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First Steps if You’re Injured at Work

First Steps if You’re Injured at Work

Employers are legally required to do everything necessary to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Nonetheless, injuries on the job still sometimes happen. If that’s the case for you, what should you do first, and what are your legal rights? Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you sort through the legalities of workers’ compensation.

 

First Steps if You’re Injured at Work

The first step you will want to take to protect yourself legally is to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. In fact, most states require you do so within a specified period of time.  The next step is to file a claim with either the workers’ compensation court or industrial court, depending on your state. By doing so, you’re giving formal notice to both your employer and their insurance company about the injury.

 

At this point, you may choose to pursue legal action, particularly if you are unable to work as a result of your injury and would like to receive compensation.

 

While workers’ compensation laws vary by state, there are some common legal rights that workers are entitled to in most states. These include the right to:

  • File a claim for your injury or illness
  • Get medical treatment for your injury
  • Return to work if you’ve been cleared by a doctor
  • Be compensated if you’re unable to return to work either permanently or temporarily
  • Have legal representation

You also have the option of claims against an employer that are separate from workers’ compensation claims. This may be particularly beneficial if a governmental agency such as OSHA has been involved and the employer was cited with a safety violation that caused the injury. While we here at the firm do not handle workers’ compensation claims, we will be happy to speak with you about separate claims against an employer in Ohio or West Virginia.

 

If you were injured at the workplace and would like legal advice, feel free to contact our team of West Virginia personal injury attorneys anytime at 877.526.3457. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond right away.

Disability Benefits Before Application

Disability Benefits Before Application

Can I Get Social Security Disability Benefits for Any of the Time Before I Applied?

If you’re applying for Social Security Disability benefits, the process can seem pretty complex. And if you have been dealing with a disability for months or years, you may be wondering if it’s possible to receive benefits for any of that time. Our team of skilled West Virginia Social Security Disability attorneys can help you navigate the process.

 

The answer to the above question is, potentially, yes. You may be able to receive benefits for some of the time before you applied. If you meet the conditions, it is possible you may qualify to receive benefits for some of the time during which you were suffering from your disability but before you applied for benefits.

 

Typically, it’s possible to receive back pay for up to 12 months prior to the time you applied for benefits.  If you are found disabled, Social Security Disability can pay back pay for a maximum of 12 months prior to your date of application. However, they must deem that you met their definition of disabled for any months that they pay you benefits prior to that.

 

If you have additional questions about Social Security benefits, or if you’d like to learn more about filing a Social Security disability claim, feel free to contact us at 877.526.3457. We have an experienced team of West Virginia Social Security Disability attorneys, and one of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond to you shortly.

Holiday Safety Tips

Holiday Safety Tips

 

The holidays are right around the corner, and you may be looking forward to a well-deserved break and some quality time with family. As you’re preparing for the festivities, it’s important to make safety a priority, especially if you’ll be traveling. Here are a few steps you can follow to keep yourself and your family safe this holiday season.

 

Get your car ready

 

If you’re traveling by car for the holidays, make sure it’s in optimal condition before hitting the road. If it’s due for an oil change, make sure that happens before your trip. If you live in an area where it’s advised that you use snow tires, be sure to get those put on. If you’re using all-season tires, check to see if they have sufficient tread (you will typically want to replace them if the tread is less than 2/3 of an inch). You also want to ensure that the tire pressure is sufficient, and that your battery, wiper blades, and wiper fluid are optimal. And be sure to keep your tank at least half full in case the temperature drops suddenly to avoid a gas line freeze.

 

Prioritize self-care

 

The holidays are a busy time, and taking care of yourself can sometimes be difficult. But if you’re going on a car trip, it’s important for you to be well rested. If possible, try to get your packing and any other chores or errands done as early as possible the night before so you can have a good night’s sleep. If you start to feel drowsy while driving, pull over and take a break or let someone else drive. It’s better to be a few minutes late than to put yourself in danger.

