28-Year Old Construction Worker Dies in Manhattan

Scaffolding Accident Lawyer New YorkMy brother has spent the majority of his adult years working in construction and the stories that he ends up sharing with me are absolutely terrifying. There seem to be not only so many hazards, but people seem to be losing their life left and right. Tragedy struck recently in the Upper East Side in New York when a 28-year old Staten Island construction worker was hit in the head by a steel beam that fell from a scaffolding.

I can’t imagine what that day was like for the workers around him to be witness to that, let alone the pain and agony that comes with losing a loved one suddenly. My wife lost her mother a few years back and it was very sudden, despite her cancer diagnosis. I think losing someone suddenly in that manner is harder to cope with because it just doesn’t make sense. As a father, and even just looking back on some of the stupid stuff I did in my early and mid-twenties, losing your life at 28 before you’ve even been able to experience anything is such a tragedy.

I delve more into this sad topic on my article on the Patch which you can read here. 

What Are the Most Dangerous Jobs in Pennsylvania?

Personal Injury Lawyer Pittsburgh PAAs someone who grew up on the East Coast and spent the majority of his childhood weekends in the city of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia – any reports on what’s going on back home gets me interested. Recently, I was curious as to what the most dangerous jobs in Pennsylvania were, as a whole and the article in its entirety has been recently published on the Patch.

Please go ahead and check it out and then let me know on here or on Twitter what you think the most dangerous jobs in Pennsylvania SHOULD be that I didn’t cover on my list.



Is No-Fault Insurance Different in New Jersey Than Other States?

No Fault Insurance Car Accident Lawyer Newark, NJNew Jersey drivers purchase auto insurance to help them cover the costs of accidents, from medical bills to auto repair costs. Making an informed choice about your auto insurance coverage, however, demands attention to certain details. For instance, understanding what no-fault insurance is, how it works, and what items your policy does (and does not) cover can all help you make smarter choices when it comes to buying and using your auto insurance coverage.

While we can’t cover the details of every auto insurance policy in this article, we can provide an overview of the basic elements common to New Jersey no-fault auto insurance policies, and we can explore how those policies differ slightly from policies used in other states.

No-Fault Auto Insurance in New Jersey: Understanding the Basics

In the past, auto accident costs were handled under an at-fault system in New Jersey and other states. In these crashes, bills were paid by whoever was found to be responsible for the accident.

Throughout the years, however, many states have transitioned to a no-fault auto insurance system. Under this system, each driver in an accident files a claim with their own respective auto insurance policies, which pay for medical expenses no matter who was responsible for the accident.

The goal of these policies was twofold, according to HG.org. First, the no-fault system was intended to reduce litigation by providing a way that injured motorists could have their needs met without having to sue one another in court. Second, it was intended to speed up medical care and make it easier for doctors and hospitals to provide, since neither medical providers nor the injured accident victims had to wait for a court case to be decided before medical bills could be paid.

In order for a no-fault system to work efficiently, however, every driver must have auto insurance coverage that he or she can turn to after an accident. Consequently, all no-fault states require drivers to carry minimum auto insurance coverage as a matter of law. The primary form of coverage that addresses medical bills in a no-fault system is called Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage.

PIP coverage is part of the coverage drivers are required to purchase in no-fault states like New Jersey. PIP coverage pays for medical expenses for the vehicle’s owner, even if that owner is not in the vehicle when an accident occurs. For instance, many policies allow a vehicle owner to file for PIP coverage if the owner is injured by a driver while he or she is walking.

PIP coverage typically covers the relatives of the vehicle’s owner as well, although certain exceptions may apply. For instance, the covered relatives may be required to be related to the vehicle owner by blood or marriage, to reside in the same household as the vehicle owner, or both.

Most no-fault insurance policies, including those in New Jersey, also include two other types of mandated coverage: Bodily Injury (BI) and Property Damage (PD).

Bodily injury liability coverage provides coverage for claims and lawsuits by people who are injured in an accident caused by the vehicle owner, according to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. Property damage liability coverage provides coverage for damaged property in accidents you cause. It typically covers damage not only to vehicles or their contents in a crash but also to items like fences or mailboxes that may be damaged during the accident.

How New Jersey’s No-Fault Auto Insurance System Differs from the Other States

While the above features of a no-fault auto insurance policy are common among the states that use no-fault, New Jersey’s system is unique in one particular way: It allows drivers to choose whether or not they want an unlimited right to sue, according to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.

Vehicle owners who choose a “Basic” policy have access to the full limits of the PIP, BI, and PD coverage that they choose under the policy, just as any auto insurance policyholder would have. However, they are also bound by a “limited right to sue.” This right prohibits the driver, family member, or other covered individuals from suing an at-fault driver unless the injured person suffered:

· Loss of a body part,
· Significant disfigurement or scarring,
· A displaced fracture,
· Loss of a fetus,
· Permanent injury, or
· Death.

If any of these factors apply, the injured person may file a lawsuit against the driver to seek compensation for pain and suffering, as well as any other losses not covered by their insurance policy. If none of these factors apply, the injured person may not sue the at-fault driver.

Drivers in New Jersey who do not wish to be bound by the “limited” right to sue may purchase a “standard” policy, which lets drivers decide whether they want a limited or unlimited right to sue.

