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Category: Personal Injury

dog bite Responsible Dog Ownership Act

The Responsible Dog Ownership Act

Bites from animals like dogs can result in serious injury or even death. Thanks to proper training and ownership, most dogs are well-behaved pets and easy to interact with. But if dogs are neglected, abused, or in a protective mindset, they can quickly turn from friendly to ferocious.

Most cities or counties have some type of law about how dogs need to be restrained outdoors and in public areas, though some of these laws can be vague.

Following the news of injuries and a fatality from dog bites in 2014, two New Jersey lawmakers introduced legislation to require more strict laws regarding how dogs are restrained.

The Legislation

The bill, called the Responsible Dog Ownership Act, requires two restraint laws:

  1. The height and dimensions of a fence surrounding an area used by large dogs would need to be at a minimum 8 feet tall.
  2. The establishment of rules for proper leashing and restraining of a dog when it is in public.

The legislation is meant primarily for larger breeds of dogs, but the principle of proper restraining covers all breeds and sizes of dogs.

Dog Bites

Bites and attacks from dogs are a dangerous occurrence that can result in hospital bills and emotional suffering. When a person adopts or purchases a dog to raise and take care of, that person is responsible for how the dog behaves and what areas it can access. If that person’s dog causes harm to someone else, that owner is responsible for monetary payments for both physical and emotional suffering.

If you’ve been injured by a dog or have had someone die due to a dog attack, call us today. We can help you determine if the dog’s owner is responsible for your pain and suffering.

workers' compensation lawyers

Am I Covered by Worker’s Compensation?

Injuries can happen anywhere and at any time. Luckily, if your injury arises from your workplace, your medical bills and lost wages may be compensated by your employer. The rules can be unclear, however, so here’s a quick rundown of who can be covered by workers’ compensation.

What It Is

Workers’ compensation (sometimes called workmans’ comp) is a payment from your employer in the event that you are injured or become ill while doing your job. The payment is used to cover lost wages (during time when you are unable to perform your job), hospital and medical expenses, rehabilitation, retraining, or permanency awards.

Workers’ compensation is different than a lawsuit against your employer, and if desired or advised to by a lawyer, you can file a lawsuit instead of accepting compensation.

Who Can Receive Compensation

Coverage can vary from job to job, and some employers aren’t required to provide worker’s compensation at all. Most of the time, compensation is applicable, even if you were at fault, when:

  1. you are a hired employee of the company, and
  2. your injury is the result of your employment.

Your injury or illness doesn’t need to take place inside your physical place of work, either. If you have an accident while running work-related errands, on a business trip, or at a business-related event, you may be covered.

Injuries also don’t have to be a one-time accident. Gradual damages can be covered, such as repetitive back strain from lifting without appropriate equipment, or lung disease from years of breathing unhealthy air.

When Workers’ Compensation is Not Applicable

Not every accident or employee is covered. Compensation benefits depend on:

  • The state
  • Type of work being performed
  • Type of business
  • Type of worker (seasonal, casual, agricultural, etc.)

Employees will also likely not be covered if they are intoxicated, committing a crime, purposefully injuring themselves, or violating company policy.

Receiving Compensation

If you are accidentally injured or become ill while at work, it’s your right to continue to receive income while you can’t work and receive payment for your medical bills. Call us today if you or someone you know has been injured at work to see if you can receive workers’ compensation.

Princeton Pays $1.75 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

swimming pool wrongful death lawsuit new jerseyTaking legal action following a death can be one of the more difficult tasks of the mourning process. If you consider the death of a friend or loved one as the fault of another party, we strongly suggest you hire a professional to guide you through the process.

After 24-year-old Colin Simonelli died last year from drowning in a community pool in Princeton, New Jersey, his family moved forward with filing a lawsuit against the city. The suit argued that the lifeguards were not positioned correctly in the pool area.

Neil Weiner, the family’s attorney, suggested Colin suffered consciousness pain and suffering. During his visit to the pool, Colin suffered an acute cardiac arrest episode and was underwater for around six minutes before being pulled out by other swimmers. The suit also suggested Colin’s father suffered emotional distress while witnessing the incident.

Lifeguard Safety Procedures

The family argues that the lifeguards weren’t in their correct positions and failed to notice or react when Colin sank in the water. Lifeguards are taught to follow numerous rules to prevent harm to swimmers in open water or pools. Some common procedures include:

The 10:20 rule – The lifeguard scans the pool from one side to the other in ten seconds while the lifeguard is no more than 20 seconds away from a swimmer (in their designated area)

Environment and object awareness – The lifeguards understand which natural and man-made objects (such as logs, branches, animal, floats, rafts, diving boards, etc.) can cause harm and what type of harm they can cause.

