fatal-car-accident

Recent Increase in Fatal Car Accidents in New Jersey

Recently, the NJ State Police released preliminary 2024 New Jersey car accident statistics, highlighting a concerning trend of increased traffic fatalities. According to the most recent data, there has been an almost 24 percent increase in the total number of fatal car accidents in New Jersey between 2023 and 2024.

As was the case in previous years, drivers and pedestrians were the road users experiencing the highest number of fatalities, with 106 and 70, respectively. There have been 29 passenger fatalities thus far in 2024 and just three bicycle fatalities.

While the recent report does not discuss the potential causes of increase in car accident fatality rates, over the past decade, most fatal accidents have been the result of distracted driving, impaired driving, and aggressive driving. 

Legal Options for Families of Victims in Fatal Car Accidents

Families of victims of fatal car accidents have legal options to pursue justice and compensation for their losses. One option is filing a New Jersey car accident lawsuit, which allows family members to seek damages for the financial and emotional impact of losing a loved one due to another driver’s negligence. This can include compensation for medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and loss of companionship. Another option is negotiating with insurance companies for a settlement, although this may not always result in fair compensation. Consulting with a compassionate and experienced Lakewood wrongful death attorney can help families understand their legal rights, navigate the legal process, and work towards achieving a resolution that provides some measure of comfort and financial support during such difficult times.

The Importance of Seeking Legal Representation in Car Accident Fatality Cases

Seeking legal representation in a civil lawsuit for a fatal car accident is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, a lawyer can help navigate the complex legal process and ensure that your family’s rights are protected. For example, the Lakewood car accident attorneys at Bathgate, Wegener, and Wolf P.C. have the ability to investigate the accident thoroughly, gather evidence, and build a strong case to establish liability and seek fair compensation.

Additionally, our lawyers can handle communications with insurance companies and other parties involved, relieving you of the stress of dealing with legal matters during such a challenging time. We can also negotiate on behalf of your family to secure a settlement that adequately covers medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income, and other damages.

Furthermore, a wrongful death lawyer with Bathgate, Wegener, and Wolf P.C. can provide invaluable support and guidance to your family throughout the process, providing your family with compassionate advice and advocacy. We understand the emotional toll of losing a loved one in a car accident and work tirelessly to achieve justice and closure for your family. 

To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with a New Jersey fatal car accident lawyer today, call Bathgate, Wegener, and Wolf P.C. at 732-363-0666 or connect with us through our secure online contact form. We accept all personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis, meaning we will not accept payment from you unless and until we are able to connect your family with the compensation you deserve.

NJ car accidents

Can I Bring a NJ Car Accident Lawsuit if I Was Partially at Fault?

While the primary focus after a New Jersey car accident is almost certainly on your physical recovery. At some point, you may realize that the accident is taking a financial toll on your family, as well. Through a car accident lawsuit, you can pursue a claim for compensation against the party or parties responsible for the accident. However, under New Jersey law, there are special rules that come into play if you bear some responsibility for the collision. Read on to learn more about recovering financial compensation for a car accident when you are partially at fault. 

New Jersey Follows a Modified Comparative Negligence Rule

New Jersey law relies on the doctrine of modified comparative negligence rule when it comes to personal injury cases, including car accident cases. This rule recognizes that multiple people can contribute to an accident and sets out a way for partially at-fault drivers to recover for their injuries. 

Under this rule, if you are partially at fault for an accident, you can still pursue compensation for your injuries and damages. However, your compensation may be reduced proportionally to your degree of fault. However, if you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you may not be eligible to recover any damages. For example, if the court determines that you were 30% at fault for a car accident and the other party was 70% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 30%. However, if the court determined you were 55% at fault, you wouldn’t be able to recover anything. 

