Daisley Law Offices, P.C.

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Charlotte, North Carolina. Personal Injury & Disability Law Blog

New federal regulations on disability

The Social Security Administration recently revised federal regulations which may affect the ability of some residents of Charlotte, North Carolina, to get approval for Social Security disability benefits. Critics of these regulations are concerned that the changes put applicants at a disadvantage when it comes to trying to prove that their medical conditions indeed make them unable to work.

To be clear, the standing rule has always been that the Social Security Administration, and not a person's doctor, gets to decide whether a North Carolina resident is disabled or not. However, until these recent rule changes, a person applying for disability could count on the administration to give special weight to the person's treating physician's opinion as to the severity and extent of a person's illness or injury.

Some warning signs of driver fatigue

Most drivers recognize that driving a vehicle when one is too tired is an unwise and often dangerous thing to do. It is all the more true that a truck driver should only drive when he or she has had enough rest, as a drowsy truck driver can inflict a lot more damage than would a drowsy passenger car driver.

Unfortunately, and even with federal rules in place about how long a trucker must take a break, there is pressure in many corners of the trucking industry for drivers to keep moving, even if doing so means traveling on very little or no sleep.

Drunk driving accidents aren't always so easy

When a Charlotte, North Carolina resident gets seriously hurt in an accident involving a drunk driver, or, perhaps even worse, looses a loved one to an alcohol-related accident, they may through the emotional and financial turmoil think that at least this sort of case is easy to prove in court.

After all, most all North Carolina residents in Charlotte and other communities in the area would agree that a drunk driver is also a negligent driver and therefore should pay compensation. The problem is, however, that many people who choose to get behind the wheel while too drunk to drive also do not have a lot of financial resources to pay for the damage they cause.

The relationship between veterans' disability and SSD claims

One question that might arise in the minds of former soldiers in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area is whether they can get both veterans' disability benefits through the Department of Veterans' Affairs and get Social Security disability payments through the Social Security Administration. These heroes, many of whom have been wounded while serving their country, may also have some questions about the relationship between these two programs.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that a wounded veteran, so long as his or her disability occurred in the connection with military service, can apply for both veterans' benefits and Social Security disability. However, the processes of doing so are, for the most part, separate and unrelated, and the fact a person qualifies for veterans' benefits does not mean he or she will qualify for Social Security, and vice versa.

New disability proposal would send some back to work

Citing the fact that the Social Security Disability program has grown exponentially over the last few decades, a few federal lawmakers are proposing a law that would use both incentives and time limits to get some Charlotte, North Carolina, residents who are disabled to look for a job and try to get off the program's payroll.

The lawmakers who made this proposal repeat the often-cited concern that the Social Security program is approaching insolvency. Indeed, the program has gone from costing $20 billion in 1970 to costing $137 billion today. Furthermore, recipients of disability benefits tend not to return to work once they start drawing benefits. In 1982, almost 6 percent of recipients eventually went back to work; that number is less than half of 1 percent today.

The federal rest rules and truck accident claims

A previous post on this blog discussed how the family of someone who got seriously injured in a Charlotte, North Carolina, truck accident should be aware of the signs of truck driver fatigue at the time of the collision, particularly if the incident happened at night.

For those truckers who are subject to them, the rest rules put out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may also serve as valuable resource to Charlotte-area families who are trying to make out a case of negligence so they can get compensation that they both need and deserve. These rest rules impose certain requirements on truck drivers to take a break from behind the wheel. The purpose of these rules is to maximize the chances that truckers who are driving are doing so while awake and fully alert.

We help victims of distracted drivers recover compensation

A previous post on this blog discussed why it is so important for drivers in the Charlotte area to keep their complete focus on the road when driving. Anything that causes distracted driving, including texting and driving, eating and driving or even talking to a passenger and driving, can result in a serious or even deadly accident.

It is sad that in the Carolinas many do not always heed the many warning out there about the dangerous of distracted driving. When drivers choose to ignore these warnings and cause an accident, they can and should be held accountable for the resulting damages to other innocent victims.

St. Patrick's Day celebrations can lead to drunk driving accidents

For many, St. Patrick's Day is a time for celebration, regardless of whether an individual has Irish ancestry or is just Irish for the day. In fact, more than 33 million people celebrate the holiday with food, drink and merriment each year. As the fourth most popular drinking days, behind New Year's Eve, Christmas and Independence Day, St. Patrick's Day also creates more risk for drunk driving accidents.

Why is distracted driving such a dangerous practice?

The world is not a simple place and to navigate the many tasks that a North Carolina resident must accomplish on any given day generally requires them to multitask in order to have a chance at staying on top of their responsibilities. However, there is one time during the day that a person should put everything else to the side and focus on a single task: while driving an automobile.

Automobiles are complex machines and they are driven in places where other cars, trucks, and vehicles, as well as bicycles, pedestrians, construction crews, and other hazards may be regularly present. In addition to expected obstacles that may appear in a driver's way, changing weather conditions may turn an otherwise easy commute into a treacherously dangerous endeavor. Put simply, even without an additional in-car distraction a driver has many things to pay attention to in order to smoothly operate his vehicle.

Veterans experience long waits for decisions on disability claims

Countless men and women from North Carolina and from every other state in the union have put their lives on the line to serve in the armed forces. Those courageous and selfless individuals have experienced threats to their security and safety so that others may live in freedom, and for their noble efforts many who serve suffer illnesses and injuries as a result of their times of service. Although the federal government provides service members with the means of applying for veterans' benefits and submitting disability claims, many who do so must wait years to find out if their requests for support will be fulfilled.

For example, a Vietnam veteran who suffers from tumors potentially caused by a substance he was exposed to during the conflict has waited nine years to have his matter resolved. He has submitted his claim to his regional Veterans' Benefits Administration office and that office passed it on to the next level up. His matter is on appeal and therefore moving between the levels of hierarchy in the veterans' benefits system; the average wait time for a service member whose claim has been appealed to find out if the matter has been approved is five years.

  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice Protecting People’s rights
  • NOSSCR National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives
  • American Association for Justice formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America ATLA
  • ABA American Bar Association
  • NOVA
  • North Carolina State Bar
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