Social Security Disability Consultative Exams And You

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Social Security Disability Consultative Exams And You

If you have not been able to work at your job because of a medical condition, you may be requested to undergo a special medical exam as part of your application process for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may need to learn more about your medical condition, particularly if you have not received recent medical treatment for it. To help you understand what this exam, called a consultative exam, means to your Social Security claim, read on.

What happens at this exam?

The doctor who performs this exam is chosen, and paid, by the SSA. While the exam concerns your medical condition, you should not expect to receive any medical treatment or prescriptions from this exam. Just as with most medical exams, the exam will begin with a check of your weight and height, your blood pressure, temperature and heart rate. Most exams consist of the doctor closely checking and evaluating the body part that is affected by your medical condition to determine if your condition is bad enough to prevent you from working at your job. The exam may involve some questioning and often also includes tests, such as blood tests, x-rays and other diagnostic tools. You will not be charged for any part of this exam.

What happens after the exam?

The consultative exam physician will submit a report of your medical condition to the SSA and the report will list what types of work you can be expected to preform, from light duty/sedentary to heavy work. This report can take several weeks and you can expect to wait a few more weeks to hear for the SSA with the result. In most cases, the SSA will use this report as the final factor in determining your benefit eligibility.

What happens if my claim is denied?

Unfortunately, the possibility of being denied benefits after a consultative exam can be high, but you must undergo the exam in order to be provided with a denial. You must possess a denial to proceed to your next step, which is an appeal. Try to regard the consultative exam and the denial as normal parts of the Social Security disability application process, and don’t give up. Seek the help of a legal professional at a firm like Shoap Law Offices, who understands how the process works and can stand by your side at the appeal hearing and help ensure that you get the benefits that you need.

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3 Things You Should Always Do Following An Accident To Protect Your Legal Rights

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Should Always Do Following An Accident To Protect Your Legal Rights

No one ever plans on getting in a car accident, so when it happens, it’s easy to feel a little disoriented or confused. Still, the first moments immediately following an accident can have a large impact on your chances in a court of a law if things should one day escalate to that point. In order to protect your legal rights, make it a point to always do these three things during the first minutes following a car accident.

Call the Police and File a Report

If all that happened was just a small fender bender, you might think it’s not that important to involve the authorities. But the person that hit you could end up changing their story after leaving the scene. If it’s going to be a story of he said, she said in court, it is critical to have a report from an independent third party. Always contact the police and ask them to file an official report regarding your accident. Call them even if the other party doesn’t plan on sticking around.

Photograph Everything

Another thing that can be a big help to you in court is visual evidence. Yes, you can certainly type out a transcript of the events as they went down, but it can help a judge or jury if they can actually see what you are talking about for themselves. Don’t just photograph the damage to your car, photograph the other person’s car as well. In addition, photograph the street you were driving down and the direction or road from which the other vehicle was traveling from before you collided with each other. If you’re using your phone, back up the photos to your computer or cloud storage immediately upon getting home.

If Injured, Contact an Attorney

After you leave the scene, one of the first things you should do if you feel any discomfort at all is to contact a car accident lawyer. The insurance companies involved will be determining the liability but it can help if you have an attorney to serve as the point man for your contact with claims workers. An experienced attorney can also help you tackle things like medical expenses if your injuries are more severe. More than anything, having an attorney on your side will help protect your legal rights so that you can get restitution for your injuries if desired.

The aftermath of a car accident can be hectic. It’s important in this situation to keep a cool head and fully document everything that happened, with photographs and a police report if possible. If you suffered significant damage to your property or you think you might have been injured, contact a car accident lawyer for assistance as soon as possible.

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Electronic Shifters: A Tragic Death Shines A Spotlight On A Design Defect

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Electronic Shifters: A Tragic Death Shines A Spotlight On A Design Defect

The death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin highlights the dangers of confusing technology and what happens when auto companies make innovations that are more harmful than helpful. The actor was found pinned between his own Jeep and a security gate after the Jeep slipped out of gear. It’s been revealed that the vehicle was among those already recalled for problems with the electronic shifter. If you own a vehicle with an electronic shifter, this is what you should know about the danger it poses and the manufacturer’s liability.

Why are electronic shifters a problem?

The basic design of a regular automotive shifter has been the same for a long time—it requires drivers to move the gear stick to the dedicated slot for the chosen gear and it stays there until the driver moves it back again. Electronic shifters move back to the center position on their own after each shift in gear. This could confuse drivers, who may not realize that they haven’t shifted the gear back out of whatever drive it was in and put the auto in park. There are also no safety mechanisms that prevent drivers from getting out of the car when it isn’t fully in park. 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is accused of delaying its response to more than 700 reports that may be related to the issue, including 212 crashes. However, the Jeep Grand Cherokee isn’t the only type of auto out there that has these types of electronic shifters. Some Dodge Chargers, Chrysler 300s and Maserati sedans also have the shifter.

Who is responsible for these accidents under the law?

When a product is inherently unsafe, product liability laws typically place the blame for design defects on the manufacturer. In order to have a successful lawsuit, plaintiffs have to prove the following things:

  • The risk of an accident was reasonably foreseeable even if the product was used as intended .
  • The manufacturer could have used an alternative design that would have reduced the risk.
  • It wasn’t an economical burden on the manufacturer to do so.

In this case, for example, it’s probably reasonable enough to say that alternative designs were available. After all, regular gear shifts were already available. It’s also probably going to be fairly easy to show that FCA could have provided some safety measures that would prevent drivers from exiting the vehicles unless the car was in park or turned off.

