Workplace injuries can be devastating for anyone, regardless of gender. But a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that while women have historically received fewer workplace injuries than men, the types of on-the-job injuries can be quite different for females.

stockfresh_4489991_work-accident_sizeS-300x208According to the recently released data, men accounted for 4,836 workplace fatalities in 2015. By contrast, 344 women died on the job during the same period. The leading cause of job-related deaths for both genders is the same – transportation accidents that occur by road, air, water or railway.

Then the numbers begin to diverge, where the second most common cause of workplace deaths death for women is by violence and other injuries by persons or animals. By contrast, the second leading cause for men are caused by slip, trip, and fall mishaps.

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for providing benefits to people who are disabled and either temporarily (more than 12 months) or permanently unable to work.  In order to determine that people are actually unable to work the SSA keeps track of a beneficiary’s medical condition and financial status.  stockfresh_5487160_person-hand-with-pen-filling-social-security-disability-form_sizeS-300x200If you are receiving payments from either the Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) program or the Supplement Security Income (SSI) program, the SSA will require that you submit proof of income information on an annual basis to ensure that your income does not exceed a certain limit.  This limit is called the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level.  This post will explain how the Social Security Administration defines SGA for you as one of its beneficiaries and the limits on income that the SSA requires in order to continue providing benefits.

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When you have been in a car wreck or any other type of accident, everything that happens after can be confusing or scary.  One of the questions we regularly ask potential clients is what type of diagnostic tests they have had.  A lot of times people are not sure which tests they have had, and if they do know which tests, they might not know the reasons for the tests.stockfresh_92580_doctor-with-patient-having-a-computerized-axial-tomography-cat_sizeS-300x200

Three Tests That Might Be Ordered For You

There are three typical tests that people have when they are hurt.  The first test almost any emergency room will run is an X-ray. X-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation or electromagnetic waves.  While used in many ways in the medical field, including treatment of cancer, the most common way is for taking pictures of bones to look for fractures. The radiation produced can penetrate soft tissue, such as skin, fat, and muscle but does not penetrate bone, resulting in shadowy black and white photos of those bones.  While radiation can help cure cancer, it is also classified as a carcinogen itself, but it is widely accepted in the medical community that the benefits of x-rays far out weight the risks. X-rays would be best used to diagnose broken bones suffered in an accident.

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In recent years, the discussion surrounding organized sports and their inherent risks has reached new levels of intensity, especially when it comes to the topic of concussions and brain injuries.

Some would argue that concussions are no more prevalent today than they were 10 or 20 years ago, and our understanding and education has simply brought the issue to the forefront. Indeed, awareness campaigns, major featureshutterstock_408266332-300x200 films like Concussion, starring Will Smith, and the number of high-profile athletes retiring due to concussion concerns have made parents of school-aged children pause when considering allowing their children to play organized sports for club leagues or schools.

Ultimately, the decision is up to the parents, and they may find it encouraging that some doctors believe that the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are greater than those of playing sports, and encouraging your children to participate in activities like sports are generally beneficial.

Schools’ Duty to Protect the Health of Student-Athletes

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In 2013, South Carolina adopted new mediation regulations for South Carolina workers’ compensation cases. Before 2013, mediations would occur in cases only if both the Claimant (Injured Worker) and the Defendants (Employer/ Insurance Carrier) agree to mediate the claim. stockfresh_6813342_mediation-word-in-wood-type_sizeS-300x200With these regulations, it is important for the injured worker to have some idea of what kinds of cases are required to be mediated, what the mediation process is and what it is not, and who the people are involved in the mediation.

Do All Workers Comp Cases Go Through Mediation?

First, only some South Carolina Workers’ Compensation cases are required to mediation. The most common type of case that must be mediated is when I am arguing that my client is permanently and totally disabled as a result of his or her injury. Other cases including occupational disease cases, contested death claims, and cases involving the reduction of a third-party lien must also be mediated. Additionally, it is possible that my client’s claim is mediated because I feel, and my opposing counsel agrees, that a voluntary mediation would be beneficial. This typically involves complex types of cases.

