Jonathan A. Ellis Selected to 2020 Rising Stars List

Ellis Law is proud to announce that attorney and owner, Jonathan A. Ellis, was included in this year’s New Jersey Rising Stars list. Jonathan’s primary area of practice is personal injury. The selection process for Rising Stars is rigorous and includes a multiphase process consisting of peer evaluations and nominations, as well as independent research, to ensure that each candidate is thoroughly reviewed. The Rising Stars list is published in magazines and legal publications across the country.

Jonathan earned his law degree from the Roger Williams University School of Law and is licensed to practice law in New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia. Jonathan is a member of the Monmouth County Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New Jersey Bar Association for Justice, and the New York State Bar Association. Jonathan is also a former clerk for the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, where he worked closely with the appeals department.

Jonathan represents clients in personal injury cases, as well as real estate, criminal law, and contractual matters. Jonathan believes in a personal approach with his clients and focuses on client interaction, efficiency, and attention to detail. This is Jonathan’s first year selected to Rising Stars.

If you have a personal injury matter and seek legal counsel, contact the Freehold personal injury lawyers at Ellis Law today. We will fight for your rights and hold those responsible for injuries accountable. Contact us online or call us at 732-308-0200 for a free consultation. Centrally located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.

How Can I Prevent Backseat Passenger Injuries?

Wearing a seat belt is one crucial way to save the lives of backseat passengers. However, current research suggests other important safety features are lacking, making backseat riders more vulnerable to injuries when involved in a crash. In fact, backseat passengers are 46 percent more likely to die in a car accident than those riding in the front seat. Therefore, how does backseat occupant protection fall short, and is there anything second and third-row passengers can do to protect themselves?

Research on Backseat Passengers and Injuries

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) analyzed various vehicle safety systems and found many features protecting passengers in the front seat nonexistent in back rows. After reviewing crash data from accidents where rear-seat occupants were seriously or fatally injured, the IIHS found chest injuries a common occurrence caused by excessive force on shoulder belts.

In many cases, people in the backseat were injured more significantly than those in the front, suggesting backseat restraints were less adequate. Although front seat belts have “seat belt limiters” that reduce the force of impact above a certain threshold during a crash, backseat seat belts do not have this technology. Seat belt limiters work in conjunction with airbags and belt tensioners to prevent upper body injuries in a collision. IIHS research confirmed that in the crashes studied, chest injuries were the most serious and fatal among backseat passengers.

Possible Solutions to Improve Backseat Safety

Auto experts proposed various solutions to better protect backseat passengers and prevent catastrophic chest injuries during a crash. They include the following:

  • Force limiters: Tiny metal rods built into seat belt retractors that allow some webbing to spool out before forces get too high
  • Inflatable seat belt: To spread the force of impact out across the torso and keep the chest from bearing the brunt of a collision
  • Backseat airbag: An airbag engaged from the back of the front seat would reduce the impact of the seat belt and protect a backseat passenger’s head in a crash

Head Injuries Among Backseat Passengers

The IIHS study found head injuries to be the second most common injury after chest injuries for backseat occupants. In many cases, these injuries were not survivable. In nonfatal collisions, it is speculated that passengers were injured after hitting their heads on the vehicle’s interior, but a lack of detailed crash data made it impossible to confirm this suspicion. To better protect backseat occupants from all types of injuries, the IIHS recommends automakers conduct crash tests designed specifically to evaluate and improve backseat protection.

What to Do If You are Injured in a Car Accident

If you are a passenger in a vehicle and are injured in an accident, you may consider bringing a personal injury claim against the driver responsible for the crash. For personal injury claims  sustained in a car crash, the injured person must prove liability and damages.

Liability for a Car Accident

When it comes to a car accident, liability refers to who is at-fault. For example, if a driver was distracted by their phone, they are liable for the accident and any injuries incurred as a result.

If the driver denies fault, liability can be established using witness accounts of the accident, footage captured by nearby cameras, and damage to the vehicles that indicate how the crash occurred.

