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James P. Brady, Attorney at Law

                              

              

                Certified Civil Trial Attorney 


Because You Need A Lawyer With Proven Results

      

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Predicting Civil Trial Verdicts in Personal Injury Cases

Posted on April 22, 2017 at 1:15 PM

Studies have shown that plaintiff's attorneys over-estimate the value of their client's injury case and reject more favorable settlement offers 61% of the time.  Each such mistake cost an average of $43,100.  (Kiser, 2008 ).  On the other hand, defense counsel and their insurance claim managers were more accurate in their predictions on a more consistent basis.  They were "wrong" only 24% of the time as measured by rejecting offers of settlement from the plaintiff that ended up being more favorable than the jury verdict.  But, when they were wrong, the "mistake" was a doozy resulting in an average cost of $1,140,000. (Kiser, 2008 ).



Personal Injury Settlement Percentages

Posted on October 30, 2016 at 12:35 AM

Written by James Hirby and and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff   

Four percent to five percent of the personal injury cases in the United States go to trial. 95 percent to 96 percent of personal injury cases are settled pretrial. Several researchers and experts quote these numbers like gospel. The source of these statistics is the US Government, so gospel it is. Another statistic that many experts also quoted is that 90 percent of the cases that do go to trial end up losing. As for the cases that go to trial, those that win do better when the case is in front of a trial judge rather that a jury. The trial judge seems to pay off at a higher rate and for more money. Interesting statistic this is. 

One reason for so many cases being settled seemed to be the length of time that it takes for the lawyers to begin haggling settlement amounts. Most of the people who experienced a settlement arrived at it because of the time lag, being very impatient. Apparently this is where television and Hollywood have done humanity in the United States a great disservice. These venues have apparently given the US population that negotiations occur rather quickly and trial soon ensues with the plaintiff winning the big bucks. Well, the bubble burst and sad tidings came out. Several lawyers and experts lay out the activities involved in the execution of a personal injury case. It is actually the same as in a criminal case but the resources used are those of the attorney offices involved. These offices do not usually have three or four detectives to do interviews and investigations; typically they have one who is assigned to the case specifically because that investigator is often contracted for the case. 

The injuries, the accident itself, any witnesses, circumstances surrounding the accident are all aspects of the case that need to be investigated. This is a phase of the case that is known as “discovery”. Part of discovery is the taking of dispositions where out-of-court, yet under oath interviews are done. This all takes time and experts state that this area could take up to six months at a minimum to accomplish. While this is going on, the injured party’s lawyer is calculating what the money settlement might be if it was won by trial. From that estimate, the lawyer subtracts out all of the cost that would occur while waiting for the case to go to trial and the cost of having the trial, including work time lost and such. On the injuries themselves, it often takes some time for the full extent of the injuries to be revealed. Rushing to a settlement number and to trial and getting a settlement and finding out that one’s injuries are much worse that thought becomes a “too bad, no recourse” situation. Patience with the process, trusting one’s lawyer is very important. Perhaps a willingness to enter into arbitration with an appointed arbitrator would be a good move. The negotiation process itself is time consuming. From there, the back and forth is in play until both sides agree or end negotiations and decide to go to trial. At this point at least two years … or more have passed.

Trenton Shenanigans

Posted on July 2, 2016 at 3:10 PM

The following is a blog published om May 3, 2016 in the Trentonian by Kevin Moriarty:

"Mark 6:4


You know, that’s the one about the prophet without honor in his own town. 


Yep, pretty much. 


In the example I will discuss this morning, the Prophet spoke through a lawyer. He was no less clairvoyant by virtue of being represented by Counsel. 


Today’s reading comes from select excerpts from the Letter of James Brady, Attorney at Law, to Trenton City Clerk Juanita Joyner, May 21, 2009. The full letter can be found here [https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/d11fbaff-b1e5-45e7-979a-3a4f6536b3ff], produced by the City in answer to an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request I filed with the City in March. 


