial portion of your settlement could be reimbursement for lost income. If you have unreported income, you could receive less money for your claim. You need to discuss issues related to unreported income with your attorney as early as possible in the claims process.
  • Bankruptcy Case
    A pending bankruptcy case can impact your personal injury claim. Some funds may not be exempt from bankruptcy proceedings. If you decide you need to file bankruptcy before your claim is settled, tell your injury lawyer before filing.
  • Criminal History
    A criminal record does not prevent you from filing a personal injury lawsuit nor recovering money for a personal injury claim. However, a criminal record could impact your claim if the case goes to trial. As with prior accidents, it is best to tell your attorney now, so he does not hear about it for the first time during the trial.
  • Medicaid or Medicare Coverage
    If your Medicaid or Medicare coverage pays any medical expenses related to the accident, the agency could place a lien on your settlement proceeds. You want to address this matter early in your case instead of receiving notice after the case is closed that you owe thousands of dollars to the government.

Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?

If you have been injured in an accident, you need a team of legal professionals on your side to fight for your legal rights. Our Woodbridge personal injury law firm handles a large variety of cases involving injuries.

For a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Woodbridge NJ, contact Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C at (908) 561-5577. We are here to help you when you need the support and guidance of a compassionate, experienced NJ lawyer.

Did you know?

Fatalities in car crashes are tragic and often unnecessary. Driver error is often the main contributing factor in many fatal accidents. At the end of 2017, two people lost their lives and six people were injured in a multiple-car crash on Route 440 in Edison Township. The seven-car accident took place on SR 440 near Woodbridge Avenue.  While the crash was being investigated and cleared, several lanes were closed causing slowdowns on the New Jersey Turnpike and SR 287 and 440.

According to the most recent data available, there were seven fatal car crashes in Woodbridge during 2014 that took the lives of eight people. Five of the seven car crashes took place during the fall months from September through December. Three of the accidents occurred on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey, resulting in four of the fatalities. The other locations of fatal accidents in Woodbridge included:

  • State Route 440
  • New Dover Road between Harrow Drive and Walnut Lane
  • State Route 27 (Dow Avenue and Lincoln Highway)
  • I-95 (just before Port Reading Avenue)

South Amboy Parking Lot Accident Jan 2018

According to a news report to the Woodbridge Patch, a father from Old Bridge died in a parking lot accident in South Amboy. The man was picking up his child from the South Amboy YMCA’s after-school program when a vehicle struck him. The man was putting his child into their vehicle at the front of the YMCA when another vehicle ran into them. A representative for the Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy YMCA confirmed that the man died because of the accident.

After the accident, the victim was airlifted to the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that he was pronounced dead at the hospital. His daughter suffered injuries, but those injuries were not life-threatening.

The exact cause of the parking lot accident was not known at the time of the news report. The Mayor of South Amboy speculated that the driver of the vehicle might have lost control if his brakes failed on the steep hill that leads to the YMCA. However, the County Prosecutor’s office said the information was premature and unconfirmed. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the South Amboy Police Department continue to investigate the cause of the accident.

Parking Lot Accidents in the United States

It is estimated that more than 50,000 parking lot accidents occur each year in this country. These accidents result in more than 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths each year. When we think about a pedestrian accident, we tend to imagine accidents that take place when pedestrians are crossing the road or walking beside a road.  However, it is important for drivers and pedestrians to remember that parking lot accidents can be very dangerous for pedestrians.

Tips for Avoiding Parking Lot Accidents

Drivers should remember to:

  • Slow down – Speeding through a parking lot increases the risk of an accident.
  • Avoid distractions —  One of the most common causes of parking lot accidents is distracted driving.
  • Look and look again — Before backing of a parking space, look behind your vehicle, check all mirrors, and turn your head again to ensure there are no pedestrians in your path.
  • Use turn signals — Pedestrians and other drivers cannot read your mind. Use signals to indicate when you intend to park or turn in a parking lot.

Pedestrians should remember to:

  • Avoid distractions — You also need to avoid distracted walking. Do not use your telephone or another electronic device while walking.
  • Look and look again — You must also be very aware of your surroundings and watch for drivers who may not be looking for you.
  • Turn on a light — If you are walking through the lot at night, turn on a flashlight app on your phone to make yourself more visible to drivers.