Damages Resulting from a Car Accident

Damages are essentially financial compensation intended to make the plaintiff whole after an injury. There are different types of damages depending on the type of accident, the circumstances surrounding the plaintiff’s injuries, and the laws in the state where the accident occurred. Generally, the following types of damages are available in a personal injury claim:

  • Emotional distress: A serious crash can have a lasting psychological impact, including post-traumatic stress disorder, which is usually confirmed by a professional’s diagnosis.
  • Loss of companionship/Loss of consortium: This is brought by the loved one of a family member who perished in an accident to compensate for the loss of their relationship.
  • Lost wages: This helps to supplement or replace an individual’s income when their injuries prohibit them from working.
  • Medical expenses: Treatment for injuries can be very costly. In some cases, compensation is awarded for hospitalization, surgery, and physical therapy to treat injured claimants.
  • Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering is difficult to quantify, but damages are generally calculated based on how long the victim needs to recover, the medication prescribed for their injuries, and how pain and suffering impacts a person’s overall quality of life.
  • Punitive damages: Not every state permits punitive damages, but where they are allowed, they are assigned to penalize a defendant for especially reckless behavior and deter them and others from repeating it.
  • Wrongful death: Wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the survivors of accident victims killed by another’s negligent act or behavior. Spouses can bring a wrongful death suit, as well as parents of minor children. In some cases, siblings, cousins, and even distant relatives can sue for wrongful death.

Backseat Passengers and Car Accident Claims

Individuals who are not driving a car, but are a passenger during a crash, have options for filing a claim to recover compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, you may be able to file a claim against the following:

Your Insurance Company

Because you were not driving and were not in your own vehicle at the time of the accident, this option may not be so obvious. If you drive in New Jersey, you should have Personal Injury Protection (PIP), which you can use to pay your medical bills. Unfortunately, because you file a claim, your insurance rates will likely go up. Therefore, it you should speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to determine the best course of action to minimize your costs and maximize your compensation.

Your Driver and Their Insurance Company

This is an option even if this driver was not at-fault for the accident. The simplest way to recover compensation is through their PIP benefits. PIP is no-fault insurance designed just for car accident injuries, which can sometimes be omitted from health insurance policies. In New Jersey, every insurance policy must carry PIP.

The Other Driver and Their Insurance Company

This option applies to accidents involving multiple drivers. Unfortunately, if multiple people were injured in your accident, their policy limits may not be enough to cover everyone’s expenses. Also, proving liability, or fault, in a crash involving several cars can be more challenging and take weeks, if not months, to do. Because laws and guidelines regarding insurance and accident claims can vary by state, it is always best to consult with a local car accident lawyer regarding the best legal course of action.

Things to Remember If You are a Passenger in a Car Accident

Any accident is stressful, even a minor fender bender. Knowing what do to after a crash can help ease your anxiety and help the claim process go smoothly.

  • First, seek medical attention for anyone with possible injuries.
  • If the car is drivable, have the driver move safely away from traffic.
  • Contact the police and file a report.
  • Exchange contact information with involved parties, including witnesses.
  • Document the scene with photos.
  • Contact your car accident lawyer for guidance.

If you are involved in a car accident as a passenger, you may be confused about your rights and how to file a claim for compensation. However, you may be entitled to damages for your emotional and physical injuries after a serious crash. To learn more about how to move forward and pursue compensation, schedule an appointment with a trusted car accident lawyer in your area.

Freehold Car Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Protect the Rights of Injured Passengers

Backseat passengers have the right to recover compensation if they are injured in a car accident. The skilled Freehold car accident lawyers at Ellis Law will review the details of your case and recommend the most practical legal course of action to achieve a positive outcome. To learn more about our history of success and how we can help you, call us at 732-308-0200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Centrally located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.

What are Common Juvenile Crimes?

As much as you would like to, it is impossible to control your child’s actions when you are not around. Unfortunately, some young adults make poor choices that can impact their entire family emotionally, legally, and financially. Once they have committed a juvenile offense, they have not only violated your trust, they have broken the law. A mistake under the age of 18 hardly means a life of crime to come. The justice system in New Jersey is designed to rehabilitate youth offenders and motivate them to make better choices in the future. With skilled legal representation and an understanding of the juvenile justice system in New Jersey, your child can move past an offense and move toward a positive future. Knowing more about the crimes commonly committed by teens and how the juvenile system works can help answer your questions and take the right steps to move forward.

