As Seen in the New Jersey Law Journal

Often, in cases with catastrophic injuries, the primary tortfeasors are underinsured. In those cases, do not settle for inadequate policy limits without exploring all possible avenues for recovery. Sometimes, additional causes of action, which are not readily apparent, can significantly increase the value of your case.

Consider this case, which we recently resolved: A young wife and mother was tragically burned to death while shopping at a dollar store. A fire broke out, and she was faced with no means of escape. One of the primary tortfeasors, a tenant in the building, was underinsured, carrying only $1 million in liability coverage. Facing this issue, a search for additional theories of recovery was necessary. After exhausting obvious remedies, such as pursuing damages through the building’s owner/landlord and management company, creative lawyering was required to find other sources of recovery.

In this situation, a review of the commercial lease agreement between the landlord and tenant showed that the amount of liability coverage was significantly less...


A physician claimed he was injured on Six Flag’s Kingda Ka, which is currently fastest roller coaster in the world. The plaintiff is subject to a waiver but he’s alleging that Six Flags is negligent because they were not warning tall people about the dangers of riding Kingda Ka. So, is Six Flags liable?

According to the 6’ 2’ plaintiff, his head extended above the rear of his seat, which caused severe whiplash. The result is that the plaintiff was diagnosed with acute rupture of two intervertebral discs, an injury that requires surgery to treat.

The plaintiff alleged that the park employees working at Kingda Ka were negligent and did not warn him of the dangers posed by his height. He also alleged that the employees tightened the safety harness incorrectly, causing severe pain in his shoulders.

The plaintiff also took issue with the maximum height requirement, set at 77 inches, three inches above the plaintiff’s height. He believes that the height requirement is incorrect, which caused him to ride Kingda Ka when it wasn’t safe to do so.

The question...


After an accident, many people often ask themselves, “I feel fine, do I really need to see a doctor?” The short answer is yes, you should see a doctor after an auto accident, for both your health and your settlement.

The primary reason you should visit a doctor after an auto accident is to guarantee your own safety. The human body is complex and unpredictable, so the best way to ensure your health and safety is to visit a doctor and get a clean bill of health. The cost of the medical exam after an auto accident should be covered by your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, so don’t let cost hold you back from proper treatment.

Second to your health is your settlement. If you don’t go to the doctor and get checked, then it’s much more difficult to show that your injury was caused by the accident, which could significantly reduce your monetary settlement.

If the authorities are called and an ambulance arrives on scene, they will ask if you would like to be checked for injuries. Even if you think you feel alright, you might be feeling the effects of...


Accidents are inevitable, but many are preventable. A common cause of accidents is negligence, which is the failure to abide by a duty of care.

Duty of care is the requirement that you must act in a way that is reasonable and cautious to avoid causing harm to others. Since proving negligence is a way to prove fault for an accident, the idea of a duty of care is important in personal injury cases.

Examples of Duty of Care:

Duty of care applies in all situations in which you interact with the public. Here are a few examples:

1. Commercial property owners have a duty to maintain a safe environment for visitors and pedestrians.

2. Pedestrians are expected to use the crosswalk and obey traffic signals.

3. Drivers must exercise caution, follow all traffic laws, and maintain control of their vehicles.

4. Employers must maintain a safe working environment for their employees.

5. Health care professionals must provide care up to the standard dictated by the law.

If the duty of care is breached, and you’ve sustained...


After the death of the passengers aboard the OceanGate Submarine, the media and the public have been wondering whether OceanGate is going to be sued for the deaths of the passengers.

Since all of the passengers signed liability waivers, it may appear there is no room for the families of the deceased to sue, but a liability waiver doesn’t guarantee that no suit can be filed. A judge or jury can negate the liability waiver if it is found that OceanGate was grossly negligent.

So, what is gross negligence? Gross negligence occurs when there is reckless or deliberate disregard for the reasonable treatment or safety of others. This is a step further than negligence, which is when an accidental mistake affects the safety of others.

This means that in discovery, the victims’ families will be attempting to prove that OceanGate acted with reckless disregard for safety procedures. Let’s investigate the evidence made public so far.

Working in OceanGate’s favor is the wording of the liability waiver. Previous travelers on the OceanGate submarine said that their...


Wandering the basement of the Louvre in Paris, I was awed by a polished stone, an eight-foot-high, shining large basalt stele, edged with tiny cuneiform markings, surrounded by a small velvet rope. One of the oldest legal codes stood before me, I had to understand it, touch it. I sat on the floor for an hour, reading the museum-provided translation of one of the first workers’ compensation codes ever written.

Etched in stone, immovable and unchanging, the Babylonian code of Hammurabi (1780 B.C.E.) lasted nearly a millennium.

Must New Jersey’s workers’ compensation (circa 1911) code remain etched in stone, stagnant after 100-plus years? Is it time to modernize New Jersey’s workers’ compensation law? To replace the cold insurance corporate talk of “stakeholders” with human beings? To replace the schedules or list of injured body parts with a modern system of wage loss?

Hammurabi listed body parts and their relative worth (lines 198 and 199 of the code: one eye equals one gold MINA; one tooth equals one-third of a gold MINA; etc.). The New Jersey workers’...