Factors that May Affect Your Ability to Recover Compensation

Several factors can influence your ability to recover compensation in a car accident case in New Jersey. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Fault and Liability: New Jersey follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that your compensation may be reduced if you are found partially at fault for the accident. If you are deemed more than 50% at fault, you may not be eligible to recover damages. 
  • Insurance Coverage: The insurance policies of the parties involved, including your own insurance coverage, can impact the amount of compensation you can receive. New Jersey requires drivers to have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which can affect your ability to pursue damages through a lawsuit.
  • Seriousness of Injuries: The severity of your injuries and their impact on your life, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, will play a significant role in determining the compensation you may be entitled to.
  • Evidence and Documentation: Strong evidence such as police reports, witness statements, medical records, and documentation of damages (e.g., repair bills, medical bills, and proof of lost income) can strengthen your case and support your claim for compensation.
  • Statute of Limitations: In New Jersey, there is a limited time frame within which you must file a car accident lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations. Failing to file within this timeframe can result in the loss of your right to seek compensation.
  • Legal Representation: Having an experienced car accident attorney can significantly impact your ability to recover compensation. A skilled attorney can navigate the legal complexities, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for your rights in court if necessary.

These factors, among others, can all influence the outcome of your car accident case and your ability to obtain fair compensation for your losses. An attorney can help you better understand your rights to pursue a partial fault car accident lawsuit.

The Importance of Consulting with a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer

Consulting with a New Jersey car accident lawyer is crucial for several reasons. First and foremost, a lawyer with specific experience handing car accidents cases understands the intricacies of New Jersey’s laws and how to successfully situate a claim. They can provide invaluable guidance on your rights and the steps you need to take to protect those rights.

Additionally, a car accident lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of insurance claims. Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they often try to minimize payouts or shift blame onto you. An experienced lawyer can handle communications with insurance adjusters, negotiate settlements on your behalf, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Moreover, a lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into the accident, gathering evidence such as police reports, witness statements, and medical records to support your claim. They can also work with accident reconstruction experts, if needed, to strengthen your case.

Furthermore, in the event that negotiations with insurance companies do not lead to a satisfactory outcome, a car accident lawyer can represent you in court. They will advocate for your rights before a judge and jury, presenting a compelling case to secure the compensation you deserve.

Have You Been Injured in a New Jersey Car Accident?

If you or someone close to you has suffered injuries in a New Jersey car accident, contact the Lakewood personal injury firm of Bathweg, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. The attorneys at our firm have decades of experience representing clients in all types of motor vehicle collisions. We understand the New Jersey car accident laws and car accident lawsuit process better than just about anyone and are immediately available to meet with you to discuss your case. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact our office at (732) 363-0666. We will not bill you for our services unless we recover monetary damages on your behalf.

Respond to a Denied UIM Insurance Claim

How Do I Respond to a Denied UIM Insurance Claim?

When an Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claim is denied, the financial and emotional toll on accident victims can be devastating. Unfortunately, many of these denials stem from the ambiguities in the insurance policies, leaving policyholders confused and vulnerable. In a recent decision, the Superior Court of New Jersey sided with a policyholder, highlighting the challenges and misunderstandings that often accompany UIM claims. This case underscores the critical need for clarity in insurance documents and the importance of judicial oversight to ensure fair treatment for insured New Jerseyans.

If you are facing a denied UIM claim, it’s crucial to understand that you have rights and options. The attorneys at Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. are not just ready to review your case and clarify your coverage but also to provide the reassurance and support you need during this challenging time. Contact us today to ensure that your claim is handled fairly, and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Reasons For UIM Insurance Claim Denials

A denied UIM insurance claim often leaves accident victims in a precarious financial position. One recent notable case illustrating the complexities of these denials is Motil v. Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company. In this instance, the insurance company initially denied the UIM claim because the plaintiff was not a named insured nor a defined family member under the policy. However, the Superior Court of New Jersey identified an ambiguity between the declaration page and the policy’s step-down provision. This discrepancy led the court to conclude that there was a reasonable expectation for the plaintiff, even as a non-named insured, to receive the same UIM coverage, thus ruling in favor of the policyholder.