“On May 18 & 20, I consulted with Mr. [Joseph] Harris, President of ADPC regarding [the Award of Contract to IPS Payall Solutions, LLC by the City of Trenton]. As you know, Mr. Harris was part of the evaluation committee, which prepared bid specifications and reviewed the bids for a fully integrated Human Resources Information System, Payroll System, Benefits Management and Timekeeping/Labor Tracking System (’HRIS’ System) to be implemented for the City of Trenton. Pursuant to my meeting with Mr. Harris, I am providing this letter so that the position of Mr. Harris is protected in the event of any adverse consequences resulting from the action referenced above..." 


The letter goes on to discuss many irregularities in this bid and contract process. Mr. Brady concludes, 


“I have advised my client, Mr. Harris, that based on the information in my possession, the award to [sic] the contract to IPS is in violation of the ‘Local Public Contracts Law.’ Therefore I am submitting this letter, so that it may be recorded that the involvement of Mr. Harris (as outlined above) regarding this contract ended as of May 1, 2009, and that Mr. Harris played no part in any subsequent illegality. I trust that you will advise the Mayor, his Chief of Staff, and the City Council of the concerns expressed herein by providing each a copy of this letter.” [Emphasis mine - KM]


Well.

 

This is a remarkable document. We’ve known that the matter of Trenton’s Stolen Tax Millions and the involvement of Innovative Payroll Services (IPS) and its principal John Scholtz goes back to at least early 2015, thanks to documents released from an earlier OPRA request showing correspondence between IPS and the City discussing late payments and other irregularities.

 

Now we know that as far back as 2009, at the very beginning of IPS’ association with the City, there were serious concerns that this association and the process which created with it were so inherently flawed that a lawyer was hired to write a letter warning everyone he could think of of “adverse consequences” and “subsequent illegality” that would result.

 

Read the full letter for all the details the Mr. Brady provides to substantiate the claims of his client Joseph Harris. To briefly summarize, Brady’s main points are that:

 

The bidding and evaluation process undertaken to hire IPS was rushed, pushed along in less time than required by NJ law. Evaluation and recommendation reports required by law to be written and made public prior to action by City Council were not completed nor publicized.

IPS’ submitted bid was incomplete and defective. IPS itself lacked the required qualifications to bid for Trenton’s business.

The award of the City’s business to IPS was made on an “emergency basis,” although the basis for the “emergency” was not stated in the authorizing City Council Resolution, or even mentioned. Mr Brady writes, “Further, it is difficult to fathom just exactly what the ‘emergency’ might be as the City of Trenton already has a payroll system in place, and has been able to function without a fully integrated ‘HRIS’ System heretofore without imperiling the ‘public health, safety or welfare’ [one of the criteria necessary to justify an Emergency].”

As mentioned above, we know that the theft of multiple millions of dollars intended as tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service and the State of New Jersey which is being discussed by Council at its Thursday evening session covers losses incurred in 2015. Now we have to be asking ourselves, just how far back do these adverse consequences and illegalities really go?

 

This letter is one steaming hot load of accusation. Read in the context of what we know IPS did in 2015, this certainly qualifies as prophetic. Given the serious nature of the claims made here, this letter should certainly lead to a fuller audit and investigation, by outside prosecutors if necessary, into the entire term of the association of Innovative Payroll Services and the City of Trenton.

 

We have seen a lot of mischief and shenanigans in Trenton during these last seven lean, plague years. We can’t be certain that everything that went on during that time has been brought to light.

 

One more note, about the treatment shown by Trenton to Joseph Harris, of ADPC, the unwitting prophet whose lawyered-up cry of adverse consequence and illegality went unheeded by those who should have listened.

 

Just one year after Harris warned the City about IPS, the City in 2010 attempted to fire his company ADPC, which had provided Information Technology services to Trenton for nearly a quarter-century. In a seriously flawed bidding and contracting process, which was voided by a Superior Court judge, the City attempted to hire an unqualified vendor – Lynx Technology – to replace ADPC.

 

That well-recorded process was unsuccessful in dislodging ADPC. However, four years later the City tried again, This time, it succeeded.

 

In 2015, as the result of a seriously flawed bidding and contracting process – do we see a continuing theme here, perhaps? – ADPC was replaced as Trenton’s IT vendor by the obviously unqualified FCC Consulting Services. This action, although the subject of a lawsuit by Mr. Harris, has so far been unsuccessful in reversing the result of that process as 2010’s had been reversed.

