TBI and Psychiatric Disorders – New Jersey Personal Injury

Traumatic brain injury and psychiatric disorders are common in people who have been injured in car accidents, construction site accidents, workplace accidents, and other types of accidents. Despite the frequency of this type of brain injury, a closed head trauma can be challenging to diagnose, at least initially.

Many people who have been involved in crashes that have involved a blow to the head often seem perfectly normal after the crash, especially if the injury has not penetrated the skull. However, inside the skull, the brain is telling a different story.

TBI Inside the Brain

What’s happening inside the brain may be swelling of the brain, bruising of brain tissue, and internal bleeding inside the brain, brain lacerations, or nerve damage. While about two-thirds of the nearly 1.7 million individuals in the U.S. who suffer from a TBI each year do recover, some 125,000 victims experience permanent brain damage.

Personality Changes and TBI – Psychiatric Problems

People who have suffered TBI may not notice their own changes, but their loved ones will. They may begin to act out of character, sometimes alarmingly, heartbreakingly so. Symptoms can include:

  • Poorer social functioning
  • Depression, sometimes severe depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Dramatic shift in sexual functioning
  • Decrease in ability to concentrate or to be satisfied
  • Memory problems
  • Extreme emotions
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Anger management issues

Examples include a person who is normally responsible and very controlled in his behavior may become obnoxious, impulsive, and irresponsible. A married woman who has always been loyal to her mate may become sexually promiscuous. Another person may become very emotional where before he was generally calm and centered. A heretofore well-balanced person may experience depression.

TBI Statistics

In the U.S. 50,000 people die each year from TBI, with 235,000 being hospitalized, and 1.1 accident victims being treated and released from emergency rooms each year.

If you or a loved one has suffered a closed or open head injury as a result of a car crash or other accident that was not your fault, you might have a legal basis to recover compensation that can pay for your treatment, and damages related to pain and suffering.

See a Lawyer Who Helps the Injured: 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233

Discuss your concerns and learn your rights by scheduling a free, private consultation with an experienced attorney at the southern New Jersey law firm of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ. Our practice is focused on helping the injured. In particular, we have extensive experience working with clients who have suffered traumatic brain injury. Please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.

Repetitive Stress & Cervical Radiculopathy

Shooting upper back or neck nerve pain and appendage numbness may be a symptom of cervical radiculopathy. This type of nerve damage can occur due to work-related repetitive heavy lifting, keyboarding, or other types of repetitive movements on the job, or the sudden impact of a car crash.

When nerve function along the upper seven vertebra in the upper spine and neck are injured to the point of severe pain, numbness, muscle weakness, or other problems, a person may be experiencing cervical radiculopathy. If you are dealing with this type of injury that has happened due to repetitive motion on the job, workers’ compensation may pay for your medical treatment and your lost wages for the time that you could not work due to the injury.

Cervical radiculopathy means that there is an impingement or compression of a person’s nerve or nerves in the neck and upper back area. Sometimes an injury like this happens when the cushiony disk that separates each person’s vertebrae is ruptured or in some other way has been compromised as a protector. Nerve roots may then be compressed, causing damage.

A hallmark of cervical radiculopathy is pain, sometimes shooting or burning that can spread throughout the afflicted area. Other signs of cervical radiculopathy may or may not include a feeling of numbness or tingling in hands or fingers, a sensation of hot or cold in the afflicted part of the body, weak muscles, including the neck, shoulders, upper back and chest, and arms, and problems with coordination.
The reason for the numbness of lack of sensation is that when the nerve is pinched, it cannot work effectively and the arms or shoulders that are in the area will then have less feeling.

Treatment for Cervical Radiculopathy Pain

There are many ways to treat this type of nerve damage pain. These include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Steroid injection
  • Cervical fusion

Call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 for a Free Consultation with a Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney – New Jersey

If you have lost time from work due to a job-related repetitive stress injury or cervical radiculopathy, you have a right to workers’ compensation. Learn more about your rights and issues of liability by speaking with a workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer at Taylor & Boguski in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. We offer a free, private consultation where you can get your questions answered and your case will be evaluated.

