Elder Abuse & Neglect: Ending the Silence & Protecting the Vulnerable in the Golden Years

Sadly vulnerable older Americans are among the easiest targets for abuse, especially those who are women or have disabilities and rely on others for care.

Elder Abuse & Neglect: Ending the Silence & Protecting the Vulnerable in the Golden YearsIn a recent independent study, based on 16 key metrics ranging from “elder abuse, gross-neglect, and exploitation complaints” to “financial elder-abuse laws,” personal-finance website WalletHub rated New Jersey as the worst state for protection against elder abuse. Some of the metrics included exploitation complaints, estimated elder fraud rate, financial elder abuse laws, and quality of nursing homes. This news is not such a surprise, as nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have been continuously under fire for their mistreatment of their senior care residents amid the deadly COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Abuse is non-discriminatory of its victims. Abuse can happen in an older person’s home or a family member’s house, not just an assisted living facility or a nursing home. As we have previously written on this site, “many suffer in silence from Elder Abuse in their golden years” at the hands of family members, strangers, health care providers, caregivers, or friends.

Are you or do you know an elderly adult who’s being abused, neglected, or exploited financially? If you believe that an elder adult in your life may be experiencing the results of neglect or mistreatment by someone who has been entrusted with their care, you can protect their rights, their safety, and their well-being by retaining an experienced and caring legal advocate. Do not delay in taking action.

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our attorneys have decades of experience supporting elderly clients and their families in Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area in all legal matters, including protection of their financial and physical wellbeing.

Contact us online or through our Trenton, NJ office at (609) 528-2596 to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.

What is the Long-Term Effect of Elder Abuse or Neglect?

Physical wounds and personal injuries can heal over time. Still, elder abuse can lead to early death, harm to physical and psychological health, destroy social and family ties, resulting in devastating financial loss, and more.

Any negligence or mistreatment, or abandonment can leave the abused person feeling fearful and depressed and thinking the abuse is their fault. Adult protective service agencies can suggest support groups and counseling to help the abused person heal the emotional wounds.

What are Some of the Ways to Protect Against Elder Abuse?

What Are Some of The Ways to Protect Against Elder Abuse?New Jersey has laws and procedures, such as the Prevention of Domestic Violence  PDVA Act of 1991 and the Adult Protective Services Act, all of which serve to protect the interests and safety of vulnerable populations.

Elder abuse will not stop on its own, which means someone else needs to step in and take action. Understandably many older adults may be too afraid or ashamed to report mistreatment, or they worry that reporting the abuse will make the situation worse.

Once the abuse has started, time is against you, and your options may be limited. If you think or suspect someone is physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially abused or neglected, speak with them alone and let them know that you think something is wrong and you’re worried. Offer to take them to get help, for instance, at a local adult protective services (APS) agency.

Other proactive measures you can take to help prevent or reduce the impact of financial abuse or fraud may include:

  • creating a joint account so you can monitor financial transactions and detect fraud or financial abuse faster
  • using direct deposit, so your elderly loved one’s social security or recurring payments are guaranteed to directly deposited into their bank account
  • executing a Power of Attorney with specific provisions to reduce risk of abuse, and whereby yourself or a trustworthy individual assures that all activities, medical care, and financial transactions are done on behalf of and in the best interest of this elderly person

Whether physical, psychological, sexual, or financial, an injury to an older person can be catastrophic, destroying their quality of life, and possibly even result in their death – so the individuals responsible must be held accountable.

Contact a Mercer County Elder Abuse Attorney Today

Wherever it occurs, elder mistreatment is a serious matter in New Jersey. If you or a loved one, unfortunately, experienced elder abuse of any kind, you have rights that we can validate and claim for you.

Contact The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, serving all Mercer County families and communities, by calling (609) 528-2596 to speak with an attorney regarding your particular elder abuse matter. If your suspicions are confirmed, you could very well save a life.