Common Juvenile Crimes

  • Assault: Assault can constitute anything from pushing, shoving, and other unwanted physical provocation and attacks. In New Jersey, there is simple assault and aggravated assault depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Crimes against a school employee and those involving deadly weapons carry more serious penalties.
  • Curfew violations: Know the curfew for your community and enforce consequences at home when your child does not comply. In most towns, parents can be held responsible if they knowingly allow their children out after curfew.
  • Disorderly conduct: Disorderly conduct covers a wide range of behaviors from offensive language, to arguments and fights. This sort of offense tends to occur when children meet up in large groups, and sometimes involves alcohol.
  • Drug possession and sale: The sale or possession of illegal drugs is a serious crime in New Jersey, regardless of the offender’s age. Marijuana, heroin, cocaine, MDMA, and prescription pills may bring penalties, including juvenile detention and heavy fines.
  • Sexual misconduct: Sexual offense comes with some of the harshest penalties of all, including possible lifetime registration as a sex offender under Megan’s Law. The type of assault under the law is determined by the ages of the offender and the victim, as well as any extenuating circumstances that may be involved.
  • Stealing: Theft is one of the most common crimes committed by juveniles. It can involve anything from shoplifting a snack from a convenience store to taking a neighbor’s car for a joyride. Penalties depend in part on the value of the stolen property and the number of previous offenses. Detention is a possibility for items valued at even a hundred dollars.
  • Traffic violations: Penalties for juvenile traffic violations can include steep fines and license revocation and suspension. Remind your child that driving is a privilege that can easily be taken away if they choose to drive without a license or while impaired by drugs or alcohol. Driving with too many passengers, speeding, and texting while driving is common among teens.
  • Underage drinking: It is illegal for anyone under 21 in New Jersey to buy, consume, or possess alcohol in a car, school, or public place. It is generally a disorderly persons offense, but drunk driving is a more serious offense that can bring fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
  • Vandalism: Tweens and teens may not realize that damaging equipment at the public park or defacing walls with graffiti is more than mischief. It is a crime. Penalties and fines for the deliberate destruction of another’s property depend on what type of damage occurred and where.
  • Weapons offenses: Now more than ever, we are acutely aware of the risks of dangerous weapons in the wrong hands. Possession of a weapon by a minor is a serious offense in New Jersey and can include incarceration. Guns are not the only weapons of concern. Stun guns, knives, and projectiles are considered weapons as well.

Some activities that happen at school are considered criminal. In these situations, school administrators work with local law enforcement officials to ensure proper protocols are followed. Depending on the nature of the offense, juvenile students may not be able to return to school until the legal process has been completed.

Juvenile Misdemeanors in New Jersey

According to the New Jersey Juvenile Justice System, there are currently more than 500 juvenile offenders in the state who are either committed, on probation, or in aftercare. They come from every county in the state and represent all walks of life and backgrounds.

Juvenile misdemeanors are crimes committed by minors under age 18. They are less serious than felonies but more serious than other minor infractions. Vandalism, shoplifting, and assault are common juvenile misdemeanors. Penalties for misdemeanors can include fines and possible time in a juvenile jail. However, first time offenders may benefit from lighter penalties, such as community service or house arrest.

The Juvenile Criminal Justice System in New Jersey

In New Jersey, crimes committed by individuals under 18 are treated differently under the law than those committed by adults. Juvenile proceedings do not take place in Superior Court but are held instead in the Superior Court Family Division. The focus is on redirecting young offenders rather than penalizing them. So, all decisions are made based on the best interests of the juvenile in the hopes they can be rehabilitating and make smart decisions going forward. Possible penalties for juvenile offenders include:

  • Community service
  • Confinement in a detention center
  • Court-mandated restitution or fines
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Mandatory drug or alcohol treatment

Important Questions for Parents of Juvenile Offenders

Will My Child Be Charged as an Adult?

Children under the age of 14 can never be charged as an adult in new Jersey. Juveniles aged 14 to 17 can be tried in adult court for more serious offenses if the prosecutor secures a special waiver to do so. It should be mentioned that even if an individual is still in school, if they are charged with a crime once they turn 18, they will be prosecuted as an adult.

Will My Child be Detained?

In most cases, juveniles will be released to the custody of their parents. In cases involving more serious crimes, they may be detailed. However, state law ensures young offenders will receive a hearing quickly. Juveniles in detention should receive them within a day. Parents who feel their children are being detained unreasonably should contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Where Will Our Case Be Heard?

Depending on the crime involved and the circumstances surrounding the offense, the case can either be adjudicated by a New Jersey Juvenile Judge in Family Court, in the County Superior Court Criminal Division, or your local Municipal Court. Juvenile Delinquency hearings can also be heard by a Juvenile Conference Committee (JCC), an Intake Services Conference (ISC), or a Juvenile Referee.

