Physical Therapy after an Accident in NJ

The three most common reasons for physical therapy are falls, auto accidents, and sports injuries.

Physical Therapy after an Accident in NJWhile people suffer accidents daily, tripping up a curb, banging a head on an open cabinet door, or jamming a leg against the corner of a low table, many serious injuries require a physical therapist’s help. Physical therapists treat serious and non-serious injuries alike, as injury can occur wherever you go, home, work, roadways, and stores. But when you cannot sleep, work, or grocery shop because you have too much pain to tend to daily activities, you need rehabilitative pain relief and restoration of healthy muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Restorative therapy includes strength, endurance, and flexibility.

When you slip on a slick surface or fall from a height, you may end up with sprains, bruises, cuts, and fractures. After visiting your doctor for a health evaluation, you may get a referral to a physical therapist to treat specific areas of the body, for instance, the back, neck, head, arms, and legs. Depending on how you feel, you may experience pain not only in the area directly impacted with the hard floor in the supermarket slip and fall, like the knees but also the neck and shoulders from bracing for the fall. In many accidents, the neck, back, and shoulders are jolted from impact but also tensing up in anticipation of impact and protecting the head. Whiplash is common in many types of accidents.

Physical Therapy after Car Accidents

Take car accidents, for instance. Of the millions of car accidents annually, whiplash is one of the more common resulting injuries. A driver may see the oncoming car or swerving vehicle into their lane and tense their arms, grip the steering wheel, clench their jaw, and stiffen their neck. When the impact occurs, all muscles, joints, nerves, and ligaments associated with those body parts suffer various degrees of stretching, straining, and tearing. Much depends on the severity of the impact. But car accidents may also include cuts from shattered glass, bruises from airbags deploying, internal injuries from being crushed or blunted with the steering wheel, windshield, or other car parts, and spinal cord and brain injuries from blunt trauma. Therapy may last for months for serious car accidents to get pain relief and mobility recovery.

Needing Physical Therapy for Sports and Workplace Injuries in NJ

And common sports injuries include muscle and ligament tears, like ACLU injuries, pulled muscles, sprained ankles, and shoulder, groin, and knee injuries. Whether a professional or recreational athlete, sports injuries are common reasons for physical therapy. Common workplace accidents and overuse injuries also necessitate physical therapy and continued treatment to manage and improve the areas of difficulty, whether the back, knee, neck, shoulder or another area of the body.

Importance of Physical Therapy in your Recovery Process

Importance of Physical Therapy on your Recovery Process Whatever the reason for your visit, physical therapy can help you recover faster, in many cases, returning to your pre-accident strength and mobility or improved daily functioning at the very least. Moreover, PT may help with the residual effects of an injury, like stiffness, overcompensation, and imbalance. When healing from a painful knee injury, you may develop tightness, stiffness, and overuse injury to the leg with the healthy knee. That may affect your balance and ability to walk for long periods. Physical therapists can help you overcome the long-term or secondary effects of injuries, for example, preventing a fall due to imbalance after a knee injury.

A further reason for physical therapy after an accident is pain management. With physical therapy, patients may forego or reduce the number of pain killers they need to cope with daily functioning. Physical therapy or PT builds strength and taps into natural pain relief by making space between bone and tissue that compress a nerve. Physical manipulation of the muscles and joints plus massage and nerve stimulation can provide natural pain relief rather than the temporary relief of opioids. Besides that, getting stronger with safe exercises improves a patient’s mood to make recovery quicker.

What if I can’t afford a Physical Therapist for accident injuries?

Every injured person wants to recover quicker and return to their lives before their accident. Financially, physical therapy may not be available to everyone, though most insurance policies cover it as medical treatment. However, if your accident resulted from another’s negligence, the costs of PT and all medical expenses may be within the responsible party’s insurance coverage or still their liability. In fact, many medical providers will take a lien against your future recovery if you are unable to pay for PT when you need it.

When lodging a personal injury claim against the responsible party and often their insurer, an accident victim totals all costs from medical to lost wages and out-of-pocket expenses for past, present, and future diagnosis and treatment of injuries due to the accident. By law, you are entitled to compensation for your losses to make you whole or place you in the pre-accident financial condition. At the time of settlement of your claim, you may reimburse your medical providers for treatment, or reimburse yourself for all of the money spent on previous medical care.

To prove your injuries and need for treatment are real to an insurer or a judge, you can show that physical therapy helped in the past and continues to help with the long-term effects of the accident. In that way, you can claim future costs of therapy in your accident claim and show that you are serious about your recovery as you follow doctor’s orders. An insurer or the negligent party may try to downgrade your injuries as minimal and your medical treatment as overstated. However, showing a consistent dedication of time to treatment and healing with PT can bolster your claim that you were injured to the extent you claim, and the documented PT details the treatment necessity and progress.