 

Decorate safely

 

For many families, decorating their home is one of the most enjoyable holiday traditions. But it’s important to follow basic safety protocols when deciding how to deck the halls. Be aware of fire hazards. If you’re decorating outdoors, keep anything electrical in a covered area where it’s not likely to get wet. And be sure to keep flammable materials away from lights and other decorations that can get hot. Be aware of where you place tinsel, strings of beads, and other decorations that a child or pet could get tangled in. Use battery-powered lights instead of candles with flames.

 

Caution in the kitchen

 

When preparing the holiday meal, follow food safety practices. With the busyness of the celebration, it’s often easy to get distracted. But remember to return perishable ingredients to the refrigerator, keep raw meat away from other foods, and wash your hands after handling it. Do not leave a stove or oven that’s turned on unattended, and be sure children aren’t allowed in the kitchen unsupervised while food is cooking.

 

The holidays are a time to enjoy being with family and create lifelong memories. And by following a few simple steps, you can ensure your holiday season will be safe, as well as fun.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Brain Injury

Filing a Personal Injury Claim for a Brain Injury

Brain injuries can vary widely and include everything from mild concussions to severe injuries that impact your ability to function. If you believe another party is responsible for a brain injury you’ve suffered, you may want to take legal action.

 

For a Brain Injury

Things can be somewhat complicated when it comes to brain injuries. Signs of brain injury can sometimes take time to become apparent, and there may be no external signs of injury, making them more difficult to detect. For example, oxygen deprivation can damage the brain, though there may be no visible signs. Medical malpractice may also result in brain injuries that are not immediately obvious. Also, concussions can cause permanent damage.

 

For these reasons, those who suffer brain injuries are sometimes reluctant to take legal action. But the truth is, you may be entitled to receive damages as compensation for your injury.

 

As with any personal injury claim, you will need to demonstrate that another party is legally liable for your injury, either through their actions or their negligence. If they are deemed liable, you will be eligible to receive damages in an amount determined by the court. Learn more about personal injury cases here and here.

 

The process of gathering documentation to support your claim can be quite involved and having the assistance of an experienced legal representative is critical.

 

Contact Us

If you have suffered a brain injury and would like to determine whether you may be eligible to receive compensation, then contact our team of West Virginia personal injury attorneys anytime at 877.526.3457. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond right away.

Golden Apple Award

Golden Apple

Congratulations to Kim White, Our Latest Golden Apple Winner!

 

Here at Jan Dils, we do our best to recognize those in our local community who are having a positive impact. Our Golden Apple Award honors outstanding local educators, and we’re pleased to recognize Kim White as our latest recipient.

 

Kim is a first grade teacher at Madison Elementary here in Parkersburg. She has been a teacher for 28 years, with the last eight being at Madison.

 

When asked what makes her students special, White replied “They want to learn…They’re loving and caring. School is their favorite place to come to, and when they come in each morning, they’re happy to see me.”

 

White went on to explain that her advice to a new teacher would be, “to stick with it. Yeah, you’re going to have hard years, but the good years outshine the rest by far and you’re going to make lifelong learners.”

 

She noted that some of the children she taught in elementary school years ago are now teachers in the local school system themselves.

 

Regarding the Golden Apple Award, White said, “I’ve seen it on TV and I always thought, ‘Wow, that’s really nice that a student or family has thought that much of their teacher to make that effort. It means a lot to me…and especially because it’s a parent who notices [my work], that’s very important to me.”

 

Congratulations to Kim, we here at the firm appreciate all of your hard work!

Golden Apple Family

Talking to Your Parents About Their Disability Claim

Talking to Your Parents About Their Disability Claim

Talking to your parents about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is important, as they may not be aware of what they are entitled to under law. They need to know that the SSDI program is there to pay benefits and support to those who are unable to work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year and it must be significant enough to impair their ability to do basic work like lifting, standing, sitting and remembering important information. What’s more, the process can be complicated and they may need to hire an attorney to represent their case before an administrative law judge (ALJ).

