When an injury occurs on the job, you are usually covered under the workers’ compensation insurance policy paid for by your employer. You are also typically required to visit a physician selected by the insurance company to assess your condition and get treatment. But what if you don’t agree with the doctor’s assessment or treatment plan? Can you go somewhere else for a second opinion? In New Jersey, the answer is almost always “No.” You can request it, but are not “entitled” to get it. The insurance company has the right to decide whether or not a second opinion is warranted.
There are two common situations that prompt patients to seek a second opinion in workers’ comp claims:
- When the doctor says you no longer need treatment and you don’t agree with him/her; and,
- When the doctor recommends surgery or an invasive procedure and you want to be sure it is the best option.
Everyone knows that a drunk driver is liable for injuries he causes while behind the wheel. But what about the person or place that served the driver alcoholic beverages before he started driving? Is that person or place liable for injuries the person causes later on when driving while intoxicated? A recent case delves into this issue.
On June 2, 2016 I attended an extremely interesting presentation given by the law firm of Costello & Mails about the employer’s duty to provide a safe work place for employees. There are many State and Federal laws that address this issue, as will be explained below. As a workers’ compensation attorney I found the information invaluable since the workers’ compensation statute is a no-fault statute that does not require an employer to maintain any level of safety for workers. The trade-off makes an employee eligible for certain limited benefits regardless of whether the employee or the employer is at fault. An employer at fault for an employee’s injury does not mean that the employee will get any more or any less benefits than an employee who was at fault for his or her own injury at work. The benefits discussed at this recent presentation were over and above any compensation an employee might be entitled to under the workers’ compensation law.
Stark & Stark earned six spots on the New Jersey Law Journal’s Top NJ Verdicts & Settlements list for 2015. Congratulations to our Personal Injury team for doing what Stark & Stark does best—putting the law to use for our clients and getting the best outcomes. Top mentions went to:
|Delgado v. Stony Brook Sew & Vac
|Perreault v. Fratarcangeli
|Leip v. Princeton University
|Sanjeevaraya v. Spencer
Also included were PI attorneys, Domenic Sanginiti and Evan Lide representing plaintiffs in separate car accidents.
Stark & Stark’s accident and personal injury practice serves as many as 2,000 clients per year. Each unique case is supervised by an experienced attorney and supported by an Accidental Injury Trauma Teams comprised of experienced attorneys and paralegals.
The Top NJ Verdicts & Settlements supplement is published by the New Jersey Law Journal and comes out once per year.
Is it time to regulate e-cigarettes just like tobacco?
Despite the growing base of literature on the dangers, e-cigarette and vaping use is on the rise, especially among young people. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced tougher rules to treat e-cigarettes in much the same way as other tobacco products are regulated under the Tobacco Control Act of 2009. The biggest impact under the new rule is to ban sales to children. However, eight states—Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina Nevada, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming have taken a more affirmative step and enacted laws that categorize e-cigarettes as tobacco products. California recently joined the pack when Governor Brown signed into legislation a similar law designating e-cigarettes as tobacco products. In California this means that use is barred in many public and private places including at work, schools, and public transit areas. In addition, some local laws in California ban tobacco products from beaches and at entrances to private businesses, such as near hotel entrances. Under the new law, which goes into effect June 9th, all vaping products—including the candy-flavored liquids—must also be sold in childproof packaging. Brown also passed legislation upping the smoking age to 21 years.
Make no mistake about it. A severe burn is a major injury that will change your life and the lives of those you love forever. That is why it is so important to make sure you are getting the best possible healthcare. As a burn survivor, you may not have the strength, focus, time, or inclination to personally manage your healthcare team. You will have to rely on help from your family, your closest friends, and trusted advisors. Reintegration post-burn is a team effort.
I doubt anyone lives their life looking ahead to the possibility that they might one day suffer a severe burn. Most people, if not all, do not research their area burn centers and healthcare professionals until after a burn occurs. Luckily, the American Burn Association (ABA) has done the research for us.
Stark & Stark Shareholders J. Robert Bratman, Denise Mariani, and Associate Evan J. Lide will be presenting “Automobile Insurance: Understanding Your Policy & How to Protect Your Rights,” a series of seminars that will be held at the YMCA Trenton on June 2, 9, and 23, 2016. The seminars will explain the key components of the average auto insurance company, including what coverage and benefits are typically included. This will also cover what kinds of auto policies are available, and what a person should know when they are involved in an automobile accident or collision.
A new report “raises another red flag about e-cigarettes–the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes can be hazardous,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. Poisonings in children are on the rise from drinking e-cigarette liquids that come with vaping products. The liquid packaging is brightly colored; the candy-flavored taste inviting; the lack of child-proof packaging? Extremely dangerous.
The liquids in e-cigarettes contain a concentrated dose of nicotine, which is a poison. In liquid form, nicotine can be ingested or absorbed through the skin causing severe poisoning or even death. Poison center stats show that more than fifty percent (50%) of the victims are children under 6 years old. Just as startling is that forty percent (40%) are over twenty (20) years old. Adults are being poisoned at nearly the same rate as children. Many of these adult poison events are from inhaling and/or exposure to the skin and eyes.
CRPS stands for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and is sometimes referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or RSD. CRPS is a rare but serious form of chronic pain resulting from nerve damage that generally affects arms or legs after trauma to that part of the body. CRPS arises most frequently as a result of a traumatic workplace injury involving damage to a nerve root, or as a result of one or more surgeries to repair a fracture, burn, or some other injury.
One of the most common traits of CRPS is that pain appears to be greater than what would be expected for the injury or as a result of normal activities. Symptoms of CRPS include severe swelling, a “waxy” appearance, discoloration, unusual temperature changes, and/or unusual hair growth to the extremity. There is no decisive test to confirm CRPS for an injured worker. However, some tests do provide guidance. One is a bone scan, which may indicate a degree of bone loss associated with CRPS. Another test is to prescribe nerve blocks and then evaluate how the extremity responds.
In Albertville, Alabama, a 10th grade student noticed his e-cigarette case was getting hot. He took it out of his pocket and placed it on a nearby desk where it promptly exploded. He escaped injury but a nearby student wasn’t so lucky. He was hospitalized with burns to his face and neck.