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.

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.

How Are Damages for Pain and Suffering Calculated?

Serving Personal Injury Victims and Getting Compensation for Damages in Trenton, Lawrence, Princeton, Hamilton, and Mercer County.

How Are Damages for Pain and Suffering Calculated?We can’t give strict rules or formulas to put a dollar value on the pain and suffering you endured in a personal injury case, but here are some guidelines for what an insurance company might consider.

If you were injured due to someone else’s carelessness, in most cases, you could seek compensation from that person’s insurance company by filing what’s known as a third-party claim.

This article will discuss the conditions under which an insurance company will compensate for pain and suffering and how these damages are calculated.

After you have established that the at-fault party, hereinafter called the “defendant,” is the person responsible for your injuries (in other words, “liable”), you will then need to present evidence of all the losses you sustained in the incident (called “damages”). The defendant’s insurance company should compensate you for your medical expenses as well as any wages you lost as a result of the defendant’s actions.

Besides, the insurance company should provide you with some compensation for your general “pain and suffering.” Let’s discuss when an insurance company will compensate for pain and suffering and how these kinds of damages are calculated.

First: What is “Pain and Suffering?”

This is a legal term that includes a host of injuries that a plaintiff may suffer in an accident. The term includes physical pain caused by an accident and physical discomfort resulting from necessary medical treatment. It also covers emotional and mental injuries such as fear, insomnia, grief, worry, inconvenience, and even the loss of life enjoyment.

Almost without exception, in an injury case, the plaintiff should recover some amount, sometimes small and sometimes very large.

An insurance company or a jury will look at both the type of injury you suffered and the nature of your medical treatment as two basic ways to determine the degree of pain and suffering you have endured.

If you’re in a car accident that results in $5,000 in damage to your car and $15,000 in medical bills, your “pain and suffering” damages are going to be significant. But if that same accident results in only $500 in medical bills (for x-rays that came back negative), your “pain and suffering” damages will likely be nominal.

Second: How Does an Insurance Company Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?

No rule or law says how this must be done. But many plaintiffs’ attorneys use one of two methods for calculating pain and suffering. The first method is to multiply the plaintiff’s actual damages (medical bills and lost wages) by a factor between 1 and 5, depending on the severity of the injury. For example, if a plaintiff incurs $4,000 in medical bills related to a broken arm, he might multiply that by three and conclude that $12,000 represents a reasonable amount for pain and suffering.

The second method many plaintiffs’ attorneys use is a per diem (Latin for “per day”) approach. Under this method, a certain amount—perhaps $100—is given to every day from the day of the accident until the plaintiff reached maximum recovery.

Insurance companies are not under any obligation to use either of these two methods to calculate pain and suffering. Many insurers use computer programs to determine what settlement they should offer. These programs take into account the type of injury and the type of medical treatment the claimant sought.

For example, insurance companies usually give greater weight to a physician’s medical treatment than a chiropractor. Insurance companies also take into account the length of time the claimant sought treatment. If the treatment seems excessive for the type of injury, the insurance company will not include all of the treatment to calculate pain and suffering.

Third: How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?

Third: How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering?Proof of this type of injury may take many forms. The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better chance you’ll have of recovering an amount you find satisfactory.

The extent of your injury and accompanying pain and suffering can be evidenced through documentation such as photographs. It can also be evidenced in personal journals that record your physical and emotional feelings. Documentation from friends and family is important. It can provide additional evidence of the way the particular injury has negatively impacted your life. Proof of treatment by a mental health professional is also helpful and necessary for forgeries such as increased anxiety, insomnia, or depression.

Fourth: How Do You Know What’s Fair?

How will you know if the offer an insurance company makes in the settlement is reasonable? A good approach is to use the multiplier method or the per diem method discussed above to get an estimated idea.

On top of that, you need to consider whether additional circumstances might influence that amount, either up or down. For example, if your injury left you with a permanent scar on your face, it would be reasonable to increase the amount of pain and suffering you consider to be fair. Conversely, a minor bump on the head that healed quickly probably will not be compensated for very much. Keep these factors in mind when evaluating whether the insurance company has reasonably and fairly valued your pain and suffering.

Contact a Trenton Personal Injury Lawyer Today

To learn more about proving and negotiating a personal injury claim, contact the experienced lawyers at The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson – at (609) 528-2596.

Why Won’t My NJ Primary Care Doctor Treat My Car Accident Injuries?

Top 3 Reasons Your NJ Primary Care Doctor Shouldn’t Treat You After A Motor Vehicle Accident.

