Trenton pays $350K settlement for woman’s death in police lockup

Cliff Bidlingmaier along with co-counsel successfully resolved a prison suicide case. When dealing with injuries that take place in a jail or prison there are specific regulations that must be followed by the governmental agency. When suffering an injury as a result of being incarcerated contact Cliff Bidlingmaier for a consultation.

Click here: Trenton pays $350K settlement for woman’s death in police lockup.

How to Choose the Right Personal Injury Attorney for You

Let’s say you were injured in an accident and you have been unable to work while you are on the mend. Your loved one recommends that you hire a lawyer so that you can sue the driver of the car that caused the accident, but you don’t know where to begin. You will have a lot of questions on your mind.

We can answer some frequently asked questions to help you narrow your list of prospective attorneys:

How do I find a good attorney?

Attorneys advertise everywhere form the yellow pages to the back of the bus in front of you in traffic, but the best way to find a good attorney is to get a referral from someone who has worked with them and is satisfied with their work. Talk to your friends and ask them if they can recommend a good personal injury attorney. Given the fact that you are reading this online, you are aware that searching online is another good way to find attorneys in your area. Do some research — read their websites, read their bios and watch their videos, and then create a list of attorneys to contact.

Be aware that, like doctors, attorneys tend to focus on a specific area of the law. You would not ask a divorce attorney to represent you in a personal injury claim. What you are looking for is someone who focuses on representing people who have been seriously injured in accidents.

How much will it cost me to hire a personal injury attorney?

The good news is that personal injury attorneys often operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that if they take your case, you will not pay any attorney fees until they obtain a settlement for you. You will still have some costs, depending on the nature of your accident and many other factors, but the attorney’s fees will come out of the settlement for your accident.

How do I find out what an attorney’s reputation is?

You can search your attorney’s name online to find out if there are any lawsuits pending against them. You can look them up on websites that rate attorneys and where people leave reviews. Take these reviews with several grains of salt, but read through them to get an idea of what their past clients and peers have to say about them. Check also with your local chamber of commerce and bar association to find out if the attorney has complaints against them.

Is it important that I like my attorney?

You are not looking for your attorney to be your best friend. You actually want an attorney who will work aggressively on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve. As long as you can develop a good rapport with them, trust them and they have helpful, friendly staff, you should be fine. You want a lawyer who will return your calls, who will keep you informed as your case progresses, and who has the right kind of experience for your case.

Schedule an initial consultation

Most likely, the attorneys on your short list will offer free consultations. Sit down and discuss your case and get their advice about how to proceed. Ask for references from past clients and call those references.

In the end, you will rely on your instincts and references in selecting the right attorney to represent you. If you are in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, the law firm of Kardos, Rickles, Hand & Bidlingmaier handles all kinds of personal injury cases. We are responsive to client needs and are happy to sit down and discuss your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Governor Christie Already Facing Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Frustrated Drivers

As reported by Reuters courtesy of CNBC.com, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is facing a potential class-action lawsuit arising from the monster traffic jams his aides are accused of creating, although experts question the strength of the case.

A personal injury lawyer from Fort Lee, N.J., filed the case in federal court on behalf of six local residents who missed work or suffered other alleged damages due to the traffic jam last September. Many more people could join the plaintiffs if the court allows the case to become a class action.

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday, a day after New Jersey officials released emails that appeared to show the Republican governor’s staff plotting a massive traffic jam in September, seemingly to retaliate against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie’s re-election campaign.

The lawyer behind the lawsuit, said she has received “tons” of emails from residents detailing damages, including panic attacks, caused by the traffic jam.

“I have no political motivation whatsoever,” said the lawyer, who specializes in cases involving car accidents, defective products and wrongful death. “I’m a Republican. I voted for him.”

The lawsuit names Christie, the state of New Jersey, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the governor’s aides as defendants.

Some experts were skeptical of the lawsuit’s chances.

“Not every dispute ought to be resolved by a lawsuit,” said Howard Erichson, a professor of Fordham University School of Law in New York. “The idea of class actions can be very useful, but I’m skeptical of this one.”

The lawyer states she was aware some would see the suit as frivolous, but insisted the damages suffered by commuters were serious. “You were gridlocked in every sense of the word,” she said. “It was anxiety producing.”

The lawsuit purports to represent all “those individuals and business owners who reside, work or own businesses in Northern New Jersey and who were caused to sustain injury, either physical or psychological and/or who were caused to sustain economic damages and loss of liberty as the result of the conduct” of the defendants.

The six current plaintiffs arrived late for work when lanes to the George Washington Bridge heading into New York City were shut down for four days.

The lawsuit was filed on the same day Christie – one of the most prominent U.S. governors and a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate – apologized for the closing.

Monetary damages

The lawsuit asserts a mix of constitutional and tort claims on behalf of local residents and seeks money damages for their injuries, including docked pay for missing work.

Among other things, the lawsuit claims that New Jersey residents were deprived of their freedom of interstate movement under the so-called privileges or immunities clause of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The clause, which became part of the Constitution in 1868, asserts: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

The clause is rarely invoked in class actions, said David Noll, a professor at Rutgers School of Law-Newark, but he said it could be made into a successful claim in this case.

While state workers acting in their official capacities are protected from most claims, there is an exception for when they intentionally break the law.

“It’s not totally implausible because there seems to have been an intention to keep people from using the bridge,” he said.

But the proposed class is likely to be considered too broad for the case to move forward as a class action, say some legal experts. In recent years, courts have made it hard to bring lawsuits on behalf of large numbers of plaintiffs.

Courts generally want to see in class-action cases that the plaintiffs are affected largely in the same way. “But the questions of how that wrongdoing affected each individual driver are going to be hugely varied,” Erichson said.

Judges often want to test whether a case can move forward as a class action early on, claimed another plaintiffs’ lawyer who regularly brings class actions.

He said the lawyers in the bridge case would likely have to narrow their class definition to be successful or they would have to pursue individual cases.

“Class actions are designed with this kind of thing in mind, and I love the concept behind the lawsuit,” he said. “The problem is they’re biting off more they can chew.”

The lawyer bringing the class action suit disagreed.

“They all took the bridge and they all suffered as result of the Christie administration,” she said.

– Article Written and Published by Reuters

Michael P. DeRose is an Associate Attorney at Kardos, Rickles, Hand & Bidlingmaier. He concentrates on a variety of practice areas, including Domestic, Contract, Landlord/ Tenant, Municipal, and Personal Injury Law. He may be reached at (609) 989-7995