Such denials typically arise from several critical issues within the policy language and claim circumstances:

  • Non-disclosure—failing to disclose pertinent information when obtaining the policy;
  • Eligibility—disputes over whether the claimant qualifies as an insured under the policy terms;
  • Coverage limits—misunderstandings about the limits of coverage, including what incidents and injuries are covered; 
  • Policy exclusions—specific exclusions that may apply to the circumstances of the accident; and
  • Procedural errors—errors in the filing or processing the claim, such as missed deadlines.

Understanding the reasons behind a UIM claim denial is crucial for effectively contesting the decision. If you are facing a denied UIM claim, seeking legal guidance is vital. The resolution of such disputes often hinges on the interpretation of policy language and the specifics of the insurance contract. 

Steps To Take When Your UIM Insurance Claim Is Denied

When your UIM insurance claim is denied, it is crucial to act promptly and assertively to challenge the decision. Understanding the steps to dispute a UIM insurance denial can significantly influence the outcome and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Below are some important points during the UIM insurance denial appeal process.

  • Review the denial notice. Start by carefully reading the denial notice. Insurers are required to state the reasons for denial clearly. Identify any areas of dispute or misunderstanding related to the policy coverage or the facts of your claim.
  • Gather documentation. Collect all relevant documents, including your insurance policy, the denial notice, and any supporting evidence from the accident, such as police reports, medical records, and witness statements. These documents will be vital in substantiating your appeal.
  • Consult with an attorney. A legal professional can provide crucial guidance and increase your chances of a successful appeal. An attorney can help interpret the policy language, identify legal strategies, and represent you in dealings with the insurance company.

An attorney can help you learn how to appeal a UIM insurance denial.

How To Appeal a Denied UIM Insurance Claim

Challenging a UIM insurance denial can be daunting. However, an experienced lawyer can help you determine what to do when a UIM insurance claim is rejected.

  • Formal appeal. Most insurance companies have a formal appeals process. Submit a detailed appeal letter outlining why the denial was incorrect, supported by documents and evidence. Be clear, concise, and factual.
  • External review. If the internal appeal is unsuccessful, consider requesting an external review by the state insurance board or taking legal action. Legal proceedings might be necessary to resolve the dispute, especially in cases involving significant ambiguities or policy misinterpretations.

It is important to keep detailed records of all communications and submissions. Additionally, you should follow up regularly and keep track of deadlines to ensure your appeal is processed in a timely manner. If you have received a denial for your UIM claim, remember you are not at the end of your options. Taking these steps can help protect your rights and pursue the coverage you are entitled to. 

Importance of Seeking Legal Advice from a UIM Insurance Denial Lawyer

Consulting a personal injury attorney is essential if a New Jersey insurer denies your UIM claim. A UIM insurance denial attorney can navigate the complexities of insurance policies and state laws to protect your rights. A lawyer can critically assess the reasons for your claim’s denial, clear up any ambiguities in the policy language, and pinpoint procedural errors made by the insurance company. Hiring a skilled UIM insurance denial lawyer not only boosts your chances of reversing the denial but also reduces the stress of handling insurance disputes, letting you concentrate on your recovery.

Are You Dealing with a Difficult Insurance Company?

If you recently had an insurance company deny your UIM claim, it’s possible that your claim was wrongfully denied. At the Lakewood personal injury law firm of Bathgate, Wegener, and Wolf P.C., we have been helping accident victims navigate the recovery process since 1970. Over the past five decades, we’ve connected countless clients with the compensation they need to get their lives back on track after a serious accident. We also offer free consultations, during which we will answer your questions, explain the law, and outline all your options, so you can make the best decision for you and your family. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call Bathgate, Wegener, and Wolf P.C. at 732-363-0666. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.

Wrongful Death Claims

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in New Jersey: Insights from the Bridge Collapse

The recent collapse of the Baltimore Bridge is an unwelcome reminder of the tragic consequences that can come about when structures we take for granted fail. At Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C., we understand the profound impact such catastrophic events can have on families, especially when they lead to the death of a loved one.

