Silvi, Fedele & Honschke Attorneys at Law, L.L.C.
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Ocean County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Brain damage and its effect on your personality

New Jersey residents who have suffered from some sort of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the past can find themselves dealing with the consequences for years to come. While many people know about the potential physical set-backs or issues related to memory, some aren't aware of the fact that it can affect a person's personality as well.

FindLaw examines the many different issues that can show themselves after a traumatic injury to the brain has occurred. They specifically mention the possibility of "personality changes", going on to further explain that a person suffering from TBI-related emotional swings could experience:

  • Increased agitation and anger
  • Argumentative tendencies
  • The inability to predict strong mood swings
  • Crying or laughing without expecting to do so
  • Sudden intense bouts of depression, or falling into depression more easily

ELDs target trucker fatigue

Residents in New Jersey are likely aware that fatigue among truck drivers can be a major problem and a serious risk to everyone on the road. The federal government has been putting new rules in place to curb fatigue in the past few years to improve safety. 

One of the new rules is called the Hours of Service rule. This provides limits on the number of hours an operator can work per day and how many of those hours can be spent driving. It also outlines the maximum number of working hours per week and when daily and weekly breaks should be taken. The goal is to prevent a trucker from driving too long at any given time. 

Saddle Brook auto-ped accident kills man

Many in Ocean County might assume that whenever a lawsuit is filed, the party filing it is claiming that the reason the reason for the action is that the defendant displayed malicious intent. Yet oftentimes that is not the case at all. Civil action may rarely be meant to be punitive; in fact, in many cases, it simply arises from the need of accident victims to seek compensation for the enormous expenses they are often made to face. A lawsuit may simply be an acknowledgment that a person caused an accident and thus is liable to accident victims. 

Very few people would likely attribute any bad intentions to the elderly woman who was recently involved in an auto-pedestrian accident in Saddle Brook, yet the consequences of the collision could easily result in those affected needing some sort of compensation. The woman was reportedly driving her vehicle through the parking lot of a shopping center when she struck a man (himself an older gentleman) before running into a brick pillar. Authorities are currently looking into what caused the woman to lose control of her vehicle, and she has reportedly cooperated with authorities. Sadly, the elderly gentleman who was hit ended up succumbing to his injuries. 

The dangers of working in a fast-food restaurant

Jobs in the fast-food industry are often seen as entry level, easy and non-eventful. However, these occupations can be highly demanding and dangerous. In fact, approximately 28,000 teenage fast-food employees go to the emergency room every year for occupational injuries. That number does not even account for injuries that do not result in ER visits or those that older fast-food workers sustain.

With so many serious injuries occurring in the fast-food industry, it is necessary to understand why. Below is an analysis of the core causes of fast-food accidents. 

Bus, three cars crash, leaving one dead and multiple hurt

Residents who live in New Jersey know car accidents can and do happen on roads, highways and freeways despite the attempts of most drivers to operate their vehicles safely. When these crashes involve large vehicles like tractor-trailers or commercial buses, the outcomes can be quite serious due to the large size and weight of these vehicles. An example of this can be seen in a recent tragic event that occurred in Morris County.

According to a report by ABC7 New York, three passenger vehicles were involved in a collision with a commercial passenger bus along a stretch of Interstate 80. The incident took place just before 8:00 p.m. on a weekday evening. There were approximately 24 people on the bus. It is not known how many passengers might have been in any of the three vehicles that the bus collided with.

Are self-driving features really safe?

Anyone in New Jersey who has ever been in a vehicle accident, even a minor fender bender, is likely to be very concerned about safety features when shopping for a new car. Today's vehicle technology is advancing at a rapid rate and many new features are being added to vehicles that provide automated assistance to drivers. It is said that improving safety is the reason for these technologies, but one might wonder just how safe they really are.

As reported by ABC News, not every safety feature really reduces the risk of an accident. In fact, some features might have the opposite effect. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in-vehicle infotainment systems may just well be one of the biggest causes of distracted driving on the road today. While designed for hands-free operation, these systems still take a driver's eyes off the road. With more than 3,400 vehicular deaths in 2016 said to be associated with distracted driving, this is concerning indeed.

Beware: Nursing homes often chemically restrain their patients

If you are one of the numerous New Jersey residents who had to make the painful decision to place your parent in a nursing home, you likely worry that (s)he may not be getting the care (s)he needs and deserves. Unfortunately, you may have more reason to worry than you are aware of.

According to a recent investigation of 15,000 nursing homes nationwide, far too many of them dose significant numbers of their patients with antipsychotic drugs such as Haloperidol, Seroquel and Risperidone whether or not the patients need these drugs. The reason? Such drugs make it easier for nursing home caregivers to control their patients, particularly their elderly patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Elder rights advocates assert that this practice amounts to elder abuse via the use of chemical restraints.

How to choose a trustee or executor

More and more, people in New Jersey are starting to realize that a will or a trust are not just things that their parents or grandparents need to have in place. Estate planning really is important for all adults including those who are single and have no children. A good estate plan is not just about distributing assets when a person dies but may also include provisions for making health care decisions for a person and for managing their finances if they are not able to.

As explained by Kiplinger, it is important to approach the selection of an executor or a trustee with extreme care. This is not a popularity contest and the choice should be made based on the qualifications of the individual. These qualifications should include the ability of the person to manage sometimes complex financial matters. It is equally important to identify a person who can remain calm under pressure and make wise choices.

Understanding post-concussion syndrome

It may easy for those in Ocean County who have experienced head trauma and escaped only with a concussion to feel as though they dodged a bullet. In a certain context they have, considering that a concussion is considered to be only a mild traumatic brain injury from which recovery is entirely possible. Yet even something as seemingly mundane as a concussion can cause long-term deleterious effects. The amount of time it may take one to adequately deal with their concussion-related issues could be a determining factor in whether or not they seek compensation to help cover the costs associated with recovery. 

According to the organization Head Case, 3.8 million new concussion cases are reported each year in the U.S. Many of these cases will see the issues that the victims are experiencing abate in a few days or weeks. Yet some may see their current symptoms continue on for much longer (with new problems setting in, as well). This continued suffering is what is known as post-concussion syndrome, and it can have debilitating effects that interfere with one's professional and personal life. 

Universal Studios sued for not displaying warnings in Spanish

Wrongful death lawsuits filed in Ocean County typically cite the reckless actions of others as the reasons justifying litigation. Yet what about cases where inaction is viewed as negligence. Failing to help someone who is struggling may be an obvious example of inactions, yet many others are much more indirect. Cautionary elements like warnings signs that omit certain information may fall under this category, yet such a scenario prompts questions as to how far a property owner or attraction operator must go in managing the actions of its guests. 

A recent lawsuit filed against the Universal Orlando Resort essentially asks this very question. A man visiting from Guatemala collapsed and died after riding one of the park's attractions. The man did not speak English, and his family is claiming in its lawsuit that park officials should have displayed the ride's warning signs in both Spanish and English. They cite the fact that since Orlando is such a renowned international travel destination, those running the park should have foreseen that many visitors would not be able to read signs only written in English. Other theme parks often append instructions in foreign languages to warning signs advising guests to speak with park employees if they have questions. This particular ride did have accompanying pictures with its warning signs. 

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