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2 Mistakes To Avoid When Making A Social Security Disability Claim

Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Filing for social security disability benefits can be a complicated process, but a social security lawyer can help take the weight off your shoulders and help you with your unique situation. Some people make the mistake of not having a social security attorney who can offer advice and represent their best interests. If you have tried to do it on your own, you may have taken some missteps. Do not make these two common mistakes when making a social security disability claim. Mistake #1: Not Seeking Sufficient Treatment for Your Condition When you experience an injury on the job or elsewhere, it is very important to attain proper medical care. If you don’t get the right treatment for your condition in a consistent manner, your social security disability claim may be denied. It frequently happens to claimants. The sad truth is that some people try to make a claim when they have sought no medical care for their condition at all. If you have an injury that has left you disabled in some ways, you probably need to see a specialist. Don’t rely solely on seeing your primary care physician, even if they are willing to state that you incurred your injuries because of a certain accident or situation and have become disabled as a result of your injuries. The Social Security Administration may assess the severity of your situation and look at the treatment you have received for it. If you aren’t seeking treatment and receiving it, they may not rule in your favor. Mistake #2: Presenting the Claim Too Soon Yet another reason that people are often denied for their social security disability claim is that they attempt to make the claim far too soon. When it is made prematurely, the Social Security Administration may wonder what your real motives are or question that you will be disabled on a long-term basis. Before you get disability benefits, you often need to show that you have been disabled for at least an entire year. Additionally, you need to show that you have not been able to obtain sufficient employment during that time because your disability. Finally, keep in mind social security disability claims are approved for people of various abilities and conditions. You may be entitled to social security disability benefits without even realizing it. Contact a social security lawyer, such as those at Prediletto, Halpin, Scharnikow & Nelson, P.S., if you are not sure whether you will be able to attain benefits. Your lawyer can answer questions, help you through the process, and represent your...

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What You Need to Know About Distracted Driving

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017 in Uncategorized |

More than 3,000 people were killed and 430,000 people were injured as a result of distracted driving in 2014 (the most recent year for which such statistics are available). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Board, 10 percent of these drivers were teenagers (between 16 and 19 years of age) and another 23 percent were in their twenties. What is distracted driving? The term distracted driving encompasses a vast number of actions. While the most common is talking on a cell phone or texting while driving, distracted driving also includes eating or drinking, talking to other passengers, setting your car’s navigation system, changing the station on the radio or inserting a new CD, or even watching a DVD (yes, people really do this) while driving. In fact, an Erie Insurance study reported that drivers do all varieties of dangerous things while driving, including putting on makeup, brushing their teeth, and changing clothes! How widespread is distracted driving? At any given (daylight) moment, more than 542,000 drivers are using cell phones or other mobile devices, according the National Occupant Protection Use Survey. While the number decreased slightly from the previous year’s study, it still accounts for approximately 3.8 percent of the drivers on the road. The Erie Insurance study found that one-third of those surveyed admitted to having texted while driving. Why is distracted driving a problem? While glancing away from the road may not seem like a big deal, a lot can happen in the average five seconds that a person’s eyes are diverted when texting. (When travelling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of an entire football field.) A car could stop suddenly in front of you, a child or pet could run across the road, or a car could swerve into your lane. If you or someone you care about has been hurt as a result of a distracted driver, you need a personal-injury lawyer to represent your interests. Relying on the other party’s insurance company to get you the best offer possible is rarely a good idea. It’s wise to remember that they work for the defendant, not for you. Most personal-injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation and will often work on a contingency basis. That means you will not have to pay them a retainer. They will bill you when (and if) they collect from the other party’s insurance company.  ...

