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Category: Social Security Timeline

Slip and Fall

Slip and Fall

Claiming Damages if You Slip and Fall

 Losing your balance and tripping is, of course, quite common. Most of the time, a little embarrassment is the only damage done. But sometimes a slip can cause more serious injuries. If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, do they owe you damages?

It depends. Getting injured on another person’s property does not, in itself, make you eligible to receive damages from the property owner. However, there are some cases in which the owner may be held legally liable. In general, the owner may be made to pay damages to the fall victim if the owner’s negligence – or direct actions – created conditions that were unsafe. For example, the owner could be held liable if ice or snow has accumulated on the property, sidewalks are damaged, or potholes and debris pose a risk to walkers, and reasonable steps to remedy the situation have not been taken.

However, this kind of negligence is not always easy to establish. In most cases, the property owner must have been aware of the unsafe condition prior to the fall. If the owner could not reasonably have been expected to be aware of the hazard, they likely won’t be held liable.

Furthermore, if the owner was aware of the hazard but had not corrected it, they still aren’t likely to be considered liable if notice had been posted. For example, if a damaged sidewalk is in the process of being repaired, the municipality probably won’t be held liable for someone falling if warning signs have been posted and the area under repair has been roped off.

Property owners are also unlikely to be held liable if the hazard was extremely obvious. For example, if there is a very large hole in a parking lot, it is expected that those walking through the lot will see it and go around it. In general, individuals are considered responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure their own safety.

Demonstrating that another party is liable for your slip and fall can be difficult. If you 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.

Retirement Benefits

Retirement Benefits

If I Get Social Security Disability Benefits and I Reach Retirement Age, Will I Also Receive Retirement Benefits?

If you currently receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits and you’re approaching retirement age, you might be wondering whether your situation will change once you retire. Will you start receiving retirement benefits as well?

This is perhaps a bit of a good news, bad news situation. Social Security determines the amount you receive in SSDI as though you had already reached full retirement age (the point at which you qualify for 100% of your Social Security retirement benefits). Once you actually reach full retirement age, your SSDI is converted to retirement payments. So while you won’t receive both SSDI and additional retirement benefits, your monthly payments won’t be reduced either. In most cases, the amount you receive each month will stay the same.

There is an exception for those receiving workers’ compensation or public disability benefits from government jobs in which they didn’t pay Social Security taxes. Both of these types of benefits can reduce the amount you receive in SSDI. In other words, when your SSDI is converted to retirement benefits, that reduction ends and you will begin receiving more money each month.

If you have additional questions about Social Security Disability benefits, feel free to contact us anytime 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.

SSI and SSDI

SSD and SSDI

What’s the Difference Between SSI and SSDI?

 

You have likely heard the terms Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). But what exactly do those terms mean, and how do they differ?

 

SSDI is a benefit program under which you can receive monthly payments as a result of having a medical condition that prevents you from working enough to earn a certain amount of income. SSDI survivor benefits may also be paid to survivor minor children and surviving spouses after a benefit recipient passes away. Learn more about the details of SSDI and how to start receiving benefits here. Helping you file a claim to receive SSDI benefits is one of the areas in which our West Virginia Social Security Disability attorneys specialize.

 

On the other hand, SSI is a program that pays benefits to low-income individuals who are aged 65 years or older, and to adults and children who are blind or have a disability (according to the same definition of disability used in SSDI cases). And whereas SSDI is funded by taxes paid by working people, SSI is financed by revenue collected by the Treasury Department to run the federal government.

 

In addition, SSDI is based on a claimant’s work history. Did the worker obtain enough work credits to be insured for SSDI? SSI is not based on work credits. Your SSDI monthly payment amount is based on earnings and is paid on the first of the month, while SSI has a monthly maximum, and is paid on the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of the month, depending on your birthday. Also, SSDI provides Medicare, whereas SSI provides Medicaid. And, finally, SSI is affected by your resources and assets, whereas SSDI is not.

 

If you have a disability and would like to receive monthly financial support, you will be applying for SSDI benefits.

 

If you have additional questions about Social Security Disability benefits, then contact us anytime 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.

A holiday whobiliation at Jan Dils

A Holiday Whobilitation at Jan Dils!

