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Toms River, New Jersey, Personal Injury Blog

FMCSA releases 2016 Large Truck and Bus Crash report

Almost three-quarters of the deadly commercial vehicle accidents that took place in New Jersey and around the country in 2016 were caused by other vehicles encroaching into traffic lanes used by trucks or buses or animals, people or other obstacles in the roadway. This was one of the key takeaways from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's 2016 Large Truck and Bus Crash report. The federal safety watchdog's data also reveals that truck accident fatalities, which have increased sharply in recent years, remain worryingly high.

According to the FMCSA report, 4,317 road users were killed in 2016 in accidents involving semi-tractor trailers or large buses. Truck accident fatalities peaked at 5,231 in 2005, but stricter regulations and more aggressive enforcement efforts helped to reduce the annual death toll by 34 percent between 2005 and 2009. However, virtually all of these gains were lost between 2009 and 2016 as truck and bus accident fatalities rose by 28 percent. The 2016 fatality figures represent an increase of 5.4 percent over the 2015 death toll according to the FMCSA.

Do you know the biggest worksite threats to construction workers?

Construction is an inherently dangerous job. There are many risk factors arising from both the nature of the work and the tools of the trade. For those who work in construction or love someone who does, it can be frightening to say goodbye before a work day begins. People get hurt every day, and sometimes job-related injuries can be fatal.

Thankfully, there are protections in place to reduce the risk experienced by construction workers on the job. New Jersey requires certain safety regulations, as does the Occupational Healthy and Safety Administration (OSHA). When employers violate those regulations, workers can end up hurt in otherwise preventable accidents. Educating yourself about the biggest risks on the job site can help you stay safer while working.

What drivers need to know about post-crash situations

New Jersey drivers who find themselves in a car accident can take certain steps to help prepare and protect themselves. After stopping at the scene of the accident and taking care of any urgent medical needs, it's important to gather some specific information. This information can be critical when dealing with insurance agents after the crash.

If the vehicular damage is substantial, a driver will need to follow up with their insurance company as well as the other party's insurer, even when the other driver is at fault for the crash. In order to prepare for filing a claim, it can be important to gather facts about how the crash took place, information about the other car and insurance details. For example, it's important to note the name, address and phone number of the other drivers involved.

Medical errors could impact patient quality of life

A study of 644 patients who underwent a dilated eye exam revealed that roughly a quarter who were deemed healthy showed signs of a degenerative condition. This condition is called age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, and it typically impacts New Jersey residents and others who are 50 and older. The average age of the individuals in the study was 69. As the population gets older, there could be an increasing number of people impacted by AMD.

AMD makes it harder to read a book, drive a car and perform other tasks. While there is no cure for it, there are ways that healthcare professionals can slow the progression of the condition. For instance, it may be possible to use anti-VEGF medications or AREDS2 vitamin and mineral supplements to help patients. As many cases of AMD were missed by professionals in the study, the researchers urged individuals to learn the signs and symptoms of this health issue.

How an insurtech startup could improve worker safety

Workplace accidents cost employers and insurers hundreds of billions of dollars in workers compensation claims every year, and that's in America alone. Every day worldwide, they lead to more than 1,000 deaths and 500 injuries. Workplace safety managers in New Jersey will want to know about an insurtech startup that could provide an effective way to reduce hazards.

MākuSafe is based in Des Moines, Iowa, and specializes in wearable technology for employees across various industries. In particular, it has developed a wearable band that records environmental and motion data and transfers it to a cloud platform. This consumable data can then be analyzed by workplace safety managers.

Reducing liver damage from car accidents

New Jersey drivers and passengers could face severe damage to critical internal organs from a car accident on the roads. Injuries to the liver, spleen and other internal organs can result from the blunt abdominal trauma that often accompanies car crashes. Every year, over 2 million Americans go to the hospital emergency room due to a motor vehicle accident; of those, a significant number experience bruising or bleeding to internal organs as a result.

Because severe liver damage can lead to death, reducing liver injuries due to car accidents is a major priority. Researchers have found that wearing seat belts can help to mitigate the liver injuries suffered by car accident victims. They studied over 50,000 patients between 2010 and 2015 who were injured or killed in car crashes, categorizing the injuries to their liver as either low-grade or severe. Some of the types of low-grade injuries included blood clots or shallow lacerations while severe injuries included ruptured clots, uncontrolled bleeding and other wounds requiring surgical repair.

Traumatic brain injuries can cause issues for years to come

In many ways, your brain defines who you are and what you do. Your brain controls everything, from your vocabulary and accent to your memory and ability to perform fine motor tasks. We often take for granted how powerful this delicate organ really is, but looking at the consequences of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can provide new perspective about the brain.

There are several possible causes of a TBI. One of the simplest is falling or hitting the head. All it takes is a slippery spot on the floor or a wrinkled rug to send you crashing into the floor, a wall, furniture or fixtures. People also sustain TBIs due to penetrating injuries, such as shrapnel that hits your head during a car accident. Finally, people who experience violent shaking, spinning or rocking could also incur a TBI. Regardless of the root cause, the results can be lasting.

Bill Paxton's family files wrongful death suit against hospital

New Jersey fans of Bill Paxton may be interested to learn that his family filed a wrongful death against a hospital and surgeon on May 3. According to the family, the 61-year-old actor died on Feb. 25 after complications occurred following a series of surgical procedures.

The family made several claims regarding negligence. For example, the family alleged that the hospital misrepresented or failed to adequately explain the risks involved in the proposed treatment. The family also claimed that the surgeon did not disclose the fact that the proposed surgical approach was unconventional and had high risks. Even further, the surgeon was not in the hospital when the actor began experiencing complications, also failing to ensure that the actor had continuous care while he was away. As a result, there was a delay in treatment of the complications. This alleged negligence ultimately led to his death from a stroke 11 days later.

AFL-CIO report documents on-the-job dangers and worker death toll

Workplace hazards in New Jersey vary by industry, but other factors like worker age, ethnicity and workplace violence contribute to deaths on the job. A 2018 report published by the AFL-CIO revealed that 5,190 people died at work in 2016.

Statistically, the risk is not spread equally among all workers. The majority of fatalities, 36 percent, happened to workers who were 55 or older. Once employees reach the age of 65, their likelihood of being killed at work increased by a factor of 2.5 compared to other workers. Latino people also experienced a high rate of death. Their fatality rate reached 3.7 per 100,000 workers, which exceeded the national average of 3.6 deaths per 100,000.

Daydreaming causes more accidents than cellphones

Statistics in New Jersey and other parts of the country show that drivers who daydream are more likely to cause vehicle accidents than drivers who use their cellphones. The number one reason for serious car crashes in the United States is because drivers do not pay attention to driving conditions. One out of every 10 car crash victims is killed because of a distracted driver. Whether the drivers are thinking about their busy work schedules, dinner plans or other aspects of their lives, their eyes are not on the road.

Politicians continue to pass laws about cellphone use while driving without acknowledging the known statistical data regarding daydreaming. Drivers need to stop thinking about numerous topics while driving their cars. The fact that they are not concentrating on road conditions, other drivers and pedestrians means that more people could experience fatalities caused by negligence. Even though the use of cellphones while driving is potentially dangerous, drivers are not hearing enough warnings about staying alert while driving their vehicles.

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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