Wrong-Way Highway Accidents In New Jersey Cause Fatal Injuries

Helping with Personal Injury cases in Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor

Wrong-Way Highway Accidents In New Jersey Cause Fatal InjuriesNew Jersey highways are frequent auto accident scenarios happening at any given hour, having wrong-way car crashes scored as the most disastrous kind. Wrong-way collisions are classified by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) as “one of the most serious types of highway accidents” and describes them as “collisions involving vehicles traveling the wrong way on high-speed divided highways.” In wrong-way collisions, injuries are thought of as fatal or life-threatening because they usually develop on highways with posted high-speed limits.

A Fatal Wrong-way Accident To Prove The Theory

Back in 2019, NBC New York reported a severe multi-vehicle wrong-way collision that left a toll of three fatal victims, located at the Parsippany-Troy Hills area, on Interstate 80 in New Jersey. This terrible accident highlights the devastating degree of wrong-way auto accidents and the utmost importance of complying with safe-driving precautions while being a motor vehicle driver. For this particular collision example, authorities ran an investigation to determine if the wrong-way party was DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) when the incident took place. Impaired drivers are the main cause of wrong-way collisions.

The reported collision occurred a little past 2 a.m., early on a Friday, approaching mile marker 45 going East on Interstate 80. Several motor vehicles were “completely destroyed,” while “at least one of the motor vehicles seemed to have caught on fire.” One male and two females died in the car accident. The driver of the vehicle traveling the wrong way was immediately driven to the hospital. Deputies indicated they were “considering the possibility the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” No data indicating whether there were any survivors of the collision or the exact number of motor vehicles involved was documented at the time of the incident.

Additional Facts About Wrong-Way Auto Collisions

The following are some figures and facts shared by the NTSB about wrong-way auto accidents:

  • Additional Facts About Wrong-Way Auto CollisionsOver 60% of the wrong-way crash at-fault drivers appeared to have signs of some alcohol use, compared to only close to 6% of drivers involved in accidents as “right-way” drivers;
  • Nearly 10% of wrong-way collision at-fault drivers who had drunk alcohol were found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between 0.08 and 0.15;
  • Approximately 60% of drivers confirmed to be at-fault for wrong-way collisions and who demonstrated signs of alcohol use, were confirmed to have a high BAC, equal to or above 0.15;
  • Roughly 10% of wrong-way drivers have previous convictions due to DUI or DWI (driving while intoxicated) within three years before the wrong-way crash taking place;
  • The fatality rate on wrong-way collisions ranges from 12 to 27 times the fatality rate of other highway incidents,
  • Almost 22% of wrong-way crashes are considered as life-threatening, compared to less than 1% fatality on any other king of highway auto collision;
  • An increased percentage of fatal wrong-way accidents happen yearly, adding up to nearly 360 fatalities each year.

If you or someone you love got hurt in a wrong-way crash or DUI collision, you should get in touch with a car accident lawyer.

Contact our Car Accidents Lawyers for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one resulted injured from a wrong-way auto collision or DUI collision, you are entitled to seek legal advice to discuss your rights and options regarding obtaining compensation and the best way to recover from any losses.

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson,  we pridefully represent clients, including towns like Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor.

Contact our offices by calling 609.528.2596 or fill out the online form today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your individual needs and concerns.

Who Will Pay My Medical Bills If I Am Hit By a Car While On My Bicycle? 

Serving injured clients in Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, and across the greater Mercer County area

Who Will Pay My Medical Bills If I Am Hit By a Car While On My Bicycle? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety keeps track of fatality statistics for various highway accidents, including bicyclists. Focusing on 2018 in particular, the data suggests some key facts for cyclists to consider while riding on the streets.

First, over 60% of the fatalities in 2018 were experienced while a cyclist was not wearing a helmet. Not all of these fatalities were necessary due to head injuries. However, the difference is relatively obvious and points to the fact that, in most cases, you are safer wearing a helmet than riding without one.

Second, 20% of the fatalities in 2018 occurred when a cyclist was intoxicated.  Alcohol and drugs are well-known to have a negative effect on various motor functions and critical judgment and therefore increase the risk of harm during an accident.

Third and finally, bicycle fatalities occurred primarily from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day. More than half (54%) of accidents happened during these hours, in which visibility is most likely reduced due to darkness.

