Source of Short Term Disability Benefits

Workers’ Compensation, or Workers’ Comp, and Social Security Disability are the two largest programs in the U.S. which offer cash benefits to workers who sustain serious injuries or illnesses that render them disabled. Though both programs consider employment as the basic requirement for eligibility to make a claim, these still significantly differ with regard to details of eligibility. While the Workers’ Comp considers a person already qualified even on the very first day of his or her employment, Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI requires a substantial work period and the payment of Social Security taxes which are automatically deducted from an employee’s monthly pay (this monthly tax, which is included in an employee’s paycheck, is called the Federal Insurance Contributions Act or FICA).

The type of injury or illness eligible for compensation, as well as the amount of benefits given by Workers’ Comp depends on the state. Though states may differ in some of the benefits awarded, these are sure to cover lost wages and cost of medical treatment, among others.

Workers’ Comp benefits are fast and sure financial benefits for workers who get injured on the job or who develop occupational illnesses due to exposure to hazardous substances. If an injury or an illness ends in disability, the amount of benefit will depend on the classification of the disability. Health providers classify disabilities under four types: Temporary total disability; Temporary partial disability; Permanent total disability; and, Permanent partial disability.

According to the website of Scudder Seguin, PLLC, total permanent disability (TPD) benefits are available for workers whose injuries are so severe that they cannot continue to work in any occupation; partial permanent disability (PPD), on the other hand, are available for workers whose injuries are permanent, but who can continue to work.

Injured workers usually have 30 – 45 days (from the day the injury was sustained or the illness was discovered) to notify their employers about such injury or illness. Failure to notify one’s employer can mean loss of right to file a workers’ comp claim. Besides this, there is also a statute of limitations within which the injured worker will have to file his or her application for benefits. States have different guidelines with regard to statute of limitation, but for guaranteed safe filing, this should be done within one year from the date of the accident or discovery of the illness.

Understanding how heavy truck brakes fail

A lot of motorists on the road are at risk of suffering incapacitating and fatal injuries when their vehicles are struck by trailers or semitrailer trucks. Though one of the common claims used by truck drivers involved in collisions is that the brake of their trucks did not work.

Unlike compact vehicles, heavy trucks use compressed airbrake systems to activate the parking and service brakes, as such systems have considerable advantages compared to hydraulic braking systems. Truck operators and owners are responsible for making sure that the braking systems of the trucks are properly working. Airbrakes should need proper and regular maintenance service for it to become responsive in critical situations. Though improperly maintained brakes may work in normal driving conditions, truck drivers may experience braking delays even they step hard on the brake pedal to make a sudden stop especially in emergency situations. Fatal accidents often are the result when the braking system of trucks malfunctions during operations. One of the common problems that arise in improperly maintained truck brakes is brake imbalance.

When braking system parts are not the same or its air pressure is not calibrated, not all of the brakes will have the same response. Trucks are at high risk of losing control and got involved in deadly accidents like jackknifing and trailer swingouts when its brakes are imbalanced. Truck braking systems also experience an imbalance when the load is not properly distributed inside the trailer. The brakes are likely to experience malfunction during operation if it is imbalanced. Another reason why truck braking systems fail is because the driver fails to properly inspect it before a trip. There is a law requiring truck drivers to look for potential truck problems every day and make documentation. If the driver overlooked a braking system problem in his or her truck, serious road accidents may likely happen.

Wrong Diagnosis: Tearing through the Fine Line that Separates Life and Death and Illness and Health

According to the United States National Academy of Medicine, adverse effects of medical treatment cause 44,000 to 98,000 preventable deaths and 1,000,000 injuries in the US every year. These adverse effects often result from medical errors which so many medical professionals, health care providers and legal professionals believe are totally preventable. (The National Academy of Medicine, known as Institute of Medicine (IOM) until June 30, 2015, is an American non-profit, non-governmental organization).

A medical error usually results from a health-care provider’s provision of an incorrect or inadequate method of care, or delivery of what actually may be an appropriate method of care, however, in a wrongful manner. These mistakes, which are most frequently committed by doctors and other health care providers, include: error in medication/prescription, as well as in the dosage of medicine prescribed: surgical mistakes; error in dosage of anesthesia; and, errors that result childbirth injuries or traumas, and misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.

A big percentage of medical malpractice complaints is due to misdiagnosis or wrong diagnosis, a most common occurrence, especially in hospitals’ emergency departments, where hundreds of patients, with life-threatening conditions, are rushed every day. Besides having caused thousands of deaths in the past, misdiagnosis continues to put hundreds of lives in danger every day.