 

After losing the City of Trenton as his main client, ADPC has reportedly been struggling financially. Mr. Harris at present seems to be suffering a fate common to many prophets whose words of truth fall to the ground unheard, their warnings unheeded.

 

There are more documents, several hundreds of pages worth, that were released by the City in response to my OPRA request, providing more detail in the RFP and bid processes in 2009 and 2012 which led to to contracts for IPS. I haven’t begun to review them all, but hope to do so soon.

 

When I do review them, they will be viewed through the prism of this Brady letter. The letter strongly suggests that the process that brought a criminal enterprise in to run the city’s payroll for seven years, and which has led to the loss of AT LEAST Six Million Dollars in 2015, was very likely illegal and very possibly corrupt from the very start.

 

Also viewed through this prism, the otherwise baffling treatment of ADPC in 2010 and 2015 – in which the Administrations of first Tony Mack and then Eric Jackson seemed almost to single out the company for dismissal, and took extraordinary measures to replace them – starts to make sense.

 

Was Joseph Harris and ADPC punished for raising the red flag about IPS in 2009? Was ADPC fired and sent to the wilderness as payback for Harris’ whistleblowing?

 

The plot, as they say, thickens."


JPB Note:  This Blog by Mr. Moriarty concerns the $3.3 million of payroll witholdings that IPS did not deposit with the IRS and what appears to be a significant portion of the $1.8 million of State payroll witholdings that IPS did not deposit with the State. The City was getting notices from the IRS and State regarding this since at leadt April, 2015.

 

 

 

The McDonald's Hot Coffee Lawsuit

Posted on February 9, 2015 at 12:20 AM

An integral part of Democratic Self-Governance is the Right to Trial By Jury.  Yet, Lobbyists and the Media can make us doubt our own Institutions; make us doubt the judgment of our friends and neighbors.  We are the people, who sit on juries.  If we are not crazy or stupid, what makes us think that juries are crazy or stupid.  Do juries ever get it wrong?  in my experience, only once in a while.

Finally, there is an attempt to set the record straight regarding the famous McDonald's Coffee Case.  Take a look at the link below:

   https://screen.yahoo.com/videos-for-you/scalded-coffee-then-news-media-104632481.html?soc_src=defaul


For more on tort cases that seem ridiculous, take the test at the link below:


http://www.fairplay.org/quiz/quiz2.swf

New Jersey Drunk Driving Penalties

Posted on February 7, 2015 at 10:50 AM

The only scientific way to determine whether a driver is under the influence is through blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Your BAC can be tested with a simple Breathalyzer test.

 

In New Jersey, a person with a BAC of 0.08% or greater who operates a motor vehicle or a boat is considered to be driving under the influence (DWI).

 

Being convicted of a DWI is a serious offense, carrying heavy penalties including: Fines, fees and surcharges, License suspension, Ignition interlock device, Jail time, Community service

 

MANDATORY FINES & PENALTIES

First Offense: 

Alcohol or Drug Related DWI with BAC of 0.10% or greater

License loss:  7 months–1 year

$300–$500 fine

$230 IDRC* fee

$100 to drunk driving fund

$100 to AERF*

$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge

$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

Jail - Up to 30 days  

12–48 hours IDRC*

Community Service

If BAC 0.15% or greater: ignition interlock device during license suspension and 6 months - 1 year following restoration.

 

Alcohol or Drug Related DWI with BAC 0.08% but less than 0.10%: 

License loss:  3 months

$250–$400 fine

$230 IDRC* fee

$100 to drunk driving fund

$100 to AERF*

$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge

$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

Jail - Up to 30 days  

12–48 hours IDRC*

Community Service

 

Second Offense:  

License loss: 2 years

$500–$1,000 fine

$280 IDRC* fee

$100 to drunk driving fund

$100 to AERF*

$1,000/year (for 3 years) surcharge

$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

Jail - 48 hours–90 days  

30 days Community Service

12–48 hours IDRC*

Ignition interlock device during license suspension and 1-3 years following restoration 

 

Third Offense or Subsequent Offense:  

License loss: 10 years

$1,000 fine

$280 IDRC* fee

$100 to drunk driving fund

$100 to AERF*

$1,500/year (for 3 years) surcharge

$75 to Neighborhood Services Fund

Jail:  Mandatory 180 days; Reduction of up to 90 days if admitted as an inpatient in an alcohol rehabilitation program approved by the State

