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Seven Involved in Fatal Plane Crash in Georgia

A North Carolina doctor is one of five people confirmed dead after a plane crashed in Thomson Georgia at around 8 p.m. on February 20 according to an article from WRAL. There were seven total people on board and the only two survivors were the pilot and another male passenger.

Accident_07182014The five people dead all had connections to a clinic in Augusta, Georgia. Among them were a surgeon, two ultrasound technicians, a nurse and a secretary. The surgeon was a regular traveler to the  clinic in Augusta. The passengers were travelling for work when the plane crashed.

The plane was forced to abort its landing for an unknown reason and crashed into a sixty foot utility pole shortly after. The pole broke one of the wings and caused a fuel leak which ignited the plane. The plane eventually crash landed in a field about a mile away from the airport.

Work and work related travel can be dangerous even in professions that may not seem so. There can be dangers in any work place because accidents can happen any anytime.

It is important to talk to a workers' compensation attorney if you have been injured in a work related accident because you may be entitled to compensation due to your injuries.

If you have been injured in an accident at, or traveling to work, please call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out how our North Carolina workers' compensation lawyers may be able to help you.

Social Security Disability Benefit Delays Occurring Due to Sequester

Recently, the Baltimore Sun published an article indicating that people nationwide were growing frustrated with the government and likely to become much more upset as a result of lengthy delays in dealings with the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has had to cut the hours of their employees and limit appointment times significantly. This has occurred as a result of the sequester.

Our Durham, NC disability attorneys know that those hit hardest by delays and backlogs with the Social Security Administration are the disabled. Those seeking disability benefits already had an average wait time of between three and five months to have a claim approved, assuming that there were no problems and that the claim was approved the first time without the need to appeal (otherwise the wait is much longer). Now, with fewer workers at the SSA and with reduced appointment times, people waiting for life-sustaining disability income may need to wait even longer and cope with even more problems and hurdles.

Paralyzed_06132014Sequester Makes Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits Harder

Individuals applying for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program or through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, will generally need to visit the office of their local SSA to obtain their application, to submit paperwork and documentation and to ask questions about their claims. Unfortunately, because of the sequester, the SSA has had to limit the hours that its offices are open and limit the number of appointments scheduled. Those who need to start the lengthy application process or who need help from an SSA representative could thus find themselves waiting days, weeks or even months just to get a simple application or question answered.

Once a person has applied for benefits, the claim will need to be reviewed by a disability claims examiner. With fewer employees at the SSA, it could take a longer period of time for the claim to be approved, even when the application is completed perfectly. During this time, typically a disabled individual is not working at all since part of the criteria for qualifying for benefits is that you are too impaired to work. Waiting months to get an answer on qualifying for benefits when you have no money coming in can be a terrible burden.

If your claim is denied, or if you have any questions about any of your benefits, then you'll also have longer wait times for appeals or to get your questions answered. An appeals process that already took an average of a year could take even longer.

All of these consequences have occurred as a result of automatic spending cuts that went into effect in March. The spending cuts were intended to be so unpleasant that the politicians in charge would be forced to agree to a deal to cut spending in a more sensible way. When lawmakers failed to agree, the harsh cuts went into effect and now lawmakers cannot compromise on how to replace them with alternatives that make sense. As such, the cuts to Social Security offices are likely here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. This means that while benefits checks go out as normal and as promised, anyone making a new claim suffers.

For those applying for benefits, having a lawyer representing you may be your best option so you can get questions answered quickly by someone who knows the disability benefits system and so you can get the help you may need to move your application forward as quickly as you can.

If you need help applying for disability benefits, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 1-866-900-7078.

Categories: General

NC Programs Warn Teens About Texting and Driving

DistractedDriving2_07212014In February, several hundred teenagers at Western Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, watched a car accident in the school parking lot. Although dozens of emergency vehicles arrived with sirens blaring and pulled a student out of the car with the Jaws of Life, this accident was not a tragic emergency. Instead, it was a staged play designed to teach teens about the dangers of texting and driving.

Our North Carolina accident attorneys know that each year, thousands of kids experience a real-life version of the staged accident. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for 15 to 19 year olds, and many of the teens who are killed - or who kill others - are texting while they drive.

Program Aims to Teach Teens about Texting and Driving Dangers

The play at the Greensboro High School finished up with the teens being told that the driver in the car had been texting her boyfriend when the accident happened. The teens were also told that the driver, who was played by a student actor, died after being airlifted to get medical help.

The purpose of the play was to drive home the serious dangers associated with texting and driving. Although there is a statewide ban on sending texts while behind the wheel, it is believed that more education efforts are necessary to stop young people from engaging in the behavior anyway. As such, law enforcement says that they are ramping up their education efforts.

The play presented at Western Guilford High School is part of the broader program going on statewide, which is called "message 2 die 4." Schools, local businesses and law enforcement are all collaborating.

The hope is that this program will be successful like other campaigns, such as Booze it and Lose It, and Click it or Ticket. These prior campaigns, which respectively targeted drunk driving and seat belt use, improved safety and raised awareness. The aim is for the texting education to do the same.

Stopping Teens from Texting and Driving

In addition to improving their educational outreach, WUNC.org also reported that law enforcement has indicated an intention to start cracking down by enforcing the texting ban.