Residual Function Capacity and Social Security Disability Claims

The Social Security Administration (SSA) must know what you can and cannot do on a job before it makes a decision on your disability claim. The SSA will take into account both the extent of your disability and your capability or functionality in coming to a determination in your specific case.

Evaluating Your RFC

If you have a medical condition that does not fit into one of the SSA’s List of Impairments, then they will have an evaluation performed to determine what your functional capacity and limitations are and whether you can return to the work you used to do. This evaluation will determine what is called your residual functional capacity (RFC).

Generally, a disability claims examiner will work with a medical consultant who will review your medical records, including physician’s notes about your functional capacity and limitations. They will then make a decision about the type of work you can perform and the type of restrictions that may limit the work you do.

RFC and Strength Limitations and Impairment

The RFC will look at strength-related limitations that include your ability to:

  • stand
  • sit
  • lift
  • carry
  • walk
  • push
  • pull

Once your ability to exert has been defined, your RFC will be assigned to a certain category of work.

The RFC and Work

Depending on your ability to exert and your limitations, the RFC will determine whether you can reasonably perform various types of work, including:

Sedentary work. A restriction to sedentary or seated work means that a person has been determined to have the ability perform a job sitting, with the occasional requirement to walk or stand. The person will also be able to lift no more than 10 pounds at time.

Light work. A person who has been restricted to light work has been evaluated as able to lift up to 20 pounds on occasion and 10 pounds frequently. The job can also require frequent standing and walking with the ability to push and pull arms and legs.

Medium work. A person assigned to this RFC can lift up to 50 pounds at a time and carry frequently 25 pounds.

Heavy work. A person assigned to this RFC category can lift up to 100 pounds at a time and frequently carry up to 50 pounds.

Very heavy work. A person who has been evaluated into this category can lift weights of more than 100 pounds and frequently carry 50 pounds or more in your job.

A claim may generally be turned down your RFC determination means you are capable of performing work in one of the above categories. However, the SSA must also take into account whether you have other types of limitations, called non-exertional limitations. The exertional and non-exertional limitations are combined to come to a determination. Your age may also play a role in this determination if you are considered an “older” person.

RFC and Other Factors That Limit Your Work Ability

Non-exertional factors that are taken into account include your ability to:

  • stoop, climb, crawl, or crouch
  • use hands and fingers to reach, move, or handle things
  • talk, see, or hear
  • focus or concentrate
  • remember or understand instructions
  • function around noise, dust, or other environmental issues
  • work effectively out of depression, anxiety, or nerves

As you can see, the SSA claims disability process is extremely complicated. Combing exertional and non-exertional impairments to win a Social Security Disability Claim can be done, but you need to know how to do it. An experienced disability attorney can evaluate your case and help you understand how to tailor an effective approach to achieve your goals.

Contact an Experienced Social Security Disability Claims Attorney in New Jersey

Find out how we can help you effectively navigate the SSD claims and RFC evaluation process. We encourage you to arrange a free case evaluation with an experienced attorney at Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ. Please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.

Workplace Toxic Exposure and Health Impact

Many people are employed in workplaces where harmful or hazardous materials are used. If they come in contact with or are absorbed into the body, through inhalation of fumes, contact with the skin, or other types of body contact, a person may become seriously ill. However, when determining the health impact of certain materials at work, one must distinguish between toxic and hazardous.

What Is Toxicity?

Toxicity means that the material causes an unwanted effect when the substances reach a certain level of concentration at a particular site in the body.

If a material is high in toxicity, then just a small dose may be necessary for a body to absorb before it causes harm in some way. The lower the level of the toxicity of the substance, the greater amount of substance needs to be absorbed to cause toxicity.

What Is Hazardous?

A hazard is a probability that a toxic concentration in a person’s body will actually happen. For example, a material can be toxic by its nature, but not hazardous if all safety rules are followed and the material does not come into contact with the body.

Two liquid compounds may be equally toxic but have different degrees of hazard associated with each. For example, the first material may not irritate the nose or eyes and have no smell, as in the case of gas. The other may irritate eyes and nose and have a strong smell. In this case, the first material is more hazardous, because people have no ability to know when they have been exposed.

