All About Social Security Disability Insurance

All About Social Security Disability Insurance

The federal government has a way to protect social security members from the financial hardships of sustaining a disability. This is called the Social Security Disability Insurance, also known simply as SSDI. According to the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm, applying and receiving the benefits of this insurance program can be very complicated. But certain factors can easily be understood, such as those enumerated below.

Eligibility for SSDI

SSDI is an interesting program, so it is not surprising that many people would like to receive its benefits. But unfortunately, not everybody is eligible to enjoy them. There are certain guidelines that need to be passed for a person to be viable for coverage. First, the person should be contributing to the social security program for a specific number of years. Second, the person should be truly medically disabled, either through injury or medical condition.

The age of the person and his or her number of years in employment are also taken into consideration. A combination of these factors may increase chances of approval. For example, a person who has worked for twenty years, diligently contributed to social security, and suddenly become disabled, may have more chances compared to a person who has worked only for five years.

Coverage of SSDI

Coverage can either be short-term or long-term, and this will depend on the severity of the person’s disability and how badly it needs medical attention and expenses.

Typically, the coverage is calculated in a way that involves a percentage of the person’s average earnings wherein he or she has contributed to the social security program. Different earning brackets have different percentage calculations.

Advantages of SSDI

When you look at it in a different perspective, SSDI is there to give back what the disabled person has contributed, especially now that he or she needs the financial cushion for the disability.

The clear advantage of having the benefits of Social Security Disability Insurance is that the person can now attend to his or her medical needs and have enough financial flexibility for everyday expenses. This may also prevent emotional and psychological problems that may arise from getting disabled and experiencing financial hardships because of it, such as depression, increased irritability, and disinterest in social activities and events.

Defective Trucks: a Result of Employer Negligence

The enormous size of big rigs or 18-wheelers, is enough to make this type of vehicle a threat on the road and, considering the fact that truck drivers usually drive for about 11 hours a day, concern on road safety can easily come into play. Concerns, such as the possibility of drivers feeling fatigued, as well as their skills and qualification before being allowed to drive a truck.

For many truck drivers, eleven hours of driving with very short rest periods is normal work. Due to this very tough and demanding task, a type of training, which will develop and further improve applicant and experienced drivers’ skills in operating a truck, and passing a test set by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), in order to earn a commercial vehicle license, are strictly required by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.

Despite federal laws and programs aimed at eliminating or substantially reducing truck accidents , the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), continue to record close to 4,000 deaths and more than 70,000 injuries resulting from the more than half a million truck accidents every year.

Though these may be alarming figures (but not as alarming as the statistics for car accidents), there is a more surprising study which shows that close to 80% of truck accidents are fault of drivers of passenger vehicles rather than of truck drivers.

Some of these faults include a passenger vehicle: crossing the center line and driving into a truck’s path, resulting to head-on collision; side-swiping a truck that is going in the same direction or heading the opposite direction; turning across a truck’s path; rear-ending a truck; and cutting in front of a truck and then slowing down.

There are many other causes why truck accidents happen, of course, like a driver losing control due to tire blowout or brake problems, worn-out tires, defective brakes or other truck parts, poorly maintained road, poor weather condition, driver fatigue, driving too fast for road conditions, cargo not properly distributed inside the truck, alcohol or drug impairment, and so forth.

There are more than three million trucks drivers employed in the U.S. and millions of them drive their trucks all across the U.S. every day. Besides federal laws that mandate trucking firms to make sure that their drivers are trained, skilled and not overworked, there are also laws which require these firms to conduct regular inspection, repair and maintenance of their trucks, and keep records of these maintenance jobs ready for government inspection.

According to the Ali Mokarram law firm, “While the number of fatal truck accidents continues to decrease year by year, 18 wheeler accidents still occur every day. Despite the numerous safety measures all trucking companies and their employees must follow, negligence persists as the prevailing cause of these accidents. Negligence comes in many forms, from a driver not checking his blind spot to a transportation company failing to properly maintain their vehicles.

Individuals involved in an 18 wheeler accident can attest to the severity of damage caused by these massive vehicles. These giants may be necessary to deliver the goods consumers need, but when the negligence of a driver or a transportation company causes injuries to an innocent victim, they need to pay compensation to those who suffered.”

