Did You Slip and Fall Due to Someone Else’s Negligence?

If you were injured in a slip and fall, you may be due compensation.

If you were injured in a slip and fall on a commercial property in New Jersey, you may feel the property owner is liable for your injury. If you’re considering filing suit, you must remember New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases starting from the date of the event. It’s imperative you file your claim before this deadline, because claims filed later will likely not make it to court.

Slips and falls can happen to anyone, and resulting injuries might include sprains, muscle tears, broken bones, and even concussion. The property owner’s liability for your injuries depends on the type of property, the nature of the hazard, and whether the property owner had sufficient time or reason to fix it.

How can I prove the property owner was responsible?

A successful personal injury lawsuit regarding a slip and fall must fit one of three conditions:

  • The property owner should have known about the hazard and fixed it, which a ‘reasonable person’ would have done in their position.
  • The property owner knew about the hazard, but neglected to fix it.
  • The property owner caused the hazard.

The first condition is the most often litigated, but demonstrating that a property owner ‘should have known’ about the hazard can be hard to prove. For example, if you fell in a darkened stairwell in an apartment complex, the owner would be more easily proven liable if the lights had been out for months than if they’d only been out for a day.

In New Jersey, ‘shared fault’ laws also limit the amount of damages you can win. If a jury finds you are partially responsible for your injury, then whatever percentage of blame is attributed to you is deducted from the overall award. If the total damages amounted to $10,000, and you were found 20% responsible, you would be awarded $8,000.

I slipped and fell on ice. Can I take action against the property owner?

Anyone who’s lived in New Jersey for a winter knows how icy the weather becomes. Icy sidewalks and parking lots are dangerous to the most sure-footed pedestrians, which is why commercial property owners are responsible for clearing snow and ice within a certain period after the snowfall.

If a hazard is considered foreseeable – as a storeowner in New Jersey might foresee that snow melts in the day and refreezes at night – then failure to address the hazard in a timely fashion is neglectful. If you slipped and fell on ice in this manner, and wish to pursue a personal injury claim in New Jersey, then you should consult a personal injury lawyer soon.

David P. Schroth, a personal injury attorney in New Jersey, has over twenty years of experience in civil litigation, including personal injury cases involving a slip and fall. He can build a strong enough case for you to demand compensation for your injury. Call him today at 609-882-0041, and begin the process to redeem the slip and fall injury you suffered.


Win Child Support

You shouldn’t need to argue for child support in New Jersey.

Divorce is a struggle. You must disentangle your emotions, lifestyle, finances, and all the myriad aspects of union from those of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. It’s a trying process, and it becomes all the more complicated when children are involved.

In New Jersey, both parents are obligated to support their children after the marriage ends. Child support typically takes the form of payments from the non-custodial parent to the primary caregiver. However, the specific nature of the child support arrangements is determined by the court, or by a marital settlement agreement.

A New Jersey court will refer to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount and frequency of child support payments. The Guidelines will account for several factors, including:

  • The ages and needs of the children
  • The assets, incomes, or earning ability of the parents and children
  • The ages and health of the parents
  • The amount of time spent by the children with each parent, particularly overnights
  • An existing alimony arrangement
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant

Do child support payments end when the child turns 18?

Not necessarily. It’s often assumed that once the child reaches the age of majority, child support payments will end. However, unless the court order or marital settlement arrangement contains provisions specifying the end of child support at a certain age, a court may order the obligor to continue making payments for children still in high school, attending college, or that are disabled.

Furthermore, a new law (S-1046/A-2721) signed by Governor Christie on January 19, 2016 establishes 19 as the age when child support ends, or 23 if the dependents fit the criteria listed above. This law takes effect on February 1, 2017. Bear in mind that although a child may pass the age when future payments end, any child support payments in arrears are still required to be repaid.

How can I determine my child support payments?

You can get a quick approximation using an application called Child Support QuickCalc provided on The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ website. It can be found here: quickguide.njchildsupport.org.

Of course, if you want a more precise determination of your payments, you’ll want to consult an experienced family law attorney. You should also consult an attorney if if you are in the midst of a divorce and will determine a child support arrangement. It’s better to hire a lawyer now than to allow complications to arise later. If you are in New Jersey, and need a family law attorney with over twenty years’ litigation experience, contact David P Schroth at 609-882-0041. He’ll ensure your children get the support they need.

