All posts by David H. Kaplan

Personal Injury Law: What to Look for in a Lawyer

After an injury-causing accident, one of the most difficult issues that victims struggle with is choosing an attorney. There are literally thousands of lawyers throughout the state competing for the same injured clients, and it can be difficult for consumers to figure out how to choose the attorney that would be best for them.

Here are some of the things that you should look for when choosing an attorney after an accident.

Find a Lawyer Who Works in a Particular Area of Law

Personal injury law encompasses the representation of victims injured in a wide variety of accidents, including commercial vehicle accidents, slip and falls, industrial accidents, and accidents involving defective consumer products. You should find a lawyer that focuses his or her practice in a particular area of law. For example, if you were involved in a car accident, you should look for an attorney who holds himself or herself out as a car accident lawyer.

Make Sure Your Lawyer Handles His or Her Own Legal Work

One aspect of legal practice that many nonlawyers are unaware of is the fact that some firms have the majority of their legal work done by paralegals or refer cases to other attorneys and then share in the fees when the case is over. Be sure to ask your New Jersey attorney whether he or she uses nonlawyers for assistance with certain tasks or plans to work with another lawyer on your case.

Ask Whether Your Lawyer is Willing to Take Your Case to Trial

As an accident victim, you should be aware of the fact that the vast majority of personal injury cases settle out of court. Unfortunately, some attorneys never take cases to trial, preferring to settle them and collecting their fee without having to take the time to prepare for litigation. This often results in less compensation for the client than he or she deserves. Make sure that your attorney has taken cases to trial in the past and is willing to go to court in your case if justice demands it.

Call 973-426-0021 today for a free consultation.

If you have been involved in an accident that you believe was caused by the negligence of another person, you should call an attorney immediately. To schedule a free consultation with a New Jersey personal injury lawyer, call David H. Kaplan, Attorney at Law today at 973-426-0021 or contact us online.

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Wrongful Death Settlements and Awards

When a loved one is suddenly killed in an accident or due to violence, your family can be launched into a state of extreme grief and disbelief. Once you begin trying to process the emotional impact of your loss, the practical impact of the loss will likely become more and more apparent. For instance, did your loved one regularly contribute to the household by taking care of the children, doing repairs, or through other important and regular services? Was your loved one a primary financial provider for the family? All of these losses can cause extreme stress on top of the grief you already feel.

Wrongful death laws in New Jersey allow the family members of a person who was wrongfully killed to file a legal claim against the responsible party. In this claim, you can seek compensation for the costs you incurred due to the death and also for the future losses your household has experienced, such as financial contributions and household services. You may also seek financial recovery for your emotional losses, including loss of comfort, care, and companionship of a parent or a spouse. Because there are many different types of losses available – many of which are intangible – calculating the value of a wrongful death case can be a complex feat.

The reasonableness of a wrongful death settlement or award will vary widely depending on the circumstances of a particular case. For instance, some factors that may be considered include:

  • How old was the victim?
  • Was the victim in good health and what was their estimated life expectancy?
  • What was the educational and professional background of the victim, which impacts their earning power?
  • Did the victim have children who were dependent?

Also considered can be the nature of the incident that caused the death. For example, a negligent driver who accidentally hit a pedestrian because they were looking down for a second may not be held liable for as much as a driver who was excessively over the legal limit for alcohol and could barely drive their car at the time.

Call 973-426-0021 today for a free consultation.

In order to ensure your wrongful death case value is accurately calculated, you need a New Jersey wrongful death lawyer handling your case. David H. Kaplan Attorney at Law has extensive experience representing families in wrongful death cases and will always fight for the maximum recovery that you deserve. Please call today to learn more about how we can help.

An Account of Workers Compensation Challenges

If you are injured while at work, you may assume that you will inform your employer of your injuries and have a claim for workers compensation benefits approved to cover your medical expenses and lost wages if you miss work. Unfortunately, not every workers compensation case goes this smoothly and many injured workers experience wrongful delays or claim denials, which can leave them with serious financial and emotional problems.

