The Dangers of Trucking Accidents

Posted in Trucking Accidents

In a prior blog post, I discussed what to do after a truck accident occurs. In this blog post, I will focus on a specific example of a dangerous truck accident. A graduate student was driving in moderate stop-and-go traffic on the interstate. While he was stopped in a line of cars, a tanker truck driver that was traveling at about 25 mph rear ended a vehicle that was 2 cars behind the student’s vehicle. As a result, a chain-reaction impact occurred. The car behind the graduate student’s car rear ended his car, causing his seat to break. His car was then forced into the car in front of him.

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Medical Treatment and Light Duty Issues in Workers’ Compensation Cases

Posted in Workers' Compensation

Sometimes, injured workers have questions regarding authorized or unauthorized medical care. N.J.S.A. 34:15-15 of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act provides that, “The employer shall furnish to the injured worker such medical, surgical, and other treatment, and hospital service as shall be necessary to cure and relieve the worker of the effects of the injury.” The case of Benson vs. Coca Cola Co. addresses the issue of unauthorized medical care.

In the Benson case, the employee was examined by the workers’ compensation carrier’s physician. The employee subsequently sought out medical treatment from another physician, without the workers’ compensation carrier’s authorization, and then sought reimbursement from the carrier for the medical expenses. The workers’ compensation court found against the employee, holding that N.J. Stat. Ann. § 34:15-15 did not give discretion to the injured employee to seek independent medical assistance, thus the outside medical treatment and hospitalization was unauthorized.

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Stark & Stark Congratulates John Sakson: NJLJ Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Posted in Stark News

Start & Stark is proud to announce that Shareholder John Sakson, Esq. has been selected by the New Jersey Law Journal as a recipient of their 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Sakson is one of only 25 attorneys in New Jersey to receive this recognition for 2016.

Recipients were recommended to the NJLJ by their readers and other members of the legal community. The focus in selecting these recipients was to find attorneys “who have helped to shape the law in New Jersey, whether through their work on the bench, their work in-house, building a firm or any other means.” While many attorneys were recommended for inclusion, Mr. Sakson’s worthiness was “indisputable,” landing him in the class of recipients for 2016.

John Sakson is a Shareholder and serves as the Co-Managing Director of Stark & Stark, and is the Chair of the firm’s Personal Injury and Workers’ Comp Practice Group.  Further, Mr. Sakson has been certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney for over thirty years, and has previously served two terms as a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Board on Trial Attorney Certification.

Stark & Stark congratulates Mr. Sakson on this incredible distinction. View the full list of recipients.  To learn more about Mr. Sakson and his practice, please click here.

E-Cigarette Vaping Product Explodes – Causes Catastrophic Injuries to 14 Year Old Boy

Posted in Product Liability

Despite the growing number of injuries attributed to e-cigarette and vaping product use, manufacturers continue to claim the products are a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. Recent reports dispute this, including:

  1. A Harvard study that showed dangerous levels of a lung-destroying chemical called diacetyl,[i]
  2. Cases of lung injuries and pneumonia from vaping,[ii] and,
  3. Evidence of devastating injuries from device fires and explosions.[iii]

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Advances in Technology for Burn Injury Survivors

Posted in Burn Injuries

According to the American Burn Association, nearly half a million Americans suffer thermal burn injuries each year, resulting in approximately 40,000 hospitalizations and 3,400 deaths annually. Despite these alarming statistics, the survival rate is high. This is largely attributable to advances in research, medicine, and technology in the field of burn injury care.

Thermal burns can cause severe damage to the victim’s skin, requiring focused wound care, infection prevention, and even excision and skin grafts. Eschar excision and skin grafting has long been the standard of care. Skin grafting can be accomplished through different methods. An autograft is where skin from a donor site on the same patient is used. One benefit to the autograft is that there is no risk of rejection. However, the donor sites are painful. Moreover, autografts may not be feasible in the case of extensive burns covering large surface areas.

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Stark & Stark’s David M. Schmid & Martin P. Schrama Certified Civil Trial Attorneys

Posted in Stark News

Congratulations to Stark & Stark attorneys Martin P. Schrama and David M. Schmid for receiving certifications by the New Jersey Supreme Court Civil Certification Committee as Certified Civil Trial Attorneys.

