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If Your Condition Renders You Incapable of Performing Any Substantial Gainful Activity, Then You may be Eligible to Receive SS Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two large programs that are designed to provide financial benefits to America’s working group (whose jobs are covered by Social Security) and to certain individuals determined eligible by the SSA.

These financial benefits may take the form of any of the following:

  • Disability benefits – paid to employees who sustain total permanent disability, whether the injury or illness, which caused this disability, was work-related;
  • Retirement benefits – paid to employees who have retired from work;
  • Benefits for the spouse and/or other survivors of an SS member who has died. These benefits are paid to widows and widowers (or divorced widows and widowers) and unmarried children under 18 years old (or up to 19 if child is attending full time an elementary or secondary school; and,
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The first three are paid to Social Security members by the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. Social Security members refer to employees who have earned SSA’s required number of credits via their monthly payment of SS taxes. Payment to these taxes are automatically deducted from employees’ monthly take home pay; this is entered in their pay slip under the heading “FICA,” for Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

The fourth (in the list above) is paid by the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Recipients of SSI cash benefits include:

  • Disabled adults and disabled children (below 18 years old) who have limited income and resources; and,
  • People 65 years old or older who do not have any disability, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR)

Employees or non-employees who wish to apply for cash benefits due to disability should understand that SSA approves only applications of those who have total permanent disability. Under SSA definition, a total permanent disability is a severe condition that:

  • Has lasted for about a year or is expected to last for at least a year;
  • Has resulted in the inability to perform any substantial gainful activity (in the case of disabled adults) or has resulted in severe functional limitations (in the case of children); and,
  • Can be expected to result in the disabled person’s death.

The SSA has prepared a list of disabilities which would make a person eligible for cash benefits if his/her condition would be found in the list (these disabilities are entered in the SSA’s “blue book.” Some types of disabling conditions that are found eligible for cash benefits under either the SSDI or SSI, include:

– Cardiovascular system disorders
– Digestive system disorders
– Endocrine system disorders
– Genitourinary impairments
– Hematological disorders
– Immune system disorders
– Impairments that affect multiple body systems
– Malignant neoplastic disease
– Mental disorders
– Musculoskeletal system disorders
– Neurological disorders
– Skin disorders
– Special senses and speech disorders

People suffering from short-term disability will not be eligible to receive disability benefits from SS. However, for those whose disability is included in list above or in the list prepared by the SSA, or even those suffering from multiple health problems which render them incapable of performing any substantial gainful activity, it may be to their benefit if they would immediately seek the assistance of a highly-competent Social Security disability lawyer in their SS disability benefits application like the lawyers at the Chris Mayo Law Firm.

The Relation Between Highway Defects And Car Accidents

Road accidents can happen any time. Most fatalities or injuries are commonly attributed to motor vehicle crashes. This is not true all the time as there are other factors that can cause car accidents and one of them is road conditions. According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, highway defects can contribute to injuries and deaths from a car accident.

Road conditions can play a huge factor in the cause of accidents. Poor maintenance and inadequate signage puts car drivers in greater risks of getting injured or even dying. Liability here can be directed towards the agency that is conducting repairs and congestion for failing to warn drivers of an impending construction on the road. Road conditions include traffic lights, traffic signals, and other traffic control devices. It is important that drivers see the traffic signs or other road impediments so they can adjust.

Suing a government agency and making them liable for any injuries can be difficult but possible. Hiring a good and experienced attorney to defend you can be of huge help. The problem is that government and state agencies have sovereign immunity and hence cannot be sued. However, the government has implemented a new way of determining liability. In highway defect cases, you need to properly identify witnesses whether young or old.

With road defects, you need to identify the proper parties who caused your injury or death. This is the tricky part because there may be other people responsible for the accident. For this reason, you need to hire the best attorney to defend you in court. They know how to work around the system and hence can lead to a successful case should you decide to sue the involved party or parties.

Currently, there are no enacted laws requiring roads to be in perfect condition. However, this does not mean that the agency in-charge of the highway is off the hook already. They still have a duty to keep the road safe for vehicles.

Types of Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissues connect, supports, or surrounds structures and organs of the body. It includes muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia nerves, fibrous tissues, fat blood vessels, and synovial membranes. Among athletes, this is the most common type of injury. Soft tissue injuries happen when there is too much trauma on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They happen in varying degrees and can be severe. Sometimes soft tissue injuries cannot be managed by taking OTC medicines but through surgery.