Drivers and passengers should be careful in all parking lots. However, if you are in a high traffic parking lot like the Woodbridge Center parking lot or lots where children may be present, such as the Fords Park parking lots, be extra cautious.

Hire a Woodbridge Personal Injury Attorney for Help

If you have been injured in a traffic accident in South Amboy area or Middlesex County, please contact the award winning personal injury lawyers at our Woodbridge, NJ office by calling (908) 561-5577 or use our online contact form to request a free consultation with an attorney at Aiello Harris Law Firm.

From our office in Woodbridge, we assist clients throughout Middlesex County, including the residents of South Amboy.

Source: Victim Killed Buckling Child In Car In South Amboy YMCA Crash.” Carly Baldwin. Woodbridge Patch. 30 January 2018.


Driver Pleads Guilty to DUI in Middlesex County Truck Accident

In September 2017, a commercial truck driver under the influence of alcohol crashed into a Hyundai Sonata in the south bound lanes of Route 440 in Perth Amboy. When the large truck rear-ended the Hyundai, the truck jackknifed and hit two other vehicles pushing the SUV into another vehicle.  The truck accident killed one person and injured others.

The driver of the Hyundai Sonata was transported to Raritan Bay Medical Center. He was pronounced dead after reaching the hospital in Perth Amboy according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor. The truck driver and other drivers were also transported to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

The truck driver was formally charged with three counts of assault by auto, one count of death by auto, and driving under the influence of controlled substances. The driver has pleaded guilty and is expected to serve seven years in prison for the charges. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 18, 2018, in the Criminal Division of the Middlesex County Superior Court located on Paterson Street in New Brunswick.

Drugged Driving is as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Driving while impaired by any mind-altering substance is illegal under New Jersey traffic laws. Prescription drugs, illegal controlled substances, and over-the-counter medications can impair a driver’s ability to drive a motor vehicle safely. Therefore, any of these drugs can result in drugged driving.

Drugged driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol because drugs can impair the driver’s balance, coordination, reasoning, perception, and reaction time. When a driver is under the influence of drugs, the driver’s hand-eye coordination is reduced, and his ability to focus and pay attention to the road is impaired. Therefore, a drugged driver is at a higher risk of being involved in an accident. The driver is a danger to himself and all others on the road.

Who is Liable for a Drugged Driving Truck Accident?

Law enforcement officials throughout Woodbridge and Middlesex County aggressively enforce drugged driving laws. As mentioned above, drugged driving is illegal. The truck driver in the accident above was charged with and plead guilty to driving under the influence of controlled substances. However, this is a criminal charge. To hold the truck driver liable for personal injury damages, the accident victims must file a civil case against the driver.
Unfortunately, most truck drivers do not have substantial assets to pay a large personal injury claim. Therefore, you need to identify other parties who might be liable for the accident in addition to the truck driver. For example, trucking companies are required to conduct random testing for controlled substances for their drivers. If a company fails to conduct tests in accordance with FMCSA regulations, the company might be liable for damages if its driver causes an accident.

Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident?
Call a Woodbridge Truck Accident Lawyer?

An experienced Woodbridge truck accident attorney understands how to investigate commercial truck accidents to identify liable parties. Large truck accidents are complex. You need an attorney with experience handling these types of claims to protect your interests.

If you have been injured in a big rig accident, we want to help. Call Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C at (908) 561-5577 or use our online contact form to request your free consultation with an accident attorney in  Middlesex County.

Our law firm has an office in Woodbridge that serves all of Middlesex County, including Perth Amboy.

Source: “Truck driver cuts plea deal in fatal crash on Route 440.” Craig McCarthy. NJ Advance Media. 08 February 2018.

Premises Liability for Injuries at an Apartment Building in New Jersey

Last month, a teenage girl tragically lost her life, and over 40 individuals were injured, including over two dozen police officers, at an apartment building in Perth Amboy. The three-story apartment building was evacuated after police responded to a call about an unconscious person. Several victims were light-headed or unconscious. According to one news report, the matter is under investigation for possible criminal charges because several carbon monoxide detectors were allegedly not working.

