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Tag Archives: New Jersey


Insurance Policy Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Your Auto Insurance Policy Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Let’s look at how your auto insurance policy can affect your personal injury claim. If you have been injured in a car accident, your ability to recover monetary compensation for the injuries caused by this accident can depend on your automobile insurance policy.

If you live in New Jersey or are a non-resident injured in a car accident that occurred in New Jersey, you are subject to one of two thresholds: (1) “Zero/No Threshold,” or (2) “Limited Right to Sue/Verbal Threshold/Lawsuit Threshold.”

The first policy, the “Zero/No Threshold” policy, allows any person who is injured in a car accident to make a personal injury claim, no matter the extent of the injury. As the policy title implies, there is no threshold, meaning there is no minimum injury requirement in order to receive compensation for your injury. The only dispute will concern the value of your injury. Thus, the dispute with the insurance carrier will concern how much your injury is worth. In these cases, the defending insurance company will take the position, regardless of how injured you may be, that the injury has “little or no value.” Thereafter, the insurance company will make a monetary offer of settlement reflecting their devalued settlement price in hopes that you accept their offer. The attorneys at Puff & Cockerill will defend your injury and fight against the insurance company’s tactics to reach a fair and equitable settlement on your behalf.

The second policy, the “Limited Right to Sue/Verbal Threshold/Lawsuit Threshold” policy, acts as a potential bar to certain types of injuries. In other words, this threshold policy can prevent you (the injured party) from bringing a lawsuit in a personal injury claim, unless the car accident results in the following injuries:

  • Death;
  • Dismemberment;
  • Significant disfigurement or significant scarring;
  • Displaced fractures;
  • Loss of a fetus; or
  • Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement.

As a result, the defending insurance company will use the “thresholds” as a defense to your personal injury claim. The insurance company may take a “no-pay” position on the claims it believes do not surpass the above mentioned thresholds, which to no surprise is a vast majority of the claims for injuries. Consequently, the insurance company will not offer any compensation for those personal injury claims. Even when your injuries surpass the threshold, the insurance company will still argue that your injuries have little or no value and it will make a small monetary settlement offer reflecting its position in hope that you accept the offer.

During the past thirty plus years of handling automobile accidents, our attorney’s have observed that most residents in New Jersey are subject to the “Limited Right to Sue/Verbal Threshold/Lawsuit Threshold” policy, largely because the policy is cheaper. Unfortunately, this cheaper threshold policy may (and often does) affect your ability to recover for your injuries. Additionally, this policy may affect your ability to find an attorney willing to take your case.

South Jersey personal injury claim representation

Puff & Cockerill LLC is devoted to aggressively representing people in a personal injury claim, no matter what automobile insurance policy section you selected. We represent people who have been injured in car accidents, regardless of the choice of policy, so long as your case warrants moving forward.
If you have been injured in a car accident or would like to speak with an attorney regarding your car accident, please contact the experienced attorneys at Puff & Cockerill LLC. The attorneys at Puff & Cockerill LLC have handled hundreds of car accident cases and have obtained favorable results on behalf of our clients for their injuries through aggressive representation of our clients no matter what the policy selection is.

Injured on the Job in New Jersey

Injured on the Job in New Jersey?

If you are an employee and injured on the job in New Jersey, you have rights under the laws of the State of New Jersey. Your rights include compensation from your employer for past and future medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. In order to promptly and properly receive compensation for your injury from your employer, there are several important initial steps that every injured employee should understand.

The important laws for work related injuries are found in the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act, N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 et seq. This Act provides the exclusive remedy available to an employee injured on the job. The Act is also, by operation of law, written into every employment contract in New Jersey.

As a starting point, the following is a quick summary of basic rights and information that you should be immediately aware of following any work related injury.

Injured on the Job in New Jersey? You are Entitled to Compensation from Employer
When personal injury is caused to an employee by accident arising out of and in the course of the employee’s employment, the employee is entitled to receive compensation from his employer. N.J.S.A. 34:15-1. In New Jersey, an injured employee may be compensated for that injury regardless of his or her fault. Intentional injuries by the employee, however, fall outside the scope of the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Your employer (not you) is required to provide the injured employee such medical, surgical and other treatment and hospital service as is necessary to cure and relieve the worker of the effects of the work related injury. N.J.S.A. 34:15-15.

Injured on the Job in New Jersey? You may be entitled to Temporary Disability Benefits
When an injured employee is unable to work for more than 7 days, he or she is eligible to receive temporary disability benefits. N.J.S.A. 34:15-14. Temporary disability benefits, in layman’s terms, are monetary payments made to the injured employee while that employee is unable to work due to the work related injury.
After all of the medical treatment has been provided to the injured employee and the injured employee has been discharged from medical care, the injured employee may be entitled to a monetary award for the injury that he or she sustained.

