Category: Personal Injury

What Causes Head-On Collisions?

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Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Can Help You Explore Your Options After a Head-On Collision.

Many car accidents are minor and do not cause significant injuries. Head-on collisions, however, are different. These car accidents can be deadly because of the speed and direction of impact. Even in slower speed head-on collisions, drivers often face life-altering injuries.

Most car accidents often result from human error, from minor fender-benders to head-on collisions. The following are common causes of head-on collisions:

  • Distracted driving: When a driver is distracted by their phone, the radio, other passengers, or even by eating, they are not paying attention to the road. Distracted driving can have devastating consequences, including a head-on collision.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level above the legal limit often has catastrophic consequences. Even driving after having a couple of drinks reduces a driver’s ability to react to an emergency to avoid an accident.
  • Drowsy driving: Drowsiness has similar effects on the body as drunkenness. That means a driver who has not slept well could fall asleep behind the wheel and cause a head-on collision.
  • Speeding: Drivers must account for the weather and road conditions. If someone drives too fast during a rainstorm, they could quickly lose control of their vehicle and slip and slide across the center line, causing a head-on collision.
  • Breaking other traffic laws: When a driver runs a red light or fails to yield the right-of-way, that violates a traffic law and can cause a head-on collision.

What Injuries Are Caused by Head-On Collisions?

As with any car accident, a head-on collision can injure people involved in the crash. Head-on collisions often cause catastrophic injuries. The most common head-on collision injuries include:

  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.
  • Neck and back injuries.
  • Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis.
  • Broken bones.
  • Organ damage.
  • Amputation.

In severe cases, head-on collisions result in death. Because of the direction of impact and the force involved, these crashes can affect the rest of your life. This affects not only your physical health but also your mental well-being.

Proving the Other Driver Caused the Head-On Collision

After a head-on collision, the last thing on your mind is proving that someone else caused your accident and injuries. That is why you need to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to help guide you through the legal process ahead.

You need to prove that the other driver caused your accident. To do that, you and your lawyer need to show the other driver:

  • Owed you a duty of care to drive safely.
  • Breached that duty of care by driving in an unsafe manner.
  • Caused a head-on collision where you suffered injuries and losses.

This might seem obvious to you because you were there. You know exactly what happened, but you will need to prove this through evidence from witnesses, police, your account, video footage, and more.

Your lawyer will work diligently to collect this evidence and prove that the other driver was negligent. Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Lost income.
  • Lost earning potential.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • Loss of life enjoyment.
  • Present and future medical expenses.
  • Rehabilitation costs.

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be unable to return to work permanently or in the same capacity as before the head-on collision. Because your inability to work is related to your accident, your lawyer may be able to get you compensation to cover your lost income. Head-on collisions often cause injuries that prevent people from going back to work, severely impacting their ability to support themselves. You may be able to avoid financial hardship by collecting compensation.

It is essential that you act fast. There is a limited amount of time to file a personal injury suit for damages. While it is understandable that you only want to get better immediately after an accident, it is important to consider your legal options.

Your personal injury case must be filed before the statute of limitations runs out, which is two years in New Jersey. If you miss this important deadline, you lose your chance to recover compensation after a head-on collision.

Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Can Help You Explore Your Options After a Head-On Collision

Head-on collisions often result in severe and life-altering injuries. To help guide you through the complex legal process, speak with one of our Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Call us at 732-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule 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.

How to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle This Summer?

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New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr are on Your Side if You are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident.

With the warmer weather arriving, one activity that many New Jersey residents enjoy is riding their motorcycle. There is no freer feeling than the wind in your face and the sunshine on your back as you drive the open roads of the Garden State.

While riding your motorcycle can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous. Motorcycles do not afford the motorist the same protections as cars do, and bikes are more prone to spin out of control in bad weather. There are ways to reduce your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident for not only your protection both for those that you share the road with as well.

When you are involved in a motorcycle, the results can be devastating. You could sustain significant injuries and find yourself dealing with long-term disabilities. The medical costs these could have could make a signifcant impact on you and your family. Speaking with New Jersey car accident lawyers can help provide you with some legal options.

What Do the Laws Mandate About Motorcycle Riding in New Jersey?

New Jersey is cognizant of the dangers that riding a motorcycle can pose and has implemented several laws that mandate safety measures for riders. Most are common sense, but serve as important reminders of ways to stay safe when on the road.

If you ride a motorcycle in New Jersey, the law requires that you:

  • Obtain a license: Before you are allowed to get on a motorcycle, you must know how to ride it. To verify that, you must first obtain either a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or a separate motorcycle license.
  • Be insured: As with all drivers, you must be insured if you plan to ride a motorcycle in this state. If you fail to prove that you are insured you could face fines, insurance surcharges, community service requirements, or even the suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Wear a helmet: Not all states require that riders wear a helmet, but in New Jersey it is mandatory that you have a helmet on as you drive. Not only is it the law, but it is for your own good.

Before you get on your bike, be sure that you know what the requirements are for the state and remember that laws change as you move from state to state.

What Are Safety Tips for Riding My Motorcycle?

While the law itself provides good tips on steps you should take to ensure your safety as you ride this summer, there are plenty of other steps you can take that will help reduce the likelihood that you will be involved in a motorcycle accident. Those tips include:

  • Wear the right gear: You must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. In this state, there is other gear you should wear, including a face shield or protective goggles, as well as full-fingered leather gloves, over-the-ankle boots, and long-sleeved jackets resistant to abrasions.
  • Be visible: Many drivers are not trained to look for motorcyclists, so the best thing you can do is make yourself as visible as possible. That means turning your headlights on, using reflective surfaces, and using your horn to alert other drivers of your presence.
  • Drive defensively: Be aware of your surroundings and watch for other drivers who may not be driving properly. Remain calm while driving and use proper techniques including turn signals and do not weave through traffic.
  • Know your skill level: You should have a legitimate understanding of your level as a rider and accommodate for that. If the weather is going to be bad and you do not have the confidence to manage it, then you should not be out in those conditions. Also, you should not be riding aggressively, particularly if you lack the confidence to ride.
  • Be alert: Paying attention to the road is even more important while you are riding a motorcycle. Be aware of what others on the road are doing including other motorcyclists, cars, and even pedestrians. Give yourself time to react to what they are doing in case they make any sudden movements.