Premises Liability Claims in New Jersey

In addition to criminal charges, the person or parties responsible for this tragic accident could be held personally liable for damages. A property owner has a duty to take reasonable steps to provide a safe environment, including the owners of apartment buildings. Depending on how you were injured, an apartment building’s owner, the landlord, or another tenant could be liable for your injuries and damages.

If you have been injured in an apartment building, you need an experienced premises liability attorney to investigate your claim. It is vital that you identify the responsible parties correctly. You can only recover money for your personal injury claim from the party or parties liable under New Jersey’s premises liability laws.

Proving Liability for Accidents on Another Person’s Property

To be held liable for damages, a property owner, landlord or tenant must have been negligent or involved in wrongful conduct. In most premises liability cases, negligence is defined as failing to take actions that a reasonable person in the same situation would take or taking actions that a reasonable person would not take. In most premises liability cases involving a landlord or building owner, the liable party failed to do something.

In the above case, the liable party could have failed to maintain appliances or replace malfunctioning carbon monoxide detectors. The exact cause of the carbon monoxide poisoning can only be determined after a thorough investigation.

When investigating a premises liability claim, our Woodbridge injury lawyers seek to identify the cause of the accident and the identity of the liable parties. We must obtain evidence to satisfy all four requirements to prove negligence and liability in a premises liability accident:

  • Duty of Care — The responsibility of the property owner to maintain safe premises. The level of the duty of care changes depending on the relationship between the owner and the injured victim.
  • Breach of the Duty of Care — A breach of the duty of care could result when an owner fails to make repairs or perform general maintenance.
  • Causation — There must be a direct relationship between the hazard or dangerous condition and the accident that caused your injury. In other words, the accident caused by the hazard resulted in your injury.
  • Damages — Damages include physical injuries, financial losses, emotional suffering, and physical pain. The amount of damages depends on several factors. An experienced Woodbridge personal injury attorney will calculate the value of your claim based on the facts and circumstances in your case.

Contact An Experienced Woodbridge Attorney Today!
If you were injured while on another person’s property, you could be entitled to compensation. Because a premises liability claim can involve complex issues and questions of law, we urge you to contact our office to discuss your claim as soon as possible.

Contact Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C by calling (908) 561-5577 or by using the contact form on our website to schedule your free consultation with a Woodbridge injury lawyer.

Teen Dead, 41 Hurt By Carbon Monoxide In Perth Amboy Apartments.” Tom Davis. Woodbridge Patch. 05-Jan-2018.

Safe Driving Tips for New Jersey Drivers

When you are driving, one moment’s lapse in judgment can cause a car to crash, a truck to spill, or a motorcycle to fall. Even a low-speed crash can cause catastrophic injuries or death. While many accidents are the result of other people’s reckless actions, you can control your behavior behind the wheel. Take into account our safe driving tips to help protect you and your family on the road.

Suggestions for driving safe

Drivers cannot control what other drivers do but they can take steps to reduce risks. Some of the primary steps New Jersey drivers should take are:

  • Don’t drive while distracted. Driver distractions include texting while driving, using your cell phone, looking at a GPS system, eating or drinking while driving, playing with the radio, and grooming yourself. Distracted means that both hands are not on the wheel, you’re not focused on the road in front of you, and you’re not ready to react if an emergency occurs. Cars going 60 mph are going 88 feet per second. A lot of tragedy can occur in 88 feet.
  • Don’t drive while intoxicated. Drunk driving is a well-known cause of fatal accidents. If you feel the need to have a beer or a glass of wine, arrange to take alternate transportation or to have a designated driver.
  • Use a seatbelt. Seat belts help keep you in position if a car accident happens. Many people get seriously hurt when they bounce into other passengers or are forced into the windshield, dashboards, or the sides of the car.
  • Drive for road and weather conditions. Just because the law allows you to go 65 mph on a road does not mean you must go that speed. If traffic is backed up, the roads are bad, it’s raining, or there are other present dangers slow down to a speed that is safe for the current traffic conditions.
  • Be ready for bad weather. Drivers should understand how to drive, how to stop, and when to get off the highway if it is raining, snowing, too sunny, foggy, or if the weather makes it difficult to see and navigate your car for any reason.
  • Don’t drive if you’re sleepy. Truck drivers are required to get off the road if they are tired. Car drivers and motorcycle drivers should get the rest they need, too. Driving while fatigued slows your reaction times and impairs your judgment. You may even fall asleep behind the wheel.
  • Drive defensively. It’s better to avoid the accident than to have to go to court if a crash causes harm. Don’t tailgate. Be extra-aware of cars whenever you change lanes or merge. Let speeding cars pass you. Be aware of escape possibilities such as shifting lanes or pulling off to the shoulder of the road.

