Archives for January 2014

What Are My Options If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?

Mount Laurel Workers’ Comp Claim Denial Attorneys

A workers’ compensation claim is usually denied when the doctor who works for an employer’s insurer decides a worker’s injuries aren’t serious enough or are due to a preexisting condition. Unfortunately, once a workers’ compensation claim is denied, employers typically expect an employee to return to work sooner than he or she is physically ready. As a result, injured employees in this situation are forced to use vacation days or apply for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Depending on your situation, you may be able to apply for disability benefits, but your employer and doctor will need to fill out part of the application certifying that you are disabled. You’ll also need to fill out the Certification of Contested Workers’ Compensation Claim Form.

A workers’ compensation claim can be denied for different reasons — the claim is filed too late, your employer disputes the claim or your employer’s insurance company doctor rejects your claim for medical reasons.

Filing an Appeal after a Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied

After a workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you can request a hearing with a Judge of Compensation or with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. In cases in which you have medical bills that need to be paid, you can file a Motion for Medical Temporary Benefits. A hearing with a Judge of Compensation will then be scheduled within 30 days of your motion’s being filed. However, in order to receive temporary benefits, you must be out of work for at least seven days and have a letter from a doctor.

If an insurance company denies your claim or you were provided with reduced benefits, you have only 30 days after that decision to file an appeal. For these reasons, it is essential that you talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. While each case is different, once you appeal a claim denial you may be expected to appear before a board hearing or seek a legal resolution through the court system.

Getting a Second Opinion

If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you have a right to get a second opinion from your own doctor. While your company’s insurer is not obligated to accept your doctor’s diagnosis, it makes it more difficult for an employer’s insurer to downplay or ignore the extent and nature of your injuries. Here, you will need to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can inform your employer’s insurer that you intend to file a lawsuit regarding the denial of your original workers’ compensation claim.

Contact Taylor & Boguski If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied

Appealing or litigating a denied workers’ compensation claim involves processes, deadlines and careful attention to documents and medical records. At Taylor & Boguski, our workers’ compensation attorneys have the resources and knowledge needed to protect your rights and financial interests when an injury leaves you facing mounting medical bills and an uncertain future. We protect your rights and are prepared to take employers to court when they try to ignore the law or terminate injured employees without cause.

To learn how we can help you, contact Mount Laurel workers’ compensation attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today.

Legal Duties of Pool Owners

Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Pool Injury Attorneys

While backyard swimming pools are fun, they also represent a certain amount of liability for homeowners. Homeowners should be aware of their legal obligations to take preventative steps to minimize or eliminate pool-related injuries. It’s important to also keep in mind that a swimming pool is considered an attractive nuisance — that is, something that by its very nature is likely to attract children. As such, homeowners who fail to employ every means available to ensure that their pools are secure, up to code and in compliance with applicable city ordinances can be held financially liable for injuries that occur as a result.

Failure to comply with applicable codes and statutes could result in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a homeowner should a child wander onto the property and sustain injuries in the pool, regardless of whether the child was trespassing at the time.

Securing a Backyard Family Pool

Homeowners should install child-resistant fencing and pool alarms, post signs, keep pool water free of contaminated water and ensure that diving boards are installed correctly. Fencing is especially important as, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 75 percent of residential pool-related deaths involve children between the ages of 1 and 3 combined with inadequate fencing or a lack of supervision.

Maintaining healthy water is also important, as bacteria from improperly treated water can cause gastrointestinal illnesses, respiratory problems and ear infections (commonly referred to as “recreational water illnesses. Residential pool owners must test pool water regularly to maintain proper chlorine and pH levels to prevent the contamination of pool water. Alternatively, excessive amounts of chlorine can cause burns, creating liability for pool owners as well.

Federal Law — the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act

In 2002, 7-year-old Virginia Graeme Baker died when she drowned after becoming trapped by a drain in a hot tub. In order to prevent similar accidents in the future, the federal government passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act (P&SSA) in 2008. Public pools and spas are now required to install certain kinds of anti-entrapment drain covers to prevent injuries due to the powerful suction generated by drains. Residential pool owners should comply with the P&SSA and install anti-entrapment drain covers to limit their liability for drowning injuries.

Holding Negligent Pool Owners Liable for Injuries

If you’ve been injured in a pool accident, it’s important to talk to an experienced premises liability injury attorney link to who understands the current laws and regulations regarding swimming pools. It’s also important to begin the investigative process before the public pool or pool owner in question removes key evidence or eyewitness testimony is forgotten.

To learn how our pool injury attorneys can help you, contact Mount Laurel, New Jersey, personal injury attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today.

