Social Security Disability Requires Medical Documentation

Indianapolis Social Security AttorneysYou have a disease or injury or illness.  You realize you can no longer work.  You know you have to file for Social Security Disability, but you are not sure of the first step.  Most people assume that the first step is to actually file for the Social Security Disability benefits.  This is a pretty good assumption.  However it is not completely accurate.  The first step is to see your doctor and have your disease , injury or illness documented.  The doctor will perform tests which will hopefully help the doctor reach a diagnosis and begin treatment.  This treatment might help you get over your condition.  If it does not help you get over your condition, all this work with your doctor will provide the foundation to support your Social Security Disability claim.

You  see, the Social Security Administration requires that the applicant provide documentation of their medical disability before they will grant benefits.  If you are unable or unwilling to provide documentation of your disabling condition, your chances of success on your application are much less than the claimant that has the medical tests and examinations that objectively document the disabling condition.  For psychological disabilities it is necessary that you have a longitudinal course of treatment to support your claim.  This means that you must establish a medical relationship with a psychiatrist, psychologist and or a counselor for several sessions to document your diagnosis, and to document the effect of treatment on the condition.

I am glad to talk with you about these requirements and help you with your application.  Please write or call so that we can discuss the issues important to you.

Drunk Driving is Not Christmas Spirit

Merry Christmas. What I want for Christmas is for every loved one to be home, in the bosom of their family for the season.   If we all pull together we can make this happen.  What I mean is do not drink and drive. Drunk Driving Accidents prevent loved ones from being with their families over the holidays. Drunk Driving crashes cause serious personal injury including, but not limited to broken bones, spinal cord injury, Brain injury and wrongful death.  Brain injury not only takes the loved one out of the home and puts them in the hospital.  Brain injury will affect the family every Christmas to come because of the care needed by the survivor, and the fact that brain injury changes the survivor, such that they may not be the same person they were. Spinal Cord injury, please don’t place this burden on a fellow Hoosier, and their family.

Drunk Driving crashes also take the driver out of the home.  If the drunk driver is not dealing with a serious personal injury, and in the hospital, then they will be in the drunk tank.  Either way, they are not home for Christmas.  Please don’t make little Billy and Suzie ask “where is my mommy?”  or “When is daddy coming home?”.  Be there for them.  Allow your fellow Hoosiers to be their for their families.  Give your keys to a designated driver.  Take a cab.  Walk home.  Call a friend, just don’t drive drunk.

Winter Driving Tips and Avoiding the Car Collision

Indianapolis Auto accident attorneysThe first winter advisory of the year is in effect tonight, which leads us back to our annual be safe and avoid the crash annual missive. This is an especially good time to have a discussion, and maybe a test run, with your new drivers.  We all know how we knew everything when we started to driver, so the lecture alone is not likely to sink in on the teenager.  However, we have found that going to a nearby parking lot and practicing a few maneuvers was time well spent.  Cars handle differently in the snow, and new drivers have no experience with it.  What works on a dry road is likely to lead to a car crash in the snow.  In the parking lot, clear of other cars, have your driver practice applying the brakes, making turns and over correcting.  With front wheel drive cars, the driver has more control, but it still takes a little practice.

Remember to keep more distance between you and the other drivers.  Remember to make sure your tires are properly inflated and have proper treads. Give yourself more time to get to where you are going and above all, be patient.  I struggle with patience and have to remind myself that getting where I am going 10 minutes faster is not going to materially benefit me in anyway.  Heck, if I want to get there 10 minutes earlier, then I should start my journey 10 or even 15 minutes earlier.   Make sure your brakes are in good working order and all your lights are working.  It will help to have a bag of salt in the car if you get stuck.  Remember to keep an extra set of warm clothes in the car in case you get stuck and have to walk.  Do not assume that you will not need your coat for a short trip, that is when you will get stuck and you will need your coat more than ever.

Please, take your time, look out for the other driver and give your family the greatest gift you have to give, yourself with them at this special time of the year.

