$1.32 Million Recovered for Retired NYPD Officer Injured in Essex County, NJ Slip and Fall

Trial Attorney Richard A. Reinartz of The Reinartz Law Firm recently obtained a $1.32 Million settlement for a client who was injured in a slip and fall accident. On Sunday January 5, 2014, retired New York City Police Department officer Andrew L. slipped and fell on ice located on the front steps of his apartment complex in Verona, NJ. As a result, Andrew sustained a trimalleolar fracture of his left ankle requiring multiple surgical procedures. It was alleged in the ensuing Essex County personal injury lawsuit that the owner of the premises had been negligent and failed to take proper measures to protect apartment residents such as Andrew against snow and ice hazards at the property. Liability and damages were disputed by the defense, and a total of 6 expert witnesses in various disciplines were retained by The Reinartz Law Firm to support Andrew’s case. The lawsuit settled just prior to a scheduled July […]

New Jersey Slip and Fall Cases on Commercial Properties

slip and fall on commercial propertiesSlip and Fall accidents are one of the most common types of premises liability claims.  Causes of these accidents can include icy sidewalks, foreign or man-made objects, potholes in parking lots, slippery floors, uneven sidewalks and other hazards.

In most slip and fall cases, the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s negligent failure to properly maintain the property. Thus, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the premises owner had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous condition in order to sustain the claim.  In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition upon reasonable inspection of the premises, but failed to discover and remediate the condition in due course, causing the injury.

There are some cases, however, where the plaintiff does not have the burden of proving the property owner’s actual or constructive notice […]

Mode of Operation Doctrine in New Jersey Slip and Fall Cases

Mode of Operation Doctrine njIn the typical premises liability / slip and fall case, the injured plaintiff must prove the negligence of the premises owner.  This mean that the plaintiff must prove the premises owner knew or should have known about a dangerous condition on the property, but failed to identify the condition upon reasonable inspection, and as a result the plaintiff sustained an injury.

Under certain circumstances, however, the legal doctrine known as the “mode of operation,” frees the plaintiff of the burden of proof and creates a rebuttable presumption of negligence against the premises owner.  The mode of operation doctrine generally applies to self-service businesses, where the defendant’s mode of business operation, by its nature, creates a dangerous condition.

The mode of operation often applies in slip and fall cases arising at supermarkets and grocery stores, where floors regularly become slippery from spilled food and liquids that are […]

Dangerous Practices & Procedures at Work

dangerous work practicesEvery working person deserves to be safe at work. From office jobs to construction jobs, this proposition applies across the board. Even the most risky jobs must have built-in safety procedures designed to keep employees safe from harm.

In New Jersey, the Division of Public Safety and Occupational Safety and Health enforces the state laws requiring employers to provide a safe working environment for employees. These laws protect workers in both public and private sector jobs in New Jersey.  As an employee in the state of New Jersey, you are entitled to a safe workplace.

Examples of Unsafe Practices and Hazards at Work

While most employers attempt to comply with the New Jersey regulations for health and safety at work, sometimes they fall short.  When a lack of diligence and care causes a workplace injury to an employee, the employer may be held responsible.

An example of a dangerous work practice […]

What to Do When You Have an Accident on Someone Else’s Property

injury on someoneAccidents that occur on someone else’s property are occasionally the fault of the property owner for allowing a dangerous or defective condition to exist on the property. Premises liability is a legal concept whereby a property owner can be held responsible for damages caused by their failure to keep the property in a safe condition.

While slip and fall cases are the most common type of premises liability claim, they are not the only one. Inadequate lighting in parking lots can pose a risk at night and can expose a premises owner to liability. Additionally, unsafe chemicals or hidden dangers on a property can provide a basis for a premises liability claim.

All of these types of cases share one common factor: the person responsible for the property failed to keep it in a safe condition, and that caused someone to be hurt.

