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Cherry Hill New Jersey Personal Injury Law Blog

Truck Accidents

When the National Highway system was proposed by President Eisenhower, the roads were initially envisioned solely for civilian use. They did not intend for them to be used as a major throughway for commercial transportation, instead figuring that the forthcoming cargo-jet airplanes, supplemented by rail freight, could easily handle the nation's shipping needs. Well, as anyone who has driven on a highway recently would tell you, that is not how things have shaped up to be.

Highways are frequently clogged with larger and larger vehicles, carrying as much as weight as physically possible on the same roads that are meant to ferry mainly passengers. Because of this, the potential for injuries has heightened, as truck drivers' haul over-night trips with regularity across the country. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of overall motor vehicle accidents where commercial trucks are involved.

Car Accident Statistics in New Jersey

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 600 car accident fatalities occur every year in New Jersey. Many of these fatalities result from driving under the influence, drowsy driving, and distracted driving. Distracted driving can mean anything from talking on a cell phone to texting or simply not paying attention. Cell phone usage has made the problem worse in New Jersey. In addition to this high number of fatalities, NJ sees more than 250,000 accidents per year, according to the NJ Department of Transportation.

The Court System: New Jersey

In New Jersey, the court system is divided into two types of courts, state courts and federal courts. Each state has the authority to create the different courts under its own system. New Jersey Courts are made up of three levels of courts: the Superior Court (Law & Chancery), the Superior Court Appellate Division, and the Supreme Court. The Superior Court hears trials and the Superior Court Appellate Division is the first level of appeal. The final level of appeal is the New Jersey Supreme Court. There are 7 Justices who sit on the New Jersey Supreme Court.

The Court System: Federal

The federal system also has three levels, the district courts, the court of appeals and the United States Supreme Court. On the federal level, states are broken down into several geographic district courts. The federal courts of appeal hear cases from all the district courts in their area. Currently, there are 11 federal courts of appeals. Many hear cases coming out of district courts from several states which comprise each circuit. The United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. is the highest court in the land. Appeals to the Supreme Court are not automatic, but based upon petitions, which allow the Supreme Court justices to pick and choose what cases they will hear.

Spinal Chord Injuries

The spinal cord itself is one of the bodies' most important systems, vital to the transfer of neural signals between the brain and the rest of the body. What many people forget is that the spinal system itself consists not just of lumbar vertebrae, but also major components of the central nervous system. It is divided into 31 different parts, segmented into three main sections - "upper back", "mid back" and "lower back". This is important to note because each one of these 31 parts controls various sensations in the body through spinal nerves. In addition to the nerves, there are major arteries running through the back as well, including the left and right posterior arteries.

But, let's focus on the nerves that run through the spine for a moment, because in most cases where an injury is involved to the spine, that is where they occur. The upper section of nerves in the spine, called cervical spinal nerves, exit through the various openings in the bones or vertebrae. Each vertebra has a numbered location, with those in the cervical area being labeled C-1 through C-7. The middle section, or thoracic spine, are labeled T-1 through T-12. In the lower back, the lumbar vertebrae are represented by L-1 through L-5. Each nerve exiting these areas control different pathways in the body, and in turn, injuring any one of them could cause sensations to occur in different areas.

Rear End Collisions

Accidents where one vehicle strikes another in the rear are by far the most common form of collisions in the United States. These types of collisions can be caused from driver inattention, following too closely or adverse road conditions.

Regardless of the cause, all drivers have a duty to maintain a safe following distance between their vehicle and the vehicle they are following. This is probably the most widely violated safety rule in America. One need only look at any highway in America during morning or evening rush hour to see how closely vehicles travel behind each other. A safe stopping distance of 1 car length for every 10 mph speed is the recommended safe following distance. It is not a stretch to say that probably 90% of drivers do not adhere to this rule during normal driving conditions and in heavy traffic no one does.

Is It Important To Have A Lawyer When I Have Been Involved In An Automobile Accident?

When you are seeking to make a claim for injuries in an automobile accident, it is important that you are well informed about the process which the State of New Jersey has created

It is important to speak with an attorney so that you can explore all of your options. Depending on the coverage available and the nature of each parties' insurance, that will determine how we then proceed.

Slip And Falls On Ice

Commercial establishments have a duty to make sure their property is safe for patrons. When the weather turns bad and snow and ice falls, a business must take reasonable steps to make sure that their property is free from hazards when they open for business. Most businesses hire snow removal companies to perform the tasks for them or clear their property themselves. One thing is clear, if you're going to open for business, you have to make sure that the property is in a safe condition.

Safety means that the property is free from hazards for all users. Business owners know that despite the bad weather there will be people coming to their property without the proper foot wear or who are elderly or infirm. They must make their property safe for all reasonable users.

Slip and Fall Cases

When you are involved in a slip, trip and fall incident, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out exactly what caused the incident. With seconds, a change in terrain below them, anyone could be sent to the ground with little to no idea as to why they fell. And the fall, just like a car accident, an injury may not become fully apparent until some time after the fact. It's natural for some people to attempt to 'walk-it-off', only to realize minutes, hours, or even days later that you may have been seriously hurt.

Why Does My Case Take So Long To Get To Trial?

This is a frequent question raised by clients. The answer is usually related to a number of factors, many of which are not in the control of the lawyers involved. First, the courts have the absolute right to manage and set the cases which come before them. In order to be as efficient as possible, and recognizing that many cases settle "on the courthouse steps," courts set many different trials on the same date. On any given date during which the court hears cases, there may be up to twenty cases listed for trial.

If more than one case remains after the others have settled or been continued to another date, then only one case is tried at a time and the remaining cases must be reset to a new date. Most courts set trial dates many months ahead of time. Thus, a case which is set to go to trial in seven to eight months may get continued for an additional two months if the court's docket has more than one case ready to be tried on that date.

Second, the discovery phase of litigation is time consuming. The schedules of the parties, witnesses, lawyers and courts all play a role in the delays associated with litigation. There are also legal delays allowed for parties to respond to discovery and take depositions. Motions involving discovery, evidentiary and legal issues also must be set according to the court's busy schedule thereby adding to the delays of litigation. New Jersey follows strict time deadlines known as "Best Practices." Yet, even with Best Practices, cases take over a year to complete discovery.

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