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Somerville Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

How to drive safely in dangerous New Jersey winter weather

Regardless of the time of year, taking to the road in New Jersey can be stressful and dangerous at times. Even when weather conditions are ideal, there's always a chance you could be part of an accident. This is a sad and sobering fact of being on the roads as statistics grimly show every time we turn on the news or read the paper.

Your risk of an accident increases when the weather takes a turn for the worse. During the winter months, it's common to find yourself contending with snow, ice, rain, sleet and strong winds.

Head-on collision in New Jersey leads to critical injuries

It is always tragic when an innocent child with no driving privileges becomes the victim of a car accident. Tragedy struck again last week as an eight-year-old girl sustained critical injuries in a crash allegedly caused by the driver of the vehicle in which she was riding. The 34-year-old woman driving the vehicle also received critical injuries, and both remain hospitalized at a local medical facility. The relationship between the woman and the young girl is unclear at this time, even though reports refer to the automobile involved as a family vehicle.

The current condition of the other driver, a 74-year-old man, is unknown, although he too sustained injuries that resulted in his hospitalization. The accident occurred last Wednesday morning in Harrington Park, New Jersey. Law enforcement shut down the site of the collision, on Old Hook Road between Schraalenburgh and Bogerts Mill roads, for several hours thereafter. It is unclear at this time whether authorities will file any criminal charges.

Is the property owner at fault for your fall?

As a New Jersey resident who has slipped, fallen, and harmed yourself on someone else's property, you likely understand that it can be difficult to prove that you weren't at fault for the incident. What exactly is needed in order to show a property owner has caused your injury?

FindLaw takes a look at what you need to prove fault after a slip-and-fall accident. In many situations, the outcome hinges on the assumption that either (or both) you or the property owner were acting in a way that a "reasonable person" would. As an example, a "reasonable person" would assume that a rake may be on the ground near a pile of freshly raked leaves, and would avoid stepping through that area. A "reasonable person" would see that there is a bad ceiling leak and take steps to clean up the water and fix the leak.

What is tetanus?

If you receive a bite from a dog or other animal in New Jersey, you may have some concern about contracting rabies. This is entirely valid, especially if the creature was a wild animal or a stray with no documented vaccination history. Unfortunately, however, rabies is not the only possible infection you need to worry about after an animal bite. There is also the possibility that you could contract tetanus.

You may think of tetanus as a disease that you get from scratching yourself with a rusty piece of metal, and while that is one possible way of contracting tetanus, it is not the only possible vector. According to the Mayo Clinic, tetanus is a bacterial infection caused by spores of a particular strain called Clostridium tetani, which occur in animal feces as well as soil. Because animals do not have the cleanest mouths, a bite from an animal can transfer these spores from the creature's teeth deep into your bodily tissues. 

What's the price of distracted driving?

You are one of thousands of drivers who use New Jersey roads every single day. Unfortunately, there is a large chance that you will cross pass with multiple drivers who are driving distractedly at any given time. Worse still is the high cost of distracted driving.

First, it's important to understand what distracted driving looks like. Distracted driving behaviors fall into one of three categories: taking your eyes off the road, taking your hands off the wheel, and taking your mind off driving. Numerous activities fall into all three categories, like personal grooming or texting while driving.

Workers' compensation: Nail salon worker respiratory injuries

Imagine Rebecca has worked at the same nail salon for the last three years. She's never been hurt as a result of her job, and she never imagined she could be. However, what Rebecca didn't realize was how the chemicals she was using were potentially dangerous to her health.

Products that nail salon workers use on a regular basis can seriously affect their health. Being exposed to these chemicals day-in and day-out can result in the workers breathing harmful vapors into their lungs. Nail workers may also breathe in harmful dusts, mists and vapors as a result of their professions. They might even swallow or ingest the chemicals while smoking a cigarette or eating food that was in the nail salon.

How do people suffer injuries in elevators?

Elevators help millions of people each day access upper or lower floors in buildings, so it is natural to wonder if elevators are a safe mode of travel. While many people do ride elevator cars without incident, sometimes elevators can cause injury or even death. In the event an elevator causes harm to a New Jersey resident, the property owner could be held liable.

According to FindLaw, elevator accidents that cause physical injuries have the greatest potential for a premises liability lawsuit. Sometimes an elevator may malfunction and suddenly drop down several stories. The abrupt halt of the elevator car can bounce passengers and inflict injuries that may take weeks or months to heal. Some people might even suffer permanent disabilities as the result of an elevator injury. 

What is whistleblower protection?

As a resident in New Jersey who knows that something is wrong at your workplace, what do you do? Do you report your findings? If you have been in a situation like this, you likely felt caught between a rock and a hard place. Your conscious may be telling you that reporting the situation is the right thing to do, but you may also be worried about retaliatory actions like being fired, or your boss making your job more difficult.

Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has whistleblower protection programs specifically to handle situations like this. First, it should be noted that there are some restrictions to these programs. You must file a complaint within a certain number of days from the incident you are reporting. However, you can report it in any language, and you can submit your report either orally or in writing.

On the way to get married, New Jersey couple killed in car crash

A wedding should be the start of a new life, but one New Jersey couple will not be able to enjoy that life after a car accident in Pennsylvania killed them both as they were traveling home to get married.

The would-be bride was a 35-year-old from New Jersey with an MBA from the University of Notre Dame who worked as a head of platform partnerships in New York City. The groom originated from Pittsburgh, and the couple intended to hold their wedding ceremony there and were en route at the time of the accident. 

What are motorcycle crash statistics in New Jersey?

New Jersey motorcyclists just like you often take your bikes out for a spin, whether it's a leisurely ride or a trip to the store. However, there are dangers unique to you as a motorcyclist that other vehicles on the road don't have to deal with. Understanding these dangers is important to preserve your own safety.

The Department of Law and Public Safety aims to help you understand exactly where the dangers of motorcycles lie. For example, their statistics point to intersections being a huge dangerzone, with over half of all crashes occurring there. Over two-thirds of accidents also involve a scenario in which the driver of the other vehicle doesn't spot the motorcyclist.

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