Fight Medical Malpractice in New Jersey with a Top Civil Litigation Lawyer

Civil Litigation Lawyer Fights Malpractice in New Jersey

Imagine, on one fateful day, that you are involved in a terrible car accident. You suffer severe trauma, you’re barely conscious, and each breath feels like your last. Someone calls the paramedics. They arrive in a wail of sirens, you are rushed to the hospital, and it’s determined in the E.R. that you’ll need surgery to save your life.

You have a ruptured aorta. The surgeons repair it by grafting to your heart a large stent. The surgery is a success, your family surrounds you in a rush of relief and joy, and you’re weary and thankful this harrowing chapter of your life is behind you.

For a time, each new day feels like a gift. You spend several months recovering while taking care not to strain yourself. A year later, you feel you’re finally ready to enjoy life like before. Then one day, while performing light exercise, you collapse.

You’re rushed to the hospital. You’re in excruciating pain. You’re experiencing loss of sensation in your limbs.

Two days later, it’s found that there was a blood clot in the stent grafted to your heart. It cut off circulation to your legs. You are operated on once again. The stent is repaired – but not soon enough to prevent permanent, complete paralysis of your legs.

This is a true story of medical malpractice that occurred in 2015. The individual in question eventually won a seven figure settlement after suffering medical malpractice at a public hospital.

In New Jersey law, medical malpractice occurs when there is an established doctor-patient relationship. If the doctor breaches an expected standard of care – which may vary according to factors such as a patient’s age and overall health – and the patient suffers an injury as a direct consequence, then the patient has grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice suits often require the testimony of one or more expert witnesses – medical professionals who can explain how the breach in care caused your injury. Of course, the defense will produce their own experts to argue that there was no breach in care, or if there was, that the injury didn’t result from it. There’s a lot of preparation required, and the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in New Jersey is two years from the date of the breach of care.

If you think you’ve suffered from medical malpractice in New Jersey, it’s imperative you consult a lawyer to determine the strength of your case. You’ll need an experienced civil litigation lawyer to guide you in this process and fight for your compensation. Located just outside of Trenton, attorney David P. Schroth has over 20 years of civil litigation experience in New Jersey. Contact him today at 609-882-0041, and seek justice for the suffering you’ve endured.

What to Know About the New Jersey Division of Alcohol Beverage Control

There are some federal laws that govern the manufacture and sale of alcohol throughout the United States – most notably, the minimum purchase age of 21. But beyond this and a few others, the regulation of alcohol is left largely to the states’ discretion. This is because the 21st Amendment, which ended Prohibition, granted powers to the states to regulate alcohol; as a result, each state’s alcohol laws varies in some degree from its neighbors.

New Jersey’s alcohol laws are among the most complex in the nation. They provide for twenty-nine different liquor licenses for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, transporters, and those who warehouse alcohol. In addition, municipalities are granted wide latitude to pass local ordinances governing alcohol sale and consumption, which is why some towns are ‘dry towns’ and others permit 24-hour alcohol sales.

Liquor licenses and permits are granted by New Jersey’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, created in 1933 by the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) law and supervised by the Attorney General. The Division of ABC conducts routine inspections of compliance with ABC law, investigates reports of noncompliance, and fosters public awareness campaigns about the dangers of alcohol, among other duties.

Investigations of violations of the ABC law are carried out by an enforcement unit within the State Police, also overseen by the Attorney General.

Although criminal matters involving alcohol are usually handled by local law enforcement – public intoxication, underage drinking, possession of alcohol by a minor, disorderly conduct – the Division of ABC will often participate in programs in coordination with other government agencies. Such programs include Cops in Shops, which places undercover police officers in retail locations to catch underage drinkers and those who purchase alcohol for them.

Charges for providing alcohol to underage patrons are disorderly persons’ offenses, and may include penalties up to $500 fines. Underage drinking may also include suspension of drivers’ licenses.

For those who need legal representation after being accused of an alcohol-related offense, contact attorney David P. Schroth at 609-882-0041. He has practiced law in New Jersey for over twenty years, and will fight to get you fair treatment under the law.