Imagine if the following happened to you: You were at work like any other day until you fall from a raised platform and severely injure your back. You immediately tell your employer and go to the emergency department, where you are referred to specialists. You are instructed not to work for a period of time and are given pain medication and instructed to undergo physical therapy for months. Nothing seems to be improving.

Finally, you opt for a new type of surgery that is supposed to relieve your back pain. The surgery is not successful so you then undergo a second operation. The recovery time from your procedures lasts for months, during which you are unable to even care for yourself, needless to say work. Even after these surgeries, you still require serious painkillers just to function on a daily basis and require long periods of rest.

After you file the necessary paperwork for workers compensation benefits, you are shocked to learn that the insurer has denied coverage of your surgeries or for all of your lost wages. The insurance company is claiming that physical therapy and medication should have been enough to treat your injury and that the surgeries were elective – and not necessary – procedures. In addition, the recovery time after the surgeries is deemed unnecessary and will not be compensated. Not only are you still feeling pain, but you are now also facing a mountain of financial issues and challenges working again.

Sadly, the above situation is all too familiar for many injured workers who have had benefits wrongfully denied. The representation of a workers compensation attorney can increase your chances of a successful claim as well as help you fight against wrongful denials so that you can avoid situations like the one above.

Call 973-426-0021 today for a free consultation.

If you have been injured having a workers compensation or New Jersey personal injury lawyer on your side can greatly improve the outcome of your case in many situations. Please call David H. Kaplan Attorney at Law to discuss your situation for free today.

Filing a Claim after an Auto Accident

If you do much driving, you’ll unfortunately probably be involved in a car accident sooner or later. Whether it’s a simple fender bender or something much worse, the collision will almost certainly require making a claim with either the other driver’s or your own insurance company. Although no two accidents are ever exactly alike, there are several steps that you should follow in order to maintain the best chance of being fairly compensated for the losses you incur.

First Things First

The most important first step in any accident is to make sure that everyone involved in the accident is safe and unharmed. If there is any indication that anyone has been injured, do not hesitate to call the paramedics or 911 (if necessary). Even minor accidents can result in injury, and it is vital not only for the safety of those involved but also for the ultimate success of any claim of damages that you seek prompt medical attention.

Additionally, call the police and request that an officer be sent to the scene of the accident to create an accident report, which can ultimately be very important to your case. Finally, don’t forget to get contact information from any witnesses and get contact, vehicle, and insurance information from any other drivers who are involved.

What’s Next?

It’s always important to seek prompt medical treatment for any injury, and if you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to let your doctor know. Make sure that you complete any treatments as prescribed, and if your condition doesn’t improve, consider obtaining a second opinion. Any claim for monetary damages based on bodily injury will strongly depend upon thorough medical documentation of your injuries as they relate to the accident and of the effect your injuries have had on your life.

Contact your car insurance company to report your accident as soon as it’s feasible to do so. You should also report the collision to the other driver’s insurance company. But it’s important to remember that, especially if you’ve incurred an injury in the accident, it might very well be in your best interests to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney first. Insurance companies can be daunting to deal with in the best of times; after an accident, the burden multiplies. A skilled lawyer with expertise in claim settlement negotiations can guide you through this difficult process.

Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Today

Car accident claims can be very complex and the insurance companies that you have to deal with might not always put your best interests at the forefront. Being involved in an accident can leave you not only anxious but also injured. An experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer can help. David H. Kaplan, Attorney at Law has the experience, expertise, skill, and commitment to fight for your personal injury claim. For a free consultation, please give us a call at 973-426-0021 today.

Employment Discrimination

Even in today’s age of relative enlightenment, employment discrimination is real and should never be dismissed or ignored. If you are an employer, you should be conscious of and committed to treating your employees and prospective employees fairly and equitably. As an employee, you need to know that you have the right to be treated fairly – without regard to any personal identifier, be it race, gender, religion, or almost anything else.