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Injured At Christmas: How To Proceed

Posted by on Dec 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Getting injured at a family Christmas gathering is never fun. And it’s difficult to handle a personal injury when you’re dealing with relatives. Here are some steps to take to smooth things over. Take the Time You Need First of all, it may be necessary to regroup so that you can behave calmly during the gathering. Removing yourself from the situation until you know what you’d like to do is a great idea. Approach the Home Owners It’s often best to approach the homeowners before you approach other members of the family, to let them know what happened. You can collect their homeowners’ insurance information and talk with them about what your next steps are. Working out a peaceful arrangement with the people responsible for your personal injury claim will help you move forward with greater ease. Get a Medical Evaluation Depending on the severity of your injury, your medical evaluation may be during or after the Christmas gathering. Don’t skip this step, even if you are fairly certain of the extent of your injuries. You might need additional medical care that you aren’t aware of. For example, in a slip and fall injury, you might have a lot of pain in your arm and think that’s where most of the damage is. But if you fell from a height greater than your own, it’s possible that you also have spinal damage. This type of injury may not hurt at first, but it’s critical to get treatment right away. The bottom line is that a doctor’s evaluation will help enumerate your injuries so that you can get proper care and compensation for them. Talk Through Possible Solutions Speak with the homeowners to determine what the best arrangements will be. The hosts might be wary of filing an insurance claim, but it’s often the best way to protect you and the hosts. For example, while they may want to pay for your medical bills out of pocket, a tricky situation can arise if you realize that the injury is more complicated than you originally thought and it affects your life in a big way. When disputes arise, attorney services can step in to make arbitration simpler. Filing an insurance claim or lawsuit against a relative is a sticky situation, but the right personal injury attorney will understand how to treat the situation with respect for both parties and find a fair solution for everyone. Contact a business, such as A Affordable Attorney Gerling Law Group, for more information. ...

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Common Workers Compensation Denials And How To Avoid Them

Posted by on Dec 9, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When filing a workers compensation claim, the goal is always to have it approved. However, not everyone is met with this result. While there is no way to deny-proof a claim, understanding some of the more common scenarios that often lead to this outcome may be able to help you avoid a denial for your claim. Failure To Notify When you are injured on the job, it is your duty to report your injuries to your employer immediately. If you fail, or have failed to do this, you are increasing the chance of your claim being denied. All states have a mandatory period by which all incidents of injury must be reported, such as 30 days. What some people fail to understand is that if you report the injury after this period, your employer may no longer be legally responsible for your injures. Speak up right away to avoid this outcome. Withholding Information Never withhold any pertinent information surrounding the accident. This mistake may be interpreted as deception and can result in your claim being denied. Some people will leave out information if they believe it somehow implies that they may have been partially responsible for their injuries. For example, maybe they were wearing high heels when they slipped and fell. Provided this was an employer approved footwear option, this would not be a detail that places fault on the employee. However, it is important information that the case reviewer would want to know. Be upfront and honest and don’t leave anything out. Not Following Medical Orders Workers compensation is meant to serve as temporary financial assistance to aid employees during their time of recovery. It is not the same as disability, which is meant to be a more long-term assistance option. For this reason, a full recovery is always the end game and it’s up to you to follow the orders of your doctor to accomplish this. If you are not making your appointments, failing to take medication or overlooking any other orders, your claim could be denied. When a case reviewer sees this type of behavior, it puts into question the severity of your injuries. For instance, if you aren’t taking your medication then your injuries can’t be as bad as you say. Always follow doctor orders as your health and your claim depend on it. An attorney, such as Townsend, Richard, can help you avoid these scenarios as well as other denial hiccups they may...

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3 Ways To Prove The Officers Were Wrong And You’re Right About A Traffic Violation

Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When it comes to getting to your destination, the chances are high that you may need to drive there. It’s possible that you may be careless from time to time and not pay as much attention to your driving. If this is the case, you may be given a traffic ticket, and this is the last thing you will want on your record. It’s a fact that traffic violations can cause your auto insurance to skyrocket, and this is less than ideal. Knowing some tips for proving you’re right and the police officer was wrong may be helpful to your case. Enlist witnesses If there were other people present when you received a traffic violation that may not have been necessary, you could call on these individuals to testify on your behalf. This could include people that were standing by or even passengers in your car. Be sure to have the full name and contact information of these people on hand for the best results. This will enable you to contact your witnesses as necessary.  Create a diagram One of the best times to prove that you weren’t at fault and may not have deserved a traffic violation is when you are accused of not stopping at an intersection. One of the most effective ways to prove you did is to have a diagram put together of this location. This can allow you to show precisely where your vehicle may have been that day and the location of the police officer. This illustration may be the proof necessary to show the officer wouldn’t be able to make such an accusation because of the visual distance. Road conditions It may be possible that the road was responsible for any mistake you were thought to have made. This could be the key to clearing up the traffic violation and allowing you to get out of it.  You should contact the proper authorities in your area to work towards getting an official report of the road conditions on the day you were ticketed. This may work in your favor if the conditions were severe and made it difficult for you to see or travel quickly. The benefits of getting rid of a traffic violation are many. Rather than having this go on your permanent driving record, be sure to consider working with an attorney like Drew F Davis that specializes in this area if you need additional assistance...