Products Liability: Seeking Damages for a Defective Product

If you have suffered personal injury due to a defective product, you could be due compensation. In New Jersey, products liability laws lay out strict guidelines by which a manufacturer or seller of a product is held responsible for injuries caused by their products.

Most products liability claims are determined by the laws of the state where the product was sold. Products liability lawsuits usually seek damages from a party involved with the product, whether the company that brands it, or a party in part of its chain of distribution – the manufacturers of the parts, the party that assembled it, the wholesaler, or finally the retail store that sold it to you.

A products liability case will need to demonstrate at least one of three types of defects in the defective product.

Design defect – There is an aspect of the product, even before manufacture, which is inherently unsafe. For example, if a car’s gas pedal were designed in a way which could cause sudden, unintended acceleration. That product would have an unsafe design for its intended usage.

Manufacturing defect – At some point, the product’s manufacture departed from its design. Though unintended, the manufacturer would still be liable. For example, a seatbelt whose latch is able to slip open despite being designed to catch.

Marketing defect – This refers to a product’s inadequate warning against hazards or misuse. Some products, though useful, cannot be made entirely safe, and the customer must be warned. For example, an electric toaster must warn against contact with water; failure to do so would constitute a marketing defect.

What is the nature of the EOS Lip Balm lawsuit?

In January 2016, a class action lawsuit was filed against EOS Products on behalf of consumers who alleged certain EOS lip balms caused adverse reactions after application of the product. The physical symptoms were claimed to have lasted from a few days to a few months, with the possibility of long-lasting or permanent symptoms. This is an example of a marketing defect claim – the suit wants the company to include a warning on their packaging for potential adverse effects, as well as award damages to those affected.

How can I file a products liability claim against a defective product?

If you are in New Jersey, and have been injured by a defective product, we strongly advise you to contact David P. Schroth at 609-882-0041. With over twenty years of litigation experience in New Jersey, David Schroth is the best man available to seek redress for your products liability claim.

Personal Injury: What to Do after a Car Accident

Anyone who has experienced a car accident understands it’s a jolting and stunning experience. You’ll need to keep a clear head on the scene. The first thing you must check is the health and safety of your passengers. You may need to call for emergency services.

If you’re in New Jersey, you are required to report a car accident that involves injury, death, or over $500 worth of damages to vehicles or property. If property damage is the only result, and the police aren’t called, you’ll need to send a letter to your local Motor Vehicle Commission Agency within 10 days describing the circumstances as clearly as possible.

For this matter, and for personal liability claims, you should exchange information with all parties involved, including names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, car tag numbers, vehicle descriptions, and insurance information. If there are witnesses, get their names and addresses, too. Write down the time, the weather conditions, and road conditions when the accident occurred.

Someone has been injured. What should I know about filing a personal injury claim?

In New Jersey, drivers can choose between ‘no fault’ or traditional car insurance coverage. If you have ‘no fault’ coverage, you are required to first turn to your own insurance for medical compensation or other losses. You are only permitted to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the other party if injuries exceed the “serious injury” threshold – loss of limb, disfigurement, serious scarring, or loss of a fetus.

Understand New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims from the date of the car accident. You must file your claim within this window, otherwise, your case will not make it to court.

New Jersey follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule when determining fault and due compensation in personal injury and car accident cases. This means a jury will decide whether you share some of the fault for the accident. You’re entitled to damages if it’s determined you were less than 50% responsible. However, your percentage of responsibility will be deducted from the overall damages you win. Therefore, if damages – personal injury and material losses – equal $100,000, but you are 25% responsible, you would receive $75,000.

I would like to pursue a personal injury claim following a car accident. What should I do?

If you are in New Jersey, call attorney David P. Schroth at 609-882-0041. Located just outside Trenton, David has over 20 years of experience practicing New Jersey law, including personal injuries from car accident claims. He will aggressively pursue the compensation you deserve.

