What if I was an Employee Injured on a Cruise Ship?

As enjoyable as a life at sea can be, one must also be prepared to face the potential dangers and great risks that accompany such a life. Accidents on ships and boats are unfortunately a hazard of working in the maritime industry and, sadly, all too common. If you have been recently injured in a work related incident at sea, you need an experienced maritime attorney you can trust to represent your case.

Riviere Advocacy Group LLC has experienced admiralty lawyers that specialize in representing seaman who have been injured on the job. They will see to it that you receive the treatment and compensation you deserve.

As most boat related injuries occur in areas that are not covered by New Jersey’s worker’s compensation laws, getting due coverage from your employer can and quickly turn into a legal battle. When such disputes arise, Riviere Advocacy Group LLC is there to help. We have a wealth of experience defending fisherman, barge-persons, dredgers, and cruise line employees. We will attempt to settle your case fast.

Under the parameters set forth by the Jones Act, injured seamen may be entitled to a variety of benefits if their injuries stem from negligence, defective equipment or a variety of other sources. If your injury is the result of any fault of your employer or the vessel itself, Riviere Advocacy Group LLC will see to it that you receive the maximum benefits of the Jones Act, including maintenance, cure and unearned or lost wages.

Our dog bite lawyers can help you get compensation for the physical and emotional scarring that results from dog attack.

One of our experienced Monmouth County lawyers will have to show that the defendant was the owner of the dog, that the dog bit the injured person, and the person bit by the dog was in a public place or lawfully on the owner’s property. When these three elements of the statute are satisfied the owner of the dog that bit the injured party is strictly liable for the injury caused by the dog bite, regardless of the owner’s prior knowledge of the dog’s propensity to bite.

If your case involves a landlord who is not the owner of the dog that bit someone, the New Jersey courts have ruled that in order to find the landlord responsible for the dog bite, the person who sustained an injury as a result of the dog bite must prove that the landlord knew or should have known of the dog’s vicious propensity to bite.

Under New Jersey law there is no “one bite free” law.

In New Jersey, owners are liable for their dogs’ attacks on other persons, regardless of whether the owners knew in advance that the dogs would attack. New Jersey provides for strict liability against the owner of a dog when someone in bitten by a dog regardless of the prior propensities of the dog to bite, as long as the statutory requirements are met. NJSA 4:19-16 (Liability of owner regardless of viciousness of dog) provides as follows: “The owner of any dog which shall bite a person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. For the purpose of this section, a person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner when he is on the property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner thereof.”

How do I proceed when it was the other driver’s fault?

Call your own insurance company first and put them on notice of the accident. In New Jersey, the State has what is called Personal Injury Protection laws, otherwise known as PIP. Under PIP, your own auto insurance will pay for medical treatment arising from an auto accident in which you are involved regardless of who is at fault. Therefore, in order to receive the benefits of PIP you will need to inform your insurance company of the accident and injuries. If you were also able to obtain the other driver’s information at the scene of the accident, you can also notify their insurance carrier as well. However, your first priority is to have one of our attorneys involved at the earliest possible time, in order to ensure that these insurance companies don’t trick you into making harmful statements that could ruin your chances of recovery. When Riviere Advocacy Group LLC is involved, our attorneys take care of communicating with the insurance companies up and through the day the case goes to trial, if need be.

What should I do at the scene of an accident?

Stop at the scene! Get the other driver’s information even if it appears that there is minor damage to your car, and that no one seems to have been injured. There are several reasons for this. The laws of most states require the police to be called, and the accident to be reported if the damage to the vehicles is even above a very minimal amount. Report it to be on the safe side and to avoid a possible motor vehicle or criminal violation for failure to report an accident.

