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Category: Personal Injury

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.

Can Children Receive Social Security Benefits?

Can Children Receive Social Security Benefits?

If you are disabled or retired and receiving Social Security benefits, is your child eligible for benefits as well?

In some cases, the answer may be yes.

 

When a parent becomes disabled, passes away or retires, his or her children may qualify to receive Social Security auxiliary benefits. In order to be eligible, the child must meet these qualifications:

 

  • Be 18 years old or younger, OR be a full-time high school student, OR be over 18 years of age with a disability that began before age 22
  • Be unmarried
  • Be the biological child, adopted child or stepchild of the recipient

 

Children who qualify for Social Security benefits may be eligible to receive up to half of their parent’s retirement or disability benefits. In cases where the parent has passed away, the child may receive up to 75% of the parent’s basic Social Security benefits.

 

It is important to note that a child’s disability may in some cases qualify them to receive benefits of their own. For parents of disabled children, the Social Security Administration offers a Starter Kit to help them navigate the process of applying for SSI disability benefits. To determine whether a disabled child may receive benefits, the Social Security Administration may require an interview with the child, as well as school and medical records.

 

Understanding what your children are entitled to is important, as it can be vital in helping to keep your family financially afloat during difficult times.

 

Feel Free to Contact Us

 

If you have additional questions about Social Security benefits for children, or if you’d like to learn more about filing a Social Security disability (SSD) claim for yourself, feel free to contact us anytime at 877.526.3457. 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 Basis of a Personal Injury Claim

What is the Basis of a Personal Injury Claim?

When you’re filing a personal injury claim, what exactly is it you’re trying to argue? Of course, you’re suggesting that the hardship you’ve suffered is the fault of someone else’s actions – or failure to act. But what does that mean in legal terms?

Negligence

One way someone can be shown to be responsible for hardships suffered by another person is they are found to be legally negligent. Negligence means that their failure to take appropriate action resulted in harm to the other person.

There is a legal term called duty of care that describes the responsibility individuals have to avoid causing harm to other people. If it can be demonstrated that someone indeed had duty of care in a particular situation – that is, it could reasonably be expected they’d take steps not to harm others – and they breached that obligation, they will be found negligent. For example, if a driver isn’t paying attention and hits a pedestrian in a crosswalk, the driver has breached their duty of care.

Strict Liability

It’s not always necessary to demonstrate negligence in a personal injury case. In the case of strict liability, the party making the claim needs to show that a product was designed or manufactured in a way that makes it unreasonably dangerous, even when used as the manufacturer intends. If a medication has a high risk of severe side effects, for example, the pharmaceutical company could potentially be found liable for the suffering experienced by patients who have used the drug.

Intentional Wrongs

Finally, a person can be found liable for the suffering of another if it can be shown they’ve intentionally wronged the victim. While these cases occur less frequently, they include assault and battery, slander and libel. However, the offender’s primary goal may not always be to cause harm. What is necessary is they actively decided to do something that resulted in harm to another. Whereas negligence means someone’s inaction led to suffering, intentional wrongs refer to situations in which decisive action led to harm, whether intentionally or unintentionally. False imprisonment is one such example.

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.

Spaghetti Dinner

Spaghetti Dinner

It’s Almost Time for Our Annual Spaghetti Dinner to Benefit Veterans

When it comes to feasting in November, you probably think of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. But at Jan Dils, we think Veterans Day and our tradition of “spaghetti” first.

 

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, is well known for getting Veterans the disability benefits they have earned and deserve. However, the firm’s advocacy doesn’t stop there. Our team of compassionate attorneys has a history of giving back to our personal heroes. Starting out as a Veterans Day cookout in 2012, the event moved to the Parkersburg Knights of Columbus in 2015 and evolved into a festive spaghetti dinner – making the event more accessible for our community of Veterans.

 

This year’s dinner will be held on November 7 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The dinner is free for Veterans. The cost for non-Veterans is $5.00. Children eight and under eat free with a paying adult. Dine in and carry out options are both available.

 

All funds raised will be donated to Operation Transportation, a program run through MOV Transit that provides free bus passes to Veterans. The program makes a real difference in the lives of local veterans every day, many of whom rely on it to attend medical appointments and commute to work.

 

“For the people who use it, it’s invaluable – for some people it’s the only way they can get around,” said Brian Schroeder, the TAMS and procurement officer at MOV Transit who oversees the program.

 

According to Schroeder, this specific program puts hundreds of bus passes in the hands of Veterans annually – with more than 6,000 free passes being distributed to date.

 

The dinner will also feature a raffle for several door prizes. Food and beverage will be provided by the Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, team. We look forward to sharing a great meal with great company. Follow us on social media for photos from the event.

Spaghetti Dinner

Contact Us

If you’re a Veteran interested in learning more about filing a Veterans Disability claim, feel free to call us at 877.526.3457, and one of our representatives will be happy to speak with you. Or if you’d prefer to connect with us online, please fill out this form and we will be in touch right away.

Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation

Can I Receive Both Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation?

Is it possible to get both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability benefits?

The answer is yes because they are different programs with different requirements for qualification.

Social Security disability is a federal program, whereas workers’ compensation is managed at the state level. To earn Social Security disability benefits, you must prove you’re totally disabled. That is, you have to demonstrate you’re unable to perform substantial work as a result of your disability.