Understanding a Contract Dispute

A contract is the bedrock of any business arrangement, but even the best-laid plans can go awry. Whether the result of one party’s behavior or unforeseen circumstances, a contract dispute can throw a roadblock in your business activity, or give you a major headache. It’s best to resolve a contract dispute as soon as you can. Sometimes, the nature of the agreement isn’t fully understood by all parties, which leads to confusion and mishap in its execution.

What is a contract dispute?

First, let’s briefly define a contract. A contract is a legally-enforceable agreement between two or more parties, which obligates the parties to behave in a prescribed manner toward one another. A contract does not always need to be written – contrary to what some believe, an oral contract also holds weight in the eyes of the law. So long as an offer is made by one party, accepted by another, and there is sufficient ‘consideration’ – a promised exchange of values, such as money in return for services – then the agreement may be a legally-binding contract.

In the event there is a violation of the terms of the agreement, a contract dispute would arise. Contract disputes may occur due to confusion over vague phrasing or simply by accident. Common forms of contract disputes occur in areas such as:

Employment agreements
Non-compete agreements
Landlord tenant agreements
Building contracts
Lease agreements
Business-to-business contracts, and more

If you and another party are in a contract dispute, and cannot mutually resolve it, there are legal options at your disposal.

How do I resolve a contract dispute?

Depending on the nature of the agreement, and your relationship to the other party, you may want to first try simple negotiation to resolve the contract dispute. If the parties still remain at an impasse, legal mediation could help bring the parties to a compromise while preserving the business relationship.

However, in certain circumstances, if one party has failed to perform under the terms of the agreement, the other party could accuse them of breaching the contract. If civil litigation is pursued, the terms of the contract could be enforced by law, and compensation paid by the offending party. This would resolve the contract dispute with finality (and also likely terminate the business relationship). To determine whether a party has breached the contract, you would need to consider a few key criteria.

A formal contract (oral or written) existed.
You fulfilled your contractual obligations, and the other party did not.
The contract breach caused you material loss.

If these conditions have been met, and the offending party in your contract dispute remains recalcitrant, civil litigation may be your best option for resolution. At this point, your next step would be to find a smart, capable lawyer. A contract is governed by the laws of the state in which it was agreed upon. If your contract was made in New Jersey, we strongly advise you contact attorney David P. Schroth. He is located just outside Trenton, and has over twenty years of experience in multiple fields, including contract dispute resolution. You can reach his office at 609-882-0041. Begin the process today to end the dispute on your terms.

Personal Injury: Negligence in New Jersey Law

If we experienced personal injury on account of someone’s negligence, we’d feel several emotions – shock, distress, and outrage, to name a few. While the feelings may subside, the effects of the injury can linger. It’s natural we’d want the person responsible to be held accountable, which is why most states define ‘negligence’ specifically in personal injury law.

How does New Jersey define negligence?

In New Jersey, negligence is the failure to exercise an expected degree of caution – a “standard of care” – in order to minimize harm to risk to another person. To determine the standard of care, a court will use the notion of a ‘reasonable person’ to establish a baseline. The court will determine whether a reasonable person, in the situation, would have a duty to behave with a standard of care to the plaintiff. This includes whether the reasonable person had known of the plaintiff’s presence at the time. Once this baseline is established, the court will consider a defendant’s conduct based on what they knew at the time. This is how a reasonable person’s standard of care separates acts of negligence from common accidents.

For example, if a person were driving at night, with their headlights on, and they struck a jaywalking person, it would be more difficult to accuse the driver of negligence. However, if the driver were severely nearsighted, and driving without corrective lenses, then the pedestrian would have a strong case to accuse them of negligence. Still, in this case, there is a varying degree of responsibility between both parties, which brings us to contributory negligence.

What is contributory negligence?

Contributory negligence is the degree to which each party is responsible for an accident. New Jersey, like other states that consider contributory negligence, will use this notion when determining who can ask for damages from whom, and how much in damages should be paid. In order to ask for damages, the plaintiff must be less responsible for the accident than the defendant. In the example with the nearsighted driver, a court or a jury may find the driver was 90% responsible. However, the jaywalking pedestrian was 10% responsible for his own injuries. Thus if the damages were calculated at $10,000, the driver would be required to pay $9,000, and would be unable to collect for damages to his car stemming from this incident.

