Daisley Law Offices, P.C.

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Charlotte, North Carolina. Personal Injury & Disability Law Blog

Brain injury victims may qualify for Social Security Disability

Brain injuries are not uncommon in the United States, with approximately 138 Americans dying every day due to injuries that include injuries to the brain. Any strike or blow to the head can create a brain injury. Although the brain is the most complex organ in the human body, it is also among the most fragile. Despite being protected by a thick skull, its location on the head means it is vulnerable during many types of accidents, including car accidents, workplace injuries or slip and fall accidents.

Brain injury symptoms may vary widely, and could include issues both of the mental or physical variety. This could include limited motor functions that could require a victim to use a cane, walker or wheelchair to navigate, as well as mental issues such as mood changes, memory loss or depression.

Drunken boating: Beware of those who boat while intoxicated

During the summer months, North Carolina boaters love to get out on the lake and enjoy some weekend fun. However, many boaters decide to drink alcoholic beverages while operating their watercraft-which is exceedingly dangerous.

Fortunately, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and other law enforcement agencies will be strictly enforcing North Carolina's drunken boating laws via its "Operation Dry Water" campaign.

Drunken boating is unlawful

Just like you can't drink and drive, you also can't drink and operate a watercraft. The blood-alcohol content limit is 0.08 percent for boaters. If police catch a boater with a higher level of alcohol in his or her system, they can arrest the boater on the spot.

If convicted of operating a boat under the influence, the boater will face stiff fines, the possibility of jail time and other consequences.

What happens if the car accident was my fault?

People in Charlotte, North Carolina, probably know intuitively that sometimes, the person who gets injured in a car accident was the person who was responsible for the accident in the first place. This happens frequently, for instance, in crashes involving a single vehicle with only the driver in the car.

Moreover, as this blog has discussed in the past, North Carolina has notoriously strict laws that make it hard for a person to get compensation after a car accident even if they were only partially responsible for it.

How common is distracted driving in the U.S.?

With the popularity of smartphones and tablets booming throughout the United States, combined with the accessibility and popularity of social media, including Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, it is no wonder that Americans, including many from the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, are noticing an epidemic of distracted driving and distracted driving accidents. In fact, throughout the country, there are countless public service programs in place to improve awareness of distracted driving in an effort to get people off their phones.

According to statistics provided by the United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015 alone, 3,477 lives were lost and 391,000 victims were injured in the United States due to distracted driving.

Buzzed driving: A culprit of today’s auto accidents

People like to think they have better control over themselves than they do. When they've been having a few drinks, they may think they can easily operate a motor vehicle without any impairment.

Despite feeling invulnerable, these people are actually doing a worse job of driving. Confusion and lack of focus, poor response time and even impaired muscle control can turn a minor issue while driving into a major drunk driving crash. Basically, if you can feel the effects of alcohol, you shouldn't be getting behind the wheel of any kind of motor vehicle, including boats, 4-wheelers or other off-road devices.

Understanding your eligibility for veteran's benefits

Those who have proudly served in the United States armed forces may be eligible for certain benefits, including disability compensation if they have been injured or become ill while serving active military service. This could include issues that arise post-service including conditions that are believed to be circumstances of the military service.

In order to qualify for these, you must prove that your injury, illness or disease was caused or aggravated during your time in active service. This could include not only physical injuries or illness, but also physical conditions such as Lou Gehrig's Disease or mental conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder. Family members of spouses who are deceased and who were killed while on active duty, in training or inactive duty in training may also be eligible for dependency and indemnity compensation, or DIC.

Social Security Disability benefits are difficult to obtain

No matter how careful and conscious you are about your health and well-being, everyone runs the risk of being involved in a serious accident or becoming seriously ill. Such a condition might make it impossible for you to get back to work.

The Social Security Administration is aware that Americans can get injured and sick and that the ramifications of a such a condition could lead to serious financial distress. This is why they have multiple programs, including Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI, and Supplemental Security Income, known as SSI, to help Americans with serious disabilities by providing some financial relief until they are able to get back to work. The SSDI program is funded through workers' income taxes. The SSI program is available to disabled Americans who did not pay into the SSDI program but who still meet minimum income thresholds.

Should businesses that over-serve alcohol be held accountable?

Drunk driving is a serious national issue. Every day, people who have had too much to drink get behind the wheel of motor vehicles, often with tragic or even fatal results. The damages and losses caused by drunk driving accidents often far exceed the insurance carried by the intoxicated driver. When that happens, victims of drunk drivers could get stuck with enormous medical debt or an inability to provide for themselves due to permanent disability. Recognizing that liability extends to those who enable a drunk driver as well as those who drive drunk may help reduce the amount of drunk driving crashes.

While there are limits to the law, North Carolina has specific laws in place regarding the sale or serving of alcohol to someone who is clearly intoxicated. These laws aim to help reduce public intoxication and resultant drunk driving. Establishments that serve alcohol should make judgments about the sobriety of their customers. Restaurants, bars or even private party hosts who provide additional alcohol to someone who is clearly intoxicated could get found to be civilly liable if the person getting served later gets into a serious drunk driving crash. These laws help protect other drivers.

Many Social Security disability applications get denied at first

Applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) is a complex process that can take months, if not longer. You need medical records and properly filled out paperwork. You also need thick skin, as a significant number of people who apply for SSD benefits find their initial application denied rather quickly. This can be a frustrating and disheartening turn of events. However, you shouldn't let that deter you. Every year, a large number of applicants who technically qualify for disability benefits are initially turned down. This practice may deter some people from pursuing disability benefits, which saves money.

In reality, the social expenses involved in disability cases may well exceed the financial cost of Social Security Disability benefits. Many disability advocates hope for a more streamlined and accessible process for disability benefits. Until that happens, working with an experienced North Carolina Social Security Disability attorney is your best option for connecting with the benefits you need. Your attorney can help ensure that all paperwork is correct and filed in a timely manner. Your lawyer can also help you move through the appeals process that could ultimately result in the benefits you are seeking.

How today's cellphones can be put to good use after an accident

Most of the time, when considering cellphones and driving a motor vehicle, your best choice is to turn it off on the road. Even phone calls through hands-free headsets can increase your distraction level and risk of a collision. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that roughly 660,000 people use their cellphones while driving on any given day. That's a lot of dangerous, distracted drivers to be watching for on the road. Still, if you commit to never using it while driving, after a serious accident caused by another driver, your cellphone could become your best friend.

In the aftermath of an accident, a lot of things can suddenly go wrong. It may be clear from the initial crash that the other driver was definitely at fault. Depending on the location of the collision, however, you may need to move your vehicles out of the flow of traffic before law enforcement arrives. The other driver may realize that he or she is facing a major insurance claim and refuse to talk openly about what happened before the crash when police arrive on the scene.

  • 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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