Call for a Free Consultation : 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2022

Does the Standard of Care Change in Winter Weather?

Can a Person Be Held to a Higher Standard in Snowy or Icy Weather?

does-the-standard-of-care-change-in-winter-weatherIt’s winter in New Jersey and that means you can expect snow and ice on the roads, making conditions potentially more dangerous. Can a jury find that you were negligent and caused an accident, even if you were obeying the posted speed limit? In other words, is there a higher standard of care in inclement weather? Let’s take a closer look at how the law defines negligence.

To successfully prove negligence in a personal injury lawsuit, you must show three things:

  • That the defendant (person from whom you seek compensation) did not act as a reasonable person would
  • That the failure to act reasonably caused an accident
  • That you suffered actual losses because of the accident

How Does a Jury Determine the Standard of Care?

When determining liability, the jury will compare the actions of the defendant to what “a reasonable person” would have done, under the same circumstances. The law does not specifically identify exactly what that behavior would be, but allows the jury to make a determination, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether or not the actions of the potentially at-fault driver were reasonable. The two key components of that test are:

  • What would be considered reasonable behavior?
  • What were the unique circumstances?

Though there’s no guarantee that a jury would hold a driver to higher standard in snowy or icy weather, it’s highly likely. The jury could easily conclude that a reasonable person would know (or expect) that it would be more difficult to stop or control a car in snow or ice, requiring that the driver take extra precautions to minimize the risk of a collision. Those extra precautions would include driving at a slower speed and allowing more room for braking. Accordingly, even if the defendant was traveling below the posted speed limit, the jury may conclude that the speed was unreasonable, given the weather conditions.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

How the Judge and Jury Work Together in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

What Does the Judge Do? What Is the Responsibility of the Jury?

how-the-judge-and-jury-work-together-in-a-personal-injury-lawsuitWhen you’ve suffered any type of loss in New Jersey because of the wrongful acts or negligence of another person, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages (financial compensation) for your losses. While most personal injury claims settle before going to trial, you may need to take your case to a judge and jury to get the outcome you want. Why is there both a judge and a jury at trial? What are their respective roles and responsibilities, and how do they work together?

The Role of the Judge

In any trial, whether it’s a criminal prosecution or a civil lawsuit for damages, the judge makes all decisions of law. For example, if one of the parties seeks to introduce certain evidence, and the other party objects, the judge will consider the laws of evidence and make a ruling as to whether the evidence may legally be permitted at trial.

The Role of the Jury

The jurors are charged, in either a civil or a criminal proceeding, with making determinations of “fact.” Commonly, attorneys for each side will make factual assertions, which may often be vastly different. It is ultimately up to the jury to decide which version of the facts is more believable.

How Do the Judge and Jury Work Together in a Personal Injury Trial?

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the jury to determine the facts and to then apply the facts to the law. Because the jurors don’t know the law, they will receive instructions of law from the judge. For example, the judge will typically tell the jury that, if they make a particular factual conclusion—that the defendant failed to stop at a stop sign—they must come to the legal conclusion that the defendant was negligent, and potentially liable for damages.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! 2022

Can You Sue a Mechanic after an Accident Caused by Shoddy Work?

The Liability of a Garage of Poor Quality Work

can-you-sue-a-mechanic-after-an-accident-caused-by-shoddy-workWhen you take your car or motorcycle to a mechanic, you expect that the people working on your vehicle will use reasonable care to ensure that all repairs are done properly and that your auto or bike is safe to take on the road. What are your options, though, if a mechanic fails to properly install or repair brakes or other parts, and you are involved in an accident? Can you sue the mechanic for compensation for your losses?

Personal Injury Claims Based on Negligence

Though you can always bring a lawsuit for damages caused by the intentional acts of another person, as a practical matter, most personal injury claims are based on allegations of carelessness or negligence (the legal term). In a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek damages from anyone whose negligence caused you to suffer injury or loss. To establish negligence, you need to prove that:

  • The person from whom you seek compensation (the defendant) failed to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances—Under the laws of negligence, all persons in society have a duty to use reasonable care in all their actions. That includes mechanics who work on your vehicles.
  • The defendant’s failure to exercise reasonable care caused an accident—You must show that the accident would not have occurred if the defendant had used reasonable care. You must also show that the accident and injuries that resulted were reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the failure to use reasonable care.
  • You suffered actual losses—You can only recover for actual injury or economic loss. If your medical expenses are all paid by insurance, you cannot recover compensation for them.