For better or worse, social media has become so ingrained in our daily lives that it is almost impossible to avoid. Even people without active social accounts still see active feeds from social media accounts on the news, sports broadcasts, and other programs.

shutterstock_189811238-300x207Computer-mediated technologies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and the many other platforms give us a way to stay connected with family and friends across great distances. They let us share jokes, stories, and photos with those who are close to us and want to stay active in our lives.

Unfortunately, that very connectedness may be used as a weapon against you if you have been involved in a car accident. Insurance investigators and the other driver’s lawyers may look for any evidence that can be used to diminish your claim.

It may surprise you to find out that insurance companies now have established policies and procedures in place for investigating a person’s social media accounts for evidence that could allow them to restrict or reject your claim outright.

A few ways that social media could be used against you in a personal injury case include: Continue Reading

While different states have different laws regarding school bus safety, nearly every state has laws in place to penalize drivers who fail to exercise caution when driving behind or passing school buses.

shutterstock_148242869-300x199In North Carolina, for example, drivers are required to stop when a school bus turns on its flashing red lights or displays its mechanical stop sign. The driver must not attempt to pass the bus until the sign has been withdrawn, the lights have been turned off and the bus has proceeded along its route.

If you are on a “divided highway with four lanes or more with a median separation or a center turning lane: When school bus stops for passengers, only traffic following the bus must stop” according to the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).

Violations of these laws are serious. Drivers can expect fines and repeated offenses can lead to a suspension of a driver’s license.

North Carolina’s New School Bus Camera Law

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National Childhood Injury Prevention Week happens in September.  It’s a time when parents in North Carolina, South Carolina and across the U.S. help raise awareness about preventable accidents that result in injury and death to children each year.

shutterstock_547980853-300x200According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 9.2 million people from ages 0-19 are treated in emergency departments for nonfatal injuries, while another 12,000 die from “unintentional injuries” each year.

The leading causes of these “unintentional injuries” are pedestrian/traffic accidents, drowning, falls, and burns. For children under 1 year of age, suffocation was the leading cause of death, while drowning was the most likely cause for children 1 to 4 years of age. From 4 to 19, more children were killed as the result of being an occupant in a motor vehicle crash than any other cause of death.

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stockfresh_4472715_veteran-letterpress_sizeS-300x200Most disabilities stemming from injuries or illnesses accrued or aggravated while in military service are compensable under the VA’s disability compensation benefits scheme.  A notable exception is when the illness or injury stemmed from the service member’s willful misconduct.

What the Law Says

The United States Code states that “no compensation shall be paid if the disability is a result of the veteran’s own willful misconduct or abuse of alcohol or drugs.”[1]  The Code of Federal Regulations (hereinafter “the CFR”) state that “[b]asic entitlement for a veteran exists if the veteran is disabled as the result of a personal injury or disease (including aggravation of a condition existing prior to service) while in active service if the injury or the disease was incurred or aggravated in line of duty.”[2]  The CFR defines in line of duty as:

an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during a period of active military, naval, or air service unless such injury or disease was the result of the veteran’s own willful misconduct or, for claims filed after October 31, 1990, was a result of his or her abuse of alcohol or drugs…Requirements as to line of duty are not met if at the time the injury was suffered or disease contracted the veteran was: (1) Avoiding duty by desertion, or was absent without leave which materially interfered with the performance of military duty.  (2) Confined under a sentence of court-martial involving an unremitted dishonorable discharge.  (3) Confined under sentence of a civil court for a felony as determined under the laws of the jurisdiction where the person was convicted by such court.[3]

The CFR defines willful misconduct as:

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Nursing homes offer a level of medical attention and daily care that would be difficult to provide for elderly loved ones in their own homes. At the same time, nursing home abuse is an unfortunately common problem, and it is important for family members and friends to remain vigilant.

stockfresh_3884028_closeup-of-senior-womans-hands_sizeS-300x192Elder abuse can take a variety of forms, and understanding what constitutes abuse and nursing home neglect – and how to identify and report it – can help ensure those you care about are protected.

Common Types of Elder Abuse

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines elder abuse as an intentional act that has the potential to cause harm to someone age 60 or over. It can occur at the hands of family or caregivers when older adults live in their own homes, or as the result of nursing home abuse committed by a facility’s workers or staff.

The following are five common types of abuse identified by the CDC:

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