If you are in a bicycle accident with a motor vehicle in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, it is important to know how your medical bills will be covered and by whom.  An attorney can help guide you through the process, which can be complex at times.

In New Jersey, who will pay my medical bills?

New Jersey’s car insurance system is unlike most other states in that it is a no-fault system. In many other states, the insurer for the driver at fault is expected to cover all injuries in an accident. Still, New Jersey requires car insurance policies to include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. The first source of compensation for any injured driver is their own policy’s PIP coverage.

While no-fault coverage means there is less of a need to determine fault in minor accidents, the no-fault system has some complicated features of its own. For that reason, it is still a good idea for anyone who has been injured in a car accident to contact a lawyer before accepting any settlements.

Normally, these laws would prevent you from suing for non-economic losses unless certain limits are met for the injuries you sustain. However, New Jersey uniquely requires that standard auto insurance policies include the right to purchase an unlimited right to sue, which allows you to sue for non-economic losses without limitation.

If you do not have an auto insurance policy that can cover you, whether it belongs to you or a relative in your household, then you generally have the right to sue. This is because you do not have PIP benefits to cover medical expenses regardless of fault, and as such, must seek compensation from liable parties in a bicycle accident. In these cases, the liable party’s PIP benefits will be used to pay for your losses.

Who pays my medical bills if I am in Pennsylvania?

When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, if that pedestrian owns a car, the insurance company for that vehicle will be responsible for the medical bills to whatever the medical limit is on that policy.  If the cyclist does not own a car but lives with a resident relative who owns a vehicle, the insurance policy on that car will provide medical coverage up to its medical limits.  If the cyclist does not own a car or live with a family member who does and is not covered by an automobile insurance policy, the cyclist can get his bills paid under the insurance policy issued to any of the drivers involved in the accident.

Sometimes more than 1 vehicle is involved in a car accident. The insurance policy on any of these vehicles can be looked to for medical coverage, even if that vehicle never made contact with the cyclist. This becomes important because some of the vehicles on the road are uninsured, so the cyclist can look to any of the cars involved in the accident to get their medical bills paid.  The minimum coverage for medical bills in Pennsylvania is $5,000.00, and most of the policies are written with these limits in place.

The above answer seems counter-intuitive, but Pennsylvania is a no-fault state, meaning that if you are in a bike accident, the above are the priorities set out by the legislature as to how your medical bills get paid. Although this answer angers many people, slightly adjust the facts, making more sense. What if the cyclist turned in front of the car and caused the accident that injured him? Again, the same applies, and the cyclist’s own auto policy and/or a resident relative’s policy becomes primary for payment of medical bills.

What can Bikers do to stay safe?

Riding a bike is great exercise and an activity the whole family can enjoy. Like other activities, there are safety precautions you should take to avoid an injury or worse.

While injuries can happen anywhere, be especially cautious when riding on roadways where most bicycle-motor vehicle collisions occur. Follow these tips:

  1. What can Bikers do to stay safe?Always wear an approved bicycle helmet (head injuries are the greatest risks for cyclists!)
  2. Obey all the traffic laws and use hand signals so vehicles know where you are headed.
  3. Wear protective and reflective clothing for the best visibility.
  4. Make sure your bicycle has a headlight if riding at night.
  5. At night, use a reflective vest and additional lights on the back of your bicycle to make sure you are seen.
  6. Keep your eyes and ears open. Avoid using headphones and smartphones.  It would help if you focused on what is around you, and music can be distracting.
  7. More than 70 percent of bicycle crashes occur at driveways or intersections. Before you enter any street or intersection, check for traffic. Always look left, right, and left again before proceeding into the intersection.
  8. Obviously, never get on a bicycle if you are impaired, such as if you have been drinking alcohol.

Contact our Pedestrian Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation at our Little Falls Office

If you have been the victim of a bicycle accident or lost a loved one in a bicycle accident, all legal aspects of your physical, financial, and emotional losses must be considered to protect your rights and secure justice.