You should also prepare your car before the trip. Make sure it has plenty of gas, the oil is being regularly changed, the tires are at the right pressure, and that you follow the manufacturer’s inspection and repair recommendations. Work with a reliable mechanic. If possible, it’s best to avoid roads that have a lot of potholes and roads where construction is taking place.

Call Our Law Firm Now For a Free Consultation

If a car, truck, motorcycle, or any vehicle accident happens on any New Jersey road, know that that the New Jersey car accident lawyers at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C., are ready to help and answer your questions. We have the experience to guide you through each phase of a vehicle accident from the time of the accident through a trial by jury, if necessary. To talk with one of our attorneys, please phone us at (908) 561-5577 or use our contact form.

Person Hit & Killed By Car in Woodbridge, NJ

According to New Jersey News 12, a person was killed in late November 2017 while walking in the parking lot of Woodbridge Hills adult community located off Route 1. The accident occurred near Hampton Lane.

How Many Pedestrians Die Each Year?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrian deaths increased by 9.5 percent from 2014 to 2015. This was the largest number of pedestrian deaths annually since 1996. Nationwide that year, pedestrian fatalities accounted for 15 percent of deaths in traffic-related accidents. In New Jersey during 2015, 562 individuals lost their lives in traffic-related accidents. Of those deaths, 170 (30.2 percent) were pedestrians.

Our pedestrian accident attorneys see the tragic aftermath of the wrongful death of a pedestrian. We represent families of pedestrians in wrongful death actions and pedestrians in personal injury claims. Call (908) 561-5577 for more information about filing a personal injury claim for a pedestrian accident.

Liability for a Pedestrian Accident

When a traffic accident occurs involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, it is important to consult an attorney with experience handling these types of personal injury cases. The attorney can investigate the circumstances of the accident to determine who was at fault for the collision. If the driver of the vehicle is responsible, that driver can be held legally liable for the pedestrian’s injuries, losses, and damages.

In many cases, driver error is the reason for a pedestrian accident. However, the pedestrian must show that the driver’s negligence caused the accident. A Woodbridge pedestrian accident lawyer can help you prove that you were not responsible for your injuries. Examples of driver error that can lead to a pedestrian accident include:

  • Distracted driving, including texting, eating, grooming, reading, etc.
  • Exceeding the speed limit or excessive speed
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Reckless driving behavior
  • Drowsy driving or fatigued driving

You need help gathering evidence to prove liability. Our woodbridge lawyers search for evidence, including witness statements, video evidence of the collision, photographs of the accident scene, and physical evidence to establish the driver caused the accident. By establishing fault, we can prove liability so that you can recover compensation for damages.

Recovering Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident

When you are injured in a traffic-related accident, you suffer more than physical and emotional injuries. You also suffer financial damages. You deserve to be compensated for all damages. However, it can be difficult to calculate the exact amount to seek for an injury claim because many factors impact the value of a claim. Experienced Woodbridge pedestrian accident attorneys utilize all available evidence and information to calculate the full value of an injury claim.

Factors that can impact the value of your injury claim include:

  • The amount of time you missed from work and your average income;
  • The cost of medical care, including any anticipated future medical care;
  • Whether you suffered any permanent disability, disfigurement, or scarring;
  • The nature and severity of your injuries;
  • The length of your recovery; and,
  • Any future expenses related to your injuries.