It’s important to keep in mind that when a parent becomes disabled, they need to apply for SSDI as soon as they become disabled. Since the application processing time may take three to five months or maybe more, depending on the nature of the case, applying early can help save time and money. The Motley Fool lists the specific categories of medical ailments which the SSA considers severe enough to allow an individual to qualify for benefits:

  • Special Senses and Speech
  • The Musculoskeletal System
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • The Cardiovascular System
  • The Digestive System
  • Genitourinary Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Skin Disorders
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Congenital Disorders that Affect Multiple Body Systems
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Mental Disorders
  • Cancer (Malignant Neoplastic Diseases)
  • Immune System Disorders

They also explain that chronic conditions like heart failure, according to the SSA, must be accompanied by medical proof defining whether it is systolic or diastolic in nature. If your parents suffer from another disabling chronic condition which isn’t listed, you’ll need to help them provide documentation that prove the symptoms are as severe as those exhibited by sufferers of the 14 conditions listed above.

Should one or both of your parents suffer from a chronic condition, they will be joining the millions of Americans who suffer from one or more chronic illnesses across the country. A joint research study on chronic disease in the U.S. by Fordham University in New York, and published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, indicated that over 45%, or roughly 133 million Americans, suffer from at least one chronic ailment. The number of chronic conditions continues to grow and is the nations’ leading cause of death. In addition, Maryville University predicts that by 2025 chronic illness will affect an estimated 164 million Americans, almost half the population. Additionally, with an aging population, the increasing costs of chronic diseases account for nearly 75% of healthcare spending or an estimated $5,300 per person annually. It’s therefore important that your discussion with your parents about their SSDI application makes them aware of the costs of medicare resulting from their disability.

Remember the SSA has very strict criteria and definitions when it comes to disability and it’s a good idea to help your parents hire an attorney, especially if their condition isn’t specifically mentioned in the SSA’s listing of impairments. A disability legal representative can increase their chances of being approved for disability benefits and will only be paid if their claim is approved.

We can help with many aspects of SSDI cases, including Substitution of Party claim by the surviving family of the deceased. While it may seem like a daunting process to both you and your parents, careful planning and preparation can help you qualify for disability benefits.

 

Content written for jandils.com

By Alaska Sanchez

What Do I Need to Know About Ticket to Work?

What Do I Need to Know About Ticket to Work?

If you are a recipient of Social Security disability benefits, you may be unsure as to whether you are permitted to work while receiving those benefits. The short answer is yes, with stipulations placed on the income you may receive via the Ticket to Work program.  If you receive Social Security disability and would like to return to work, this program is ideal for you.

 

What is Ticket to Work, and how does it benefit those looking for work?

 

Under the program, recipients of Social Security disability benefits are issued a “Ticket” they can use to receive free services that will help them prepare to return to work. When the Ticket is redeemed, the Social Security Administration pays the provider of those services (assuming the provider has been approved) on behalf of the disability recipient.

 

Service providers are referred to as Employment Networks (EN), and they can be employers, agencies or individuals. Basically, they are any public or private entity (besides federal agencies) capable of providing services that can help a Social Security disability recipient prepare to return to the workforce.

 

Once you and an EN have decided to work together, and you’ve chosen to apply your Ticket to the services they offer, you will be expected to make “timely progress” toward your career goals. Whether that means receiving additional education or completing a vocational training program, for example, you will be asked to demonstrate that you are closer to reducing or eliminating your dependence on Social Security disability benefits.

 

Contact Us

 

The Social Security Administration offers free webinars that will teach you more about how to get started with Ticket to Work. If you would like to learn more about filing a Social Security disability claim, contact us anytime at 877.526.3457, and one of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond to you shortly.

What To Do If You’re a Pedestrian Injured by a Vehicle

What To Do If You’re a Pedestrian Injured by a Vehicle

If you’re injured by a vehicle, the period immediately afterward can be difficult and stressful. What are the most important steps to take? Should you seek legal recourse? Read on to learn more.

At the Scene

 Before you leave the location where the accident happened, there are a couple of  things you’ll want to do to strengthen your argument should you decide to pursue legal action: take photos of the scene of the accident and the vehicle, and take down the names of any witnesses.