Toxicant Routes of Entry to Body

A toxic substance can enter the body through:

  • Ingestion – swallowing the toxic material
  • Skin or eye absorption – contact with the toxic material
  • Inhalation – breathing the toxic material

Chronic and Acute Health Impact of Toxic Exposure

A toxic substance can have immediate effects or it may take a long time to actually present the effects. For example, acid spilled on skin will immediately burn the skin. However, asbestos exposure or tobacco smoke exposure can take a much longer time to impact the health, in some case as much as 20 years.

What Type of Exposure?

On the job, you may have been exposed to a dose of toxic material once, or you may have experienced chronic exposure that has built up toxicity over time. In a one-time exposure, or an acute exposure, the dose and absorption into the body is quick. Chronic exposure is generally a low does that builds over time.

Some materials, however, may not cause toxicity over the long term, but they may have impact if a person suffers a high dose all at once.

Certain types of toxins include:

  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Asphyxiants
  • Narcotics
  • Systemic poisons
  • Nephrotoxic agents
  • Sensitizers
  • Teratogens

Are you dealing with health troubles related to toxic exposure in the workplace?

Email or Call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 for a Free Consultation with a Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney – New Jersey

If you or a loved one has been exposed to a toxic chemical that has cost you your health or caused you to suffer in some other way, a workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer at Taylor & Boguski in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, can help you understand your rights, including rights to sue for damages or to obtain lost wages. We offer a free, private consultation where you can get your questions answered and your case will be evaluated.

Tragedy When Car Strikes Morning Bicyclist

A morning bicycle ride ended in tragedy when a Mount Laurel cyclist was struck and killed by a car. The cyclist left behind four children, 13 grandchildren, his wife, his mother, and his company which he owned.

Bicycling is a healthy, joyful, and generally safe activity. Bicycling is growing significantly each year, especially in cities where bike rental is available and convenient to access.

Despite increased awareness of cyclists on the road in New Jersey and elsewhere, in most cases, car drivers are not looking out for cyclists on the roads. In 2010, there were more than 52,000 cyclists injured in crashes in New Jersey and throughout the nation.

While bicyclists have the same rights to the road as car drivers do, car drivers often disregard this to a biker’s peril. Motor vehicle drivers whose careless or negligent actions strike and injure a bicyclist may be held liable for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the crash.

Common causes of NJ bicycle accidents include:

  1. A bicycle and car are riding parallel to one another and the car driver turns into the bike’s path, striking the cyclist.
  2. A bike and a car are heading in opposite directions toward an intersection. When they get into the intersection, the auto driver fails to yield right of way to the cyclist, striking him or her.
  3. A car driver parks the car and opens the door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist, who cannot swerve to avoid it.
  4. Inattentive car drivers simply do not see a cyclist.
  5. A bicycle that has been poorly maintained or is missing something as critical as brakes – and yes, cyclists do ride on occasion without brakes.

When cars are driving at speeds and crash into a bicyclist, the chances are great that the biker will suffer life-changing injuries. It can help a great deal to have someone who understands personal injury law and bike accident issues protect your rights.

Call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 for a Free Consultation with a Lawyer

To learn more about your rights and issues of liability and damages on behalf of injured bicyclists and pedestrians, email or call the personal injury lawyers of Taylor & Boguski in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. We offer a free, private consultation where you can get your questions answered and your case will be evaluated.

Child Support and Paternity Disputes

The move to establish or deny paternity most often occurs when a baby is born to unmarried parents who have never lived together. Determining paternity is essential to establishing parent rights to visitation/parenting time and to obtaining child support.

Once paternity is established, New Jersey law states that the child has a right to child support from both parents. Both mother and father are equally responsible according to the law to provide that support. In most cases, establishing paternity will also help a biological father establish the right to seek visitation/parenting time with his child. In some cases, involving a mother who has mental health or other issues that make her an unfit parent, the biological father can seek to obtain full custody of the child in question.

A paternity action will involve the alleged father undergoing DNA testing to determine whether his DNA matches the child’s DNA. This type of test is almost 100 percent accurate and can be taken even before the child in question is born.

Protect a Child’s Right to Support

If you are the mother of the child in question, you must file a paternity action to establish paternity of the alleged father to obtain a binding child support order from the family law court.