The Liability of a Mechanic for Faulty Repairs

To recover from a garage or mechanic for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident, you must, therefore, prove that the mechanic failed to act as a reasonable person would have in his or her position, that the work done failed to meet the standard of reasonable care. To prove that, you’ll like need to bring in expert witnesses to testify as to what would reasonably be expect of a mechanic handling these types of repairs.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

The Rights of Passengers in New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accident Claims

Can You Sue More than One Driver? What about Single Car Accidents?

The Rights of Passengers in New Jersey Motor Vehicle Accident ClaimsYou’ve been hurt in a car, truck or motorcycle accident in New Jersey. Maybe it was a collision where the facts indicate that both drivers had some degree of fault. Maybe it was a single-vehicle accident. What are your rights as a passenger? Can you bring a lawsuit for damages against both drivers in a collision? Can you sue the driver of your vehicle if there was no other motorist involved?

Your Rights as a Passenger in New Jersey

In New Jersey, most personal injury claims are based on a legal theory of negligence. To succeed with such a claim, you must show the following:

  • The defendant (person you are seeking compensation from) failed to act as a reasonable person would under the circumstances
  • That failure to act reasonably caused the accident
  • You suffered actual losses as a result of the accident/your injuries

If you can show that more than one person failed to act reasonably and caused the accident, you can recover damages from all liable parties. That means you can bring a lawsuit against the driver of your vehicle and the driver of the other vehicle.

What If the Driver Was a Family Member?

What if you were a passenger in a vehicle driven by a spouse, parent or other family member? Can you still file a lawsuit for damages if the at-fault party was related to you?

There is nothing to prohibit you from seeking compensation from a family member after a car accident. As a practical matter, your losses will typically be covered by an insurance policy. Accordingly, it’s not as if you are asking your loved one to pay for your losses out of pocket.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Gathering Evidence in a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuit

How Your Lawyer Finds Evidence to Support Your Claim

Motorcycle and helmet on the street after dangerous traffic inciWhen you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your losses. If your case goes to trial, your attorney will need to introduce evidence to support your claims. Ultimately, if a jury finds your evidence more compelling and believable than the defendant’s evidence, they will likely rule in your favor.

How do attorneys gather evidence in a personal injury case? Let’s look at some of the tools for learning more about how your accident occurred.

Basic Methods for Gathering Evidence

Initially, your attorney will carefully walk through the facts with you, gathering information about your observations, as well as whether there were any witnesses to the accident. Your attorney may contact a witness directly, provided he or she is not a party to the litigation. However, before you go to trial, you will have to disclose any potential witnesses at trial. When you do, opposing counsel ha the right to schedule depositions of those witnesses.
In many accident claims, an attorney will bring in an expert witness, who may travel to the scene of the accident to gather evidence. If that expert will be called at trial, his or her name must be made available to all other parties.
It’s also fairly common for your lawyer to hire a private investigator. Remember, though, that if the investigator locates a witness who will support your claims and you intend to call that witness at trial, you will have to disclose that person’s name to all other parties in the litigation.

Tools Available through the Court

There are three common tools available through the courts to help your lawyer gather evidence:

  • Depositions—A deposition is the examination of a witness outside of court, but with a court reporter present to record all questions and answers. A witness may be compelled (by subpoena) to appear at a deposition. All parties to the litigation will have the opportunity to question any witness at a deposition.
  • Interrogatories—These are written questions submitted by one party to another party. The court can typically compel a party to answer interrogatories, but will also commonly place a limit on the number of questions allowed.
  • Requests for production—A party to a lawsuit may ask the court to require that another party produce physical evidence, typically documents. However, a request for production may also apply to other physical evidence.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

The Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury in New Jersey

What Is the Statute of Limitations? What Is Its Purpose?

the-statute-of-limitations-on-personal-injury-in-new-jerseyWhen you have been injured in New Jersey because of the wrongful, careless or negligent acts of another person or entity, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for a wide range of losses, including:

  • Lost income or wages
  • Any medical expenses not covered by insurance or otherwise paid Any pain and suffering you experience as a result of your injuries
  • The loss of enjoyment of life—the ability to engage in normal activities of daily life or to do things that brought you joy or fulfillment before your injuries
  • The loss of companionship or consortium caused by your injuries

It’s important to understand, though, that you don’t have an unlimited amount of time to bring a legal claim. Your right to file a lawsuit is governed by a written law, known as the “statute of limitations,” which requires that your complaint be filed within a certain amount of time. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations requires that you initiate your lawsuit within two years of the date you sustained those injuries. However, if you could not reasonably “discover” your injuries until sometime after the accident, the period of time within which you can file the lawsuit may be extended or “tolled” until you reasonably discover them.