Medical Treatment

 You should only do the above if you’re not in any medical danger after the accident. Otherwise, you will want to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you are not feeling like you were severely injured, it is a good idea to visit a doctor to be sure there are no injuries of which you’re unaware. If the accident occurred in a no-fault state, your insurance will likely cover some of the medical expense. If it did not occur in a no-fault state, it’s possible the driver’s medical insurer will handle some of the costs.

Should You Make a Claim Against the Driver?

 How can you assess whether you want to file a personal injury claim against the driver of the vehicle? To answer that, you will need to determine how likely it is that the driver could be considered negligent – that is, that your injuries will legally be considered the result of their inattention or mistake.

In most cases, when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the driver is considered to be at fault. It is seen as their responsibility to avoid hitting pedestrians, and failing to do so is most often deemed negligent. If you were crossing with the walk light at a crosswalk, for example, the driver will almost certainly be found negligent. However, if you were distracted – say reading your phone – and you crossed the street illegally in busy traffic, the case may not be so cut and dried.

Other Types of Claims

 The driver isn’t the only one who may hold responsibility. In some cases, the argument can be made that the city is at fault due to the way the streets, traffic lights and signs are laid out and functioning. Examples might include broken or malfunctioning traffic lights, or crosswalks placed in locations that are difficult for drivers to see. It is considered the responsibility of the government to maintain roadways, so in these situations, a claim may be filed against the local municipality.

If you’ve been injured by a vehicle and you’d like advice on filing a personal injury claim, contact us anytime at 877-526-3457, and one of our representatives will be happy to speak with you. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond right away.

What Are Compassionate Allowances?

What Are Compassionate Allowances?

If you’ve filed a Social Security disability claim or you’re considering filing one, you may have heard the term “Compassionate Allowances.”

What exactly are they, and how can they help you?

 

Most importantly, Compassionate Allowances can fast-track the process of reaching a decision about whether an individual will receive Social Security disability benefits. These allowances are offered to those with particularly serious medical conditions, including adult brain disorders, certain cancers, and some rare conditions affecting children. You can find the full list of qualifying conditions here, and submit a condition for consideration here. If submitting a condition, you will need to provide information about the condition itself, as well as your own medical records.

 

When determining whether a condition merits Compassionate Allowances, the Social Security Administration relies on information from medical and scientific experts, the National Institutes of Health, the Social Security Disability Determination communities and, in some instances, even members of the public.

 

Feel Free to Contact Us

 

If you have additional questions about Compassionate Allowances or you’d like to learn more about filing a Social Security disability claim, feel free to contact us anytime at 877.526.3457, and one of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond to you shortly.

What is the General Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim

What is the General Process of Filing a Personal Injury Claim?

What exactly happens when you file a personal injury claim? What will you need to demonstrate in order to win, and how does the legal process unfold?

Negligence or Liability

 In personal injury cases, you will need to demonstrate that the other party is responsible for the hardship you’ve experienced. In the case of negligence, that means their inaction resulted in harm done to you. In the case of liability, it means you were harmed by actions they took. If you feel you can demonstrate either of these, you may decide to move forward with filing a claim.

Filing a Lawsuit

 When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you become the plaintiff and the other person becomes the defendant. Attorneys for both sides begin gathering information in the form of documents, written questions and depositions, which are questions asked to a party who answers under oath. This stage of the process is called discovery.

Most personal injuries are settled after the discovery stage, meaning the defendant agrees to pay money to the plaintiff in exchange for the case being dropped. Only a small percentage of cases proceed on to trial.

Damages

 If a case does go on to trial and the plaintiff wins, they will be awarded damages, or compensation from the defendant. This can include, for example, the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, future wage loss, physical pain or harm, or emotional suffering. Because personal injury cases are not criminal cases, the defendant will not be “punished,” only ordered to pay damages.

If you’d like advice on filing a personal injury claim, contact us anytime at 877-526-3457, and one of our representatives will be happy to speak with you. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond right away.

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