Category: New Jersey Personal Injury

What are Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

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Motorcycle Accident Injuries

Motorcycle riding can be enjoyable, but it can also be dangerous. Motorcycle riding is the riskiest mode of transportation in the United States. Motorcycle riders and passengers are vulnerable to serious and catastrophic injuries or death every time they are on the road. Motorcyclists are 28 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

When a motorcycle accident involves other vehicles, more than one-half take place at intersections, and more than two-thirds of at-fault drivers say that they did not see the motorcycle, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Motorcycle riders and passengers are at a higher risk for injury than passenger vehicle occupants.

Motorcycle riders can wear safety equipment, such as helmets and leg protection, to help lessen the impact of accidents. However, even with safety measures, a motorcyclist can sustain mild to severe injuries because they are not fully protected.

The following examples are the most common types of motorcycle accident-related injuries.

Head, Neck, and Brain Injuries

Even with a helmet on, motorcycle riders and passenger will often sustain injuries to their head, neck, and spine, resulting in:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Skull fractures
  • Broken facial bones
  • Concussion
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Mouth, jaw, and teeth trauma
  • Broken neck

Spinal Cord Injuries

Motorcyclists who run into a stationary object or are violently thrown from the bike run a significant risk of injuring their spinal cord, resulting in paralysis or other conditions.

Leg and Pelvis Injuries

Broken bones in the legs, knees, ankles, feet, and pelvis are common in a motorcycle accident from the sheer impact of force. These injuries can cause work interruptions or the inability to work.

Arm and Shoulder Injuries

When a motorcyclist falls or is thrown from the bike, their arms and shoulder often bear the brunt of the impact. Broken bones and soft tissue/nerve damage often result in the need for surgery and rehabilitation.

Muscle and Soft Tissue Injuries

A motorcyclist is vulnerable to torn muscles, ligaments, nerve damage, and other injuries because they have no restraining mechanism or bodily protection in an accident.

Internal Injuries

Blunt force trauma in a motorcycle can injure or puncture any number of internal organs, causing bleeding and the need for surgery or removal.

Road Rash

This is the term used to describe the severe disfigurement of skin that has made sustained contact with the road. The result is much more severe than a rash, scrape, or bruise. Sometimes, skin can be peeled back to the muscle, requiring months of recovery.

What are the Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Sometimes, the motorcyclist is at fault in an accident due to various reasons. However, when another vehicle is involved, the fault in many cases lies with an inattentive or reckless vehicle driver.

The following are common causes of motorcycle accidents:

  • Head-on collisions. A car driver might lose control of their vehicle or veer from their lane, striking a motorcycle head-on.
  • Rear-end collisions. Motorists traveling too fast or who are distracted may not stop in time, running into the back of the motorcycle.
  • Speeding and changing lanes unsafely. Vehicle drivers who do not obey the rules of the road increase the chance of an accident with a nearby motorcyclist.
  • Cars turning at an intersection. A motorcycle may be less visible than a car or truck, but a motorist must still be attentive and careful.
  • When a car sideswipes a motorcycle, a motorcycle rider does not have the protection of a vehicle and can be severely injured.
  • Drunk driver. A motorcyclist who is hit by a drink car driver is susceptible to grave injuries.
  • Vehicle drivers may be talking, texting, eating, or otherwise distracted enough not to see a motorcycle rider.
  • Road conditions. Negligence in maintaining a road or highway can cause injury to a motorcycle driver.

Can I Sue if a Car Driver Caused My Motorcycle Accident?

It is possible to sue after a motorcycle accident, depending on the circumstances. First, consult with a local lawyer, and do not accept an offer from an insurance company without doing so first. Insurers will almost never offer the total compensation a victim is due.

A lawyer will manage the legal process to help an injured motorcyclist recover costs for the following:

  • Medical care bills
  • Costs for motorcycle
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

The motorcycle driver or passenger can be of great help after an accident if they can do any of the following:

  • Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damages, road conditions, and the position of vehicles after the accident.
  • Talk to bystanders who saw what happened. Get their statements, names, and contact information.
  • Make notes as soon as possible after the accident while details are still fresh.
  • Always seek medical attention on the scene and after. Injuries may not always be visible or apparent at first. Many times, the body is in shock at first and may not display all symptoms.
  • Keep records of medical visits, including plans of care and anything else related to the diagnosis and prognosis.

