Today’s post comes from guest author from Jon Gelman, LLC – Attorney at Law.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing to restrict the use of hand-held mobile telephones, including hand-held cell phones, by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) while operating in interstate commerce. Cell phones have become a major cause of distracted driving accidents resulting in an increase of workers’ compensation claims by employees as well as liability lawsuits against employers directly. This federal rule would be in addition to the many states which already ban hand-held cell phone use.
The following is a summary of the proposed rule:<!–more–> “FMCSA and PHMSA are amending the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to restrict the use of hand-held mobile telephones by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). This rulemaking will improve safety on the Nation’s highways by reducing the prevalence of distracted driving-related crashes, fatalities, and injuries involving drivers of CMVs. The Agencies also amend their regulations to implement new driver disqualification sanctions for drivers of CMVs who fail to comply with this Federal restriction and new driver disqualification sanctions for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who have multiple convictions for violating a State or local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control that restricts the use of hand-held mobile telephones. Additionally, motor carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing drivers of CMVs to use hand-held mobile telephones.”
For over 3 decades the Law Offices of Jon L. Gelman in New Jersey have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses. Jon is a prolific author, public speaker and educator on the topic of workers’ compensation law.
The number of worker’s compensation claims has dropped dramatically
Today’s post comes from guest author Charlie Domer from The Domer Law Firm.
The Wisconsin Association of Worker’s Compensation Attorneys (WAWCA) just held its tenth annual worker’s compensation seminar in Madison, Wisconsin. (I presented the annual case law update.) A report on the economic health of Wisconsin worker’s compensation (presented by a colleague on the defense side, Paul Riegel) noted reported worker’s compensation claims have dropped from 55,000 in 2001 to less than 35,000 in 2011. Based upon the first five months of 2012 reporting, 30,000 reported claims are anticipated to be made in 2012.
Applications for hearing on those claims have also diminished, from 7,000 in 2001 to about 5,500 in 2011. Again based upon projections, the 2012 number of Applications for Hearing will be about 5,600.
Several potential explanations for this drop were provided including:
The days of asbestosis, silicosis, and similar disease may have ended due to the aging population of those of exposed before the implementation of OSHA in 1970 and the lessening amounts of these substances in the workplace.
Employers argue that workplaces are simply safer, resulting in lesser claims.
The safer workplaces argument is rebutted by employee and Union data that fewer people are willing to make claims in a depressed economy for fear of losing their jobs. While Wisconsin law assesses a “one year’s wages” penalty against an employer who fires or refuses to rehire an injured worker, in tough economic times, that may not be a risk an injured worker is willing to make. Anecdotal evidence from a variety of sources indicates viable claims, specifically for “wear and tear” type injuries are simply not being made.
The impact of extending Unemployment Compensation benefits from its initial 26 weeks through multiple extensions may diminish worker’s compensation claims since another “safety net” exists. Additionally, the availability of Social Security may diminish worker’s compensation claims. General employment trends also suggest Continue reading »
You aren’t prohibited from returning to work after being on Social Security Disability
Today’s post comes from guest author Barbara Tilker from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.
Many of the people that I’ve spoken to over the years are under the impression that once you get Social Security Disability (SSD) you have to remain on benefits forever and can never go back to work. This is a common misconception, and one that prevents many people from receiving benefits they would otherwise be entitled to.
While you do not have to be on SSD forever, you do have to be out of work for at least twelve (12) consecutive months. However, once you’ve satisfied this durational requirement, you can return to work and receive SSD for a portion of the time that you were unable to work – Social Security doesn’t pay disability benefits for the first five (5) full months you’re out of work.
We have many clients who receive excellent medical care and have their medical condition improve and return to work. That’s great, and it’s something we love to see. SSD is there for you during the time that you’re unable to work.
…the Social Security Administration…even lets you work for a limited period of time before stopping your benefits.
Social Security also likes it when you return to work, and they have several different programs that help you get back to work, even if it’s a different sort of work than what you were doing before you became disabled. I’ll cover these programs in more detail in a later post, but for now, you should know that the Social Security Administration makes it possible for you to get vocational rehabilitation and retraining for free, and even lets you work for a limited period of time before stopping your benefits.
Once you know that you’ll be out of work for at least 12 months, contact our office to discuss filing a claim, even if you plan to return to work in the future. Because of the fact that you can lose benefits if you wait too long to apply (something I discussed here) you shouldn’t delay filing for benefits just because you plan to go back to work in the future.
Thank you for subscribing to the email list of North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Journal (the “Blog”), published by The Jernigan Law Firm (the “Firm”). The information on this page governs your use of any emails you receive from the Blog. Your acceptance of the terms simultaneously with your signing up to receive our emails is your acknowledgement that you understand the terms and conditions set out here and that you agree to comply with these terms and conditions. If you are unable to accept and abide by these terms, please do not sign up for our email newsletter. Also note that we may change these terms and conditions from time to time without otherwise providing notice. You should refer to this material whenever using the site.
No Attorney-Client Relationship Formed: All materials in the emails sent to you are provided by the Firm for informational purposes only and do not contain legal advice, legal opinions or any other form of advice regarding any specific facts or circumstances. The transmission and receipt of information neither form nor constitute an attorney-client relationship with the Blog, or any of its partners, associates or consultants. Any use of the information contained on this web site or transmittal of information from emails on this web site do not give you a reasonable basis for a belief that that use creates an attorney client relationship.
Transmission of Information:If you would like the Firm to represent you, the best way to initiate a discussion about that representation is to call the firm at (919) 833-0299. It is important that we not create a conflict of interest between you and any of our current or past clients. This protects both you and them. Therefore, under no circumstance should you provide us with information pertaining to a matter without first speaking to one of our attorneys and receiving confirmation that the appropriate conflict checks have been cleared and the firm determines that it is otherwise able to accept the engagement.
Limitation of Liability:Laws, regulations, other legal authorities and other information changes quickly and may not be fully reflected on this site. You should not act upon any information on this website without seeking professional counsel. Under no circumstance shall the Firm or any of its partners, associates, consultants or agents involved in the creation or delivery of the material on this web site be liable to you or anyone else as a result of damages from your access or use of material on this web site.
Copyright:The Firm claims a copyright to the material in its emails. You may use this material only for personal informational purposes. If you wish to use the material for any other purposes, you must have the expressed consent of The Firm to do so. All rights reserved. Copyright 2011.
Disclosures and Disclaimers:In the event you believe any email you receive does not comply with the rules of the state where you reside, you should disregard its contents and, if you wish, seek information about the services provided by the Firm from other resources or directly from the firm, its partners, associates or consultants.
The Jernigan Law Firm is responsible for the contents of this web site. The principal office of the Firm is located at 2626 Glenwood Avenue, Carolina Place, Suite 330, Raleigh, North Carolina 27608, (919) 833-0299.
Click anywhere to close