12–48 hours IDRC*

Ignition interlock device during license suspension and 1-3 years following restoration 

 

NOTES:

*IDRC - Intoxicated Driver Resource Center

*AERF - Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund

Underage drinking may cause a six-month delay in getting a license

Alcohol and drug-related offenses require completion of an alcohol screening and evaluation program 

Failure to pay DUI surcharges will result in Indefinite suspension of driving privileges

Action filed in State Superior Court by MVC. This may include securing a lien against your property, garnishing your wages or other similar action

Also, despite what you may have heard, you are REQUIRED to take the Breath Machine test. Refusal results in practically the same penalties as a DWI, which will be charged anyway.

Super Bowl Sunday - February 1, 2015

Posted on January 31, 2015 at 11:40 PM

 

State Police to Tackle Drunk Driving on Super Bowl Weekend


West Trenton, N.J. – It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since we hosted Super Bowl XLVIII here in New Jersey. This year’s game will be played in Arizona, but here in New Jersey the State Police will have increased patrols statewide to tackle a major threat to roadway safety: Driving While Intoxicated.

 

In addition to normal patrols, extra troopers will be deployed across the state from Friday, January 29 to Monday, February 2. Troopers will focus on DWI, as well as aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding, seatbelt, and commercial vehicle enforcement.

 

“A good coach will prepare before a game,” said Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Callahan, Deputy Superintendent of Operations of the New Jersey State Police. “If you are traveling to a party where you will be drinking alcohol, plan ahead and make arrangements to stay where you are, or have a taxi or car service bring you home.”

 

This Super Bowl weekend effort is part of a larger program of DWI enforcement in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which is coordinated by the New Jersey State Police and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. Don’t risk hurting yourself or someone you love by getting behind after you’ve been drinking. Enjoy the game and get home safely.

 

Five (5) Reasons You Should Never Submit to a Police Search Without a Warrant (Even If You Have Nothing to Hide)

Posted on December 4, 2014 at 10:45 AM

(Authored By Scott Morgan, AlterNet = Title Changes Slightly)


You should be prepared just in case police become suspicious of you.


This story first appeared at AlterNet.


Do you know what your rights are when a police officer asks to search you? If you’re like most people I’ve met in my eight years working to educate the public on this topic, then you probably don’t. 


It’s a subject that a lot of people think they understand, but too often our perception of police power is distorted by fictional TV dramas, sensational media stories, silly urban myths, and the unfortunate fact that police themselves are legally allowed to lie to us.


It wouldn’t even be such a big deal, I suppose, if our laws all made sense and our public servants always treated us as citizens first and suspects second. But thanks to the War on Drugs, nothing is ever that easy. When something as stupid as stopping people from possessing marijuana came to be considered a critical law enforcement function, innocence ceased to protect people against police harassment. From the streets of the Bronx to the suburbs of the Nation’s Capital, you never have to look hard to find victims of the biasincompetence, andcorruption that the drug war delivers on a daily basis.


Whether or not you ever break the law, you should be prepared to protect yourself and your property just in case police become suspicious of you. Let’s take a look at one of the most commonly misunderstood legal situations a citizen can encounter: a police officer asking to search your belongings. Most people automatically give consent when police ask to perform a search. However, I recommend saying “no” to police searches, and here are some reasons why:


1. It’s your constitutional right.


The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects us against unreasonable searches and seizures. Unless police have strong evidence (probable cause) to believe you’re involved in criminal activity, they need your permission to perform a search of you or your property.


You have the right to refuse random police searches anywhere and anytime, so long as you aren’t crossing a border checkpoint or entering a secure facility like an airport. Don’t be shy about standing up for your own privacy rights, especially when police are looking for evidence that could put you behind bars.


2. Refusing a search protects you if you end up in court.


It’s always possible that police might search you anyway when you refuse to give consent, but that’s no reason to say “yes” to the search. Basically, if there’s any chance of evidence being found, agreeing to a search is like committing legal suicide, because it kills your case before you even get to court.


If you refuse a search, however, the officer will have to prove in court that there was probable cause to do a warrantless search. This will give your lawyer a good chance to win your case, but this only works if you said “no” to the search.