Truck accidents almost always have disastrous results. Though studies may show that most of these accidents are due to errors committed by drivers of passenger vehicles, there may be clues that will prove otherwise. Besides having a good doctor who will see to it that you are out of danger, it will equally be wise to have a seasoned personal injury or truck accident attorney, who may be able to help you pursue justice and claim the compensation that you may be legally eligible to receive.

What Are The Potential Damages Available In Elderly Physical Abuse Claim?

When an elderly gets seriously injured or dies as a result of physical abuse in a nursing home, the relatives or family members can recover damages from the responsible party. However, proving damages may prove to be complicated. The court will consider several factors in determining the amount of compensation that the family of the elderly can receive. The website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg reveals that it is possible to collect damages from elderly physical abuse.

Mental Suffering

It is an established scientific fact that mental well-being is an important component of our health and quality of life. The court may award compensation based on this assumption.

Disfigurement

Disfigurement due to scars, amputations, hair loss, or other physical damages can have a negative impact on the elderly’s pride and dignity. It can leave them depressed, anxious, and may suffer from chronic mental conditions. The court may award compensation for any loss related to disfigurement.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

An injury can greatly impact the elderly’s ability to live a normal life. They may no longer be able to perform activities without hindrance. For this reason, the elderly may also be able to recover damages related to loss of enjoyment of life.

Shortened Life Expectancy

The court will take into consideration the established standard life expectancy when computing for damages. The elderly’s attorney may be able to enhance the compensation as a result of medical and technological innovations which can extend life expectancy. Good habits and healthy lifestyle may also be included to increase the compensation.

Punitive Damages

When malicious or reckless behavior on the part of the nursing home is established, the court may award punitive damages. Violation of the elderly’s statutory rights can also be added to the compensation.

Wrongful Death

If the elderly dies due to the misconduct of the nursing home, the surviving members of the family of the elderly may file a wrongful death claim and recover damages in the process.

New Hours of Service Rule For Truck Drivers Already In Place

Driver fatigue is one of the known causes of truck accidents. This is because of the tremendous pressure that their employers put on them to drive as many hours as possible to accomplish their target. In an attempt to reduce truck accidents due to driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the US Department of Transportation established new Hours of Service regulations.

A Chicago injury attorney will tell you that truck companies can be held liable for any injuries that will be incurred for violating safety laws. The new rule took effect February 2012 and compliance started July 2013. The new regulations provides for the following:

  • The maximum average work week was reduced to 72 hours from the previous 82 hours
  • Truck drivers who has reached the maximum work hours can return to work after resting for 34 consecutive hours, including a minimum of two nights when their body clock demands the most sleep
  • Truck drivers can take a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of their shift

The new ruling maintained the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day. Any trucking company that violates the new regulations could face the maximum penalties for each offense. In addition, companies could be subjected to a fine of $11,000 per offense if they exceed the driving limit by more than three hours. Drivers could pay civil penalties of up to $2,750 for every offense.

The new hours of service rule covers commercial motor vehicles used as part of a business and is involved in interstate commerce and fits any of the following:

  • Weighs more than 10,001 pounds
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination wright rating of more than 10,001 pounds
  • Designed or used to transport more than 16 passengers not for compensation and 9 or more passengers for compensation
  • Transports hazardous materials in a quantity that requires placards

An Overview of Wrongful Death Action

Wrongful death happens when an individual is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another person. It is worth noting that wrongful death is a civil case even though there may be a criminal prosecution associated with the fatality. For this reason, the standard of proof in a wrongful death is lower than in a criminal case such as murder or manslaughter.

Wrongful death results from a wide range of circumstances such as medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, torts, manufacturing defects, or criminal activity. Each state has their own wrongful death statute, criteria and procedure for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Unlike other tort doctrines, wrongful death does not exist in common law. Early English and American courts did not recognize these actions. In those days, when the tort victim dies so is their right to bring a case.

There is a distinction between wrongful death and survivor action. While both pay damages for the surviving members of the family of the deceased, the difference is in the payment of damages. In wrongful death, the proceeds of the damage is directly paid to the qualified beneficiaries of the deceased. In survival action, on the other hand, the damages are paid to the victim’s estate not to the family. However, the damages may eventually go to the family members.

