Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, L.L.P.

Paterson Legal Issues Blog

Man killed in bike accident involving New Jersey Transit worker

There are a variety of different ways to legally utilize the roadways in the United States. For example, some people choose a bicycle as their preferred form of transportation. While it is legal to ride bikes on many New Jersey roads, the negligent behavior of drivers of motor vehicles could put bicyclists as risk. In fact, a recent fatal bike accident remains under investigation.

The accident reportedly happened one evening on a day in early September. According to reports, a 20-year-old student at New Jersey Institute of Technology was riding his bicycle when he was struck by a excavation vehicle. The vehicle was reportedly driven by an employee of NJ Transit.

Kids of divorce are less likely to earn post-secondary degrees

For parents who are divorcing, the primary concern is the wellbeing of their children. Divorce can be incredibly difficult for kids. In addition to affecting their schoolwork, it can have long-lasting emotional repercussions.

A recent study indicates that divorce can also impact a child’s likelihood of attending college. According to the data, children whose parents divorce are less likely to earn a college degree than children whose parents remain married.

New Jersey truck accident injures 7 people

Truck drivers have difficult jobs. Often they are expected to put in long days and may sometimes face delays through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, a driver who is tired or distracted could cause a truck accident that has a significant impact on everyone involved. In fact, reports indicate that a recent accident in New Jersey injured seven people.

The incident happened in the southbound lanes of Route 1 at approximately 5:30 p.m., during rush hour traffic. Police reports claim that a tractor-trailer driver lost control, which caused an accident that involved nine vehicles. Witnesses, including those involved in the accident, claim that cars were stopped at a red light, but the truck failed to stop, causing it to plow into the stopped vehicles.

How employers should respond to personal injury in the workplace

Many employers take steps to prevent workplace injuries, but even with these safety measures in place, accidents can still happen. An employer's response to a personal injury while on the job can make a big difference, both to the injured person's health and any legal consequences that may follow. Here are some tips for New Jersey employers when dealing with an employee who gets hurt on the job.

There are several types of injuries that may take place in the workplace. Some of the most common are slips and trips, vehicle accidents and machine entanglement. Depending on the circumstances around these incidents, an employer may be sued for inadequate safety measures. Legal action can also be taken if the employer fails to respond properly to the incident.

Older Americans filing for bankruptcy at an increasing rate

When most people think of risk factors for financial trouble, age may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But recent figures show that older Americans may be seeking bankruptcy relief with increased frequency. New research from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project may have an impact on how New Jersey retirees look at their financial future.

According to the academic paper, more older people in the United States are filing consumer bankruptcies. Additionally, the percentage of those who are 65 and older among filers is at an all time high. One author in the paper noted that this is an indicator that elderly Americans may be struggling financially.

Criminal defense for marijuana offences on hiatus in New Jersey

Until now, people caught with marijuana in New Jersey could have faced criminal charges from municipal prosecutors. However, the top law enforcement official in the state has advised all prosecutors in New Jersey to hold off on pursuing convictions for crimes related to cannabis. The criminal defense news comes as the Attorney General's office prepares to establish a working group on marijuana decriminalization.

The news does not mean that police will not be enforcing current pot laws across the state. While enforcement will continue, court proceedings and charges related to the drug are on hold until September, when new guidelines are expected to be given to municipalities. The news came in the form of a memo to prosecutors across the state.

Make sure tech doesn't dominate in criminal pretrial matters

The 2002 movie, "Minority Report" tells the story of a future in which a special police force uses psychics and technology to arrest individuals on the basis of predicted crimes, rather than crimes committed. It's science fiction, but in the view of some, New Jersey's current methods for deciding whether a criminal suspect is released or detained pending trial comes disturbingly close to that reality.

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Backlog of immigration applications for prospective citizens

The wait time to hear back on a citizenship application can vary. As of the end of 2017, there were 725,000 people waiting to become U.S. citizens, including over 30,896 in New Jersey. Many people are taking a second look at the current immigration process to understand the reasons behind this backlog.

The majority of people with pending citizenship applications in New Jersey are legal residents with green cards looking to become permanent residents. One study found that the processing of these application can take up to 20 months. According to the most recent data, New Jersey has the fifth highest number of pending applications. 

What to do with student loans when facing bankruptcy

One of the most difficult types of debt to manage is student loans. This is because student loans are typically not dischargeable in bankruptcy. However, New Jersey debt holders may see this change in the future.

Over 44 million borrowers in the U.S. have outstanding student loans adding up to a collective $1.5 trillion in debt. In 2016, the average student owed $37,172 upon graduation. Unsurprisingly, this is the second highest consumer debt category and often a concern of those considering bankruptcy.

What is the difference between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy?

Many people looking for a fresh financial start can be confused by the different types of bankruptcy available and the laws associated with each. New Jersey individuals typically file for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is important for individuals to look carefully at the qualifications, benefits and drawbacks of each to decide which is right for them.

The main difference between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is what happens to the debts following the filing. Under Chapter 7, the unsecured debt would be discharged. Under Chapter 13, payments are still made on debts pursuant to a court-approved plan. There are certain conditions to each, and often the one that is chosen depends on a person's financial situation upon filing.

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