Types of School Bus Accidents and Injuries

Serving Clients in Trenton, Princeton, Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor NJ in all Matters Related to Personal Injury Cases.

Types of School Bus Accidents and Injuries AttorneysSchool bus-related accidents cause approximately 137 deaths per year, leaving hundreds of other people injured. However, there are years when this figure climbs higher. In November 2016, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 30 children were injured, and five others died in a school bus collision. The bus driver was identified as a 24-year-old male who was apparently speeding before the bus flipping over, and crashing against a tree, being this a single-vehicle accident.

School bus accidents not only endanger our children’s safety while riding local buses. The school bus is, in fact, the safest place to be if a school-bus related tragedy were to happen. Deaths resulting from school bus collisions between 2001-2010 impacted 72% of the passengers and drivers of other vehicles compared to only 7% of people traveling inside school buses, having the remaining percentage represented by cyclists and pedestrians.

Growing figures of property damage, injuries, and death resulting from school bus accidents can be classified into three main types.

School Bus Collision Against Another Vehicle

Other motor vehicles are involved in nearly 75% of all school bus accident tragedies. An average family car is much lighter and smaller than a school bus, which is basically a truck, causing large damage and considerable injuries.

School bus routes are used during mornings and afternoons, affecting the regular traffic, slowing it down, and forcing other drivers to navigate otherwise easy-flowing roads. In other words, running late in your regular commute having a bus in front of you means the speed limit will drop to only 15 mph instead of the typical 45mph, including several stops to pick up or drop off children.

School bus drivers are sometimes found at fault for these motor vehicle accidents due to reckless driving, causing injuries such as fractured bones, whiplash syndrome, and even death.

School Bus Accident Involving Pedestrians

One cyclist or pedestrian is hit and killed by a moving school bus approximately once a month in the U.S. If the victim survives, they might suffer from extensive injuries ranging from fractured bones to paralysis. Whether you are a pedestrian or a vehicle driver, Complying with road safety regulations becomes of utmost importance during the school year (in-person school sessions).

Although crossing guards regulate traffic, they often halt traffic randomly filling the road with pedestrians. Pedestrians and cyclists could very easily get impacted by a distracted bus driver or a driver rolling through a stop sign, especially considering a large bus offers very poor visibility at a close range.

Bus Occupants Involved In School Bus Accidents

On average, over 23 million children in the U.S. are transported by school buses daily, and studies report that up to 17,000 injuries happen yearly inside those buses. Nearly 42% of the injuries result from actual school bus accidents, meaning that a larger percentage of the injuries are only minor scraping and bruising that happens when occupants get on or off the bus or because of the bus not being in optimal conditions.

Bus Occupants Involved In School Bus AccidentsChildren between 11 to 14 years old sustained approximately half of the injuries, having abrasions, strains, head injuries, and sprains shown as the most common ones. Unfortunately, nearly 7% of all school bus incident-related injuries happening onboard result in a child’s death.

Options are available to protect your family and children from situations that seem too hard to prevent, like school bus accidents. Study road regulations applicable to your state, avoid distractions while driving, maintain a safe distance from school buses traveling on the same road as you.

Learn more about personal injury claims and what they entail here: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_issues_for_consumers/personalinjury/

Contact our Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free and Confidential Consultation

If you or your child are the victims of a tragic school bus accident, either as a pedestrian, cyclist, bus occupant, or another vehicle driver, you might have a personal injury or wrongful death claim; you are entitled to seek legal advice to discuss how to better recover from your losses.

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson,  we take pride in successfully representing clients, including towns like Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area. Whether you or your child was injured in a school bus accident, do not let a personal injury or wrongful death claim affect your life.

You can call us at 609.528.2596 or contact us through our online contact form.