If you find yourself involved in a motorcycle accident with another driver, you should speak with a New Jersey car accident lawyer before speaking with anyone else including your insurance company.

How Can I Stay Safe Before Getting on My Motorcycle?

Not only can you follow certain safety precautions while you are out on the road, but there are also a few things you can do before your trip. Initially, you should become familiar with the motorcycle you will be riding. You should know if it has any problems or issues that you will need to compensate for. Look at what the weather will be like when you plan to ride. If road conditions are such that the roads will be slippery with rain or ice, you might wish to consider traveling at a different time.

Finally, have a first aid kit with you when you travel. It should include bandages, flares, and a flashlight in case you encounter problems at night.

What Are Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

When you are out on your motorcycle, you should be aware of what the common causes of motorcycle accidents are so that you can avoid them yourself. These common causes include:

  • Driver inattention: This has become the leading cause of traffic accidents in the state and occur when individuals fail to see what they are doing or what other drivers around them are doing.
  • Left turns: A significant portion of accidents with other vehicles occurs because the other vehicle is turning left and failing to yield to oncoming traffic. In many instances they do not even see motorcycles coming and proceed with their turn anyway giving you little time to react.
  • Speeding: Many motorcyclists are guilty of exceeding the speed limit and limits the time a rider must react to things occurring in front of them. Speed is a factor in about 33 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes.
  • Riding under the influence: Driving or riding a motorcycle under the influence of either drugs or alcohol is illegal and dangerous. You are unable to comprehend your surrounds as well nor do you react in time to anything that is occurring around you. You become a danger to yourself and other sin that condition.
  • Improper passing: When you pass illegally leaving the driver little time to react, they tend to overreact by swerving to avoid contacting you. Unfortunately, in their panic they may wind up hitting someone else which could cause another accident.

Always be sure to follow the rules of the road and practice proper riding techniques when you are on the road. And contact a New Jersey car accident lawyer if you become injured in an accident.

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr are on Your Side if You are Involved in a Motorcycle Accident

If you have been injured while you were riding your motorcycle, the driver, or drivers responsible for causing the accident can be held liable for their role in causing your injuries. The New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr will help you hold those responsible accountable. Call us at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in 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, New Jersey.

Sources

Lynch Law Firm

https://www.lynchlawyers.com/blog/motorcycle-safety-tips/

National Law Review

https://www.natlawreview.com/article/causes-new-jersey-motorcycle-accidents-and-how-to-avoid-them

James M. Curran

https://www.currantriallaw.com/articles/tips-for-staying-safe-on-motorcycles/

Markel

https://www.markelinsurance.com/resources/motorcycle/safety-tips

How To Avoid Being a Negligent Driver?

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Car Accident Lawyers in Highland Park at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advise Drivers Who Have Been Charged with Negligent Driving.

Countless accidents are caused every year by the negligence of one or both drivers. Yet, driver negligence does not always correlate to bad intentions.

The key lies in understanding how the legal world looks at negligence. To car accidents lawyers, insurance providers, and courts, negligence involves failing to perform the reasonable, expected actions that a careful driver would. For instance, a driver who forgets to turn on the car’s headlights during a rainstorm could be labeled as negligent if the oversight leads to a collision with another vehicle.

The bottom line is that anyone can become a negligent driver and cause a crash. You can take precautionary steps to avoid the stress, expense, and potential injury of acting negligently, though.

Reduce Your Personal Distractions When Driving

The moment you slide behind the wheel, you owe other drivers and pedestrians the courtesy of your full attention. This means turning off your cell phone, putting down your cup of coffee, and maybe lowering the volume of the radio or turning the radio off.

According to nationwide 2019 motor vehicle statistics analyzed by the Insurance Information Institute (III), more than 3,000 people were killed that year entirely or partially because of driver distractions. Certainly, you cannot predict all distractions, such as a deer that leaps in front of your car without warning. Nevertheless, you are expected to limit the distractions you can control.

Maintain the Health and Safety of Your Car

Plenty of accidents could be avoided if car owners kept up with repairs and maintenance. For instance, bald tires are more apt to blow out. Ignoring a flashing engine light can set the stage for a breakdown in the middle of the highway. Even leaving snow or ice on your windows and rooftop can obstruct your vision and contribute to a crash.

The way around this is to stay on top of the general health of your car. Test all the lights at least monthly. Rotate your tires. Pay attention to any indications that something may be wrong. Your diligence may cost a little money upfront but could save you far more by helping you bypass an accident.

Follow the Basic Rules of the Road

Every time you speed, you put everyone on the road with you at risk. This includes you and any passengers you may have. It can be tempting to speed up, particularly if you are running late or want to get home after a long day at work. Resist the urge.

Maybe you have driven for a long time. In that case, you may want to refresh yourself on road rules. It might be worth refreshing your memory on everything from the New Jersey “Move Over” law to how to approach railroad crossings. Saying that you forgot or did not know a state rule will not excuse you from being called negligent if you wreck your vehicle or hurt someone else.

Expect Holiday Traffic Delays

Memorial Day. The Fourth of July. Labor Day. The day before Thanksgiving. There are so many times that more people are on the roads than usual. Typically, you can predict when traffic will be stop-and-go. You also can use apps to show you where congestion is happening in real time.

Instead of allowing holiday-related traffic delays to make you angry or encourage you to act aggressively, plan for them. You may want to leave later or earlier to avoid them. Anticipating them will keep you from making irresponsible decisions like tailgating, which can lead to serious rear-end accidents.

Drive Only While Sober

You may assume you are sober after having a few drinks. Is it worth the risk? No. The III estimates that around 10% of all fatal accidents in 2019 had a driving while under the influence connection. Being charged with drinking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can seriously impact your whole life. If you get into an accident and your blood alcohol content level is above the legal limit, you could face significant repercussions.