Many doctors will explain that there are health conditions, serious ones included, that are just too difficult to identify due to similarities of symptoms with many other types of illnesses; thus, some try to identify the real problem through what is called, “diagnosis of elimination.”

Some of these conditions that are difficult to identify include appendicitis, cluster headaches, migraines, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and sepsis or blood infection. In fact, there have been situations wherein: a young girl, who complained of abdominal pain, was diagnosed to be having just that, then, minutes after, her appendix ruptured; a 42-year old woman was discharged despite complaining of unusual chest pains, only to suffer a heart attack two hours after she left the emergency room; and, a male teen-ager who was sent home after being given Tylenol to treat his fever and chills, only to die shortly after due to blood infection or sepsis.

There is a very long list of actual situations, all depicting the painful and harmful consequences of misdiagnosis, including prescribing the wrong medication that only resulted to the worsening of the original complaint and the development of a new illness (an adverse effect of the wrong drug), and the performance of a surgical procedure when such is actually not necessary.

We trust doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to take care of us when we are sick or injured and that though we never even think about the possibility of these people worsening our lives through misdiagnosis or other error, they are still prone to mistakes despite being highly trained. Their mistakes, however, can tear right through the fine line that separates life and death, and illness and health. Thus, though one would wish that the effects of misdiagnosis would only be minor, many more times these have been deadly or the cause of life-changing situations in victims and their families.

Victims of medical malpractice, however, have the legal right to seek compensation for whatever preventable injury or harm they have been unjustly made to suffer.

Resolving Instances of Insurance Bad Faith

It is in the very nature of accidents to be unpredictable. There is always some possibility that an accident may happen in any given situation. The only way individuals can protect themselves from the potential risks and dangers of such unpredictable events is through preparedness and vigilance. One of the ways this can be done is through setting up safety nets to mitigate the consequences of accidents and natural disasters. Through insurance policies, individuals can set up a back-up plan that can ensure financial stability as they go through a traumatic event.

While insurance providers are an ideal solution for financial losses suffered by victims of accidents and other catastrophes, the reality of the situation paints a different picture. There are some cases when these providers fail to deliver on the benefits promised to insurance holders. Even when some people opt to pay for higher premiums for their insurance plans, there are still occasions when providers fail to hold up their end of the deal. Insurance holders then get payments that are significantly smaller than what they expected from the policy they were maintaining. In some select cases, insurance providers also outright refuse to provide policyholders with benefits based on legitimate claims. These incidents are considered an act of bad faith on the part of the provider, since they are violating the trust put to them by their clients.

Personal injury lawyers in Chicago are usually aware of other instances of insurance bad faith. Aside from the aforementioned scenarios, insurance bad faith can also happen through a provider’s improver evaluation of a claimant’s damaged property and through their failure to properly investigate claims made by policyholders.

Resolving insurance bad faith may seem overwhelming. Most people seem to be too daunted by the long processes involved in pursuing such cases.

Real Estate Litigation: Wrongful Foreclosure

Wrongful foreclosure is a civil action that is based on claims of foreclosure fraud. There are different aspects through which fraud may be committed during a foreclosure process and these include: predatory foreclosure mediators, botched documents or unscrupulous lenders. The most common cases of wrongful foreclosure, though, are forged signatures, altered documents and fraudulent eviction of homeowners by lenders, lawyers or consultants.

From 2009 and 2010 alone, 11 top financing institutions foreclosed about 1.2 million properties, causing the same number of homeowners to lose their homes. The move, though, was clearly seen as illegal as many of the homeowners: had just acquired bank approval either for the restructuring of their payment scheme or for a temporary delay in the payment of their mortgage; were not even late in their mortgage payment; or, their property was under the protection of federal laws.

The court proceedings that heard majority of the foreclosures during the housing crisis in the US revealed that these were not even the due to homeowners’ fault, who were thought to be defaulting in their loan payments. Rather, the foreclosures were due either to mistakes committed by banks or to practices (that are now held illegal) that highly and only favored banks and lenders.

While losing one’s home due to legitimate foreclosure can cause a homeowner a lot pain, a wrongful foreclosure, however, which is done through deception, can be subjected to a civil case wherein the affected homeowner may even be allowed to file for civil and punitive damages. Whereas the cause of the foreclosure is default in payment, banks or creditors cannot simply foreclose on it as the law offers property owners various means which will help them retain their property.

On its website, the law firm Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., says that homeowners have the right to seek the aid and protection of the law in protecting their properties from the wrongful action of profiteers, erring banks, and other lenders.