3. Saying “no” can prevent a search altogether.


Data on police searches are interesting, but they don’t show how many searches didn’t happen because a citizen said no. A non-search is a non-event that goes unrecorded, giving rise to a widespread misconception that police will always search with or without permission.


I know refusing searches works because I’ve been collecting stories from real police encounters. The reality is that police routinely ask for permission to search when they have absolutely no evidence of an actual crime. If you remain calm and say no, there’s a good chance they’ll back down, because it’s a waste of time to do searches that won’t hold up in court anyway.


4. Searches can waste your time and damage your property.


Do you have time to sit around while police rifle through your belongings? Police often spend 30 minutes or more on vehicle searches and even longer searching homes. You certainly can’t count on officers to be careful with valuables or to put everything back where they found it. If you waive your 4th Amendment rights by agreeing to be searched, you will have few legal options if any property is damaged or missing after the search.


5. You never know what they’ll find.


Are you 100 percent certain there’s nothing illegal in your home or vehicle? You can never be too sure. A joint roach could stick to your shoe on the street and wind up on the floorboard. A careless acquaintance could have dropped a baggie behind the seat. Try telling a cop it isn’t yours, and they’ll just laugh and tell you to put your hands behind your back. If you agreed to the search, you can’t challenge the evidence. But if you’re innocent and you refused the search, your lawyer has a winnable case.


Remember that knowing your rights will help you protect yourself, but no amount of preparation can guarantee a good outcome in a bad situation. Your attitude and your choices before, during, and after the encounter will usually matter more than your knowledge of the law. Stay calm no matter what happens, and remember that you can always report misconduct after things settle down.


Finally, please don’t be shy about sharing this information with your friends and family. Understanding and asserting your rights isn’t about getting away with anything, and it isn’t about disrespecting police either. These rights are the foundation of freedom in America, and they get weaker whenever we fail to exercise them.


Scott Morgan is Associate Director of FlexYourRights.org and co-creator of the film 10 Rules for Dealing with Police.

A Texas Judge Cited 'The Big Lebowski' In A Legal Decision

Posted on September 16, 2014 at 2:25 PM

From Business Insider by Paul Szoldra 9/5/2014


Texas Supreme Court Justice Debra Lehrmann cited a quote from the cult film "The Big Lebowski" in a legal decision last month.

The opinion on Kinney v. Barnes was delivered on Aug. 29, but we learned of it on Friday from C.J. Ciaramella's FOIA Newsletter. Legal blog Above The Law caught wind of the decision on Thursday.

 

It was a freedom of speech appeals case, in which Andrew Barnes wrote on two websites that Robert Kinney had been implicated in a kickback scheme while he was Barnes' employee. Kinney sued and demanded a permanent injunction against the allegedly defamatory statements.

 

"The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is similarly suspicious of prior restraints," wrote Justice Lehrmann in the decision highlighting a cornerstone that has "been reaffirmed time and again by the Supreme Court, this Court, Texas courts of appeals, legal treatises, and even popular culture."

 

That last reference to popular culture contained an interesting footnote citing none other than Walter Sobchak, a character in the 1998 film. This is the footnote:

 

 

 

"For your information, the Supreme Court has roundly rejected prior restraint!" Sobchak says in the movie, before continuing: "This affects all of us, man! Our basic freedoms!"

 

                                                  *                                                     *                                                                             *

 

 

Ciaramella called it the "footnote of the year." We're inclined to agree. But well, that's just like, our opinion man.

 

 

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/texas-judge-big-lebowski-2014-9#ixzz3DVL4VrDD

 

Just for Fun

Posted on September 11, 2014 at 3:25 PM

                                                                                

                                                                                        IN THE SUPREME COURT

                                                                                                      REGINA

                                                                                                           V.

