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Somerville Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

What is social host liability?

If you are a New Jersey parent who has teenaged children, you should think twice before letting them have a party in your home where alcohol will be available. FindLaw explains that New Jersey has a social host liability law that holds you responsible if any of your teenager’s guests becomes drunk at the party and then causes an accident on his or her drive home.

Neither you nor your teenager has to be serving the drinks. In fact, you do not even need to be present in the house while the party is going on. If you knew or should have known that alcohol would be available to the underage party guests, that is sufficient to make you responsible for their actions if they later cause property damage or death or bodily injury to themselves or others. Consequently, if someone files a personal injury or wrongful death suit against you, you could be required to pay thousands of dollars in damages.

What you need to know about asbestos in the workplace

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral found in numerous products and materials with which New Jersey construction workers come into contact on a daily basis. As FindLaw explains, asbestos is known for its excellent insulating ability and resistance to fire and was extensively used in building projects through the 1970s. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1 million commercial and public buildings contain significant amounts of asbestos.

While asbestos usage has been curtailed in the past 40 years, it is still found in many commercial and consumer products, including the following:

  • Floor tiles
  • Heavy machinery parts
  • Plastics
  • Paper goods
  • Brake pads
  • Textiles

Hearing loss is the nation’s most common workplace injury

If you have a job in New Jersey, odds are, the job poses at least some degree of risk. While certain jobs, such as those held by, say, firefighters or construction workers, have clear, overt risks involved, others, such as those held by office workers, have risks that are less apparent. Today’s single-most prevalent work-related injury, however, is hearing loss, and it can affect workers across multiple industries. At Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C., we understand the many ways in which work-related hearing loss can impact your life, and we have helped many clients who suffered this type of injury seek recourse.

According to USA Today, about 22 million American workers face exposure to dangerous levels of noise while on the job each year. Furthermore, American employers are spending roughly $242 million every year in workers’ compensation costs relating to hearing loss, with safety advocates scrambling to find methods of minimizing noise-related risks.

Understanding New Jersey’s new distracted driving law

New Jersey drivers probably are aware of the fact that it is illegal to talk to someone on a hand-held cellphone while driving and/or to send or receive a text message. Both of these activities are considered to be “primary offenses” in New Jersey. What drivers may not be aware of, however, is that other motorists can now turn them in for texting while driving. As reported by New Jersey 101.5, a new distracted driving law went into effect on July 27, 2017. Under this law, whenever anyone sees a motorist texting while driving, the observer is asked, but not required, to turn the culprit in to local law enforcement.

Naturally, a “guilty” motorist cannot be issued a citation for texting while driving based on an anonymous tip. Instead, a letter is sent to the driver’s home informing the person that someone has reported him or her for texting while driving. The letter also informs the person of the fine he or she will face should a law enforcement officer catch him or her texting while driving.

New Jersey workers’ comp - the basics

As a construction worker in Somerville, you know that you have a dangerous job. It barely seems like an entire week goes by without you hearing about a crane accident, trench collapse or some other construction site calamity. You might even know a few co-workers who have filed workers' compensation claims and received benefits. But, if you suffer a workplace injury, do you know enough about the process to ensure you receive the help you need?

Before you end up with a work-related injury, take the time to find out as much as you can about your eligibility for workers' compensation benefits. Here is an overview of New Jersey's workers' compensation laws.

What is distracted driving?

Whenever you drive on the streets, roads and highways of New Jersey, no one needs to tell you that distracted driving is a major problem today. You see evidence of it all around you, and you may be guilty of it yourself.

The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety defines distracted driving as engaging in any activity that takes your attention off your main job while driving: operating your vehicle in a safe manner. Between 2010 and 2014, more than 817,000 vehicle crashes occurred in New Jersey, with distracted driving being a major cause. In 2014 alone, 3,179 people were killed in America in distracted driving crashes.

Construction workers and traumatic brain injuries

New Jersey construction workers often work in hazardous places such as on roofs, scaffolds, tall ladders and in and around cranes. Consequently, the risk of falling is higher for construction workers than it is for people working in other industries and environments.

A construction worker’s head is one of most vulnerable parts of his or her body when falls occur. Even a seemingly minor head injury can cause a traumatic brain injury. The Mayo Clinic defines a TBI as brain dysfunction that results from some type of external force coming into contact with the head.

What is a vicious dog?

If you are a New Jersey resident who has been bitten by a vicious dog, no one need tell you what a vicious dog is. You already know. He snarls; he growls; he lunges at you without warning; he attacks; he bites.

Everyone knows a vicious dog when they see one. It seems self-evident. However, it is not that simple. The Consolidated Dog Laws of New Jersey define a vicious dog as one that has been declared vicious by a municipal court.

Necessary motorcycle gear

When New Jersey motorcyclists get on the road, they may not always think about safety. Safety is an important part of riding a motorcycle, though, and it is important for people to understand what kind of gear they need to protect themselves on the road.

There are many pieces of gear a motorcyclist can wear to stay safe. According to, one piece of gear someone should have is a sturdy pair of boots. It is important that these boots keep someone's ankles from twisting and that the lacing does not stop beneath the ankle. Boots which lace above a person's ankles are more likely to stay on in the event that someone is involved in a collision and can help prevent injuries to this part of the body. Additionally, people may want to wear body armor when they ride their motorcycles. This is because it is designed to take most of the energy of the collision so a person's limbs and joints are safe.

Your right to fair recovery from a workplace injury

No matter what your field of work, you deserve fair treatment and care as you recover, especially if the injury leaves you unable to perform the job you held previously. Unfortunately, many workers do not know what their employer's obligations are to assist them with their recoveries.

Sometimes employers may pressure their workers to return to their jobs before they recover fully and are able to resume their duties. This poses very serious dangers to the workers, and may end up costing the employers a great deal more money in the long run.

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