Archives for June 2015

Critics Say Intersection and Road Design Increase Risk to Pedestrians

Old road signPedestrian injuries and fatalities have been steadily on the rise since 2009, with an increase of nearly 650 pedestrian deaths nationwide in just three years. A study by the National Complete Streets Coalition found that nearly 50,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents between 2003 and 2012, and nearly 700,000 injured. One of the principal reasons, according to personal injury lawyers and accident reconstruction specialists—more American roadways and intersections are being designed to enhance motor vehicle traffic, at the expense of the lives of pedestrians.

The Corner Curve

The vast majority of pedestrian accidents involve people who are struck by a vehicle while legally in a corner crosswalk, and most of those happen when the motorist makes a turn and strikes the pedestrian. Authorities say that changes in the design of corners and crosswalks have exacerbated this problem, pointing to the trend to “shorten” a corner by changing it from primarily square to curved. The increased curve is designed to make it easier and faster for a car to turn a corner.

The increased speed with which many motorists now take those corners makes it more difficult for them to stop for a pedestrian. With the older, square corner, motorists were required to slow down before negotiating a turn, but the newer curved corners eliminate the need to do that.

The Absence of Sidewalks

Another modern trend—the absence of sidewalks, especially in more affluent neighborhoods. Critics point out that those neighborhoods tend to see higher rates of speed, as houses are farther apart. In addition, the modern trend has been toward narrower roads, again in suburbs and more affluent neighborhoods. The combination of narrow roads, high speeds and the absence of a shoulder or sidewalk significantly increases the risk to anyone on foot.

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At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.

The Things You Can Do to Minimize the Impact of a Divorce on Your Kids

School playDivorce is always hard on children, even if family life was difficult before the breakup. As a parent, you don’t want to do things that will only add to your child’s sense of loss and grief. Here are important things to do and to remember to help your children cope with the changes the come with divorce.

  • Make certain your kids know that the divorce had nothing to do with them—Often, your children will simply ask you why you are getting a divorce. The response can be complicated, but don’t dismiss their question with an evasive answer—they’ll only try to find the answer on their own (and often come up with the wrong answer). It’s best to clearly state that the problems were between you and your ex (no need to detail the problems) and that the divorce has nothing to do with them.
  • Remember that your children love your ex, too—The differences you have with your ex need to stay between you and your ex. You should never put your children in the position where they have to choose sides between you and your ex. They love your ex and you will put them in an extremely awkward position if you try to demean or belittle the other parent.
  • Work with your ex to be consistent in discipline and other matters—While you may have a different parenting style than your ex, try not to directly contradict what you ex does or says to them. As much as possible, keep the same sets of rules at both households. The more variations you have, the more stress you will put on your child.
  • Be willing to compromise for the sake of your children—When the stakes are small, don’t make them big. Be the one who is willing to cooperate with the other parent for the sake of the children. Be willing to switch weekends if it will benefit the kids and won’t dramatically alter your plans. Your willingness to cooperate will go a long way toward eliminating or minimizing the stress your children experience.
  • Co-parent when practicable and possible, but be willing to let the other parent make a decision if doing so makes sense—Kids feel stress when everything has to be decided by committee. When it’s in your child’s best interests to have both parents involved, participate cooperatively. But when a decision has to be made and discussion will only delay or aggravate the situation, be willing to let your ex decide.

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At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to injured workers throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.

Tennessee Legislature Considers “Workers’ Compensation Option”

Tennessee CapitalJoining the trend set by Texas and Oklahoma, the state of Tennessee is looking at a statute that will create a “free market” alternative to the requirement that Tennessee employers carry a policy or workers’ compensation insurance. Sponsors say there is strong legislative support to amend the state’s workers’ compensation laws to reduce costs to employers while still protecting workers and their families.

The main thrust of the proposed law is to allow private employers to “opt-out” of the state’s currently mandated workers’ compensation program and set up their own plans for compensating injured workers. The statute would require that employers meet certain financial requirements to qualify to opt out. The plan would not be accessible to employers in either coal mining or construction, because of the inherent job risks.

Proponents say the bill would allow many businesses to cut workers’ compensation costs in half.

One of the essential components of the workers’ compensation program in Tennessee, as in New Jersey and other states, is the “exclusive remedy” provision. As a general rule, when employers have a valid policy of workers’ compensation insurance, an injured worker must use the state’s workers’ compensation system as his or her “exclusive remedy” to recover for workplace injuries. Under the proposed Tennessee law, employers would lose this protection if they opt out of the state-mandated program.

Sponsors of the bill point to alleged successes in Texas and Oklahoma, citing statistics that show that approximately one out of every three employers in Texas opt out of the state’s workers’ compensation program. Nonetheless, employers have been able to successfully manage their own injury protection plans. Sponsors also note that the state currently allows cities, counties and school districts, as well as employers with fewer than five employees, to opt out.

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At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to people throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-234-2233.