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Injury & Disability Law Blog | Laurel, MD

Returning to work following a traumatic brain injury

When people receive a traumatic brain injury, they may have difficulties returning to the same type of work that they engaged in prior to the accident. Depending on the severity of damage, as well as what part of the brain was damage, people may have difficulty concentrating, problem-solving, focusing on tasks, organizing and planning. In addition, people affected by traumatic brain injuries often have trouble communicating with others. Traumatic brain damage can cause serious physical problems, such as persistent headaches, nausea, vomiting, seizures, dizziness, tingling in the muscles, and other sensory deficiencies, including trouble hearing or seeing. These symptoms can be either short-term or long-lasting and can potentially cause problems when people attempt to return to work after their recovery period has ended.

A study performed by Whiteneck and colleagues found that approximately 50 percent of participants affected by traumatic brain injury returned to work after one year. At least 20 percent of those with mild TBI did not return to work. Researchers found that not only did the result stem from inabilities to perform the same tasks that people engaged in before they were injured, but also how people subjectively viewed themselves as unable to meet the requirements that were asked of them. As a result, workers lost wages and became more dependent on government aid.

The SSDI appeals process

Social Security Disability Insurance provides financial assistance to millions of Americans every year. These benefits are designed to help people who suffer from a disability that makes it difficult for them to work and make ends meet. Not everyone who applies for SSDI benefits, however, is approved. The lengthy application process can take several months or even a year to yield a decision on whether the applicant has been approved for benefits. If an application is denied, people have the ability to appeal the decision. In some cases, the applicant may have inadvertently missed some important documentation or has additional information that may add to the case.

Once applicants receive the decision, they have 60 days to submit a written appeal. The appeals process goes through four levels. First, the decision will be reconsidered by an SSA representative who has had no participation in the case. A second decision will be made. If applicants still disagree on decision, they may ask to have a hearing scheduled. More evidence and documentation may be needed to clarify the case. An administrative judge will question the applicant, as well as medical professionals he or she brings as witnesses to the case. If the applicant still disagrees with the judge’s decision, he or she may go before the appeals council. This council will perform a subjective review of the case and turn it over to another judge for reconsideration.

The dangers of nighttime driving

When the sun sets in Maryland, many people head home for the evening. A number of people, however, still navigate the roadways, run errands, come home from work or go out with friends. Although driving in the dark may not seem much different than daytime driving, people face a greater risk of being killed in a motor vehicle accident at night. According to the National Safety Council, deadly traffic accidents occur three times more often at night than during the day.

There are several reasons why nighttime driving is more dangerous. The lack of natural light makes it difficult for people to see. It is hard for people to judge the distance and speed of oncoming vehicles at night. Furthermore, people often have trouble detecting objects in the road and may have a slower response time to pedestrians, crosswalks and bad weather conditions. This is especially true for elderly drivers who require three times more light to see properly. Mature drivers may also have trouble accommodating to objects and may suffer from the onset of visual conditions that make it hard to see, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Nationwide comparison of workplace fatalities

When employees are injured on the job, it can affect their ability to work in the future, as well as their general quality of life. Industries across the board have regulations in place to minimize the occurrence of workplace incidents. As a way to keep track of these injuries, the U.S. Department of Labor collects data regarding workplace injuries.

According to numbers released by Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national death rate of workers declined, while the actual number of deaths increased from 4,821 in 2014 to 4,836 in 2015. Maryland’s death rate ranked 43rd when compared to other states, making it one of the lowest in deadly workplace accidents. The number of fatal workplace incidents in the state dropped to 69 in 2015 from 74 deaths the year before.

Why You Should Purchase Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This past week we had to tell a mother and father that the most we could recover against a driver who lost control of her vehicle and killed their son was $30,000.00. That is because the at fault driver had the minimum liability automobile insurance coverage required by Maryland of $30,000.00 and their son did not have uninsured motorist coverage above that amount.