Sober driving is smart driving. It is also a good way to ensure that you take care of yourself and others.

Be a Good Role Model for Newer Drivers

Are you trying to teach someone in your family to drive, such as a teenager? Remember that you are the person’s role model for driving. This means that the actions you take, whether they are responsible or irresponsible, are going to make an impression on the new driver. Your job is to be sure that everything you do helps your up-and-coming driver stay safer on the road.

Some strategies to impart wisdom on a younger or first-time driver include mapping out routes together, noting other drivers’ poor decisions, and teaching about basic car maintenance. Helping someone else avoid being a negligent driver speaks volumes about you as a sensible driving mentor.

What If Your Negligence Ends up Contributing to a Car Crash?

Despite your best efforts, you took your eyes off the road for a few seconds to check an incoming text. At that moment, you collided with a car that ran a stoplight. In that situation, you both might be deemed partially responsible under New Jersey’s rule of comparative negligence.

Like many states, New Jersey allows negligence to be shared by the parties involved in an accident. Your damages would be reduced by your percentage of negligence. Consequently, if you suffered $5,000 in total damages but were 50% responsible for the collision, you would receive $2,500.

Of course, you may feel that you have been called a negligent driver by mistake. Talking with a car accident lawyer can help you understand how to proceed. It never hurts to discuss your case with an attorney who offers free initial consultations.

Above all else, do your part as a thoughtful, courteous driver. Negligence is fairly easy to avoid in most situations. Although you may still get into a fender-bender or more significant collision, you will feel better knowing you did everything in your power to be attentive and diligent.

Car Accident Lawyers in Highland Park at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advise Drivers Who Have Been Charged with Negligent Driving

Were you called a negligent driver after being in a crash in New Jersey? To discuss your case, please call the car accident lawyers in Highland Park from the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. You can reach our Highland Park, NJ, office by calling 732-249-4600 or 877-249-4600. Alternatively, you can complete our online appointment request form. Our firm covers cases in areas including Metuchen, Middlesex, Sayreville, New Brunswick, South River, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Bound Brook, Iselin, Piscataway, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Fords, Somerset, Old Bridge, and Edison.

What Types of Slip and Fall Accidents Happen in the Spring?

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slip and fall spring

When people think of slip and fall accidents, they usually think of falls during the winter months when the sidewalks, walkways, and roadways are often covered with slick ice or snow. However, when the weather begins to turn nice again in spring, the risk of slipping and falling does not go away. There are still many dangerous walkways and surfaces where people can be injured.

Property owners are responsible to make sure their premises are safe for visitors. When a property owner allows a dangerous condition to exist and a guest or customer is injured, then they are responsible for those injuries. Just because the weather is warmer, does not negate a property owner’s responsibility to keep their premises safe.

There are some types of common slip and fall accidents that happen in the spring, including the following:

  • Slip and fall on sidewalks and walkways: Even though this is common during winter, during spring, people still slip and fall on outside walkways, particularly in the morning. The reason for this is that it could still be freezing temperatures during the morning hours. Even though the high temperature during the day could get up to 50 degrees, it could dip below freezing before the sun comes up. This could leave a slick thin sheet of ice on the sidewalk or outside walkway.
  • Uneven sidewalks: One common incident that happens during winter is the movement of sidewalks. When the ground continuously freezes and thaws, often, sidewalks will sink or rise. This creates uneven sidewalks. Sometimes, the unevenness is significant and can be several inches. This is a huge tripping hazard, especially on a sidewalk where people may not specifically be looking down at their feet while walking.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Slip and Falls in New Jersey?

If you are seriously injured in a slip and fall on a premises due to the property owner’s negligence, then you might be able to file a lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries. However, there is a specific time period that you have to file the lawsuit. This time period is called a statute of limitations, and all civil lawsuits are subject to a statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for a slip and fall case in New Jersey is two years. So, if you do not file your personal injury claim within two years from the date of the injury, then you will be barred from seeking compensation against the at-fault party. That is why it is extremely important to contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer as soon as you are injured. You do not want to wait. The sooner your lawyer gets involved and begins an investigation, the better.

What Are Common Springtime Slip and Fall Injuries?

Many people involved in slip and fall accidents suffer the same types of injuries. Here are some common springtime slip and fall injuries:

  • Head injuries: Many people who fall will hit their head on a hard surface, like a concrete sidewalk. Traumatic brain injuries are serious and can cause someone to have long-term chronic symptoms. Brain injuries include concussions, fractured skulls, brain swelling, and brain bleeds.
  • Hip fractures: Hip fractures and broken bones are common slip and fall injuries. With most slip and falls, a person will hit the sidewalk very hard. All of that force can cause someone to break their hip.
  • Shoulder injuries: Shoulder injuries are often seen in slip and fall accidents due to people attempting to brace themselves as they fall. This can cause broken bones in and around the shoulder, torn muscles, torn ligaments and tendons, or rotator cuff tears and damage.
  • Hand and wrist injuries: Other common injuries are wrist and hand injuries. These are caused by people instinctively putting out their arms to potentially break their fall. The force of the fall can fracture someone’s wrist or hand or cause other problems.
  • Back or spinal cord injuries: Slip and fall injuries can cause back injuries and spinal cord injuries. When someone slips and falls and hits the ground, the force of hitting a sidewalk can fracture vertebrae. A bad fall can also cause people to suffer from herniated discs that lead to nerve damage and pain down the length of the arms or legs.

New Brunswick Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Are Here to Help You After a Springtime Slip and Fall Accident

A serious slip and fall accident can happen at any time, including spring. Our New Brunswick slip and fall lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr are here to answer your questions if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident. Call us at 732-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule 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.

What if a Power Tool Caused My Injury on a Construction Site?

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Piscataway Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Manage Complex Third-Party Injury Cases for New Jersey Workers.

Construction workers use different power tools on the job site every day. Because these hand and power tools are potentially dangerous, everyone involved in their manufacturing, storage, maintenance, and use must do their part to prevent accidents and avoid injuries.

