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3 Ways to Better Your Chances of Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

social securitySuffering a serious injury can spin your life out of control, forcing you to pick up the pieces in a short amount of time. While it is quite helpful that the government offers Social Security disability benefits, you are not guaranteed to be approved for this compensation. Therefore, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you are thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits.

1. Understand the appeals process if you are denied.

When you file a Social Security disability claim, you should be prepared to receive a notice of denial in the mail. Understandably, this can force you to become quite emotional, but you need to remain level-headed. A denial of your claim does not mean that you will not receive Social Security benefits. If and when this happens, you need to file an appeal with the help of your Social Security disability attorney. The SSA adheres to a strict and unchanging deadline of 60 days for appeals. Unless “good cause” for missing this deadline is clearly established, you will not be eligible for Social Security benefits if you wait too long. Therefore, one of the best ways to make sure you receive Social Security benefits is to file your appeal as soon as possible after speaking with your attorney.

2. Apply for benefits at the right time/under the right circumstances.

Many injured people seeking Social Security benefits wonder if it’s possible to receive them along with unemployment benefits. While this is technically possible, it’s generally discouraged. Most states will require you to prove that you are physically capable of working full-time in order to receive unemployment benefits. Obviously, this would juxtapose your claim for Social Security benefits, making it less likely that you will receive what you deserve. Furthermore, you should never file your claim too quickly. There’s a good chance you need money now because of your injury, but it’s in your best interest to carefully work through the process. You don’t want to rush it. That being said, you can always notify the SSA of your intent to file a claim immediately after suffering the injury.

3. Prioritize medical care and maintain your insurance.

The crux of a successful Social Security disability claim is ongoing medical treatment. Simply put, your claim has little to no chance of being approved if you cannot prove you are currently being treated for a debilitating condition. Extended medical insurance through COBRA should protect you from losing health insurance through your employer after taking leave due to an injury. While these premiums are expensive, they are a necessary evil to get your claim approved by the SSA.

Before you can take advantage of these tips and tricks, you should consult with an experienced and trusted disability attorney. You need to build a complete and thorough case to support your claim, which is impossible to achieve without the help of someone who knows the ins and outs of Social Security. The SSA has its own definition of complete disability, and you cannot afford to lose out on these benefits because your claim was not presented in a convincing manner. The Huntsville, AL, Social Security disability attorneys at Martinson & Beason, P.C. can give you the legal advice you need. Call today.

Homebuyers Guide to Title Insurance

Title Insurance

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Buying a home is definitely an exciting and emotional time for many people. To help you buy your home with more confidence, we recommend that you get owner’s title insurance.

Click on the links below to learn why owner’s title insurance is important for you.

If you have any questions about title insurance and your next real estate transaction, contact our experienced legal team today.

Support Team Will: Donate, Walk, and Share

2016 March of Dimes

5 year-old Wyatt Lilienthal Slams It Home for the March of Dimes!

At Martinson & Beason, we strongly believe it is important to give back to the community that has supported us for nearly 80 years. The March of Dimes: March for Babies event is an example of a local cause that our firm is involved in, and one that we strongly support.

Morris Lilienthal and his wife, Shannon, started a team to help support the March of Dimes in 2013. Over the course of the past few years, our team has been so humbled by the support of our friends, family, and the entire Huntsville community as we fundraise for the March of Dimes cause.

Last year, with the help of our local Huntsville community, we helped to raise $10,581 for this amazing cause. This year we’ve raised over $5,000 so far and we are hopeful to be able to donate even more to support programs that help moms have full-term pregnancies and babies to begin healthy lives.

Donate

If you are able, our firm would greatly appreciate you making a donation to Team Will.

Like and Share

If you’d like to follow our journey, please like our Team Will Facebook page as well.

Walk

You can also support this great cause by participating in the upcoming event, here are the important details:

Date: Saturday, April 23, 2016
Registration: 8:15AM | Start: 9:00 AM
Walk distance: 3 miles
Heritage Elementary & Bradford Creek Greenway
11775 County Line Road
Madison, AL 35758

Thank you so much for your support. We hope to see you at the March of Dimes event on April 23!

Tips to Avoid Making an Accident Even Worse

Before a driver ever even gets their license, there is a strict set of rules and expectations that are explained to them. Whether it be at the DMV, in a defensive driving course, or simply through life experience, the perils of driving recklessly are well-communicated to most people before they ever get behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, some of these tips, tricks, and rules become an afterthought after several years of driving experience. One of the most dangerous things that a driver can possess is a sense of invincibility, and reckless driving is typically a product of someone who forgets how severely one mistake can change their entire life.

