In December of 2010, Stark & Stark launched the Personal Injury Law Journal as a way to provide clients throughout the state of New Jersey with timely information, news alerts and commentary on recent case law. Our attorneys offer updates on a wide range of legal issues including motor vehicle accidents, wrongful death claims, birth injuries, medical malpractice claims and many more. In addition to written posts, the blog also features podcasts and video-podcasts, individual RSS feeds for each practice area and attorney author and information on upcoming speaking engagements and events.

Attention Corrections and Juvenile Justice Officers

It appears that there is erroneous information concerning the present right of such Officers to receive SLI benefits rather than Workers’ Compensation Temporary disability benefits (70% of salary subject to a cap) when injured by direct contact with inmates in the performance of an officer’s duties.

Unfortunately, no such SLI benefits currently exist and those who say it does are incorrect. While there is proposed legislation to reinstate the SLI program in these situations, it is not yet an actual law.

Continue Reading Important Update on SLI Benefits

Recently in California several members of a group of cyclists were injured when they were clipped by a truck that was trying to pass them. Nine cyclists were on a 30-mile group ride when the incident occurred. The driver of the truck apparently tried to pass the group by squeezing between the group and oncoming traffic. Cyclists and their bikes were scattered along the road after the truck mirror hit them and knocked them to the ground. According to California’s “safe passing” law, drivers have to be at least three feet away from a bicyclist when they pass them.

However, New Jersey is one of a few states, and the only state in the Northeast, that does not have a specific “safe passing” statute setting the minimum safe passing distance between a motor vehicle and a bicycle. While general rules of caution still apply, in the absence of a safe passing law, bicyclists on group rides, as well as motorists in New Jersey, should exercise extra caution and be sure to learn and follow the rules of the road.

Here are a few reminders about passing safety in New Jersey:

  • Cyclists should not ride more than 2 abreast and should revert to single-file when traffic is approaching from the rear.
  • Cyclists are generally required to ride to the right side of the travel lane, and should keep as far right as possible given the conditions and preserving their general safety.

As cyclists have the same general rights as a “motorist,” a car seeking to pass should treat them like a slow moving vehicle, abiding by the general rules for safe passing.

According to the Insurance Journal, the five most common Workers’ Compensation claim injuries include:

  • Strains and sprains (30%)
  • Cuts or punctures (19%)
  • Contusions (12%)
  • Inflammation (5%)
  • Fractures (5%)”

The Department of Labor also lists strains and sprains as the top workplace injury. Many of these injuries take place while working in traditional blue collar jobs. For example:

  • Strains and sprains can occur from overexertion in material handling jobs.
  • Eye injuries most often happen while working in construction or manufacturing jobs.
  • Object impact and injuries from machinery or tools often arise in warehouses, manufacturing, and construction jobs.

Continue Reading Workers’ Compensation: 5 Most Common Injuries

When evaluating Workers’ Comp claims, the New Jersey courts closely evaluate the location, circumstances, and nature of work events that lead to an injury. There is a distinct difference in the approach to mandatory work activities vs. voluntary work activities.

Scenario 1: You are on the company softball team. During the last game, you are just about to run for home base when the batter’s ball strikes you in the head, knocking you out. You develop a subdural hematoma and have to have emergency surgery. Does Workers’ Comp cover you?

Continue Reading Workers’ Comp and Company Events—Are You Covered?

Roar to the Shore is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. This event covers every inch of wildwood with vendors, music, bikes, and games. Visit the Stark & Stark tent and join The Riders’ Lawyers as they answer any questions you may have about the differences between an automobile policy and a motorcycle policy as well as carrying proper and adequate insurance coverage. Bring your declarations page for a FREE on-site evaluation.

The team will also be presenting free informational seminars about insurance on both Friday and Saturday at 1:00pm and 3:00 pm at the Stark & Stark tent. Stop by the tent at the following times for a chance to win a raffle for a Battery Charger/Engine Starter

  • Thursday – 1pm and 3pm
  • Friday – 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm
  • Saturday – 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm
  • Sunday – 12pm and 2pm

Entrants may only win once during the weekend and must be present at the booth during the drawing in order to win.

Visit the website for more details about this event.


Best Lawyers announced “The Best Lawyers in America” rankings* for 2017, and 17 Stark & Stark attorneys have been named for the following practice areas: Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights, Bankruptcy Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Construction Litigation, Corporate Law, Family Law, Personal Injury Litigation for both Defendants and Plaintiffs, Real Estate Law, Trusts and Estates, and Workers’ Compensation Law.

