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Is Your Injury Work-Related?—Part Two

Your-Injury-Work-Related

Injuries Suffered at Company Outings | Injuries While Traveling

As we outlined in Part One of this series, the requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey are twofold—you must have been injured and the injury must have occurred while you were in the performance of your job. Important questions can arise as to whether or not certain activities are job-related, such as company outings.

Injuries Suffered at Company Events

The company event or outing has become extremely popular and commonplace, whether it’s a firm golf outing, a team-building exercise or a company holiday party. When you are in attendance at such an event, you are typically not engaged in the tasks that make up your job. Does that mean that injuries suffered at a company outing are not covered by workers’ compensation? In most instances, the answer is no.

Company outings of any kind are generally considered to be work-related, whether attendance is mandatory or voluntary. There can, of course, be exceptions. For example, if you are injured at a company golf outing when your golf cart rolls over, you will typically be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, unless it can be shown that you were either engaged in reckless behavior at the time (racing another employee, maybe) or you were inebriated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, if your employer provided the alcohol, you may still be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Injuries While Traveling

As a general rule, if you are required to travel for work (or have been asked to do so), you can recover workers’ compensation benefits for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident or any other type of accident. However, the commute to and from work is not considered to be part of your job. You can only recover workers’ compensation if you deviate from your regular route to engage in work-related activities (stopping at the post office or picking up food, for example).

If you travel to conferences or similar events, whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits depends on whether the activity you were engaged in at the time was wholly personal or part of your job.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

At this time of year, we stop to give thanks: for our friends and families, for meaningful work, and for valued clients like you. We are truly grateful that you choose to work with us and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals.

We wish you all the blessings of a peaceful holiday with those you love. Happy Thanksgiving!

Is Your Injury Work-Related?—Part One

Injury-Work-Related

Injuries Suffered on a Work Break | Injuries Suffered While Traveling

In New Jersey, when you have been injured on the job, you have a right to seek disability payments for any time lost from work, as well as reimbursement or payment of medical expenses resulting from the injury. The New Jersey workers’ compensation system is a “no-fault” based system. That means that you don’t have to show that your employer was negligent (see our earlier series on proving negligence). Instead, there are just two requirements to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey—that you were hurt and that the injury occurred while you were working.

In most instances, it’s pretty clear that you meet the tests. If you fell off a ladder or were hurt when a machine, tool or piece of equipment broke down, there’s little question that you were in the performance of your duties. But there are circumstances where that determination may not be as clear. In this three-part series of blogs, we will look at some of those gray areas.

Injuries Suffered While On a Break

Under state and federal labor laws, employees are generally entitled to periodic breaks, including some type of meal break. While you are on such a break, you’re not actually at your desk or machine. Does that mean that you’re not working?

As a general rule, the answer is no. If your injury occurs during the course of a regularly scheduled break, you typically don’t lose eligibility. For example, if you slip on a wet floor in the break room or are injured when a chair or table collapses, you’ll usually be covered. Exceptions may include when you are engaged in unauthorized horseplay or conduct that’s in violation of established company rules.

With a lunch break, the determining factor is typically whether or not you leave company premises. If you are injured in the company cafeteria or on company property while on a meal break, you are customarily still able to recover workers’ compensation. If you leave company property, though, you lose the right to file a workers’ compensation for any injury suffered once you leave the premises and until you re-enter company property. If, however, you are on company business while on a lunch break—getting food for others or performing some work-related function—you can still claim workers’ compensation benefits for injuries sustained.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! 2018

What Is Negligence?—Part Three

Demonstrating Actual Loss

As we discussed in the first and second parts of this series, the initial requirements in a lawsuit alleging negligence are:

  • Evidence that would lead the jury to conclude that the defendant did not act reasonably under the circumstances (the conduct breached the duty of care)
  • The failure to act reasonably caused an accident

However, you can demonstrate conclusively that the at-fault party behaved unreasonably and that his or her actions caused an accident, but still be precluded from recovering any compensation in a personal injury lawsuit—you must also show that you suffered some actual loss.