Keep every medical receipt and report, including:

  • Ambulance costs
  • Intensive care stays
  • Hospital stays
  • Surgeries
  • Visits to medical providers and specialists
  • Prescriptions
  • Medical equipment
  • Home care
  • Nursing home stays
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychiatric care

Keep copies of all communications with an employer regarding lost wages, benefits, and related issues.

In New Jersey, an accident victim cannot recover any compensation if the defense can prove they were even one percent at fault in the accident, so an experienced lawyer is often needed.

New Jersey Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Victims of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents can cause physical, emotional, and financial devastation for victims. Many times, a distracted or reckless driver is at fault. Let the New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr fight on your behalf. Call us at 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

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Highland Park personal injury lawyers help motorcyclists injured in an accident.The spring months are here, and it is the perfect time for motorcyclists and motorists alike to enjoy the sunny weather on the open road. It makes sense that May is recognized as National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, considering that this is the time of year you see most motorcycle riders out on the highways.

Safety on the roads is a jointed effort; whether you travel by car or motorcycle, sharing the road cautiously and being aware of each other is key to getting everyone to their destination safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycles only make up less than one percent of vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. but accounted for 14 percent of motor vehicle deaths in 2017.

Special Considerations for Motorcyclists

Riding a motorcycle is quite different than driving a car. Drivers and riders need to understand the limitations and challenges motorcyclists face on the road. Doing so will reduce incidence of motorcycle accidents and make the road a safer place. The following are some tips for everyone to follow in honor of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month:

  • Always wear a helmet that meets DOT standards. Helmets are the single best way to prevent motorcycle deaths. Many also have face shields that guard against wind and bugs and eye injuries.
  • Bright or florescent clothing is recommended as well to make you more visible to others. Visibility is a major factor in motorcycle accidents. Drivers often do not see the motorcycle or are not aware of them because their smaller and quicker. Drivers and riders alike should understand blind spots of cars; drivers should always check their blind spots, and riders should avoid them.
  • Never drink when operating a motorcycle, or any vehicle for that matter. According to the NHTSA, one quarter of motorcycle fatalities in 2016 involved drivers who were impaired by alcohol, more than cars or trucks.
  • Know the rules of the road. Most states require further testing for a motorcyclist to get their license, with some states requiring safety classes as well. Always drive defensively, do not speed, and yield to others when traffic is heavy. You can never predict what another person will do.
  • Whether you drive a car or ride a motorcycle, it is always a good idea to check your tires, tire pressures, and fluids before going out on the road, especially if it is a long trip.
  • Riding a motorcycle requires a fair amount of skill and is different than driving a car, but the rules of the road are the same. Motorcycle riders should always stick to their skill level and understand that every bike is different, with some being far more powerful than others.

Highland Park Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Motorcyclists Injured in an Accident

If you have been injured while riding a motorcycle, you are urged to call the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Our experienced Highland Park personal injury lawyers are committed to recovering maximum compensation for your injuries. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. From our offices in Highland Park, New Jersey, we represent clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

Christmas Eve Fire Displaces Nearly 25 Highland Park Residents

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Christmas Eve Fire Displaces Nearly 25 Highland Park ResidentsA Christmas Eve fire displaced 24 residents at a Highland Park, New Jersey apartment complex. Around 5:30 pm, on Monday, December 24 a fire ignited and destroyed four apartments and damaged 12 others at the Cedar Lane Apartments. The fire began in an apartment on the top floor of the building purportedly occupied by a resident who hoarded items, which may have contributed to the powerful blaze. Luckily, no victims sustained any injuries in the Christmas Eve fire.