As a civil case, wrongful death is filed by the surviving family members. The decision of the judge is based on a “preponderance of evidence,” and not the “beyond reasonable doubt” ruling for other cases. This means that the defendant may be acquitted of criminal charges but may still be guilty in a wrongful death case. According to the website of Mazin & Associates, PC, wrongful death is governed by a statute of limitations so it is important to file the case within the given timeframe or else all hope of recovering damages is gone.

What Damages Can You Get From a Product Liability Lawsuit?

A product liability lawsuit arises due to injuries or deaths resulting from a defective equipment or product. Most claims are based on some kind of negligence or strict liability theory. When buying a product from a certain store, there is always an assumption that the product is safe and will not be harmful to you or your loved ones. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, any defects in a product may arise during manufacture or assembly, shipping or distribution or from sitting on a store shelf.

Once it has been revealed that the injury or death of a person was due to a defective product, the next question that will come to mind is the possible claims that you will get. If you are looking for punitive damages, forget about it because these types of damages require a purposeful intent on the part of the defendant to harm the plaintiff. Product liability is based on negligence and in claims like these, it is unlikely that the defendant acted on some purposeful intent.

In a product liability lawsuit, one can claim for compensatory damages. It can be divided into economic losses and non-economic losses. The former can be easily calculated into monetary dollar accounts while the latter is more difficult to compute. Economic losses may provide coverage for the following:

  • Medical Expenses to pay for hospital and doctor bills, pharmaceutical and medicine bills, physical therapy.
  • Disability Costs which helps defray any expenses related to disability resulting from injury.
  • Lost Wages as the plaintiff may miss work and hence lose wages
  • Property Damage to help the plaintiff pay for any damages due to destruction of properties in casews of defective garden tools or cars.

Non-economic losses, on the other hand, are also called non-monetary losses or general damagaes. Depending on the jurisdiction, there are usually caps or limits to the amount of non-economic losses that can be awarded to product liability claims. These types of losses may include the following:

  • Loss of Consortium. This usually pertains to injuries that can have a negative effect on the relationship with a spouse or partner. This may include loss of affection, companionship and support.
  • Pain and Suffering. This includes pain, suffering, anguish, or loss of enjoyment due to injuries.

Manufacturers of products and equipments have the responsibility to ensure the safety of their consumers. At the same time, they have the duty to inform or warn customers about any potential danger to their product. For a company that fails to do so and a customer gets injured or dies, then they are liable to compensate for any damages or liabilities that may happen due to their negligence.

The Ramifications of Cerebral Palsy

Everyone battling the consequences of negligence could possibly be in lots of physical and mental discomfort as well as trauma. There are numerous medical implications that may come because of this of this happenstance, according to the website of John J. Driscoll, and one may be eligible to get a personal injury claim in order to obtain due reimbursement.

There is hardly another branch of persona injury which could trigger pain that is so much as medical negligence could. More particularly, a case if the result is really a birth defect in a new baby infant who must suddenly dwell the others of their life with a few type of sickness. That is difficult and distressing for a lot of parents to understand that their child has been bound to the ongoing battle as a result of somebody else’s wrongdoing.

An excellent range is between decisions and crashes and occasionally, someone’s’ result irresponsible decision outcomes in somebody else’s large amount of discomfort. One particular consequence to a child is cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy identifies minimal motor abilities that outcome into physical ailments. Cerebral palsy is often a consequence of medical negligence and may result into many costly surgical procedure and medicines that require to be frequently maintained merely to be capable of living as normally as possible.

In case you or somebody you know is living with cerebral palsy on account of medical negligence, you may have an individual injury claim. However, your timetable is not unlimited.

Cruise Ship Dangers: Inclement Weather Conditions

Life is always full of risks. In any activity, all individuals face some degree of potential danger should certain factors align and contribute to an accident. This is true even when one is on vacation. In a cruise, for example, passengers might be looking forward to a fun and relaxing time. However, it can’t be ignored that there are certain risks involved in this mode of travel that might compromise the passengers’ safety. While cruise lines do what they can to mitigate the dangers and set up appropriate safety protocols, there are still some factors that are out of their hands. The weather is the most obvious example of such dangers.