Young worker lost leg in tragic accident

Poor working conditions, lack of safety conditions and failure to properly train employees can lead to disaster for workers and employers alike. Employers are responsible for ensuring their workers have the knowledge and equipment necessary to perform their job. When workers are not given this training, they may become severely injured, or ultimately lose their lives.

A 17-year-old immigrant from Guatemala lost his leg in a tragic accident that occurred while he was attempting to clean a piece of machinery. Since there were no ladders in the area to help him reach the valve to shut the water off, the boy climbed over the machine as he was shown to do. As he was reaching for the valve, he slipped, turning on the machine. The huge paddles pulled his leg into the swirling machine and twisted it until it broke. It was held on only by skin and ligaments.

Motorcycle safety: Tips for biker safety on the road

As the days get longer and the temperatures become warmer, motorcyclists often begin to ride their bikes more often. This convenient and inexpensive form of transportation can be beneficial to people who are traveling to and from school and work on a daily basis. However, the dangers of riding on a motorcycle are great, as a number of motorists are not familiar with navigating around these small vehicles. Some motorists may not see motorcyclists hiding within traffic or are going too fast to yield or stop for them. There are some steps that motorcyclists can take to minimize their risk of becoming injured or killed in a tragic accident.

Motorcyclists should consider buying a bike that has antilock brakes. Antilock brakes ensure the wheels of the bike do not lock up, preventing skids and other potential falls. Studies show that bikes with this safety feature reduce the risk of fatal accidents by 31 percent, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Motorcyclists should also wear helmets at all times while traveling alongside motor vehicles. Maryland has a universal helmet law, which requires motorcyclists to have a helmet on while riding. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of death in an accident by 37 percent, and lowers the risk of head injuries by 69 percent. In fact, riders that do not wear helmets are three times more likely to die in an accident than those who do wear helmets.

SSDI statistics: Why does the process take so long?

Whether you have already applied for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits or you are simply considering filing for these services, there are some things that you should know. The process of filing for SSDI benefits can be lengthy, and it make take months, even years for some applicants to receive notice as to if they have been approved for benefits. According to the SSA, the department that handles SSDI applications is just over 990,000 cases behind in processing benefit requests.

The average time for a case to be processed is 422 days. Each application is reviewed by an SSA officer, who determines whether your condition qualifies for disability benefits. In order to make the decision, the officer may need to contact physicians for further information, and wait for medical documents to arrive. In some cases, the applicant may need to go in for further testing or produce further evidence of their condition. It is crucial that your paperwork is filled out correctly and that you submit all documentation needed so that this process can be expedited.

The dangers of confined spaces

Construction workers are subjected to many hazardous situations. In fact, the construction industry is one of the most dangerous in the country. As in any industry, it is essential that workers understand how to protect themselves by wearing the proper protective equipment as well as navigate around a worksite in a safe way to avoid injury or even death. One of the dangers that construction workers face is confined spaces. Small work areas, such as manholes, tanks and crawl spaces, are not designed for human occupancy and have limited access to an exit. However, construction workers may be required to fit into these small spaces for a period of time in order to get the job done.

There are several dangers that come with working in a confined space. First, these spaces come with atmospheric concerns. The small area may make it difficult for the worker to gain access to sufficient amounts of oxygen, which could cause asphyxiation. This is especially dangerous if there are toxins present. Second, workers may face a greater risk of getting electrocuted in small spaces. It is essential that employers fully evaluate the confined space and ensure the area is safe before sending workers in. Finally, explosions may occur that could cause the exit of the small space to cave in, trapping the worker within.


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From our office in Laurel, we serve clients throughout the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. We handle all injury and disability claims on a contingency fee basis, so we charge no fee unless we recover compensation for you.

To schedule a free consultation with a Laurel personal injury attorney at our firm, call 301-476-1325 or toll free at 877-833-5045. You may also contact us by email.

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