Can I Get Disability Benefits After a Car Accident?
Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney Provides an Answer Were you injured in a car accident? Are you wondering if you can get disability benefits? If you have been severely injured, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits; but you will not automatically qualify for it – the reason being that Social Security Disability (SSD), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) were created to help individuals with long-term disabilities. A small number of states, including California, have short-term disability programs that offer cash benefits to victims of accidents. Contact an experienced car accident attorney to learn more about it. SSA Requirements to Qualify for Disability Benefits In order to qualify for any of these benefits, you must prove that you have a disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider you disabled if you fulfill all of the following conditions: You have a severe disability (physical, mental or both) that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months; You are unable to engage in any Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) that pays more than a certain amount (the amount is $21,840 per year for a blind individual and $14,040 for a non-blind individual); You are incapable of performing the work you used to do before the accident; and You are incapable of doing or being trained to do any other work that is less demanding. Specific Conditions for Disability Benefits You will quality for disability benefits if your car accident injuries have resulted in the following conditions leaving you disabled for 12 months or more and if you fulfill the requirements listed above. Here are some specific conditions in which you may qualify for disability benefits. Fractured or broken bones: If the fractured or broken bone is located in your arm or leg and has not healed, or your arm or leg has not regained function despite surgery, leaving you unable to walk or perform any kind of work, then you may qualify for disability benefits. But if the fractured or broken bones are located in other areas of your body, they will have to prove that you are unable to do any kind of work because of the injuries. Amputation of limbs: If one or more of your limbs have been amputated, leaving you disabled for life, then you may qualify for disability benefits. But once you are able to work with artificial limbs, your benefits may be stopped. Severe burns: Severe burns are not known to take a very long time to heal and can cause long-term or permanent impairments. If you can prove that the severe burn you have sustained has rendered you unable to work, then you may qualify for disability benefits. Spinal cord/back injuries: Spinal cord and back injuries are often debilitating and long lasting. If you have sustained severe spinal cord or back injuries, leaving you unable to work despite treatment and surgery, then you may qualify disability benefits. Severe whiplash (neck injury): Normally, whiplash will not qualify you for disability benefits. But you may qualify if the whiplash injury you have sustained also includes a neck or spinal injury. You will most likely have to submit a MRI report for this. Joint injuries: Joint injuries can make you unable to walk or work. If you can prove that your joint injuries have caused long-term or permanent impairments, then you may qualify for disability benefits. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Individuals with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) usually qualify for disability benefits since it often results in memory loss, inability to complete tasks and other impairments. Other impairments: Other impairments listed by SSA to qualify for disability benefits include neurological disorders, sensory impairment (vision and/or hearing) and speech impairment (which is a common side effect of traumatic brain injury). You should keep in mind that you do not automatically qualify for SSD benefits. Regardless of the type and extent of your disability, you must provide medical evidence to qualify. Talk to your car accident attorney to find out what you can do to qualify.
Filing an Injury Claim as a Passenger
Passengers Are Entitled to Damages After a Car Accident Passengers account for a significant portion of car accident fatalities and injuries every year. This is perhaps because they are normally caught unawares in most accidents, in contrast to drivers, who sometimes have a few milliseconds to ‘prepare’ themselves or to brace themselves for oncoming collisions. When injured in an accident, there are various steps that you as passenger should take to get compensation for hospital bills and other damages. The first and most important step is to seek the advice of an experienced car accident attorney. As a passenger who has sustained injuries in an accident, you have an easier case to prove than the driver, that you are not liable for the damages resulting from the accident. However, just like any other personal injury claim, you should still be able to prove who is liable for the accident and that the damages were directly caused by the accident. Determining liability If the car accident involved two cars, one of the car drivers is without a doubt liable. It is nearly impossible to have an accident involving two cars without one of the drivers being found negligent in one way or another. On the other hand, if the car accident just involved one car (for example the driver hitting a tree) then the car driver is liable. If the driver collides with an object other than a vehicle, then he/she did most likely something which amounts to negligence. However, there are some exceptions – for instance, a deer runs onto the road out of nowhere and the driver cannot possibly avoid hitting it. Filing the claim A passenger injury claim is similar to all other car accident claims, the only difference being that you, the passenger, is the claimant suing the driver(s). If more than one driver was found to be at fault you would need to get the insurance information of each drivers, and file claims with their respective insurance company. Your car accident attorney can easily do this for you. If only one of the drivers is found to be at fault, then you will file a claim only against the insurance company of the driver found solely to be at fault. In most cases, passenger injury claims are easily settled, but there are various instances that these cases can be a bit difficult to settle. In such cases, you can rely on the experience of your car accident attorney to win you the case. Multiple passenger injury claims In cases where multiple passengers sustain damages in a crash and sue the driver, the value of compensation you could get could be limited to the total value of the at-fault driver’s injury coverage. Depending on the circumstances, each claimant usually gets a portion of the total insurance policy coverage. Legal assistance Being involved in a car accident can be a difficult and confusing experience. Your first obligation is to get medical treatment. Afterward, you ought to discuss your legal options with a car accident attorney. If you have been injured in a car accident as a passenger, you might be entitled to compensation for all resulting damages. For your claim to be successful, it is crucial to discuss the circumstances of your accident with an experienced car accident attorney who can assist you in determining which claims to file and also protect your legal rights.
Strategies to Reduce or Prevent Drunk Driving
You Could Save Lives Says Concerned Car Accident Attorney Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of accidents on our roads today. To reduce the number of drunk driving related accidents, everyone who goes out for a drink should choose a sober designated driver before leaving his or her house. This would save a lot of lives and spare numerous families the agony and suffering that they have to go through after the loss of a loved one. Several strategies have been put in place to reduce or prevent drunk driving. The majority of these strategies have proven to be effective in reducing the number of drunk drivers on our roads today. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, then you definitely need to contact a car accident attorney who is experienced in this field. You are entitled to some compensation and you do not need to suffer because of someone else’s wrongdoing. 1. Drunk driving laws Many states’ drunk driving laws state that it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or more than 0.08%. Additionally, there are zero tolerance laws that have made it completely illegal for individuals under 21 to drive with any amount of measurable alcohol content in their system. These two laws have had a considerable impact on highway safety in all fifty states. They have deterred many people from drunk driving and have therefore saved thousands of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians from injury and death. Sobriety checkpoints are sometimes set up at certain busy roads, especially on holidays during which more people tend to drink and drive. They allow police officers to stop cars to check if the driver is drunk. Breath tests are administered if the police officer(s) suspect the driver is intoxicated. 2. Ignition interlocks Ignition interlocks fitted in vehicles measure alcohol levels in the driver’s breath. They prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver’s BAC is more than a certain value, normally 0.02%. They have been used on individuals found guilty of drunk driving and are very efficient in preventing repeat cases when installed. Authorizing interlocks for every offender, even a first-time offender, will have the most impact. 3. Media campaigns Mass media campaigns are also another great strategy for reducing drunk driving. They help communicate the legal repercussions and physical dangers related to drunk driving. Apart from urging individuals not to drink and drive, media campaigns have also been used to persuade them to keep other people from doing this. 4. Cancelling of licenses Administrative license revocation or suspension laws permit the police to seize the driving license of any driver whose BAC level is at or more than the set legal limit. Your license could also be taken if you refuse to get tested. The license could get suspended for days or even months, and this number varies from state to state. 5. Instructional programs School-based instructional programs are useful and effective when it comes to teaching children not to ride with an intoxicated driver. Below are some useful tips that can be used in educating children about the risks of drunk driving: Parents should talk to their kids about the dangers of drunk-driving. Children should be educated in schools about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. Children should be educated on state laws, such as zero tolerance for those below 21. Stopping a family member or friend from hitting the road when drunk might be one of the most important decisions in an individual’s life. The family member or friend might listen to you and do what is safe; not drive while intoxicated. Prevention is better than a cure, and at times, a cure is not even an option. Remember to seek out the services of a skilled car accident attorney if you are injured by a drunk driver. Every action has consequences and it is only right for you to get compensated for the pain and suffering incurred. Stay safe; do not drink and drive! (#case-consultation-form-container)FREE 24/7 Consultation### Drunk Driving Resources [inpagemenu menu=drunk]
7 Common Causes of Accidents in California
Important Information by Car Accident Attorneys Data released by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) revealed important statistics on the most common causes of car accidents in California. Knowing these common causes of accidents can help you minimize your risks of getting involved in one. Also, when the unexpected happens and you still end up getting involved in an accident, contact your car accident attorneys for assistance in settling your claim. Experienced car accident attorneys will make sure you are well compensated for the damages you’ve suffered. Some of the most common causes of accidents in California include: 1. Speeding: More than 50,000 speed-related accidents occur every year in California. Speeding reduces the reaction times of drivers (making car accidents more likely to occur) resulting in more severe damages. 2. Distracted driving: A lot of drivers tend to involve themselves in activities that affect their concentration, such as using cell phones, eating, reading, or holding conversations with passengers while driving. These drivers are more likely to cause accidents on the roads due to lack of alertness or awareness on the roads. 3. Driving under the influence (DUI): Drunk driving is the cause of more than 12,000 fatal car accidents in California every year. Car accidents that are the result of drunk driving can be avoided by using other kinds of transportation or even exploiting free programs such as Safe and Sober Free Cab Ride Home program. Nearly all car accident attorneys have absolutely no tolerance for drunk drivers. If you have suffered injuries or damages as a result of an accident caused by a drunk driver, you should contact car accident attorneys to file a claim. 4. Not observing traffic rules: Making illegal U-turns or following behind too closely are just a few examples of bad traffic behaviors that are capable of causing serious car accidents. Not following traffic rules or acting reasonably on the streets or highways has resulted in hundreds of accidents in California alone. 5. Drivers that are not aware of their environment: A lot of car accidents are caused by drivers who simply do not pay any attention to traffic signs or signals, or even to other drivers on the road. 6. Manufacturer faults: Auto manufacturers are normally held to very high standards for every car they produce. At times, some of their vehicle parts may fail, resulting in accidents that cause serious injuries to the drivers and passengers involved. 7. The poor condition of roads: The state and local governments are responsible for the maintenance of roads. Issues such as potholes, unexpected elevation changes, and missing guard rails might cause drivers to lose control of their cars and eventually crash. Some of the roads in California are in very poor conditions, and this is something that the local and the state governments should be held responsible for in case these conditions cause car accidents. The injuries and damages caused by car accidents are very devastating, as they might lead to disability and in some cases, death. Additionally, the cost of treating these injuries might be too high for your family to cover. Through staying alert on the road and taking due care to evade the above mentioned poor driving behaviors, you can significantly reduce your risk of getting involved in a car accident in California. In case you get hurt in an accident, do not forget to contact any of the skilled car accident attorneys in California. FREE 24/7 ConsultationLast Updated: 03-24-2017
The Insurance Secret Uber Doesn't Want You to Know
Uber Accident Attorney Reveals All Who, precisely, is liable when a driver is involved in an accident? Is it him, his insurance company or the company he is working for? The Law isn’t clear on this question as liability is determined on a case by case basis. However, it is this legal gray that many companies, particularly those involved in the tech industry, are taking advantage of to avoid liability. If a company such as Uber simply facilitates the relationship between the client and a third-party driver, it can simply claim that it is not liable in case the third-party driver is involved in an accident. However, there is much more to this than meets the eye. In the Uber model, most of the insurance load is left on the shoulders of Uber drivers, who are actually using their own personal car insurance (PCI). These drivers might not be aware of the fact that their PCI policy might not cover them if they are working for Uber or other ride-sharing applications. In case you have a PCI policy, it is important to know that the insurers will not cover an accident which occurs while you are carrying out any commercial activities. Many insurance companies have made it clear that their PCI policies will not cover any cars used in the transportation of passengers for a price. There have been various reports of certain insurance companies such as Geico withdrawing PCI policies or totally declining to renew them as a result of a driver’s Uber activity. KQED recently reported that numerous drivers in California have been denied insurance after disclosing their plans to work for ride-sharing companies. Thus, it is important for you to know that you will likely not be covered by your PCI in case of an accident. However, in 2014, Uber posted an infographic on their site which shows when a PCI cover concludes and when their insurance kicks in. According to Uber, when the Uber app is not in operation, the driver is covered by his or her own PCI, but when the Uber app is in operation and there is a passenger in the car, the driver is covered by Uber’s insurance. Who is liable in case something happens when the car has no passenger but the app is on is subject to heated debate among ride-sharing companies, drivers, and regulators. This particular insurance gap got a lot of media scrutiny in 2013 when an UberX driver struck and killed a six-year-old girl, Sofia Liu. Some of her other family members were also severely injured in the accident. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the Uber driver by an Uber accident attorney representing Liu’s family. Uber refused to admit liability for the damages since the Uber driver was not carrying any passenger at the time the accident occurred. In response to this particular occurrence, the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) re-evaluated its insurance requirements for transportation networking companies (TNCs). Assembly Bill No. 2293, which was later signed into law and became effective on the 1st of July 2015 requires California car insurance companies to have insurance covers for various commercial activities including ride-sharing. Hopefully, car insurance companies in other states will be encouraged by the new regulations of California to come up with separate commercial insurance policies for ride-sharing drivers. However, questions still remain regarding how these policies will actually work. If you have ever been involved in a car accident involving an Uber driver, then you most definitely need to seek the services of a proficient Uber accident attorney. You are legally entitled to compensation for your accident-related damages. \\\(#case-consultation-form-container)FREE 24/7 Consultation### Uber Accident Resources [inpagemenu menu=uber]
10 of the Deadliest Cars in America
These Vehicles Are Car Accident Magnets Research shows that certain vehicle models are more susceptible to crashes than others. This article, brought to you by an experienced car accident attorney of Wilshire Law Firm, provides information about the deadliest cars in America, so that the drivers who are shopping for used cars could get an idea of which cars they should avoid buying. Choosing a safe car is integral to your safety on the road. If you were involved in a crash involving a defective vehicle, you should consult a car accident attorney for legal advice. Below are the 10 deadliest cars you should not purchase when shopping for used cars in America: 1. Nissan 350Z One of the deadliest cars on the road in America is the Nissan350Z, from model years 2005 to 2008. The IIHS recorded 143 deaths per million registrations for Nissan 350Z, with 90 driver deaths per million registrations that occurred in single-vehicle crashes. For a span of four years, Chevrolet and Nissan were producing cars involving the highest ratio of driver deaths and serious injury cases. 2. Nissan Titan Crew Cab From model years 2005 to 2008, the Nissan Titan Crew Cab was involved in a total of 126 driver deaths per million vehicles. 3. Chevy Aveo In a study of the four-door compact Chevy Aveo model years 2005 through 2008, the IIHS declared that there were 119 deaths per million car registrations, divided evenly between multiple-vehicle crashes and single vehicle accidents. 4. Chevy Cobalt The four-door Cobalt sedan from model years 2005 through 2008 had a death rate of 117 drivers per million registrations and is one of the most deadly vehicles on the road in America. 5. Nissan Titan Extended Cab The Nissan Titan from models years 2005 through 2008 was something of a huge menace on the American roads for the four-year period. One study revealed that for every million registrations of the vehicle, 111 drivers met their deaths behind the wheel of a Titan, with a lot of them occurring in single-vehicle crashes. 6. Kia Spectra Wagon The Kia Spectra wagon was manufactured by Hyundai motors. A survey revealed that for every million registrations of the vehicle model years 2005 through 2008, 102 drivers died behind the wheel of a Kia Spectra wagon. The majority of the drivers who died were also involved in multiple car crashes. 7. Chevrolet Malibu From model years 2005-2008, Chevrolet Malibu rated very poorly on performance and style; they were eventually relegated to vehicle fleets. Researchers believe that this may have been the reason for the high death rates of the Chevrolet Malibu drivers. 8. Hyundai Tiburon The deaths associated with the Hyundai Tiburon were recorded as 96 in per million vehicle registrations in a four-year period; 63 of these deaths were the result of single vehicle crashes. 9. Nissan Versa Sedan The Nissan Versa tied with the Hyundai Tiburon on the list of the deadliest cars in America with a total of 96 fatalities per million registrations for the 2005-2008 models. 10. Chevy Colorado Extended Cab While mostly small cars were responsible for most recorded driver deaths, the Chevy Colorado Extended was one of the larger cars that managed to nab a spot on the top 10 deadliest cars list (a dubious honor). From model years 2005 to 2008, the Colorado was associated with 93 deaths per million registrations. Conclusion If you are looking to buy a new car, the above-mentioned cars should be avoided. Safety, not style, should be one of your top priorities – because your life is on the line. Any experienced car accident attorney will tell you the same. FREE 24/7 ConsultationLast Updated: 03-24-2017