On the other hand, to receive workers’ compensation, you only need to prove you were injured on the job, and you deserve to be repaid for the income you’re unable to earn because you can’t perform the requirements of your job. Workers’ compensation is typically intended to be a short-term option to provide support to workers while they are unable to work. However, Social Security disability may be something you receive for the longer term.

Receiving one does not necessarily mean you will receive the other. However, because they are entirely separate programs, receiving one does not negatively impact your chances of being found eligible for the other, either. Because the process for qualifying for compensation varies quite a bit between the two, being deemed eligible for one may not have much bearing on whether you’ll qualify for the other.

It is important to note, though, that if you receive both and your total compensation is more than 80% of your previous income, the Social Security Administration will deduct the difference so your total benefits will amount to less than 80% of what you earned previously. So, while it is possible to receive Social Security disability and workers’ compensation at the same time, doing so may decrease your Social Security disability benefits. When you stop receiving workers’ compensation, you may contact the Social Security Administration and they will readjust your benefits accordingly.

It’s important to keep all workers’ compensation payment information and include the dates and amounts of any workers’ compensation payments or settlements. If awarded Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will need this information in order to process your payments.

If you have any questions about qualifying for Social Security disability compensation, feel free to contact us anytime at 877-526-3457. One of our representatives will be happy to speak with you. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, fill out this form and we’ll be in touch right away.

Car Accident FAQ

Car Accident FAQ

Car Accident Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

If you’ve been in a car accident, you may have a lot of questions. It’s not always clear what you’re entitled to if you’ve suffered injuries. Or what the best course of action might be? We’ve put together this FAQ that we hope will be helpful.
 

Won’t insurance cover my damages? Why should I hire an attorney?

If you were the victim in a car accident, it’s true that the other person’s car insurance may cover damages to your vehicle. But they may not pay you the amount you’re entitled to.
 
If you’ve suffered injuries, you may be eligible for compensation not covered by medical insurance. An attorney can help you navigate these questions, so you receive the compensation you deserve. Of course, there are many cases where insurance companies settle every issue. If you have any questions, it can be helpful to discuss the matter with a legal professional.
 

What if the accident was partly my fault?

Of course, you want to be honest about what happened. But accidents are stressful, and emotions may be running high, so it can be difficult to discern exactly what took place. There can be an issue with your vehicle or the distraction of other drivers. Don’t accept blame right away. If you choose to hire an attorney, they can help investigate and get to the bottom of what happened.
 

I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Will that hurt my case?

It depends on the state in which the accident occurred. In some states, not wearing a seatbelt may make you ineligible to receive damages. Or may mean you’ll receive less.
 
In West Virginia, If it’s demonstrated that your failure to wear a seatbelt is relatable to your injuries. A reduction in damages is possible.
 

What types of damages may I get compensation for as the victim of a car accident?

 
There are several types of damages to be eligible for compensation if the other driver is liable. They include:
  • Property damage
  • Medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Punitive damages
 

Will I have to go to court if I file a personal injury claim?

Most often, the other driver’s insurance will agree to pay what your attorney believes. Also, you will be able to settle without going to court. But, they need a formal trial in some cases.
 
If you have any questions about what to do after a car accident? Or about filing a personal injury lawsuit, contact us anytime at 877-526-3457. Furthermore, One of our representatives will be happy to speak with you about the details of your situation.
 
So, These were the Car Accident FAQ ( Frequently Asked Questions). Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We are available, anytime.
disability & workers

Can I Get Both Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability?

Veterans disability and Social Security disability

If you’re a Veteran, you may be wondering if you can receive both Veterans disability and Social Security disability. At first glance, it might seem like an individual would not be permitted to receive both. However, the programs are quite different, and that means receiving one does not disqualify you from being eligible for the other.

Veterans disability benefits are not connected to income, and for that reason, increasing your income by receiving Social Security disability benefits will not impact your Veterans disability.

Another significant difference between the two is you’re not required to be completely disabled to qualify for Veterans disability compensation. Recipients of Veterans disability are assigned a percentage of their income for which they qualify to be compensated. You can receive as little as, say, 10 percent compensation. And occasionally, some applicants are even assigned a 0 percent compensation rating, meaning that even though they don’t qualify to receive benefits, they have proven their disability is service related. And that can be useful down the line, if their condition worsens.

On the other hand, Social Security doesn’t assign percentages. To receive Social Security disability benefits, you must prove you’re unable to perform substantial work as a result of your disability, and you’re either considered totally disabled or ineligible for compensation.

If you have questions about applying for either Social Security or Veterans disability compensation, feel free to call us anytime at 877-526-3457. One of our representatives will be happy to speak with you. Or if you’d rather contact us online, fill out this form and we’ll get back to you right away.

Trunk or Treat

Trunk or Treat

Join Us for Trunk-or-Treat!

It’s hard to believe, but Halloween is right around the corner! It’s a time for seasonal parties, trick-or-treating, and all kinds of spooky fun. And for many families, it’s important to celebrate in a way that’s both festive and safe.

To that end, we here at Jan Dils will be supporting the West Virginia Army National Guard’s upcoming Trunk-or-Treat event. Learn more about the organization here.

The event will be held on Saturday, October 19 from 6:00-7:00pm at the Parkersburg Armory. There will be trick-or-treating in the parking lot, and of course attendees of all ages are encouraged to dress up in costume. All local families – and especially military families – are welcome to attend.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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