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson,  we pridefully represent clients in Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, and across the greater Mercer County area. Whether you have suffered a personal injury or have been accused of injuring someone, do not let your injuries or an accusation of criminal wrongdoing change your life.

Contact Info our offices by calling  (609) 528-2596 today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your individual needs and concerns.

WHAT CONSTITUTES NEGLIGENT SECURITY IN NEW JERSEY?

Negligent security is a branch of premises liability which refers to the failure to provide a safe environment for patrons or visitors.

WHAT CONSTITUTES NEGLIGENT SECURITY IN NEW JERSEY?Hotels, motels, bars, clubs, parking garages, offices, stadiums, malls government buildings such as galleries and museums are examples of locations where negligent security is likely to occur. Burned out lights in a building´s perimeter or a parking lot, blind spots not captured by security cameras, and faulty door locks can all lead to a criminal taking advantage of the security lapse and causing you injury and loss of property.

WHAT MUST BE PROVEN IN ORDER FOR A NEW JERSEY NEGLIGENT SECURITY CLAIM TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

  1. Was there a reasonable knowledge of the danger by the property owner? A history of police visits can be taken into account.  A bar rife with a crime in the past must take measures to ensure the safety of its patrons to prevent them from becoming future victims of a repeating pattern of violent crime.  A mall parking lot with several dark areas due to burned out lights could rapidly become a preferred spot for thieves looking to line their pockets and steal your hard-earned money or worse.
  2. Was there adequate security? This is determined on a case by case basis. The number of well-trained security staff, sufficient security cameras, and surveillance equipment, as well as trained staff to monitor camera activity. In large, outdoor spaces such as mall parking lots or grocery stores, proper lighting and scheduled rounds by security guards to deter violent crime are also the responsibility of property owners.
  3. Was there action taken or not taken which directly led to your personal injury?

Repetitive visits by police due to violent crimes, poorly trained security staff, poorly trained or insufficient staff, or employees of any kind who are deficient in their responsibilities can all lead to a negligent security situation.

What are the drawbacks to filing a negligent security case?

These cases are sometimes complicated to prove as the evidence can frequently rely heavily on limited testimony.  If you have been injured as a result of negligent security, it is of the utmost urgency that you seek professional medical attention as soon as possible.  This is not only to have vital documentation of your injuries but also to assure your physical well being directly following the incident.  Follow up visits or physical therapy should also be documented as well.

What is the key to proving negligent security?

What is the key to proving negligent security?Finding a property owner negligent means demonstrating that there were foreseeable circumstances of an existing dangerous situation and the problem was never addressed. It is also invaluable to show that the victim was on the property legally and was not participating in any illicit activities.  Frequently property owners place all of the blame directly on the attacker, contending that the only liable person was the one who committed the crime.  While the assailant is most assuredly primarily responsible, owners are required to provide a safe environment for their guests to protect them from unsafe conditions or violent actions by a 3rd party.

Foreseeable circumstances include the type of business and its security needs.  For example, a jewelry store or check cashing office would require better security inside and around its facilities.  Also, if a business is close to an ATM where robberies could take place would require extra vigilance. A supermarket that has experienced an increase in violent crime in its dark parking lot could be found negligent.

How can our New Jersey negligent security lawyers help you?

We will work aggressively to collect, preserve, and analyze all evidence in your case.  This includes:

-An immediate site inspection.

-Preservation of evidence.

-Photographing and video recording the scene.

-Gathering past criminal reports linked to the property.

-Working with law enforcement.

-Obtaining witness statements.

What kind of damages are allowed in a negligent security case?

Pain and suffering

– Emotional harm

– Medical bills

Lost wages

– Future care services

– Physical therapy

– Lost wages

– Wrongful death damages

Contact a Mercer County Personal Injury Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson we have extensive experience recovering full and fair personal injury compensation for clients and their families in towns across Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, New Brunswick, and all of Central New Jersey and the surrounding communities.

Our team of attorneys strongly believes in working closely with not only his clients but their families as well. This is because he understands just how stressful an incident like negligent security and the resulting damage can be, and how it can affect the financial security of the family as a whole.