If you have lost a loved one due to a similar disaster or accident, you may be facing not only emotional turmoil but also financial uncertainty. Our New Jersey personal injury and wrongful death law firm is dedicated to helping families navigate these difficult times. We provide compassionate, thorough legal representation to hold responsible parties accountable and secure the compensation families deserve. In the wake of such loss, you need a firm that stands with you, ready to fight for justice and offer the support you need to begin the healing process.

What is the Definition of Wrongful Death in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, wrongful death encompasses any death caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another party, similar to how one might be entitled to damages if the person had not died but had suffered injuries. This legal framework is crucial in holding parties accountable for actions or negligence that lead to fatal outcomes.

Understanding the wrongful death definition is particularly important in cases involving infrastructure failures, such as bridge collapses. These tragic events often result from neglect in maintenance, design flaws, or failure to adhere to safety standards. Establishing wrongful death in this context ensures that responsible entities are held accountable and that the families of the victims receive just wrongful death damages for their immense losses. This provides a measure of justice and promotes higher standards of safety and accountability in public and private constructions.

What is the Purpose of a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

A wrongful death lawsuit serves an essential purpose: it provides a way for the families and loved ones of deceased individuals to seek justice and compensation from those responsible for their loss. The aim is to secure financial stability for grieving families, covering the earnings the deceased would have provided and the costs of medical bills, funeral expenses, and the emotional pain of sudden loss.

In cases like a bridge collapse, the devastation can be overwhelming, and the legal actions following such tragedies are about more than just monetary compensation; they’re about holding entities accountable for the safety of public structures. For the families of those who perish in such accidents, the wrongful death claims process is a crucial step. It demands that those responsible for maintaining and inspecting infrastructure—government bodies, construction companies, or engineering firms—uphold their duties to ensure public safety.

By pursuing a wrongful death claim, loved ones can help highlight neglect or misconduct that may have contributed to the accident, potentially preventing future tragedies. This process underscores the broader impact of their loss, turning personal grief into a public cause for safety and accountability. It’s not just about seeking justice for a life cut tragically short; it’s also about affirming the value of human life and ensuring that similar losses are avoided in the future. In these moments, having compassionate, committed legal support is not just beneficial—it’s essential.

General Damages Awarded in Wrongful Death Cases

In wrongful death cases, the types of damages awarded are intended to compensate the deceased’s family for their loss and the financial impact of the death. These typically include economic damages such as loss of the deceased’s expected earnings, medical and funeral expenses, and the loss of benefits like health insurance and pension plans. Non-economic damages might cover pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of care or nurturing that the deceased would have provided.

Taking the recent bridge collapse as an example, the families of the victims might seek damages for the sudden and catastrophic loss of life. Economic damages could be substantial, encompassing the immediate costs of funeral arrangements and the projected lifetime earnings the deceased would have contributed to their families. Non-economic damages in such a tragic scenario could include compensation for the emotional distress and the irreplaceable loss of a loved one’s presence and support.

In these profoundly difficult times, securing these damages through a wrongful death lawsuit can provide essential financial support and a measure of justice for the families, underscoring the importance of accountability and the value of the lives lost.

The Role of a Wrongful Death Attorney

In the aftermath of a severe accident like a bridge collapse, the support of a New Jersey wrongful death attorney is critical. These large-scale disasters often involve multiple responsible parties and complex legal issues, requiring clear and proficient legal guidance. A wrongful death attorney manages the claims process, ensuring all legal steps are handled thoroughly and efficiently. They are vital in identifying and holding accountable the parties responsible—whether they are government entities, construction firms, or maintenance contractors—and in linking their actions or negligence to the tragedy.

An attorney’s role also includes accurately calculating and pursuing the full extent of wrongful death compensation owed to the bereaved family, from lost wages and future earnings to compensation for emotional distress and loss of companionship. Additionally, an attorney provides compassionate support, taking on the heavy lifting of legal proceedings and allowing the family to focus on their healing. By standing as a steadfast advocate for the family, a wrongful death attorney ensures that the family’s rights are vigorously defended and that they secure the highest compensation possible, bringing a measure of justice to their profound loss.

Are You Interested in Learning More About NJ Wrongful Death Cases?

