Archives for October 2018
In the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident, one of the first things you’ll typically do is get information about the at-fault party’s insurance provider. That’s not so that you can file a claim directly with their insurer—that’s not how it works in New Jersey. Because New Jersey is a “no-fault” state for the purposes of automobile insurance, you’ll typically file any insurance claims with your own carrier, and your insurance company will seek reimbursement through a legal action known as subrogation.
When you purchase motor vehicle insurance in New Jersey, there’s a requirement that your policy include a provision that addresses “personal injury protection,” also known as “PIP.” PIP is designed to compensate you for any injuries you suffer in a motor vehicle accident, regardless of who is at fault.
There is some flexibility in the amount of coverage you can obtain through PIP coverage. As a general rule, the coverage is $250,000, but you can purchase as little as $15,000. Your PIP provision covers a wide range of medical losses, including:
- Medical treatment, including the costs of surgical procedures
- Facility costs, whether at a hospital, urgent care or doctor’s office
- Diagnostic procedures
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- The costs of an ambulance
You can also collect payment for lost wages through a New Jersey PIP claim, although the amount you receive cannot exceed your normal income. You can also have the costs of necessary services covered, such as housecleaning, laundry, yard work and snow removal.
Contact Our Office
For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.
We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.
In the aftermath of a work-related injury in New Jersey, you may have mounting expenses and little or no income. It’s important to know what types of disability benefits pursuant to a New Jersey workers’ compensation filing.
Workers’ Compensation Disability Payments in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the workers’ compensation laws don’t technically call for benefits for lost wages. Instead, when you’ve suffered a work-related injury, you can seek “disability payments,” which may be either temporary or permanent. Practically speaking, though, the determination of the amount of benefits looks the same as it does in other states—there’s a calculation of your average weekly wage, and you can receive up to 70% of that amount, based on your degree of disability. The law also sets a cap on the weekly amount that will be paid.
Temporary disability benefits are paid in New Jersey until you return to your job or reach “maximum medical improvement.” Temporary disability benefits are paid for a maximum of 400 weeks. Once you’ve attained maximum medical improvement, you can be examined by a doctor to determine if you qualify for payments for a permanent disability.
If the workers’ compensation judge determines that you are permanently and totally disabled, you can receive your full disability payment as long as you are disabled (and even for life), but you’ll need to have your permanent disability status confirmed by a physician on a regular basis. If your disabilities are permanent, but only partial, you will still be entitled to benefits, which will be calculated either as a schedule or as a non-schedule loss.
A schedule loss is a permanent disability involving certain body parts, such as arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes, eyes and teeth. It’s referred to as a schedule loss because the law includes a specific “schedule” that identifies the number of weeks of benefits you will receive for the specific type of injury. Once you have proven an injury to a specific body part, the workers’ compensation judge will “rate” your injury, a method for determining the extent to which your permanent injury limits your capabilities. You’ll be entitled to the full amount of benefits per week, but the number of weeks will be reduced by the percentage of your disability. For example, if an injury entitles you to 300 weeks, but you are only considered 75% disabled, you will only receive benefits for 225 weeks.
Contact Our Office
For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary. We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.
In an earlier blog, we looked at a couple of situations where a person not driving a motor vehicle could be found liable for injuries suffered in a crash involving that vehicle: where the driver was in the course of employment at the time of the crash (imposing potential liability on the employer) and where the driver of the car causing the accident was merely borrowing the car (imposing potential liability on the owner of the car).
There are a number of other situations where a third party—someone other than the drivers of the respective vehicles—can be found liable for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident:
- Where the driver is a minor—There are two legal theories under which parents may be held liable for injuries suffered in accidents caused by their minor children—negligent entrustment and vicarious liability. To recover under a theory of negligent entrustment, you must show that the parents knew or should have known of the child’s history of negligence or carelessness behind the wheel and let the child drive the family car anyway. Under a theory of vicarious liability, a parent who sends a child on an errand can be found responsible for injuries caused in an accident that occurs on that errand.
- Where the accident was caused by a product failure—Under the law of product liability, anyone in the distribution chain may be found liable when injuries are caused by a dangerous or defective product. That includes the designer, manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer.
- Where the accident was caused by a drunk driver—Dram shop and social host liability laws allow you to bring a personal injury claim against the person or establishment that served the alcohol.
- Where the accident resulted from a roadway defect—A municipality may have liability if the accident was caused by a pothole, uneven roadway, missing sign or poorly designed curve or stretch of road.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options after a car accident during work hours, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.