If you believe that you did not parent the child in question, then you must obtain a paternity test to prove that you are not the biological parent. If this is the case, then you will owe no child support to the child’s mother.

Who Can File a Paternity Action

Several people may file a paternity action. These include the mother of the child, the person who has custody of the child if for some reason that is not the mother or the father, the man who believes he is the biological father of the child in question, or any other person who has what is considered a justifiable interest in the child.

What If the Couple Was Married When the Child Was Born?

Under New Jersey law, a man can be presumed to be the child’s father when the child’s biological mother and the presumed father are or were married to one another, within certain time restrictions.

Even if the man is not the biological father of the child but for many years lived with the child’s mother and acted as if he were the parent of the child, he may be considered as a psychological parent in a family law court. This will entitle him to the same rights and responsibilities as a biological father.

Questions About Paternity and Child Support?

Contact an experienced paternity lawyer

at the law office of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ, by calling 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233. You may also contact us online.

When you retain an attorney at our southern New Jersey law firm, you are accessing a combined 65 years’ experience to protect your rights and help you find a workable solution to your legal challenge. We are here to protect your rights at every stage of a paternity and support matter, or any other family law concern.

Dividing Marital Property in New Jersey

When you are going through a divorce, dividing marital assets and debt can be an extremely emotional, challenging process. On the one hand, you want to make sure that your rights are protected. On the other hand, your emotions may be clouding your ability to make good decisions.

An experienced attorney can help you focus on what’s most important in your specific situation, help you see the big picture, create a sound strategy for a good outcome, and provide reassurance at every stage of a divorce.

In New Jersey, marital assets are divided equitably, not equally. This means that your assets and your debt will be fairly divided between you and your spouse. Typically, all property and debt that was acquired during the marriage will become martial property, with some exceptions, including an inheritance or gifts that were designated to just one spouse.

Equitable Division Includes Assets and Debt

Equitable division in New Jersey will include valuing and then fairly dividing assets such as homes, businesses established during the marriage, and other property, as well as any liabilities, including marital debt. IRAs and pensions gained during the marriage will also be considered as marital assets to be divided.

Additional factors that may affect a property and debt division settlement can include:

Marriage duration
Education of both spouses
Age of both spouses at time of divorce
Ability of both spouses to earn a living
Ability of both spouses to maintain the standard of living that was the standard during the marriage
Child-rearing costs of the custodial parent
Costs of a special needs child
Spousal sacrifice of career to support the other spouse
Spousal sacrifice to stay at home with the children
Contribution of one spouse to the other spouse’s business that was established pre-marriage

Contact an Experienced Marital Property Division Lawyer in New Jersey

To discuss your concerns and goals and gain a good understanding of your options involving marriage property and debt division in southern New Jersey, talk with an experienced family law attorney at Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ. Please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.

Parental Relocation in New Jersey

An increasing number of New Jersey parents are seeking to relocate with their children out of state. They move for various reasons. These include relocating to advance a career, attend an out-of-state college, move nearer to family for support, or due to remarriage with the new spouse living out of state.

Whether you seeking to relocate with your child and are an unmarried parent with the other parent living in New Jersey, or you are married and going through a divorce, or you are a parent who has divorced and is now seeking to move out of state, the process can be complex.

In New Jersey, the courts recognize that there are valid reasons for people to move, but a parent cannot relocate with a child without having the other parent’s agreement in writing and the family court judge’s agreement. The move must not be detrimental to the involved child or children.

Generally, a move like this involves the custodial parent moving away from the noncustodial mother or father. A major concern of noncustodial parents is that they will not be able to have the time they need or want to truly parent their child.

In any move-away case, your attorneys and the judge be looking at parental relocation solutions that continue to foster strong parent-child bonds with both parents, despite a move out of state. Parent time and visitation will need to be reevaluated.

With Skype and other emerging technology, new ways to connect with family members may also become part of a relocation arrangement. Attorneys and parents need to get creative in order to make situations like these work.

At the law office of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we have extensive experience helping parents address the issues involved in relocating a family.