If you recently lost a loved one in a fatal accident, it is important you understand your rights as you may be able to recover compensation for your losses through a New Jersey wrongful death claim. At the Lakewood personal injury and wrongful death law firm of Bathgate, Wegener, and Wolf P.C., we have more than 50 years of experience helping grieving families pursue justice and recover the compensation they deserve after experiencing a tragic and preventable loss.  To learn more about the services we provide and to schedule a free consultation today, call Bathgate, Wegener, and Wolf P.C. at 732-363-0666. You can reach us through our secure online contact form. 

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Francis Foundation Gala Dinner Photos

On October 21, 2023, Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf was honored by the Francis Foundation, receiving the 2023 Community Service Award at their annual gala dinner. The gala was held to honor the brave pediatric cancer warriors and remember the heroic angels. Co-founding Partner Peter Wegener accepted the award on behalf of the firm. The Francis Foundation has a focused and devoted commitment to bringing smiles to kids fighting cancer. The Foundation strives to alleviate a child’s pain and suffering with a special gift, gesture, or even a few memorable moments.

The Foundation also provides financial assistance to impoverished families desperately needing help due to their child’s fight against cancer. The Foundation seeks to give compassionately to children and families dealing with extremely difficult physical and emotional challenges. In addition to direct aid to a child or family, The Foundation also supports research to terminate childhood cancers.


Co-founding partner Peter Wegener Esq. accepting the
Francis Foundation Community Award on behalf of the firm.

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Partner Brian McAlindin Esq. flanked by associates Nick Leider Esq. and Dan Carbone Esq.

Peter H. Wegner, Esq., Dale Wegner, Nicholas L. Leider, Esq., Ariana Leider, Jori McAlindin, Stephanie Maj, Theresa Natoli, Brian W. McAlindin, Esq.

Peter H. Wegner, Esq., Dale Wegner, Nicholas L. Leider, Esq., Ariana Leider, Jori McAlindin, Stephanie Maj, Theresa Natoli, Brian W. McAlindin, Esq.

Recovering Damages in New Jersey Medical Emergency Crashes

Medical emergency crashes occur when a driver suffers a medical incident that causes them to lose control of their vehicle, resulting in an accident. At times, drivers cannot anticipate they will suffer a medical emergency while operating their vehicles. On the other hand, a driver may have received several warnings from a physician that it was unsafe for them to safely operate a vehicle. When drivers can anticipate a medical incident on the road, they may be liable for injuries to other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians.

For example, a medical emergency crash in Garfield, New Jersey injured multiple people, including a pedestrian. An 88-year-old driver was approaching an intersection when she suffered a medical episode. As a result, she pressed her foot on the accelerator and lost control of her car. The vehicle then veered onto the sidewalk and nearly struck a pedestrian. It continued to speed through the intersection before crashing into two vehicles waiting at the traffic light. The woman suffered minor leg injuries in addition to her medical emergency. The pedestrian suffered an injury to his foot.

Can You Recover Damages for a New Jersey Crash Caused by a Medical Emergency?

After a medical emergency crash, you may be able to recover damages against the responsible driver. However, the driver will likely argue they were not negligent because the medical emergency was unexpected and out of their control. In this case, the burden shifts to the defendant to show they could not have expected to suffer a medical emergency. For example, a person who suffered a stroke while driving may submit medical records to prove they had no prior history of strokes. On the other hand, drivers may be liable for a plaintiff’s injuries if they could have anticipated the medical emergency while they were driving. For example, a driver may have a documented medical history of suffering from frequent fainting spells. In addition, a doctor may have advised that driver to refrain from operating a motor vehicle. Alternatively, a driver may have ignored their doctor’s advice to take medication that would prevent fainting spells. In these situations, a defendant would have a tougher time arguing they could not foresee their medical emergency while driving.

What Is the Deadline to Bring a Lawsuit After a New Jersey Medical Emergency Crash?