The biggest dispute may center around whether or not FCA could have anticipated the confusion drivers would have when using the new gear shift, and how quickly they should have realized that there was a problem once reports started coming in.

If you believe that you or someone else was injured because you didn’t realize what gear your electronic shifter was in, talk to an attorney like those at Welsh & Welsh PC LLO to discuss the possibility of a case.

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When A Motorcycle Part Defect Causes An Accident

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When A Motorcycle Part Defect Causes An Accident

Sometimes motorcycle accidents have nothing to do with a motorist. A defective motorcycle part can cause an accident as well. If you should suffer an injury because of a defective part, you do have options.

Who Is To Blame for Accidents Caused By a Defective Motorcycle Part?

When a defective part causes an accident or injury, every party, from distributor to manufacturer, can have some liability. This is a basic tenet of product liability law.

For example, if your brakes failed because of a product defect, then the manufacturer of those brakes is to blame. The distributor may also hold some blame if, for instance, they failed to run their own quality checks on the brakes.

The brake installer may have some blame as well if the defect was an obvious one but the brakes were installed anyway. Even if it’s found you didn’t do your due diligence by testing the brakes before hitting the road, you won’t bear all the responsibility.

Proving a Defective Part Caused an Accident

Knowing a defective part is the cause of an accident doesn’t mean it’s easy to prove. Many factors come into play when you attempt to press a lawsuit against a third-party such as a manufacturer.

Occasionally, discovering a defective part will occur during the investigation of the accident. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way and you will have to prove a defective part caused the accident. Consider these questions, because your opposition will certainly try to use them against you.

Maintenance – Can you say the part was defective when you got it, or was it defective because you didn’t maintain it properly?

Recalls – Did you check to see if there was a safety recall? Were you notified, but you ignored the notification?

Sourcing – Did you purchase the part from a reputable or recommended dealer? Is it an aftermarket part not specifically designed for your bike?

These are just some of the things that will come up with the goal of ruining your credibility.

You Will Need Help

These types of cases are difficult because it’s often hard to prove a defect caused an accident, rather than your own negligence. A motorcycle accident attorney will know how to:

  • deal with the insurance company’s questions
  • prove beyond doubt a defect was to blame

If you have even the slightest suspicion that a defective part caused your motorcycle accident, bring it up with a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

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Injured In A Car Accident? Two Ways You Can Prove It

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Injured In A Car Accident? Two Ways You Can Prove It

When you are injured in a car accident this may lead to doctor bills and missed work. Fortunately, you can get compensated for this money by the other driver’s insurance if the accident was the other driver’s fault. The first thing you should do is to hire an auto accident attorney, and make sure you have the two things listed below to take with you to your first visit with the attorney.

Police Report

Make sure you get a copy of the police report from officer that came to the accident scene. This is an official legal record of how the accident happened and whose fault it was. The officer can determine the cause of the accident by observing the scene, such as how the cars are facing, the type of damage to the cars, and the tread marks in the road. They include these observations in their police report.  The officer will talk to the other driver to get their account of the accident, and they will include what the driver says in the police report. What the other driver told the officer could help you establish that the accident was not your fault.

Scene Photographs

If you have your smartphone with you, you need to take photographs of the accident scene. These photographs can be of great help to your accident attorney. The police may have not taken any pictures at all to include in their police report. The photos will show the position of each car during the impact, the time of the accident, the weather conditions, and the damage done to each vehicle.

If you are at the wreck scene and have no way to take photographs, contact an auto accident attorney quickly. They can have someone come to the scene to take these pictures for you. This person will also be knowledgeable in the types of photographs the attorney will need. For example, you may not consider taking pictures of the tread marks. You should also try to get a picture of the other driver if they are freely walking around showing no signs of injury. This can help you if they are claiming they were injured, such as whiplash.

These are just two ways you can prove that you are injured due to the car accident. Your accident attorney can help you get everything together that you need so you can win your case.

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4 Things You Can Do With Your Cell Phone At The Scene Of An Auto Accident

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things You Can Do With Your Cell Phone At The Scene Of An Auto Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, there are multiple ways that your cell phone may be able to help you win the compensation that you deserve through a personal injury case. Here are a few things that you shouldn’t do with your cell phone while still at the scene of an accident:

Photograph the scene.

Most cell phones have a camera function. Thus, you can use your phone to take pictures of the scene of the accident. These pictures can serve as a record of the event.

If taken properly, the pictures can display the weather during the event, the positioning of the cars after the accident and even the location of street signs or traffic lights in relation to the location of the collision.

You can even photograph the license plate of the vehicles involved along with the damages incurred by each car or truck. This can help substantiate any claims of property damage concerning your vehicle.

You can record the contact information of witnesses.

You can also use your cell phone to record the contact information of witnesses that are present at the accident scene. You can enter the information using a notepad on your phone or you can text or send an email to yourself with the names, phone numbers and other information that can be used to contact the witnesses in the future.

You can record a statement.

After a substantial amount of time passes, you may not clearly recall all of the information concerning the event. However, if you record everything that you recollect concerning the accident and how it occurred while you are still at the accident scene, you are less likely to forget important components of the event.

You can even record statements from the witnesses at the scene of the accident. These statements may later be used as official evidence of what transpired during the incident.

You can call a personal injury attorney.

While you are still at the scene of the accident, you can contact the office of a personal injury attorney to schedule a consultation. Many personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations to potential clients.

If you are injured in an automotive accident, it is important to have legal representation. Being represented by a competent personal injury attorney can help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer like one from Gartner Law Firm in your area.

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