 

If you were hurt on the job site while using a power tool, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation. Depending on your case, you can also pursue a personal injury claim if a third-party’s negligence contributed to your construction accident.

 

This discussion explores how power tool injuries occur, who is liable for these accidents, and what you should do if you get hurt at work.

 

Power Tool Accidents and Injuries

 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the most common accidents and injuries involving hand and power tools are as follows:

 

Crushing injuries and amputations. Large construction tools and machines that topple over or malfunction can crush part of the body. Crushing injuries can cause devastating internal injuries and in some cases, even finger, foot, arm, and limb amputations.

 

Although crushing injuries are not as common with smaller machinery such as saws and sanders, these tools are more likely to sever the user’s fingers and hands.

 

Electrocution. Electrocution is the exposure to lethal amounts of electric energy and is considered one of OSHA’s Fatal Four leading workplace safety hazards. Whenever construction workers use electric power tools, they are at risk of accidents involving electricity. Electrical burns are painful and can be permanently debilitating. When it is not fatal, contact with electricity can stop the heart and cause brain damage and internal burns.

 

Eye injuries. Nail guns, staple guns, saws, sanders, and other power tools can send pieces of glass, metal, and other debris into the air. Individuals who do not wear proper eye protection can have serious eye damage. Eye damage caused by projectiles on the construction site can be painful and permanent.

 

Hearing loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly half of all construction workers have some level of hearing loss. According to the CDC, hearing damage can develop after using an electric drill for less than one minute or a chainsaw for less than two minutes.

 

It is a misconception that only large, imposing construction equipment can be dangerous. As we see from the CDC data, small hand tools that you might have at home can cause long-lasting injuries if they are defective or not used properly.

 

Lacerations and punctures. Cuts and punctures are some of the most common physical injuries occurring from the use of power tools on construction sites. Lacerations or cuts are wounds caused by the tearing of soft tissue.

 

Punctures occur when a sharp object pierces the skin. Infection is a serious concern with both types of injuries because the objects that make contact with the skin are often contaminated with bacteria.

 

Repetitive-use injuries. Power tools are invaluable because they enable construction workers to perform certain tasks quickly and effectively. However, that convenience often comes at a price.

 

Repetitive, prolonged use of certain power tools can cause painful damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves in the affected area. Without proper treatment, repetitive motion injuries can result in permanent disability.

 

The Limits of Workers’ Compensation for Power Tool Injuries

 

If you were hurt in a power tool accident in New Jersey, there may be limitations on the damages you can seek from your employer based on Workers’ Compensation laws.

 

These laws permit injured workers to collect financial compensation with a catch: the employee cannot sue their employer for pain, suffering, and other damages typically available in personal injury claims.

 

That is not good news for someone living with chronic pain, impaired mobility, and emotional trauma after a catastrophic construction accident. Workers’ Compensation benefits may not be sufficient to address of the losses one experiences after this type of injury.

 

Fortunately, depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have another option to recover additional compensation.

 

Third-Party Personal Injury Claims for Construction Accidents

 

Unlike Workers’ Compensation claims, which are not concerned with who caused a job-related accident, personal injury claims do address liability.

 

If you can show another party, other than your employer, was negligent in some way, and that negligence directly caused your accident and injuries, you may have cause to bring a third-party liability claim for additional compensation.

 

If that seems confusing, think about all the different people and companies that play a role in the safety of the power tools you use every day at work.

 

First, there is the person or people who designed the tool. Every power tool’s design should be inherently safe when used as instructed.

 

Next, the manufacturer is responsible for assembling the tool properly, according to the design provided. The tool’s instructions must clearly explain proper use and safety precautions.

 

Finally, everyone on the construction site has a duty to follow safety procedures anywhere power tools and other construction equipment are used.

 

 Examples of Possible Third-Party Construction Accident Claims

 

When you consider all these parties, you can see how a third party is often liable for a power tool accident and why this type of personal injury claim is so important.

 

Here are some examples of third-party claims for construction equipment accidents:

 

  • A construction worker suffers electrical burns from a tool with a power cord that was improperly insulated. They can sue the company that manufactured the defective equipment.
  • A contractor on the work site failed to secure a power tool, sending projectiles in the air. An employee has permanent eye damage from flying metal shards. They can sue the other contractor and possibly their employer as well.
  • An employee’s finger is severed by a tool without proper safety guards. They can sue the person or company who created the flawed design.

 

What Are My Options if I Was Seriously Hurt Using a Power Tool on the Job?

 

Medical attention should always be your first priority any type of construction site accident. Once you are stable and have received medical care, you can think about your next steps.

 

You probably have bills for an emergency room visit, tests, surgery, or medication. Many people who are severely injured after a power tool accident experience mental and emotional trauma in addition to their physical pain and symptoms. Facing all these losses, it is easy to see why so many injured workers feel overwhelmed.

 

Fortunately, help is available. It is always a good idea to consult a construction accident lawyer to determine if you qualify for Workers’ Compensation benefits and have cause to bring an additional claim against a third party.

 

Third-Party Liability Claims Are Complex

 

Third-party liability for power tool injuries can be challenging to prove. These cases typically require expert testimony to show the equipment was defective and posed an unreasonable hazard to the user. If another person on the construction site acted carelessly and their actions led to your injuries, you need to prove that as well.

 

After a workplace accident, it is important to document the scene to the best of your ability. Take photos of the power tool and the location where the incident occurred. Gather accident reports, medical records, and contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the event.

 

Your lawyer will investigate to determine if the power tool was safe, if safety training and protection was provided, and ultimately, who is responsible for your injuries. If you can successfully show third-party liability, you can recover compensation for all the ways a devastating power tool injury has impacted your life.

 

Piscataway Construction Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Manage Complex Third-Party Injury Cases for New Jersey Workers

 

Workers’ Compensation is usually not enough to cover all the medical costs, income losses, and physical and emotional trauma after a serious construction injury. The Piscataway construction accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can determine if additional compensation is possible with a third-party liability claim. We can help you find justice. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in 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.

 

 

Who Is at Fault for A Parking Lot Slip and Fall Accident?