If you are going to make any sort of claim against the other driver’s insurance company, you want to know his/her name, license number, insurance carrier, etc. This information will all be provided in the Crash Investigation Report that will be written by the responding officer(s). Do NOT ADMIT FAULT and DO NOT APOLOGIZE! If it was your fault, the Crash Investigation officer will most likely uncover who the culpable party is. Everything may have happened so quickly that it may have appeared to be your fault. However, you most likely did not see a host of things that happened that may prove that you were not at fault. However, if the other driver(s) talk to you or the police after the accident, listen carefully to what he/she says and, as soon as possible, write down exactly what was said. His/her statements may be useful later on. If you feel it is the other driver’s fault, without talking to much about what you did, tell the officer what the other driver did that was wrong.

If you feel any pain or discomfort take a ride in the ambulance and get Medical Treatment! Even if the pain is not significant now, it may be the sign that something serious is wrong with you. In all reality, you do not know what latent injuries might arise from the impact of the accident. Some injuries are to such isolated and obscure body parts, that it takes a while for the pain to set in or for the injuries to manifest themselves. Many of times you are in shock and your adrenaline masks the pain that you would be otherwise feeling. This is particularly true with spinal injuries in the neck and low back. Let the doctors tell you it is ok to go home and sleep it off! Do not make that judgment call yourself. Never say at the scene, “I feel fine.” At the very least, you should express that you are “shaken up” and are “uncertain” as to your medical condition. Even if you have not sought medical treatment at the scene, nor left the scene in an ambulance, if you are feeling pain, seek medical treatment immediately! You can start by going to an emergency room or your primary physician, but it is often a good idea to see specialists who focus upon your type of injuries.

The attorneys at Riviere Advocacy Group LLC work with a team of doctors who will provide the medical expertise to protect your legal rights and maximize your recovery.

What is a verbal threshold?

When New Jersey drivers purchase auto insurance, they are asked to select either the “verbal threshold” (also known as the “limitation on lawsuit threshold”) option or the “zero threshold” (also known as the “no limitation on lawsuit threshold”) option. If the driver purchases the “zero threshold” option, there is no limitation on that driver’s ability to sue for so-called “noneconomic damages” or “pain and suffering,” if that driver were to be injured in an automobile accident. However, if the driver selects the “verbal threshold” option, the driver can only sue for “noneconomic damages” or “pain and suffering” in certain circumstances.

If a driver who is subject to the “verbal threshold” is injured in an auto accident, that driver must submit a certification by a physician stating that, based on “objective clinical evidence,” the driver has suffered one of the injuries listed in AICRA (Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act of 1998). These injuries include: death and dismemberment, significant disfigurement or scarring, a displaced fracture, a loss of a fetus, or a permanent injury. An injury is permanent if it “has not healed to function normally and will not heal to function normally with further medical treatment.” Our Attorneys can be instrumental is evaluating and building a case where the “verbal threshold” applies to a case.

If I do sue, how long will it take to collect on my damages? How much will I get?

No one case is the same; therefore, each case has its own lifespan. Cases vary greatly based on a number of factors including: the nature and extent of your injuries, required medical treatment, time missed from work, the complexity of the case, the number of experts required, the number of parties involved, the court in which the case is filed, the number of judges available to hear cases, motion practice and a host of other factors. However, it is safe to say that the lifespan of most personal injury cases, is anywhere from 6 months to four years before completion. Often, Riviere Advocacy Group LLC., may attempt to settle your case before filing suit where feasible. Any attempt to settle will usually be attempted after all the necessary evidence is gathered to make a strong presentation and argument on your behalf.

Is there a limit to how long after an accident occurs that I can still sue for damages?

Time is of the essence in most cases and you do not want to wait till the last minute. The medical treatment and evidence that will be compiled by our attorneys is most efficiently and effectively done while the accident is “fresh” in time. Generally the Statute of Limitations in New Jersey is two years from the date of the accident. However, it can vary with the circumstances of the case. For instance, a minor involved in an accident has two (2) years from the date of his/her 18th birthday to sue regardless of how long ago the accident occurred.