Silvi, Fedele & Honschke Attorneys at Law, L.L.C.
Phone 732-504-3841 Toll Free 877-251-5491

Ocean County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

The Glasgow Coma Scale explained

It is never easy to learn that a family member or close friend suffered a brain injury in Ocean County. His or her head trauma might permanently alter what he or she is physically and mentally able to do (as well as what your responsibility to him or her may be going forward. Those that we here at Silvi, Fedele & Honschke Attorneys at Law, L.L.C. have worked with in the past who have been in a similar situation have all typically yearned for the same thing: hope. 

Sadly, that may seem to be in short supply in such cases. It can be bolstered, however, through clear communication with the clinicians handling your loved one's care. They rely on a variety of clinical indicators to determine not only his or her current state, but also his outlook for the future. Chief among these (in the case of brain injuries) is the Glasgow Coma Scale. 

What to do if you are in an accident in a rental car

Tourists flock to Toms River every year during the summer. There are numerous attractions to enjoy, from spending time on the beach to hiking through nature trails. 

During your vacation, you may need to rent a car. It is a convenient way to get around, but it is always possible you will end up in an auto accident during your stay. The first thing to always do after a collision is check on everyone to ensure no one sustained significant injuries. Contact an ambulance right away if there are any bad injuries. 

Can you skip probate altogether?

Whenever talk of estate planning comes up in Ocean County, you likely hear the same topic again and again: Avoid probate at all costs! Why is that? Most assume that the probate process will almost always be protracted, which will inevitably result in inordinate expenses paid from the estate's assets that can cut into whatever interest you and others may have in it. Yet the truth is that many estates can actually avoid the probate process altogether (or at least be probated quickly). 

According to Section 3B.10-3 of New Jersey's Statutes, if you are the spouse or domestic or civil union partner of the decedent, you can present a small estate affidavit to the court if the total value of his or her estate is less than $50,000. Doing so allows you to bypass administration and automatically inherit the entire value of the estate (with $10,000 protected from collection efforts by any of your deceased spouse's creditors). The same is true if the decedent was a loved one with no surviving spouse, only in this case, the value of his or her estate cannot exceed $20,000. 

The risks associated with rideshare driving

On a daily basis, people employed in various fields run the risk of being involved in a motor vehicle collision while they drive to or from work or run errands for their employer. However, some workers, such as rideshare drivers, face a particularly high chance of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. Moreover, these accidents can be especially damaging for rideshare drivers for various reasons. As a result, it is important for you to be aware of the risks associated with this line of work if you are a rideshare driver or are considering this career path.

Workers in all sorts of industries face job-related hazards that can result in an injury, but some are especially dangerous. Spending so much time on the road, a rideshare driver may be even more likely to be hit by a reckless driver. Other factors that can cause a serious accident include poor weather conditions, such as snow and ice, poor vehicle maintenance, and bad signage, to name a few.

Household cleansers contain dangerous ingredients

The “Tide Pod Challenge” that swept the Internet in January of this year is just one example of several potentially dangerous household products of which New Jersey residents should be aware. What may have started as a bad joke became something much scarier as teens took up the “challenge” to eat them in a video that went viral. Harmful ingredients in the soap include toxic polymers, hydrogen peroxide and ethane. For two toddlers and eight seniors with dementia, eating the packets has proved deadly.

In the space of one year, between 2013 and 2014, some 62,000 youths younger than six were exposed to both laundry and dish detergents. Consumer Reports pulled its endorsement of the packets due to the risks it posed and urged stronger safety measures be put in place.

What benefits does Workers' Compensation offer?

The purpose of New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation system is to provide injured workers the means of recouping lost wages and medical costs after seven days of missed work. In return for this safety net, the worker and the business both forego their rights of bringing suit against the other party for negligence, with some exceptions, according to the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.

All businesses in the Garden State, no matter how small, are required to have this insurance. As long as even one person is on the payroll, Workers’ Compensation must be offered, and typically, it is made available through a private insurance company. Following you will find a closer look at what benefits are available under the system.

Nursing home falls and traumatic brain injuries

If your aging parent resides in a New Jersey nursing home, his or her safety, welfare, comfort and contentment are always on your mind. Even though you probably checked out the facility thoroughly before helping your parent move in, nevertheless you keep hearing about nursing home negligence and abuse on TV and reading about it on the internet. Since you cannot visit your parent every day, you worry that (s)he could receive substandard treatment without your knowledge.

Accidents happen at even the best nursing homes, and the most common accident among elderly residents is a fall. If your parent falls and hits his or her head, (s)he may be at very high risk for sustaining a traumatic brain injury.

Understanding behavioral problems after a tbi

Suffering from any kind of brain injury can take a considerable amount of work and patience. Because each injury can be unique, the time it can take to recover may vary. New Jersey residents who have experienced a traumatic brain injury may experience many stages of the recovery process. The following information covers some of the common issues people face after such a serious accident, including behavioral concerns. 

In one report, NBC News highlights the story of a 31-year-old man who suffered a serious TBI after a car accident. Mac Fedge considered himself to be a carefree, humorous individual before the accident; however, his recovery has revealed a person with a different temperament. NBC points out that when most hear the phrase 'TBI,' they think of headaches and memory loss -- not drastic behavioral and personality changes. Injured soldiers are especially known to struggle with this post-accident issue. How do these severe changes take place? Health experts explain that the brain's wiring is incredibly intricate, and that each lobe has a vital function. While overall personalities may remain unchanged, aspects such as short anger episodes or even uncontrollable laughter are common.

Top causes of car crashes in the New Jersey

Every year in the U.S., many thousands of people die in vehicle accidents, several hundred of them in New Jersey, while those injured in car crashes number several million, according to Fortune magazine. Along with this tragic cost in lives comes a cost to society. A very real financial cost that in 2016 was $432 billion. This total accounts for property damage, medical expenses, administrative expenses and lost wages and productivity. Worse even than these costs is the knowledge that many accidents can be avoided.

Nobody will be surprised to learn that distracted driving is a top reason for car accidents, according to Huffington Post. The topic has increasingly been in the news over the last decade or so in-car and cell-phone technologies grow ever more popular. Distracted driving is about more than texting and talking on a smartphone, however. It covers just about anything that pulls your attention away from where it should be—on the road. Applying makeup, eating and operating car stereos and other, in-car entertainment are also distracted driving.

Avoid these common mistakes executors make

Part of estate planning is choosing an executor for the estate. This person is responsible for distributing assets according to the decedent's wishes, appearing before the court in all proceedings and paying off debts and fees. Often a family member or friend fills the role.

If a loved one has named you to be an executor, it is wise to become familiar now with your duties so you can avoid these common mistakes.

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