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Highland Park Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents in Parking Lots.

Parking lots offer plenty of convenience, especially for drivers in busy rural and suburban communities. Yet they need to be properly maintained by whatever entities or parties own them. Without the appropriate amount of attention to the condition of the surfaces in the parking lot, those surfaces could lead to pedestrian slip and fall accidents.

 

Slip and fall accidents can mean more than just a little embarrassment or a bit of bruising. According to statistics issued from the National Floor Safety Institute, more than one million emergency room visits each year can be traced to slip and fall incidents. And if you have ever required emergency medical care, you know how costly it can be, even if you have insurance. Consumer Health Ratings estimated in 2019 that a single trip to the emergency room could lead to a $1,089 bill on average.

 

Fortunately, you may be able to recover damages to pay for your health care treatment to get better. First, though, you need to make sure that you understand which party is at fault. Sometimes, that can be difficult to determine without the help of a legal advisor such as a slip and fall lawyer.

 

Is the Owner of the Parking Lot Always at Fault for Slip and Fall Accidents?

 

It is a misconception that the entity or party that owns the parking lot property where you fell is instantly at fault for your tumble. If you try to recover damages, you must prove that the other party was negligent and that the negligence led to your incident and subsequent injury.

 

Why can this be challenging? In some cases, you may be partially or entirely at fault. For instance, you might have been in a hurry to get from the parking lot to a nearby building. Because you wanted to speed up your travels, you went through an area that was cordoned off to prevent pedestrians from entering it. If you slipped and fell in that area, you might be deemed completely at fault because you bypassed a clear indication of potential trouble.

 

Similarly, you might share the fault for your fall if you were looking at your phone and tripped over the curb or were wearing shoes not appropriate for weather conditions. Though you might still be able to claim some damages, you might get much less than you anticipated. And what if you were trespassing? That would leave you in the wrong.

 

Of course, in many slip and fall accidents, the property owner, or a business owner who leases part of the parking lot space from the parking lot owner, is at fault. Some examples of negligence on the part of a parking lot property owner could include:

 

  • Not taking proper care of the parking lot, leading to uneven pavement, lots of cracks, and other tripping hazards.
  • Not removing snow, sleet, or ice within an acceptable time frame after the weather event has occurred.
  • Not putting up signs warning drivers and pedestrians of potential slipping or tripping hazards.
  • Not having adequate parking lot lighting.
  • Not putting up necessary signs to help foot and vehicle traffic move consistently and safely.
  • Not having handrails in places where they belong.

 

When the parking lot property owner has been negligent, you can submit a claim to the owner’s insurance. You may also need to submit a claim or start a personal injury case against another party, such as a subcontractor who was supposed to clear snow and never got around to it. Remember that negligence could be divided between two or more parties, which can complicate your claim or case. Also, if you share some of the blame, you may receive less in damages than you would otherwise.

 

What if the Parking Lot Is on Government Property?

 

Even so-called cut and dried slip and fall cases can be challenging. If you hurt yourself in a parking lot owned by a government agency, you may have a tougher time proving liability. The government has its own paperwork and deadlines, so it may be wise to get in touch with a slip and fall lawyer who can provide you with suggestions based on past experiences. That way, you can make sure you stay on top of all hard deadlines, as well as use proper documentation.

 

Is It Easy to Get Compensation for a Parking Lot Slip and Fall Accident?

 

You slipped on a patch of ice and broke your arm in a retail store parking lot. You submitted a claim to the store’s insurance carrier and were offered what you believe is an inadequate settlement. Why is the offer so modest?

 

Insurance companies are in business to spend as little as they can. They may fight your claim and try to point some of the fault in your direction. That way, they can justify offering you less money than you deserve to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and perhaps property damages.

 

You can help your case whether or not you work with a slip and fall lawyer by following a few rules:

 

  • Get medical attention immediately after slipping and falling. Never wait for days to go to the emergency room, urgent care center, or your primary care physician. When you wait to be seen, the insurance company could say that you suffered your injury somewhere else.
  • Keep all your medical invoices and receipts. These provide proof that you were treated and had out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Follow through with your treatment plan. Do not stop going to your appointments, even if you are worried about the cost. Stopping treatment prematurely can send a message that you are not as hurt as you say.
  • Take pictures and videos at the scene. If you had to leave right afterward to rush to get medical care, ask someone to take pictures on your behalf. You want to document the site to help prove fault.
  • Get the names of eyewitnesses. You may not have been alone in the parking lot when you fell. Gather the names of anyone who saw what happened. They may be useful if you need backup support.

 

The bottom line is that it never hurts to set up a consultation with a slip and fall lawyer after you have been injured. Slip and fall incidents can be more confusing than they seem at first blush. A lawyer can help you understand your rights based on a variety of laws. Then, you can determine the wisest way to proceed to try to recover damages.

 

Highland Park Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents in Parking Lots

 

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident in a parking lot, reach out to the Highland Park slip and fall lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Our experienced legal team will advocate for you so that you receive the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in 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.

 

 

How Do I Prove I Have Whiplash after a Car Accident?

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Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Suffering from Whiplash.

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered in car accidents. Whiplash involves damage to the soft tissues in the neck and surrounding areas. Soft tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, and tears to muscles, tendons, and ligaments are notoriously difficult to prove.

For this reason, it can be extremely difficult for a person who has suffered a whiplash injury to substantiate an insurance claim after a car accident. This discussion describes the definition and symptoms of whiplash as well as the reasons these injuries are hard to prove, the types of compensation available for whiplash injuries, and the actions to take to prove the validity of a whiplash personal injury claim.

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash is a violent action that causes a person’s head and neck to be thrown forward and back, a motion that is common in the context of car accidents as well as other physical experiences, such as rough sports or similar activities.

This sudden jerking of the head and neck can damage the muscles and tissues in the area, which include those in the head and neck as well as those in the shoulders, back, and arms.

The damage caused by whiplash injuries can cause severe pain, take a long time to heal or involve permanent damage, and require prolonged and extensive treatments.

What Symptoms Are Associated with Whiplash Injuries?