To ensure the best outcome for your child, it is essential to work with an attorney who has experience in all these venues and understands the procedures and requirements of each. These types of cases require a unique approach and an effort to encourage rehabilitation and minimize penalties.

The good news is many juvenile records eventually become eligible for expungement, which means they are sealed or erased in the eyes of the law. This means it does not have to be disclosed to a potential employer or educational institution. Your criminal defense attorney will advise you if your juvenile’s offense can possibly be expunged in the future. Juveniles who want to change deserve a chance at a bright future.

Freehold Criminal Defense Lawyers at Ellis Law Help Individuals Charged with Juvenile Crimes

Because teens do not fully understand the consequences of their actions, they are more likely to take risks and challenge authority. The Freehold criminal defense lawyers at Ellis Law take the time to explain all the possible scenarios and your rights and options under the law. To learn more about our services, call 732-308-0200 or use the online form to schedule a consultation today. Centrally located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.

Slip and Fall Injuries at Resorts and Hotels

Resort and hotel stays are normally events people look forward to, especially when they are planning well-earned vacations. Unfortunately, things do not always turn out as planned, especially when they fall victim to injuries occurring on the premises. Nothing can ruin that coveted time off more than getting hurt, and it can happen to guests who are there for business or pleasure. Although they entrust their safety to these properties, accidents do happen. Categories of accidents at resort and hotel properties include swimming pool drownings, burns, and food poisoning. One of the most common types, however, is a slip and fall accident.

Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Aside from worn carpeting, unfamiliar staircases, and debris, hotels can have additional hazards when there are restaurants and swimming pools. Spilled drinks and other slippery substances can reside in dining areas, and pools always pose additional risks. When the weather is poor, there are even more dangers from icy and snowy roads. Someone could also slip and fall in a shower, elsewhere in their room, or in the parking lot for several reasons.

Hotels are Obligated to Protect Guests

Hotel and resort guests have the right to be safe and secure during their stays. This protection also includes the rest of the grounds, such as the parking lot, banquet hall, meeting rooms, restaurants, restrooms, pool, fitness area, and the shuttle bus. The grounds must be maintained and inspected regularly and kept reasonably safe for the people staying there. Any hazardous conditions must be addressed and fixed quickly, such as cleaning up broken glass or repairing a broken pipe; otherwise the hotel is breaching its duty to guests.

Other ways to prevent slip and fall accidents in hotels include:

  • Keeping elevators, stairs, and parking lots maintained, well-lit, and clear from debris.
  • Ensuring that hotel rooms are maintained, with no slippery surfaces, broken furniture, or loose fixtures.
  • Hiring and training staff appropriately for all parts of the hotel, including restaurants, pools, and other areas.
  • Although most hotels are not required to have their own lifeguards at their pools, they must post rules and warnings. They are also responsible for keeping these areas safe, clean, and well maintained.
  • If there is construction going on or any other unusual circumstances, proper safety protocol must be followed. This includes warning signs and prohibiting entry into certain areas.

What to Do After a Slip and Fall

Slip and fall injuries can range from cuts and bruises to broken bones and head injuries, and it may be necessary to call 911 right away. Victims should alert staff about any injuries, and they may be subsequently asked to complete an official accident report. When filling this out, it is essential to stick to the facts. Obtaining contact information from employees who are present at the scene is also helpful, and victims should document any medical attention received from staff members.

Recording any evidence at the scene can also help a slip and fall case. Either victims, family members, or friends can take pictures of where the slip and fall occurred, noting lack of warning signs, glass on the floor, or debris in the area. If anyone witnessed the accident, they should be questioned as well. Afterwards, victims should keep all information pertaining to their medical treatment, expenses, follow-up care, and time missed from work carefully organized.

Understanding Premises Liability

Hotel and resort property owners are subject to premises liability laws, which hold owners responsible for maintaining safe environments for their guests and make the owners responsible when accidents and injuries occur on their properties. When someone does slip and fall, liability is not immediately assumed, and state laws apply. Responsibility depends on certain factors, including the property’s condition and the visitor’s and owner’s actions.