We here at Jan Dils hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season. Every year, we’re so grateful for the opportunity to have some fun with our team and show them how much we appreciate the work they do every day.

 

This year, we went all out and decked the halls for a Dr. Seuss-themed party we called a Whobilitation (and it certainly gave us a little rehabilitation after a busy and productive year).

 

The party was held on December 7 at the Parkersburg Arts Center. We enjoyed all kinds of delicious food, including pork tenderloin, chicken, and vegetarian pasta.

 

And after dinner, we celebrated with games, dancing, and some excellent door prizes, including high-quality kitchen appliances and even TVs!

 

Part of what we at the firm love about working here is the chance to collaborate with some wonderful, dedicated people. And celebrating the season with our hardworking colleagues sincerely means a lot to us.

 

Enjoy the photos below, and let us know her e and on social media how you’re celebrating your holiday season!

A Holiday Whobilitation at Jan DilsChristmas party at Jan DilsA Holiday Whobilitation at Jan Dils

 

A Holiday Whobilitation at Jan DilsA Holiday Whobilitation at Jan DilsA Holiday Whobilitation at Jan Dils

 

What to Do if You’re in a Lyft or Uber Accident

What to Do if You’re in a Lyft or Uber Accident

These days, ridesharing is becoming more and more popular. And while Lyft and Uber can certainly be convenient ways to get where you need to go, figuring out the best steps to take if you’re in a car accident involving one of their drivers can be somewhat complicated. Our team of experienced West Virginia personal injury attorneys can help.

 

If you are a passenger in a Lyft or Uber car that is in an accident and you are injured, the first thing you will want to do is take stock of your injuries (as well as any injuries suffered by other drivers and passengers) and seek medical attention if necessary.

 

After that, you’ll want to determine whose insurance will cover your medical bills. The driver of the Lyft or Uber car most likely has private insurance that has a “business use exemption” and won’t cover injuries that happen while the car is being used for business purposes. While the driver may have a commercial insurance policy that will cover your injuries, it’s not likely.

 

In most cases, you will use your own insurance. But luckily, Uber and Lyft both have third-party liability insurance coverage that covers up to $1 million in personal injuries and property damage and will kick in after your insurance maxes out. This also applies if you are the driver of another car and get into an accident with a Lyft or Uber driver.

 

What if you want to file a lawsuit to attempt to receive damages? According to Lyft and Uber, their drivers are independent contractors, not employees. This means the companies are not likely to be considered legally responsible for their drivers’ negligence (though this may be different in California, due to a State Supreme Court decision). Therefore, filing a claim against one of these companies will be difficult. However, there is an argument to be made that the companies share some level of responsibility. You can always file a claim against the individual driver if you feel you have sufficient evidence to demonstrate their negligence.

 

If you were in a car accident and you’d like advice on filing a claim, 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.

Will My Social Security Disability be Affected if My Federal Student Loan is Discharged?

Will My Social Security Disability be Affected if My Federal Student Loan is Discharged?

Determining how best to manage your finances and student loans when you’re receiving Social Security Disability can be challenging. On one hand, one of the requirements for receiving Social Security Disability is your medical condition must prevent you from earning a certain amount of income. But on the other, having a disability can qualify you to get your federal student loans discharged, or forgiven, meaning you’ll suddenly have more money available to you each month. So, if you decide to make the case that your loans should be discharged due to your condition, will it affect how much you may receive in monthly disability payments? Our team of experienced West Virginia Social Security Disability attorneys can help you navigate these questions.

 

Your disability may mean you are eligible to have your federal student loans discharged. If your disability is considered to be “total and permanent,” you may qualify to have your loans permanently cancelled. And since it is because of your disability that the loans will be forgiven, it will not impact the amount you may receive in Social Security Disability. Your payments will not decrease if your loans are discharged. In addition, the extra income you have access to after your loans are cancelled will be excluded from taxable income for federal purposes (at least until 2025, when Congress will decide whether to renew the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).

 

However, it is important to note that the fact that you receive disability payments alone will not necessarily make you eligible to have your loans discharged. There may be additional qualifications you must meet. Also, while you might be eligible to have your federal student loans forgiven, that may not be the case with any private loans you are responsible for.

 

If you have additional questions about Social Security Disability benefits, then contact us anytime 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.

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.

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