Everyone who has played or watched sports knows that, unfortunately, it is common for players to get injured. Even in non-contact sports such as baseball and bicycling, there are still hundreds of thousand injuries, and multiple fatalities reported every year, according to statistics published by Johns Hopkins Medicine[1]. While many of these injuries are minor sprains and strains, it is common to break bones and tear ligaments, even playing recreational sports.

Despite numerous precautions, years of training, and teams of world-renowned doctors at their disposal, there is still a significant risk of serious or life-threatening injury at the professional level. A recent example is Buffalo Bill’s safety Damar Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest after a routine tackle.

When the injuries become serious and threaten to end a player’s career or worse, his or her life, the public and the media often question the legal aspects of sports injuries and ask, “who’s responsible?” To get a better...


Drowsy driving is the act of driving when you feel sleepy. Although this may sound harmless, the CDC believes that drowsy driving can have similar effects to drunk driving since both impair your vision and affect your ability to make good decisions[1].

Further cementing the danger, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that drowsy driving was responsible for 91,000 accidents with 50,000 injuries and 800 deaths in a single year[2]. Even these numbers are thought to be underreported.

Proving liability in a drowsy driving accident:

Proving that a driver is a drowsy driver can be difficult as there is no measurement of sleepiness that police officers can take at the scene like they can with drunk drivers. Fortunately for attorneys, there doesn’t need to be proof that the driver is drowsy, just that he was negligent.

In legal terms, a negligent driver is someone who fails to uphold a duty of...


Auto accidents come in many varieties and cause a variety of injuries from minor scrapes to fatal puncture wounds. Some of these injuries can be easy to diagnose, but others might be more subtle and require an in-depth medical evaluation.

Most of us are not doctors and don’t know what to look for when diagnosing injuries. If something feels wrong after getting into an accident, then you should get checked by a doctor. Don’t wait until your symptoms become serious.

Below are common injuries that can go unnoticed without a proper medical examination:

1. Brain Injuries

After an accident, victims often assume that they can’t have a brain injury if they weren’t hit on the head. Many also assume that a brain injury would leave a mark on the head. Neither are true.

Brain injuries can occur from whiplash, which could cause your brain to slam into your skull. This type of injury would leave no mark and doesn’t require a hit to the head. Possible brain injuries from whiplash include:

- Concussions

- Hemorrhage (bleeding)



Over the past decade the Division of Workers Compensation, under the leadership of the Chief Judge, has increased the focus and raised the importance given to the quick resolution of Motions for Medical and Temporary Benefits (MMT). From the top down, all the Judges of the Compensation court now seriously and fastidiously deal with pending Motions for medical care, a vast change from the past.

This is not to say the statutory scheme, involving two to sixth month trials for emergency medical care, is in any way greatly improved; but the Judicial attitude and the courts concern and attention to the Motions for Med/temp is across the board excellent. The legal framework is still antiquated, arcane, and mired in delay; but the court does the best it can within a statutory framework as old as the ‘Model T’ (1911 original Workers Comp. N.J. statute). The Motion’s for Medical and Temporary Benefits are no longer regulated to the back burner, but dealt with expeditiously and with utmost concern, by the Division, and the Judges. The change was slow in coming, but has played...


If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, the first thing you should do is to call 911 and get yourself checked by an EMT. The only way to ensure your safety is to be examined by a professional who knows how different injuries can present themselves.

You should not refuse any treatment on scene. If you refuse treatment on scene, it can be used as an argument to deny or lower your settlement.

After receiving proper treatment, you should contact a personal injury attorney, like those at Kirsch, Stone & Morgan, specializing in pedestrian accidents. Your attorney can help you maximize your settlement from the at fault party.

The knowledgeable injury attorneys at Kirsch, Stone & Morgan are here to help you navigate these trying times and get the settlement you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation.


When lawyers say that New Jersey is a no-fault state, they mean that if you get into an accident, your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover your injuries and the damages to your vehicle. When driving in New Jersey, you must have PIP insurance of at least $15,000. This is not optional.

The purpose of no-fault insurance:

When driving in New Jersey, PIP insurance is required as part of your car insurance policy. If you get into an accident, your PIP insurance will cover your injuries and those of all your passengers, no matter who is deemed liable for the accident. For damages you suffer in the accident, it is your right to pursue the other, at-fault driver.

Common expenses covered by PIP insurance include hospital bills, prescribed medication, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, and lost wages due to your injuries. If the accident resulted in a death, PIP would provide death benefits and may cover funeral costs.

To get help navigate New Jersey’s insurance policy mandates to find out what you’re entitled to after an accident, contact us at...


Getting into an accident may seem overwhelming, but there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure that you and everyone else involved stay safe.

1. Dial 911

Calling the authorities is the best and only way to protect everyone involved in the crash. Even if you think you are at fault for the accident, dial 911. You, a passenger, or someone in the other vehicle could be seriously injured, and the only way to ensure everyone’s safety is to get an ambulance to the scene.

2. Get checked by the EMTs

When the ambulance arrives, the EMTs will ask you if you would like to be checked for injuries. You’re not a doctor and you don’t know if you are injured or how serious your injuries are. It’s better to be safe than sorry so get checked by the EMTs and follow their recommendations. Something you think isn’t serious might be a sign of significant injury.

Tell the EMTs about any pain you might be feeling. They will take note of what you say, and this record could be used in court to obtain a settlement, so don’t leave anything out. If...