The Supreme Court of New Jersey recognizes five areas of specialty for Attorney Certification, which are:

  • Civil Trial Law
  • Criminal Trial Law
  • Workers’ Compensation Law
  • Matrimonial Law, and
  • Municipal Court Trial Attorneys

Furthermore, this is a highly elite certification process, as less than 2% of all eligible New Jersey attorneys have achieved this Certified Attorney status.

Mr. Schrama is a member of Stark & Stark’s Commercial Litigation and Intellectual Property Groups, and is Chairman and Co-Founder of the Mass Tort Litigation Group. He has extensive experience litigating on both the trial and appellate levels of the federal and state courts of New Jersey and New York.

Mr. Schmid is a member of Stark & Stark’s Personal Injury Group, and he focuses his practice on representing victims injured in cases regarding automobile, premise liability, and insurance law.

To learn more about the New Jersey Supreme Court Civil Certification Committee and the Certified Civil Trial Attorney certification process, please click here.

Life After a Burn Injury: Psychological & Emotional Pain

Posted in Burn Injuries

Severe burn injuries frequently result in more than just physical pain. Survivors often suffer significant psychological and emotional damage, as well. The onset of symptoms of a psychological injury related to a severe burn can appear within a few days or weeks of the injury. However, the symptoms of psychological and emotional trauma caused by severe burns may not become apparent for weeks, months or even years following a burn injury.

For the majority of burn injury survivors, the symptoms will fade within a few weeks or months. However, according to Burn Injury Model Systems, about one third of people with major burn injuries continue to suffer from psychological and emotional distress for years following the injury. In some instances, these effects are permanent and will require ongoing treatment.

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What Should You Do If You Were Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Posted in Slip and Fall

In a previous blog post I discussed the dangers of slips and falls in indoor places and how to use caution to avoid them. However, what happens if you are one of the unlucky ones who are hurt in a bad fall? What should you do? It should go without saying, but if you need medical attention you should seek it immediately, without any delay.

If you fell at a store or some other place of business, you should report the incident to the management or ownership or the location where you fell after you are permitted by your doctors to travel again. This may involve completing an incident report with your version of what happened.

Keep in mind that in New Jersey, the management or ownership of the property where you fell does not have any obligation to provide you with a copy of the incident report, even if you filled it out and signed it. So, before handing in the incident report to an employee of the property where you fell, you should make a copy of the incident report for your records. This can be accomplished by taking a clear photograph of all pages of the incident report with any smart phone or electronic tablet or similar device. In filling out the report, you should clearly explain what happened. You are not under any obligation to complete an incident report, but it can sometimes be helpful later on if you decide to pursue a legal claim for any injuries you suffered as a result of the incident.\

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Shore Medical Center Warns Patients of Possible HIV, Hepatitis Exposure

Posted in Medical Malpractice

As recently reported by the Associated Press and local news outlets, Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, NJ is advising patients who received intravenous morphine or hydromorphone medications at the hospital between June 1, 2013 and September 17, 2014, to get tested for HIV and Hepatitis B and C. According to the hospital, an ex-employee pharmacist tampered with the drugs and, in the process, may have exposed patients to the pharmacist’s own blood.

If you were treated at Shore Medical Center during the relevant time frame, we strongly encourage you to get tested. The hospital is providing free testing for patients who may have been exposed.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Stark & Stark are currently investigating claims related to this exposure. If you, a family member, or a loved one believes you may have been exposed, contact Stark & Stark to speak with one of our medical malpractice attorneys.

Visit the Associated Press for more information about the exposure.

E-Cigarette Battery Injures Air Force Veteran

Posted in Product Liability

Don George of Los Angeles, a retired Air Force veteran, is the latest example of the dangers associated with use of an e-cigarette. George recently filed suit in Los Angeles after being injured when the e-cigarette’s battery exploded, causing permanent scaring to his face and arm. Further, George claims that he had recently changed the battery prior to the explosion, but the device still continued to not work. While trying to determine what was wrong with his e-cigarette, George held the device near his ear in an attempt to hear if the mechanics inside sounded like they were working.

Without further warning, the batter exploded in George’s face. According to him, flames began to shoot from the bottom of the e-cigarette’s battery, burning his face, shoulder, and part of his home’s carpet.

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