To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your injuries resulting from poor or negligent security measures, or any other kind of accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of a third party, your options for making a personal injury recovery, and how exactly we can help you and your family, please contact us online, or through our Trenton, NJ office at 609.528.2596.

Many suffering in silence from Elder Abuse in their golden years

Elder abuse has many forms and includes several types of mistreatment and violence inflicted on individuals who are over the age of 60

Many suffering in silence from Elder Abuse in their golden yearsOver the last 20 years, Stan Lee had become a beloved figure in American life and his death saddened many of his fans as well as other admirers of his work. This grief was further compounded by allegations that Stan Lee had suffered abuse at the hands of his manager late in his life. If these types of tragic events can happen to such a beloved public figure then we can assume that it is also happening to many others.

The sad truth is that elder abuse has many forms and includes several types of mistreatment and violence inflicted on individuals who are over the age of 60. This type of abuse is usually at the hands of a caregiver or someone in a position of trust. However, the true scope of elder abuse in the United States still remains unknown due to the fact that many incidents go unreported.

The six categories of elder abuse:

Physical Abuse

  • It occurs when an elder is physically assaulted. It may take the form of an elderly person being hit, kicked, slapped, burned, or suffering inappropriate restraint.

Neglect

  • Neglect is common yet may leave no marks. It is defined as a caregiver failing to meet an elder’s basic physical (including hygiene), emotional and social needs, including adequate nutrition, clean housing, laundered clothing, and access to adequate medical care.

Sexual Abuse

  • Sexual abuse is defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact or unwanted touching.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

  • How common is Elder Abuse in New Jersey and across the United States?Emotional or psychological abuse is any behavior that causes emotional trauma to an elder including threatening, humiliating, controlling, as well as limiting an elder’s access to money, the telephone, transportation, or interactions with loved ones.

Abandonment

  • Abandonment occurs when a caregiver willfully deserts an elder and fails to turn over care to a different caregiver.

Financial Exploitation

  • Financial exploitation which occurs far more frequently than many believe, is when someone misappropriates or misuses an elder’s money, property, or assets for personal gain.

The settings of elder abuse vary greatly and include during in-home care, at a nursing home, or when an elder lives with a relative. Though the physical effects of abuse might be visible, emotional effects may be less obvious but no less devastating.

Sadly, the signs of abuse of the elderly might go undetected by health professionals because they lack the training necessary to detect this form of abuse. Furthermore, offenders may be careful not to leave any obvious signs that the abuse is occurring. In addition, there is often reluctance on the part of the elderly to report their own abuse because they fear retribution or they lack the physical or cognitive ability to file a report.  Moreover, studies show that the abuser is often a family member which may cause the elderly victim to not want to report the crime given an emotional attachment to the abuser.

How common is Elder Abuse in New Jersey and across the United States?

Recent research suggests that as few as about one of every 14 incidents of elder abuse in domestic settings are actually reported to authorities. Even more surprising is that an estimated only one out of every 25 cases of financial exploitation are brought to the attention of authorities.

Contact a Mercer County Elderly Abuse Attorney TodayThough there are much higher investigation rates in states, such as New Jersey, that require mandatory reporting by doctors, nurses, and other health professionals, the number of incidents that are actually reported are staggeringly low when compared to the actual number that is believed to occur. A report by the American Journal of Public Health in 2003 placed the total number of actual cases at an estimated 472,000 per year nationwide with fewer than 40,000 being reported.

While the actual number of elderly people who are being abused and exploited has remained allusive, it appears that elderly women are abused at a higher frequency than men. People who are above the age of 80 have a greater chance of being abused compared to people ages 65-79.

However, recent data from Adult Protective Services seems to indicate that there is a growing trend toward greater reporting of elder abuse. It is critical to note that reporting is the first essential step toward putting an end to abuse of the elderly.

Contact a Mercer County Elder Abuse Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our attorneys have decades of experience supporting elderly clients and their families in Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area in all legal matters including protection of their financial and physical wellbeing.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our team, please contact us online or through our Trenton, NJ office at 609.528.2596.