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Contact the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin 1-866-900-7078

Do I Owe Taxes on My Social Security Disability Benefits?

Just because the government pays you Social Security Disability benefits doesn't necessarily mean you don't have to pay the government its portion back. It's like the old adage says: Nothing is certain but death and taxes.

If you're in certain income brackets, you may owe taxes on the benefit money you receive. Part of your Social Security benefits may be taxed if:

  • You are single and your total income is more than $25,000
  • You are married and you and your spouse have total income of more than $32,000

Paying Your SSD Taxes - Two Ways to Get Your SSA 1099

If you fit into either of the categories above, you will likely need to pay taxes on your benefits and the Social Security Administration should have sent your SSA 1099, which shows how much you received in Social Security Disability benefits.

If you have not received your 1099, here are two ways to get it.

Access Your Social Security Benefits Info Online

  • Go to the Social Security Website's my Social Securitypage
  • Click on the "Sign In or Create an Account" button
  • Log In
  • Select the "Replacement Documents" tab for your 1099

If you want to keep track of your earnings each year, you can also use your personal my Social Security account for that, as well.

Call the Social Security Office
You can also obtain a replacement benefits statement by calling the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 or by calling your local Social Security office.

This blog is not intended to constitute written tax advice within the meaning of IRS Circular 230 §10.37, the author intends by this communication to share general information for discussion purposes only, and you should not interpret the statements otherwise.

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Why Can’t My Lawyer Name the Insurance Company in the Lawsuit?

A question we tend to hear in our law firm is why, in a courtroom situation, their lawyer cannot name the insurance company in the lawsuit.

The short answer is because the insurance company did not cause the accident. Therefore they cannot be sued. The at-fault driver caused the accident, so he or she is the one being sued. That driver is simply using the insurance company's money to pay whatever damages must be paid. And the insurance company is in court with their legal representation in an attempt to generally try to pay out as little as possible.

Admittedly, it's easy to get confused.

Why Can't You Name the Insurance Company of the At-Fault Driver?
The reason for this is simple: Insurance companies have deeper pockets than the average person, and that could sway a jury to ask for more money. This premise is misleading, however. The insurance company is only going to pay what they have been contracted to pay, which is limited by the policy limits of the at-fault driver.

However, clients may ask this question because they're worried about the exact opposite. In other words, if they DON'T name the insurance company, the jury might be swayed to ask for LESS money.

The logical question then is, what happens if a jury awards more than the policy limits? If a jury awards more than the other driver's insurance coverage, it's called an "excess judgment." The at-fault driver will have to pay the difference between the policy limits and the excess judgment.

Let's say, for example, the driver's policy limits were $60,000 and a jury awarded you $85,000 in damages. The driver would need to cough up that additional $15,000 in order for you to get the full amount. Easier said than done.

Getting an individual to pay can get complicated. That is why it is prudent to get an attorney involved soon after your accident - one who is experienced in investigating and identifying ways the at-fault driver may be able to pay.

Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers in North Carolina
My advice is to work with a legal team like ours with many years of experience in personal injury litigation. We are dedicated to taking every available measure and utilizing every resource that may potentially help secure the best outcome for your case. Better still, we don't charge an attorney's fee unless you recover.

If you have questions, or want to see if we can help you or someone you know, click here for a FREE case evaluation or give us a call at 1-866-900-7078. We're here for you 24/7/365.

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What Should Injured Amtrak Passengers Do And What Will the Investigation Attempt to Uncover?

Earlier this week the Carolinian, an Amtrak passenger train out of Charlotte, derailed in Halifax, NC, at the U.S. 301 and N.C. 903 crossing, after hitting an overloaded tractor-trailer that was stuck on the tracks.

Tractor Trailer Front_07032014The truck was being escorted by a State Highway Patrol trooper and according to witnesses, it was stuck for 15-20 minutes before the train hit.

"That's plenty of time to stop a train. If all the facts are right, this accident should have never happened," said attorney Elizabeth Overmann, who worked for a railroad defense firm for 4 years, prior to joining the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin.