Continue Reading Stark & Stark Attorneys Recognized in 2017 “The Best Lawyers in America” Rankings

This is the third and final entry of my three part series on Bicycle Safety including information on reducing risk, types of injuries, insurance issues, liability, and litigation.

Bicyclists not only face a high risk of injuries in a crash, they must also wade through the inevitable confusion from the fall-out of the crash. What insurance source will cover the damage to the bicycle? Is there coverage for the lost wages? To whom do they turn to address their medical expenses? Unfortunately, there is not always a clear answer, as the facts and local insurance laws will vary widely. In order to find the answer, one must sift through all of the insurance sources which may provide coverage for the answer. In some instances, the car insurance for the at-fault driver may be responsible for all of the injured cyclist’s injuries and related damages. In others, there may be a mix of carriers to deal with. For instance, in a “no-fault” (a.k.a. “PIP”) state like New Jersey, the bicyclist’s insurance carrier will likely be responsible for paying for necessary medical bills and possibly some wage benefits, even if the cyclist bears no liability for the accident. If the cyclist is at fault (wholly or partially), they may still find coverage for the property damage to their bicycle and related gear through their homeowner’s insurance. And, depending on the facts of the crash, general liability (“non-auto”) policies may be implicated (such as for defects in the maintenance of a property creating a hazardous condition). Disability insurance should also be considered where available. And a number of companies are now offering various forms of “bicycle insurance,” which may be able to provide protection for some or all of the typical losses. In short, you must look at EVERYTHING.

Continue Reading Bicycle Safety Blog Series Part 3: Bike Crashes and Insurance

Attorney Bruce Stern was sworn in over the weekend as Secretary of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) at the organization’s annual convention in Los Angeles, CA. The AAJ is the world’s largest trial bar, which works to promote justice through the legal system for people injured by the negligence or misconduct of others.

Continue Reading Bruce H. Stern of Stark & Stark Sworn in as 2016-2017 Secretary of the American Association for Justice

It happens every year. Someone is careless with fireworks and ends up seriously injured. Someone falls and breaks an arm or leg at the company picnic. Worst of all, someone is careless at the pool and a child is injured or drowns. This year make sure you and your family stay safe with these tips on how to avoid injuries on the 4th of July weekend.

Firework injuries are common on Independence Day. Did you know that the most serious injuries are caused by the small fireworks? According to a VFIS insurance infographic, the small firecrackers cause 32% of the injuries including lacerations, eye injuries and severe hand damage. To avoid the most serious injuries:

  • Keep a bucket of water handy to douse out of control fireworks;
  • Never pick up a “dud” or try to re-light one in case it’s still burning inside; and,
  • Hold the firework away from your face when lighting and back up right away after it’s lit.

Avoiding falls and risky activities is another way to stay safe on Fourth of July. Some things are obvious—you don’t want to jump off a high cliff into a lake when you don’t know what’s under the water. Severe head injuries and paralysis could be the result. The most common injuries like broken arms and legs can be avoided. When at the family or company picnic, avoid these behaviors:

  • Don’t run across uneven ground, e.g., across roots and rocks in the woods;
  • Don’t carry too many lawn chairs and bags down to the sand—get someone to help; and,
  • If you overindulge on the liquor, choose to avoid physical activities. Alcohol slows your reactions to dangers resulting in injuries.

Swimming injuries usually occur when someone is inattentive. Don’t let your kids dive into pools—they are sometimes too shallow and could result in a head injury. Watch your kids—especially if the pool doesn’t have a gate. Take a look at the the American Red Cross’s water safety tips.

Take a few minutes to read these safety tips to keep yourself and your family safe and secure over the holidays.

Stark & Stark is pleased to announce that attorney Bryan M. Roberts has been elected as a new Shareholder of the firm.

Bryan M. Roberts is a member of the firm’s Accident & Personal Injury Group in the Lawrenceville office. Mr. Roberts concentrates his practice in the areas of wrongful death and catastrophic injuries as a result of automobile, commercial truck, and motorcycle accidents. Prior to joining Stark & Stark, he was an Associate for a firm in Philadelphia where he defended wrongful death and catastrophic injury claims, which gave him invaluable knowledge that will greatly benefit his injured clients in his current practice.

To read more about Mr. Roberts’ Truck and Bus Accident blogs, please click here.