What Is the Purpose of the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations serves a number of purposes:

  • It ensures that evidence is gathered while memories are still fresh
  • It minimizes the risk of loss of evidence due to the death or relocation of witnesses or the destruction of physical evidence
  • It ensures that a defendant will not have to spend an unreasonable amount of time in fear of a potential lawsuit

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Common Defenses in a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuit

The Tactics a Defendant May Use to Deny or Diminish Your Claim

Common Defenses in a New Jersey Personal Injury LawsuitOften, when you’ve been injured because of the carelessness or negligence of another person, your legal claim can seem like an open and shut case. There are, however, a number of defenses that the at-fault party and his/her legal counsel may raise to try to minimize your claim.

Contributory or Comparative Negligence

In essence, this defense argues that you had some liability—that your actions contributed to or caused the accident in some way. Under the old legal concept of contributory negligence, if you were found liable to any degree, you could not recover anything for your losses. New Jersey now follows the “modified comparative negligence” rule, which allows you to recover something unless your liability was greater than 50%.

Your Injuries Were Pre-Existing

This argument contends that the defendant did not cause your injuries—they were sustained in some earlier incident. If you’ve had a similar injury in the past, you can expect defense attorneys to exhaustively review your medical records and look for evidence of other events or factors at or around the time of the accident that can be alleged to have caused your injuries. Be aware that you can recover compensation if the defendant’s negligence aggravated or worsened a pre-existing condition.

You Assumed the Risk of Injury

This defense is customarily raised when you are injured while engaging in an “inherently dangerous” activity. To succeed with such an argument, the defense must typically prove that you had actual knowledge of the risks involved and you voluntarily assumed them.

You Waived Your Right to Recover for Your Losses

If you were required to sign a release form before participating in the activity that caused your injury, the defense may waive that paper in front of the jury. As a general rule, the courts are reluctant to enforce these waivers if they are overbroad or will bring about an unfair result.

Your Claim Was Barred by the Statute of Limitations

In New Jersey, you must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of your injury or it may be barred. However, the time period may be extended if your injury was not reasonably discoverable.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

The Different Types of Damages Available in a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawsuit

What Losses Can You Recover after Someone Else’s Negligence?

The Different Types of Damages Available in a New Jersey Personal Injury LawsuitSomeone else acts carelessly, causing an accident and you are involved. You have a right to file a legal claim to recover for any actual losses resulting from the other person’s wrongful acts. What specific losses can you ask for in a personal injury lawsuit?

The Damages Available in a Personal Injury Case

In a personal injury lawsuit, you have a right to ask the court to award “damages,” a legal term that refers to monetary compensation. As a general rule, there are two broad categories of damages—compensatory damages and punitive damages. Punitive damages, designed to punish the at-fault party and to serve as a disincentive to others who might engage in similar behavior, are rarely awarded in personal injury lawsuits.

Compensatory damages, however, are common in personal injury claims. These damages are intended to reimburse an injured party for any actual out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the accident, or to confer a monetary value for other types of losses that may not be as easy to calculate.

Compensatory damages are generally identified as either “economic” damages or “non-economic” damages.

Economic damages are those that are tangible and relatively easy to calculate. In a personal injury lawsuit, they include compensation for lost wages or income caused by the accident, for unreimbursed medical expenses (not covered by insurance) resulting from the accident, and for any property loss or damage sustained.

Non-economic damages are generally less tangible and more difficult to calculate precisely. They include compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering—Physical and emotional discomfort or distress caused by an accident or by injuries suffered
  • Loss of companionship or consortium—The inability to be physically close or intimate with family members or loved ones
  • Loss of enjoyment of life—Loss of the ability to enjoy the ordinary activities of daily life or to participate in activities that formerly gave the injured party joy, fulfillment or happiness

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

© 2019 karbasianlaw All Rights Reserved.
Concept, Design & Hosting by GetLegal's Practice Builder Team Sitemap | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy