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Northeast Wisconsin Personal Injury And Social Security Disability Blog

Social Security Disability and inflammatory arthritis

At one time or another, nearly all of us have been struck by an unexpected injury or illness. For some of us, recovering from these conditions is relatively easy given their minor nature. For others, a medical condition can befall them that is so severe that it leaves them disabled. While these conditions may be painful, affect a person's ability to carry out daily tasks and even decrease a person's life expectancy, they can also wreak havoc on an individual's financial well-being. This is because a disabling medical condition often leaves an individual unable to work during a time when medical expenses quickly mount. Fortunately, individuals who find themselves in this situation may be able to find relief through the Social Security Disability system. However, before benefits can be obtained, specific requirements about the medical condition must be met.

Inflammatory arthritis is an example of a potentially disabling condition. An individual can qualify for disability benefits with this condition in one of four ways. The first way is to show ongoing inflammation or deformity in at least one weight-bearing joint or the joint of an upper extremity that limits a person's ability to walk or utilize fine motor skills. The second way is to show inflammation in a joint that involves at least two organs with at least two major symptoms, such as fever and severe fatigue.

A vicarious liability claim after a truck accident

Many motorists in Wisconsin are nervous when driving near semi-trucks. This sense of unease is well-founded. After all, these massive vehicles dwarf the average passenger vehicle, meaning that they can cause devastation in the event of a truck accident. These wrecks occur with far too much frequency, and they often leave victims with extensive damages in the form of medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Although these damages may be recoverable through a personal injury lawsuit, securing compensation isn't such an easy task, even after a negligent trucker is found liable.

This is because many truckers don't make enough income or possess enough assets to satisfy most of the judgments in these cases. So, while a truck accident victim may be able to win a personal injury lawsuit and be awarded a significant amount of compensation, that compensation ultimately may be unrecoverable in reality. This is why truck accident victims oftentimes consider whether a "vicarious liability" claim is right for them.

Things to consider during car accident settlement negotiations

Nobody wants to deal with the aftermath of a car accident. While there may be extensive property damage, the real losses come in the form of physical and emotional harm that can result in overwhelming medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. Car accident victims whose injuries were caused by the negligence of another may be entitled to compensation. Yet, while they try to focus on their recovery, they may struggle to deal with the legal issues confronting them when they choose to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.

Far too often, this dislike of the legal system leads to the acceptance of unfavorable settlements. Sure, these agreements allow a car accident victim to recover compensation for some damages, but unless skillfully negotiated these settlements can fall far short of a claim's true value. Car accident victims who are thinking about taking legal action need to know how to assess a settlement offer and take appropriate action accordingly.

How will you manage TBI recovery from a drunk driving crash?

Let us say that you were on your way home from a holiday office party when a drunk driver struck your Prius.

Ironically, you abstained from drinking at the party, and now you face the consequences of a traumatic brain injury caused by someone whose BAC was way over the limit. How will you manage?

Negligence can increase trucks' already long stopping distances

If you're nervous when you drive around semi-trucks, you're not alone. After all, these massive vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries when they are involved in an accident. There are a number of factors that can increase the risk of a serious truck accident, including distraction, intoxication and fatigue. These characteristics, in conjunction with the dynamics of driving a truck, can spell disaster for innocent motorists.

As an example, let's look at semi-truck stopping distances. Passenger vehicles, which can be as long as 18 feet and weigh as much as 4,000 pounds, need about 125 feet to come to a safe stop when traveling at 40 miles per hour. When traveling at 65 miles per hour, these same vehicles need 316 feet to stop. A semi-truck, on the other hand, which can be as long as 53 feet and weigh up to 80,000 pounds, needs nearly 170 feet to safely stop when traveling at 40 miles per hour and 525 feet to stop when traveling at 65 miles per hour. These increased distances mean that semi-trucks are oftentimes less likely to slow down and halt in time to avoid rear-end collisions.

Hazardous property conditions often present outside of businesses

Wisconsin residents may find themselves with injuries caused by dangerous property conditions. This is unacceptable, which is why those who have suffered slip-and-fall accident injuries should consider whether legal action is in their best interests.

Although most people who think of slip-and-fall accidents probably think of spilled liquids in a grocery store, the truth is that premises liability encompasses many other situations. The conditions outside of a residence or building, for example, can pose significant dangers to unsuspecting pedestrians. Icy sidewalks can result in a serious slip-and-fall accident that causes serious injuries, for example. Liability may be imposed in these situations when a property owner knew or should have known that icy sidewalks posed a threat to invitees or that patches of refreezing regularly occurred, thereby posing a risk of harm. Additionally, to succeed on a legal claim, a victim must show that the property owner did nothing to remedy or warn of the situation.

Securing Social Security Disability benefits

Whether it is due to a serious injury in an accident or a diagnosis of a medical condition, living with a debilitating condition can be challenging. This is especially true for those in Wisconsin and elsewhere who are suddenly unable to work because of their disability caused by an injury or illness. Nonetheless, most individuals are aware that Social Security Disability benefits are designed to provide financial assistance in this and other similar situations. However, some people are deterred from even applying for these benefits because many initial applications are denied.

After paying into the Social Security system, it is understandable that applicants are frustrated when they are denied Social Security Disability benefits. At our law firm, we understand that this is a common situation. We are dedicated to helping our clients not only understand their rights, but also to attempt to secure the benefits they are eligible for.

Social Security Disability benefits and compassionate allowances

When Wisconsin residents are hit with a sudden and unexpected medical condition, their finances should be the least of their concerns. Yet, at a time when they should be focused on their health, quality of life and spending time with loved ones, these individuals are often forced to consider how they are going to make ends meet. After all, a disabling condition can quickly lead to enormous medical expenses and prevent an individual from working and earning a wage.

As stressful as that can be, the good news is that those who suffer from a disability may be able to secure Social Security Disability benefits. Generally speaking, in order to qualify for SSD benefits, an individual's condition must last or be expected to last for at least 12 months, or result in death. Unfortunately, the SSD claims process can be long and drawn out, especially if a claim denial needs to be challenged. This is why it is important for disabled individuals to consider if they qualify for a "compassionate allowance."

Distracted driving is likely as bad as drunk driving

By now, virtually every driver realizes it is a bad idea to operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol. After all, Wisconsin law allows for some serious penalties for operating a vehicle while impaired. While many drivers would never climb behind the wheel after drinking too much, motorists often make calls or send text messages. Unfortunately, distracted driving may be just as bad as drunk driving. 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation estimates that a distracted driving accident occurs on state roadways approximately every 22 minutes. While stowing your phone every time you drive is a good way to stay safe, you cannot control the actions of other drivers. You can, however, understand when and how distracted driving accidents tend to occur. 

Personal injury legal protections for truck accident victims

Truck accidents can result in serious pain and injuries for victims. Because of this unfortunate reality, it is important for truck accident victims to be able to protect themselves through the personal injury process which can help the with their physical, financial and emotional damages suffered in a truck accident.

Truck accidents can be more severe because of the size disparity between semi-trucks and passenger vehicles. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh 25 times more than the average passenger vehicle which can pose a risk to occupants of passenger vehicles on the roadways.

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