The other driver had no insurance or a very low policy…now what?

This is why it is very important to make an educated decision when choosing an auto policy in New Jersey. You want to choose a policy that will cover yourself and your family and have an adequate amount Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. These types of coverage, which are not automatically provided unless chosen, will compensate for any lack of insurance policy benefits of others. Even the most serious of injuries, in most cases, will only be covered up the policy limits of the coverage of the other driver involved and any additional contingency coverage that you have chosen. When choosing a policy, by having adequate coverage, you can count on your own coverage if the other driver was not responsible enough to have it themselves. A smart choice is to purchase UM/UIM coverage at the highest level you can afford. Feel free to contact Riviere Advocacy Group LLC when making a insurance decision and we will be happy to review your insurance coverage with you.

Here is an example: If the other driver has a $15,000 policy and your injuries/damages are “valued” at $75,000, the recovery on that $75,000 that you will actually realize depend on the UM/UIM coverage that you chose. If your coverage is for $100,000, the other party’s insurance company will pay his $15,000 and your own insurance will pay you the balance, or $60,000. If your UM/UIM coverage is only $15,000, you will not recover anymore than the $15,000 paid by the other driver’s policy. Although car insurance may seem like a mundane purchase made each year, it can have a serious impact on your finances in the future!

What bills does workers compensation cover? What kind of income can I expect?

Workers compensation will provide for reasonable costs of medical treatment, temporary disability income for the lost wages you experience due to lost work and permanent disability income. The rate of compensation for lost wages is 70% of your average weekly wage, with a capped amount put in place by the state. You initially must be out of work for at least seven days, due to your injuries, before becoming eligible for temporary disability (benefits are retroactive to the first day). Medical benefits kick in on the date of your injury.

What if my employer says they don’t have Worker’s Compensation?

If your boss says he/she is not insured or their insurance company refuses to provide coverage, you should contact Riviere Advocacy Group LLC right away to help you with your claim. Due to the complex laws, paperwork and other tenets of the Worker’s Compensation Court you need to be represented by an attorney to protect your workers compensation claim. You need not pay an attorney’s fee to retain our firm, any fee is provided at the end of the case as part of the compensation.

How long will take till I get paid on my claim?

No case is predictable to an exact time and each case is different, but generally speaking worker’s compensation cases take approximately one year or more to complete, depending on the complexity of the case.

Our attorneys cannot really break ground on your case in the courts until you are done treating with the medical providers. However, we will immediately file your claim petition and begin working with the insurance carrier to develop a strong case on your behalf.

After we file a claim petition, commonly referred to as a CP, your employer will have approximately 30 days to file an answer. Once an answer is filed, all parties will begin discovery. Discovery is a legal process through which our attorneys exchange information with your employer, to develop the information necessary to prove your case.

The next step, after discovery, is to schedule permanency examinations. You will be required to undergo an independent medical examination with a doctor of our firm’s choice (referred to as an IME). Around the same time will be required to undergo a defense medical examination with a doctor of your employer’s choice (referred to as a DME). These examinations will be used to determine the permanency of your injuries.

After these examinations, your case will be listed by the Division of Workers Compensation for a status conference. Our attorneys will go to this conference and meet with an attorney representing your employer, as well as the Judge. During this conference, either a settlement that meets your approval will be reached or all parties will agree to try the case.

Of course everything that is discussed above takes time and nothing happens overnight. Your cooperation and attentiveness to our phone calls, paperwork and so forth helps to keep the case moving along.

How much will I receive for my injuries?

The New Jersey Workers Compensation Act has grids which reflect what an injured worker with a permanent injury is entitled to receive. By looking at these girds, an amount certain can be calculated, which an injured worker is entitled to receive. The dollar figures on the chart cannot be changed. Obviously, the greater the disability, the more money you will receive. Our attorneys will explain these girds upon your free consultation with our firm.

So now that I am disabled how will I ever work again?

New Jersey has a series of employment laws that may help you in dealing with workplace injuries. If an employer discriminates against you because of your disability call our firm, we will explain what rights you may have under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Laws Against Discrimination. These laws can provide for reasonable accommodation of your disability, in order to allow your continued employment. To put it in perspective let’s say you have suffered a back injury: if the job could be restructured so that you could take sitting breaks that would allow you to still do your work, this would be a type of reasonable accommodation. An employer may need to provide such a reasonable accommodation. Accommodations may include modifying the workplace to make it readily accessible to your disability, modifying your work schedule or reassigning you to a vacant position which you are qualified for.

Getting a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) turned into a Final Restraining Order (FRO)

A Final Restraining Order (FRO) will only be issued after a trial is heard. The Judge will hear from both the victim (plaintiff) and accused (defendant). A Final Restraining Order (FRO) trial is usually scheduled within 7-10 days of the TRO being granted.

During the FRO trial, the Plaintiff has to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence. For an FRO to be granted the Plaintiff must prove that they qualify as a victim under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Act, that the Defendant committed an act of Domestic Violence, and that the FRO is necessary to protect the life, health or well being of the victim. If the FRO is granted by the Judge the FRO in most cases will continue the conditions contained in the TRO and also add additional conditions including: The defendant will be subjected to fingerprinting, N.J.S.A. 53:1-15 and entered into a domestic violence registry. (The Administrative Office of the Courts maintains a central registry of all persons who have had domestic violence restraining orders entered against them, N.J.S.A. 2C: 25-34).

If a Final Restraining Order is entered the defendant will not be able to possess a firearm, or a firearm purchaser’s identification card nor will the defendant be able to apply for a firearm purchaser’s identification card in the future. In most cases the defendant will be prohibited from returning to the marital or shared residence if it is also the residence of the alleged victim. The defendant’s ability to visit any children in common will be severely curtailed. The alleged victim (plaintiff) has the right to retain a lawyer for the Final Restraining Order and very often appears for the Final Restraining Order with a lawyer.