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New Jersey Personal Injury Law Blog

Why cruise line passengers are vulnerable to sexual assault

If your vacation plans this year include a cruise, remember that the chances of being a victim of a crime don't disappear when you leave port. You may actually be more vulnerable.

Last year, almost 100 crimes were reported by cruise lines. Over two-thirds of those were sexual assaults. Of course, these could be just a small fraction of the real numbers.

Premises liability issues can't be ignored

As the holiday weekend nears, everyone needs to remember that they must keep their property in good shape so that guests aren't injured. This includes all property owners from commercial property owners to homeowners.

When someone is injured on another person's property, the injured person might opt to seek compensation for the injuries. This is something that can be unexpected, but it is often the only way for the injured person to avoid financial ruin that would be the result of the injury.

Side underride guards on trucks can decrease fatalities

Crashes that involve cars and trucks generally end far worse for those in the smaller vehicle. Unfortunately, despite more stringent safety regulations, fatal crashes that involve large trucks are increasing rather than decreasing.

One of the most dangerous scenarios is when a car ends up underneath a large tractor-trailer. Federal law mandates that large trucks be equipped with underride guards, but it does not require those safeguards for the sides of trucks, even though crash tests have shown that dummies inside a car have their heads smashed if the car hits a truck from the side -- even one going as slow as 35 miles per hour.

Study finds that small cars are more dangerous

Those of us who don't have kids to transport to and from school often choose small vehicles. They don't use a lot of gas, and they are easy to maneuver in and out of parking spaces. Many of them are also very cool-looking. However, they also account for the highest rate of traffic fatalities, according to a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The IIHS studied 2014 vehicles and older of all sizes and the number of fatalities reported between 2012 and 2015 according to the federal government. Over half of the mid-size and larger vehicles included in the study had the lowest fatality rates. Some had no fatalities in those years.

Have you been the victim of 'anesthesia awareness?'

Waking up in the middle of a surgical procedure is a nightmare that many people have in the days prior to their own surgery. While we trust anesthesiologists to administer the proper anesthesia, unfortunately, things can go wrong.

In fact, two out of every 1,000 patients are victims of something called "anesthesia awareness." While this term may sound fairly innocuous, at the very least, it can be traumatic.

Appeals court gives woman suing Wal-Mart a new trial

A judge has determined that a New Jersey woman who sued Wal-Mart after a metal rack fell on her can have her case re-heard. The woman, who was injured at a Turnersville Wal-Mart in 2010, lost in a jury trial against the retail giant.

The woman claimed that she was injured when a display of clothing, which an engineer testified weighed over 150 pounds, fell on her. She was taken to the hospital after the incident, complaining of pain in her arm. After am MRI, she was diagnosed with ulnar neuropathy. A spinal cord simulator was implanted in her several years later to relieve the pain she said she continued to experience. One of the doctors who testified on her behalf said that her injuries would likely cause her permanent pain.

Truck driver training is often rushed

Truck drivers have to be properly certified and have special licenses to drive. This is done to ensure that they're trained and safe on the highway.

However, some in the industry have noted that all they really need to do is learn enough to pass those tests. Furthermore, they say that training has to be completed, but there is no rule in place stipulating exactly how long a new trucker has to spend in his or her training sessions.

What are your options if you're injured due to lack of security?

If you have been the victim of a violent crime and/or a robbery, you may be able to hold the business where it happened liable. Owners of certain businesses, like bars, are responsible for hiring qualified bouncers or security guards to help protect their customers.

Property owners are also responsible for ensuring the safety of those who enter their buildings or even their parking lots. If a business becomes aware that its property is unsafe, such as if there have been assaults or break-ins to vehicles, it has a responsibility to upgrade its security.

Distracted driving fatalities continue to rise

Despite the increasing laws across the country against cellphone use and texting while driving, even more people than ever are dying on America's roads because of distracted drivers. The number of distracted driving-related fatalities rose by nearly 9 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While teens and other young drivers are involved in these texting and driving accidents, an official with State Farm puts some of the blame on the parents they've been riding in the car with since childhood. He says, "When they get behind the wheel, if they've been watching you use the phone, if they would rather use the phone it's gonna be hard to break that habit and get them driving safely from the get go." The insurance company says that more than a third of drivers text while they're behind the wheel.

Truck drivers can prevent jackknife accidents

A truck that jackknifes is incredibly dangerous to other drivers because it's completely out of control. Typically, these accidents happen when the truck loses traction for some reason, throwing the trailer and cab out of sync. Issues that lead to it include improper braking and slick road surfaces.

However, there are steps drivers can take to prevent these accidents from happening, even if it's hard to recover once they begin.

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