Month: March 2018

Traffic Offenses

Effective Defense to Reckless Driving Charges in New Jersey

Bergen County attorneys protect accused drivers from excessive charges
At five penalty points, a reckless driving charge is a serious violation in itself and a devastating addition to other charges, such as speeding or DWI. A reckless driving conviction can lead to an immediate license suspension, burdensome fines and staggering insurance increases. In some cases, a two-month jail sentence is possible. If you’re facing a hearing for reckless driving, it is vital to have an experienced defense attorney with you in court. At the Law Offices of Richard S. Greenberg, we’re ready to fight for a dismissal or a reduction in charges to save you money and preserve your driving privileges.

New Jersey’s burden of proof for reckless driving charges
The text of New Jersey’s reckless driving law, N.J.S.A. 39:4-96, reads:

“A person who drives a vehicle heedlessly, in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, in a manner so as to endanger, or be likely to endanger, a person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving and be punished by imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for a period of not more than 60 days, or by a fine of not less than $50.00 or more than $200.00, or both.”

The statute requires the prosecution to prove a mental state bordering on deliberate endangerment of others. Yet, very often officers write a reckless driving citation along with a speeding ticket when the facts don’t support such a conclusion, forcing prosecutors to use scant evidence to convince a judge that additional punishment is warranted. Our attorneys use their trial experience to challenge the state’s case and expose weaknesses in the evidence. For drivers with otherwise clean records, we’ve had great success negotiating these five-point traffic violations down to careless driving, which is a two-point violation, or getting the ticket dismissed altogether.

Workers Compensation

Beyond a Workers Compensation Claim

The New Jersey Workers Compensation Act establishes a relatively swift procedure for injured workers to receive insurance benefits to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. The downside of the workers compensation system is that it generally bars you from pursuing a personal injury lawsuit against your employer when the employer’s negligence caused your injuries. But there is an exception.

Intentional tort exception

Under New Jersey law, you can pursue a personal injury suit against your employer after a job-related injury if you can establish that your employer committed an intentional wrong. The New Jersey Supreme Court established a two-part test to determine when an intentional wrong can to trigger the exception. You must show that:

Your injury resulted from the employer’s action.
The employer knew with substantial certainty that the action would cause injury or death.
This is a high hurdle for most injured workers. Clearly, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision discourages work-related disability claims from being pursued outside the workers comp process.

If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, contact an experienced New Jersey workers compensation lawyer for assistance with your claim.


New Jersey Laws Aim to Reduce Alcohol-Related Crashes

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is New Jersey law enforcement’s campaign to deter drunk driving, particularly during the holiday season. State and local agencies plan to increase DWI checkpoints and road patrols. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA), alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 31 percent of motorist fatalities in 2012. In New Jersey, 28.7 percent of the fatal crashes reported last year involved people who had consumed alcohol.

In addition to seeking damages from an impaired driver who causes an injury, you may also be entitled to damages from a social host or dramshop. Social host and dramshop laws are aimed at preventing drunk driving and minimizing fatalities by creating liability for hosts and taverns that contribute to negligent drinking behavior.

Bartenders held liable under Dram Shop Act
A server or bartender at a licensed drinking establishment may be held liable if:

The server acted negligently in serving alcohol.
The injury was the result of the negligent serving of alcohol.
The injury was foreseeable as a consequence of the negligent serving of alcohol.
New Jersey courts interpret the statute narrowly. Licensed servers can be found negligent only when they served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person or a minor. If liable, the drinking establishment is responsible for the percentage of damages equal to the percentage of negligence attributable to the server.

Social Host Liability Statute

A person who provides alcoholic beverages to invited guests is a social host. Such hosts can be held responsible for injuries or damage arising out of a motor vehicle accident caused by a visibly intoxicated guest. Under New Jersey’s statute, the host may be held liable for a guest whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured 0.10 percent or more.

These laws are designed to avoid tragedies on our roadways. If an alcohol or drug-impaired driver injures you or your loved ones, contact a New Jersey injury attorney. Let us help you find justice.