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The Best Interest Of The Child

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you and your spouse are divorcing, the issues that concern your minor children are among the most important, and can be among the most contentious. The court system places a very high priority on ensuring that the most vulnerable parties in the divorce suffer from as few negative effects as possible. Because of this, the laws about ensuring that children need not experience a lessening in the funds available for their care are extremely stringent. Read on to learn more about how the courts oversee the “best interest of the child” when it comes to child support. Punishments for Non-support The higher earner of the couple is usually the one who is ordered to make child support payments, with the exact amount based on income and the particular state’s laws. Failure to make those payments can trigger some harsh punishments, including: Contempt of court charges, which will include court costs, fees and penalties. Liens on your property (vehicles, real estate, boats, etc). Withholding of any income tax refunds. Expulsion from government-aid programs, like food stamps, housing assistance, Social Security disability, etc. Revocation of your driver’s license. Garnishment of wages; which is when a legal order allows the removal of a certain amount of funds from your paycheck before you get it. Arrest and possible jail time. Don’t Make a Federal Case Out of It Most parents have every intention of complying with their child support obligations, but so-called “deadbeat” parents do everything they can to avoid paying. If you believe that moving to another state will relieve you of your child support obligation, think again. Failure to pay child support becomes a federal crime once you cross the state line. All states have the power to enforce child support provisions, regardless of the origin of the order. Dealing with Non Payment Issues If you are having problems paying the ordered amount, don’t just bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away. Contact the child support enforcement office in your area and ask for assistance. They can help you create a payment plan to bring your payments up to date. If your issue is a change in job, income or heath, you may need to take more proactive legal action. Contact a family law attorney for help in petitioning the courts to reduce your child support payments, but be prepared to show good cause. If you are experiencing financial difficulties and need help, talk to a family law attorney, like one from Baudler, Maus, Forman, Kritzer & Wagner, LLP, as soon as...

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A Guide To Collecting Your Personal Records Before Filing For Divorce

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Going through a divorce is rarely easy, and even filing the paperwork can be stressful if you aren’t prepared. Fortunately, you can make the process simpler for yourself by gathering together some information before you sit down to file. While specific documentation needs vary by state, the the following guide can help you begin the process well prepared. Personal documents You will need to prove who you are, your status, and that you were actually married. To achieve all this requires you to collect your personal documents. These may include the following: Your and your spouse’s birth certificates Social security cards or immigration documents Proof of prior divorce from another former spouse or the death certificate of a former spouse Financial Records These can be the most difficult items to collect, primarily because it can be time consuming and easy to overlook items. You need to be as thorough as possible because you don’t want it to look like you are trying to hide any assets. Examples of common records you may need to complete the paperwork include the following: Bank statements from all accounts, both joint and personal Credit card statements Loan information, including auto, mortgage, student, and personal loans All property records, including titles and deeds Retirement account information Income and tax records Billing invoices, such as from outstanding medical bills Any other expense or spending records Miscellaneous items There are also documents that come in handy when filing your divorce paperwork that are dependent upon your situation. For example, if you and your spouse are going through a formal separation, you will need to reference the formal separation agreements as you fill out the paperwork. Prenuptial agreements are another special case. This will need to be referenced as well, since the way parts of the paperwork will be filled out, especially when it comes to the division of assets, will depend upon what was placed into the prenuptial agreement. Couples that owned a business together also fall into a special category when it comes to divorce filings. If the business is to be liquidated or split, all financial documents, profit and loss statements, and business agreements will need to be provided. Even if you plan to continue the business as a partnership after the divorce, you may still need to provide the records for the business since it will count as an asset. Start by making a list of all the records that could possibly pertain to your specific situation. Then, you can check off the items as you collect them together in a file in advance of filling out your divorce paperwork....