Because a pedestrian accident can cause severe and life-threatening injuries such as brain injuries, broken bones, internal bleeding, and spinal cord injuries, it is important to maximize the amount of money you can receive for your claim. Your medical bills and lost wages can be substantial. We work diligently to obtain the maximum compensation available for your claim.

Contact a Woodbridge Personal Injury Attorney for Help

Accidents involving pedestrians can change the lives of victims and their families forever. If you have been injured in an accident, we want to help. Call Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C at (908) 561-5577 or use our online contact form to request your free consultation with a Woodbridge accident attorney.

Information for Pedestrians Visiting Woodbridge

Woodbridge Township’s Historic Preservation Commission created a walking tour of historic sites around the town. A printed map with information on each site is available online. Many sites can be found along Rahway Avenue between Green Street and Wedgewood Avenue. Two of the sites are just off Rahway Avenue on Port Reading Avenue. Other historic places on the walking tour include sites along Main Street, Barron Avenue, School Street, and James Street.

First Hybrid Beacon in Woodbridge, NJ

As part of an effort to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents along Route 27 near Magnolia Road, the state installed one of the first hybrid pedestrian beacons in 2012. The location for the hybrid traffic beacon was chosen because of the high number of pedestrians that cross Route 27 each day traveling to and from Metropark train station. Pedestrians usually cross the road at or near Magnolia Road, N. Wood Avenue, Oak Tree Road, and Green Street. Pedestrians should look for pedestrian crossing signals at intersections and carefully follow the signals to reduce the risk of a pedestrian accident.

I Got Hit by a Drunk Driver… Now What?

Have you ever ended up in a car accident as the result of a drunk driver? Unfortunately, many people have been in the wrong place at the wrong time when an intoxicated person decided to make the dreadful decision to drive drunk. You may be wondering, “What now?” or even “Can I sue the drunk driver for the pain and suffering they caused me when I innocently was involved in the accident due to their negligence?” We have the legal answers for you!

The laws in New Jersey have been designed to protect the innocent victims that become entangled in the poor decisions of a person who decides to drive drunk. First and foremost, YES, the drunk driver can and will be persecuted in a criminal court. Additionally, you have the option to sue the defendant in civil court after the criminal case has concluded. The criminal charges the defendant will face in New Jersey criminal courts will result in imprisonment as well as monetary reimbursement and the results for your civil case are dependent upon the specifics of your personal case.

If you decided the route of suing the defendant in a civil court, there are two main types of negligence that will be examined regarding your specific car accident case:

Comparative Negligence

The first type of negligence a court willexamine in your case is referred to as Comparative Negligence. According to the State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, Comparative Negligence is defined as the way the court regulates the degree of responsibility both persons involved in the accident had on the date of the incident. The Comparative Negligence Act states that auto insurance companies must review the details of the accident and make the final determination of who was responsible for each individual aspect of the accident.

The specific details that auto insurance companies will be reviewing are the following:

  • Primary reason the accident occurred, i.e. running a stop sign, veering into next lane, etc.
  • Vaster responsibility of care, i.e. the person to the right has the right-a-way
  • Clear opportunity to avoid the auto accident, i.e. measures taken to evade the collision

Contributory Negligence

The second kind of negligence that will be taken into consideration is called Contributory Negligence. Contributory Negligence is the determination if a person was hurt due in part to their own negligence, in which they “contributed” to their own injury. For example, if a person is driving drunk but the person they hit was already crossing over the separating lane line, the person who was veering, in fact, contributed to the accident as well as the drunk driver. Some states have deemed this doctrine of law unfair and it is not as widely used as the Comparative Negligence doctrine.

Civil Suit Against Drunk Driver

After a drunk driver has been convicted in the criminal courts, you have the option to sue the defendant in a civil court. Criminal court is calculated to keep the public safe from a drunk driver as a means of deterrence of conducting a repeat offense. The drunk driver will serve the terms of punishment after convicted of the crime. Civil court is designed to allow the innocent victim to file an injury lawsuit against the defendant in order to recover damages from the accident. It is possible that you may be injured from the accident, which may result in a loss of wages, medical expenses, personal property damage as well as other damages. These wages are referred to as “compensatory damages”. There are other damages that may be recovered on the emotional front, also known as pain and suffering, that are referred to as “punitive damages.”