Actual Loss in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

As a general rule, most damages paid in a personal injury suit are “compensatory,” i.e., intended to compensate the injured party for losses suffered. If, however, you haven’t suffered any loss, there’s nothing for which you need to be compensated. For example, assume that you were a motor vehicle accident and suffered bodily injury, incurring significant medical expenses. If those expenses are covered by your health or auto insurance policy, you won’t be able to recover any damages for medical expenses, as you haven’t had any out-of-pocket expense for medical care.

That’s not to say that the defendant won’t be responsible to someone for his or her negligence. In most instances, when an insurance company covers losses that you’ve suffered because of someone else’s carelessness, they have a right to seek reimbursement from the defendant for any amounts they’ve paid on your behalf.

It’s also important to understand that there’s another category of damages that are available in a personal injury action. These so-called “non-compensatory” or “non-economic” damages include payment for pain and suffering, loss of consortium or companionship and loss of enjoyment of life. Accordingly, you may not be able to recover damages for injuries covered by insurance, but you can still seek compensation for those non-economic losses.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

What Is Negligence—Part Two

Establishing Who Caused the Accident

As we explained in part one of this series, when you’ve been injured in any type of accident and have filed a lawsuit alleging negligence, the first element you’ll have to prove is that the wrongdoer (known as the “defendant”) failed to meet the recognized standard of care—that he or she acted unreasonably under the circumstances. But it’s not enough to show that the defendant breached the duty of care—you must then show a causal link between the breach of the duty of care and an accident.

The Different Types of Cause in a Personal Injury Claim

In any lawsuit alleging negligence, you must prove two different types of cause: actual cause and proximate cause.

Actual cause, also known as “but for” cause, is typically pretty straightforward. It simply asks whether the accident would have happened “but for” or in the absence of the wrongful conduct. Actual cause can become an issue when there are two or more parties who acted wrongfully. For example, if you are rear-ended at a stop sign and it pushes you out into an intersection, where you are t-boned by another driver who has just run a stop sign, there are two ways to look at actual cause:

  • Would you have been t-boned if you hadn’t been rear-ended first?
  • Would you have been t-boned if the second driver hadn’t run the stop sign?

It’s not enough, though, to demonstrate actual cause—you must also show proximate cause. Proximate cause asks whether the accident and its consequences were reasonably foreseeable, based on the careless act. For example, if you run a red light, it may be reasonably foreseeable that you will collide with another driver. However, if that driver loses control of his vehicle, careens into a gas station, hits a pump and causes a fire that burns an entire city block, you may not be liable for damages caused by the fire, as a jury may not consider that to be reasonably foreseeable.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

What Is Negligence?—Part One

Protecting Your Rights after You’ve Been Hurt

When you’ve suffered any kind of loss because of the wrongful act of another person—the loss of income when you can’t work or the loss of companionship or consortium; the costs of un-reimbursed medical care or the loss of enjoyment of life caused by your pain and suffering—you have a right to seek compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. While those types of legal action can be based on intentional acts of the wrongdoer, as a practical matter, they are almost always based on a legal theory of negligence.

What Is Negligence?

As the laws governing personal injury have evolved over many centuries, three requirements have been set forth to prove a claim based on negligence:

  • The injured party must show that the wrongdoer (the defendant) failed to meet (breached) the standard of care required under the circumstances
  • The injured party must show causal links (both actual and proximate cause) between the breach of duty and the accident
  • The injured party must show some actual loss as a result of the accident

In this blog, we will look more closely at the standard of care.

What Is the Standard of Care in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Under the principle of negligence, all persons in society have a duty to act as a reasonable person would, in whatever endeavor they are engaged in. Accordingly, when driving a car, manufacturing a product or maintaining property, a “reasonable” amount of care must be exercised.

Unfortunately, there is no concrete standard for what will be construed as “reasonable.” Instead, the appropriate standard of care is determined by a jury on a case-by-case basis. Juries are not, however, without guidance. Under the principle of stare decisis, juries must give weight to the prior decisions of courts in similar situations. But the standard is still a vague one and can vary to some degree from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Protecting Your Rights after a Car Accident

In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, there can be great confusion. You may not know the precise cause of the accident or the full extent of your injuries. However, if you have been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you have a right to pursue a monetary award to cover you losses. Here are specific measures to take to fully protect your rights:

Step One—Get the Medical Attention You Need

There’s nothing more important, after a car wreck, than ensuring you get all the medical care you need. Recognize up front that this is not the time to be stoic, tough or brave. You need to be willing to fully acknowledge the seriousness of your injuries. If you don’t, you may actually make things worse.