Changes for 2017

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released an updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) to begin in fiscal year 2017. In essence, an SEP represents an outline of where the EEOC intends to focus its attention and resources in the years to come – while continuing to enforce all current laws regarding discrimination.

The EEOC has identified six areas of national priority to begin in 2017:

  • Eliminating barriers to recruitment and hiring, including racially-focused background checks, inquiries into date of birth, and disability-focused medical questions;
  • Protecting those communities that are underserved and vulnerable to employment discrimination;
  • Addressing issues as they emerge and develop;
  • Continuing to monitor for equitable pay;
  • Maintaining equal access to legal guidance; and
  • Implementing holistic prevention programs against systematic harassment.

These priorities are important to employers and employees alike. As employees, you need to be aware not only of your rights but also of how you are being treated in relation to those rights. As an employer, you need to be aware of the EEOC’s changing priorities and how you can contribute to creating a business culture in which your employees can thrive.

Signs of Employment Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace is often subtle (the discriminator may not even be consciously aware) and is certainly difficult to prove. There are several signs, however, that are potentially indicative of employment discrimination:

  • Lack of employee diversity;
  • Roles that are stereotypically allotted according to gender;
  • Lack of equitable promotion;
  • Reviews that are not reflective of employee’s skills; and
  • Alienation (either professionally or socially).

Discrimination in the workplace can be difficult to pinpoint and to prove, but its effects can be devastating. If you think you may be experiencing such discrimination or if you believe you’ve witnessed this kind of discrimination, do not turn a blind eye; help is available.

Contact a New Jersey Employment Discrimination Attorney Today

Discriminating against any employee – on a range of personal identifiers – is not only harmful but is also against the law and shouldn’t be tolerated. If you are suffering from the adverse effects of discriminatory treatment on the job, do not hesitate to contact David H. Kaplan, Attorney at Law – an experienced and skilled New Jersey employment discrimination lawyer with the expertise and commitment to help you. For a free consultation, please give us a call at 973-426-0021 today.

Appealing a Workers Compensation Denial

If you’re involved in a workers compensation claim that’s been denied, you know how stressful that can be – not only are you injured but you’re also left without adequate compensation. Workers compensation refers to the insurance that most employers are required to provide for employees who become injured on the job. In general, it stands in as a replacement for most (but not all) related lawsuits that you could bring against your employer. However, not all workers compensation claims are approved.

Claim Denied

If your workers compensation claim has been denied, there are steps that you can take to appeal the decision:

  • Contact your workers compensation insurer to ensure that your denied claim wasn’t the result of a simple clerical error or similar mistake;
  • Request that your insurer reconsider the claim denial and provide the insurer with any newly acquired information regarding your case;
  • Gather the necessary paperwork to proceed with an appeal – the procedure for appeals varies by state and must be closely adhered to; and
  • Keep track of the evidence of your case, including medical records and evidence that the injury is work related.

If your workers compensation claim has been denied, you should should not hesitate to seek the expert advice of an experienced workers compensation attorney. The process of appeal can be complex, and the outcome is often uncertain. A lawyer skilled in workers compensation can guide your case all the way through the process of appeal – from contacting the workers compensation insurer on your behalf to gathering evidence and filing necessary documents. Most important of all, your workers compensation lawyer can skillfully represent your best interests at your appeal hearing.

Contact a New Jersey Workers Compensation Attorney Today

Workers compensation claims are difficult in their own right – you’ve been injured and that is never easy. But when your claim has been denied, it can be especially stressful. You do not have to navigate this difficult path alone. Help is available. If either your workers compensation claim or the claim of someone you care about has been denied, do not hesitate to contact David H. Kaplan, Attorney at Law – an experienced and skilled New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer with the expertise, experience, and commitment to fight for your claim. For a free consultation, please give us a call at 973-426-0021 today.

