Archive for November, 2011

DWI – without getting behind the wheel?

By admin

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Sometime when talking to our friends and family we can often be told that’s “TMI,” or Too Much Information” when being told something that the person didn’t particularly want to know.  However, in some instances we can never have ‘Too Much Information!”
I received a telephone call from a potential client who had gotten into trouble for being a good Samaritan.  She received a late night telephone call from a friend of hers who was charged with Driving While Intoxicated in Hamilton Township, Mercer County.  The good Samaritan had driven from her residence in Hillsborough, NJ to Hamilton Township to pick up her friend from the Hamilton Police Department. 

 
Before she was allowed to take her friend home she had to sign a document that was placed before her by the police officer.    Unfortunately, she didn’t really read the document.  What she signed was a document known John’s Law, which is a liability warning acknowledging that he/she is picking up someone who has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

It was almost 2:00 am by the time they returned to Hillsborough.  During the ride home the good Samaritan’s car began making a funny noise.   It was late and the good Samaritan had to get up for work that morning.  Her friend offered to take her car for a ride around her apartment complex to see if she could figure out what was wrong with the car while the good Samaritan went to bed.

At 4:00 am that same morning, the good Samaritan is awaken by the telephone.  The Princeton Township Police Department is calling her.  It seems that her friend took her car for more than a spin around the apartment complex.  In fact, she crashed her car into a tree and is now in the hospital where she has been admitted for her injuries.

The good Samaritan rushes to the hospital to check on her friend.  While there she talks to the police about the accident.  She later received a summons in the mail from the police department.

N.J.S.A. 39:4-50 (a) (Driving While Intoxicated) provides in part “ ….a person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more ….OR PERMITS ANOTHER PERSNON WHO IS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR, NARCOTIC, HALLUCINOGENIC INFLUENCE OR HABIT-PRODUCING DRUG TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY HIM OR IN HIS CUSTODY OR CONTROL OR PERMITS ANOTHER TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE WITH A BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION OF 0.08% OR MORE….IN THE DEFENDANT’S BLOOD SHALL BE SUBJECT TO”

In other words, the good Samaritan is now being charged with permitting someone who she knew was intoxicated with driving her vehicle.  Under the statute the good Samaritan faces the same loss of her driver’s license, fines and surcharges as if she was actually driving the vehicle herself.  These are serious charges and she will now have to defend those charges in municipal court.

Aging Population Leads to Increase in Nursing Home Problems

By Sherri L. Warfel

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Between 1946-64, America experienced a population explosion referred to as the baby boom era.  76 million people were born.  There has not been a population of this size before of since.  Baby boomers now range in age from 48 to 66 and as fact of life aging brings with it the need for medical care.

As a result, nursing home construction has accelerated in the past decade which has conversely resulted in a shortage of qualified nurses and nursing staff.  Many of them are not paid enough to recruit the so-called “cream of the crop” and the turn-over rate is high.

Something a little more disturbing is a study that the US Department of Health and Human Services came out with in March of 2010.  They surveyed nursing homes across the country and found that 92% or 9 out of 10 of them had at least one convicted criminal on staff.  Now I don’t know what all their misdeeds were but I am betting you would not want them taking care of your mother or father.  I am attorney that has been with this firm for 12 years and I handle nursing home malpractice.  If you think you may have a claim, contact me about it.

Don’t allow the NJ Department of Banking & Insurance regulate your auto accident treatment!

By Edward Slaughter, Jr.

Monday, November 7th, 2011

A standard NJ auto policy provides up to $250,000 to pay for medical treatment due to an auto accident, regardless of fault. This is why NJ auto insurance is more expensive than in other states. Many states require less or no medical treatment coverage.

Now the auto insurance companies are seeking to restrict access to needed treatment by getting the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance to allow them to put auto accident victims into “organized delivery systems”. They will thereby restrict treatment to doctors or groups of their choosing, control what tests will be allowed, and otherwise deny needed care.

It is the mission of insurance companies to make profits. Profits are made by restricting payments to injured people. If they are given control of treatment they will try to limit it, thereby reducing what they have to pay. Thereby making more profit.

I have nothing against profit but insurance companies are not your typical business. They don’t make or sell a product. All they do is collect premiums from people against the risk that they may have to pay certain claims. If they never have to pay a claim they get to keep all the money they collect.

Insurance companies originally were there to spread the risk of loss amongst us all. We all paid premiums so that if one of us had to be helped in some way because of a loss that person would be made whole. Now the profit motive is all they are interested in. And they have the ability to influence politicians because they have a lot of money that they collected from people just like you.

You can oppose this by speaking or writing to the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance before it is too late.  They can be reached at 800-446-7467 or by visiting their website at http://www.state.nj.us/dobi/.