Injured on the Job Due to Malfunctioning Equipment in New Jersey

Serving Workers in Trenton, Princeton, Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor NJ

Injured on the Job Due to Malfunctioning Equipment in New Jersey?If you are currently suffering from an on-the-job injury, or are in need of medical attention because of faulty equipment or machinery in your workplace, you have more options than you may realize.

If you work with machines in a warehouse, construction site, or factory, you probably feel grateful for the efficiency and speed of all kinds of equipment. Work is done faster and easier with machines’ assistance. Many businesses and industries rely upon machines on a day-to-day basis to get things done.

Sometimes, however, those pieces of equipment and machinery add complexity and risk of injury to the workplace.

Unfortunately, everyday employees are usually the ones that suffer when things go wrong. Fortunately, they do not have to do it alone.

Without their regular income, and with serious injuries sustained on the job, employees and their families depend on workers’ compensation to stay afloat. When these benefits are delayed or denied, people struggle to survive.

To make matters worse, malfunctioning equipment accidents are often caused by the negligence of employers and/or third parties.

Therefore, many injured workers turn to attorneys like those at The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson to either a) pursue workers’ comp benefits from the employer; or b) to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer, when appropriate.

Faulty Equipment

Equipment can malfunction in all kinds of ways. The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson has handled many types of workers’ compensation claims, including ones that involve the following accidents:

  • The worker comes in contact with sharp edges, moving machinery parts, or wiring;
  • The worker is struck by, or collides with, equipment or machinery;
  • The worker becomes trapped or entangled with the moving parts of equipment; or
  • The worker is hit by part or parts of the equipment that become loose and eject from the machine.

Each of these unfortunate events involving equipment or machines can cause serious injury. In many instances, the ramifications of contact with, impact from, or entanglement in a machine can lead to life-damaging injuries. The most common injuries from equipment malfunction include:

  • scrapes, cuts, and lacerationsFaulty Equipment
  • bruises
  • burns
  • dismemberment
  • head, eye, or ear injuries, and
  • damage to nerves or tendons.

After a Workplace Accident

If you are injured on the job, you should not “shake off” or ignore burns, cuts, or head injuries. That’s because more serious or lasting symptoms could develop. Instead, you need to report the incident to your employers, seek medical attention, and file a workers’ compensation claim.

You may suspect your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence (or extreme carelessness), so you may want to speak to an attorney, as well.

When your lawyer has done a thorough investigation, he can help you choose a course of action. If the equipment is faulty, you may be able to recover compensation from its manufacturer. If a person or entity who doesn’t work for your employer (a third party) caused your accident, you may also be able to recover civil damages.

Equipment accidents are complicated, and many factors can contribute to this type of event. Consequently, choosing the right form of legal action can be difficult.

If you were not in charge of designing or maintaining the equipment that harmed you, it might be difficult for you to answer questions about design flaws, and wear and tear.

Fortunately, when it comes to workers’ compensation claims, the one question you need to answer is:

Did the accident occur at work?

Safe Work Environment Around Machines

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has written specific standards for the operation of equipment. The agency employs a large number of inspectors to enforce these standards, and it imposes fines when a company fails to comply. This does not mean, however, that every machine and piece of equipment in your workplace is up to OSHA’s standards. Employees should inspect equipment or machines before they use them.

Although it is not required under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, in our experience it is best that an employer is notified any time there is a malfunction, defect, or misuse of equipment.

Taking Action

Operation of equipment and machinery in a place of business is clearly work-related activities, and most injured employees receive adequate compensation for medical costs from a workers’ compensation insurance provider.

However, when equipment malfunction causes a long-term or permanent disability, insurance companies often try to settle with employees by offering inappropriately small settlements.

We advise that you call a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer before signing any workers’ compensation settlement.

Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Lawyer

The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson has previously represented clients across New Jersey in workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases, with great success.

Our experience with on-the-job injuries and our knowledge of the reactions of insurance providers and how they process claims could be helpful for your case.

Do not hesitate to call us at (609) 528-2596 or fill out an online form for a free consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.