Mount Laurel Child Custody Attorneys

The first thing to keep in mind regarding child custody is that the court will always act in what it believes to be the best interests of a child. In New Jersey, determining child custody depends on a number of factors. These factors typically fall into the following general categories:

  • The emotional needs of a child: How stable is each parent? Is there a history of mental abuse or neglect? Does a child suffer from a psychological condition that recommends awarding custody to a particular parent? In the case of older children, which parent does a child prefer?
  • The physical needs or well-being of a child: What is the environment of each parent’s home? Are there concerns that a child will be physically neglected or abused? Does a child have special needs regarding a medical condition?
  • The situation of each parent: What is the financial situation of each parent? What are the employment or work responsibilities of each parent? To what extent is each parent willing to be involved in their child’s life and to what extent has each exhibited a commitment in this regard?

In cases in which parents are not interested in shared or joint custody, the court will award custody to the parent it believes will promote and protect the best interests of a child. The noncustodial parent will have visitation or “parenting time” rights according to a plan approved by the court.

What Happens If One Parent Wants to Move Away?

Regardless of whether or not a custodial or noncustodial parent wants to move out of town or out of state, they must first get a court approved postdivorce modification and the permission of the other parent. Even if parents share custody link to, any change in a parent’s situation that could affect the agreed-upon child custody arrangements in a divorce agreement must be reviewed first by the court. Failure to do so could result in a charge of contempt of court and certain sanctions regarding existing child custody arrangements. Consequently, a parent — custodial, noncustodial or otherwise — cannot simply move away without first obtaining a postdivorce modification.

Postdivorce Modifications and Child Custody Arrangements

Regardless of whether a parent has a good reason to move — job commitments, caring for an ailing family member or personal preference — the law requires a parent to do the following:

  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent regarding any intent to move
  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent of the location where they intend to move
  • Notify the noncustodial or custodial parent of the reason(s) for the move
  • Submit a proposed child custody plan accommodating the move in question

Parental Relocations and New Jersey Courts

The court will review the proposed parental relocation to determine if it is in the best interests of the child. Here, the court will consider access to education opportunities, healthcare issues, whether extended family live in the area and how the move will affect the child’s ability to engage in hobbies or sports or practice their faith. The court will also consider the practical side of visitation under the new arrangement and how that could affect the ability of a child to spend time with the relocated parent.

If the court approves the parental relocation, a new parenting schedule must be provided, including a reasonable inventory of travel expenses, how vacations will be allotted, what will happen during school vacations, etc. If the parental relocation is not approved, the parent intending to relocate must change his or her plans or be held in contempt of court.

Contact Mount Laurel Child Custody Attorneys

Whether you are thinking of moving out of state or to the next town over, you still need a postdivorce modification. To discuss your case and learn what you need to do to maintain your child custody rights, contact Mount Laurel child custody attorneys link to Contact Us at Taylor & Boguski, LLC today.

Can I Go to My Own Doctor for a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Mount Laurel Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer after an accident or job-related injury, your employer’s insurance company doctor will likely examine you to determine the extent and nature of your injuries. Under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation laws, employers can choose the doctor you must see.

In certain situations, however, your employer (or your employer’s insurance company) may agree to let you choose your own doctor. On the other hand, if your doctor is not authorized by your employer (or employer’s insurance provider), or you have been specifically instructed to see the insurance provider’s doctor, you can’t see a doctor of your choosing for your workers’ compensation claim.

Denial of a Workers’ Compensation Claim — Getting a Second Opinion

If your employer insists on choosing your doctor, you may want to get a second opinion. Keep in mind, however, that the doctor you choose is subject to your employer’s approval. Here, workers’ compensation claims can be a bit tricky — since the doctor works for your employer’s insurer, he or she may have an unspoken incentive to minimize costs to your employer. As a result, insurance company doctors downplaying injuries or claiming workers are ready to return to work before they really are is not unheard of.

In these kinds of cases, it’s best to talk to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you navigate the workers’ compensation appeals process while protecting your rights and financial interests.

A Difference of Opinion: the Insurer’s Doctor and Yours

Suppose you suffer from what you believe is carpal tunnel syndrome and are experiencing tingling and weakness in your arm. You’ve developed these symptoms due to the repetitive motion required by your work. After you file a workers’ compensation claim, your employer instructs you to see a doctor it has chosen for you. The doctor examines you and decides you need physical therapy and are able to return to work.

You then decide to see your own doctor, who takes some x-rays of your spine and neck. He discovers that you have retrolisthesis and endplate spurring. He suggests surgery may be necessary, but can be avoided if you take a month off from work and use physical therapy. In this situation, your employer is not obligated to accept your doctor’s finding. If this happens, your only alternative is to hire a workers’ compensation attorney and take your employer to court.

