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Jersey City Personal Injury Law Blog

Bedbugs and your home: Landlord or tenant liability?

Who should be held responsible if there is an insect infestation in your apartment? What happens if you or your children fall ill? Landlord-tenant laws for bug infestations, particularly those involving bedbugs, vary by state, but typically it is a landlord's responsibility to correct problems in their rental properties. If the bugs infest the property and make it uninhabitable, the tenants can't be expected to live there.

It's been shown by doctors in some poor inner-city areas that bedbugs could cause the transfer of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This bacteria can be incredibly dangerous, particularly to children and the elderly. Some people have presented with staph infections, which may be a result of bedbug bites.

What are common causes of car accidents in New Jersey?

Car crashes and their causes vary by state, but if you've been in a collision, statistics don't do your pain or suffering justice. It's your right to file a claim against a negligent driver, so you can get the compensation you need during your recovery and in the future.

Which kinds of crashes are less common in New Jersey?

Motorcyclists: File a claim against dangerous drivers

As a motorcyclist, you know that many times when you're riding, your life is in the hands of other drivers. Someone who isn't paying attention and hits you could cause you serious injuries, disabilities or kill you.

Even if you wear the proper safety gear, your risk of injury or death increases with speed. In New Jersey, the number of crashes involving motorcyclist fatalities are fairly high as well. According to a 2014 report, there were 61 motorcyclists killed, making up 11 percent of the fatalities from traffic accidents that year. The only other accidents that led to more fatalities were car and SUV accidents.

You can be compensated for injuries on an owner's property

When you enter a property, it's the responsibility of the owner of that property to make sure you are kept safe. The property should be reasonably maintained, and you shouldn't have to worry about accidents due to damaged walkways or other concerns.

Whether you were an invitee, on the property as a trespasser or were a licensee, you are entitled to some protections when you enter the property. For instance, as an invitee, you were invited onto the property. That means the owner knew you were coming and should have taken reasonable steps to make sure the premises was safe. As a licensee, you enter for your own reasons and are there at the consent of the owner, but a lesser duty of care is due.

New Jersey motorcycle accidents are on the rise in 2016

Summer may be the perfect time to dust off the old motorcycle and take it out for a spin in New Jersey. Indeed, motorcyclists seem to be everywhere this time of year, enjoying the summer sun and clear skies.

But riders beware: motorcycle accidents have been on the rise the last few years. And even the most cautious motorcyclists are not guaranteed against accidents.

Do drivers need to drive to prevent accidents with children?

When your child goes out to play, you trust that drivers on the roads will be paying attention whenever children could be present. Speeding, driving drunk or doing things like texting or talking on the phone while driving can lead to accidents that leave your child scarred, disabled or worse. In those cases where your child is injured and you can prove negligence, your attorney can help you make a claim on behalf of your child.

Children are involved in the majority of bicycling accidents with automobiles, possibly because of a child's inexperience around the roads and drivers' inattention or negligence.

What you can do if you're hit by an uninsured driver

When you get into an accident with another driver and that driver is at fault, you expect him or her to pay for the damages to your vehicle and for your medical bills and lost wages. You're suffering the impact of that driver's negligence, so there's no reason you should have to pay for that mistake financially as well.

While most drivers will have insurance at average levels, some may have inadequate insurance or none at all. If you find out that the person who hit you doesn't have insurance or is under-insured, you may think you're going to have to pay out for your medical care and eat the costs of your lost time at work. That may not be the case, though.

Local and state governments: Sovereign immunity may not apply

One of the hardest entities to hold liable for injuries or damages to your property is the government. However, it is possible to file a premises liability claim against the government and to be compensated for losses.

One of the most common situations is when a person is injured by a defect on a sidewalk or on the road. For instance, if you trip over uneven walkways on public property and break your wrist, then the government would be the liable party. If you wreck your vehicle because the roads had large potholes, then the local government may be liable for the damage to your vehicle.

Ways to stay safe as a pedestrian in New Jersey

To stay safe as a pedestrian, you should know the laws of the roads and how the state protects you. In New Jersey, motorists must stop and stay stopped if they see you or others in a crosswalk. They may not continue on until after you have passed through the entire crosswalk, making it safer for you to cross without the risk of a car bumping you or hitting you because of an impatient driver.

If a driver doesn't observe this law, the driver can be given a traffic violation. The driver receives two points on his or her license, must participate in community service in some circumstances, may have to pay a fine or could have to pay higher insurance fees.

Drivers admit to distracted driving but still do not pay attention

Most drivers know that behaviors such as drunk driving, speeding, or using a cell phone while navigating the roadways are dangerous, yet many persist in doing them, mistakenly believing them to be socially acceptable. According to the New York Times, fatal car accidents are on the rise after years of decline, largely because of distracted driving. The number of road-related deaths in 2015 was 8 percent higher than the previous year. In surveys, Americans admitted not only to talking and texting but also using social media and even taking selfies behind the wheel.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported similar findings in its 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index. In a survey, drivers were asked to indicate how often they engaged in dangerous behaviors and whether they thought it was acceptable to do so. The general consensus seemed to be a "do as I say, not as I do" attitude toward distracted or careless driving.

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