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Are you showing signs of a severe concussion?

What happens when New Jersey drivers like you get into a crash? You will likely suffer from injuries. Some of the most common are head injuries. Among those, you are more likely to suffer from a traumatic concussion. 

Severe concussions are no joke. But how can you tell that is what you are dealing with? What are the signs that differentiate a severe concussion from other head injuries? 

The variety of concussion symptoms

According to Mayo Clinic, concussion injuries vary in severity. The severity depends on where the injury is. The amount of force involved in the trauma also contributes to this. The good news is severe concussions are easier to identify than mild ones. With a mild concussion, you may experience tenderness and headaches. You might have a few other symptoms, like trouble balancing. But on a whole, a mild concussion does not stand out much. 

By contrast, severe concussions involve many physical and mental effects. These effects are easy for you or others around you to notice. Some examples of physical effects include: 

  • Severe nausea, dizziness or vomiting 
  • Crippling head pains 
  • The inability to fall asleep or wake up 
  • Disordered senses 
  • A lack of fine motor control 

Identifying mental symptoms of concussions

You may have trouble identifying mental symptoms as the person living through them. But others around you can likely tell. For example, you may suffer from confusion. Amnesia is also common. It is especially common to forget incidents surrounding the injury itself. Short-term memory often suffers as well. This makes it hard for you to recall things that just happened. 

If you notice any of these things, or a loved one notices, what next? You can seek medical attention. Only trained professionals can identify a concussive injury and decide how to treat it. 

Can I sue if I am partially at fault for my injuries?

New Jersey is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that you may be able to sue for damages after a personal injury even if you were partially at fault. Your eligibility to receive damages depends upon the relative degree of negligence a court attributes to each party, and whether or not that negligence constitutes proximate cause.

Understanding state interpretations of negligence and proximate cause may help determine whether your claim is worthwhile. When in doubt, a lawyer can help you assess your options.

Negligence

Personal injury claims essentially depend upon the way a court assigns negligence contributing to an injury. Negligence in layman’s terms is the failure to exercise the degree of care society expects of you. The law typically measures this according to how a reasonably prudent person would behave in your shoes.

Judges see negligence as a sliding scale between ordinary negligence, gross negligence, recklessness and willful misconduct. But these are not the same as a percentage of fault. Many personal injury cases are due to ordinary negligence. Courts treat more severe forms of negligence as particularly egregious.

Proximate cause

Negligence does not always result in injury. People can act carelessly or recklessly without negative consequences. Proximate cause is a legal doctrine meaning that the negligence you or the other party demonstrated directly contributed to the injury in question.

Comparative fault

When evaluating a personal injury claim, a court will assess negligence and proximate cause as a percentage. For example, if your negligence contributed 40% to the injury, and the other party contributed 60%, then you would be eligible for all assessed damages less 40%. Modified comparative negligence dictates that in New Jersey, you must be less than 50% at fault for the incident to collect damages.

AAA study exposes pedestrian risks

Navigating a sea of vehicles when on foot presents challenges to pedestrians in even the most ideal of conditions such as in broad daylight, clearly marked crosswalks and slow vehicle speed limits.

Many new vehicles today come equipped with technology systems designed to detect other vehicles or pedestrians and to automatically bring a vehicle to a stop prior to colliding with those objects or people. Unfortunately, one AAA study found that these systems have a long way to go before they truly protect pedestrians.

Technology fails more than succeeds

The Verge reported on the results of the study that used both adult and child pedestrian dummies and vehicles on a closed test course. Vehicles operating at 20 miles per hour in the daytime featured pedestrian detection and automatic braking systems. The vehicles hit the adult pedestrian dummies in 60% of the test scenarios. Smaller child-sized dummies were hit by the vehicles in almost 90% of test scenarios.

Tests conducted in dark hours yielded even less success, resulting in AAA declaring the technology safety systems totally ineffective according to Consumer Reports. This is particularly troubling as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that three out of every four pedestrian deaths occur during dark hours.

Large vehicles pose big dangers

As pedestrian fatalities across the nation rise at alarming rates, experts look for reasons and ways to reverse the trend. The prevalence of large vehicles like sport utility vehicles may well contribute to the problem. When hit by tall vehicles, a pedestrian’s primary impact may occur in the head or vital organs in the torso instead of in the legs and hips.

4 Tips for keeping your teen safe behind the wheel

You likely have worries about your teenager driving independently, especially since in the U.S., motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also states that 2,364 teens between the ages of 16 to 19 died in car accidents in 2017, and 300,000 teens went to the emergency room for car accident-related injuries the same year.

