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Detroit Social Security Benefits Law Blog

Is there a higher risk for workplace accidents during the winter?

As Michigan workers know, the winter months can make certain parts of life more complicated. From driving in the snow to exposure to the cold, employees can face an elevated risk for accidents and injuries at this time of year. You may find it beneficial to learn more about winter hazards, your employer's responsibilities and ways to protect your interests in the event of a work-related accident.

Employees have the right to a reasonable expectation of safety, even if they work outside or in hazardous conditions. This means it is the employer's responsibility to remove unnecessary hazards, provide adequate safety training and provide the equipment necessary to avoid injuries. During the winter months, it is especially important to be cautious and vigilant.

Medical conditions that affect driving

There are many different risk factors when it comes to auto accidents, but some are especially concerning. For example, someone who is suffering from a medical condition that could affect their ability to drive should make sure that it is okay for them to be on the road. Unfortunately, some people drive with medical conditions even though doing so is extremely dangerous. For example, someone may struggle with debilitating vertigo, vision problems or they may have seizures, which can significantly increase the probability of a wreck.

People drive with these medical conditions for various reasons. Some may not even realize that their medical condition interferes with their ability to drive to such an extent, while others may know that they should not be on the road but feel as if they have no other choice. For example, someone who has difficulty seeing the road because their eyesight has deteriorated may continue driving because they need to get to work or take care of some other responsibility.

Protect yourself from debris on the road

If you are a driver in Michigan, there is a lot to be aware of on the road. Between practicing defensive driving to avoid accidents with other vehicles and driving in inclement weather, you need to be alert at all times. Another thing you need to be on the lookout for is debris that has come off another vehicle. Whether it is blocking the road or is flying through the air, this situation can lead to serious injury or death. Fortunately there are steps you and other drivers can take to avoid these disasters.

So, what types of objects should you be concerned about? The Star Tribune touches on just some of the potential debris that can cause issues for drivers. These include:

  • Mattresses
  • Trailer hitches
  • Vehicle parts
  • Pieces of wood
  • Construction cones
  • Truck toppers
  • Pieces of metal

How can you lose disability benefits?

People in Michigan who are unable to work due to a disability may be receiving social security benefits in the form of cash payments and Medicare health insurance. People should be aware that there are certain circumstances in which these benefits can be reduced or even stopped. 

According to The Street, disability benefits can, generally, be lost in two ways. One is that the injury or medical condition improves or clears up. The Social Security Administration does a review on each disability recipient every three to seven years, and if medical care has ceased there is a good chance so will benefits. This is one of the reasons why one should continue medical care even if it does not seem worth it. Another way disability benefits can be canceled is when the person returns to work and starts making too much money.

The dangers of working in the restaurant business

People who work in restaurants in Michigan are faced with many different safety hazards. Between the kitchen and dining room, there are many ways an employee can get hurt and this leads to higher workers' compensation claims. Employers need to recognize these issues and do everything in their power to reduce the risk to workers.

According to OSHA, many times injuries occur due to ergonomic hazards. These can happen over the long term from overuse or they may be acute injuries. Some examples of dangers include:

  • Repetitive tasks that lead to fatigue or overuse injuries
  • Cutting with a dull knife which results in injuries and soreness of the upper extremities
  • Lifting heavy objects without assistance
  • Long-term standing on hard flooring which leads to back and leg pain

Risk factors and symptoms of cold stress

Winter temperatures in Michigan often dip below zero degrees. If you work outdoors in the cold environment, frostbite and hypothermia may result from exposure to these frigid conditions. At the Adler Firm, PLLC, we have experience representing clients who were injured while on the job.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, individuals who work in extreme cold temperatures may experience suffer from cold stress. Freezing conditions force the body to work harder to stay warm. When wind speed increases and temperatures drop below normal, heat leaves the body faster than usual.

A denied benefits claim is not the end of the road for you

When you apply for disability benefits, it is because you are not able to work and earn a living to support yourself and your family due to an injury or illness. Due to the severity of your medical condition, you cannot continue to work or enter the workforce. Securing benefits through the Social Security Administration is important for you and your Michigan family. 

Because it is so critical to secure these benefits, it can be a devastating blow to find out that your claim came back denied. This is a setback, but it is not the end of the road for you. There are steps you can take to continue your fight for benefits, and you do not have to walk through this process by yourself.

Safe driving tips for this holiday season

Family gatherings, Black Friday and trips to grandma’s house are common during the holiday season in Michigan. With millions of people on the roadways, there is often heightened congestion and frustration. At the Adler Firm, PLCC, we have experience representing clients who have been in car accidents as a result of distracted or negligent driving.

Severe weather can result in poor road conditions and low visibility. According to AAA, there are many steps you can take to reduce the chances of being in a crash as a result of adverse weather.

  • Get plenty of rest before taking a road trip in winter weather. Driving defensively requires that you be alert and focused on handling hazards from snow and ice to avoiding other vehicles.
  • Ensure the tires on your car are correctly inflated. They are designed to work optimally with a specific amount of PSI. Performance may dip if it is too low or too high.
  • Make sure the tires are a matched set. Mixing radials with other types of tires can affect the way the vehicle performs in bad weather.
  • Accelerate and decelerate carefully. It is the best way to maintain control on wet, slick roads.
  • Avoid distracted driving by keeping both hands on the wheel. Do not eat, use your cell phone or participate in conversations unnecessarily.
  • Buckle your seatbelt every time you get into the car. They can reduce injury severity in the event of an accident.

Does epilepsy qualify for disability benefits?

If you live in Michigan and epilepsy has made it impossible to work, you may be eligible to receive social security disability benefits. There are different programs available, and which one you are eligible for depends on your specific situation.

Epilepsy can be extremely debilitating, and John Hopkins Medicine discusses what exactly it is and some common symptoms. Epilepsy is a condition involving the brain and nervous system. It is diagnosed when someone has had two or more seizures, which can occur due to a variety of reasons. Some symptoms, or warning signs, of seizure include:

  • Body stiffening
  • Jerking movements
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Falling for no reason
  • Issues with breathing
  • Confused state
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Stress and your job

The majority of workers in Michigan experience some type of stress in their jobs, which is normal. However, certain occupations have been found to be very stressful and, over time, this can lead to health problems, decreased productivity and other issues. When chronic stress is found to be directly caused by the job itself, the worker may be entitled to workers' compensation.

According to Forbes, the most stressful job is enlisted military personnel. Other highly stressful occupations include:

  • Firefighter
  • Airline pilot
  • Police officer
  • Event coordinator
  • Newspaper reporter
  • Senior corporate executive
  • Public relations executive
  • Taxi driver
  • Broadcaster 
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