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

Watch out for work-vehicle accidents during the holidays

Workplace injuries can actually increase during the holiday season for a variety of reasons. Especially for employees who drive vehicles as part of their job, icy weather conditions and increased drunk drivers on the roads during the holiday season can be additional hazards that may lead to injuries on the job.

While it is important to be cautious about potential workplace injuries all year long, some of these particular holiday hazards are good to keep in mind during this time of year. Here are a few specifics to consider as you focus on workplace safety this winter.

Persistent headaches after a car crash

The physical toll of a motor vehicle accident can be devastating for victims and their friends and family members. Not only do many people suffer broken bones, deep cuts and other injuries that are immediately recognizable after a collision, but some may suffer in ways that do not become evident until later on. For example, someone may hit their head in a crash but appear to be perfectly normal at the accident scene. Weeks or months later, they may begin to notice that they are struggling with persistent headaches.

Headaches can disrupt life in countless ways. Some people may not be able to perform their job duties as well and their relationships with loved ones could suffer because of the excruciating pain they face on a daily basis. Furthermore, these headaches could a sign of a serious head injury that requires treatment. If you are struggling with headaches or other mental challenges after your car accident, such as memory problems, it is vital to bring this up with your doctor and seek treatment if necessary.

Drunk drivers continue to claim lives

Despite widespread public awareness campaigns about the dangers of drunk driving, many people in New Jersey continue to make the negligent and risky choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after they have consumed alcohol. With the holiday season in full swing, a multitude of parties and other gatherings will be happening in the coming weeks that will likely see a significant number of people driving after drinking.

As reported by NJ.com, the the state of New Jersey saw a jump in the number of people killed in drunk driving accidents in 2016 over the prior year. Only Vermont, Iowa and Alaska experienced a bigger jump in DUI fatalities than New Jersey did that year. Overall, there was a 27-percent increase in the number of alcohol-related deaths in the state compared to a national average increase of 1.7 percent.

How can I deal with grief over the holidays?

The holidays can be stressful enough on their own. When you’re still reeling from the sudden loss of a loved one, the holiday season can seem almost impossible to deal with. In this case, finding a way to cope with your grief is of the utmost importance. Psychology Today offers the following tips, which will allow you to navigate your grief throughout the holidays.

Honor the memory of your loved one

Avoiding the federal estate tax

Given all of the effort and attention that you put into saving assets to pass on to your spouse, children and other heirs, the last thing you want to consider is having any of those funds eaten away by taxes. Yet there are many will tell you that since death and taxes are the only seemingly the only two certainties in your life, such a prospect may seem to be unavoidable. Indeed, many of those who come to see us here at Silvi, Fedele & Honschke for estate planning advice do so already assuming that their estates will be subject to tax. Like them, you may be pleased to hear that may not (and likely will not be) the case. 

The federal government has established an estate tax threshold that excludes many estates from being taxed. Per Forbes Magazine, that amount is expected to increase from $11.2 million in 2018 to $11.4 million in 2019. What this means is that unless the total taxable value of your estate exceeds that amount, it will not be taxed. Because of this, very few estates are subject to tax each year. You could conceivably gift your spouse up to the threshold amount and not have any of it eaten by taxes. 

3 driving tips for winter weather

With winter finally here, drivers in New Jersey are waking to find snow-covered roads and other weather-related hazards. Safe driving is a must in this case, as careless behavior behind the wheel can easily lead to accidents when conditions are poor. Accordingly, the following tips will help you stay safe and sound this holiday season.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends packing your vehicle with the appropriate winter-ready supplies. This includes an ice scraper for your windows, as well as a bag of salt or sand to gain traction on slick roads. You also want to keep things like jumper cables and flares handy in case you run into trouble on the road. If you end up stranded, you definitely want to have extra blankets and warm clothes in your vehicle.

Hearing loss America’s most common workplace injury

Listen up, residents of New Jersey and the United States, because workplace hearing loss is a very real and very serious problem in this country. If you experience ringing or buzzing in your ears, or if you struggle to hear and understand your family members, friends and colleagues when they speak to you, you may be among those suffering from the nation’s most common workplace injury: hearing loss.

When you think about dangerous jobs, you may picture people working on rooftops, in trees or on water, for example, but numerous other professions place workers at risk of hearing loss. According to USA Today, about 22 million working Americans undergo exposure to hazardous levels of noise every year, and the groups most likely to suffer work-related hearing loss may surprise you.

Woman faces reckless homicide charges after fatal crash

When people suffer fatal injuries because of a car accident in New Jersey, it is always devastating and disheartening for the loved ones of the deceased. However, these types of situations become significantly more tragic when the victims are innocent and the accident was preventable. 

In an accident that has brought immense sadness to a small community in Indiana, three elementary school-aged children were killed and a fourth was critically injured when they were struck by a car on their way to their school bus. The surviving child sustained injuries including broken ribs, disfiguration of his face and arm fractures. His family is not optimistic that he will be able to walk again, but acknowledge that the boy is strong and resilient. 

Evaluating a brain injury

Head injuries can result from a variety of incidents, including motor vehicle accidents. Anyone in New Jersey who has a loved one that experiences a head injury will want to understand how these injuries are evaluated and what type of impact they may have on their family member's life and health. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Progression indicate that a traumatic brain injury has the potential to affect multiple areas of a person's functioning. Moods, emotions and behaviors may change. The ability to communicate or understand communications directed at them is something a person with a brain injury may experience. Balance, vision and cognition also have the ability to be impacted.

Who is liable after a mass shooting?

Unfortunately, mass shootings are becoming a regular occurrence in this country. When one occurs, the immediate concern is saving victims and stopping the shooter. However, as time goes by, victims and the families of victims begin to pick up the pieces and look for someone to pay for the damages they incurred. If a mass shooting were to happen in New Jersey and you were a victim, who would be responsible for paying your related expenses?

This is a tough question. According to National Public Radio, the shooter is responsible, but in many cases, the shooter ends up dead. Even if the shooter is captured, he or she may not have the funds to repay victims, so you would never see any damages. This is what often leads victims to look at the venue or place where the shooting occurred.

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