A general standard of care to exercise reasonable safety applies to hotel guests and property owners, unless the person is trespassing. This standard applies to how the property was used, and the predictability of the accident that occurred. The court will also discern the reasonableness of the owner attempting to correct the hazard, why the guest was on the property, and the area where the accident happened. They will also consider whether the dangerous condition was obvious, and if the employees and property owner had control over the situation.

Certain states categorize slip and fall victims when determining premises liability. These include invitees or customers, social guests or welcome visitors, licensees, and trespassers. Non-guests and trespassers who enter public properties have limited protections, and hotel guests are considered invitees. Special rules may apply if the injured person is a child, as children are less likely to realize dangerous situations. Both property owners and caregivers have a responsibility to protect this younger population from property hazards.

Proving Liability

To prove that a hotel breached its duty, injured guests need to show that there was negligence involved. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant should have known that their actions may have led to the injury. For example, if a waiter spilled grease on the dining room floor but the manager neglected to address this obvious safety hazard, the hotel could be held liable if a guest slipped and fell. The injured guest also needs to show that their injuries are a direct result of the slip and fall. Attempting to show a link between an old football injury and a recent slip and fall is ill-advised.

Shared Liability

In slip and fall cases, hotel and resort owners will likely attempt to show that the plaintiff was at least partially liable for the accident. Hotel guests have a duty to exercise reasonable care for their safety, so if they neglect to do so, they may be found partly responsible for their own injuries. Hotel property owners may argue that the hazardous area was clearly marked and should have been apparent to the hotel guest. They may also claim that the guest was wearing inappropriate footwear or was simply not paying attention to where they were going. Most states in the U.S., including New Jersey, follow a comparative fault system in premises liability lawsuits.

How New Jersey’s Comparative Fault System Works

In New Jersey hotel and resort slip and fall cases, the courts assign a percentage of liability to the injured party and property owner. If the plaintiff’s percentage is more than 50 percent, they may not be eligible to receive compensation. If it is less than this amount, they can still be entitled to damages, but this may be reduced. The hotel owner’s insurance company will want to protect their interests and may try to prove shared liability. This is the main reason why it is important for victims to gather evidence and keep accurate records of what happened.

Damages for Slip and Fall Cases

Hotel and resort guests injured in slip and fall accidents may be eligible for damages, or money awarded for compensation. This can include lost wages, short and long-term medical expenses, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering. Damages awarded can be significant, with some plaintiffs being awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases, they receive additional compensation if there are complications from the injury that become apparent later.

It is also important to know that most states have statutes of limitations that apply to eligibility for slip and fall injury claims. In New Jersey, plaintiffs have two years to file cases of this nature. Plaintiffs who wish to file suits relating to property damage that occurred from a slip and fall accident have up to six years to do so.

Freehold Slip and Fall Lawyers at Ellis Law Provide Effective Legal Representation for Injured Hotel and Resort Guests

If you or someone you care for was injured in a hotel or resort slip and fall accident, an experienced Freehold slip and fall lawyer at Ellis Law is ready to help. We will analyze all the facts and help determine if your hotel or resort neglected their duty to keep you safe. For a free case evaluation, complete our online form or call us at 732-308-0200. Centrally located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.

Dangers of Distracted Driving

Multitasking while driving has become a common activity within our nation’s drivers. Distracted driving is extremely unsafe and can cause injuries and deaths. It only takes five seconds of distracted driving to cause potential fatalities. Putting yourself and others at risk is not worth the consequences. Practicing safe driving techniques will help prevent car crashes and protect your overall health and wellbeing. Distractions can be avoided if focusing on the road becomes the main priority.

Types of Driver Distractions

There are many different distractions that can cause drivers to divert their attention from the road and increase the potential for an accident. Vehicle distractions come from the following four sources and can danger everyone on the road:

  • Those that are associated with the vehicle, such as the controls, navigation systems, and displays
  • Those that are brought into the vehicle, such as cell phones, food, pets, makeup, and other passengers
  • Those that are external to the vehicle, such as signs, displays, and roadside stands
  • Those that are internal to the driver’s mind, such as daydreaming, ongoing thoughts, and zoning out

There are also different types of distractions that a driver can engage in. These distractions put drivers at risk for an accident and diverts their attention away from the road.