New Jersey imposes a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits, which starts on the date of the accident. The statute of limitations refers to the deadline to bring a case in a given state’s courts. If New Jersey plaintiffs do not file their case within the statute of limitations, they may not be able to sue defendant for damages. An experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney can help you promptly file a claim for damages to make sure you do not miss the statute of limitations.

Have You Been Injured in a New Jersey Medical Emergency Crash?

Medical emergency crashes involved complex questions of fact and law. Defendants may attempt to avoid liability by claiming their medical emergency was unforeseeable. If you or someone close to you has suffered injuries in a New Jersey medical emergency crash, contact the New Jersey personal injury firm of Bathweg, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. The attorneys at our firm have years of experience representing clients in New Jersey personal injury disputes. Using our skills and experience, we will develop the strongest possible argument to recover damages on your behalf. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact our office at (732) 363-0666. We will not bill you for our services unless we recover monetary damages on your behalf.

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Join Us As We Get Honored By The Francis Foundation

On October 21, 2023, at 6:30pm Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf will be honored by the Francis Foundation by being the recipients of this year’s Community Service Award. Our Senior Managing Partner Larry Bathgate together with the firm, has a long history of communal service with helping children fight cancer by putting a smile to their faces. It is only through the collaboration of the Foundation and the Firm that so many kids have been able to fight their battles with strength and perseverance.


Come Join Us!

There will be Open Bar, Cocktail Hour, Dinner, & Dancing ‘Til Midnight.

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Holding Employers Liable for New Jersey Dump Truck Accidents 

Accidents involving a dump truck can lead to severe injuries due to the sheer size of a typical truck. Often, a dump truck driver is an employee that a company hires to transport materials to a worksite or assist in a construction project. When a dump truck driver causes a serious accident, the injured party may seek to hold the driver and their employer accountable. 

As a recent news article reported, a passenger tragically lost her life in a three-vehicle crash with a dump truck in Salem County, New Jersey. The accident occurred at an intersection on Route 40 as a driver traveling west made a left turn into a driveway. A dump truck approaching from behind struck the car’s rear end, pushing the truck into the opposite lane. The truck was then struck by a vehicle traveling east. A passenger in the eastbound vehicle was killed. The driver was transported to the hospital for serious injuries. The westbound driver only suffered minor injuries, and the dump truck driver was unharmed. The crash remains under investigation.

Can You Sue a Dump Truck Driver’s Employer After an Accident?

If a dump truck driver’s negligent driving caused you serious harm, you may be able to sue the driver’s employer. After a New Jersey dump truck accident, you may be left with severe injuries or property damage. However, individual truck driver may not be able to afford to compensate you for the full extent of your injuries. Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, New Jersey law allows plaintiffs to hold employers liable if an employee was acting within the scope of their employment with the company. 

Typically, an employee acts within the scope of their employment when completing work at their designated location within an assigned work schedule in furtherance of the employer’s business. For example, a construction company may be liable for a dump truck driver’s conduct if the accident occurred while the driver was transporting supplies to a client’s construction site. 

However, if the accident occurred while the driver was making an unauthorized trip without the employer’s knowledge, the employer would likely not be responsible for the driver’s conduct. In the latter scenario, the driver was not furthering the employer’s business or traveling within their assigned route. An experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney can help you make a strong argument that a negligent employee was acting within the scope of their employment during an accident on the road.

Have You Been Injured in a New Jersey Dump Truck Accident?

After a severe accident, an employer will often argue that their employee was not acting within the scope of employment. If successful, this can dramatically limit your ability to collect fair damages for what you’ve been through. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a New Jersey dump truck accident, contact the attorneys at Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. for assistance. Employers may attempt to shield themselves from liability by distancing themselves from their employee’s negligent conduct. The skilled attorneys at our personal injury firm will fight to hold employers accountable for dump truck accidents that have led to severe injury. Our attorneys will gather evidence and develop a case theory to recover the compensation you need and deserve.

To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office at (732) 363-0666. We will not bill you for our services unless we recover money damages on your behalf. 

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Threaten to Appeal; New Normandy Beach Sand Dune Walkovers

Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf is currently representing several property owners in the Toms River section of Normandy Beach related to the new sand dune and walkovers.

