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Injury & Disability Law Blog | Laurel, MD

Crossover head-on car accident in Maryland kills 2

Rock Point Road in Charles County was closed for almost six hours on a recent Friday. This followed a fatal car accident that occurred shortly after 11 a.m. Maryland State Police troopers were called to the scene of a collision between a sedan and a pickup truck. Authorities say a Collision Reconstruction Specialist is involved in the ongoing investigation.

According to a preliminary report, a 72-year-old driver in a sedan was headed west on Rock Point Road when she inexplicably crossed into the eastbound traffic lane. A 67-year-old driver in a pickup truck going east could not avoid the car. A head-on collision followed in which the woman driving the westbound vehicle was killed on impact.

MOSH campaigns to stop tree workers from being injured on the job

Workers in the tree removal and cutting industry frequently put their welfare and their lives on the line. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say approximately 80 tree workers are fatally injured on the job every year across the country. Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) recently launched a campaign to promote awareness of safety in this industry with the goal of reducing the number of injuries among tree care workers -- including nonfatal injuries.

The campaign will focus on fall and struck-by hazards along with electrocution, which a CDC study identified as the three primary causes of deaths in this industry. This study included tree care workers, landscapers and arborists. During the campaign, MOSH will underscore the importance of hazard assessment before work starts, including checking the weather, identifying electrical hazards and ensuring all equipment is in good working order, and that the operators of the machines are properly trained.

How will a personal injury settlement affect SSDI benefits?

When a Maryland resident pursues a personal injury lawsuit in a civil court, the impact it might have on federal benefits may be a concern. Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are paid from a federal insurance program to provide a source of income for those who can no longer work due to disabilities. Any wages such a person receives must be reported to SSDI.

If the individual files a civil lawsuit and a monetary judgment is entered, any amount the court awards will not be regarded as wages. However, if any portion of the award is compensation for lost income, that portion may affect the normal SSDI benefits of the individual. Furthermore, exemplary or punitive damages and interest that is awarded might also be regarded as unwarranted income.

What evidence does the SSA use to evaluate a mental disorder?

Being unable to maintain employment in Maryland because of a mental impairment could create serious challenges for you. However, according to the Social Security Administration, your mental disorder could qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to assist you financially if there is evidence that establishes the presence and severity of your condition.

Medical proof of your disability may be the most important, and in particular, evidence that you have a history of a mental disorder. This is gathered from your medical records and all other relevant sources, including the following:

  •          Psychological testing, examinations, interviews and diagnosis
  •          Imaging results
  •          Past and current symptoms, along with expected duration and possible future symptoms
  •          Medication results on function, including side effects
  •          Therapy and clinical treatment effectiveness

OSHA standards address the dangers of trench collapse

As a construction worker in Maryland, you may face a number of hazards that are rare or unheard of in other professions. Our legal team at McGowan & Cecil, LLC, has often assisted clients who suffered from accidents that happened in the course of their job duties on the construction site.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, trench collapses cause two construction fatalities a month. These events are so catastrophic because the weight of an average cubic yard of soil weighs as much as a vehicle and could crush you quickly.

How many pedestrian injuries take place per year?

As a pedestrian, you may have all sorts of concerns. Whether you are worried about being able to walk to your destination on time or severe heat in the summertime, there are various concerns many pedestrians have in Maryland. Sadly, motor vehicles can be a very serious threat and when they collide with a pedestrian, the outcome can be devastating. Each year, many pedestrians are injured after being hit by a car while they were trying to cross the road or simply walking on the sidewalk.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 129,000 people sought emergency room treatment for non-fatal pedestrian accident injuries during 2015. Throughout the same year, estimates suggest that 13 percent of pedestrian injuries affected those who were at least 65 years old. Furthermore, these accidents also claimed more than 5,300 lives in the same year. Unfortunately, when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, they are especially vulnerable.

Moving forward after a work zone accident

If you are a road construction worker, or a loved one is employed in this line of work, you may have all sorts of concerns. From heat stroke and other challenges brought on by relentless summertime temperatures to the threat of negligent drivers and mishaps involving equipment, road workers in Prince Georges and all over the state of Maryland face many risks. At McGowan & Cecil, we are intimately familiar with the physical, financial and emotional pain that these accidents can cause and it is essential for victims to do what they can to recover.

When a driver fails to abide by traffic safety laws and puts the life of a road worker at risk, they must be held accountable. Moreover, when a road worker is injured at work, they should immediately go over any of the resources that can help them move on. For example, you may be able to successfully apply for workers' comp benefits, which could have a significant impact on your ability to recover. From financial assistance to help with medical costs and even job training, these benefits are vital for many victims of road work accidents and other types of job-related incidents. Sadly, these accidents sometimes prove fatal. If someone who was close to you passed away in a work zone accident, you may be able to obtain survivor benefits as well.

SSDI workers can get back into the workforce

People who receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits cannot make over a certain amount of money in order to continue receiving financial assistance. However, there are ways that people in Maryland and across the country can integrate back into the workforce without fear of losing all of their benefits. The Ticket to Work program is designed to help people go back to work and become financially independent. Not only can this help to improve people’s financial situation, but it can improve peoples’ quality of life as well.

When people sign up with the program, they will receive services including training, vocational rehabilitation, career counseling, job placement and continued support services. These services are created to help people achieve their career goals. The Ticket to Work Program allows people to start a job and get back into the workforce without fear of losing their benefits. Beneficiaries continue to receive healthcare benefits while they are working. In addition, beneficiaries may be able to start receiving benefits again if they are forced to stop working.

Maryland scores a B in workplace safety

Workplace safety is a major concern for industries in Maryland and across the nation. In 2015 alone, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported that 4,836 people were killed while working. This equates to an average of more than 93 people per week. Although a number of studies have been conducted to evaluate workplace safety, one study looked at each state and focused on where the problem occurs. The information is used to discover where stronger safety practices are needed and where employers can improve.

The National Safety Council conducted one such study known as The State of Safety. Researchers looked at each state to determine where they stand in regards to preventable workplace accidents, deaths and injuries, and then graded them to indicate where improvement is needed. While eleven states received an ‘F’ grade in the rankings, Maryland was one of seven that earned a ‘B’. States were graded in three different areas, including road safety, workplace safety and home and community safety. In the category of workplace safety, researchers looked at preparedness, prevention, enforcement, worker health and wellbeing and workers’ compensation.

What is an underinsured motorist?

If you get into a car accident and exchange information with the other party, it might come as a relief when they pull out an insurance card. Unfortunately, however, this does not necessarily mean their insurance will cover your damages and injuries. According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 12.6 percent of drivers nationwide are uninsured, but even more than this are underinsured.

You have perhaps heard the term "underinsured motorist" but may not be clear on exactly what it means. Many people purchase the state minimum coverage when they buy auto insurance, which may or may not be sufficient for a serious accident. The following facts are important to understanding underinsured motorist coverage.

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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.

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