What Should You […]

Negligence Claims in New Jersey

negligence claimsWhen building a case in a personal injury matter, the primary legal claim to be proven is the claim of negligence against one or more defendants. The plaintiff typically has the burden of proof, and whether the plaintiff can prove the defendant was negligent will usually determine the outcome of the case.

Under New Jersey law, negligence is defined as a party’s failure to act as a reasonable person would, or failure to exercise the “degree of care for the safety of others” which a “person of ordinary prudence” would exercise under “similar circumstances.”  NJ Model Jury Charge (Civil) 5.10A “Negligence and Ordinary Care – General” (1984).

In order to prove a negligence claim, four elements must be established by a preponderance of the evidence.  First, an injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, meaning the defendant had an […]

What is Medical Malpractice?

icon-medical-malpracticeMedical malpractice involves a medical provider’s breach of an applicable standard of care that results in harm to a patient.  The standard of care that applies in a specific situation depends on a number of factors, including the “generally accepted” practices and procedures for other, similarly situated medical providers.

In order to sustain a medical malpractice claim in New Jersey, a plaintiff must show that a defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care, that the deviation proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and the plaintiff suffered resulting damages. Schueler v. Strelinger, 43 N.J. 330, 344 (1964); Rosenberg v. Tavorath, 352 N.J. Super. 385 at 399-400 (App. Div. 2002).  Because the subject matter of medical malpractice cases is typically complex, the services of expert witnesses is essential to sustain a claim.  In fact, New Jersey law requires the filing of an Affidavit of Merit at the outset of a case by a […]

New Jersey Automobile Accident Law

nj auto accident lawsFor those who suffer injury or loss of a loved one in a motor vehicle accident, New Jersey has a legal framework in place that allows people to pursue full and fair compensation for the harms and losses suffered.

Current N.J. Auto Accident Laws

Under New Jersey law, a driver injured in an accident is typically immediately eligible for medical benefits and first-person coverage through their own auto insurance policy.  Personal Injury Protection (PIP), sometimes called “no-fault” insurance, is a package of benefits that provides medical expense benefits, income continuation, essential service benefits and funeral benefits to people who are injured in motor vehicle accidents accidents, and as pedestrians.  The extent of available PIP benefits depends on the coverage selected by the policyholder, in addition to New Jersey law. After an accident, you must file a claim for PIP benefits with your auto insurance company in order to avail yourself of these […]

Pedestrian Accident Claims in New Jersey

PEDESTRIAN-ACCIDENTSBecause of the vulnerability of pedestrians in pedestrian-auto accidents, the NJ Legislature has enacted laws requiring motor vehicle operators to abide by strict standards of care.  If drivers violate these standards, they may be held accountable in both the criminal and civil context.  While there are also laws that address the responsibilities of pedestrians in navigating the roadways, in this article we focus on some of the laws directed at operators of motors vehicle, and the civil rights of injured pedestrians in NJ.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-36, lays a crucial piece of groundwork for pedestrians’ rights by requiring that drivers yield to pedestrians at crosswalks at intersections, and remain stopped until a pedestrian has finished crossing.  Importantly, subsection (d) of this statute provides that “[i]n the event of a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian within a marked crosswalk, or at an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection, there shall be a permissive inference […]

New Jersey Personal Injury Case Procedure

case procedureNew Jersey personal injury lawsuits are complex matters that involve a significant investment of time and resources. An experienced personal injury lawyer can protect the interests of a wrongfully injured person and begin building a successful case early on. This article provides a basic overview of New Jersey pre-trial personal injury case procedure.  It is not, nor is it intended to be, a comprehensive guide to litigating these cases or do-it-yourself guide.

Once a personal injury lawyer is retained by an injured person, the attorney will typically begin the process of investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding the injury. This may involve interviews with eyewitnesses, family members and other persons who have factual knowledge of the accident and the injuries. The lawyer will review all available records from doctors, hospitals, employers, and law enforcement, as well as records from any involved insurance companies. An investigator may also be hired by […]

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