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September 2014 Archives

Fatal car wreck in Tennessee leaves childhood friends devastated

A 68-year-old woman died in a car accident, just like her parents died many decades ago. The deceased and a friend were on their way to their 50 year high school reunion when the car wreck happened in Robertson County. Shortly after arriving in Tennessee, the two ladies were involved in a head-on collision.

Railroad Retirement Board Disability

     In addition to SSD claims, our office handles Railroad Retirement Board claims.  Injured or disabled employees of a railroad can apply to the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) for disability. The RRB administers the program and some of the benefits and procedures mirror the Social Security Administration's disability program and benefits. For railroad employees there are several benefits that the worker or his dependents should look at in terms of eligibility.

Lack of driver education in Tennessee may lead to car accidents

The number of automobile accidents on Tennessee roads where teenage drivers are involved may be a matter of concern to many road users. When comparing the requirements for obtaining a driver's license in Tennessee to that of a neighboring state, it may leave a person wondering whether this may be the cause of many car accidents in Tennessee. While young drivers across the state line are required to complete a program of driver education, Tennessee teenagers can obtain a driver's license without attending even one class of related education.

Proving Limitations in a Social Security Disability Claim

     In Social Security Disability and SSI claims, the main focus almost always is proving the Claimant's residual functional capacity (RFC) is such that he or she qualifies for disability under the Social Security Administration's regulations.  Last week, I discussed showing limitations through lay testimony and this week the focus will be on proving a claimant's RFC through medical or other evidence. 

Legislation regulating dog bites and resulting injuries

Dogs are known as man's best friend and provide companionship to many. Unfortunately, dog bites also occur quite frequently. The state of Tennessee has specific laws dealing with the responsibilities of owners of dogs, as well as the rights of victims suffering injuries resulting from a dog attack.

Social Security Disability Hearings and Lay Testimony

     In my Social Security Disability and SSI claims, the question often comes up whether it is a good idea to have witnesses other than the claimant testify at the hearing.  This is also known as "lay testimony."  Most ALJs frown on bringing a load of lay witnesses if the testimony will be duplicative. However, sometimes it is necessary due to the condition or personality of the claimant. In childhood cases, you always will have at least one parent or caregiver testify. In cases of severe mental impairment, a spouse or parent is often a very objective and helpful witness. Sometimes you might have a claimant that just is not willing due to pride or stubbornness to admit his or her true limitations and again lay witnesses should fill the role of the testimony described above to provide evidence of functional limitations.

Information is crucial when filing a claim after a truck accident

After any accident, there are many legal and procedural requirements that can make filing a claim for injuries suffered a difficult process. When the vehicle involved is a truck, the case can become even more complicated. In Tennessee, the victim of a truck accident may find that not only may it be necessary to consider federal regulations, but if they do not act quickly, the company owning the truck may be working on a defense within hours after the accident.

Update on Social Security Disability Hearing Stats

     As noted in the past, Social Security Disability and SSI claimants continue to see a worsening trend in terms of hearing office processing or wait times and percentage of claims being approved at the hearing level. This trend has steadily continued over the last few years and has worsened since just July of 2014.

Does the kind of animal influence claims due to bite injuries?

When it comes to injuries suffered due to animal bites, many questions come to mind. One question is if the animal type influences the victim’s right to claim for injuries suffered. Animal bite victims in Tennessee considering filing claims after suffering bite injuries may find that the animal type may play a role.

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Tony Farmer & John Dreiser

1356 Papermill Pointe Way
Knoxville, TN 37909

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