If you don’t feel like you can move under your own power, or you have any doubts about the nature of your injuries, stay put (as long as it’s safe to do so). Instead of diagnosing your own injuries, defer to the professionals. Wait until emergency medical technicians arrive and let them do what they are trained to do. If you need to leave the scene in an ambulance, be willing to do so.

Even if your injuries appear to minor, or you can move about under your own power, it’s still important to go to the hospital, an urgent care facility or to your family doctor as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that your injuries will get worse, or that you’ll have an intervening accident that makes it difficult to determine the source of all your injuries.

Be sure that you disclose all your injuries to medical personnel. Don’t focus on the obvious injury—the broken leg—and ignore the pain or stiffness in your back, neck or muscles. Often, those injuries can be more debilitating and take longer to heal.

Step Two—Gather Information

The more information you gather at the time of the accident, the easier it will typically be for your attorney when it comes time to resolve your case. Get contact information from everyone involved in the accident, as well as witnesses or bystanders. Take pictures of everything, from your injuries to the damage to all vehicles to weather conditions to any evidence on the roadway (skid marks, loose gravel, missing or blocked signage).

The most important thing to do, though, and as soon as possible—hire an experienced attorney to protect your rights. Even when liability seems obvious, a personal injury lawsuit can be time-consuming and complex.

 

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

Common Examples of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

Nursing-Home-Neglect-and-Abuse

When your loved one needs more attentive care after an injury or in declining years, you expect and want a high level of personal care, and the confidence that they’ll be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, nursing homes often put profits ahead of patient well-being, hiring unskilled workers, providing them with inadequate training or supervision, and understaffing so that they are overworked.

Here are some of the telltale signs that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse:

  • Indications of physical abuse—The most common type of neglect or abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility is physical. If a caregiver won’t let you be alone with your loved one, you should be suspicious. If your loved one has bruises, black and blue marks, cuts or welts, or worse yet—broken bones, sprains or dislocations—you need to find out why. Monitor your loved one’s arms and legs to see if there’s any indication of straps or other restraints being used. Also, check your loved one’s prescriptions—do they look like they are being used? If not, find out why.
  • Evidence of emotional abuse—Look for unusual behavior from your family member. Are they suddenly less talkative or unwilling to look you in the eye? Are they mumbling or rocking a lot? These can be symptoms of emotional abuse. Also, monitor the behavior of the caregiver when you are there. Are there instances of controlling or threatening actions?
  • Signs of financial abuse—Financial exploitation of nursing home residents can take many forms. Is your loved one not getting medical care despite having the financial resources? Is there missing cash from your loved one’s room? Are there unexplained withdrawals from their bank account, including ATM withdrawals when they were unable to leave the nursing home? Have they changed a life insurance policy or other property and named the nursing home as its beneficiary?

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment.

Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We’ll come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Distracted Driving Accounting for Significant Increases in Pedestrian Accidents

Increases-in-Pedestrian-Accidents

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles in 2017, a 9% increase over 2016 and nearly 20% higher than just two years earlier. Officials attribute some of the rise to the higher number of motorists on the road and the more time people spend behind the wheel, a byproduct of cheaper gasoline costs.

Researchers also say that more and more drivers are operating a vehicle while distracted. A poll found that 94% of teen drivers admitted to sending or receiving text messages while driving. At any given time, studies showed, more than 600,000 drivers are using a mobile device while traveling down the road. The National Safety Council estimates that 1.6 million accidents every year are caused by drivers using a cell phone…that’s one of every four car accidents.

Here are some of the other common causes of pedestrian accidents in the United States:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol—One of every six pedestrian accident fatalities in 2016 involved a driver whose blood alcohol content was over the legal limit
  • Violation of traffic laws—The two infractions most often involved in pedestrian accidents are speeding and failing to stop or yield at a sign or light.
  • Weather conditions—Drivers either fail to stop on slippery roads or fail to observe pedestrians in inclement weather.
  • Turning without looking—A significant number of motor vehicle-pedestrian accidents are caused when motorists turn into a crosswalk without looking.
  • Motorists backing into pedestrians—When backing up, motorists often have views that are partially obstructed.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

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