Egg Harbor Township Personal Injury Lawyers
Egg Harbor Township serves as a vacation spot and suburb of the resort towns on the shore. Due to its size, Egg Harbor Township can house a wide range of accidents and/or injuries. When accidents occur, victims must determine if a negligent party caused their injuries. Speak with an Egg Harbor Township personal injury lawyer to review the case and determine the level of compensation available. Some accidents appear benign, without malice or intent, but oftentimes, a case of negligence or misconduct can lead to an accident.
When an accident occurs, victims should take legal action quickly and collect as much information as possible. A traumatic event need not define the life of the victim and acting quickly helps victims live as normal a life as possible. It does not matter how minor an accident may appear, even the simplest injuries can result in complications, lost hours at work, and a long recovery.
Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Motor Vehicle Accident?
Victims who are injured in a motor vehicle accident have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. Motor vehicle accidents occur all too often throughout this country. In New Jersey, there were 551 car accidents in 2020, resulting in 588 deaths. In Atlantic County alone, 39 accidents resulted in 41 deaths. Victims can still receive compensation for accidents that result in only minor injuries and victims must understand how to proceed when they feel someone else’s reckless conduct caused the accident. At the scene of a motor vehicle accident, victims should:
- Call 911
- Seek medical attention
- Report the accident to their insurance company
- Take as many pictures or videos of the accident scene as possible
- Avoid revealing too much information
Motor vehicle accidents may occur because of distracted, drugged, or drunk driving. Drivers should stay off their phones and never drink and drive. Drugged driving is also an issue because illegal or prescription drugs can cause significant impairment. Rear-end and head-on collisions often occur because of this level of impairment. A vehicle might also roll over when the driver does not have control.
Bicyclists are at greater risk because they are smaller than motor vehicles. Bicyclists should use designated lanes and sidewalks, but they should speak to a personal injury lawyer if they are struck by another vehicle or injured when riding over damaged pavement. Motorcycle accidents occur in similar ways because it is difficult to see a motorcycle, especially at high speeds. Reduced visibility at night or during storms makes riding a motorcycle more dangerous. Motorcyclists have the right to seek compensation if they are involved in an accident with another vehicle. Sideswipes and T-bone accidents most often occur as cars change lanes.
Large trucks pass through the area every day to make deliveries or travel along the New Jersey coast. While large truck drivers may make mistakes behind the wheel, their employers must help them abide by federal motor carrier regulations and maintain each truck properly. An out-of-control truck can easily jackknife, spread across the road, and cause a multi-vehicle accident.
Can I File a Third-Party Lawsuit After a Construction Accident?
Those who are injured on a construction site have the right to file third-party lawsuits against negligent manufacturers or entities that contributed to their injuries. These lawsuits are different from Workers’ Compensation cases. Construction accidents could involve faulty scaffolding, falling objects, or caught-between incidents where the victim is wedged between two heavy objects. Construction vehicles enter and exit worksites every day, and the companies behind these products face liability for any accidents they cause. For example, the manufacturer of a faulty tool may be responsible for any injuries caused by defects.
Guests, visiting managers, executives, or bystanders could also be injured on-site. While the construction company or the owner of the worksite is liable for not managing the site properly, all third-party businesses that were negligent in designing or manufacturing defective products can still face lawsuits. Other entities that can be held liable for construction accidents include:
- Negligent subcontractors
- Public utility companies
- Other third-party vendors
- Chemical or industrial gas suppliers
Also, damaged gas mains, hanging power lines, unsafe designs, unsafely grounded transformer boxes, and improper storage or delivery of hazardous substances can cause severe injuries due to simple carelessness.
Can I File a Lawsuit After Suffering a Dog Bite?
Dog attack victims may file a claim against the owner of the dog or the owner of the property where the attack occurred. In Egg Harbor Township, dog owners are required to use reasonable measures to keep dogs on their premises and prevent attacks. Dogs must be properly enclosed in the family home or in a detached structure, and owners must keep their dogs on a leash while in public.
The dog owner must do everything in their power to prevent an attack. If the leash or collar used to restrain the dog is defective, the victim may file a third-party lawsuit against the manufacturer of those products. Even if the dog owner is subjected to local fines or citations, victims can file suit concurrent with those charges.
