No one in Toms River ever anticipates being involved in a car accident, yet given the number of vehicles on the road, the possibility is ever present. If and when an accident does occur, most might hope for a minor “fender-bender” that causes minimal damages to a vehicle and no serious injuries. Sadly, people cannot pick and choose what the results of the auto accidents they are involved in will be. Often, the damage (both to oneself and their vehicle) is catastrophic, leaving them to have to deal with enormous financial costs.
Such may be the result of a collision between a dump truck and an SUV in Medford. The exact circumstances of the accident were not reported (nor was who might have been at fault), yet witnesses say that the resulting damage to both vehicles was extensive. Following the collision, the dump truck caught fire (yet fire officials were able to quickly contain the blaze). One of the SUV’s occupants had to be extracted by rescue personnel and taken to a local hospital by ambulance. Yet despite the devastation that the accident caused, no one else was reported to be seriously injured.
Medical bills and other injury costs often make up the bulk of one’s accident expenses. Yet vehicle repair (or replacement) costs can also be just as high. Most will rely on insurance coverage to help handle such expenses, yet oftentimes the maximum amount offered through an insurance settlement is not enough. In such cases, those involved may be forced to commence legal action against the drivers responsible for their accidents. Such action may have a better chance of success if it is supported by an experienced attorney.
As a working adult, you are probably aware that you have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits in the event that you get hurt on the job. You probably assume that filing for benefits is a mere formality to connecting with the medical benefits and wage replacement you need to make it through your recovery time as an injured worker.
Sadly, a portion of the people who seek workers’ compensation benefits every year will wind up receiving a denial instead of an approval, even if they have an injury or illness directly connected to their employment. If you are one of those people, you will likely find yourself wondering who denied your workers’ compensation claim and what you can do about it.
Who has the authority to deny your benefits claim?
There are different reasons that workers find their initial request for workers’ compensation benefits denied. Depending on the kind of denial, you can likely deduce who was responsible. Typically speaking, administrative rejections come from the state of New Jersey.
You need to file certain documentation and paperwork with the state in a timely manner. From the records of your employer’s accident report to adequate medical documentation, there are many different items that play a role in establishing a viable workers’ compensation claim. Sadly, simple paperwork errors are an issue for many people who need workers’ compensation benefits. While it is possible to correct those issues and move forward with your claim, the denial can delay your receipt of benefits.
In other circumstances, it may be your employer who chooses to reject or question your claim. In some circumstances, this rejection is because the employer’s documentation of the incident doesn’t match your own. Other times, the issue comes because someone in human resources or management didn’t follow the proper protocol when you reported your accident. In rare cases, employers will even deny credible claims because they don’t want their insurance premium to go up.
You have the right to file an appeal after a claim denial
Regardless of why your initial claim doesn’t receive approval, it is possible to appeal the rejection and get the benefits that you need. Every worker, regardless of the nature of their injury or the reason for their rejection, has this right. The appeals process typically involves gathering evidence and evaluating your claim to determine the cause for your rejection prior to a hearing.
Even if you did not work with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney for your initial claim, it is often a good decision to do so after a denial. That way, you can improve your chances of successfully addressing the issues that are keeping your benefits from you.
News of product recalls can easily send people in Toms River into a panic, particular when those recalls involve products such as food items or medications. The common school of thought is that if an item is being recalled, it is extremely dangerous and those that have used or consumed it are at risk of serious injury (or worse). Yet many may be surprised at just how common recalls can be (indeed, per information shared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 9199 products were recalled by that agency in 2017 alone). Understanding the details of a product recall might help people avoid suffering undue stress from it.
The FDA breaks down product recalls into three classifications according to their severity. These are:
- Classification I: Products whose use or exposure to presents a reasonable possibility of serious adverse health consequences or death
- Classification II: Products for which the probability of serious injury or death from their use or exposure is remote, but for which the possibility of users experiencing temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences is present
- Classification III: Products whose use or exposure to is unlikely to result in any adverse health consequences
According to FDA data, a majority of recalls fall into Classification II. Thus, while it is unlikely that a recalled product will cause serious harm, all recalls should be treated seriously. People possessing recalled products should stop using them immediately and follow the instructions that accompany the recall detailing how to safely return or dispose of them.
It is important to remember that even with a recall in place, manufacturers still assume liability for any damages their products cause. This means one can still seek legal action if they or a loved one are injured by a recalled product.
If you have a family member or friend in Tom’s River who may have reason to initiate legal action against another, your advice to them would likely be to not wait to do so. After all, one never knows what tomorrow may bring, and if said family member or friend dies before bringing action, then the opportunity to do so would be lost. That is the opinion held by many who come to see us here at Rosenberg Kirby Cahill Stankowitz & Richardson. Like the, however, you may be surprised to learn that is not the case.
Section 2A.15-3 of New Jersey’s state statutes says that any cause of action that your loved one may have had during their life survives their death. This allows you (if you are the executor or administrator of their estate) to bring action against the party that trespassed against them in their stead. If any injuries that resulted from the negligent action being argued in your lawsuit were the cause of your loved one’s death, their estate can also be rewarded funds to cover the cost of their funeral and compensate them for their pain and suffering.
This is where such action (specifically called a “survival action”) differs from a wrongful death lawsuit. In a wrongful death claim, damages are awarded to help compensate a decedent’s family for their loss. In a survival action, the damages are awarded to the decedent’s estate expressly for their benefit as if they were still alive (even though such assets would likely then pass on to you and/or other potential beneficiaries). This allows you to collective damages for your loved one’s pain and suffering, which typically are available in a wrongful death claim.
More information on survival actions can be found by continuing to explore our site.