Understanding the Rules of the Road

One of the most obvious yet abused rules of the road is simple: do not, under any circumstances, drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Alcohol may get most of the attention in the conversation about DUIs, but there are many more substances that can impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle. Even painkillers, which are typically prescribed by a doctor, can markedly inhibit your driving capabilities.
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8 Tips to Improve Cybersecurity [Infographic]

 

Martinson&Beason - Cyber Security InfographicFor more information on cybersecurity be sure to read our detailed post here.

M&B Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Arising Out of I-565 Truck Accident

M&B attorney Morris Lilienthal and Chris Glover of the Beasley Allen firm have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama federal court arising out of a February 12th 18-wheeler accident. The accident occurred when the driver of a tractor-trailer, Albert Villearreal, was traveling westbound on I-565 and his truck veered into the median and into I-565 eastbound traffic striking Jamila Davis’ vehicle. Tragically, Jamila Davis lost her life in this wreck. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Davis’ family and friends.

The wrongful death lawsuit named as defendants, the truck driver, Albert Villearreal and the trucking company New Prime, Inc. For more information on Alabama’s wrongful death law, click here. “We’re hopeful through this lawsuit to find out what caused this tragic accident and hold those at fault responsible” said Morris Lilienthal.

Click here to read a story about this lawsuit: http://www.waff.com/story/31326519/federal-lawsuit-filed-against-tractor-trailer-company-in-i-565-fatal-collision

Accidents involving 18 wheelers often result in fatal or serious injuries, due to the size, weight and speed of these vehicles. Truck accidents occur for various reason, but some of the more common causes are:

  • Driver Fatigue
  • Poor or Faulty Maintenance
  • Distracted Driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Excessive speed
  • Overloading trucks

To learn more about our top-rated attorney, Morris Lilienthal and how he helps injured victims click here or call 256-533-1667.

Recent Accidents in Huntsville Area Shine Light on Importance of Seatbelt Use

Picture1Car accidents can devastate the lives of those involved. But one thing that can lessen or stop the devastation is a seatbelt.

In September 2015, a passenger died in a single-vehicle crash on Alabama 251 near Ardmore. The passenger died after the vehicle left the road and overturned. He was not wearing a seatbelt and died at the scene. The driver did not suffer any injuries.

A single-vehicle accident in Athens in November 2015 left one man dead and four injured after the vehicle left the road and struck a culvert. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and Alabama troopers pronounced him dead at the scene.

Don’t Make Excuses for Not Wearing a Seatbelt

There is no valid excuse for not wearing a seatbelt. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seatbelts reduce both injuries and fatalities from car accidents by about half.

But people make excuses nonetheless. Here are a few common ones people use:

  • Habit: Some drivers claim they just never got used to wearing them.
  • Invincibility: Some young people believe they can live forever. According to 2010 data from the CDC, drivers ages 18-34 are less likely than drivers over 35 to wear seatbelts. In addition, men are 10 percent less likely than women to wear seatbelts.
  • Drunk or Impaired Driving: People who have been drinking may have impaired judgment and forget or choose not to wear a seatbelt.
  • “I’m a good driver.” Some people believe they do not need to wear a seatbelt because they possess the skill to avoid an accident. But good drivers wear seatbelts.
  • Seatbelts can cause injuries.” This is true; seatbelts can cause injuries. But the injuries are usually relatively minor compared to the injuries you might suffer without one.
  • Airbags will save me.” Yes, airbags are designed to protect you in an accident; however, remember that airbags and seatbelts work together to save lives. If the airbag does not go off, you have no protection in an accident if you are not wearing a seatbelt.

Seatbelts drastically reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. However, in order for them to work, you need to wear it.

Promote Safe Seatbelt Behaviors

Children learn their behaviors from their parents. If you do not wear a seatbelt, they may not wear one either. Focus on promoting good, safe behaviors rather than excusing unsafe ones.

  • Wear your seatbelt: If your children see you wear one and you encourage them to do the same, it can promote a lifetime of safe seatbelt use.
  • Create a rule for riding in the car with a seatbelt: Everyone has to wear a seatbelt or no one goes anywhere.

Teaching your children to wear a seatbelt can save their lives now and in the future.

Legal Consequences of Not Wearing a Seat Belt

Alabama fines drivers $25 for adults and children who are not buckled up within the vehicle. That might seem like a relatively minor penalty, but consider the costs if you are in a serious accident. If you suffer severe injuries, you are no longer looking at just a penalty of $25—you’re looking at thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages, and more. And your lack of seatbelt use might affect your ability to recover full compensation under Alabama’s contributory negligence laws.