Crossing lines of sight – The lines of sight of two lifeguards (placed on opposite sides of a pool) cross each other

This last procedure was specifically mentioned in the lawsuit. The suit claimed the two lifeguards on duty in the area were positioned on the same side of the pool when they should have been positioned on opposite sides. The lifeguards did, however, attempt CPR on Colin until paramedics arrived.

How to Proceed with a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Any loss of life is going to be difficult to handle. Should legal action be necessary, you should seek help from a professional who can help you through the entire process with guidance and support.

While we can’t reverse a tragic loss of someone you care about, our personal injury attorneys can help take a heavy task off of your hands. Contact us online or at 856-963-5000 for more information or to discuss your situation.

New Jersey Man Receives $1.2 Million Settlement in Slip-and-Fall Accident

slip-and-fall

Premises liability accidents, like a slip-and-fall, can have serious long-term consequences. A slip-and-fall can happen in any season, anytime, and anywhere in New Jersey.

A recent example of a devastating slip-and-fall accident was in the news.

A New Jersey man suffered spinal injuries after a slip-and-fall accident on a wet supermarket floor. His spinal injuries required surgery and he couldn’t perform his sports photography work because of the injuries. His personal injury claim said that the grocery store failed to mop the wet floor at the store entrance in Wayne.

He received a $1.2 million dollar settlement. The grocery was in the midst of bankruptcy and delayed payment of the settlement. The injury occurred in 2015 and the grocery chain paid the settlement in 2017. The store at which the injury happened will be reopened as a natural foods market.

When we consider a slip-and-fall accident, the questions of “Could this accident have been foreseen?” or “Could my injury have been prevented?” must be considered. To answer these questions, it’s usually necessary to assess whether the property owner met its duty to conform to a “standard of care.”

In the case of this example, it was the duty of the corporate grocery store to ensure that the man, who came to the premises to buy groceries, could do so safely. In this example, we know the property owner didn’t conform to the area’s standard of care.

Before we consider the particulars of liability for a slip-and-fall injury in New Jersey, it’s important to note that your ability to pursue a legal claim against a negligent party has an expiry date. You must commence with legal action within two years from the date of the accident. If you don’t you won’t be able to pursue a legal remedy regardless of the severity of your injuries or the property owner’s gross negligence that caused your accident.

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you file a slip-and-fall injury lawsuit. Although some people believe it’s possible to make a claim directly to the property owner, you should know that the business’s insurance company will seek to minimize its risk exposure. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll a fair settlement offer from the insurance company’s adjusters. Don’t risk going it alone.

Contact Brad Spiller, Managing Partner, at The Law Offices of Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP to discuss your potential case at 856-963-5000.

New Jersey Dog Walker Receives $850,000 for Dog Bite Attack

A dog bite can cause serious physical and emotional injuries. A New Jersey dog sitter recently received an $850,000 jury award for her injuries. The woman was dog sitting for a neighbor’s 80-pound dog when it jumped and bit her face. She was attempting to take the dog for a walk.

The woman says the dog pushed her against a chair. She sustained a chin scar because of the bite and back injuries from the dog’s attack. The claim states that the owner of the dog didn’t tell her about two earlier attacks by the animal.

Although a jury awarded the woman $100,000 in 2015, it determined no causal link between the dog attack and the woman’s back injury. During a second trial, a jury in Morris County believed the dog attack resulted in permanent back injury to the plaintiff.

Under N.J.S.A. § 4:19-16, an injured person may hold a biting dog’s owner liable—even if the dog never attacked before or even when the owner doesn’t know of prior incidents in which the animal “acted viciously.”

The state of New Jersey has a “strict liability” statute concerning dog bites. The New Jersey dog owner is responsible most of the time if the animal bites another person. The law is likely to hold him or her legally responsible even if he or she didn’t realize the dog might attack or even if he or she used “reasonable” methods and steps to restrain it.

New Jersey’s dog bite law is applicable to bites only. It doesn’t always apply to other dog injuries. In the above example, the dog bit and attacked the woman. The first trial considered only the injury she sustained from the dog bite. That said, an individual who’s injured by a canine may bring a negligence lawsuit in the state of New Jersey.

If you have been bitten by a dog in New Jersey, you may have the option to sue the owner under the state dog bite law. Damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering may be recovered.

If you have suffered other injuries by a dog’s behavior, you may pursue damages through the filing of a negligence claim. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to bring a case on your behalf. Contact Brad Spiller, Managing Partner at The Law Offices of Brenner Spiller & Archer, LLP at 856-963-5000.

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