Why Won’t My NJ Primary Care Doctor Treat My Car Accident Injuries?After an automobile accident, you must seek prompt medical attention, whether your personal injuries are severe enough that you are treated in a hospital emergency room immediately after the accident or a few days afterward. If the pain or discomfort of your injuries appears a few days after your accident or grows significantly worse over time, your initial thought may be to call or visit your primary care physician. Regretfully, it is quite likely that your physician will inform you they cannot treat you due to your symptoms being connected to the accident. Your doctor wants you to receive the best care and are looking after your best interests. Rather than becoming disheartened, feeling abandoned, or frustrated, you should consider that traumatic injuries are not their main area of expertise.

Your primary care physician treats various illnesses and injuries every day, but probably not the type of common injuries sustained in car accidents: whiplash, soft tissue injuries, traumatic brain injuries, blunt force trauma to the head or chest, broken bones, spinal injuries, ligament or tendon damage, and much more. These types of injuries require proper diagnosis, care, and documentation so that if you suffered severe or life-changing injuries and need money for medical bills, pain and suffering, wage loss, and other hardships, you can recover the maximum compensation for your losses.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We are engaged in teaching this complex area of litigation to attorneys from both states. Since 1972, we have helped numerous clients obtain compensation for injuries sustained in automobile accidents throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our experienced team of lawyers is dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you need and deserve.

Contact us online or by telephone at (609) 528-2596 to arrange a consultation with an experienced auto accident lawyer. You only have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit. After the statute of limitations expires, you will no longer be able to sue to collect compensation for your injuries.

Reason #1: Improper Diagnosis From Your NJ Doctor Could Delay Proper Treatment

The adrenalin from a car accident may mask pain. If you are experiencing pain, your primary care doctor may prescribe pain medication and recommend giving it a few days or weeks to heal independently. These days or weeks without proper medical treatment or documentation could delay a proper diagnosis connecting the injuries, chronic pain, numbness, tingling, problems sleeping, or even PTSD with the accident. Specialists such as orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, physiatrists, and chiropractors, etc., will know and recommend consistent treatment and possibly physical therapy right away and will more likely be able to provide:

  • a detailed analysis of what happened to you as a result of the accident
  • a detailed synopsis of any pre-existing injuries or conditions that were not caused by the accident
  • key details about if the accident aggravated your pre-existing injuries
  • a list of medical tests they performed (i.e., range of motion, nerve compression tests, etc.)
  • Reason #1: Improper Diagnosis From Your NJ Doctor Could Delay Proper Treatmentspecialized MRI’s, X-rays, digital motion X-rays, etc
  • prescriptions to physical, occupational, & mental therapy, and vocational rehabilitation
  • info regarding specialists referrals for surgery or pain management
  • an explanation of whether your injuries are a temporary or permanent disability
  • details about future medical needs
  • impairment ratings (i.e., injuries’ effects on your ability to work, perform daily activities, etc.)

Reason #2: A NJ Accident Injury Specialist Can Accurately Value Your Case

Gaps in treatment can decrease the value of your personal injury claim and as well as your chances of recovering from your injuries. Treatment from a specialist can provide you and your personal injury attorney with accurately detailed information about how the motor vehicle accident has caused you harm, various losses (financial, mobility, quality of life, etc.), and injuries; you will have a stronger case to justify the insurance company or the negligent party paying you the maximum compensation for your personal injury claim.

Reason #3: PIP Billing Related Insurance Difficulties from Your NJ Accident

Your primary care physician may not accept your Personal Injury Protection (PIP)  coverage to treat your injuries. Known as “no-fault insurance,” the initial funds to cover expenses and damages will come from your auto insurance provider regardless of fault. The caveat is that although PIP can pay for medical, living, or rehab expenses after you suffer an injury after a car accident, PIP billing can be complicated, which means many primary care physician offices often choose not to see patients who PIP will cover.

While emergency rooms are capable of billing your PIP insurance, if you need a follow-up (or your injuries don’t require urgent treatment), your appointment must be with a physician who not only specifically works with motor vehicle accident victims and can provide you with the best treatment, but can also capably and confidently handle PIP billing.

Contact Our Mercer County Car Accident and Personal Injury Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, we have extensive experience helping clients across Mercer County, Trenton, Princeton, and Hamilton recover the compensation they need and deserve for their injuries. We work closely with investigative and medical experts to help prove your claim and provide honest, intelligent, and diligent service to all of our clients.