Victims in a fire at their residence may experience severe trauma if they develop burn injuries. Burn injuries may range from minor to serious and necessitate medical intervention such as painful skin grafts and multiple surgeries. Additionally, a victim of a fire may endure psychological damage and require years of therapy to combat emotional distress and even Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If you became injured in a fire at a residence or business, the New Jersey burn injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr will protect your rights. Contact us online or call our offices at 732-249-4600 or toll-free at 877-249-4600 to set up a free initial consultation. We represent clients at our Highland Park, New Jersey office, including those from the areas of New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

New Brunswick Product Liability Lawyers Examine the Recent Ford Recalls

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New Brunswick Product Liability Lawyers Examine Recent Ford RecallsWhen a specific part on a vehicle or another consumer product is determined to pose a risk to consumers, either because it was poorly designed or not manufactured according to its design specifications, the manufacturer must issue a recall for that part. When a product is recalled, owners of that product may have it repaired or replaced at no charge. If a manufacturer does not voluntarily issue a recall for a safety issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may require it to issue one.

In March 2017, Ford Motors issued two separate recalls for vehicles in its line. Some 230,000 vehicles were recalled because of poor coolant circulation in the 1.6 liter GTDI engines that could lead to overheating and fires. To date, at least 29 vehicles have experienced fires as a result of the defect. Ford also expanded an earlier recall was for a faulty door latch mechanism that impacted vehicle doors’ ability to close securely, putting drivers at risk of their doors opening while driving. The expanded safety recall includes an additional 211,000 vehicles. Vehicle owners affected by the Ford recalls are advised to take their vehicles to their local dealership immediately to get the problem fixed.

Product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers may be held liable for any damages victims suffer from injuries caused by using the products as directed. Individuals who are injured because of product malfunctions can seek compensation for their damages through product liability claims.

Liability for Damages Caused by Auto Defects

In many cases, the defective product’s manufacturer is liable for any damages suffered by a victim injured by its malfunction. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, the product’s distributor or retailer may be held liable for the victim’s damages. In other cases, more than one party may be liable.

The circumstances that led to the injury will typically determine which party is liable. When a manufacturer issues a recall for a vehicle and dealers with the affected vehicle in their inventory fail to have the problem corrected in those vehicles, the dealer may be liable for any damages resulting from a buyer’s injury. Issuing a recall does not mean that a manufacturer cannot be held liable for any damages resulting from that particular safety problem, nor does it mean the manufacturer is automatically liable in all specific instances of malfunction.

Filing a Product Liability Claim

A product liability claim requires the same elements as any other personal injury claim. There must be evidence to demonstrate that the claimant was injured because of a specific act of negligence on the part of another party. In product liability claims for auto defects, claimants must show that their specific vehicles malfunctioned and caused them to be injured, necessitating their claims for specific monetary damages. Evidence can include photographs of the accident, documentation of lost wages and medical bills, witness testimonies, and any documentation showing how the injury negatively impacted the claimant’s quality of life.

New Brunswick Product Liability Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Those Injured Due to Auto Defects Pursue Compensation

If you have been injured in an accident because of a vehicle malfunction, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages through a product liability claim. To discuss your case in greater detail, complete our online form or call 877-249-4600 to arrange a free consultation with an experienced New Brunswick product liability lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. We are located in Highland Park and proudly serve clients from South River, Edison, New Brunswick, Somerset, Sayreville, Metuchen, South Plainfield, Fords, East Brunswick, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, and Colonia.

New Brunswick Slip and Fall Lawyers: Common Back and Spinal Cord Injuries

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Every year, millions of people suffer from devastating back and spinal cord injuries. Unfortunately, few of these people do not report their injury to their physician, and their symptoms slowly become worse over time. The spinal column encases the spinal cord, which is the primary nerve conduit for all your limbs. Injuring any part of this pathway results in pain or dysfunction in whatever area of the body to which that region is connected.

Back and spinal cord injuries can happen anywhere, and it is important to always be vigilant. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries. Although there is not much we can do to prevent getting in a car accident, one should never drive while intoxicated and exercise caution in dangerous weather conditions. Often, car accidents are the result of other drivers acting recklessly or negligently, for which compensation can be pursued.

Other common culprits include physical activity (particularly contact sports), and workplace injuries. Sadly, many spinal cord injuries are the result of physical assault and domestic violence attacks. Slip and fall accidents also cause a large number of these injuries, and they can happen anywhere—retail establishments, your own home, or a friend’s house. When a spinal cord injury results from a slip and fall due to a negligent property owner, a premises liability lawsuit can be filed.