According to the website of Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, severe soft tissue injuries may require comprehensive medical and rehabilitative care when they do not result to permanent damage. Here is a short guide on the different types of soft tissue injuries:

A sprain happens when ligaments at certain joints experiences excessive stretching and tear. They can be of three types:

  • First degree or mild sprain occurs when the damage only affects a few ligament fibers
  • Second degree or moderate sprain happens when there is a partial tear to the ligament
  • Third degree or severe sprain when there is a complete tear of the ligament

A strain is any injury to the muscles or tendons due to excessive stretching or tear. It is also divided into three categories:

  • First degree is a strain caused by excessive stretching and minor damage to the muscle or tendon
  • Second degree strain is caused by a partial tear of the muscle or tendon
  • Third degree strain results from a complete tear of the muscle or tendon

A contusion refers to a blow that causes bruising of the soft tissue and discoloration of the overlying skin. It is caused by the rupture and pooling of the blood around the muscle, tendon, or ligaments. Most contusions are mild even with the presence of purple to blue-black coloration of the skin.

Tendonitis happens when there is inflammation in the tendons. It is a tendon injury that can happen with strain caused by sudden stretching and tearing of the tendon.

Bursitis refers to the inflammation of the bursae, which are small pouches filled with fluid. These pouches are designed to reduce friction when the muscles and tendons move over the bones. Repeated stress and overuse can cause the bursae to become inflamed.

The Anti-drunk Driving and the Dram Shop Laws in the US

Despite continuous education and warnings on drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving, 29.1 million people, last 2012, admitted to driving while under the influence of alcohol. The following year, 2013, as many as 1,171,935 drivers were arrested due to intoxicated driving or driving under the influence (DUI), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Drunk driving is a major offense in the US and it is one traffic violation that drivers try not to be cited with due to the many inconveniences it can result. In New Hampshire, where drivers are not mandated to carry auto liability insurance, this law is not made applicable to people who have committed a DUI offense.

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level limit for drivers all across the US is 0.08% (0.04% for truck drivers and 0.02% for drivers under age 21). This means that drivers who register a 0.08% (or higher) BAC level (after he or she is pulled over by a traffic enforcer) will be considered alcohol-impaired and, thus, charged with DUI or DWI.

Alcohol weakens an individual’s mental capacity and motor skills; it affects his or her perception, judgment, reaction time, coordination and overall capability in keeping focused on the road. With weakened control over his/her skills, risks of accident and injury to other motorists and pedestrians increase; this is basically the reason why drunk driving is considered a major road offense.

Intoxicated drivers are not the only ones who will be held liable to anyone who may be injured or whose property may be damaged in accidents where they are at fault, though. A business establishment, such as a restaurant, a bar, or a tavern, which sells alcoholic drinks, or a host who serves liquor, to a person who is already intoxicated (or close to being intoxicated/impaired), will also be held answerable under the law. This law is called the Dram Shop Act, and though this law may differ from one state to another, all states, nevertheless, have it.

According to the Abel Law Firm, “failure to comply with dram shop laws may be grounds for a lawsuit if it leads to a drunk-driving accident or other injuries to innocent parties.” The said law also makes it illegal for business establishments to serve alcohol to persons below the age of 21.

Thousands of Toys Remain Threats to Children’s Safety

Thousands of products that can put children at risk remain to be sold all across the nation, some of these are food, though a much larger scale of these are toys. In 2005 alone, children’s toys caused 20 deaths and about 202,300 injuries in the US, both involving children below 15 years old – this is based on data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

CPSC is a self-governing government agency that was established in 1972 through the Consumer Product Safety Act. It is given the authority to create safety standards, issue recalls on products that present substantial risks of injury or death, and ban products from being sold, if necessary. Though its authority extends beyond 15,000 different products, the list does not include food, cosmetics, tobacco products, drugs, medical devices, pesticides, firearms and ammunition, boats, aircrafts and motor vehicles, since jurisdiction over all these other products lies in other federal agencies.

In ensuring the safety of children, CPSC defines safety standards that manufacturers of children’s toys need to comply with. These standards specify the allowed size of a toy, its limit for toxicity and level of noise, its safety from sharp edges or parts that can cause wounds in children, the absence of parts that may choke a child, and the inaccessibility of the toy’s batteries and magnets from children. Tennessee personal injury attorneys would probably also add that a toys’ packaging labels should also clearly display warnings about the toy’s possible dangers.