New Jersey law states that owners must license their dogs and pay a registration fee, post warning signs around the property, and keep vicious dogs in safe enclosures. Owners of vicious dogs must also carry liability insurance and muzzle the animal in public. If an attack occurs on someone else’s property, that property owner can be held liable if they are not abiding by local dog ownership laws.
What is a Products Liability Lawsuit?
Products liability lawsuits hold manufacturers, distributors, and parts suppliers liable for defective products. Products liability lawsuits claim one of three core principles that show the defendant is guilty of negligence, including:
Improper design: This is the result of the malfunction or breakdown of any product. For example, a large power tool used on a construction site may have a faulty power cord connection that frays or tears during use. Eventually, the user or someone close by could be shocked or electrocuted by the frayed wire because of its poor design.
Improper manufacturing: This might ruin an otherwise adequate design. Manufacturing errors can cause fault in anything from a toy to a large truck. A lawyer must show that the manufacturing error caused a victim’s injuries.
Failure to warn the public: In this instance, the company or distributor is under obligation to report any known or anticipated issues with the product. For example, medications must explain the side effects that might arise.
Defective products can come from any industry, including:
Cars, trucks, and transport vehicles: These faults will occur in systems, such as the brakes, engine, computer system, wiring, airbags, seat belts, and more. Large trucks might be imbalanced and tip over, or the exhaust system could leak into the vehicle. When a lawyer proves that the vehicle’s faults caused the victim’s injuries, the manufacturer can be held liable.
Over the counter or prescription medication: This must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), be manufactured in the appropriate circumstances, and provide the relief that patients require.
Medical equipment: Similar to medications, equipment must be approved by the FDA and manufactured under the appropriate circumstances. Some medical equipment is used externally to help patients recover and the failure of these devices may cause serious injuries. If medical equipment is used internally, the patient may face a lifetime of recovery and extensive medical care. They may also have no choice but to wait for an improved product because something like an artificial hip cannot be replaced immediately if the device is defective.
Tools: A power tool can cause severe injuries, burns, or even death. In some cases, these tools might injure someone else because they are impossible to control. Even a simple tool, like a wrench or hammer, might break due to poor design and injure everyone in the vicinity.
Appliances: These household items should function properly for the sake of everyone’s safety. Gas stoves must prevent the flow of natural gas when the burners are not in use, and the ignition unit must quickly light each burner to prevent a gas leak. After a professional installation, each appliance should function properly, remain grounded, and shut down in dangerous situations.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, furnaces, or condensers must shut down when they are overheating or breaking down. A water softener should keep a tight seal to prevent flooding and water damage. Additionally, electrical panels can trip circuits, which may surge and cause fires. When these devices do not function properly, homeowners or property owners may file suit to recover damages.
Children’s toys: While they can be bright and colorful, children’s toys can easily cause choking hazards if they are too small or not properly labeled for use with the appropriate age group. A child can be severely cut or suffer from burns because their toys do not function properly. In some cases, children could suffer from hearing or vision damage when a toy malfunctions.
Are Pedestrian Accidents Compensable?
Pedestrians injured in motor vehicle accidents may recover compensation in the same manner another driver would. In Atlantic County, there were nine pedestrian fatalities in 2020. While pedestrians are encouraged to wear reflective clothing, use designated crosswalks, and use the sidewalk for increased safety, they are still at-risk when walking near local roads. State law requires pedestrians to face traffic and walk as far to the left as possible to avoid accidents.
Egg Harbor Township is a vacation destination and pass-through community for nearby Atlantic City. Walking to the water and strolling around town is a popular summer activity, and pedestrian traffic across New Jersey rises with congestion. Any pedestrian struck by a vehicle may recover compensation after even a minor accident. If pedestrians are involved in accidents that seem to happen too quickly, eyewitnesses can speak to what occurred. Pedestrians must also remember that they are not allowed to cross the highway or walk on the roadway.
How Do I Recover Compensation After a Slip and Fall Accident?
Victims of slip and fall accidents may recover compensation from the owner or manager of the property where the incident occurred. Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere because there is such a large variety of situations that are dangerous for everyone. Victims should speak to a personal injury lawyer about a premises liability case when it is clear the home, business, or facility is not maintained properly. As part of a premises liability case, businesses or property owners, homeowners, and rental property managers are liable for those accidents when the property is not in good condition. Common causes of slips and falls include:
Slippery surfaces: Wet surfaces can be dangerous for anyone and should be marked accordingly. While a wet floor sign is helpful, standing water around the property caused by poor drainage can also cause severe injuries. If multi-family housing managers do not clear ice from parking lots and sidewalks, residents could be severely injured when they slip after walking out the door. This responsibility includes municipal authorities who must keep sidewalks free of ice and snow. Even if someone walks into a municipal building during a rainstorm and slips on the entryway floor, they may be able recover compensation if the municipality did not use floor mats.