Visual Distractions: These cause drivers to look somewhere other than the road and can include the following:

  • Electronic devices, such as cell phones
  • Changing the music
  • Looking for an item that fell on the floor
  • Reading billboards
  • Looking in the mirror
  • Rubbernecking

Auditory Distractions: When a driver hears something that is not related to the task of driving, including:

  • Engine noises
  • Crying children
  • Outside noises

Manual Distractions: Controlling and touching something other than the steering wheel. Anything that removes your hands from the wheel is a manual distraction, which includes:

  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Personal grooming

Cognitive Distractions: Thinking about something other than driving that causes you to lose focus, such as:

  • Listening to the radio
  • Talking on the phone
  • Talking to a fellow passenger
  • Reprimanding children
  • Tiredness
  • Stress

Texting is the distraction that causes the most accidents to occur. Texting requires a driver to focus their visual, manual, and cognitive attention toward a phone rather than the road ahead. This makes texting while driving extremely dangerous and causes the most motor vehicle crashes. It only takes a few seconds of looking at your phone to end up in a scary situation. Many states passed laws that ban the use of a cell phone while driving to try and lower the accident rate. Texting has become a serious problem and will only continue to get worse if nothing is done to stop it.

Drunk driving is also a dangerous distraction that is responsible for car accidents and fatalities. A drivers visual, manual, and cognitive skills are decreased due to intoxication and the ability to make split-second decisions is significantly reduced. Driving while intoxicated is never the right decision as it puts many lives at risk.

Hands-Free Devices

Cell phone use quadruples the risk of accidents and places a safety concern for drivers on the road. Many drivers believe that hands-free devices are safe to use while driving; this assumption is incorrect. Hands-free devices are not risk free and are no safer than handheld devices. Anything that takes your attention away from driving is a distraction.

Consequences of Distractions

Distraction is hard to manage and becomes more of a habit than a spontaneous act. Driving while distracted can cause accidents, injuries, and death. Driving distracted is a dangerous act that most drivers participate in. Some consequences of distracted driving include:

  • Being involved in an accident
  • Traffic tickets
  • Car repair bills
  • Criminal sentences
  • Increased insurance
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Serious injury or death

The task of driving should always have your full attention to ensure safety on the roads. Any non-driving activity that you participate in while operating a vehicle puts you and everyone else at a risk.

Distraction Prevention Tips

Accidents, injuries, and fatalities caused by distracted driving are devastating, but there are ways to prevent these situations from happening in the future. If you need to send a text or make a phone call, find a safe place to pull over. This will reduce the likelihood of becoming distracted and maintain safety on the roads. Always concentrate on your driving and plan your route in advance to avoid having to look for road signs and exits. Also, recognize what makes you distracted while in the car and think about how you would feel if you saw another driver doing the same thing. If you are triggered by this thought, then that distraction should not be something you participate in.

Teenagers are the future of driving and need to understand the dangers of driving distracted. Teens are encouraged to speak up when they see a peer driving while distracted and be vocal on social media about how dangerous distracted driving is. It is also important for parents to lead by example and never drive distracted. Talk with your teenage drivers about the consequences of driving distracted.

Car companies are also doing their part to help prevent distracted driving. Attention assist has been placed in vehicles to monitor drowsiness in drivers based on their steering wheel movement. This system will emit audible and visual warnings to the driver. Car companies have also implemented a safety system where infotainment systems will read your texts out loud when they come through the phone. This allows the driver to continue safe driving habits.

Phone Applications Help Prevent Distracted Driving

In addition to the strives being made by car companies and future drivers, there are also phone applications that have been created to help prevent distracted driving and phone use. Some of these applications include:

  • AT&T Drive Mode: Available for both iOS and Android, this application detects when your car starts moving and automatically replies to texts that come through during your trip. These replies will state that you are driving and will answer once it is safe to do so. This is great for young drivers as parents can be notified if their child has turned off the application.
  • Down for the Count: This application is a great way to promote safe driving between your friends and family. The app allows drivers to set up a safe driving goal and will track your phone use behind the wheel. Incentives are given if you hit your goal and you can team up with other people to help them set a goal as well.
  • LifeSaver: Once you start driving, this application turns on and shows a lock screen on your phone, preventing you from using it. Once you arrived safely, you are free to use your phone again. Drivers will still be able to receive calls and set certain necessary exceptions.


Laws have been passed in the recent decade that attempt to prevent distracted driving. In 2012, then Governor Chris Christie signed the Kulesh, Kubert, Bolis’ Law that specifies clear penalties for drivers who cause severe injury or death because of cell phone use. The state of New Jersey also initiated the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign in April 2019 to spread awareness of National Distracted Driving Month and its consequences.

