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New law in New Jersey protects accident victims' rights

We would like to extend a hearty welcome to readers of our New Jersey personal injury blog. We started this blog to discuss current issues that we think you'll find interesting. From auto accidents to animal bites, nursing home neglect to child injuries, we'll be addressing many of the obstacles that New Jersey residents have to face when they or a loved one suffer a personal injury.

To start things off, we'd like to draw attention to a recently passed New Jersey law that increases the rights of accident victims. Lawmakers proposed the bill after hearing the story of a fatal car accident in 2009. But it wasn't the crash itself that spurred Governor Christie to sign the bill; it was the bad behavior of a volunteer first responder.

A 40-year-old Manchester woman was killed in a head-on collision, and her family was understandably devastated. However, they weren't notified that the woman had been killed until after a volunteer responder had taken pictures of her at the accident site and posted the images on Facebook.

"You assume that someone's common sense and integrity would come into play," said the deceased woman's sister. "We thought, 'They posted pictures on the internet?' That's not right. Can't they be arrested?"

But at the time, there were no laws in place to hold emergency responders legally responsible for posting such images. After finding this out, family members of the deceased woman lobbied New Jersey lawmakers. Now, the governor has signed a bill prohibiting first responders from distributing images or recordings of an accident victim without the family's permission.

Many New Jersey residents are not fully aware of their rights as accident victims. If you would like to learn more about accident victims' rights, then please visit our Morristown personal injury page. Our firm works to get accident victims or their families the compensation they deserve.

Source: Morristown Patch, "Emergency Workers Could Be Prosecuted Under New Accident Victim Photo Law," Daniel Nee, Aug. 8, 2012

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