In order to get the process started, it is imperative to hire a credible and experienced attorney in the field of personal injury. Your selection of attorney(s) is your ultimate ticket to recovering any and all damages. Finding the most experienced attorney is crucial for enduring what could be a grueling process and painful regurgitation of the events that caused you injury as the innocent party. The process of a civil suit will go as follows:

File a Complaint- The injured party will file a complaint against the accused.

Provide Adequate Evidence- The plaintiff is mandated to provide enough credible evidence to prove the damages were directly caused by the actions of the defendant. The plaintiff will ask for either/or compensatory and punitive damages for loss of wage, car repair, medical bills, funeral bill, pain and suffering, etc. This evidence will need to be in the form of doctor’s notes, bills, pictures, report slips, employee certificates, etc. If the driver was killed in the accident, the heirs of the plaintiff will sue for wrongful death and ask to be awarded both compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the decedent.

Defendant is insolvent- If the defendant does not have the means to pay the awarded damages, the plaintiff has all rights to seek payment from the defendant’s employer by making a claim against them if the accident occurred within the scope of duty, or “on the clock”. The employer is then mandated to take into consideration the offense and supervise the employee. If the plaintiff proves the employer did not show proper due diligence, the plaintiff or heirs of the decedent can file suit against the employer.

Lastly, the judge will take into consideration all the details and specificities of your case. After careful and thoughtful deliberation, and with the right attorney(s), you will be awarded the adequate damages needed to heal properly, regain lost wages, fix and/or replace your car, economic recovery and psychological pain and suffering relief. Do not get left out in the cold if you become the innocent victim of a drunk driving accident.

Contact the Law Office of Aiello Harris for your free consultation. We provide experienced counsel to assist you in your legal matters. We will fight for your rights!

Electrocuted Sandy Cleanup Worker Gets $1.9M Settlement in Ocean County – New Jersey Law Journal

Photo Credit: NOAA/NASA

A Hurricane Sandy cleanup worker who was electrocuted on the job was paid a $1.9 million settlement on Nov. 14 in his Ocean County suit, Diem v. AshBritt Inc.

In December 2012, Bradley Diem was working on the 300 block of West 14th Street in Ship Bottom, as part of a boom truck crew. As he was standing on the ground, in contact with the truck, the boom came into contact with live overhead power lines, sending a charge through the truck and through Diem, according to his lawyer, Evan Mason Harris of Aiello Harris Marth Tunnero & Schiffman in Watchung.

Diem, whose body was left smoking, had to be resuscitated by emergency responders and sustained first- and third-degree burns, Harris said. He underwent surgeries, including fasciotomy and skin grafts, and has been cared for since his release by a burn specialist, according to Harris.

Diem developed an open wound on the top of his head—requiring him to wear a vacuum device—and requires a home health aide and daily pain medication, he claimed. He also has significant scarring and is under psychological care, according to Harris.

Several defendants were named, including: AshBritt Inc., the general contractor at the site; County Waste Inc., which was contracted to provide debris cleanup services; and Clay Mohon Mowing, which owned the boom truck and leased it to AshBritt.

Diem was employed by M&J Landscape Products, and his co-worker was operating the boom truck, Harris said.

Diem’s medical bills were paid by M&J Landscaping’s workers compensation carrier, according to Harris.

The personal injury lawsuit claimed AshBritt and the subcontractors were responsible for overall site safety, and wrongly allowed operation of the trucks in close proximity to power lines—which the suit contended amounted to a violation of federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.

The parties reached a settlement in July, and it was executed in October, according to documents.

The documents indicate that 11 defendants paid into the settlement. The largest sums were: $945,000, paid by Clay Mohon Mowing; and $817,500, by AshBritt and County Waste, combined. The remaining defendants, including several government entities, paid sums ranging from $5,000 to $35,000.

Timothy P. Smith of Kinney Lisovicz Reilly & Wolff in Parsippany, counsel to AshBritt, declined to comment on the settlement.