If you or someone you know has suffered personal injury on account of another person’s negligence, we advise you to contact an attorney immediately. In New Jersey, you have two years to file a suit from the date the incident occurred. Contact attorney David P. Schroth. David hass over twenty years’ experience practicing law in New Jersey, including personal injury cases, and he can fight for you too.

Mary Kay Cosmetics Gets Class Action Suit

One of the biggest names and oldest companies in cosmetics is facing a putative employment class action suit from New Jersey residents. Mary Kay Cosmetics will see former employees in New Jersey courts. The class action suit alleges that employees were, “misclassified as independent contractors and unfairly made to purchase company merchandise as part of their employment.”

The lawsuit, failed on behalf of New Jersey Mary Kay cosmetics product sellers, “alleges the cosmetics company required employees to make non-negotiable payments under threat of termination, for Mary Kay cosmetics products including marketing materials, uniforms and retail merchandise. These actions are in violation of the New Jersey Wage Payment Law, the lawsuit states.”

The suit also alleges that Mary Kay cosmetics required employees to, “buy the minimum amounts of company or face expulsion, regardless of whether they had customers to purchase those products.” Furthermore, the lawsuit suggests that the lead Plaintiff, Ina M. Collins, along with thousands of others employed by Mary Kay cosmetics were misclassified as independent contractors instead of employees. “As a result of defendants’ conduct, the class members have endured significant economic damages, including all the money they needlessly spent on meeting quotas for product purchases, on overpaying for car leases, on paying for their own advertising, on having to pay taxes on overvalued gifts to them, and most importantly, on having to pay all of their Social Security taxes as if they were self-employed.”

The suit clearly states that Mary Kay cosmetics “forced class members to pay fixed, non-negotiable prices for numerous types of sales and marketing materials, like pamphlets and DVDs, while not allowing them from formulating and selecting their own marketing schemes.”

The plaintiffs in the Mary Kay cosmetics class action suit encountered significant financial damage as a result of their positions, and the courts in New Jersey will have to decide the extent of their claims. However, anyone undergoing legal trouble—from criminal cases, to negligence, and personal injury cases—may face significant financial hardship. Having a capable, well-tried lawyer on hand to work your case can help recover that financial loss and minimize any remaining damage. David P. Schroth has a proven track record of success trying cases in a range of practices. If you have questions or concerns about your own legal woes, contact David P. Schroth today to find a solution that works for you.





New Jersey Expands Sexual Assault Survivor Protections

In March 2014, the entire United States NFL-fan base watched Ray Rice hit and drag his then fiancée at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. What followed was a firestorm of media and social pressure to adjust the way the NFL—and New Jersey—discuss and address sexual assault and domestic violence.

Shortly after the incident, legislators introduced a new bill in the New Jersey Legislature. The new bill expanded the Domestic Violence Protections Act to include sexual assault, with new protections afforded to survivors. The new bill allows more people to qualify for domestic violence and sexual assault restraining orders.

The bill also allows, “victims of sexual assault-related acts, who were not dating their attackers, to access the courts and file for stay-away restraining orders without being required to first file criminal charges. The act also expands sexual assault coverage to include inappropriate texting and online activities, highly prevalent behaviors that have gone unchecked in a digital society.”

The expanded protections are important for survivors because earlier adaptions of the law limited protections. Survivors of sexual assault qualified for a restraining order only if, “the sexual assault occurs within the context of a relationship included within the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act; and/or The sexual assault case was tried in criminal court and resulted in a conviction of the offender, as determined by Nicole’s Law.” Studies suggest that the original bill’s language excluded, “80% of survivors from being eligible to receive the safety provided by restraining orders.”

New Jersey is part of a growing legal trend throughout the country. Twenty-three other states offer similar restraining order protections for sexual assault survivors, including Texas, Montana, South Dakota, and recently Pennsylvania.

The video of Ray Rice sparked a conversation that is now prevalent in both the spotlight and the courtroom. The new protections also highlight the importance and value of knowledgeable and devoted legal counsel. Regardless of your situation and case, knowing your rights and the available options is crucial to getting a desired result in the courtroom. David P. Schroth has an immense amount of experience trying an array of cases. That experience endows him with the ability to find the right answers to your legal question. Contact