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 took place 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 to 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 take pride in successfully representing 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, and it begins to make 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 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 take pride in successfully representing 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.

Filing an Injury Workers’ Compensation Claim for Carpal Tunnel in NJ

Serving Workers Compensation cases in Trenton, Princeton, Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor NJ

Filing an Injury Workers’ Compensation Claim for Carpal TunnelWorkplace injuries are more common than would be thought, given that employers are responsible for ensuring their employees’ safety through safe workplace conditions and training. However, despite an employer’s best interests and preparations, accidents and injuries happen. One way in which many employees get injured at work is by performing repetitive motions that the job requires. Carpal tunnel syndrome is an example of an impairment caused by repetitive motions, which creates inflammation in the arm’s tissues.

Although many employees develop carpal tunnel syndrome and other impairments due to on-the-job work and repetitive motions, it can be difficult to receive workers’ compensation benefits for this injury without supporting a skilled workers’ compensation attorney. Read on to learn why it is important to have the guidance of a workers’ compensation attorney and how to ensure that you receive fair compensation for a slow-building injury you developed on the job.

How do you receive workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease like carpal tunnel?

Many workers, including doctors, nurses, dentists, dental assistants, mechanics, and countless others, use their hands and turn their wrists in repetitive motions throughout the day over the course of a long career. As one could imagine, this creates inflammation in the tissue or nerve damage and can create constant pain and difficulty in completing work tasks and regular day-to-day life tasks.

To receive workers’ compensation benefits for medical procedures and lost wages during recovery from the injury, as well as short- or long-term disability benefits if the injury keeps you from being able to perform your work and life functions to the extent that you had before, you must be able to prove that the carpal tunnel syndrome was caused specifically by your occupation.

New Jersey workers’ compensation law protects employers from being sued for worker injuries that occur on the job or due to occupation, provided they cover the costs of medical expenses an employee must take on, as well as any work lost. To receive these workers’ compensation benefits provided by the employer, one must file a workers’ compensation claim. Once you have reported your injury to your employer, which is wise to do immediately, you must file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer to set the process in motion. Without filing a claim – and then winning it –  your employer will not be responsible in any way for financially compensating you for medical expenses, time lost, and other related financial damages.

What is necessary to win a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome?

What is necessary to win a workers’ compensation claim for carpal tunnel syndrome?To file a successful claim regarding carpal tunnel syndrome or any other occupational disease developed through repetitive movement, an employee must prove that the repetitive movement that occurred on the job specifically caused the physical impairment. A workers’ compensation judge will be looking to ensure that three criteria are met: 1) that the petitioner can prove impairment, as evidenced by medical documentation or the expert review of a medical practitioner; 2) that the impairment has caused a disability, and 3) that the carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by the repetitive use of your arm at work.

What if the symptoms of carpal tunnel appear after work?

In many cases, the carpal tunnel symptoms don’t appear for months or even a year after the repetitive motions that cause it. The New Jersey Statute of Limitations for filing a workers’ compensation claim states that an employee has two years from the injury’s onset to file a claim. However, because of this occupational disease’s nature, a workers’ compensation judge may be open to when the ‘onset’ of the work caused the pain and inflammation. Even if you have since left the job at which you underwent this occupational hazard, you can file a workers’ compensation claim, assuming your timing falls within the limits of the Statute of Limitations.

Contact a member of our team today to seek support in your claim

Even if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, it can be appealed. If your injury resulted from the negligence of some other party outside of your employer, there are also other avenues to seeking compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages during recovery, such as a personal injury claim.

Whether you have yet to file a claim or are looking to appeal, we are here to help you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact our Workers’ Compensation for a free and confidential consultation at our Trenton office. We are here to represent you as you focus on your full recovery.

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, we successfully represent clients in Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor. Your rights and wellness are what we stand for.

Contact us by calling (609) 528-2596 or fill out an online form for a free consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.