By way of resolving the dispute with the Township, the Township Council agreed to adopt an ordinance rescinding a precondition that a dune walkover could not be constructed within 250′ of a public access.  The applicable CAFRA (Coastal Area Facilities Review Act) regulations allow a walkover for each homesite adjoining the storm damage reduction easement (SDRE).

The ordinance was adopted, but the Normandy Beach Improvement Association, which owns the dune property, is threatening to appeal Judge Hodgson’s ruling that the oceanfront homeowners have an easement to an access over the dune to the beach, as they had before the SDRE and construction of the new dune.

Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf will continue to represent the individual property owners’ convenient access to the beach that was always theirs before the State’s taking and installation of the dune.

New Jersey DUI Accident Claims One Man’s Life

Too often, drivers get behind the wheel when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports, nearly 13,400 people died in DUI accidents in 2021. These accidents are especially tragic because they would never have occurred if drivers simply refrained from operating their vehicles while intoxicated. A recent news article illustrates the consequences of driving under the influence.

According to the recently published news report, a man lost his life after a DUI accident in Gloucester County, New Jersey. The accident occurred when a drunk driver was traveling south on Egg Harbor Road and ran a red light at the intersection with Ganttown Road. As a result, she collided with an SUV traveling west. The impact of the crash then caused the SUV to crash into a minivan heading east. Sadly, the SUV driver died from his injuries. The driver of the minivan, who suffered only minor injuries, was charged with reckless vehicular homicide, strict liability vehicular homicide, and assault by auto.

What Compensation Is Available After a New Jersey DUI Accident?

Anyone who suffers injuries in a New Jersey DUI accident can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver. These cases are based on the legal theory of negligence. In a negligence lawsuit, New Jersey allows accident victims to pursue several types of damages awards. The most common type of damages awards are compensatory damages, which intend to place the plaintiff in the same position as if the accident had never occurred.

Compensatory damages can help victims recover economic losses from the accident, including past and future hospital bills and lost wages. They can also include non-economic damages, such as emotional pain and suffering. Finally, the victim’s spouse can bring a loss of consortium claim against the responsible driver. Loss of consortium damages seek to compensate an accident victim’s spouse for the loss of the victim’s companionship and comfort after the accident.

If a victim dies in a DUI accident, certain family members can seek economic damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. These types of damages often include lost future earnings or loss of companionship. Typically, the deceased’s spouse and children can receive damages from a wrongful death lawsuit.

Have You Been Injured in a New Jersey DUI Accident? DUI accidents can be devastating for accident victims and their loved ones. If you or someone close to you has been seriously injured or killed in a New Jersey DUI accident, contact the experienced attorneys at Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. Making a case for damages is not always simple, and plaintiffs may struggle to prove they suffered emotional pain and suffering. Our skilled legal team can gather evidence, work with experts, and develop a strategy to prove you are entitled to compensation under New Jersey law. To discuss your case with an attorney on our team, call our office at (732) 363-0666 for a free initial consultation. We will not charge you any attorney fees unless we recover money damages on your behalf.

New Jersey Supreme Court Sides with Plaintiff Who Was Injured on the Job

In a recent decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed a lower court decision in favor of an employee who suffered injuries on the job. The plaintiff was a mechanic employed by Container Services of New Jersey (CSNJ). He suffered severe injuries when another worker attempted to help him move a piece of equipment. Instead, the worker caused the equipment to crush the plaintiff’s foot, which ultimately required amputation.

Throughout the case, a key question was whether the worker was employed by defendant Marine Transport, Inc. (MT), CSNJ, or both (The same person owned both companies).

Under New Jersey law, a defendant-employer is not liable for a worker’s negligence if it can show that the worker was a “borrowed employee” of a different employer when the accident occurred. In this case, the trial judge treated the issue entirely as a question of law, finding in MT’s favor. The appeals court reversed. MT appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which solely considered whether the multi-factor test used to determine whether a negligent worker was a “borrowed employee” involved a question of law for the court or a question of fact for the jury.