Damaged flooring: Warped carpeting, dislodged tiles, and raised hardwood planks can cause severe falls or injuries.
Inadequate lighting: Injuries and dangerous situations can happen when there is poor lighting in a building or property. People do not know what to expect as they walk through. Inadequate lighting on a residential property can also lead to injuries when guests cannot see exterior walkways or obstacles.
Loose handrails: Loose handrails on decks, patios, and balconies must remain in good condition for everyone’s safety. If something like a deck or balcony crumbles, the owner of the property is liable for damages caused by their negligence.
Poorly maintained steps: This refers to situations when steps become chipped, cracked, or are missing. In that condition, steps can cause accidents. While a stairway may be complete, the traction mats on each step help users remain stable. If the steps are missing, the victim could fall through completely and suffer severe injuries.
Holes, cracks, or gaps: Parking lots and walkways could have cracks or holes, which are extremely dangerous for drivers, pedestrians, and those using wheelchairs or crutches. Property owners must keep these surfaces in perfect condition, or they should post signs leading drivers or pedestrians away from damaged surfaces.
Imbalanced surfaces: These types of circumstances might surprise pedestrians or drivers on any property. Something as simple as a step down to another room might cause severe injuries. This most often occurs when two buildings are joined together, and a simple sticker on the floor might not be enough to alert potential victims. Slight sloping of a surface is also enough to cause severe injuries. The victim might stumble over their own feet when a surface suddenly inclines, or that person could slip and lose control of their body because the surface is sloping downhill.
What Levels of Personal Injury Compensation are Available?
Compensation in a personal injury case allows victims to recover financially, physically, and emotionally. Starting with medical costs, the victim may petition the court for every medical expense they incurred after the accident, up to and including recovery, physical therapy, and even counseling for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Accident victims may miss work, lose their jobs completely, or potentially lose their capacity to work. Victims need money to survive, and a personal injury lawsuit helps them recover lost wages, lost future earnings, or the difference between their projected earnings and the only job they can perform after the accident. For example, a lawyer may suffer a severe head injury that causes lack of focus and even a personality change. That victim can readily project the money they would have made for the rest of their life and compare that to the position they took to survive.
When lawyers request compensation for pain and suffering, they describe the physical suffering the victim feels because of the accident. A personal injury lawyer will also request compensation for emotional distress. When the victim sees a reduction in their mental acuity, they can request damages for their mental anguish.
Damages for loss of consortium or familial support argue that the victim no longer has the family or personal life they should. Injured or disabled victims cannot maintain relationships as they once did, or they might suffer from a devastating divorce or breakup in the aftermath of the accident.
Punitive damages are not guaranteed in New Jersey as they require a high level of intent, malice, or reckless misconduct to compel the court or jury to award them. When a personal injury lawyer discovers significant amounts of negligence, they will request punitive damages that can total five times what the victim receives in court, up to $350,000.
Can I File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Losing a Loved One?
Grieving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate only if they are representatives of the estate or dependents of the deceased. Wrongful death lawsuits recover compensation in the same manner a personal injury lawsuit would had the victim survived. After a judgement is handed down or a settlement is reached, New Jersey laws of intestate succession dictate that damages be divided amongst dependents or immediate family members of the deceased according to their level of pecuniary loss.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
For those who have been hurt in an accident, it is wise to hire a lawyer who can help explain the victim’s rights. A lawyer helps accident victims collect evidence, create a compelling argument for compensation, and litigate the case to its fullest extent. When a lawyer consults with a new client, they will review all the information that is available and determine if the case has merit as lawyers cannot proceed when they believe they cannot represent their clients fairly. A lawyer works closely with the victim to explain the legal process, review settlement options, and potentially prepare for trial. A lawyer also represents victims on appeal when necessary.
Egg Harbor Township Personal Injury Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Help Victims Recover Damages
If you were involved in an accident through no fault of your own, speak to the Egg Harbor Township personal injury lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm to review your case and discuss potential compensation. Call us at 609-926-3300 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we serve accident victims throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.