Problems with Your Employer’s Doctor? Contact Taylor & Boguski

If you’re being told you’re ready to return to work even though you know you aren’t, contact Mount Laurel workers’ compensation attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today. We can evaluate your case, discuss the best options available to you and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

What Is an Attractive Nuisance?

Mount Laurel Personal Injury / Pool Attorneys

Homeowners who have a swing set, pool or trampoline in their backyards may be exposing themselves to unwanted liability without carefully thinking about it. What is an “attractive nuisance”? Legally, an >attractive nuisance is any potentially hazardous or dangerous condition or object that might attract children to enter a piece of property in order to play with or explore the hazardous condition or object in question. This means that construction companies, schools, even businesses can be held liable if equipment, jungle gyms or sculptures are considered an attractive nuisance by the court.

Taking Steps to Secure Property — Will this Reduce Liability?

Property owners might think that if they comply with existing codes regarding safety and security fences, they can’t be held responsible for injuries to children who trespass on property and hurt themselves on a trampoline, back hoe or abandoned car. Under the doctrine of attractive nuisance, however, property owners are strictly liable for creating conditions that pose a risk to children, who are unable to fully appreciate the danger posed to them.

For example, if a salvage yard has a security fence surrounding its property with “No Trespassing” signs posted, the yard’s owner can still be held liable for injuries to any children who enter the property to play with discarded refrigerators, washing machines or junked cars. Since younger children are not always able to accurately assess the risks inherent in a situation, the attractive nuisance law holds property owners liable for any failure to completely secure or remove an attractive nuisance, even if a property owner’s property is up to code.

Holding Property Owners Liable under New Jersey Attractive Nuisance Law

An important issue in any personal injury case involving an attractive nuisance is whether or not the injured child could have properly identified and assessed the dangers inherent in a situation. For many courts, however, the issue is whether or not the injuries were foreseeable. For instance, if a construction company working on a job near a school leaves the keys in its tractors overnight, is it foreseeable that children or young teenagers might be attracted by the tractors and try to start them up? If so, then a failure on the part of the construction company to eliminate this risk by removing the keys could be considered negligent.

Contact Mount Laurel Premises Liability Attorneys at Taylor & Boguski

Attractive nuisance cases require investigation, consideration of the evidence and a thorough review of a property owner’s actions. At Taylor & Boguski, we understand what needs to be done to investigate and present these kinds of cases. For more information regarding our practice and how we can help you, contact Mount Laurel premises liability attorneys at Taylor & Boguski today.

Can I Sue for Child Support Owed from the Time of Birth?

Mount Laurel Divorce Temporary Orders Attorneys

Under New Jersey state law, a noncustodial parent is legally responsible for child support. Practically speaking, this means that if you and your spouse are legally separated or divorced, or you are estranged from your child’s father, you can seek an enforcement order to require them to pay child support. Here, the law is clear: child support is not a punitive measure, intended to punish one parent and reward the other; rather, child support is explicitly for the upkeep and maintenance of a child, not the custodial parent.

However, there is a statute of limitations on establishing paternity in New Jersey; a paternity action must be initiated no later than within five years after a child’s 18th birthday.

Child Support and Paternity

In New Jersey, the amount of child support paid is determined under Appendix IX of the New Jersey Court Rules. In general, child support is the responsibility of both parents. However, in cases involving out-of-wedlock births, the paternity of a child link to may be unstated on the birth certificate. In cases such as these, if the mother of a child sues the putative father for paternity and establishes that he is in fact the father of her child, she has legal grounds for demanding child support from him.

What if paternity isn’t established until years after the birth of a child? Under New Jersey state law, a noncustodial parent can be held responsible for paying child support from the time of the child’s birth until the child reaches age 18 or beyond. The time frame involved will depend on what your child support agreement says and what the court determines is in the best interests of the child. In some cases, child support may be extended beyond the age of 18 if a child is still in high school or is attending a secondary educational institution.

When a child enters college, New Jersey’s child support guidelines typically no longer apply since there is an overlap with certain college costs (room and board, transportation, etc.) and Guideline expenditures. If the child lives at home, however, the court may decide to continue child support.

Back-Owed Child Support

New Jersey’s Child Support Guidelines reflect the average cost of raising a child from the age of birth to 17 years old. As such, unless a child is legally emancipated, a noncustodial parent can be held financially responsible for child support going back to the birth of his child.

If a child support order is not entered until after a child is 12 years old, the amount of child support ordered will likely be adjusted upward to reflect the incremental increase in expenses of raising a child since the cost of taking care of an infant or young child is not as much as it is for raising an older child or a teenager.

Mount Laurel Child Support Attorneys at Taylor & Boguski

If you are interested in establishing the paternity of your child and seeking an enforcement order for child support in arrears, contact Mount Laurel divorce temporary orders attorneys at Taylor & Boguski, LLC, today to schedule an appointment and discuss your case.