Fitzgerald & McGroarty PA
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Atlantic County Personal Injury Law Blog

Is the home you rented making you sick?

When you walked through the freshly painted and carpeted home that you ultimately rented, you may not have thought to ask whether it had suffered any water damage. After all, it looks beautiful, and you had no reason to suspect that a danger to your health could be lurking in the walls.

After spending weeks or months in the home, you may not have yet realized that your rental home could be causing your allergies or even the flu that you attributed to the time of year. In some cases, the health issues are much more serious, and could even lead to life-threatening, if not life-altering, health conditions.

Planning for your own care in the future

It is impossible to plan for the future, but New Jersey residents know that there are certain things that they can do to be better prepared for what happens in the years ahead. One of the ways to do this is to have a thoughtful estate plan in place. However, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to estate planning, and the tools you need depend largely upon your individual situation and legal objectives.

One of the ways that you can protect your interests is by having certain protections in place to ensure you get the care you want in case of your incapacitation due to illness or injury. Either though a living will, health care power of attorney or both, you can better control what will happen to you.

Steps to take toward justice after a pedestrian accident

Walking along a sidewalk or through a crosswalk in New Jersey is not supposed to be a life-threatening situation. Sadly, however, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports, you and your loved ones are at great risk for injury any time you take to the roads as pedestrians. In fact, the NHTSA has determined that at least 5,000 fatalities occur each year in incidents where motorists run into pedestrians; this doesn't even take into account the many other ways pedestrians may be injured.

Hopefully, whenever you choose walking as your mode of transportation to reach a particular destination, you remain as alert, aware and cautious as possible, regularly scanning your surroundings, on the lookout for possible dangers. However, even if you're careful, there may be little to nothing you can do to avoid injury if someone nearby is negligent.

What do you know about your parents' estate plan?

Have you talked to your parents about their plans for the future? Most likely, they have eagerly shared their retirement goals, their vacation agenda and perhaps even their ideas for downsizing. However, do you know if they have made their final arrangements? Do they have a will? Do you know what their wishes are if they should become incapacitated?

If you can't answer these questions, it may be time for a frank discussion with your folks. On the other hand, according to a recent survey, your parents may believe they have already discussed this with you.

Could a business contract protect your information?

Business arrangements can be complicated affairs. As a business owner, you undoubtedly want to minimize the risks in which you put your company when it comes to bringing new workers or partners into the fold. You likely already know that one of the best ways to ensure that certain aspects of your business remain safe begins with creating an appropriate contract.

Business contracts can serve many purposes, ranging from protecting trade secrets to ensuring that new employees understand the nature of the business relationship. Therefore, you may want to assess your needs, determine what type of contract could prove most useful and how to go about creating that contract.

The dirty truth about contaminated inheritances

Creating an estate plan seems simple. You meet with an attorney, draw up your documents and sign them. Then, when your life is over, your children inherit your property, and everyone is happy. However, it doesn't always work out so neatly, especially when loved ones realize the property they inherited is contaminated.

This realization may come when your heirs try to sell the property, make improvements or receive complaints from a neighbor. Unfortunately, the law places responsibility for toxic cleanup firmly on the shoulders of the present owners.

Can you take any legal action after the loss of a loved one?

Few things in life compare to receiving a phone call or visit telling you that a beloved family member died unexpectedly in some sort of accident. As you grieve, you might need answers to questions regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of your loved one. Those answers might lead you to wonder whether you have any legal recourse against the party or parties responsible.

Losing a loved one due to the negligence of another person often makes that loss even more difficult. You might need to know how you will achieve justice on behalf of your loved one and compensation for the financial losses that inevitably accompany it.

Giving pets a place in your plan

If you finally got around to making that estate plan, you should feel proud of yourself. You have given a great gift to your loved ones, and they will certainly be grateful to you. However, did you remember all of your loved ones in your will? Despite the unconditional devotion pets give us, people often overlook them when making an estate plan.

When New Jersey pet parents forget to provide for their furry friends, too often those animals end up in shelters, spending their last years alone and unloved. However, before you bequeath Fido or Fluffy to family or friends, animal advocates recommend having frank discussions to determine if they are willing and able to care for your beloved pet for the rest of his or her life.

You do not have to drown in groundwater contamination issues

Buying real estate can quickly become a complicated process. Part of that process often involves obtaining an environmental survey to determine whether any contamination exists. If it turns out that groundwater contamination exists, you need to decide whether to proceed with the purchase. On the other hand, if you fail to discover the contamination prior to the sale, you could file a claim against the seller and any other responsible parties.

Making these decisions requires understanding the big picture, including what you face going forward if your purchase the property knowing about its issues, since you might assume all liability for the contamination and subsequent cleanup. Even if you did not know about the contamination until the government came knocking on your door, the federal government and the state of New Jersey could still look to you for the cleanup.

Cleaning and remediating HVAC systems after flooding

South Jersey saw its share of flooding in recent years due to extreme weather conditions. Even years later, environmental issues could arise that threaten you, your family or your business. HVAC systems provide a fertile breeding ground for molds, fungi and bacteria that can cause illnesses. Even the parts of the system not submerged in water require cleaning.

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