                                                                                                     OJIBWAY

Blue, J. August, 1965

This is an appeal by the Crown by way of a stated case from a decision of the magistrate acquitting the accused of a charge under the Small Birds Act, R.S.O., 1960, c. 724, s. 2. The facts are not in dispute. Fred Ojibway, an Indian, was riding his pony through Queen’s Park on January 2, 1965. Being impoverished, and having been forced to pledge his saddle, he substituted a downy pillow in lieu of the said saddle. On this particular day the accused’s misfortune was further heightened by the circumstance of his pony breaking its foreleg. In accord with Indian custom, the accused then shot the pony to relieve it of its awkwardness. The accused was then charged with having breached the Small Birds Act, s. 2 of which states: “2. Anyone maiming, injuring or killing small birds is guilty of an offence and subject to a fine not in excess of two hundred dollars.” The learned magistrate acquitted the accused holding, in fact, that he had killed his horse and not a small bird. With respect, I cannot agree.

In light of the definition section my course is quite clear. Section 1 defines “bird” as “a two legged animal covered with feathers.” There can be no doubt that this case is covered by this section.

Counsel for the accused made several ingenious arguments to which, in fairness, I must address myself. He submitted that the evidence of the expert clearly concluded that the animal in question was a pony and not a bird, but this is not the issue. We are not interested in whether the animal in question is a bird or not in fact, but whether it is one in law. Statutory interpretation has forced many a horse to eat birdseed for the rest of its life.

Counsel also contended that the neighing noise emitted by the animal could not possibly be produced by a bird. With respect, the sounds emitted by an animal are irrelevant to its nature, for a bird is no less a bird because it is silent.

Counsel for the accused also argued that since there was evidence to show accused had ridden the animal, this pointed to the fact that it could not be a bird but was actually a pony. Obviously, this avoids the issue. The issue is not whether the animal was ridden or not, but whether it was shot or not, for to ride a pony or a bird is of no offence at all. I believe counsel now sees his mistake.

Counsel contends that the iron shoes found on the animal decisively disqualify it from being a bird. I must inform counsel, however, that how an animal dresses is of no consequence to this court.

Counsel relied on the decision in Re Chicadee, where he contends that in similar circumstances the accused was aquitted. However, this is a horse of a different colour. A close reading of that case indicates that the animal in question there was not a small bird, but, in fact, a midget of a much larger species. Therefore, that case is inapplicable to our facts.

Counsel finally submits that the word “small” in the title Small Birds Act refers not to “Birds” but to “Act”, making it The Small Act relating to Birds. With respect, counsel did not do his homework very well, for the Large Birds Act, R.S.O. 1960, c. 725 is just as small. If pressed, I need only refer to the Small Loans Act, R.S.O. 1960, c. 727 which is twice as large as the Large Birds Act.

It remains then to state my reason for judgment which, simply, is as follows: Different things may take on the same meaning for different purposes. For the purpose of the Small Birds Act, all two-legged, feather-covered animals are birds. This, of course, does not imply that only two-legged animals qualify, for the legislative intent is to make two legs merely the minimum requirement. The statute therefore contemplated multi-legged animals with feathers as well. Counsel submits that having regard to the purpose of the statute only small animals “naturally covered” with feathers could have been contemplated. However, had this been the intention of the legislature, I am certain that the phrase “naturally covered” would have been expressly inserted just as “Long” was inserted in the Longshoreman’s Act.

Therefore, a horse with feathers on its back must be deemed for the purposes of this Act to be a bird, and a fortiori, a pony with feathers on its back is a small bird.

Counsel posed the following rhetorical question: If the pillow had been removed prior to the shooting, would the animal still be a bird? To this let me answer rhetorically: Is a bird any less of a bird without its feathers?

Appeal allowed.

Personal Injury - Emotional Distress Claims & Insurance Coverage

Posted on February 2, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Under Portee v. Jaffee, 84 N.J. 88 (1980), New Jersey law permits a person to file an independent claim for emotional distress resulting from the shock of watching a family member at the scene of an accident suffer or die, or from seeing efforts to revive her/him being unsuccessful. If the incident from which the emotional distress claim arose is due to a car accident, the “per injury" liability limits of the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy will apply to provide coverage for the emotional distress claim independently from the physically injured person's claim.  Wolfe v. State Farm Insurance Company, 224 N.J. Super. 348 (App. Div. 1988 ).  Since the emotional distress claim is independent of the family member's claim for damages, each claim will have separate “per injury" liability limits rather than share under the same “per injury" limits. Id. In effect, a person need not fear that their injured family member will recover less from the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage should he/she wish to press the emotional distress claim.


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