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Newton NJ Personal Injury and Family Law Blog

Dangers and risks of spiked wheel ornaments

Many New Jersey drivers have probably noticed at least one big rig or tractor trailer sporting spiked wheel ornaments. These ornaments have received critical attention due to their connection with accident injuries and accident risks. Trucking companies, truck drivers and the government are taking notice.

The spiked ornaments may be made out of a variety of materials, including plastic, aluminum and other metals. They present a directly higher risk of accidental injury. According to the statistics, about a quarter of the pedestrians and half of the bicyclists killed by a large truck first impact the side of the truck. Spiked wheel ornaments, especially if they are made of metal, only exacerbate the risk of injury or death from side impacts.

Domestic violence victims more vulnerable during disasters

When New Jersey residents face serious and life-threatening disasters, those who are in abusive situations can be vulnerable. On top of restricting access to basic human needs and increasing stress, events such as hurricanes can increase the prevalence and severity of domestic violence incidents. As such, experts say that domestic violence services should be included in assistance and services provided to disaster victims.

When professionals begin responding to a disaster, they can promote the empowerment of those in domestic violence situations by ensuring that their basic needs are met. They can also provide comfort and support by assisting them with finding post-disaster resources. Once the disaster is over and the community is coming together to recover and rebuild, the professionals can continue to connect those experiencing domestic violence to long-term services that can help them get out of the situation.

Co-parenting and household rules after a divorce

It can be important for divorced parents in New Jersey to establish consistent rules for their young children as they move between households. These could range from rules about bedtimes to video games to how children dress. The actual substance of some of these rules is less important than that children get a sense of security from their consistency. Parents should be prepared to compromise although there may be points on which they feel they cannot budge. If they know what these points are ahead of time, negotiations might go more smoothly.

Parents can also turn to mediators or parenting classes for help in these negotiations. A mediator sits down with parents and helps them work to resolve conflict and reach a solution that satisfies them both. In parenting classes, parents may learn more about the importance of consistent rules or about parenting norms. Therapists, attorneys and family law courts may have recommendations for these.

How to deal with a difficult cparent

New Jersey estranged couples with young children may struggle to co-parent after their marriage comes to an end. One parent might be particularly difficult. This could be a temporary situation that resolves itself once the parent adjusts to the divorce. However, whether or not this happens, as long as the conflict does not involve issues such as addiction or abuse, there may be ways to ameliorate the situation.

One of the most important things a parent must do is keep the focus on the best interests of the child. This means refusing to engage with the other parent on other issues including those that may have led to the divorce. Communication should be limited to matters involving the child. Parents should draw strong boundaries around any discussion of their personal lives.

Slip and fall injuries are more likely than previously thought

New Jersey retail shoppers might not know that the risk of slipping and falling is underestimated by many companies. A study has found that while companies are liable for the injuries that may occur on their property, many do not take enough or the right precautions that can help prevent slipping and falling.

The survey, conducted by New Pig, found that even though over 10 possible locations on company properties were observed to have a higher risk of slip and fall accidents, 46 percent of respondents believed that their own properties only had between zero and 3 hazardous locations. Furthermore, given that just under half of the respondents believed they had 3 or less locations with a higher risk for accidents involving slipping and falling, most the respondents did not place floormats in any other location than entranceways.

No rush on auto insurance during property division

One of the most complicated tasks a New Jersey couple is likely to face is organizing their divorce. Small details can easily be overlooked or rushed through with the most attention given to child custody, division of business assets and wrangling over objects of sentimental value. One of those small details is the separation of car insurance policies, and it can have serious repercussions.

Even an amicable divorce is usually accompanied by the strong desire for autonomy and rapid division of all marital property by at least one partner. This can put a rush on the detail of auto insurance, but each spouse needs to take care not to avoid being left without such coverage. Fortunately, this concern is addressed by insurance procedures that prevent the removal of a person from a policy without their written consent.

Collision avoidance systems prevent accidents, study shows

New Jersey drivers with collision avoidance systems in their vehicles may be less likely to have an accident than those who do not. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study using data from 2015 that looked at accidents involving blind spots and moving into other lanes. After examining 5,000 accidents, it found that those involving head-on crashes or sideswipes were lower by 11 percent for vehicles with the warning system. Furthermore, the same type of injury accidents were lower by 21 percent.

Two other studies that looked at 2015 data found accidents cut in half for vehicles that had warnings about lane departures. Unfortunately, the inclusion of collision avoidance systems is still not standard. Only around 9 percent of vehicles for sale have blind spot alert systems while in 2017 vehicles, lane departure warning systems are standard for 6 percent. The IIHS estimated that in 2015, there would have been 55,000 fewer traffic injuries if all vehicles had this technology.

Group targets unsafe working conditions at composting sites

Diversion of solid waste into recycling operations reduces problems with landfill expansion and provides positive benefits for New Jersey communities. As with any other workplace, composting and other recycling sites present a number of safety risks that must be addressed through a combination of regulation and education. The Solid Waste Association of North America included composting operations in a safety campaign called "Five to Stay Alive".

A specialist in organic waste and composting suggested that safety training in compost facilities has not been given the focus of other areas of education, such as odor management. Without serious attention to safety, the growing industry could expect matching growth in accidents and workers' compensation claims.

Pipe repair method could release harmful chemicals

New Jersey plumbing construction workers may have a growing reason to be concerned about a popular method of repairing water pipes. Studies have shown that the method could release toxic fumes with as-yet-unknown health effects on the workers who frequently use it.

The repair process, called cured-in-place pipe repair, includes the insertion of a fabric tube impregnated with resin inside a damaged pipe. After the tube is inserted, it is "cured" with pressurized steam, hot water or even ultraviolet light. This results in a new, solid plastic pipe. However, researchers carried out studies of air quality at seven locations where CIPP was used to repair pipes with steam curing, including both storm-water pipes and sewer pipes. Plumes were released during the process, which had been previously considered to consist of steam. They were found to actually contain both organic compounds and vapors, including carcinogens and endocrine disrupters.

Importance of DNA testing for paternity

Paternity is a critical issue when it comes to matters of child support and visitation for unmarried parents. If a man is not married to the mother of a child, then that man is not presumed to be the child's biological father. Additional legal steps must be taken to establish paternity. When it is disputed, a New Jersey court will often turn to DNA testing to establish paternity. DNA tests are a proven method, with accuracy rates above 99 percent. There are many reasons to establish paternity and request DNA testing.

Establishing paternity makes a child the legal responsibility of the father. A mother may not be able to collect child support from a father until paternity is established. A man may refuse to be acknowledged as the father as a means of avoiding child support responsibilities. In this case, a mother may obtain a court order for DNA testing to determine paternity. Once paternity is established, a mother may continue with the process of determining and collecting child support.