Whiplash involves a violent whip-like motion that causes many types of injuries to several regions of the neck and surrounding areas. Whiplash injuries can include one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness/tingling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Limited range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Sore shoulders, back, and/or arms
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Why Do People Often Experience Resistance against Claims of Whiplash?

Whiplash injuries are common, but insurance companies are leery of whiplash claims for a reason.

Despite the relative vulnerability of drivers to such injuries, particularly in rear-end collisions, claims for such injuries are often seen with a degree of suspicion by skeptical claims representatives.

As we have established, whiplash is difficult to prove. There are few visible indicators readily available to show that whiplash injuries are present. Since medical imaging cannot capture the injuries to soft tissues the same way they can display broken bones or other observable injuries, there is often serious doubt about whiplash claims.

For obvious reasons, insurance companies do not like to pay out claims that have no verifiable proof. Because whiplash injuries are so difficult to prove, insurance companies have come to suspect that any claim of whiplash has the potential to be made up.

The unfortunate truth is that cases do exist in which people fraudulently claim whiplash when no such injury exists. This makes it all the more difficult for individuals with real whiplash injuries to be taken seriously.

How Might a Delay in Symptom Onset Affect a Whiplash Claim?

Another reason to doubt the veracity of a whiplash claim is that often the symptoms of whiplash take some time to surface. This lag between the time of the accident and the onset of symptoms can make it difficult for a whiplash sufferer to make a case that links the injury back to the accident that caused it.

A clear tenet of insurance liability has to do with tracing the cause for the injury back to the incident in question. The insurance company will be responsible for the costs of the injury only if the injury can be linked to the car accident. When days or weeks pass after the accident before symptoms appear, it can raise questions about whether to injury was caused by a separate incident or by a preexisting condition.

What Costs of Whiplash Should Be Covered by Insurance?

Unfortunately, whiplash injuries often involve inflammation and swelling that develop over time. Vague stiffness and discomfort can develop into severely painful and even debilitating conditions that require extensive and costly medical intervention and ongoing physical therapy.

The costs of medical visits and treatments for whiplash injuries can be quite expensive. A serious case of whiplash can also affect a person’s ability to work at the very time that they may be struggling under the weight of these medical expenses.

The out-of-pocket costs for car accident-related injuries should be covered by insurance. Likewise, any lost income that results from the inability to work should also be available through insurance coverage.

How Can Someone with a Whiplash injury Prove that Their Claim Is Valid?

The main way to prove that a case of whiplash is real is to have documentation of the symptoms and the attempts to address them. Documenting whiplash should start as soon as possible after the accident. Any discomfort or painful sensations should be brought to the attention of a doctor as soon as possible. This is solid medical advice, but it is also an important way to safeguard the right to an injury claim.

The best possible way to prove a whiplash claim is to follow these steps:

  • Seek medical help right away. At the first sign that something is not right, you should see a doctor for an evaluation. Attempting to handle it yourself with pain medicine can worsen unaddressed symptoms, but putting off a proper diagnosis can also harm your chances for a successful claim for your injuries.
  • Document everything. Keep good records of your appointments, diagnoses, treatments, medical advice, and symptoms, including the physical and emotional struggles related to your injury. Medical records are a good way to show official documentation of your injuries, but keeping a journal or other notes about your experiences can be surprisingly useful when presenting your case, especially if the damage from your injury begins to affect your mental health.
  • Follow doctor’s orders. If you expect your claim to be taken seriously, you will need to show that you have been doing your part to address the injury. Consistent adherence to your treatment plan can demonstrate that the injury is real. Being able to prove that you kept your appointments and followed all physical therapy recommendations can be vital to your claim.

 

Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Suffering from Whiplash

If you suffered whiplash or any other serious injury in a car accident, you should be able to collect damages to cover the costs of your injuries. The Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help you prove that your claim is valid and determine what kind of compensation may be available for your injuries. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in 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.

 

What Causes Slip and Fall Accidents at Grocery Stores?

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Highland Park Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents.

Running to the grocery store or supermarket for necessities is one of the most common activities nearly everyone must do. Some make multiple visits per week. Lists in hand, most of us are focused the best path through the store and what we need to purchase without giving a thought to the potential dangers we may encounter.

All property owners have a legal responsibility to maintain a safe environment, addressing problems such as wet floors to protect their customers from harm. From the store layout to the type of items sold to the large number of people who visit each day, grocery stores can be one of the most inherently dangerous places to visit if not properly maintained. Common causes for grocery store slip and fall accidents include:

  • Produce and packaged items falling from shelves, dropped or knocked over by customers or staff.
  • Damaged or punctured packaging, broken jars and bottles, and leaking items.
  • Wet floors due to the weather, spills, misters, leaking freezers, floral department, overflowing sinks and toilets, and mopping and other cleaning efforts involving liquids.
  • Lack of, broken, or missing handrails, stairway tread, and lighting both inside and outside the store.
  • Malfunctioning entry and exit doors and faulty or broken doors on bathrooms and stalls, dairy, and frozen food compartments.
  • Missing, worn, bunched, or poorly and improperly placed rugs and floor mats.
  • Unattended boxes and equipment in store aisles and other trafficked areas.
  • Uncovered or un-taped electrical cords and cables on the floor and other pathways taken by customers.
  • Parking lots, sidewalks, and handicapped ramps that have not been cleared of ice and snow.
  • Broken and damaged shopping carts.
  • Not properly marking and sealing off areas under construction or repair.
  • Lack of or misleading signage alerting to dangerous conditions, such as wet floors.

What Are Some Common Injuries in Grocery Store Accidents?

Depending on the situation leading to the fall, slip and fall accidents at grocery stores can cause major personal injury, particularly to the elderly, the handicapped, and small children. Some common injuries include:

  • Cracked, fractured, or broken limbs, hips, pelvis, hands, wrists, ankles, feet, and head.
  • Head wounds including cuts, bruises, punctures, and fractured skulls or eye sockets.
  • Spinal cord or back injuries.
  • Head trauma such as concussion or traumatic brain injury.
  • Lacerations, punctures, and pinching or crushing injuries, typically of the hands.