But unfortunately, for the 54 people injured onboard, the train wasn't stopped in time, leaving lots of people with questions.

What the Amtrak Investigation Should Attempt to Uncover

Someone's insurance company will be liable for all the injuries passengers onboard the Amtrak train sustained, but whose? Injured passengers who want payment for their medical bills may need to buckle up for a long ride (no pun intended) as companies try to fight it out.

The following questions will likely be at the forefront of the argument:

  • Which company determined the route the truck took?
    The truck that got stuck was 164 feet long and transporting a modular electrical building. This is an extremely long truck and an oversized load. Was an engineering firm hired to devise the route the truck should take? Did the trucking company plan the route? Did they take into account the train's schedule and the potential difficulty getting across this crossing? 
  • Was the truck driver negligent?

Did the truck driver ignore precautions or take a different route? Did he have the proper experience and training to attempt the maneuver? Was he simply not careful enough? Was he aware of the train's schedule?

  • Did Highway Patrol try to warn the train?

This is the main question of the hour. Every railroad crossing has a phone number to call in the event of a situation like this one. Did the patrolman try to call or radio in? Did he have flares or something he could have used to warn the train?

  • Did CSX fail to pass on the message? Was their crossing unsafe?

CSX is the company that owns the rail lines.  If they received a warning call from the highway patrol and failed to pass the message to Amtrak, they will likely be liable.

Further, Steve Ditmeyer, a former Federal Railroad Administration official who teaches railway management at Michigan State University has been quoted saying that the intersection was a "bad geometry crossing" (not a 90-degree angle) and the slope created a situation where it would be difficult for the engineer to see the road ahead and the truck driver to see down the track.

  • Did Amtrak's communication fail? Was their driver negligent?

Maybe warning reached Amtrak, but failed to reach the driver for some reason. Or maybe the driver was going faster than the 70 mph speed limit - which could have contributed to the situation and Amtrak might be held liable.

How an Amtrak Train Accident Differs From a Car Accident

Since train accidents almost always involve multiple parties (such as in the Halifax tractor-trailer derailment), these cases can get complicated rather quickly. If you've been in a train accident and you're not careful, you could be left with bills in hand, as companies draw out the liability fight. If that sounds like what's happening to you, contact an attorney - fast.

Further complicating your case, Amtrak is owned by the government, likely making your case a federal case. Meaning if you chose to pursue compensation for your damages, your attorney would likely have to pursue the case in accordance with federal laws and be admitted to the federal court.

It's possible that if your injuries are less serious, or if all parties involved happen to live in the same state, your case would be heard in a state court, but it still might be wise to find an attorney who can go to federal court, if needed.

What to Do If You've Been Injured in An Amtrak Accident

After an accident in which you're not at fault, you're typically owed payment for your medical bills, time out of work, and damages to your wellbeing or property.

Regardless of whether your damages are minor or serious, it's generally wise to get an attorney's advice. Click here for a free case evaluation. We're open 24/7 and well-equipped to handle these types of cases. Plus, you don't pay any attorneys' fees unless you receive compensation for your claim - guaranteed.

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Contact Information

Asheville Law Office

300 Ridgefield Court Suite 309
Asheville, NC 28806
Phone: 828-552-8215
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Charlotte Law Office

301 S McDowell St, Suite 900
Charlotte, NC 28204
Phone: 704-599-1078
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

2915 Raeford Road, Suite 204
Fayetteville, NC 28303
Phone: 910-488-0611
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Goldsboro Law Office

1308 Wayne Memorial Drive, Suite B
Goldsboro, NC 27534
Phone: 919-731-2581
Toll Free: 1-866-900-7078

Greensboro Law Office

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

Greenville Law Office

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

Henderson Law Office

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

Morganton Law Office

216 N. Sterling Street, Suite B
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: 828-219-3080
Toll Free: 1-844-520-2894

New Bern Law Office

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

Raleigh Law Office

4325 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: 919-834-1184
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

144 Woodridge Court
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