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Proving That A Business Violated Dram Shop Laws

Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Most states have dram shop laws prohibiting businesses from selling alcohol to people in excess or to those who are already intoxicated. These laws also let people who are hurt in accidents caused by drunk drivers to hold the businesses who sold alcohol to intoxicated persons liable for some of the damages. However, proving the business knew or should have known the individual was intoxicated can be challenging. Read more to discover two ways you can show that the business in question violated dram shop laws. Check the Video One way to prove a person was too intoxicated to continue being served alcohol is to check any video that may be available. There are certain signs of intoxication that may be readily evident on a video, such as lack of coordination and slurred speech (if audio is available). It may also be possible to tell how many drinks a person has consumed within a certain amount of time, which may help you approximate how drunk the person was when he or she was being served. For instance, a 160-pound person who consumes 4 beers in a short period of time would have a blood alcohol level of 0.8, which is over the legal limit to drive. If the bartender continues serving the person after that, then the company he or she works for may be held liable for any accident the individual causes. Try to obtain video from as many sources as possible. In addition to getting a copy of any surveillance the business may have on the property, look for videos the defendant (or the person’s friends) may have uploaded to his or her social media accounts on the night in question. Use Sales Receipts Another way you could possibly prove a business served an intoxicated person is to acquire copies of any sales receipts. These receipts can show you how many drinks the person was served during his or her time at the facility, which can help you approximate how intoxicated the individual was and whether or not the business should have stopped serving the person. While this piece of evidence may not be a silver bullet, it can strengthen your overall case when combined with other pieces of evidence, such a video surveillance or witness testimony. It’s important to note that people respond to alcohol differently, and it may not always be readily evident a person is intoxicated. For instance, a person who consumes alcohol on a regular basis may be able to drink a lot before he or she begins exhibiting signs of intoxication. This is something you need to factor in when making a case that the business violated dram shop laws. For more information about this issue or help with litigating a case against a business who served an intoxicated person, contact a personal injury...

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FAQs About Child Support And Visitation

Posted by on Aug 30, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The issuance of a child support order does not necessarily mark the end of disagreements between the custodial and non-custodial parent. Disagreements regarding the child can sometimes lead to issues with the child support, which can have a direct impact on the welfare of the child. If you are a non-custodial parent, here is what you need to know.  Does Child Support Entitle You to Visitation? At the time your child support order was issued, the family court might have taken an additional step and established a visitation order. If so, the custodial parent has to allow you to see your child during those periods outlined.  If visitation was not included in the child support order, you can file a petition with the family court to ask for visitation. Depending on the willingness of the custodial parent, you and your attorney might be able to work out an agreement for visitation with him or her. If not, the family court can set a schedule.  Can You Withhold Child Support If Visitation Is Denied? One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to refuse to pay child support because you do not have access to your child. The child support order is an enforceable order. As a result, a judge could order wage garnishment or even jail time if you do not make your payments.  If you are being denied access to your child, take detailed notes of each time you are unable to see him or her during the scheduled visitations. There are legal options available to handle denied visitation.  What Can You Do? If you are denied visitation with your child, you can file a petition with the family court asking for the custodial parent to be cited for contempt of court. Since visitation was ordered, the other parent’s refusal to allow you to see your child is in direct violation to the order. The judge can order the custodial parent to follow the order or face consequences.  Each time you are denied visitation, file a police report. By filing the report, you are documenting the denials so that when you return to court, you have proof of what occurred.  If the denials continue, file a motion with the court again. The judge can issue sanctions against the custodial parent and even order him or her to jail.  Work with an attorney like Lois Iannone Attorney at Law who is experienced in handling child support issues to help you address any other related problems that occur....

