Morristown, New Jersey Personal Injury Law Blog

Motor vehicle accidents: Husband and wife die in New Jersey

A husband and wife have tragically lost their lives after their minivan was catapulted into a lake, according to local police. New Jersey authorities have not yet made any arrests in connection with the crash. However, as with most fatal motor vehicle accidents, this tragic incident is still being thoroughly investigated, and charges may yet be forthcoming. 

The accident report shows that a 52-year-old man and his 50-year-old wife were stopped in their minivan on northbound Route 130 and were waiting at a jughandle around 4:30 p.m. on the afternoon of Jan. 13 when the accident occurred. A 29-year-old man also traveling north in his sedan was apparently traveling at an "excessive" rate of speed, according police. The man lost control of his vehicle and smashed into the rear of the minivan. 

Motor vehicle accidents: 1 dead in New Jersey

Police are still investigating the cause of a fatal crash on Interstate 295, according to local sources. New Jersey State Police have reported that one person is dead after an accident on the morning of Dec. 27. As with many motor vehicle accidents, this crash caused the closure of the interstate for a period of time while accident reconstruction teams tried to determine the cause of the crash. 

According to the limited information available in this report, it appears the accident happened around 6:30 a.m. somewhere near exit 67. It is unclear at this time how many vehicles were involved, but authorities have confirmed that more than one car was caught up in the accident. One person, who has not been identified publicly, was pronounced dead as a result of injuries suffered in the crash. 

On the many reasons why crashes occur

In 2008, researchers at the University of Michigan did a heavy analysis of nearly 7,000 car accidents all across the country. The purpose of the study was to find out some of the definitive reasons why car accidents occur. That may seem like a silly goal, given just how ubiquitous car accidents are and the myriad different reasons that any individual car accident could occur. But the study did yield some important information.

For one, the "rolling right turn on a red light" was a primary reasons why car accidents occur. This is an oddly specific reason, but a critical one to understand because many drivers get lazy and use this technique as the years go by. When you reach a red light and you want to make a right turn, it is imperative that you check to the left for oncoming traffic. What this means, though, is that you have less time to check to your right for pedestrians. If you "roll through" this red light to make the turn, it gives you even less time to see people who are in the crosswalk.

Federal agency reversing course on trucking safety regulations

Under the previous administration, regulators with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates commercial trucking, had drafted a number of regulations aimed at reducing truck crashes. The new administration has now halted or reversed a number of those safety gains, and traffic safety advocates are worried.

"All the numbers are trending the wrong way," said the head of the Truck Safety Coalition. "We're over 4,000 deaths a year now in truck crashes. It's been going up steadily and we need to do something now."

When is an accident the pedestrian's fault?

Let's say it is rush hour, and you are driving through heavy traffic. All of a sudden, a pedestrian crosses in front of you. To prevent colliding with the pedestrian, you step on the brake pedal. In the space of one second, you are struck from behind, and so is that driver, and so is the driver behind that driver. All four drivers are injured in the pile-up.

It doesn't happen often, but sometimes drivers sue pedestrians - the opposite of most pedestrian injury situations.


Last month, two grandparents were killed in a tragic car accident involving a drunk driver whose license had already been suspended. Frank Cabezas, 23, was driving with a suspended license from a previous DUI conviction when his car collided with the car of the victims.

Following this accident, residents, lawmakers, and media outlets once again are examining New Jersey's drunk driving laws, and asking whether those laws are designed to prevent drunk driving accidents or punish drunk drivers, and how effective the current DUI laws are at doing either.


One of the most dangerous aspects of any truck accidentinvolving a large commercial truck is that of a "side underride collision". This type of truck accident involves a passenger vehicle colliding with the side of a truck, and passing under the truck itself.

Government statistics suggest that almost 200 American drivers every year are killed in exactly this kind of truck accident, and yet, the debate rages on regarding the implementation of further safety standards to prevent exactly this type of accident, the resulting injuries, and often cases of wrongful death from occurring.


Even though movies and television shows love to dramatize the suspense of a trial, and a final jury verdict, the fact of the matter is that almost 97% of personal injury claims are resolved in settlements, and not jury verdicts.

Resolving a personal injury claim through a settlement has advantages for both sides involved in the dispute (which we will discuss in detail below), but it is important to remember that even though your personally injury claim most likely will be resolved through a settlement of some kind, you and your Morris County personal injury attorney still need to be prepared for a trial. In fact, it is this willingness and preparedness for trial that often causes the insurance company to actually make a fair settlement offer in the first place.


In 2015, two New Jersey state troopers arrested Rebecca Musarra for refusing to answer their questions during a traffic stop. Apparently, upon being stopped for allegedly speeding, Musarra provided the officers with her license, registration, and insurance information, but then proceeded to remain completely silent as the troopers questioned her. The two troopers, Matthew Stazzone and Demetric Gosa, grew increasingly frustrated with Musarra's silence, and Trooper Stazzone then told Musarra that she was "going to be placed under arrest if you don't answer my questions."

Rebecca Musarra, a Philadelphia attorney, finally broke her silence as the police ordered her out of the vehicle, and placed her under arrest. She asked, "Are you detaining me because I refused to speak?", at which point the troopers responded "Yeah, obstruction."


In the legal space, the term "mediation" is most often thought of in terms of an alternative method for resolving divorces. However, mediation can also occur during Morris County personal injury cases such as car accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, construction accidents, injuries on public property, and any other kind of accident injury claim resulting from the reckless or negligent actions of another party.

But what is personal injury mediation, how does it work, and when might it take place during a personal injury claim? Let's take a look.


Have A Question?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

The Law Offices of Smith & Doran, P.C.
60 Washington Street, Suite 302
Morristown, NJ 07960

Phone: 973-532-2661
Fax: 973-292-9168
Morristown Law Office Map