JOHN F. RENNER, Esq.
New Jersey Work Injury Lawyer

Burlington County Location:
525 Route 73 North
Suite 104
Marlton, NJ 08053
856.596.8000


Camden County Location:
111 White Horse Pike
Haddon Hts., NJ 08035
856.354.2000



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New Jersey Injury Attorney’s Seek Review of whether an independent medical examination paid by PIP insurer extends statute of limitations

The action arises out of a car accident where plaintiff was immediately taken to a hospital for medical testing and released. Plaintiff then contacted his physician, who recommended a neurosurgeon, who in turn treated plaintiff for six months, during which new X-Rays were taken. The plaintiff had surgery on his neck in order to alleviate his pain and it resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic and unable to speak. Plaintiff was insured by Liberty Mutual at the time of the accident, which provided PIP coverage and paid all of his bills. However, they contend that the surgery was related to plaintiff’s extensive medical history prior to accident and requested an independent medical examiner (IME) to determine if plaintiffs need for neck surgery was causally related to the accident; Liberty paid for transportation to this visit. The IME concluded the surgery was unrelated to the accident and liberty denied payment of bills. Plaintiff sued Liberty Mutual for PIP benefits and Liberty moved to dismiss the claim as time barred. The Trial court held that the action was time barred concluding that the payment to the transport service did not constitute a benefit and extend the statute nor could the statute be tolled for incapacity.

Held: plaintiff’s PIP claim is dismissed as time barred, pursuant to the PIP statute of limitations. Payment of transportation costs to an IME, which were paid by the insurer, does not constitute a benefit that extends the time when the PIP statute of limitations begins to run. The IME is not a “independent consultative opinion” as defined by the statute as a benefit, they are two unique terms of art and it cannot be assumed the legislature intended to use them interchangeably.    Please visit the website of New Jersey personal injury attorney John F. Renner for more information regarding your rights.

 

Legal Quote of the Week:

“The insurance company is the God of Money…The insurance company lawyers will come to court not to ascertain the truth or to search for justice, but to fight for money, and they will do whatever is necessary to keep it”

Gerry Spence, “With Justice for None” (1989)

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation considers whether the petitioner showed his injuries were caused by his work accident

In this NJ workers compensation action, the Trial court found that petitioner’s back condition was compensable, because the burden of proof as to causation was met. The examining experts agree that petitioner is totally disabled as the result of his shoulder and back conditions. However, the dispute arises because they disagree as to the causation of the work injury, particular with respect to his back. The New Jersey appellate panel found the opinion as to causal relationship offered by petitioner’s examining physician was sufficient to meet petitioner’s burden of proof. The examining physician premised his opinion on a series of independent medical examinations that he had performed and his findings of progressive disability, together with the absence of evidence of an alternative cause for petitioner’s worsening condition. The panel affirms the judgment, but limits the compensable conditions to petitioner’s right shoulder and lumbar spine, thereby eliminating any remaining reference to his cervical spine.   For more information, visit the website of New Jersey work injury lawyer John F. Renner.

Legal Quote of the Week:

We always exempt ourselves from the common laws.  When I was a boy and the dentist pulled out a second tooth, I thought to myself that I would grow a third if I needed it.  Experience discouraged this prophecy.

New Jersey Personal Injury lawyer examine whether PIP benefits paid by private insurer can be recovered

Defendant is seeking repayment of medical benefit reimbursements remitted to defendant under the terms of his personal injury protection policy, which expenses had already been paid under a separate private health insurance policy. The defendant had paid for his private policy, which included a prescription plan, and who was obligated to make full payment to the pharmacy if the carrier declined to cover a prescription he had submitted. The appellate panel concludes that defendant, notwithstanding that they were substantially paid by his private insurer, and that he had the right to recover the full cost of his prescription expenses from plaintiff, despite payment by his private insurer, had “incurred” expenses pursuant to the applicable version of N.J.S.A. 39:6A-4. However, by submitting altered statements attributed to the pharmacy in an attempt to obtain payment defendant violated the broad terms of Insurance Fraud Protection Act. The determination by the motion judge that defendant was not entitled to recover PIP benefits for the expense paid by his private insurer is reversed. The matter is remanded to determine whether plaintiff suffered compensable harm as a result of defendant’s IFPA violation, the PIP benefits to which defendant was entitled and whether his claims exceeded those amounts, and the amount of plaintiff’s reasonable investigatory expenses, attorney fees and costs.  To learn more about the process of personal injury law in the State of New Jersey, please visit the website of NJ Personal Injury Attorney John F. Renner.

Legal Quote of the Week:

The acme of judicial distinction means the ability to look a lawyer straight in the eyes for two hours and not to hear a word he says.

John Marshall, 1755-1835, Albert J. Beveridge, The Life of John Marshall, 1919

 

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation case decides that workers compensation bar cannot be overcome by a willful violation of OSHA

The New Jersey Supreme Court held on that a willful violation of federal workplace safety rules, absent a showing that an employer was certain the violation could cause injury or death, is not enough to surmount the workers’ compensation bar on civil tort suits. The ruling means that a construction worker who was severely injured in trench collapse, caused by what the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration called a “willful violation” of its rules, cannot sue his direct employer. A supervisor’s decision to order Kenneth Van Dunk into the trench did not rise to the level necessary to overcome the “formidable standard” needed to overcome the bar established in the Workers’ Compensation Act, as well as case law although it was a “quick but extremely poor decision.”    Please visit the website of NJ Work Injury Lawyer John F. Renner.

Legal Quote of the Week:

“When a judge departs from the letter of the law he becomes a law-breaker”

Fracis Bacon, De Argumentis Scientiarum, 1623