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Toms River, New Jersey, Personal Injury Blog

Most new pickups fail to protect passengers in crashes

Thanks to advances in vehicle safety technology, New Jersey pickup truck drivers are less likely to be injured in a crash than ever before. However, a recent study finds that truck passengers aren't as lucky.

Researchers at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety discovered that most 2018 two-row pickup trucks don't perform well during front-right corner collisions, and this puts passengers at risk. According to the study, the Toyota Tundra does the worst job of protecting passengers, earning the vehicle a "poor" rating from the institute. Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, GMC Sierra 1500 and Nissan Frontier scored "marginal" ratings for their collision performance, and the Honda Ridgeline and Toyota Tacoma received "acceptable" ratings. Finally, the Ford F-150, Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan received "good" ratings. Almost all the pickups got "good" ratings for protecting drivers in a crash. However, the Tundra and Frontier only received "marginal" scores.

Male breast cancer patients are undertreated, more likely to die

Residents of New Jersey may know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but they may not be aware that breast cancer affects men as well as women. The numbers are much smaller, of course, with some 2,200 men being diagnosed every year (compared to the 245,000 women who are diagnosed every year, according to the CDC). Still, there is concern around the fact that male breast cancer patients see lower survival rates than women.

A JAMA study reveals that men are less likely than women to be alive three to five years a diagnosis. Part of the reason is that men tend to be diagnosed when the cancer is in a later stage. Besides that, there are no concrete guidelines that men can follow for early detection. While manually examining the breasts for lumps is recommended, many men simply don't do it because of the image of breast cancer being a women's disease.

The importance of skepticism about any lump-sum settlement

People get offered lump-sum settlement amounts for a broad range of reasons. Perhaps they were in a car accident, and the insurance company wants to pay out a single check for the entire cost of the crash. Maybe they have a large workers' compensation claim related to a job injury that amputated a limb or an acquired illness related to their work.

Regardless of why you find yourself dealing with a lump-sum settlement offer, it's important that you reflect on the offer before you take any kind of action. The reason why is simple. What may seem like an extraordinary amount of money at first may not come anywhere close to covering the actual financial consequences of your illness or injury.

Extraction industry workers at risk for hearing loss

According to an American Journal of Industrial Medicine report, roughly 61% of people who work in the gas and oil extraction or mining industries are exposed to noise levels at work that rise to the level of hazardous. There are also chemicals used in those industries that can increase the risk of hearing loss. When individuals in New Jersey suffer hearing loss or other on-the-job injuries, they may be entitled to recovery through the state's workers' compensation system.

In mining, according to the report, 24% of employees who were exposed to noise experienced some level of hearing loss. Gravel mining, specifically, had the highest levels of hearing loss among workers at 36%. In iron ore mining, the number was 27%, and in nickel ore and copper ore mining, it was 24%. Noise-exposed employees in coal mining were twice as likely to lose their hearing as messengers and couriers, who are not as likely to be exposed to hazardous noise at work.

Court rules employers must test air to select right respirator

Employers in New Jersey received clear guidance from an appeals court decision regarding the Respiratory Protection Standard from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The federal court ruled that employers need to measure and evaluate all respiratory hazards to determine the necessity of respirator use among workers. The results of the air evaluation must also direct the selection of respirator type to ensure proper protection.

The case in question had reached a federal appeals court after a 10-year journey through the legal and regulatory system. In 2009, welders at a shipyard had complained to OSHA about poor air quality in the enclosed spaces where they were welding inside marine vessels. OSHA compliance officers responding to the complaints reported that fumes were visible in the work areas and ventilation was inadequate. The superintendent of the worksite had evaluated the air quality prior to welding activities. Welding releases fumes containing fluorides, barium compounds, manganese and iron oxide. Workers inhaling these fumes can suffer respiratory illnesses.

Red light running crash deaths in 2017 hit 10-year high

Drivers in New Jersey will want to be more careful around signalized intersections because the number of deaths due to red light running is increasing. In 2017, there were 939 such deaths: the highest it has been in 10 years according to a recent AAA report. Just over a third of the fatalities were the offending drivers while the rest were pedestrians, cyclists or occupants in the other vehicle.

The AAA report states that 85% of drivers understand that running a red light is illegal, yet one in three drivers admitted to doing it in the past 30 days. Moreover, two in five drivers responded that being pulled over for it would be highly unlikely. Most who run red lights are intentionally breaking the law; only a minority do so because of inattention or distractions.

Floor tape can help make workplaces safer

Individuals who work in a warehouse setting in New Jersey or anywhere else may find that they are less likely to get hurt when the floors are properly marked. Floor markings can be customized to meet the needs of a given warehouse. For instance, they can be used to remind workers to use protective equipment or where to put a piece of equipment when it is not in use.

Markings can come in a variety of colors or patterns to help them stand out and quickly convey a message. Companies that are adopting a lean process can use these markings to define where one work area starts and the other ends. It can also help guide products from one step of the production process to the next. This can increase efficiency and productivity while also keeping workers safe, which helps a company grow revenue while cutting costs.

Just a couple of drinks can seriously impair drivers

Aggressive law enforcement and powerful public information campaigns have helped to lower drunk driving fatalities by about a third in just 30 years, but more than 10,000 road users still die each year around the county in motor vehicle accidents caused by a motorist impaired by alcohol. The legal intoxication threshold for New Jersey drivers is a blood alcohol concentration of .08%, but medical research reveals that motorists can be dangerously impaired with far lower BACs.

Most people will have a BAC of .02% after a single beer, glass of wine or shot of liquor, and a second or third drink will usually raise their blood alcohol level to above .05%. This would still put them below the legal driving limit, but their concentration, decision making abilities and reaction times would be severely hampered. Just a few drinks can also make drivers more adventurous and prone to reckless behavior, and their ability to track moving objects or handle more than one task at a time would be diminished

What makes chronic traumatic encephalopathy so unique?

Some people suffer more than one concussion in their lifetime. Unfortunately, these individuals are at risk of developing a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This condition is fatal and can't be diagnosed until after a person passes away.

The symptoms of CTE can often mimic those of dementia, so it is sometimes difficult for people to determine what is causing symptoms they are experiencing, such aggression, impulse control problems and depression. Some people have suicidal thoughts, and are susceptible to acting on them.

Subaru Crosstreks have most accidents in the U.S.

Insurify has looked into its database of more than 1.6 million insurance quotes in order to compile a list of 10 newer vehicles that are involved in the most at-fault accidents in New Jersey and across the U.S. To be considered, the insurance quotes had to mention the vehicle's make and model and whether the vehicle had been in a crash before.

The list has one American, two Korean and seven Japanese vehicles, including two from Subaru. The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek has been involved in the most at-fault car crashes of any other vehicle in the nation, which is an intriguing discovery since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety had given it top marks for crash avoidance and crashworthiness. However, many crashes do not end in severe injuries for Crosstrek occupants.

Contact R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors At Law

Call our Toms River office at 732-505-1212, our Manchester office at 732-408-WILL (9455), our Brick office at 732-451-0800, or call us toll free at 800-556-SHEA (7432). You can also contact our firm online.

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R.C. Shea & Associates, Counsellors at Law
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