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

The difference between conservatorships and guardianships

When you have a parent, spouse or other loved one who is aging and experiencing a decline in his or her mental or physical health, you may have cause to establish a conservatorship, a guardianship or both over this individual. While conservatorships and guardianships are somewhat similar in that they both require that someone step in and assume decision-making power over someone else, they are distinctly different in some important areas. Understanding how they contrast can help you figure out whether a conservatorship, a guardianship or both may be necessary.

So, what are the primary differences between conservatorships and guardianships?

Brain injuries and rehabilitation

being involved in an accident, you will want to learn about the various stages of rehabilitation that may help your loved one recover as much independence and functionality as they are able to. Depending on the nature of the accident and injury, it may not be immediately possible to fully know to what level a person can be rehabilitated after a traumatic brain injury. Time may be needed before a final determination can be made.

As explained by the Brain Injury Association of America, there can be multiple stages of treatment for a person with a brain injury. These may involve multiple facilities, starting with acute care in a hospital or designated rehab facility. The focus at this level is on essential functions for daily living like eating, getting dressed and personal grooming. When a person may be able to graduate from this level of care, they may move into post-acute or sub-acute rehab programs where the focus moves to developing as much independence as possible. Some people will then move into day treatment programs if they can leave a residential rehab setting. 

Drunk driver charged after son dies

People who live in New Jersey have good reason to be concerned about the continuing selfishness and recklessness of drivers who refuse to put away their keys if they choose to drink. Too many lives are lost every year at the hands of drunk drivers and every one of those deaths should be preventable if only people would make responsible choices.

When an accident is caused by an impaired driver and another person is injured or killed, there may be both criminal and civil consequences. One man from New Jersey who is 27 years old is today facing a myriad of criminal charges connected to an accident that happened at the beginning of this year. It is not known yet if any civil actions have been or will be initiated against him.

What benefits do workers’ compensation laws provide?

Every state, including New Jersey, has workers’ compensation laws to help protect the rights of the injured worker. According to the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, these offer medical treatment, wage replacement and survivor benefits if you or someone you love is injured or killed while on the job. Almost all workplace injuries or accidents are eligible for claims, with the exception being if the worker is intoxicated, the injury is intentional or self-inflicted, the injury happens while the worker is trying to harm another employee, or the worker is purposefully violating the safety rules of the company.

The amount of compensation depends on the severity and nature or the illness or injury. Workers can receive temporary disability benefits if it is believed they will recover soon. These benefits max out at 400 weeks and are based on the average weekly wage of the injured worker. If there is a permanent disability, the worker may also receive permanent disability benefits.

New survey shows fear about autonomous vehicles

New Jersey residents have good reason to be concerned about safety on the roads and highways. Every year, too many people are killed or are seriously injured in accidents. Many of those accidents are caused by reckless choices made by drivers. That fact is part of what makes many promote the development and use of autonomous cars. By taking the human factor out of driving, some assert that the roads will be safer than they are today. 

A new survey released by AAA indicates that not very many consumers in the United States are so convinced that autonomous vehicles are actually trustworthy. In addition, the level of trust among consumers for the emerging self-driving vehicles has actually dropped instead of increased as the technology continues to advance.

Overdosing driver kills three in Newark car accident

Most people in Ocen County likely have little issue in providing people who have had run-ins with authorities with second chances. This is especially true when those incidents stem from serious personal issues such as drug and/or alcohol addiction. The efforts that individuals who are struggling with these issues make in overcoming should be applauded (and, if warranted, rewarded). Yet at the same time, thought should also be given to the potential consequences that may occur should such people slip back into their addictions. 

Sadly, such consequences were on full display in a recent car accident that killed three people in Newark. Video footage showed a car plowing into a gas station, striking another vehicle before coming to a stop. The driver of the out-of-control car was revealed to have been overdosed opioids. He was revived by first responders and ultimately survived the accident. It has since been revealed that he las history of both drug and reckless driving offenses. He had even had his drivers' license suspended following an arrest (it was later reinstated after him being sober for seven months). 

What must you prove in a wrongful death case?

You likely know that if one of your family members dies in New Jersey because of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing, you can sue the person responsible for your loved one’s death. What you may not realize, however, is that if the death resulted from someone’s wrongful acts, that person need not be convicted of a crime in order for you to prevail in your wrongful death action. Yours is a civil suit, not a criminal prosecution, and the only thing you can recover is money damages.

FindLaw explains that you have standing to sue for wrongful death if you are the spouse, child, parent or other close relative of the deceased person.

How to potentially maximize compensation after a car accident

Some car accidents result in substantial injury and property damage. The New Jersey Department of Transportation reports that in 2017, over 61,000 injuries took place on state roadways. It is a decrease from the previous year, but it is still a lot of people who need to file claims with their insurance agencies. 

There is no time to waste after an auto accident. Your car insurance company will look for any excuse to get out of paying you what you deserve. Fortunately, you can do a few things in the immediate aftermath of a crash to increase your chances of a higher payout. 

Lost wage benefits for injured workers

If you are employed in New Jersey, there is a good chance that you are covered by workers' compensation. This means that you may be entitled to specific financial benefits if you are ever injured in an on the job accident or due to some environment at your place of work. In addition to medical benefits that may pay for any treatment required due to your injury or condition, you may qualify for financial benefits that compensate you for wages you lose when you are unable to work because of your injury.

As explained by the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, there are three forms of wage replacement benefits offered via the state's workers' compensation program. Two of these benefits are related to injuries that result in permanent injury or disability. If an injury is severe enough to prevent a person from ever working again, they may receive permanent total disability benefits. If a person is able to work again despite their permanent injury, they may receive permanent partial disability benefits.

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
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