Clay Mohon Mowing was represented by Francis McDevitt of Naulty, Scaricamazza & McDevitt in Marlton; County Waste Inc., by Walter Swayze III of Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney in Jersey City. Neither returned a call seeking comment.

Harris was assisted on the case by Christopher Aiello of the same firm.

Published in The New Jersey Law Journal

January, 23rd. 2017

What Factors Are Used to Determine Negligence in a Negligence Liability Case?

In legal terms, negligence can be defined as a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary caution would have exercised under the same circumstances. Proving liability for negligence in a court of law can require through investigation and preparation. Contacting a New Jersey negligence liability lawyer is very important if you think your injury might have been caused by someone else’s negligence.

Typically, a handful of factors must be considered when determining if someone can be held liable for negligence:

• Duty: Under the circumstances of the case, does the relationship between the two parties obligate the defendant to act in a certain way toward the plaintiff?
• Breach: If there was a duty between the two parties, did the one responsible for exercising it fail to do so?
• Cause: The person claiming harm must prove that the actions of the defendant actually caused injury.
• Proximate Cause: This is slightly more complicated, but basically, a defendant can only be held responsible for harm they reasonably could have foreseen had they done what they were expected to do.
• Harm: Were there actual damages suffered by the person making the claim?

Here’s an example to help you better understand negligence:

Say you were involved in a rear-end car accident – a drunk driver behind you crashed into your vehicle. Firstly, that driver had the duty to exercise caution on the road and ensure other drivers, pedestrians, and passengers don’t get harmed. He has the duty to obey all New Jersey traffic laws. He breached that duty by driving while intoxicated and then causing harm to you and your vehicle.

Your lawyer can prove cause by showing evidence of the accident, including police reports, your medical bills, your insurance claims, an arrest record, and more. Finally, your attorney will add up the total damages to you and your property to show actual harm was done.

A statute of limitations, or time limit, can apply to negligence liability claims. If you believe you might have suffered an injury because of the negligence of someone else, you have a limited amount of time in which to file a case and seek damages.

Contact a New Jersey negligence liability lawyer at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online at any of our North and Central New Jersey law offices for a free consultation.

What are Typical Premises Liability Claims?

It is first important to understand what we mean when we discuss “premises liability.” When you suffer an accident either on public or private property that might have been caused by its owner’s failure to keep it in proper condition, this is a premises liability situation. You have a reasonable expectation not to be injured while on someone’s property and you might be entitled to compensation if an accident occurs.

Typical premises liability claims can include:

  • Accidents including trips, slips, and falls. This includes accidents occurring because of defective pavement in shopping centers, retail outlets, footpaths and supermarkets.
  • Accidents at private residences, including swimming pools
  • Accidents at schools, or in amusement parks or playgrounds
  • Food Poisoning/Bacteria/E-Coli
  • Escalator and elevator injuries
  • Snow and ice accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Inadequate building security
  • Water leaks and flooding
  • Toxic fumes or chemicals

Some examples include:

  • You slipped on icy pavement outside of a supermarket
  • You were robbed in an apartment building because of poor security
  • You fell down a flight of stairs due to bad lighting
  • You were injured on a rollercoaster at a theme park
  • You became ill after breathing in toxic fumes at your workplace
  • You trip on a fallen object at a shopping mall

You need to understand that in most cases, only someone who is invited or licensed (like a salesman) to be on the property will be able to seek compensation.  A person who is trespassing does not receive similar consideration in most situations. These situations can become complicated and do vary from state to state, so seeking out a qualified New Jersey premises liability lawyer is very important.

In a typical premises liability claim, your lawyer first determines who is at fault, who damages and injuries you incurred, and whether you were legally allowed to be on the property. Your attorney reviews medical records, the place where the accident occurred, interviews witness, and gathers all necessary proof to build a strong case. In a typical premises liability case at our firm, your attorney operates on a contingency fee basis – meaning you owe no upfront legal fees and your lawyer only gets paid if he or she recovers money on your behalf.

Contact a New Jersey premises liability lawyer at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online at any of our North and Central New Jersey law offices for a free consultation.