Holiday Driving and Semi Crashes

Indiana Personal Injury AttorneysIt is close to Christmas. It is currently Chanukah. Sons, daughters, Mothers, Fathers, cousins, aunts, uncles and more are on the State and Federal highways trying to get home. We hope everyone has a safe and peaceful holiday season. All these folks have to share the road with semi tractor-trailers. Being so close to these big trucks at high speed inevitably lead to semi tractor-trailer crashes. The big truck accidents can be devastating because of the size difference in the vehicles involved. The weight differential causes the likelihood of spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, paralysis, and even wrongful death.

The trucking industry is committed to safe operation of trucks on the road. After all, avoiding collisions saves them money from repairs, lost stock, increased insurance rates and down time. Reputable companies follow the safety guidelines issued and enforced by the Federal government. These are known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, or FMCSR for short. These regulations cover all aspects of the operation of large trucks on the road. They control training for drivers, how much time they can spend behind the wheel in a 24 hour period, maintenance on vehicles, inspections and much much more.

When a family comes to us with questions about their rights arising out of a semi tractor-trailer crash or big truck accident, we turn first to the police investigation and then immediately to the FMCSRs to determine if a violation of one or more of these regulations might have caused, or contributed to cause the collision and injuries. We have been representing Hoosiers injured in car and semi accidents all over Indiana since 1954. Give us a call for a free consultation.

Reconstructing the Car Crash

If you have been in an automobile collision and it is necessary to prove who was at fault in causing the collision, we often times have to reconstruct the car crash.  This happens when the parties disagree about what happened and there is no eye witness.  It can also happen when the drivers are injured so badly in the collision that they cannot remember the collision.  It also happens when eye witnesses are available, but there observations just do not mesh with the damage seen at the automobile crash site.  Reconstructions can be performed when there are issues surrounding  semi tractor-trailer collision, motor cycles crashes and drunk driving collisions.

Indianapolis Personal Injury AttorneyA proper reconstruction has a few different elements.  The one factor that is true in all reconstructions is that the more information one has the better the reconstruction.  This means that your reconstruction expert has to make fewer assumptions and therefore the results are likely to be more accurate.  The good reconstruction starts with a good reconstructionists.  These folks are usually engineers with training in crash reconstruction.  Some are former police officers or current police officers.  The reconstructionists will rely, to some extent on the facts gathered at the scene of the collision by the police.  This includes measuring the length of skid marks, gouges in the road or the side of the road, places of rest of the cars, yaw marks on the road and all other facts about the collision.  Good and accurate measurements are essential. The reconstructionists will also want to examine the vehicles involved and download the information from the vehicles’ on board computer.   The reconstructionists will take into account several principles of physics and use the information to give a testable opinion about the speed and directions of vehicles involved in a crash.

 Our firm has been involved in hundreds of claims requiring an accident reconstruction.  We have access to the most credible experts.  We know how important the reconstruction can be to you and your family.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Semi Tractor-Trailers and Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving causes serious personal injury and wrongful death.  Drunk Driving in a semi tractor-trailer magnifies the danger to Hoosier families.  Alcohol, speed and great weight are a recipe for disaster.  The Federal Government recognizes this danger and has taken steps to minimize the danger associated with big trucks being operated by drunk drivers.  Of course, the reputable and smart corporations and drivers recognize that drunk driving is not in their best interest either.  The reputable and smart companies and drivers take steps to insure that alcohol is not used when the driver is operating a semi tractor-trailer.  However, there are always those few companies, and those few drivers who do not know how the use of alcohol and driving drunk will hurt not only others, but themselves and their businesses.

We have copied the pertinent rules from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and pasted them below for your ease of reference.  As you can see each employer is required to conduct alcohol, and illicit drug, testing as an ongoing part of the drive to reduce drunk driving accidents. We study these rules and know that a violation of these rules indicate that the violators are not being careful and how that lack of being careful has caused you and your family serious injury and possibly wrongful death.  If you have any questions about a semi tractor-trailer collision that is affecting your family, loved ones or friends, please give a call.  We will meet with you and explain your rights.