Freehold Car Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Fight for the Rights of Distracted Driving Victims

Distracted driving is a deadly problem and needs to be rectified before more lives are taken. If you were injured in a car accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver, contact the Freehold car accident lawyers at Ellis Law for a free consultation. Our dedicated team of accident lawyers will help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 732-308-0200 or fill out an online form for a free consultation.

Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.

How Can I Minimize My Pain After a Car Accident?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of Americans are injured in car accidents each year. Three out of four adults report having been in a car accident at some point in their lives. Knowing what to do after a car crash can go a long way toward minimizing your pain in the aftermath, including physical suffering, emotional distress, financial difficulties, and legal hassles.

Stay Calm

It may be difficult to think clearly after an accident, especially if you are injured. Turn off your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights. Next, pause to collect your thoughts and do not panic. If you feel angry at the driver who hit you, stop yourself from expressing your anger at the scene of the accident. If you believe the accident may have been your fault, refrain from saying so. Anything you say can be used against you to prove you were at-fault or diminish the value of your potential claim.

Call 911

Never leave the scene of an accident. In New Jersey, you must call the police if the accident results in death, injury, or at least $500 worth of damage. When the police arrive, you can minimize future legal hassles by cooperating fully and providing your name, address, car registration, license, and insurance card. If the officer issues you a traffic ticket; do not argue about it. Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt. However, you are under no legal obligation to answer questions about driving under the influence or any other action which may result in a criminal charge. You have the right to ask for attorney if an officer asks additional questions.

Move to a Safe Spot

If your accident is minor, move your car out of traffic. Otherwise, wait for the police to arrive. Be mindful that you may run the risk of getting hit again by other moving vehicles if you are on a highway. If it is safe to do so, walk over beyond the shoulder of the road until help arrives.

Document Everything

If you are not badly injured and you have your phone, take photos of the entire accident scene, if it is safe to do so. Include traffic lights, signs, and road conditions, such as a pothole. This information may prove vital to your personal injury claim and directly affect the amount of money you may receive. At some point, all vehicles involved will be towed away and you will lose the opportunity to collect critical evidence.

Speak calmly to the other drivers to obtain contact information, license plate numbers, drivers’ license numbers, and insurance information. Limit your conversation and do not say anything about the cause of the accident. Take note of the current weather conditions, the time of day, and the directions in which vehicles were headed. If other drivers exhibit signs of intoxication or admit fault, make notes.

Talk to Witnesses

If any one nearby saw the accident and you can speak with them, ask them for their contact information. Do not say anything to them about who may be at fault; just obtain their name and phone number and thank them for their help. While they are not legally obligated to help you, they may be more than willing to write out a simple statement about what they saw and heard, and sign and date it. This can be invaluable for supporting a personal injury claim.

Seek Medical Attention

When the police arrive, make a note of the officers’ names and badge numbers. If paramedics arrive and want to take you to the hospital, do not refuse. If you are not transported directly to a hospital, make an appointment to see your primary care physician as soon as possible. This is the best way to document your medical condition for potential injury claims. Injuries caused by the accident may not surface until later.

Contact Your Insurance Company

After you leave the scene of the crash, contact your insurance company and provide details about the accident. They may give you directions on filing a claim, however, you should not accept a settlement without speaking to a lawyer, or you may end up with less money than you deserve. If you do not contact your insurance company, they may consider it a breach of your policy. At that point, they might raise your rates or cancel your policy, creating additional financial distress.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

Unless your accident was a minor fender bender with less than $500 damage, you probably need a lawyer. When insurance companies are involved, it is important to keep in mind that their goal is to minimize the amount of compensation they pay to claimants. Insurance companies are represented by lawyers and if you attempt to negotiate a settlement without professional legal help, you are at a significant disadvantage. A qualified lawyer can advocate for your rights and seek maximum compensation for your claim.

Take Care of Yourself

Muscle pain is common after a car accident. The sudden trauma of impact can wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system, and the effects often take days to appear. Staying hydrated is the first step in minimizing muscle pain and soreness after an accident. Your muscles will need extra fluid to heal after an accident, and they may cramp if you are dehydrated. Massage therapy, physical therapy, and stretching may also help. Speak with your physician about obtaining a prescription for physical therapy and get plenty of rest so your body has a chance to heal.

