Can I File a Lawsuit on a Car Accident from a Year Ago?

Car accidents are traumatic, unexpected events in our lives; and sometimes the full effects of those accidents take a while to sink in. Most of the time we want to put the accident behind us and just move on. But injuries can take longer than expected to recover from or have permanent lasting effects. Time off of work due to those injuries can take a financial toll. And months down the road you’re left wondering why you didn’t take action at the moment of the accident.

So what is the time limit for filing a lawsuit after a car accident? To get that answer you need to know what the statute of limitations are for a personal injury lawsuit in your state.

What Is A Statute of Limitations?

To keep people from resurrecting decades-old hurts and trying to sue people for things that are long in the past, legislation has been created to set a maximum amount of time from the date that the offense or accident occurred, whether civil or criminal, that either party involved may initiate legal proceedings. The amounts range from 1-6 years for injury based claims and can go as high as 10 years for other claims such as breach of oral contract or property damages cases.

In both the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, you have two years past the date of the incident or accident to submit a legal personal injury claim against the other parties involved. That gives you time to assess whether injuries sustained are going to have a greater impact on your life than possibly suspected at first.

It’s Better To Submit A Personal Injury Claim Sooner Rather Than Later

Although you do have up to two years to proceed with legal action after a car accident; if you feel that the circumstances surrounding the incident warrant action, it is better to file a claim as close to the time of the accident as possible. The events are fresher in your mind and any evidence that needs preserving is still readily available. Also, if the defendant is a governmental entity (for example you are suing the state, city, or county), the injured plaintiff may first have to file a notice of intent to sue within 6 months of the accident before filing the lawsuit

If you have been injured in a car accident, whether it has just occurred or was months or even over a year ago, don’t hesitate to contact a highly rated Philadelphia auto accident lawyer such as Edith Pearce. Unlike the huge firms with dozens of attorneys and many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case; Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file.

Contact The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. at (215) 608-0409 for a free consultation and case evaluation.


10yr Old Girl Killed on Super Sizzler Carnival Ride in New Jersey

A 10yr old girl was tragically killed on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival. The festival takes place at Rosenhayne Fairgrounds in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

We are deeply saddened to hear of this nightmare of an accident.

According to NJ.com, the girl was ejected from the “extreme” ride, the Super Sizzler, and severely injured. She was rushed to Cooper University Hospital by air but unfortunately pronounced dead shortly after arrival. The ride was provided by Skelly Amusements out of Williamstown.

Parents need legal advice after a carnival injury.

There are no words to describe the pain a parent feels from having a child who is injured in a terrible accident like the one above and the loss of a child is devastating. Knowing that such an accident was preventable makes the tragedy even more painful.

If parents or loved one have questions, it is a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer for legal advice. An attorney can take care of answering all of your questions and handle any investigation so you don’t have to worry about it. Also, if a carnival or ride is going to close and possibly move, it is a good idea to have an expert look at it and take pictures and measurements and possibly interview witnesses. Wrongful death cases are both complex and time sensitive. There are very likely going to be multiple parties involved and those parties are going to have insurers who are going to point their finger at everyone else.

Not only can a legal claim often help the family with some form of compensation and closure but these lawsuits also help prevent tragic accidents from reoccurring to other children.

A word about disclaimers.

Most disclaimers are irrelevant, especially if someone under the age of 18 is injured.

After an injury, many people point to ride disclaimers. These disclaimers are often found on the back of ticket stubs or on signs at carnivals. Many disclaimers state that the “we’re not responsible for injuries or death”. In general, these disclaimers are often NOT legally binding and if your son or daughter is injured due to a manufacturer defect or someone’s negligence you most likely still have a right to be compensated.

Contact a Lawyer.

After any carnival accident resulting in a serious injury or a death, be sure to contact an experienced lawyer who focuses on personal injury law as soon as possible. Before the dust settles, there are insurers working against you and we believe families should focus on grieving and getting help after such an incident, not litigating claims.

Whether you choose to contact us or another law firm after a carnival accident, please be sure you do so quickly. Find a compassionate attorney who you mesh well with. A seasoned attorney can prove product liability and/or negligence.

Attorney Edith Pearce has worked with several parents and is licensed in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She is a caring and compassionate wrongful death attorney. Contact her at any time regarding a wrongful death anywhere in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.


Philly Center City Bike Lane Blockage Draws Ire and Lawsuits

Philadelphia cyclists are happy to have over 200 miles of bike lanes, which is the most for a city of its size in the country, but unhappy when they have to swerve out into traffic to avoid hitting cars parked in those lanes.

Cyclists have been complaining for some time to city leaders and anyone who would listen. Occasionally someone gets hurt or killed because of an object in the lane, and cyclists come out in force to protest. However, the streets of Center City have a long way to go before they’ll keep cyclists safe.

Why not ticket them?

Many cyclists think that the police don’t place a high priority of ticketing bike lane violations. Even if they did, the city’s bike lane parking laws are confusing and don’t offer enough protection. Philadelphia has a three-tier bike lane parking scheme. Parking, stopping, loading/unloading depends on what sign is posted at a particular sidewalk or curb.

  1. No Parking: Vehicles may not park, but may load/unload for up to 20 minutes
  2. No Standing: Vehicles may not park or load/unload goods, but can drop off/pick up people
  3. No Stopping: Vehicles may not stop for any reason except to obey other traffic laws or in case of emergency.

Most cyclists would like to see “No Stopping” signs at all bike lane curbs, but the city maintains it has to balance between the needs of cyclists, motorist and businesses.

Taking them to Court

One particular cyclist had enough of the violation at a particular bike lane spot, and after reporting the violations to the police with no results, he took matters in his own hands and filed a lawsuit in a Philadelphia civil court. The suit claims that a delivery company is violating the law by parking in a bike lane at 13th and Samson Streets and endangering cyclists who have to risk injury to avoid the stopped cars.

