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Charlotte North Carolina Legal Blog

Workers' compensation benefits and Social Security Disability

Workers' compensation benefits can help people who have been injured on the job, providing them with funds to cover medical expenses and lost wages while they recover. But what if they never fully recover?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that provides people with benefits after they are no longer able to work for a living due to injury, illness or other condition. As with Social Security retirement benefits, workers pay into the system with each paycheck. If they become disabled after they have been in the workforce for a sufficient amount of time, they can apply for Social Security Disability benefits, which are meant to partly offset their loss of income.

Pedestrian struck and killed by van in nighttime accident

A man was killed recently when he was struck by a van while he was standing or walking on a Charlotte street late at night. Police said the 24-year-old pedestrian was not near a crosswalk or intersection, and the van driver was not intoxicated and did not appear to have been speeding at the time of the crash.

According to news reports, the young man was pronounced dead at the scene. The van driver was not injured.

Construction, transportation lead state in workplace fatalities

Accidents can happen in any kind of workplace, but some kinds of workplaces are more hazardous than others. A worker can suffer a broken arm after tripping and falling at an office building, but tripping and falling at a construction site can easily lead to much worse injuries. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the deadliest industries in North Carolina are private construction, transportation and warehousing.

In its report on fatal occupational injuries in North Carolina, the BLS found 183 fatal work injuries in 2017, the most recent year for which final statistics were reported. This number represented an increase over 2016, when 174 workers were killed on the job. In fact, the 2017 number was the highest in more than 10 years.

Why you need to consider working with another lawyer for a claim

Working as an attorney sometimes puts professionals in a complicated position. Most attorneys have a general practice where they work in multiple areas of law, but they likely have one area where they specialize. At the same time, attorneys need to develop ongoing relationships with clients in order to have referrals to new cases and ongoing work as clients from previous situations need new services.

This can put you in a difficult situation, particularly if you don't have experience in the area of law where a former client needs help. If a client for whom you created an estate plan comes to you with a serious personal injury claim, you probably don't want to turn them away. However, you can't necessarily provide the best possible representation on your own.

Two injured in three-truck crash

Force equals mass multiplied by acceleration. This is Newton's Second Law of Motion, and a basic principle of physics. In terms of motor vehicle accidents, it means the heavier the vehicle, the more force it has when it collides with another vehicle. This is why accidents involving big trucks can be so dangerous to people in smaller vehicles.

Recently in North Carolina, at least two people were injured when two tractor-trailer trucks and a smaller pickup truck collided with each other. The accident occurred on U.S. Highway 64 E in Asheboro. According to officials, two of the drivers were transported to area hospitals. The third was apparently uninjured and refused help from emergency medical services.

Watch out for these common causes of car accidents

Like most other drivers in Charlotte, you have probably been a position where you needed to avoid a car accident. Certain situations like bad weather, heavy traffic, speeding, and drunk and distracted driving are some of the most common causes of car accidents in the area and across the country. Even if you do not engage in bad driving habits, you still have to watch out for people who may not drive as safely as you.

One of the best ways to avoid a car accident is to be aware when there is a potentially dangerous situation happening around you. You can increase that awareness with a working knowledge of some of the most common types of car accidents. While you are probably already familiar with the ones mentioned above, here are a few others you should know about.

Beware of the Fatal Four in construction

People who work in the construction industry face risks that can lead to death. There are four specific hazards that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have dubbed the Fatal Four. Many deaths could be prevented if companies took steps to minimize these dangers.

The Fatal Four includes falls, struck-by incidents, caught in or between accidents, and electrocutions. The safety plan must include preventative measures that can help to keep workers safe. Not only should these be part of the plan, but they must also be the subjects of reminders throughout a worker's career. Even walking safety meetings can be beneficial in these cases.

What is the difference between SSD and SSI?

Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income are two programs that provide benefits for people who are unable to work for a living due to injury, illness or other condition. However, the two programs are very different from each other.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program is, as its name suggests, a kind of insurance program. As with Social Security retirement benefits, workers pay into the SSD program during their working lives. If illness, injury or some other condition renders them unable to work for a living before they are eligible for retirement, they may make a claim for benefits. To be eligible for the benefits, they must have a qualifying condition and have paid into the system through working a sufficient number of hours.

What is negligence per se?

Under North Carolina law, injured people can file a personal injury suit to recover compensation for their damages if their injuries were the result of another party's negligence. Typically, a plaintiff has to prove that the defendant acted negligently, that this negligence caused the injury, and that the injury caused the damages. Proving each of these elements can be difficult. One way to speed up the process is through a legal theory known as negligence per se.

Before we explain how negligence per se works, remember that to show negligence, a plaintiff must typically show that the defendant had a duty of care to others, that the defendant breached that duty, that this breach of duty caused the accident, and that the accident caused the plaintiff's damages.

Dealing with the disruption caused by an on-the-job injury

Most people in North Carolina who get up and leave for work in the morning expect to return to the same place they left: home, safe and sound. However, there are many people who face daily danger on the jobsites they visit. Some workers are aware of the dangers they face and attempt to take the proper precautions. Others, like office workers, don't think of their work environments as being unsafe. Unfortunately, across the spectrum, injuries can occur on-the-job and can disrupt life in a major way.

Our readers probably think that construction and industrial workers face the highest rate of danger in the workplace, and that is probably correct. However, there are other dangers in different areas of work as well. For example, those who drive a vehicle regularly for work put themselves in the possible position of being involved in one of the most common and dangerous events in America: a car accident. Others, even those who work in an office, may be facing the danger of a creeping injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems which, until they become severe, may not even be noticeable.

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