A NJ personal injury attorney is your antidote to incomplete or unconvincing claims.

Need an Attorney for personal injury physical therapy claim NJFortunately, you do not have to suffer the effects of an injury and, at the same time, pursue a claim with an adversarial insurance company or responsible party by yourself. You must carefully prepare and pursue a personal injury claim. Insurance company adjusters and defense attorneys get paid to cast doubt and skepticism on personal injury claims. They look for over-billing and unnecessary treatment, and any other costs to pare down from a claim. Fighting for your claim while you are treating for painful injuries is tough.

Concerned about Covering the Costs of Physical Therapy for your Injury Case in New Jersey? Leave it all to the experienced attorneys KCR

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson deal with injury claims all the time and know the in’s and out’s of proving accident claims to get you compensated. No matter what the source of your injury requiring continue physical therapy and costing heavily in medical treatment, along with your mental and physical health, count on our legal team to tirelessly seek the compensation you deserve.

At Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson we frequently assist clients throughout Trenton, and Mercer County, including East Windsor, Ewing, Hamilton, Hightstown, and Lawrence. Call 609-528-2596 as soon as you are able after an accident to discuss your options and what can be done on your behalf.

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.

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.

New Jersey as a No-fault state and Personal Injury Protection

Car & Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys Serving Clients across in Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton, Pennington and across Mercer County, NJ

New Jersey as a No-fault state and Personal Injury ProtectionIt is absolutely necessary for you to understand how the State of New Jersey handles car accident claims if you have been recently injured in a motor vehicle accident. Some states are referred to as no-fault insurance states and others are known at-fault insurance states. New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means if you’re in a car accident it is your auto insurance carrier that is responsible for paying certain damages from the accident, regardless of fault.

This means that even if the other driver could be clearly at-fault for the accident it will be your auto insurance that pays for your medical bills. This is very different than at-fault states, where the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the other driver’s damages.

N.J.S.A. 39:6A-1 “New Jersey Automobile Reparation Reform Act”

New Jersey law N.J.S.A. 39:6A-1 also known as the “New Jersey Automobile Reparation Reform Act” states that all New Jersey, drivers must purchase Personal Injury Protection, otherwise known as “PIP”. This covers your medical bills if you’re injured in an accident. A PIP policy pays for you or other persons covered under your policy that are injured in an auto accident. It is commonly referred to as ‘no-fault’ coverage because it pays your own medical expenses no matter who caused the auto accident.

Fines and Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

It is important to remember that being caught driving without insurance in New Jersey is no small problem. A first time violation could mean a fine of between $300 and $1,000, community service, DMV surcharges of $250 for three years, and a mandatory license suspension of one year. In addition, there are substantial court costs and fees that are required to be paid in addition to the penalties listed above.

A second offense is even more problematic fines of up to $5000.00, a mandatory jail sentence of 14 days, 30 days community service, and a license suspension for two years.

The Ins and Outs of a PIP policy

PIP policy coverage is usually broken down into two parts: 1) the first part covers medical treatment received from doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers and medical equipment. While the second part may reimburse you for lost wages as well as money spent on someone to help care for your home or family while you were incapacitated. Furthermore, your PIP policy can contain Bodily Injury Liability Coverage. This coverage will pay for claims made by others who may have been injured or killed due to your negligence behind the wheel.

Car & Motorcycle Accidents Attorneys in Bucks County PennsylvaniaWhen purchasing your auto insurance policy you will be able to choose how much PIP coverage you would like. Though the standard is $250,000 you can adjust it to carry a higher or lower amount of coverage. They will then ask if you would like

Using PIP as Primary Health Insurance Policy

It is also possible for your PIP to be primary or your health insurance policy though it likely that your insurance company will advise you not to put PIP as primary being that they charge higher rates for having PIP as primary. However, despite the extra expense having a PIP as primary is often a better choice in the long run because if you are injured in an accident you may want to have access to those funds to cover medical costs.

Should you not choose to have PIP as primary, you will not have access to that coverage regardless of the level of coverage you chose. Paying extra for additional PIP coverage, above the $250,000 standard, will not matter if it is not primary. Furthermore, if you pursue a personal injury claim following your car accident the health insurance company can then place liens on your settlement demanding reimbursement for the costs they covered that would have been covered by PIP if you utilized your health insurance coverage rather than the auto policy.

Call for a Free Consultation with our Trenton NJ Auto Accident Attorneys

At Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson with a comprehensive, proactive strategy, we have been successful in recovering millions of dollars in settlements for our clients who have been injured in automobile accidents in Princeton, Ewing, Hamilton, Pennington and across Mercer County, New Jersey.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident anywhere in New Jersey. Contact our Mercer County offices today at (215) 337-4915 to learn more about how our talented personal injury team can assist you. You can also fill out the online contact form to schedule a meeting at our offices in Trenton New Jersey.