Pursuing a Premises Liability Suit

A premises liability suit results from a claim that you were injured on someone else’s property due to their negligence. The law provides us all with the right not to be harmed by foreseeable dangers on either public or private property. In other words, property owners have a legal obligation to remove safety hazards from their properties’ premises.

Common Issues that Result in Premises Liability Claims

Both private and public properties can be declared unsafe for a variety of reasons that include such things as improper or inferior construction, failure to adequately maintain the property, and negligence in general. There are several specific premise liability issues that are most often brought to suit:

  • Slip and fall;
  • Dog bite;
  • Porch or stair collapse;
  • Unsafe walkways;
  • Fire; and
  • Swimming pool injuries.

It’s every property owner’s responsibility to keep their properties free from dangers such as these.

Why bring a Premises Liability Claim?

People tend to think that bringing such a claim is simply greedy or opportunistic, but that is rarely the case. When you suffer negligent injuries on someone else’s property, there can be serious and even devastating consequences – even when they aren’t necessarily immediately apparent. It’s important to consider the long-term effects of the injury, which can become costlier and more complicated as time goes on.

For most people, however, the decision to bring a premises liability suit is based upon their desire to ensure that their own inaction won’t cause anyone else to suffer the same fate. In fact, this is a very compelling reason to move forward with such a claim. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, a premises liability suit will provide you with a meaningful opportunity to ensure that person’s negligence will not harm anyone else. Many people consider this a powerful motivator.

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, call an attorney who is skilled in premises liability suits to discuss your concerns and your case.

Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Today

Premises liability cases are often complicated, and they can leave the injured party feeling somehow responsible or disinclined to bring claim. But premises liability suits represent an important legal mechanism whereby property owners are held responsible for maintaining their properties in a manner that is free from foreseeable safety hazards. This is important for everyone. If you or someone you care about has been involved in an accident caused by a property owner’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer. David H. Kaplan, Attorney at Law has the experience, expertise, skill, and commitment to fight for your premises liability claim. For a free consultation, please give us a call at 973-426-0021 today.

OSHA Policy: Workers Compensation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency that ensures that employees have a safe and healthy place to work. It also reviews how workplaces handle workplace injuries, including employer policies involving workers’ compensation claims. Earlier this year, OSHA published a new policy rule regarding reporting workplace injuries of which all employers should be aware. One important issue this rule addresses is when employers can perform a drug test after a workplace injury.

Many employers have had blanket policies that require a drug test after any workplace accident that is reported. However, OSHA officials have been concerned that such policies may prevent employees from reporting work-related accidents and injuries out of fear of failing a drug test and being terminated. Section 1904.35(b)(1)(iv) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act prevents the following:

  • Any policies or procedures that discourage or deter an employee from reporting a job-related injury; and
  • Discriminating against or discharging employees for reporting a job-related injury.

OSHA asserted that drug testing any employee who was injured in a workplace accident would likely deter or discourage the accurate reporting of injuries and that terminating employees who failed said drug tests could constitute retaliation for reporting their injuries. Therefore, the final rule sets out the following guidelines for employers in regard to post-accident drug testing:

  • Only conduct drug testing after an accident when drug use may have likely contributed to the accident
  • Only conduct drug testing when trying to determine current impairment caused by drugs
  • Do not conduct drug testing as a punitive measure for reporting a workplace injury

In short, if an employee reports an injury because of an equipment malfunction that was completely beyond their control, a drug test would not be appropriate since the employee’s actions did not contribute to the incident. However, if an employee reports an injury from a vehicle collision, drug testing may be proper as impairment could have been a cause of the crash.

Call 973-426-0021 today for a free consultation.

If you believe that your employer has violated OSHA by deterring reporting or discriminating against you for reporting a workplace injury, you should not hesitate to discuss your situation with a skilled workers compensation attorney. When you call David H. Kaplan Attorney at Law, you can speak with an experienced New Jersey lawyer regarding your options, so please call our office for help today.

