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.

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.

When an injury occurs on the job, you are usually covered under the workers’ compensation insurance policy paid for by your employer. You are also typically required to visit a physician selected by the insurance company to assess your condition and get treatment. But what if you don’t agree with the doctor’s assessment or treatment plan? Can you go somewhere else for a second opinion? In New Jersey, the answer is almost always “No.” You can request it, but are not “entitled” to get it. The insurance company has the right to decide whether or not a second opinion is warranted.

There are two common situations that prompt patients to seek a second opinion in workers’ comp claims:

  • When the doctor says you no longer need treatment and you don’t agree with him/her; and,
  • When the doctor recommends surgery or an invasive procedure and you want to be sure it is the best option.

Continue Reading Think You Are Entitled to a Second Opinion Under NJ Workers’ Comp? Think Again

Stark & Stark earned six spots on the New Jersey Law Journal’s Top NJ Verdicts & Settlements list for 2015. Congratulations to our Personal Injury team for doing what Stark & Stark does best—putting the law to use for our clients and getting the best outcomes. Top mentions went to:

Delgado v. Stony Brook Sew & Vac $1.8 million Settlement Mark Davis
Perreault v. Fratarcangeli $1.6 million Verdict Bryan Roberts
Leip v. Princeton University $1.2 million Settlement Michael Donahue
Sanjeevaraya v. Spencer $250,000 Settlement Mark Davis

 

Also included were PI attorneys, Domenic Sanginiti and Evan Lide representing plaintiffs in separate car accidents.

Stark & Stark’s accident and personal injury practice serves as many as 2,000 clients per year. Each unique case is supervised by an experienced attorney and supported by an Accidental Injury Trauma Teams comprised of experienced attorneys and paralegals.

The Top NJ Verdicts & Settlements supplement is published by the New Jersey Law Journal and comes out once per year.

Stark & Stark Shareholders J. Robert Bratman, Denise Mariani, and Associate Evan J. Lide will be presenting “Automobile Insurance: Understanding Your Policy & How to Protect Your Rights,” a series of seminars that will be held at the YMCA Trenton on June 2, 9, and 23, 2016. The seminars will explain the key components of the average auto insurance company, including what coverage and benefits are typically included. This will also cover what kinds of auto policies are available, and what a person should know when they are involved in an automobile accident or collision.

Continue Reading Robert Bratman, Denise Mariani, & Evan Lide to Present “Automobile Insurance” Seminars

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


In our crowded urban environments, cyclists inevitably face significantly higher risks of crash-related deaths than would be faced by the occupant of a motor vehicle. How significant is the risk? Consider these statistics: despite the fact that only 1% of all trips in the United States are reportedly taken by bicycle, data from the CDC reveal that, in 2013 alone, over 900 bicyclists were killed, and an estimated 494,000 visits to the E.R. due to bicycle-related injuries. And data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicates that 33% of bicycle crashes with motor vehicles resulted in serious injury or death.

While we often refer to them as “accidents”, a collision between a car and a bicyclist is usually anything but an “accident.” That is, they don’t “just happen”. To the contrary, most collisions occur because of poor decisions or careless actions, such as when a motorist fails to yield. As such, the term “crash” is generally a better word because it doesn’t remove the concept of accountability for what occurred. Unfortunately, in a car vs. bike crash, the solid object into which the cyclist “crashes” is either a 3500 lb. car or the unforgiving pavement. The result of a crash can be VERY severe and, all too often, the result is even life-altering.

Continue Reading Bicycle Safety Blog Series Part 2: Types of Injuries from Bike Crashes

CRPS stands for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and is sometimes referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD. CRPS is a rare but serious form of chronic pain resulting from nerve damage that generally affects arms or legs after trauma to that part of the body. CRPS arises most frequently as a result of a traumatic workplace injury involving damage to a nerve root, or as a result of one or more surgeries to repair a fracture, burn, or some other injury.

One of the most common traits of CRPS is that pain appears to be greater than what would be expected for the injury or as a result of normal activities. Symptoms of CRPS include severe swelling, a “waxy” appearance, discoloration, unusual temperature changes, and/or unusual hair growth to the extremity. There is no decisive test to confirm CRPS for an injured worker. However, some tests do provide guidance. One is a bone scan, which may indicate a degree of bone loss associated with CRPS. Another test is to prescribe nerve blocks and then evaluate how the extremity responds.

Continue Reading Understanding the Injury known as CRPS or RSD

Stark & Stark will be attending the second annual Capital City Book Fair event in Trenton, NJ on May 14th, 2016 from 11:00am to 6:00pm. The Capital City Book Fair is a two-day event taking place all day Friday and Saturday, and is intended to be a celebration of all the local booksellers, indie presses, authors, and bibliophiles in central New Jersey. In addition to the Book Market, the fair will include a Scrabble tournament, a mystery writing panel, a poetry slam, and a variety of readings and performances for children.

Continue Reading Join Stark & Stark at the Capital City Book Fair

Stark & Stark is pleased to announce the election of Michael G. Donahue, III, Esq. as Managing Shareholder of the firm, effective May 1, 2016.  In this new leadership role, Mr. Donahue will oversee the day-to-day operations and long-term strategic planning of the firm.  His election to Managing Shareholder coincides with his upcoming June installation as President of the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) for the 2016-2017 term, where he also serves as co-chair of NJAJ’s Amicus Curiae Committee.

Mr. Donahue, who has been with the firm since 1995, is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney and focuses his practice on products liability and serious personal injury litigation. He is a prolific legal presenter, a member of several New Jersey-based law associations, and very active in area charitable and philanthropic organizations, including Boheme Opera New Jersey, the Trenton Area YMCA, the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra, and Theater Exile in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Continue Reading Michael G. Donahue, III, Esq. Elected Managing Shareholder of Stark & Stark

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


There is always a risk of injury when a person is learning or competing in a sport. Bicyclists face a unique challenge however, as many of our risks come from sources which are EXTERNAL to their own conduct or the act of cycling. More specifically, these risks come from the cars traveling around us and the condition of the roadways and surroundings in which we ride. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) bicycle fact sheet, every year nearly 50,000 people are injured in accidents that involve both vehicles and bikes. About 13,000 of those injured are children.

The types of injuries from vehicle-vs-bicycle accidents can be very severe, running the gamut from hand and wrist injuries, to broken collar bones and ribs, and even traumatic brain injuries.Answering the question: “Who pays for these injuries?” can be complicated. For instance did you know that in some states a bicyclist in a car-bike accident will generally turn to his/her CAR insurance to pay for medical bills and related damages? In other states or different circumstances, a bicyclist may instead need to turn to his health insurance, or homeowners/renters insurance for coverage. A good rule of thumb is to speak proactively with your insurance agent or a bicycle accident lawyer, such as myself, about improving your coverage. Try focusing first on the actual coverages, rather than the price of the policy when you do so. You’ll thank me if you’re ever hurt due to the negligence of another.

Continue Reading Bicycle Safety Blog Series Part 1: How to Reduce the Risk of Bike Accidents