Archives for November 2015

Critics Say Intersection and Road Design Increase Risk to Pedestrians

BicycleIt’s become a far too common occurrence—a motorist parks on the street and opens the traffic-side door without looking, putting the open door directly in the path of an oncoming vehicle, or even worse, a cyclist. In a study conducted in Chicago earlier this decade, researchers found that “dooring crashes”—where bicyclist collided with the open door of a parked vehicle—accounted for almost one in five bicycle-related accidents (19.7%). A similar study in Boston found that about one in ten bicycle crashes involved “dooring.”

The problem is not a new one, though. Unbeknownst to most people, so-called “dooring laws” have been on the books in some states since 1956. Over the past 50 years, most states and many metropolitan areas have either enacted legislation requiring motorists to use reasonable care before disembarking from a vehicle, have mounted public service campaigns to make motorists more aware of the risks associated with opening a door into traffic, or have put both measures in place. Only ten states have no dooring law. All but two of the states with dooring laws also make it illegal to leave a door open longer than necessary to load or unload a vehicle.

Cycling advocates say that both the infrastructure that has been created for bicycling, as well as many new bicycling laws, have increased the risk of dooring accidents. For example, they point to the proliferation of bicycle lanes between road and curb, which may actually require that bicyclists ride in the path of an open door. Furthermore, some bicycle laws mandate that riders be as far to the right as possible, placing them directly in the door zone.

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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 New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Fund – An Overview

Brain diagramIf you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), your needs can be great. You may require long-term and constant care, may need to have your home retrofitted to meet your needs, and may have to have in-home continual care. When insurance, public assistance and personal resources are inadequate to meet your needs, the state of New Jersey offers help through the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Fund.

To be eligible for assistance through the TBI Fund, you must first have medical proof of a traumatic brain injury. The injury can be open or closed head, but you must be able to demonstrate impairment of brain function. Furthermore, the brain injury must be the result of trauma—congenital or degenerative conditions will not qualify you for benefits. In addition, you must document that you have been a legal resident in New Jersey for at least three months (90 days), and that you have liquid assets (bank accounts, CDs, stocks and bonds) of no more than $100,000.

If you qualify for help from the TBI Fund, you can seek money for a number of services or needs, including:

  • Neurological treatment or cognitive therapy
  • Speech, occupational or physical therapy
  • Home remodeling
  • Medication
  • In-home assistive technology

To initiate an application for benefits, you can contact the TBI Fund program manager in Mercerville, New Jersey. As a general rule, once you have submitted an application for benefits, you will be assigned a case manager, who will determine both your needs and your eligibility.

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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.

Divorce Mediation – How It Works

Mortgage negotiationIf you have concluded that it’s time to end your marriage, but you don’t perceive the need for a lengthy battle over custody, support or property, or you just want to amicably terminate the relationship, you may be a good candidate for divorce mediation. Here’s how the process works.

The first step is to identify and hire a neutral third party. Often, that will be an attorney who has been trained in mediation. It’s important to understand that the attorney does not represent either party to the mediation, but is tasked with helping both parties identify and implement mutually beneficial solutions to disagreements about custody and visitation, support and property matters.

The mediator is not a judge, either. Accordingly, the mediator won’t take testimony from witnesses, won’t consider evidence, and won’t issue any type of ruling as to who should “win” or “lose.” Though the mediator will want to hear a detailed version of the facts from both parties, the reason for doing so is to help the mediator identify what the parties need and what they might be willing to concede, so that a resolution can be crafted that both parties can accept.

The divorce mediation process typically takes far less time than litigation. First, there’s no need for an extensive “discovery” period, where the parties seek to gather and assess as much evidence as possible. The mediator will be more focused on how the parties can move forward than on what happened in the past. Additionally, you won’t have to wait months to get on the court’s docket. In most instances, mediation can be scheduled within weeks or a couple months. Furthermore, because the mediator doesn’t take testimony, the actual process is fairly short. Most divorce mediation can be completed in a day or two.

Because there’s far less time involved in the process, mediation is usually significantly less expensive than litigation. Though you can (and often will) be represented by counsel in mediation, the preparation is less time-consuming, reducing legal costs.

A final advantage to divorce mediation—it gives you a greater involvement and say in the outcome. As you work through the mediation process, you can always reject a proposal from your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and can always counter with a proposal of your own. With a good mediator, you won’t have to worry about intimidation or duress from your spouse—the mediator should perceive what’s going on and protect your interests.

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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.