In 2014, 17 million units of children’s products were recalled by CPSC. Among those recalled included certain play yards, stationary activity centers, infant slings, swings, toddler beds, walkers, strollers, portable cribs, full-size and non-full-size cribs, high chairs, hook-on chairs, infant carriers, and infant bathtubs.

Manufacturers have a legal responsibility that requires them to design and create safe products. Though personal injury lawyers commonly agree on this fact, they also know that many manufacturers fail to act responsibly; rather, they continuously make defective products and then release these on the market despite the risks of injury or death that these can cause.

This illegal and harmful practice by manufacturers should not be allowed. Thus, parents and guardians of children (who get injured) should be aware of their right to seek compensation for all the damages their children and family have been made to suffer due to the greed of some manufacturers, who compromise children’s safety for profit.

What Happens in a Rollover Accident?

Car accidents can lead to very devastating outcomes. In any scenario, individuals in vehicular crashes all face the potential of serious injuries. This is especially true for victims involved in rollover accidents, where the fatality rate is considerably high. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA, rollover accidents are estimated to cause 10,000 fatalities every year. Unfortunately, such outcomes are not surprising considering what such accidents involve.

A rollover accident happens when a vehicle turns over on its side or flips over completely upside down. Such accidents typically happen to larger vehicles that carry heavier loads or are more top-heavy. SUVs, 4-wheel drives, and other vehicles with great vertical clearance are the most susceptible to rollover crashes. Insurance companies take this kind of information into account when determining how much to charge for their services. Cars that are inherently more dangerous are therefore more costly to insure.

According to Wausau car accident attorneys, rollover accidents happen primarily due to stability issues associated with these larger vehicles. SUVs and similar vehicles that have a higher vertical clearance also have a higher center of gravity. This can be particularly dangerous when these vehicles are taking sharp changes and abrupt turns in narrow roads. Closer to the ground, these sudden lurches won’t be an issue. However, because SUVs and 4-wheel drives have a higher center of gravity, they can easily lose stability and tip over. The risk of rollover accidents becomes even more aggravated when a vehicle has damaged tires and other mechanical defects. In fact, several SUVs are found to be more susceptible to such crashes compared to other vehicles due to issues with design. This is particularly true for older models like the 2002 Ford Explorer and 2005 to 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt.

In recent years, car manufacturers have begun to install safety devices that address these stability issues. The Electronic Stability Control or ESC, for example, recognizes when a vehicle is about to lurch out of control and automatically activates breaks that help maintain stability and steadiness. Unfortunately, not all vehicles susceptible to rollover accidents are equipped with such a feature. In these cases, drivers and passengers are left vulnerable to serious injuries and devastating consequences. According to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, rollover accidents typically lead to very serious injuries like traumatic brain injury and permanent spinal cord damage.

Basic Information about the Texas Prompt Pay Act

The cost of health care and medical treatments can quickly become expensive. Fortunately, patients who might not be able to afford medical attention can turn to health insurance programs to cover costs of vital services that they need. These patients also have a variety of options for such programs, making it easy for them to find something that suits their particular needs. Some people, for example, look to government health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare to the assistance they need. Others come to private insurance providers, while some rely on benefits provided by employers.

While such a system proves effective and beneficial for patients with pressing concern, physicians and other health care providers end up losing out in the equation. As pointed out on a report by published by the American Medical Association, a good number of doctors are unable to receive payments from insurance companies in compensation for the services they have provided for their patients. In some cases, the report notes that these payments get delayed for as much as six or so months.

The Prompt Pay Act of 2003 is a solution designed by the Texas government to address these concerns. According to the website of the prompt pay lawyers at Williams Kherkher, the Prompt Pay Act basically allows a physician the legal option to file claims for compensation against health care providers that withhold their payment for a specific amount of time. Insurance providers who fail to act on these claims will be subject to penalties that require them to pay a larger amount plus additional fees. For example, an insurance provider who pays a physician more than 90 days late will have to pay an additional 18% annual interest plus cover the claimant’s attorneys’ fees.

It’s the right of every individual to have access to affordable health care. However, doctors and other health care providers are equally entitled to receiving compensation that’s due to them. Insurance providers should be able to provide patients with the help they need and properly compensate doctors at the same time.

Common Factors that Contribute to Truck Accidents

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recorded more than 3,000 fatalities caused by accidents involving large trucks. They also note that 1 in 10 traffic fatalities happen due to such accidents. It’s easy to imagine why a collision between a truck and a car can be so devastating just by considering the sheer size of vehicles like 18-wheelers and tractor trailers. Trucks can easily overpower the other vehicles on the road. Even the slightest crash can lead to tragic outcomes.

