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

Ocean County Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Detailing the dangers of eating while driving

Many take to Ocean County's roads every day with the understanding that the potential exists for them to encounter dangerous drivers. Most tend to classify "dangerous drivers" that those who drive while impaired or intoxicated, or people who choose to text or use their phones while driving. The stigma and potential penalties associated with such activities might deter many from doing them, thus seemingly diminishing the number of potentially dangerous drivers on the road. In reality, however, countless people engage in distracting activities that can cause them to become equally as dangerous those who text or drink while driving. 

Eating while driving is an action that is almost universally accepted, yet few appreciate the dangers that it poses. While it may seem to be such a mindless task, eating requires drivers to take their eyes and attention off the road, as well as their hands off the steering wheel. Even if the time lost from such distractions is momentary, a moment is all it may take for an attention lapse to cause a catastrophic accident. One need only look at the evidence presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to confirm this fact. Its research shows that eating and drinking while driving increases the chances of being involved in a crash (or a near-crash) by 39 percent. 

Preventing motorcycle accidents, injuries and death

When it comes to driving or riding on the roads, one thing is certain – collisions waste time and money. They also kill and ruin lives. If you prefer riding a motorcycle to driving a car, you are not alone. Many bikers take to the streets each day, knowing how dangerous it is for them to do so. Those who end up colliding with other vehicles are not always fortunate enough to recover and resume their normal activities. 

Various factors influence motorcycle safety in New Jersey. The two-wheeled vehicles may lack the structures and protections of cars, but the following three tactics can help motorcyclists to avoid accidents and injuries: 

Dispelling the myth of assumption of risk

While most in Ocean County might claim to understand workers' compensation benefits, that understanding is typically limited to the knowledge that said benefits help cover the expenses that arise from a work-related accident. Beyond that, details such as benefit limits, reporting requirements and qualifying criteria are likely a mystery to them. Speaking specifically about that final point, many may think that certain aspects about one's job may actually disqualify them from workers' compensation coverage. An example of this line of thinking may be people believing that certain jobs already present inherent dangers, and those who do them agree to assume those risks. 

Information shared by Time Magazine lists the most dangerous professions in America as follows: 

  • Logging
  • Commercial fishing
  • Aviation
  • Roofing
  • Waste management
  • Iron and steel

Identifying signs of brain injury

When a New Jersey worker experiences a head injury of any sort, quick action is of vital importance. In order to diminish the chances of these injuries having a severe or permanent impact, head trauma of any sort should be identified and treated quickly.

The National Institutes of Health examine the symptoms of traumatic brain injury in severe trauma cases, usually classified as TBI. For TBIs, the victim will often experience the following symptoms:

  • Extreme nausea or repeated vomiting
  • Intense headaches
  • Unconsciousness
  • Seizures, convulsions, and loss of coordination
  • Numbness or weakness in limbs
  • Clear fluids draining from the ears or nose

Can you gift assets while you are still alive?

As you have begun to look into developing an estate plan in New Jersey, you have probably heard about all of the options you have for designating how you would like your assets distributed to your beneficiaries. While you are starting to get some clarification on which route you would like to go, you are interested in knowing if you have the option of gifting some of your assets while you are still living. 

The benefits of starting to distribute your assets while you are still alive can reduce the amount of taxes that your loved ones are required to pay following your death. Additionally, you can experience the satisfaction of seeing your assets benefit people that you care deeply about. According to Fidelity Investments, some of the ways that you can begin gifting immediately include making contributions to help pay for the education or medical bills of a certain beneficiary.

Breaking down the Glasgow Coma Scale

The rise in public awareness regarding brain injuries and their outcomes now prompts many in Ocean County to panic upon receiving news that someone they love has suffered one. Their concerns are understandable; a traumatic brain injury can result in consequences that need to continue to be dealt with years or even decades after having occurred. They are more common than many think, as well, with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that 2.8 million people in the U.S. required treatment for such injuries in 2013 alone. 

Yet not all brain injuries produce devastating outcomes. How can one know what the long-term prognosis is for their loved ones that have suffered TBIs? Researchers and clinicians have developed a series of tests that, when conducted immediately after a TBI occurs, can offer an idea as to how severe it may be. This test is known as the Glasgow Coma Scale. 

Judge rules state had no special duty to protect murder victim

Many in Ocean County may view any civil action taken in conjunction with criminal proceedings as a way for victims of an alleged crime to punish its accused perpetrator even further. This line of thinking may be particularly in wrongful death cases that accompany murder charges. Yet oftentimes, the targets of such actions are not those who committed the crimes themselves, but rather third parties whose actions (or inactions) may have permitted them to do so. 

That was the claim made in the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a college student in Ohio following her murder. The family alleged that the state department charged with monitoring the man who killed her was negligent in its duties. The young woman's killer had been released from prison only three months before the crime, yet incidents of him failing to charge the GPS ankle monitor he was mandated to wear and leaving his residential housing center had already been documented. It was discovered later that the man had committed a string of robberies in the days leading up to him abducting and ultimately killing the young woman. He has since been sentenced to life in prison for the crime. 

Why scaffolds are so dangerous

As a New Jersey construction worker, you often must work on or near scaffolds. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that 65 percent of construction workers work on scaffolds, tall ladders, lifts and/or hoists every day, and such work puts you and them at high risk of injury.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries lists the following four reasons for 72 percent of scaffold injuries

  1. The scaffold support or planking gives way.
  2. Workers slip and fall on or from scaffolds.
  3. An object falls from the scaffold and strikes them.
  4. The scaffold access mode is unsafe.

What is negligent entrustment?

There is a reason why the car accidents that occur in Ocean County are referred to as "accidents." This may prompt you to be understanding towards whomever caused the collision that you were involved in. Yet what if it is discovered that said driver should not have been operating a vehicle at all (either due to his or her own demonstrated incompetence behind the wheel, or not having a drivers' license)? Your frustrations may not only be directed at the driver, but also to whomever gave him or her access to a vehicle in the first place. 

The question is whether you can hold that third party liable if you choose to seek compensation. The legal doctrine of negligent entrustment allows you to do just that. Simply put, negligent entrustment means that a vehicle owner entrusted said vehicle to a driver when he or she should have known the driver was likely to cause an accident. Up until recently, New Jersey state court rulings had established that in order for negligent entrustment to be applied to your case, you needed to be able to prove the following: 

  • The driver that hit you was incompetent, inexperienced or reckless
  • The person who entrusted him or her with a vehicle knew this (or should have known)
  • The person did indeed entrust the driver with his or her vehicle
  • That act created an appreciable risk of harm to others
  • The harm or injury you (and others) experienced was proximately due to the actions of both of the aforementioned parties

How dangerous is power-line work?

Power and cable lines are not things that many New Jersey residents think about unless the services they deliver are down. Unless they are in your home, you probably do not think about the workers who install and repair those lines either, although there are several thousand in the state. But these essential workers have a dangerous job.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those who install and repair telecommunications and electrical lines share similar risks. Electrical power-line workers are responsible for mounting and repairing cables and equipment that transmit up to hundreds of thousands of volts, both above- and below-ground. Telecommunications line workers install and repair cables of various types, including phone, coaxial and fiber-optic.

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