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Can You Hold A Waterpark Liable For Your Injuries? The Answer Depends On The Situation

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When everyone is still trying to squeeze a little bit more fun out of summer, waterparks become popular attractions. They can also become the source of tragedy—like the recent incident in Kansas where a 10-year-old boy was decapitated on the “World’s Tallest Water Slide.” When an accident like this happens, many people wonder if the park can be held responsible for the deaths and injuries? This is what you should know. A waiver may protect the waterpark from liability for expected injuries. Generally speaking, any time you go to a waterpark, you’re taking a certain assumption of risk upon yourself. Waterparks can be inherently dangerous because the ground around them gets wet and slippery. If you’re going down a slide that’s hundreds of feet in the air and full of hills, turns, and valleys to make the rush more exciting, there’s always going to be some risk of bumps, bruises, and maybe even broken bones. More than likely, the waterpark has some sort of form language advising you of your own responsibility to manage the risk either when you purchase the tickets, on the back of the tickets themselves, or in signs above the ticket booth. While places like waterparks have tried to indemnify themselves against all lawsuits through the use of waiver contracts that make participants agree not to sue them for any and all injuries, such contracts have generally been found to be against public policy. If waterparks were allowed to do that, they’d have no reason to ensure that rides were safe, include obvious safety measures like harnesses, hire lifeguards, or the like. The reality is that waivers and the legal expectation of personal responsibility are good for minor injuries that are sustained through the sort of accident you can expect at a waterpark—like slipping when you stand up too quickly at the end of the ride and losing your balance. They aren’t enough to protect the park against unexpected dangers. Sometimes, the basic measures that a waterpark should take to create a (mostly) safe, enjoyable experience for its guests gets lost in the pursuit of a ride that’s bigger and more thrilling than other rides. For example, in the case of the boy killed in Kansas, there were design problems with the slide from the beginning. Engineers had to tear down part of the original design and reconfigure angles after sandbags—used in place of people during tests—flew off the ride. They also chose to use Velcro straps to secure people, when body harnesses similar to the ones used on roller coasters may have been a wiser choice. Choosing to omit those type of basic safety measures could easily make the park responsible for the child’s death and other people’s injuries. Parks can also be held responsible if they don’t follow the required rules—including their own. For example, the waterpark in Kansas was supposed to be inspected for safety annually, but the last recorded inspection was in 2012. In addition, the weight minimum for the ride was a combined 400lbs among the occupants. There are reports that the park allowed groups that didn’t quite meet the weight limit to go down the ride—a violation that could cause an accident since the weight of the riders is partly what keeps in the raft in place on the ride....

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Avoid These Mistakes When Reporting A Work Related Injury

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have been injured at your place of work, the actions that you take in the first couple of days will determine how smoothly or how roughly the rest of the claim process will go. Make sure you avoid the following five mistakes. Not Reporting the Injury to Your Employer Some people are hesitant to report workplace injuries because they might be embarrassed, they don’t think they have a serious injury, or they think they may get terminated. Not reporting your injury is going to create more of a problem for you in the long run if it gets worse or doesn’t improve. The biggest problem is going to be the fact that you will have trouble proving the reason you are injured now is from an accident that happened several weeks and/or months in the past. Report injuries as soon as they happen. Not Reporting the Injury in Writing You need to report the incident in writing and provide copies to both your employer, as well as the company’s human resources department. You also want to make copies for yourself to have for your records. If you just verbally tell your employer about the accident, there is no proof that you did so. Not Getting Medical Attention Right Away After you have been injured at work, it is important that you seek medical attention as quickly as possible. This is because the details of how the accident happened are still fresh in your mind. You may have a tough time convincing the insurance company that your injury is serious if you want to see a doctor later on. Not Accurately Describing Your Injuries to the Doctor Whether or not you are compensated, and the amount of your compensation, will mainly be determined by the injury report, as well as your medical evaluation and records. If you don’t tell the doctor exactly what happened, how it happened, what injuries you sustained and any symptoms you may be experiencing, then they can’t accurately do their job, which is to help you recover as quickly as possible. Not Following Doctor’s Orders When you sustain an injury at work, the ultimate goal is to ensure that you recover from the injury in a timely manner so that you can return to work. However, if your doctor notices that you are not adhering to the orders that they have put in place, they will relay this information to the workers’ compensation department and you may end up losing the ability to collect benefits. It is important that you attend all follow-up doctor appointments and that you follow any instructions given to you by your doctor. When filing a claim for workers’ compensation, avoiding mistakes will help to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible so you can get the compensation you need to take care of yourself and your family. For help making sure everything gets done correctly, speak with a law firm such as McKone &...

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