Large trucks are easily 20 to 30 times heavier than regular passenger cars. This huge discrepancy is perhaps the main contributing factor to truck accidents. Because a truck is much larger and heavier than a car, it follows that maneuvering such a vehicle involves more precision and control. Compared to a car, it takes a truck much longer to come to a full stop. Trucks also have greater ground clearance, leaving a smaller vehicle vulnerable to sliding underneath the monstrous vehicle. On top of that, the size of the truck also leaves its operator with plenty more blind spot or no-zones to be mindful of. According to the website of Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, areas including the driver side and back side of a truck are particularly dangerous for nearby vehicles.

While vehicle size is an important contributing factor to truck accidents, the website of lawyers at Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A. are quick to point out that this is not the main cause behind most crashes. There are plenty of other reasons that contribute to the possibility of a fatal truck accident. For one, inexperienced drivers can cause crucial and negligent errors that will lead them to lose control of their vehicle. Mechanical defects and malfunction is another leading cause of truck accidents. Such instances can be counted as a case of employer negligence or liability because trucking companies are expected to maintain a certain level of upkeep for their fleet of vehicles.

Self-Storage Tips: How to Keep Your Items Safe from Damage and Save Space

There are many reasons as to why you should consider renting out your own mini-storage space. One of the most common reasons to opt for self-storage is if you’re looking to save space in your home. It isn’t always easy to cut back on items that are cramping your quarters. Decluttering your space involves having to get rid of stuff that you might not be ready to throw or give away. Nostalgic items can be an emotional asset to part with. However, with self-storage, you can keep your favorite items while maintaining a clear and spacious home.

Of course, renting a self-storage space comes with its own challenges. You can’t just dump your stuff inside the space assigned to you without any plans for organization. If you want to keep your items safe and utilize the space you have, it is important to think strategically and consider the stuff you have on hand. For example, if you’re keeping books and documents inside your storage, it might be wise to have freestanding shelves or drawers to keep them safe from water and other elemental damage. Meanwhile, any clothing and draperies should be properly folded and packed in boxes to prevent the fabric from stretching out.

Af you’re thinking of storing furniture inside your self-storage space, it would be best to have them disassembled with the pieces stored inside sturdy boxes. It would also be a huge space saver if you can stack these boxes vertically. Be mindful, however, to put the heavier boxes at the bottom of the stack. According to the website of Pond Springs Mini Storage, you should not forget to label these boxes, as well. If you’re storing a couch, be sure to place it at back of your self-storage space, so that it won’t be in the way when you have to return and retrieve something you need.

There are several other things to consider, such as arranging pallets or plywood on the floor in order to keep items off the floor. These considerations might involve the help of experienced personnel. Start canvasing for a storage facility within your area and get started with decluttering your home.

Dangerous Medical Products: A Closer Look at the Issue

The pharmaceutical industry has evolved at a staggering rate over the course of the last century. The medical solutions available to doctors today would have been unimaginable in the past. Thanks to advancements in medical technology, doctors in the 21st century have access to a host of different devices, tools, and medications to better serve their communities. Today, pharmaceutical companies play an important role in advancing the well-being of the population. The leaders of the industry play an even more vital part in the process, offering innovations that pave the way for more accessible solutions.

One can only expect the progress to continue on as new technological discoveries allow researchers to do more and more. However, the landscape isn’t always as ideal as it seems. Defective pharmaceuticals and dangerous medical products remain a growing concern in the industry. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, there is a significant number of product liability lawsuits filed across America involving medical products, including dangerous drugs, devices, and tools used by doctors or surgeons.

When the safety of medical products comes into question, the Food and Drug Administration conducts an investigation to learn more about the concerns raised by affected individuals. From there, pharmaceutical companies are expected to act and addressed the issue at hand. The complications caused by defective and dangerous medical products can lead to devastating consequences. Instead of advancing the well-being of a community, these issues could leave the opposite effect.

Depakote, a prescription drug intended to treat seizures and mania for patients with bipolar disorder, is among such controversial medical products. According to the website of Depakote lawsuit attorneys at Williams Kherkher, several cases show that the drug has caused birth defects to babies whose mothers used the medication during their pregnancy. Another dangerous medical product receiving attention these days are Styker hip implants, which have been found to cause nerve damage and tissue necrosis.