Lack of driving experience and immaturity are two factors that contribute to the high car accident rate among teenagers. Luckily, there are steps you can take as a parent to help your teen stay safe and make good decisions when he or she gets behind the wheel.

1. Lead by example

Your behavior when you drive makes an impression on your teen driver. Show your teen what safe driving looks like by always wearing your seat belt, never texting while driving, keeping your cool in stressful driving situations and obeying the posted speed limit.

2. Make time for practice

Your teen will become a better driver, and less likely to sustain injuries in a car crash, if he or she has plenty of driving practice. Consider enrolling your teenager in a driver’s education course and make sure you drive with him or her frequently to solidify his or her driving skills.

3. Discuss the dangers of unsafe driving

Your teen will be less likely to drive recklessly and engage in unsafe driving behaviors if he or she understands the impact of these actions. Sit down and talk to your teenager about why it is so important to drive safely and how his or her actions can significantly affect others when behind the wheel of a car.

4. Institute a set of rules

The state of New Jersey maintains a Graduated License Program for new drivers that places restrictions on permitting, night driving and passengers. You may desire to institute a set of rules that go beyond these restrictions to keep your teen driver safe, such as not letting him or her drive on busy freeways or only letting him or her drive to and from work.

What are major causes of back pain?

Back pain can seriously impact your quality of life, making it hard to perform leisure activities or to handle tasks at work, which can impair your ability to make a living. Back pain can originate from a number of causes, some sudden and unexpected, while in other cases back pain may develop over time. 

Depending on the source of your back pain, you may want to seek compensation for your medical bills. For example, some people suffer back pain because of an injury following a car accident. Medical News Today goes into some of the common causes that can hurt your back. 

Accidents and improper lifting 

As previously stated, a car accident can injure your back, but many different kinds of accidents can also hurt your back. You may suffer a fall while out in a public place or you may sustain a workplace injury. Any of these events may fracture a bone, damage a spinal disk, or harm a muscle or ligament. 

You might also experience back pain from an action that strains your back muscles or causes a spasm. Heavy lifting is a frequent cause of strain and spasms. If you do not lift a load properly, or if you turn your body in an awkward manner, you could injure your back. Also, you might try to lift something that is too heavy for you with similar results. 

Postures and workday activities 

You could develop back pain over time by performing actions that are typical for you in a workday. Truck drivers, for instance, are susceptible to back pain. If your job requires you to drive over a long distance, you could be on the road for hours. Without a break, you might strain the muscles in your back from sitting down too long. 

Even everyday office work can result in back pain. As part of your job, you may sit at a computer desk for prolonged periods. If you stretch your neck to read your computer screen while working, you may develop pain. You can also suffer pain if your sitting posture is too awkward and you do not take breaks to exercise. 

Who is most likely to text while driving?

Many different factors cause car accidents, from speeding to drinking and driving. However, few other actions behind the wheel are more dangerous than texting. The National Safety Council reports that over 700 people experience injuries in auto accidents while texting, and knowing which groups of drivers are most likely to text and drive may help you avoid an accident or to review your own driving habits.

Young drivers 

Teens and young adults tend to depend on their cell phones a great deal more than their parents, as they use the devices not only to talk but to stream music and video, order food and post to different social media sites. This might lead to everyday texting and driving as they try to keep up with friends while they drive to work or school. Consider reminding your children to keep their phones in a purse or backpack until they reach their destination, as this could reduce the urge to use the device while behind the wheel.

Commercial drivers 

Truckers, delivery personnel and company drivers must often stay in touch with managers and customers alike when they are on the road, and this may cause them to text even if they know the dangers. Incidents of texting may occur mostly on highways when individuals are in a hurry to complete their orders or make a delivery. If you own a business, you may want to make your vehicles cell phone free or limit their use when company vehicles are in motion.

While hands-free devices are popular for drivers, they still may cause distractions and accidents. Putting your phone away before you drive is a wise choice when it comes to preventing accidents caused by texting and driving.

When does an injury arise from employment?

For you to collect workers’ compensation, your injury must be work-related. According to National Paralegal College, there are two criteria you must demonstrate for a work-related injury. One of these is that your injury must arise from your employment. In other words, an employment hazard must be the source and the cause of your injury.

You might think that it would be a simple matter to establish that your injury arose from your employment. It may be if your injury resulted from acute workplace trauma. However, there are circumstances in which it can be more difficult to establish that the injury arose from employment.