If you or a loved one has been injured by another party’s reckless or negligent actions in an accident, including medical malpractice, product liability, premises liability, or a slip and fall, please contact us online or through our Trenton, NJ office at (609) 528-2596, for a free and confidential consultation regarding your accident injuries and options for recovering compensation.

Decline in Traffic Fatalities During Covid-19 Pandemic

According to a CBS This Morning report, more than 20 states saw a marked drop in fatalities caused by car accidents between March and May

Decline in Traffic Fatalities During Covid-19 PandemicThe Covid-19 pandemic that has wrought havoc on the entire planet has adversely impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. Our physical, emotional, social, and financial lives have been put in jeopardy; and we have had to orient ourselves to new systems of operation. While the lockdowns caused by the pandemic have had many difficult effects on our lives, one positive thing has come out of the removal of cars from the road: there has been a drastic decline in traffic-related automobile accidents causing fatalities across the country.

According to a CBS This Morning report, more than 20 states saw a marked drop in fatalities caused by car accidents between March and May, during which many states and local governments were implementing stay-at-home orders. Most notable among the statistics of declining fatalities gathered by the CBS This Morning report was an 84 percent decline in fatalities on highways in California. Because that state, in particular, drove home a message that it was imperative not to drive unless absolutely necessary in order to provide space on the roads for emergency responders to field calls related to the Coronavirus, traffic was greatly reduced, and fatal accidents fell with them.

What About New Jersey Traffic Accident and Fatality Statistics?

New Jersey also has seen a serious drop in reported auto fatalities during this trying time, reportedly reaching 50-year lows. This pattern in New Jersey and the country is welcome news, but it is a stark turnaround from before the pandemic. According to the New Jersey State Police, traffic fatality patterns had been steady for years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 96 percent of the vehicles involved in US traffic accidents in 2014 were passenger vehicles, and in 2014 over 21,000 people died across the country in traffic accidents involving passenger vehicles. Additionally, that year, a startling 2.07 million people were injured in passenger vehicle accidents. Given that accident fatality numbers have stayed fairly steady – as in high – over the past 5 years before the pandemic (seeing a drop of only 3 percent from 2015-2018 data), we are left to wonder whether patterns will simply return to the dangerous ‘normal’ after the pandemic has subsided.

Counties like Bergen, Middlesex, and Essex have historically been the counties with the most traffic accidents; can the 35 percent decline of traffic fatalities reported in April 2020 when compared to April 2019 be maintained in high accident areas, and all areas around New Jersey?

Not necessarily at all, warns the New Jersey State Police. In fact, while NJSP records show that the rate of fatalities from auto accidents has declined by 9 percent overall compared to 2019, this drop is not as sharp as it could be. Traffic in New Jersey has decreased by 62 percent during the first months of the pandemic, so a 9 percent decrease in fatalities actually shows that some drivers are taking advantage of the emptier roads to engage in risky behaviors such as speeding that have resulted in additional traffic deaths.

Increase in risky behavior on roadways can prove dangerous during Covid-19

What is the People´s Perspective When it comes to COVID-19 and Law Enforcement?New Jersey Governors Highway Safety Association Senior Director Pam Shadel Fischer added another dangerous cause of accidents. She said, “There is a sense that because of Covid-19, law enforcement is diverted.” This perspective that risky behavior would go unchecked on ‘empty’ roads is dangerous and life-threatening, both for drivers engaging in risky behaviors as well as everyone else on the road, whether in a car or not.

Reminder to Drivers Getting Back on the Road Post Pandemic

As drivers get back on the road, New Jersey drivers are reminded to engage in basic safety precautions to make sure that you, your passengers, and others on the road stay safe. Make sure you have completed safety checks for your car, especially if you haven’t driven it in a while. Always wear your seatbelt and ensure that all passengers are also strapped in. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or mind-altering drugs. Obey all street signs, and follow the local speed limits, even if you seem to be alone on the road. Sometimes the most dangerous times operating a vehicle are those in which you let your guard down because you perceive that you have more room to roam than you actually do. Remember that at any moment, a car, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian could enter into your trajectory from an unseen path, and driving defensively while following all traffic laws is the surest way to keep everyone safe on the road.

Contact Trenton NJ Fatal Auto Accident and Injury Lawyers Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, our experienced team of auto accident lawyers supports clients across Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and the greater Mercer County area in all matters regarding car accidents and personal injury claims.

To schedule a consultation with a member of our team today to discuss your accident, please contact us online, or through our Trenton office at 609.528.2596. We look forward to working with you.