How Can a Lawyer Help Minimize My Pain After a Car Accident?

Physical pain, emotional distress, and financial difficulties are common after an accident. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you obtain financial compensation to pay for treatments needed to ease physical pain and heal faster. A strong legal advocate can also reduce emotional stress by handling interactions with insurance companies, as well as litigation, if that is required.

A skilled lawyer can help you file a personal injury claim seeking financial compensation for the following:

  • Medical and dental bills
  • Cost of physical and psychological therapy
  • Prescriptions
  • Prosthetics, wheelchairs, and crutches
  • Lost wages
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional duress

A personal injury claim will be subject to the laws of your state; these laws can be complex and are always subject to change. A qualified car accident lawyer will be familiar with current law and is best positioned to help you file a successful claim.

Auto insurance in the state of New Jersey is no-fault. As a result, after a car accident, you may need to file a claim under your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage to pay for medical bills, regardless of who caused the accident. To bring a claim against the at-fault driver, your injury claim must meet certain pre-requisites.

What to Do Before an Accident Happens

No one wants to get into a car accident, but it is best to be prepared for the worst. Your pre-accident checklist should include the following:

  • Make sure your driver’s license, insurance card, and car registration is in your car.
  • Put emergency supplies in your vehicle, including water, a first aid kit, and a blanket.
  • Place a checklist of what to do after an accident in your glove compartment
  • Keep your phone charged.
  • Take photos of your car periodically so you have a record of what it looks like prior to an accident.
  • When you are driving on a highway, always be aware of mile markers and the last exit you passed so you can report your location in case of an emergency.

Freehold Car Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Help Clients with Personal Injury Claims

If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, do not hesitate to contact the Freehold car accident lawyers at Ellis Law. We will review your case and fight to hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries accountable. For a free consultation, call us at 732-308-0200 or contact us online. We provide aggressive legal representation for residents of Freehold, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.

What Should I Know About Slip and Fall Claims?

Slip and falls are a common type of accident people experience every day.  Unfortunately, when an individual slips and falls under the wrong conditions and suffers significant injuries, this ordinary occurrence can change their life forever. Understanding the basics of slip and fall claims can help injured individuals recognize when they may be entitled to compensation for these types of injuries.

Slip and fall claims result when businesses fail to take simple actions to prevent accidents. Common examples of preventable slip and fall causes include wet flooring, improperly lit walkways, worn out carpeting, and improper transitions between floor surfaces, such as going from tile to carpet. Courts will determine whether a property or business owner acted reasonably to determine if their actions caused or contributed to the slip and fall. If it is reasonable that the owner should have known about the unsafe condition and did nothing to address the situation, the owner can face liability for the resulting injuries.

High Risk Areas

Any place with a high level of pedestrian foot traffic poses an increased risk for a slip and fall accident. Hospitality locations, such as hotels and resorts, are frequent sites of slip and fall accidents. Businesses open to the public, including retail stores, restaurants, and medical facilities, are other locations where slip and fall accidents frequently take place.

Document Everything for Your Case

Injured individuals can take certain steps to help preserve their right to bring a legal claim later. Some of the important information to document includes:

  • Physical injuries
  • Location of the accident
  • Names and telephone numbers of witnesses
  • Condition of the area immediately prior to and after the slip and fall
  • Types of shoes worn by the injured individual
  • Any statements made by employees of the business

The above information should be recorded through writing and photographs or videos when possible. If the location has video surveillance, such videos become important pieces of evidence. If an incident or police report is made following the accident, injured individuals should request their own copy for future reference.

Filing a Slip and Fall Claim

Individuals injured in slip and fall accidents have a legal right to seek compensation for their injuries. Holding reckless or careless parties responsible for the injuries they caused is important. Property owners and businesses who lease office space often share liability in these cases. The first step in filing a slip and fall claim in civil court is to contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer who can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system.

Freehold Slip and Fall Lawyers at Ellis Law Protect the Rights of Slip and Fall Victims

If you or your loved one suffered injuries resulting from a slip and fall on public property, compensation may be available to help pay for the costs of medical treatment and lost wages. The experienced Freehold slip and fall lawyers at Ellis Law will protect your rights to bring a slip and fall claim against all responsible parties. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 732-308-0200 or contact us online.

Centrally located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York, New York.