The suit alleges that the company “regularly blocks the bike lane” … “placing cyclists at great risk of serious injury or death.”

The trucking company hasn’t responded to the claims, and a court hearing will be sometime early 2020. If successful, the cyclist is asking the court not to give him money, but to issue an order directing the delivery company not to continue violating the bike lane laws.

The suit doesn’t rely entirely on stopping the delivery company but includes a companion suit against the Philadelphia Parking Authority for failing to enforce bike lane parking and stopping codes.

It Worked Before

This isn’t the first time this cyclist has come to the defense of 13th Street bike lanes. At 13th and Spruce Street, the bike lane that runs in front of the Fairmont Hotel was the subject of a lawsuit by the same cyclist. He claimed that cyclists were at risk by the hotel’s valet service allowing guests to load/unload out in front of the hotel entrance in the bike lane.

The suit was settled before it went to trial with the valet company putting in plastic flex posts in between the bike lane and the traffic lane. After they were installed, guests stopped parking in the bike lane, and the valet company moved across the street where there is no bike lane.

Moving Forward

For cyclists, these lawsuits have been the only victories in getting the city to properly protect the bike lanes form being blocked. It’s not certain that the city will end up putting flex posts or other protected physical barriers up, one thing seems to be for certain, if they don’t, then more lawsuits against private companies look to be in the future.


Trenton NJ School Crossing Zone Safety

There are 22 public schools in Trenton and an equal number of private schools that teach the people of Trenton’s children. Many of those that get to school are bused, but a fair number walk to school and use school crossing zones.

School is back in session in early September at most of these schools.

Here are some School Zone Safety tips for drivers:

  • Take extra care to look out for children in school zones, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas. Assume they are nearby.
  • Drivers should be aware that some children may be distracted by their phone or dart out into traffic. If you’re operating a vehicle, you are responsible for keeping the people around you safe.
  • When you approach a school crosswalk, always give the right-of-way to pedestrians.
  • Compensate for current weather conditions.
  • Slow down near schools and school zones.

Here are some School Zone Safety tips for students:

  • Kids can be sure to look both ways before crossing.
  • Kids can be on the lookout for vehicles traveling too fast or being operated by distracted drivers.
  • Children can stay in crosswalks.
  • Older kids and teens can be sure to not be distracted by phones or headphones while crossing the street.

Legal Options After a Jersey Shore Deck Collapse Injury

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association held the 142nd annual New Jersey State Firemen’s Convention and Parade in wIldwood, New Jersey. Firetrucks from all over the state were displayed and there were several other important events taking place that day at the New Jersey Firemen’s Convention.

That evening a terrible event unfolded. Firefighters and their families were in town unwinding from the day when there was a horrific deck collapse.

According to USA Today, 21 people were transported to Cape May Regional Health System. Thankfully, even though children were injured, all were released from the hospital by 10PM.

A witness saw the deck pull away and separate from the house. She explains the terrible chain of events unfolding in “slow motion” as people slid off of the collapsing decks. Apparently, a deck separated from the building, landing on the deck(s) below, injuring and trapping several people.

At the time of this article, we’re not sure how many people were in the deck.

Who pays for deck collapses?

Even though we depend on firefighters and they save our lives, don’t expect insurers to accept any responsibility for this. They make money by not paying claims.

If you were injured in any type of deck collapse on the Jersey Shore, you should be aware of what happens next.

There are very likely going to be several parties liable for a deck collapse. Some of those parties could include a rental agency, realty company, the homeowner, the deck builder, construction crews, contractor, inspectors and maintenance companies.

None of these companies, or their insurers, are likely to accept blame. In reality, several parties may share liability, especially if there was a structural weakness or lack of inspection.

Additionally, homes used as rental properties often require special deck design signed off on by an engineer and/or created by an architect.

What causes deck collapses?

In New Jersey, permits and inspections are required for new decks and other deck construction, but after they’re built, they begin deteriorating: wood gets soggy and nails erode. However, one of the most common failures in a deck is improper fastening of the deck itself to the house. The part of the deck which connects to the house is called the deck ledger. The part of the house the deck ledger should be properly connected to is called the rim joist. When the deck ledger is improperly attached to the rim joist, decks collapse when they have aged or when a certain amount of weight is placed on them. Unfortunately, some contractors actually nail ledgers to joists. You might find this shocking, but this is a common cause of deck collapses. Of course, nails pull out.

Other causes of balcony and deck collapses may include poor design, defective materials, lack of inspections, improper maintenance, rotten wood or poor workmanship.

Contacting a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer.

Nobody wants to file a lawsuit against another entity, however, when insurers won’t pay you for your injuries and future losses, you need to protect yourself. In many collapse cases, companies will actually try to blame YOU for your injuries, telling you that you had too much weight on the deck or that some other company is to blame. Don’t let that happen to you.

A good attorney is going to hold every responsible party accountable for your injuries, maximize the amount of compensation awarded and ensure the best possible outcome of your case.

If you were involved in any type of balcony or deck collapse in New Jersey, you should speak to an attorney who knows the law and can advise you of all of your legal options.

Personal Injury Attorney Edith Pearce understands New Jersey premises liability law. Unlike some firms which have many different attorneys handling different aspects of your case, Edith Pearce is personally involved in every case that we handle. She genuinely cares about her clients and you will not be treated like just another case or file. If you or a loved one was injured anywhere along the Jersey Shore in a deck collapse, contact her for a free consultation and case evaluation. She handles cases throughout eastern Pennsylvania and all over New Jersey and frequently visits the shore herself.