What Should I Do if I Am Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident at the Grocery Store?

Accidents in grocery stores range from slight to severe and can have lasting results that affect your quality of life and ability to work. You may experience hardships from medical bills, loss of wages, and possible permanent disability depending on the nature of your accident. You are entitled to compensation and medical care if your accident is the result of negligence by the store owner or staff. It is best to start documenting the accident as soon as it happens to protect yourself, by taking action with the following:

  • Seek medical care: In serious injuries, contact emergency first responders to treat you and transport you to the hospital or ask someone else to contact them if you are unable. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, it is important to obtain an evaluation from a medical professional within the first 48 hours. Many injuries, such as head trauma or internal bleeding, may not present for hours or even days and can have severe consequences if not properly addressed. It is also imperative to have a medical evaluation for your claim against the store. Failing to do so may lead to dismissal of your claim for undocumented injuries.
  • Report the accident: Request to speak to the owner or store manager to report your accident and what caused it. Owners are generally required to file an accident report with their insurance company, usually within 24 hours. Alerting the owner or manager to your accident and the cause is also imperative to your claim, and you should review the report at the scene, if possible, and request a copy after it has been filed by the store.
  • Document everything: If you are physically able, take photos or video of the accident. Include your injuries; what caused the injury; and conditions, such as a wet floor, that led to the accident. Gather statements, names, and contact information from the store owner or manager and any staff and other witnesses. Also ask for them to share any photos or videos they may have taken at the time of your accident with you. Make note of and take photos of any security cameras inside or outside the store that would have captured the accident to request copies of the footage.
  • Keep records: Maintain detailed records of everything, including accident reports, witness statements, medical bills, lost wages, and any other documentation related to your accident. These will be pertinent to your claim against the store.
  • Hire a lawyer: Slip and fall accidents in the grocery store can be complex and may be the responsibility of one or more people, including the property owner, staff member, and even another customer’s negligence. As a result of your accident, you are entitled to present and future medical costs related to the injury, loss of income, disability compensation, home health care costs, pain and suffering, and other expenses. Obtaining a personal injury attorney with extensive experience in claims against stores and insurance companies is essential for you to receive the best compensation for which you are entitled.

Highland Park Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident at the grocery store because of someone else’s negligence, the experienced Highland Park slip and fall lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr will advocate for you so that you receive the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in 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.

 

How Can Drivers Be Prepared for Winter?

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driving winter

New Jersey averages 23 inches of snowfall each year. However, that does not mean bad snowstorms never arrive. Blizzards are infrequent but do occur in New Jersey. The worse blizzard in the state’s history happened in 2016, when more than 28 inches of snow fell on parts of the state from January 22 to 24.

Even when the snowfall is not heavy, the wintertime weather can become very cold with lows averaging well below freezing for much of the wintertime. The potential for bad snowstorms and below-freezing temperatures makes it very important to prepare your vehicle for winter. This will reduce the risk of being stranded or getting into a car accident. The following are some tips that could help to make your vehicle more winter ready.

Check the Battery and Charging System

If you ever woke up on a cold winter morning and found your car battery has died, that is a common occurrence during winter. A battery doubles its discharge rate for every 25-degree change in ambient temperature. Also, cold weather makes engine oil thicker, which makes it harder for the starter to turn over the engine.

You should have your battery inspected to make sure it takes a full charge. If it cannot hold a full charge, it is near the end of its service life and needs replacement. The alternator also needs to be checked to make sure it is delivering the power needed to charge the battery and power your vehicle’s electrical systems while you are driving in winter.

Ensure Tires Are in Good Shape

You cannot drive safely if your tires do not provide your vehicle with traction. If you do not drive in snowy conditions or do not anticipate doing so, you still need to inspect the tire tread to ensure it can provide safe traction. You also should have your tires balanced and rotated to ensure they are in good shape for your wintertime travels.

If you anticipate driving in snowy conditions or just want to be prepared for a blizzard or other bad weather, you could mount snow tires for the winter. Snow tires generally have a harder rubber compound and more aggressive tread that can cut through snow and slush and fling it from the tires.

Snow tires also have a narrower and taller profile than all-season radial tires. Their narrow profile helps them to push through snow and slush. In addition, the taller profile gives your vehicle more ground clearance for when snow and slush are piled deep. It also could help you to get out of the driveway after a snowplow goes by your home.

Flush and Fill Coolant and Check the Hoses

The engine needs protection against freezing weather. That is what antifreeze does, but it deteriorates over time. You need to have your coolant checked to ensure it will protect the engine and not freeze up during extremely cold weather. If the coolant is not up to the task, you can flush and fill the radiator and engine core with new coolant.

While the radiator and engine core are empty, a technician can check the hoses for any signs of damage, cracking, or other problems that could cause a sudden failure and enable the coolant to leak out. It also helps to have a hotter thermostat installed that enables the engine to run a little hotter.

The thermostat stays closed and does not enable coolant to circulate into the engine core until the coolant reaches the same temperature for which the thermostat is rated. A thermostat that enables the engine and coolant to heat up to 180 degrees will help the cabin to stay warm during cold weather. When you use the heater and defroster, the heat comes from the engine compartment.

The additional heat will not harm the engine because of the colder wintertime temperatures. But it will help the heater and defroster to blow hotter air that keeps the cabin warm and clears frost off the windshield.

Replace Wiper Blades and Windshield Washer Fluid

You need to be able to see clearly to drive safely. Windshield wiper blades are especially important during the winter when snow, sleet, and slush routinely collect on windshields. If your wiper blades are worn out or otherwise not working efficiently, you could have a very hard time seeing out of the windshield.

Replacing summertime wiper blades with triple-edge blades can move snow, slush, and melting ice much better than single-edge blades that generally work well with rain. You should replace the wiper fluid as well.

During the winter, you always should use windshield washer fluid that contains deicer. That helps to prevent the washer fluid from freezing up when it is sprayed onto the windshield. It also can help to remove frost and some ice from the windshield while you are driving.