How does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Work?

When someone is injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, they have the right to seek compensation for their injury-related losses from the party that caused the accident. However, what happens when the accident victim does not survive?

Families who have lost a loved one in a sudden accident or because of the misconduct of others have the right under New Jersey law to file a claim for wrongful death against the responsible party. The following is some additional information about wrongful death lawsuits in NJ.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death can happen in a number of ways, and some of the more common include the following:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Dangerous pharmaceuticals or medical equipment
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Pedestrian or bicycle accidents
  • Falls
  • Defective products
  • Workplace accidents
  • Dangerous hazards on property
  • Assaults and intentional killings

What Constitutes Wrongful Death?

A death is considered to be wrongful if it is caused by the negligence or intentional acts of another person or party. In order to prove negligence, you must prove the following:

  • The party owed a duty of care to your deceased loved one;
  • The party breached that duty of care;
  • The breach caused the injuries that led to the death.

Because wrongful death lawsuits involve complex legal principles that must be addressed in order to be successful, it is imperative to seek assistance from an experienced wrongful death lawyer.

Recovery in Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Families experience devastating losses when a spouse, child, or parent unexpectedly dies. While the total loss you feel may be immeasurable, the following are the specific losses for which you can seek financial recovery from the liable party:

  • Medical costs stemming from the fatal injuries or illness
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of the financial contributions of the deceased
  • Loss of household services that would have been contributed by the deceased
  • Loss of care, companionship, comfort, and guidance

Call 973-426-0021 today for a free consultation.

If your loved one died due to someone’s negligent or intentional actions, you need an experienced wrongful death attorney to evaluate your case as soon as possible. There are time limits for filing wrongful death claims, so you should not delay in discussing your rights to compensation for your losses. David H. Kaplan Attorney at Law is a dedicated New Jersey lawyer who protects the rights of families who have suffered a devastating loss. Please contact our office to learn more today.

Potential Personal Injury: Samsung Recall

This past August, many tech-lovers rushed out to purchase the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which boasted several types of cutting-edge technology for smartphones including iris recognition, water resistance, curved dual-sided display, and improved software and storage capabilities. Pre-orders were so high that Samsung had trouble meeting supply demands as the Galaxy Note 7 phones flew off the shelves.

Less than a month after its release date, however, Samsung issued a recall for the phones, claiming there had been reports of excessive heat radiating from the batteries, some of which had caught on fire or exploded. Samsung initially began replacing the defective phones with new ones that were deemed safe. However, the replacement phones also began catching fire and Samsung subsequently stopped selling the Galaxy Note 7 altogether.

Design Defects

New technological reports have been emerging that indicate the inherent design of the Galaxy Note 7 was likely to blame for the fires and explosions. It appears that Samsung tried to keep the phone super thin, so it packed the battery in tightly and even thinned out certain aspects of the battery itself. Any stress on the phone – such as putting it in a pocket while sitting – could put added pressure on the battery. Eventually, the positive and negative components of the battery, which are not supposed to touch, would press together, resulting in the excess heat, fires, and explosions. While neither Samsung nor the Consumer Product Safety Commission has confirmed these reports, tech experts are claiming that in Samsung’s attempt to provide a cutting-edge phone, it put users in danger. Experts also claim that designers should have known the design was potentially dangerous.

Were You Injured by a Galaxy Note 7?

There are numerous reports of fires and explosions damaging cars, homes, and other personal property, as well as causing personal injuries to users worldwide. Companies such as Samsung have the duty to design and sell a safe product and, if consumers are injured, Samsung should be held accountable for its dangerous actions. Injured victims may have the right to compensation for their losses.

Call 973-426-0021 today for a free consultation.

Anyone who has been injured by a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 or any other type of defective product should discuss their rights with a highly experienced New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer as soon as possible. David H. Kaplan Attorney at Law has represented the rights of many injury victims, so please call our office for more information today.