The seriousness of a back or spinal cord injury depends on the event, impact, and forces at play. In some cases, an injured person will need surgery, while other times, wounds will self-heal over time. But almost all back and spinal injuries cause great pain and suffering, and sometimes, even paralysis.

Common Back and Spinal Cord Injures

Some common injuries that can cause severe pain include:

  • Disc compression/slipped disk. When vertebrae slip out of place or become compressed, people generally suffer severe and debilitating pain.
  • Nerve damage.
  • Twisting of the spine. This is a common injury for car accident victims.
  • Broken bones
  • Head injury and traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI generally requires extensive long term rehabilitation. A person’s range of mobility, memory, cognition and personality can change as a result of this type of injury.
  • Whiplash
  • Broken hips
  • Broken pelvis
  • Torn tendons and ligaments
  • Spinal cord cuts
  • Paralysis

New Brunswick Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Fight for Victims of Personal Injuries

If you have suffered a back or spinal injury as a result of a car accident or slip and fall accident, you are probably keenly aware of the intense pain associated with it. People suffering from these types of injuries often are unable to work and need extensive medical rehabilitation. The experienced New Brunswick car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr provide zealous representation to injured victims. With offices located in Middlesex County, New Jersey, we proudly represent residents throughout the region. Call us today at 732-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Highland Park Premises Liability Lawyers discuss $10.6 Million Elevator Award Upheld by New Jersey Court

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An elevator company’s motion for a new trial—which would be the third trial in the case—has been rejected by a New Jersey Superior Court.

According to court records, Richard Tufaro, a union master carpenter, was working inside an elevator at the Headquarters Plaza in August, 2005, when the elevator dropped two floors. Tufano, 48 years old at the time, suffered permanent spinal cord damage and has been unable to work since.

Tufaro filed a personal injury lawsuit against Schindler Elevator Corporation, alleging that they had failed to properly maintain the elevator. A jury returned a verdict in his favor, awarding him $2.8 million, and giving his wife $950,000. Attorneys for the elevator company appealed, arguing that the judge had improperly instructed the jury. They won their appeal and the case was sent back for a new trial. That trial ended in 2014, with the jury awarding Tufaro and his wife $7.75 million. That verdict was also appealed, asking for a new trial and claiming that the damages were excessive.

In its opinion, the New Jersey Superior Court addressed both issues. The panel concluded that a new trial was not appropriate, as Schindler had, in its arguments, “failed to address the legal standard warranting a new trial.” The court also found the damage award not to be excessive, even though it was approximately twice the amount the first jury awarded.

Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in central New Jersey for more than four decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-249-4600 (toll free at 877-249-4600).

The Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr is a New Jersey personal injury firm located in Highland Park, New Jersey serving the communities of New Brunswick, Edison, Somerset, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy and Colonia, New Jersey.

Highland Park Personal Injury Lawyers: Dunkin’ Donuts Pays $522,000 to Settle Slip and Fall Claim

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A Dunkin’ Donuts franchise has agreed to settle a personal injury lawsuit by a customer in Highland Park, New Jersey, allegedly paying the injured party more than half a million dollars.

According to her attorney, Maria Marsala purchased coffee at the store in January, 2012. As she left the lobby to return to her car, she tripped over a metal rebar spike in the parking lot. As a result, she suffered burns from the coffee, as well as back and shoulder injuries. Her lawyer says she required surgery for the back and shoulder injuries. A Dunkin’ Donut spokesperson said that the rebar spike was designed to hold a curb stop in place, but had been dislodged. They did not know how that happened.

Under New Jersey law, property owners, both residential and commercial, have a duty to take reasonable steps to minimize the risk of injury to anyone legally on the property. With commercial property owners, that duty is somewhat stricter, as they are considered to invite customers on to the premises for a profit. The duty imposed generally requires that a business owner take reasonable steps to discover any perceived safety risks, and that any risks that are or should be discovered must be remedied, or visitors must be adequately warned of the inherent dangers.