Sea storms, hurricanes, and rogue waves are among the many conditions that some cruise ships will have to navigate through without much warning. While these companies can do a lot to monitor weather patterns and travel according to advisories issued by government agencies, there is no guarantee that a cruise’s crew and staff can properly predict how the sea might treat their vessel once out in the open sea.

Fortunately, cruise ships in recent years have been built with high quality materials and are outfitted with state of the art equipment to prevent any catastrophic accident caused by inclement weather conditions. The sizes of today’s vessels are often large enough to withstand some time in difficult waters as they are often made with heavier steel. Technological advancements also allow vessels to navigate through inclement weather as quickly as possible, preventing any damage caused by the continuous beating of huge and powerful waves.

In most cases, the real dangers in cruise ships are caused by recklessness and negligence on the part of the cruise line operator. As noted on the Vucci Law Group cruise ship attorney website, accidents are more common in excursions taken by passengers off the ship. Accidents caused by improper docking and malfunctioning equipment are more concerning than those that could happen due to rough weather conditions.

Historic Nashville: Civil War Battlegrounds Within and Around the City

Nashville is famous for being a looming presence in the world of music. However, the city is equally rich in history. Visitors coming to Nashville, Tennessee for the first time can enjoy the different Civil War battlegrounds in and around to city to learn more about one of the most defining moments in American history.

Battle of Nashville

The area covering parts of south and west downtown Nashville had been the venue of the Battle of Nashville in 1864. While most of this venue is now used for residential and commercial purposes, visitors can still learn about the historical significance of this even through driving tours and maps offered by the Nashville tourism facilities. You can also view the artifacts from this battle at the Tennessee State Museum.

Battle of Franklin

The area for the Battle of Franklin is about 30 minutes away from Nashville. Visitors can see the Carter House, which served as a Union command post during the height of the Civil War. Today, the structure is riddled with bullet holes showing how close Carter House was to the fighting that took place in the area. You can take a tour inside the Carter House and the surrounding area. There’s also a museum where tourists can see a short video presentation and other exhibitions. Nearby is the Carnton Plantation, which also played a crucial role during the Battle of Franklin. The plantation served as a hospital where soldiers wounded from the battle were taken and treated.

Stones River

Just thirty miles south of Nashville is the Stones River Battlefield. This area was the venue for one of the deadliest conflicts during the Civil War, and visitors can learn more about this moment in history through guided tours and a trip to its museum to see important artifacts and memorabilia. The area is also a popular trail for hiking and jogging.

Battle of Hartsville

Visitors can come to Hartsville to see the venue of the Battle of Hartsville. The event was considered as one of the most significant cavalry raids during the entire Civil War. A driving tour can take you to all the important sites and monuments throughout the city.

Scope Implicated in Superbug Outbreak

Who knew that in these modern times you could get a deadly infection through medical devices meant to help you manage your disease?

The endoscope is a snake-like medical device used in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This procedure is for the diagnosis and treatment of liver, bile duct, and pancreatic diseases as well as some types of cancer. The device is inserted through the throat and anus. The problem is, it could also carry a deadly virus called carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) as well as other pathogens from patient to patient. CRE is resistant to antibiotics, so the prognosis for CRE patients is not good. Some have a 50% chance of recovery; others die.

This was the case for two patients in UCLA in February 2015 who died after acquiring the CRE bug through the duodenoscope manufactured by Olympus. Two hundred others may possibly be infected, and one patient who was infected is currently suing Olympus. An article on the Pohl and Berk website describes a product liability issue along these lines. UCLA routinely carries out half a million ERCPs every year.

Despite stringent sterilization protocols, the risk of infection with endoscopes is still high because of its many grooves, nooks, and crannies, which makes it difficult to clean. The outbreak became more controversial when it turned out that the device, which has been on the market since 2010, did not even have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. The oversight has sparked outrage among the population as the implications become clear.

It has been revealed recently that more than 30 patients at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle may also have been infected with drug-resistant superbugs via an endoscope between 2012 and 2014. Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois have also made similar reports, but the patients were not informed at that time. In the Seattle outbreak, 11 have since died but it is unknown if it was due to the superbug. The medical devices involved had different manufacturers including Fujinon, Pentax Medical, and Olympus America.