Repetitive stress injuries

Repetitive stress injuries do not result from a single traumatic event. Rather, they result from a series of microtrauma that has a cumulative effect over time. In the absence of a single acute injury, it can be easier for your employer or the insurance company to argue that the injury did not arise from your employment but has some other cause. Your treating physician may have to provide specific evidence showing that the injury did arise from your work.

Aggravation of a pre-existing condition

You may have an injury or illness that occurred or developed prior to your employment. The pre-existing condition may or may not have been work-related in the first place. However, if your job activities or an accident at work made it worse, then the new or worsened symptoms arose from your employment.

It can be a tricky business to determine the extent to which your current job contributed to your symptoms. Your employer may try to argue that your employment was not a factor at all.

How does drowsy driving factor into crashes?

Residents of New Jersey understand that drowsy driving is not always safe. But do you understand how much of a risk it is? Do you know how many people one drowsy driver may put at risk?

Today we will take a closer look at drowsy driving. We will see how it factors into car crashes. We will examine the true impact of drowsy driving on the safety of all drivers on the road.

The risks of drowsy driving

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take a look at factors of drowsy driving. For example, drowsy driving is one of the most common types of distracted driving. Many people do not even know that it is a form of distraction. People drive without getting enough sleep often. It is a somewhat normalized thing in many societies.

But drowsy driving impacts a driver’s abilities. This is similar to texting and driving or drunk driving. Many drowsy drivers cannot spot danger in time to avoid it. They have dulled reactions and slow reaction times. Rear end crashes are common. This is because drowsy drivers do not notice the car ahead stopped or slowed down in time to avoid hitting them.

Falling asleep at the wheel

They may even fall asleep at the wheel. This is the ultimate risk because it means a driver is unconscious. They cannot react to anything while asleep. This leads to many devastating crashes.

In 2013 alone, an estimated 6,000 fatal crashes occurred because of drowsy driving. Statistics likely rise as the years go on. One of the best ways to combat dangerous driving behavior is to stigmatize it. If drivers create a stigma around drowsy driving, will it help? It may discourage this behavior and make the roads a bit more safe.

What are New Jersey’s auto insurance requirements?

As in other states, New Jersey drivers must prove financial responsibility for accidents that occur. If you have a collision, you can seek compensation for injuries and property damages from your car insurance policy or a responsible motorist’s policy.

Before moving to the Garden State or getting your license here, make sure you comply with the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements.

Basic auto insurance policy

The state offers a basic policy with the bare minimum car coverage at an affordable price. This policy includes:

  • $15,000 in personal injury protection per person per accident, with up to $250,000 in coverage for certain catastrophic injuries
  • $5,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
  • The option to add $10,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • Optional comprehensive and collision coverage

The basic New Jersey auto insurance policy does not provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which pays for damages when you have an accident with a person who has no car insurance.

Standard auto insurance policy

If you want protection beyond the basics, New Jersey also offers a standard tier of coverage. This type of policy includes:

  • $15,000 to $250,000 in personal injury protection per individual per accident, with up to $250,000 in coverage for certain catastrophic injuries
  • $5,000 to $100,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
  • $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage, with available maximum of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident
  • Optional comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage available up to the level of your liability coverage

If you have a New Jersey driver’s license and choose the basic auto insurance policy, you have a limited right to sue for damages in an accident. Individuals who have standard state auto coverage retain the right to sue for damages that exceed the responsible driver’s auto insurance policy.

Workplace accidents and hand injuries

When accidents occur on the job, victims suffer in various ways. Some lose the ability to walk for a period of time and others are immobilized indefinitely. Back injuries, brain trauma, broken bones and lacerations occur far too often, but there are other injuries that create hardships for victims even though they do not receive as much attention. For example, hand injuries are debilitating for workers in many fields. 

From medical bills to pain and the inability to work, hand injuries disrupt life in a lot of ways. Outside of the workplace, these injuries create many challenges as well. It is pivotal for victims facing these hardships to explore their options. 

Construction and office jobs 

Hand injuries are problematic for workers in a wide range of fields. Construction workers who injure their hands are often unable to keep working, especially if they lose the ability to use machinery or tools. However, hand injuries also sideline office workers. For example, many employees cannot type or write anymore because of hand injuries. In fact, repetitive strain injuries occur very often and some office workers injure their hands after typing for many years. 

Recovering 

Moving on after sustaining a hand injury (or any other work-related injury) is crucial. Our law firm breaks down various issues related to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits, which play a key role in an injured worker’s ability to recover. From assistance with training for work in a different field to help with medical bills and lost wages, these benefits are essential for eligible workers who cannot perform their job duties after an injury. 

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