New Jersey family law judges look at these types of issues when they are reviewing a relocation case:

How will the parent-child bond of the non-moving parent be sustained?
How far away is the custodial parent moving?
Will the time that the child spends with either parent be impacted?
Is it possible and feasible for the other parent to relocate so he or she can be nearby to the child?
Is the other parent seeking to relocate in good faith or with the goal of alienating the child from the other parent?
How will costs for the child or the parent to visit be addressed?

Parental Relocation Attorneys and Sound Representation at 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233

At the law office of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ, we have more than 65 years’ combined experience in fighting for the rights of parents and children. We are able to address a move-away issue, whether you were never married to your child’s other parent, or you are already divorced and need to move or prevent a move. We can help you understand how to protect your rights at every stage of a family law matter.

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements

Any New Jersey employer not covered by a federal program must carry workers’ compensation insurance for its workers or be approved for and carry self-insurance. Failure to insure your workers can result in a disorderly person’s offense in the state of New Jersey.
If a corporation, LLC or partnership, or sole proprietorship is found to have willfully or knowingly denied workers compensation, the corporate officers, partners, or owner could be charged with a fourth degree crime, which carries a fine up to $5000 for the first ten days of failure to insure. This fine continues with each 10-day time period that the organization failed to insure.

Rules for Workers Compensation Insurance

Corporations. All corporations must carry workers’ compensation insurance or obtain approval for self-insurance if there are one or more people working for the company for pay. This includes corporate officers.

LLCs and Partnerships. LLCs and partnerships must carry work comp insurance or approved self-insurance so long as one or more people, not including partners or LLC members, work for the organization.

Sole Proprietors. All sole proprietors must have workers compensation or be approved for self-insurance so long as one or more people, not including the primary owner, work for the company for pay.

Consequences When Injury Occurs and There Is No Insurance

In New Jersey, if a worker is injured or dies in a work-related injury the employer will be liable for all medical costs, disability benefits and other types of related benefits. These types of liabilities are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, either.
The Office of Special Compensation Funds regularly employs a number of strategies, including cross-matching databases, to identify non-compliant employers.

Do you have questions about your work comp coverage?

Discuss your concerns with an experienced workers compensation attorney at the law office of Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.  

Dividing Marital Debt in New Jersey

If you or your spouse has been carrying serious debt, then debt division can have a huge impact on how you move forward with your life after divorce. How do you protect yourself financially from a spouse’s debt? What do you do if you have joint credit card debt but your spouse is the one who did the spending? How do you find ways to work together prior to the divorce to resolve your debt issues so that you do not need to worry about creditors coming after you once you are divorced?

Most people do not realize that if one spouse files for bankruptcy, the other spouse might be in the uncomfortable position of being assigned the debts that the indebted spouse has wiped out or reorganized through bankruptcy.

New Jersey is an equitable property and debt division state. This means that division of your debt and assets acquired during the marriage (with some exceptions) must also be fairly executed, though not necessarily equally.

What Is Marital and Non-Marital Debt?

Debts in a divorce will be either marital or non-marital. However, it is not so easy to make this determination. Questions that attorneys and a judge will take into account include what the purpose of the debt was, who took on the debt and when that happened, whether both spouses agreed to the debt, who benefited from the debt, and who can more effectively pay off the debt after divorce.

How Does Debt Division Apply to Credit Card Debt?

Essentially, any debt incurred from a joint credit card or line of credit means that both you and your spouse are responsible for payment of that debt. However, if your spouse racked up a significant amount of debt that did not contribute to the marriage or the family, then that debt may be divided up disproportionately, with the indebted spouse being assigned more of that particular joint credit card debt.

However, if the indebted spouse files for bankruptcy and the debt is wiped out, creditors may come after you for the remainder of the debt.

Marital debt will generally include:

Joint credit card debt, in which both your names are on the credit card agreement
Mortgage loans
Car loan debt
Debt you owe from a company you both own

Equitable distribution of debt and assets does not mean 50/50. In most cases, the debt will be divided according to each spouse’s ability to pay off the debt, along with a number of other factors.

Contact an Experienced Marital Property Division Lawyer in New Jersey

To discuss your concerns and how to approach division of debt and assets in a divorce in southern New Jersey, talk with an experienced family law attorney at Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ. Please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.