382.101 Purpose.The purpose of this part is to establish programs designed to help prevent accidents and injuries resulting from the misuse of alcohol or use of controlled substances by drivers of commercial motor vehicles.


382.105 Testing procedures. Each employer shall ensure that all alcohol or controlled substances testing conducted under this part complies with the procedures set forth in part 40 of this title. The provisions of part 40 of this title that address alcohol or controlled substances testing are made applicable to employers by this part.


382.103 Applicability.(a) This part applies to every person and to all employers of such persons who operate a commercial motor vehicle in commerce in any State, and is subject to:(1) The commercial driver’s license requirements of part 383 of this subchapter;(2) The Licencia Federal de Conductor (Mexico) requirements; or(3) The commercial drivers license requirements of the Canadian National Safety Code.(b) An employer who employs himself/herself as a driver must comply with both the requirements in this part that apply to employers and the requirements in this part that apply to drivers. An employer who employs only himself/herself as a driver shall implement a random alcohol and controlled substances testing program of two or more covered employees in the random testing selection pool.(c) The exceptions contained in §390.3(f) of this subchapter do not apply to this part. The employers and drivers identified in § 390.3(f) of this subchapter must comply with the requirements of this part, unless otherwise specifically provided in paragraph (d) of this section. (d) Exceptions. This part shall not apply to employers and their drivers: (1) Required to comply with the alcohol and/or controlled substances testing requirements of part 655 of this title (Federal Transit Administration alcohol and controlled substances testing regulations); or(2) Who a State must waive from the requirements of part 383 of this subchapter. These individuals include active duty military personnel; members of the reserves; and members of the national guard on active duty, including personnel on full-time national guard duty, personnel on part-time national guard training and national guard military technicians (civilians who are required to wear military uniforms), and active duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel; or (3) Who a State has, at its discretion, exempted from the requirements of part 383 of this subchapter. These individuals may be:

Code of Federal Regulations171

(i) Operators of a farm vehicle which is:(A) Controlled and operated by a farmer;(B) Used to transport either agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies, or both to or from a farm;(C) Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; and(D) Used within 241 kilometers (150 miles) of the farmer’s farm.(ii) Firefighters or other persons who operate commercial motor vehicles which are necessary for the preservation of life or property or the execution of emergency governmental functions, are equipped with audible and visual signals, and are not subject to normal traffic regulation.

Trucking Accidents and Pressure for Speed

Indianapolis Auto Accident AttorneysThe trucking industry is highly competitive.  The basic idea is to get the most freight from point A to point B with the lowest cost.  Some carriers might be tempted to overload their trucks and put pressure on their drivers to get that freight to its destination in the lowest amount of time.  One way to get the freight there in the shortest amount of time might be to penalize slow drivers or to give bonuses to fast drivers.  This kind of pressure can result in truck accidents.  Truck collisions usually result in serious personal injury such as spinal cord injuries, paralysis, broken bones and even wrongful death. The trucking industry knows this is true and therefore regulations exist to prevent this kind of pressure being exerted on the drivers to take short cuts or to drive too fast or to drive for too long.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) address this very issue. The appropriate regulation is set out below.

392.6 Schedules to conform with speed limits. No motor carrier shall schedule a run nor permit nor require the operation of any commercial motor vehicle between points in such period of time as would necessitate the commercial motor vehicle being operated at speeds greater than those prescribed by the jurisdictions in or through which the commercial motor vehicle is being operated.

When we are hired by a Hoosier family which has suffered serious personal injury because of a semi tractor-trailer accident, we require the motor carrier to provide us their records which address the  carrier’s use of incentives and the scheduling of deliveries to ensure that the carrier is not violating this provision.  If they are violating this provision, or any other provision of the FMCSRs this is strong evidence of the carriers responsibility for causing the collision that injured our client. 

If you, a loved one or a friend has been injured as a result of a semi tractor trailer crash, please call us.  We can help.

NOTICE: No face-to-face meeting needed. You can remain safely in your home from case signup to settlement.