Injured on the Job in New Jersey? You may be entitled to Permanent Disability Benefits
When the workplace injury results in a permanent disability to the injured employee, benefits are payable to the employee based on a percentage of the employee’s permanent disability. The percentage of disability can range from 1% to 100%.

Injured on the Job in New Jersey? Your Homeowners’ Insurance Policy and Workers’ Compensation Claims
Unknown to most of the public is the fact that your homeowners’ insurance policy may under certain circumstances provide coverage should someone working at your home have such a workplace injury. For further information, please contact the attorneys at Puff & Cockerill.

Injured on the Job in New Jersey? You Deserve Legal Advice to Pursue Your Recovery
If you are injured on the job in New Jersey, you deserve to know your rights and receive proper medical attention. There are many different sections of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Statute. Some sections may apply to your case, while others may not.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney regarding an injury sustained on the job, please contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Puff & Cockerill LLC. The attorneys at Puff & Cockerill LLC have handled hundreds of workers’ compensation cases and obtained compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering, in addition to receiving favorable settlements on behalf of our clients.

Power of Attorney Document

Why you Need a Power of Attorney Document in NJ

A Power of Attorney document (POA) is a document that provides an efficient and cost effective transfer of authority from you to another. With a power of attorney, you can rest assured that in the event of your incapacity, a person you have selected will have the authority to act on your behalf with a clear understanding of your priorities and goals.

Without a POA, you expose yourself and your family to costly and potentially confusing legal proceedings, and the intervention of state authority. It is simply a fact that in the absence of a POA, you have created a vacuum of authority wherein the court, not you, makes the call as to the identity of your agent. That agent will then have the authority to proceed on your behalf, to make binding decisions that may or may not be in accordance with your intent.

Power of Attorney authority may be granted temporarily, and it can be withdrawn in the event that you change your mind as to either your selected agent or the scope of the authority granted therein.

When there is no Power of Attorney, legal costs can decimate one’s estate with an undesirable outcome. The worst calls we receive are, “My dad has Alzheimer’s and now he cannot sign a check.” It’s too late then. You should create a POA before the fact, while you’re lucent and competent. In fact, we recommend creating a POA at 18, when you become an adult. No one knows how their lives will proceed, all we can do is prepare ourselves so that whatever occurs, our families and ourselves are protected and prepared to the full extent possible. As Benjamin Franklin professed, “a stitch in time, saves nine.”

Q: What type of situation warrants the need for a Power of Attorney?

A: Incapacity – the onset of a short-term or long-term debilitating condition either physical, mental or emotional – typically triggers the use of a POA.

Q: What details should be covered in the document

A: The Power of Attorney grants the authority to do what you want to have done. POAs are typically narrowly construed by the court, so the document should be detailed according to your wishes. Unless powers are specifically and clearly stated, they do not exist.

A Power of Attorney can be limited to a single financial account or can encompass the entirety of an individual’s estate. In the former, each asset should be considered. We highly recommend adding additional powers that should be covered in your Power of Attorney and listed as follows:

Health Care Decisions – In a world where HIPAA limits a physician’s ability to disclose health care information, it is vital for an agent to have authority to interact with the medical community to make decisions on your behalf.

Long-term Health Care – Long-term health care planning powers should be expressly stated. The more guidance you can provide your agent and your family, the easier you will make their decisions.

Financial Authority – Money supports your care. A plan should be in place so that your agent understands the authority he has been granted and your wishes as to the liquidation/expenditure of your assets.

Real Estate – whether the POA should grant the agent’s authority to sell, transfer, and/or mortgage real property is an important discussion, especially where Medicaid considerations are involved.

Gifting / Discretionary Spending – without express written authority from you to make gifts, your agent will not be able to give Christmas or Birthday gifts to your family, or even tithe to your church.

Q: Why should I hire an attorney to create a Power of Attorney?

A: An experienced attorney can provide insight and understanding in the creation of a document that is too often treated as a throw-away. The fact is a well-crafted document, within the context of our hopes and intentions, can support our families in times of crisis. Simple legal forms often lack the express authority and detail required to perfect an individual’s goals and objectives.

Further, a carefully drafted and properly executed POA is a form of litigation prevention. In a world where families can be extraordinarily aggressive in asserting authority over still-living elders, a defendable POA is the first layer of protection to ensure that your intentions will be honored.

For more information about Power of Attorney documents, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney. An experienced attorney may help you understand the benefits and details of a POA to help enable you to make the proper decisions for you and your loved ones.