 

If you ever find yourself in a serious wreck, call us for help with your case. Call the personal injury lawyers at Martinson & Beason, P.C. today at 256-533-1667 or fill out our online contact form.

Motorcyclist Killed in Collision with 18-Wheeler

Picture1A man in his mid-20s who was riding his motorcycle on U.S. 412 [in Huntsville] tried to pass an 18-wheeler. While attempting to pass, he almost hit an oncoming vehicle and, while trying to merge back into the lane, collided with the front of the 18-wheeler and died instantly. The driver of the tractor-trailer was uninjured.

Reckless Driving Dangers to Motorcyclists

While in many cases it is the driver of the motor vehicle who was inattentive and/or otherwise responsible for an accident involving a motorcycle, some motorcyclists behave recklessly and endanger themselves and those around them too.

There are many things that drivers and riders alike do that constitute reckless driving. These behaviors can include any of the following:

  • Speeding up and passing other vehicles without ensuring adequate space for safe travel and passage
  • Braking suddenly and without warning
  • Not leaving enough space between vehicles or between their motorcycle and another vehicle
  • Speeding or not following traffic signals
  • Making illegal turns or not signaling properly for turns
  • [add link] Driving while distracted by cell phones, music, or other activities
  • [add link] Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

The reality is that while either the motorcyclist or a driver can cause an accident by engaging in these behaviors, the injuries suffered by the motorcyclist will almost always be more severe.

What should a motorcyclist do to stay safe?

Being on a motorcycle with no frame to protect its rider puts that rider in a delicate and dangerous situation. If he is involved in an accident, there is really nothing to protect him. Riders, of course, should wear appropriate safety gear. But even if they do, motorcycles do not offer airbags, seatbelts, or other safety devices to protect riders. There is, of course, no guarantee of safety for motorcyclists.

Nevertheless, the first consideration should be to make sure that, when riding, you are not engaging in any of the reckless behaviors described above. Be sure to practice defensive driving and always be alert.

In addition, motorcyclists may improve visibility by wearing bright colors or clothing and proper protective gear including, at the very least, a helmet. Alabama mandates helmet use among all riders. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycle helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to riders and 41 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to passengers. The agency estimates that had all motorcyclists worn helmets in 2013, it could have saved another 715 lives.

Be sure to honor the rules of the road and wear a helmet—the risk of injury in an accident is too significant to ignore. Other protective gear that could help prevent injuries in the event of an accident includes padded jackets and pants, goggles, boots, and more.

What kind of injuries can happen in a motorcycle vs. car accident?

In a motorcycle accident with a car, the injuries can be anywhere from minor “road rash” to fatalities and everything in between. The rider can even suffer paralysis, brain damage, and permanent disability as a result of his injuries.

Depending on the facts in the matter, and who is at fault for the accident, there can be significant costs to the rider and potential lawsuits as well. If you or someone you love suffers injuries in a car vs. motorcycle accident, be sure to contact Martinson & Beason, P.C. today at 256-533-1667 for help.

Driver Cut Out of Vehicle after Head-On Collision

Picture1In November 2015, the drivers of a Ford Mustang and an empty fuel tanker suffered injuries in a head-on collision on Huntsville-Brownsferry Road. Firefighters had to cut both the side and roof off the Mustang to get the occupant out. Police reported that both drivers were conscious at the scene and neither appeared to have life-threatening injuries. Both drivers were brought to Athens-Limestone Hospital.

What can cause a head-on collision?

Head-on collisions, one of the most dangerous types of accidents, seem as though they would be the most avoidable of all because the driver should theoretically be able to see what is coming at him. But, of course, these accidents still do occur for a number of reasons.

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Alcohol a Factor in Recent Fatal Huntsville Area Accidents

Picture1Alcohol can cause a myriad of accidents and can leave drivers, passengers, and families hurt and heartbroken.

In a September accident in Scottsboro, a passenger died when the pickup truck in which he was traveling left the roadway and hit an embankment. The driver was also injured. Neither the driver nor the passenger was wearing a seatbelt. Troopers said that alcohol factored into the crash.

Earlier in June 2015, a teenage driver died after an intoxicated underage driver ran a red light and struck the victim’s car, a Toyota Corolla. The impact pushed the Corolla into a third car. The intoxicated driver also attempted to leave the scene of the accident—a felony offense.

[Read more…]

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