Ultimately, the court held that the test was properly a fact question for the jury to decide. Generally, the jury addresses questions of fact, and a judge addresses questions of law. When a judge or jury goes beyond these set parameters, they often reach an incorrect or unjust outcome. Here, the court looked at the history of the multi-factor test within New Jersey law and identified several factual questions more appropriate for a jury than a judge. These included issues such as witness credibility and other factual disputes between parties.

Furthermore, the court concluded that New Jersey courts should not determine whether a worker is a “borrowed employee” under the multi-factor test unless the evidence is so one-sided as to justify ruling for one party as a matter of law, not fact. In this case, the court concluded that the evidence was not sufficiently one-sided for a judge to apply the factors in the test. Therefore, the trial court erred in determining that the negligent worker was a “borrowed employee” of the plaintiff’s own employer. As a result, the supreme court affirmed the appeals court’s ruling in favor of the plaintiff.

Have You Been Injured in a New Jersey Workplace Accident?

If you or someone you know has suffered injuries on the job in New Jersey, contact the personal injury attorneys at Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. to discuss your legal rights. Sometimes, workers’ compensation does not adequately compensate for your injuries, especially if someone other than your employer was at fault for the accident. Our experienced attorneys will develop a strategy to demonstrate to a jury or judge that an employer should be held liable for your injuries. For a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team, give us a call at 732-363-0666. We will not charge you any attorneys’ fees unless we can connect you with compensation for what you’ve been through.

One Killed in Fatal Gloucester Township Motorcycle Accident

The unprotected nature of motorcycles, as well as their lighter weight and smaller profile, means that car drivers should be hyper-vigilant and aware of motorcycles so as to avoid crashes when driving. Motorcycle accidents can often be severe, leading to an increased risk of injury and death. While it is common knowledge that driving or riding a motorcycle is relatively more dangerous than driving a car or other four-wheeled motor vehicle over the same distance, the difference in safety is starker than you might think. According to some sources, riding a motorcycle can be up to 26 times more likely to die in an accident than someone in an automobile over that very same trip. The increased level of risk present in motorcycle riding should put car drivers on alert to exercise even more caution when out on the road. A recently published news report detailed a recent fatal motorcycle crash in Gloucester Township.

According to the recently published news report, the Gloucester Township accident occurred on the afternoon of Friday, June 2, when a motorcycle collided with a Ford Escape at the intersection of Brewster Avenue. According to law enforcement officials, The SUV was attempting to make a left turn onto the Black Horse Pike when the accident occurred. The police arrived on the scene and found the motorcyclist lying on the roadway. Police officers, an ambulance crew, and members of the Blackwood Fire Department attempted to revive the rider using CPR but were unsuccessful. The motorcycle rider was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the police, the motorcycle tried to avoid the collision but was unable to stop in time. The driver of the Ford Escape was treated at the scene for minor injuries and refused medical transportation to the hospital.

New Jersey makes use of a comparative negligence standard for personal injury cases. Comparative negligence is the legal concept that allows juries to apportion fault for a single accident to different parties and assign a percentage of the overall liability to each party. In New Jersey, in order to obtain a recovery award, an injured plaintiff must be found not more than 50% at fault for the injuries. Navigating the process can be complicated and difficult without legal expertise, so it is important to ensure that your claim is fully supported to ensure you receive the maximum award you are eligible for.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a New Jersey Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle injuries are often the most serious, with a much greater risk of fatal or disabling outcomes. If you or someone close to you has been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident as a driver or as a passenger, give our experienced legal team at Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. a call as soon as possible at (732) 363-0666 for a free, no-obligation consultation. There are different insurance policy issues, and sometimes different laws that apply in motorcycle cases.  As riders and as experienced motorcycle accident attorneys, we can help you figure out if your accident was the fault of another driver or your equipment.  In the past, we’ve involved experts such as engineers and accident reconstruction professionals to prove our clients were not at fault.  If we take your case, all costs will be advanced for you and paid back at the end of the case. There will be no attorney fees charged to you unless money damages are recovered for you.