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New Jersey Law Blog

Does optimism bias make the roads dangerous?

People often suffer from what experts call optimism bias. This does not necessarily mean that they are optimistic people by nature. They could struggle with clinical depression and other such issues and still have optimism bias play a large role in their lives.

Essentially, this bias just means that people inherently believe that they'll probably succeed or avoid a bad outcome. It can lead to risk-taking behavior. You've probably heard it expressed like this: "It won't happen to me."

Have you been the victim of inheritance theft?

Many people are the victims of inheritance theft without ever realizing it. It can take many forms. Often, it's not as overt as, for example, a trustee stealing money from a trust that was intended for a beneficiary or a family member pilfering an antique vase that was bequeathed to another relative.

Sometimes, executors take more than the designated fee listed in the estate plan for their services or the percentage allowed under New Jersey law. They may rationalize their actions by saying that the job required a lot more time and effort than they anticipated. However, executors can't just take whatever they think they deserve.

A third-party executor may make probate go smoothly

One reason for disputes during the probate process is that one sibling gets selected as the executor for the estate, but then the other siblings feel like their actions during the process are not fair or not in keeping with their parent's wishes. In some cases, they may even feel that the executor is acting illegally to benefit themselves.

Whether or not that is really happening -- the other siblings could be mistaken -- it can cause a dispute and even a will contest. One key step to take to prevent this outcome is for the parent to select a third-party executor.

3 effective strategies for preventing contract disputes

When you own or manage a small business in New Jersey, part of your responsibility will likely involve protecting that business’s best interests. Part of this process involves making efforts to avoid potential litigation down the line. Arguably one of the best ways to protect your company’s best interests involves creating and utilizing carefully worded business, partnership or employment contracts, because the language used in these contracts may help you avoid costly and time-consuming contract disputes.

So, what are some of the steps you can take to help your business avoid potential contract litigation?

Don't underestimate short ladders at work

As a painter or a construction worker, you've been told about the risks of falling off of a ladder many times. When you have to work on tall ladders that are over 30 feet, you try to be as careful as you can. When you're working on a roof, you use fall protection equipment. You don't want to get seriously injured.

This is a good start, but the problem is that it doesn't extend to short ladders. When you're just 8 or 10 feet off of the ground, you don't worry in the same way. You feel like you'll be safe. After all, those fatal falls that you hear so much about must be from much greater heights, right?

Trucker admits to fatal accident that killed New Jersey student

A student from New Jersey died in a truck accident back in 2018, and the truck driver involved in the crash has just admitted to causing it. This could mean that he will spend a long time behind bars, as it does not appear that a plea deal is on the table.

The accident happened on Interstate 83 in Pennsylvania. Traffic had slowed down, with some cars coming to a halt, due to a construction zone. The truck driver slammed into the stopped traffic. Per reports, the authorities say that he was intoxicated, having had eight drinks before getting behind the wheel.

Head injuries can wreak havoc with your memory

If you suffer a serious head injury in a car accident, a fall from a ladder or some similar event, it can have a drastic impact on the rest of your life. Brain injuries are different for everyone, but one side effect that can change everything is when it alters your memories.

For instance, one man related his story of getting into a car accident and striking his head, apparently on the window. He woke up in the back of the ambulance, and everything he knew about the accident was from what other people told him. He didn't remember it.

Percentages of workplace discrimination

Workplace discrimination takes many forms. Maybe you didn't get hired because of your gender, unable to break into a workplace dominated by the opposite sex. Maybe you got to an interview, but you knew your race meant you never really had a shot. Perhaps you got passed over for promotions that you deserved. Maybe you faced harassment from co-workers and supervisors over things like age or sexual orientation.

The key, no matter what you're facing, is to understand that the law is there to protect you. Discrimination is illegal in the United States, as it has been for decades.

Age discrimination often a barrier for older workers

Finding a job can be difficult, even under the best of circumstances. Often, many people compete for a single position. Finding a job when you are 40 or older, though, can prove to be even more of a challenge; this is especially true when employers have a bias against you because of your age.

In many cases, employers resist hiring the most qualified or experienced workers and instead choose to hire newer, “greener” young professionals to fill their open positions. Why? Ultimately, it usually comes down to money. The more experience and tenure a worker has, the higher a salary he or she typically demands. Younger, less experienced workers, on the other hand, are often looking to get their feet in the door above all else. Therefore, they are more likely to accept a lower salary than their older career competitors.

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