In Guilford County last year, only 144 people were cited for texting and driving. Throughout the state of North Carolina, there were only 1,910 tickets total issued for texting. To put this in perspective, consider that there were 328,000 speeding tickets issued and 68,000 tickets for drunk driving issued during the same time period.

The small number of citations was not because teens weren't texting. In fact, according to WUNC.org, one law enforcement official said that anecdotal evidence suggested that the texting and driving problem is getting worse.

Hopefully, with increased efforts this year, both in terms of more citations and more educational outreach, teens will stop engaging in the dangerous practice of texting and driving. The risks of a crash -- which Distraction.gov indicates may be 23 times higher than someone not texting -- are simply too great to make the choice to text.

If you've been injured in a workplace accident or car accident, contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin for a free and confidential case evaluation. Call 1-866-900-7078.

Categories: General

Social Security Advisory Board Finds Increase in Number of Social Security Cases with Professional Representation at the Initial Application Level

The Social Security Advisory Board collected data over the last two years to study the impact that professional representation has on the claims process. In its published report, the board was unable to reach a conclusion about the impact of representation, but it did find that the number of cases with professional representation at the initial application level has increased significantly and suggested that the Social Security Administration might be able to benefit from this trend.

The board reported that the SSA completed nearly 3.4 million initial disability claims in 2011, up from 2.5 million five years earlier. The agency spent about $3.6 billion processing those claims in 2011, up about $700 million from five years earlier.

At the same time that the number of claims has been rising, the number of resources available to the agency has been decreasing. The board reported that the SSA currently has about 82,000 employees, down from almost 90,000 in 2010. The Office of Budget expects that more employees will be lost this year.

Brail_06262014The report suggested that the increased representation for claimants may help to reduce the agency's workload by helping claimants to put together more complete applications earlier in the process and preventing more claims from proceeding to a hearing. In such cases, not only does the representative decrease the agency workload by helping to prepare the claims, but also by ensuring that fewer claims have to go through the costly and resource-intensive process of getting a hearing.

While the report suggested that having a representative who can help to prepare a more thorough application may improve chances for having a claim approved (since approximately 70 percent of cases receive a final decision at the initial application level), it also said that data was inconclusive about whether representation helped improve the success of a claim.

The board recommended some changes for improving the interaction between the Social Security Administration and these representatives, including improving the electronic filing process and better monitoring the conduct of claimant representatives.

North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyers

A qualified Social Security lawyer may be able to help you get the benefits you are entitled to under the law. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out how one of our North Carolina Social Security disability lawyers may be able to help you.

None Hurt in Explosion that Destroys Nearly 70-Year-Old Home near Fayetteville

A gas leak may have been the cause of an explosion that destroyed a nearly 70-year-old wooden home southwest of Fayetteville on February 6, 2013, according to a story from WRAL.com. No one was hurt in the explosion.

FireFighters_07012014A Cumberland County sheriff's deputy who was patrolling the area witnessed the explosion around  1:30 a.m. and caught it all on the dashboard camera in his patrol car.  The house was in the 3300 block of Cumberland Road.

Local, state, and federal investigators are now trying to determine what caused the explosion. It is believed that a gas leak may be to blame.

The house was listed for sale and was vacant at the time of the explosion. No one was injured, but many surrounding homes were damaged. More than a dozen homes were reported to have shattered windows and rocked foundations as a result of the blast. The porch was blown off one house.

North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers

Dangerous gas leaks can be the result of defective equipment or negligence, and the consequences can be deadly. It is not yet known what caused this explosion, and luckily, no one was injured. However, the situation could have been very different had someone been present in the home.

If defective equipment or negligence is to blame for an explosion such as this, persons injured may be entitled to compensation for their injuries or for damage to their property. It is important to talk with a qualified North Carolina personal injury lawyer to find out what your rights might be.

If you have been injured, or your property sustained damage, as a result of an explosion or other accident, please call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 for a free evaluation of your case and to find out how our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you.

Categories: Personal Injury

Contact Information

Raleigh Law Office

5848-100 Faringdon Place
Raleigh, NC 27609
Phone: 919-834-1184
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Durham Law Office

280 South Mangum Street, Suite 400
Durham, NC 27701
Phone: 919-688-4991
Fax: 800-716-7881

Fayetteville Law Office

517 Owen Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

201 McCullough Drive, Suite 220
Charlotte, NC 28262
Phone: 704-599-1078
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

New Bern Law Office

1505 South Glenburnie Rd, Unit P
New Bern, NC 28562
Phone: 252-634-9010
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3422

Greenville Law Office

702 G Cromwell Dr.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-355-5205
Toll Free: 1-866-780-3227

Greensboro Law Office

300 N. Greene Street, Suite 850
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401
Phone: 336-665-7072
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

214 South William Street, Suite 3
Goldsboro, NC 27530
Phone: (919)-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Henderson Law Office

514 Dabney Drive, Suite 200
Henderson, NC 27536
Phone: 252-492-4600
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Roanoke Rapids Law Office

709 Julian R. Allsbrook Highway
Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
Phone: 252-537-9670
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Rocky Mount Law Office

3202 Sunset Avenue, Suite B
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: 252-937-4730
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Sanford Law Office

703-B South Horner Boulevard
Sanford, NC 27330
Phone: 919-775-1564
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Wilson Law Office

2315 Airport Blvd Suite A
Wilson, North Carolina 27896
Phone: 252-246-9090
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Winston-Salem Law Office

301 N. Main Street, Suite 2409-C
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078