Make Sure Lights and Turn Signals Work

Your lights are especially important during the winter because the nights are longer and the streets could be in bad shape from the weather. If you have one or more lights out, you cannot see as well while driving. Also, if you have a brake light or taillight out, someone might not see you and could rear-end your vehicle.

Even a turn signal that is not working could contribute to causing an accident. If a driver coming toward you cannot see your left turn signal, that driver might not anticipate your turn. A driver from behind you also might not know if you are going to turn and could strike your vehicle.

Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Clients Recover from an Accident in Any Season

If you have your vehicle in the best shape for wintertime driving and still are in an accident caused by another driver, the experienced Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help. Our knowledgeable legal team will investigate the cause of the accident and fight to obtain the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in 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.

How Do I Document Broken Ribs from a Car Accident?

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broken ribs

Suffering an injury to your ribs is quite common in a car accident, and, unfortunately, is one of the most painful experiences you could endure. Broken, cracked, or bruised ribs can make it difficult to breathe or hinder your movement. However, even though rib injuries are common, they are difficult to fully diagnose without a thorough medical examination. They also lead to further complications and may require a lengthy recovery. If you have suffered a rib injury following a car accident, it is an absolute must to have the injury properly documented to have all damages covered.

How Does a Car Accident Injure Your Ribs?

The impact of a car accident alone is enough to cause an injury to the ribcage. Of course, a direct hit, especially for a pedestrian or motorcyclist, will break any bone, let alone the ribs. But there are parts inside the vehicle that can harm the ribs as well, such as the following:

  • Seat belts. Although they are meant to protect, seat belts can inflict enough force to the ribs to cause major damage. When a vehicle suddenly stops, the impact of an accident causes the body to jolt forward and the seat belt will lock; enough applied force from the seat belt holding the body back can cause an injury.
  • Airbags. Airbags deploy at an extremely fast speed when a collision occurs and can cause a rib injury to those in its path, to either driver or passengers, depending on where the vehicle has the airbags located.
  • Steering wheel. If the seat belt is not worn properly, it is entirely possible for the body to collide with the steering wheel, causing major damage and possibly death. This can occur even at low-speed accidents.
  • Objects. Following a collision, objects inside and outside the vehicle can be propelled at speeds to cause harm to the rib area.

What Are the Symptoms of Broken Ribs?

The ribs protect some of the body’s most vital organs from damage. There are a total of 24 ribs that surround the body’s thoracic cavity and provide defense for the heart, liver, lungs, and the main artery, the aorta. Because of the protection they provide, it is imperative to know if they have been damaged. Symptoms may depend on the location and severity of the rib injury, but generally include the following:

  • Bruising or swelling in ribcage area
  • Sharp pains in chest
  • Painful coughing
  • Labored breathing or chest tightness
  • Tenderness in affected area or painful to touch
  • Internal pain or bleeding
  • Pain when turning body or bending over

If you experience any of these symptoms after getting in a car accident, it is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately.

How Are Rib Injuries Diagnosed?

A doctor or medical professional can help evaluate whether ribs are bruised, broken, or fractured, simply with physical tests or utilizing an X-ray or MRI. It is also imperative that the injured party describes their symptoms, if possible, to the doctor so the injury can be determined and what treatment is needed. Severity of the injury can increase for the elderly and if multiple ribs were broken, likely causing further internal damage as well. When properly diagnosed, treatment can begin right away, possibly limiting complications.

How Are Rib Injuries Treated?

A rib injury could lead to collapsed lungs or other life-threatening issues. They could also lead to health complications that could last years to heal. Your doctor will likely develop a treatment plan tailored to your injury and to prevent any further complications. Some treatments for bruised or broken ribs include the following:

  • Medication. Most rib injuries, if not severe, are treated with over-the-counter pain medications, as ribs heal themselves. The time it takes to heal could be lengthy, so pain management is vital to a full recovery. If the injury is more severe or over-the-counter medications are not helping, the doctor will likely treat the injury with prescription medication.
  • Exercises. Regardless of severity, a rib injury will hinder your breathing to some degree. Breathing exercises will likely be needed to help the patient live more comfortably, as well as helping to free up the airways.
  • Rest. Rest is important for the treatment of rib injuries. Reducing physical activity and letting the body heal itself will likely mean more time away from work for an unspecified period.
  • Physical therapy. Physical therapy may be prescribed as part of treatment to help teach the patient different movements and exercises to help manage pain. Physical therapy can also help build strength and muscle mass following extended periods of rest.
  • Surgery. In more severe rib injuries, surgery may be necessary, particularly if the broken rib punctured an organ or if there is any detachment from the chest.

How Can I Be Compensated for a Rib Injury?

Rib injuries can require lengthy evaluations, treatment plans, and subsequent recovery time. If you have suffered a rib injury in a car accident, you must first be evaluated by a doctor to know the extent of the injury. It is best to keep the following records as well:

  • Medical bills
  • Evaluations, doctor’s note, and treatment plans, including prescriptions
  • Proof of loss of income and time off work
  • A journal of daily activities you can no longer perform because of injury and their costs, such as hiring a shopper to get groceries or hiring an at-home nurse
  • Pain and suffering

Because most rib injuries require treatments that are closer to pain management than highly expensive procedures such as surgery, most insurance claims focus solely on the actual dollar amount and not the victim’s pain and suffering. All records of the injury must be properly documented to have all damages covered.

Finally, contacting an experienced car accident lawyer is the best way to recover all damages you have incurred in the car accident. Because of the extensive recovery time and piling medical bills, your losses can accumulate quickly; without the assistance of a car accident lawyer, you may never financially recover from the rib injury.

New Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Those Injured by Negligent Drivers

Rib injuries are one of the most common car accident injuries, but they affect every person differently. Regardless of severity, a rib injury can lead to weeks of treatment and even lengthier time away from work. If you have suffered a rib injury in an accident, contact the New Jersey car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Our knowledgeable team of lawyers will fight to obtain the best compensation possible for your case. Call us today at 877-249-4600 or 732-249-4600 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in 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.