Contact the New Jersey Slip, Trip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we have protected the rights of injured people in central New Jersey for more than four decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-249-4600 (toll free at 877-249-4600).

The Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr is a New Jersey personal injury firm located in Highland Park, New Jersey serving the communities of New Brunswick, Edison, Somerset, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy and Colonia, New Jersey.

Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers: Who Gets the Best Deal on Car Insurance in New Jersey?

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Studies show that New Jersey auto insurance rates are among the highest in the country, along with Michigan and Montana. Nonetheless, you may still qualify for some of the lowest rates in the state. Here are the types of drivers who can get better bargains on motor vehicle insurance.

Young Drivers

Surprisingly, drivers in their early 20s can often get auto coverage for less. Some can pay as little as $700 a year. The reason? Drivers in this demographic usually have cheaper cars and may not have families that need protection.

Retired Drivers

Studies show that, as drivers age, they exercise more caution behind the wheel. Accordingly, for insurance providers, they offer less risk. Some insurance companies, though, may require that persons take a safe-driving class after a certain age, if they want to get discounts.

Drivers with Good Credit

Most insurance companies use credit scores to predict the likelihood of future accidents, and are inclined to assess higher rates to people with lower credit scores. However, one study showed that the average premium for people with dicey credit was almost identical to that for people with no credit issues. The lesson—always get more than one quote.

Good Drivers

If you’ve never had a ticket or been at fault in an accident, you’ll have an advantage when it comes to car insurance premiums. Insurance companies typically tie most discounts to factors that indicate good and sensible driving habits. Be sure to ask your agent what discounts might apply.

Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in central New Jersey for more than four decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-249-4600 (toll free at 877-249-4600).

Highland Park Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers: New Jersey Auto Insurance Premiums Among Highest in Nation

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According to a recent study by Consumer Affairs, New Jersey ranks among the most costly states in the country for automobile insurance, along with Michigan and Montana. Wisconsin, Ohio and Maine are the best bargains for drivers.

Researchers say a number of factors contribute to the cost of motor vehicle insurance. Some, such as age and driving record, are unique to the individual. But others apply to drivers as a whole. The issues that account for the dramatic differences from state to state include:

  • The number of insurance companies competing in a state
  • The density of traffic in the state
  • The number of uninsured drivers in the state

The study found that drivers in Maine, the cheapest state, pay nearly $2,000 less on average per year than drivers in Michigan, the most expensive state. The tab in Maine is just $808 annually, whereas Michigan motorists pay an average of $2,738 per year.

Another factor cited in keeping premiums low in certain states involves efforts by state regulators to minimize abuses by insurers. California, for example, was cited as a state where premiums have remained low due to aggressive regulatory actions by the state.

New Jersey officials say there are two principal reasons why the state is near the top in auto insurance costs. First, New Jersey has the highest traffic density rate in the country. In addition, New Jersey requires that auto insurance policyholders have $250,000 in personal injury protection, an amount exceeded only by Michigan.

Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in central New Jersey for more than four decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-249-4600 (toll free at 877-249-4600).

Highland Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Rates Essentially Unchanged in 2016

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The New Jersey Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau, the agency responsible for regulating workers’ compensation insurance premium rates in the state, has issued a statement indicating that there will be essentially no increases or decreases in the costs employers must pay in 2016 to cover the risk of injury to workers. The bureau makes recommendations to the state’s commission on Banking and Insurance. The filing for 2016, providing for no change in the overall level of liability rates, was approved by the commission in late 2015.

Benefits Changes

The bureau reported that there will be slight changes in the amount of benefits paid in 2016, though. An applicant for workers’ compensation benefits who is determined to have permanent, but partial disability, will qualify for a maximum weekly benefit of $232 to $871, up from $228 to $855 in 2015. The weekly benefit is based on a formula that takes into account the workers average weekly wage (AWW) for the last 52 weeks, as well as the percentage of the permanent disability. The maximum rage varies based on the duration of disability. Officials say the minimum amount paid per week will remain unchanged at $35.

Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyers at the Law Offieces of Harold J. Gerr

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in central New Jersey for more than four decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-249-4600 (toll-free at 1-877-249-4600).