While the limited right to sue option is typically less expensive, it also makes it more difficult for an injured person to hold an at-fault driver responsible for an accident. The unlimited right to sue option removes some of the hurdles to holding an at-fault driver accountable, but it comes at a higher cost in insurance premiums for most drivers.

Whether you’re shopping for no-fault auto insurance coverage in New Jersey or in a neighboring state, understanding your options and how coverages change from state to state can help you make more informed choices about the policy you buy and how it works to help you and your family in a time of need.

This article was originally posted on The Patch. 

How to Ensure Your Construction Job Site Meets Safety Standards

Safety Standards Construction Lawyer Edison, NJWhen it comes down to it, the safety and health of your employees are paramount. No matter the job or the place, every one of your workers should feel safe in their work environment. They should not have to worry about the chance of injury or death while at work. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 21.1 percent of worker fatalities in private industry in 2016 were in construction. That means just over one in five worker deaths from that year belong to construction workers.

It has been found that the leading causes of worker deaths in construction were falls, struck by object, electrocution and caught in/between machinery. These types of incidents accounted for around 63.7 percent of construction worker deaths. And while it is bad enough that workers are losing lives, these numbers do not even touch on the number of injuries that occur on a construction job site.

If one of your employers ends up injured on the job or even worse, dead, you could face a world of legal trouble, especially if you had the power to make the situation safer. You may end up facing a wrongful death suit or a workplace injury suit, both of which can affect you and your company’s well-being and future job prospects.

So, what things can be done to ensure your job site is meeting all necessary safety standards?

To start, you should educate yourself on the most up-to-date safety and health standards. By law, as an employer, you must provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules, and regulations issued under the OSHA act.

The OSHA act has been in place since 1970 and was designed to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for men and women. Now, this does not mean just knowing what those conditions are;o it means regularly monitoring and enforcing those rules.

On a construction site, the most common cause of injury or death is from falls. There are two main things that tend to contribute to these types of accidents: scaffolding and failure to use fall protection.

Scaffolding Accidents

According to an OSHA worker series on construction, about 2.3 million workers frequently work on scaffolds. In order for those workers to remain safe while working on scaffolds there are certain standards that should be met and checked regularly.

Scaffolds are required to be rigid and able to carry its weight plus for times the maximum extended load. It should be erected on solid footing and should not be supported by unstable objects like barrels, loose brick or boxes. In addition, the scaffold should also be equipped with toeboards, midrails, and guardrails.

Scaffolding should be inspected regularly and re-inspected throughout use. They should also never be built, moved, altered or taken down without the proper supervision. Taking care of these steps is just one piece of the puzzle to protects workers from falls.

Stay Safe from Falls

The other is making sure workers correctly use fall protection equipment. Types of equipment are safety net systems or personal fall arrest systems, otherwise known as harnesses. Making sure workers know how to equip and use these devices can go a long way in keeping them safe on the job site.

Of course, there are plenty of other pieces of safety equipment you should make sure your workers use while on the job site. Wearing a hard hat can help protect the head from suffering blows. There is always the potential for objects to fall from above or for workers to hit their head on fixed objects.

Safety vests help keep workers visible, especially in an area frequented by trucks or other mobile equipment. Wearing gloves to handle material can also be important in keeping employees safe from injury or being exposed to dangerous chemicals. And of course, make sure workers wear the proper shoe is definitely important on a job site.

Wearing work boots can protect the foot, toes, and ankle from heavy objects and other everyday hazards on a construction site. The proper work boots are also designed with grips on the soles, making it easier to have sure footing when working in precarious places, such as on a roof.

In addition, eye and face protection is important. Safety glasses or face shields should be worn during work involving welding, cutting, grinding or nailing. They should also be worn when exposed to electrical hazards.

As someone looking to keep your job site safe, you need to make sure your employees abide by these standards. You cannot be afraid to hold them accountable, especially since their safety is at stake.

Creating and utilizing safety checklists is a good way to keep yourself and your employees accountable. It also a great way to go through and make sure your job site is up to par. There are standards in place to govern things like the build and support of a trench, which is important to avoid trench collapses.

It is also important to make sure the proper people are certified to use certain equipment. Crane operators and/or forklift operators must be certified and taught how to properly and safely operate equipment. You should also make sure the equipment being used is in working order and is maintained regularly to ensure its safety.

Finally, a big part of ensuring safety on your job site is by communicating potential hazards. This does not just mean telling people by mouth to be aware of possible hazards. It means hanging the proper signs with warnings about the possible hazards that exist. These signs should be vibrant and stand out so everyone can see them.

The same should be kept in mind when dealing with hazardous chemicals. It is recommended to have and maintain a Material Safety Data Sheet for each hazardous chemical on site and make it accessible to all employees at any time and in any language necessary. Train your employees on the Sheet and about the risks associated with the hazardous chemicals.

As is clearly evident, there is a lot involved when it comes to a job site. Maintaining its safety and the safety of its workers a full-time job and one that should be taken with great care. Never worry about overdoing it — in the end, each worker’s safety and livelihood is in your hands.

This blog is posted on HRZone. Be sure to follow them for more of my human resources-related articles published weekly.