St. Pierre Law

Newburyport Injury Law Blog

What to do in the event of a workers’ compensation denial

Imagine a situation in which you suffer an on-the-job injury and are unable to work as a result of your condition. While you hope to receive workers' compensation benefits as you recover, there is no guarantee this will happen.

If you receive a workers' compensation denial letter, don't give up just yet. By taking the right steps, you may be able to obtain benefits in the near future.

  • Contact your insurance company: It's possible you were denied because of a mix-up, such as a missing document or clerical error. One call to your insurance company can help clear the air.
  • Gather evidence: If your insurance company can't help, it's time to gather evidence related to your accident and injuries. For example, collect all your medical records and statements from witnesses.
  • File an appeal: By filing an appeal, you're formally asking the insurance company to reconsider their original decision. Even if this doesn't work, you can take the appeals process one step further by moving it to the court system.

Increase your following distance to prevent a rear-end crash

There aren't many times when you're the only person on the road. Instead, you're sharing it with many others, which means you must take a variety of steps to prevent trouble.

Increasing your following distance is one of the best ways to prevent a rear-end crash. Here are some situations in which you should consider doing so:

  • Road conditions are less than ideal: For example, if the roads are wet or covered in snow, it'll take longer to stop your vehicle. A greater following distance will keep you safer if you have to suddenly bring your vehicle to a stop.
  • Low visibility: If you're driving at night or in heavy rain, fog or snow, you can expect your visibility to be less than ideal. This makes it difficult to see when the vehicle in front of yours is stopping, so increasing your distance will keep you safer.
  • When following a large vehicle: When behind a commercial truck or bus, you're unable to fully see the road ahead. So, you're also unable to see if traffic suddenly comes to a stop. It's best to leave a few extra car lengths of following distance to protect yourself.

Preparing for the possibility of encountering an impaired driver

As you travel along Massachusetts roads, you may give little thought to the possibility of a collision. Unfortunately, such an incident can take place in the blink of an eye and under a multitude of scenarios, and the fallout of a crash could leave you with severe injuries and facing a long road to recovery.

Even if you consider yourself to be a safe driver, you may find it difficult to react to the actions of someone who is driving while impaired. While you cannot force others to stay sober while driving, you might be able to take certain steps to reduce the odds another person's decisions will affect your well-being.

Your hands are at risk of a repetitive stress injury

Depending on your profession, you may put a lot of stress on your hands every day. This can result in a repetitive stress injury that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to do your job.

Here are several of the most common questions associated with workplace repetitive stress injuries:

  • What are the most common repetitive stress injuries of the hands? Some of the ailments to watch out for include tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger. It's possible that you could be suffering from more than one repetitive stress injury at the same time.
  • What are the symptoms of a repetitive stress injury? While they vary from person to person, common symptoms include tingling, numbness, swelling, weakness, stiffness and sensitivity to heat and cold.
  • When does it make sense to seek treatment? You can rest a repetitive stress injury to receive some relief, but medical intervention is often necessary for a long-term solution. Don't wait until you lose function of your hands or the pain is unbearable. Instead, seek treatment at the first sign of trouble.
  • What's the best treatment of a repetitive stress injury? This depends on many factors, including the type of injury, its location, symptoms and your age. For example, rest, ice and immobilization may bring you relief. However, in severe cases, surgery may be necessary.

What are the risks of holiday driving?

With the holiday season upon us, you may find yourself spending a good amount of time behind the wheel. From trips across town to trips across the state (or farther), you may soon feel like your car is your second home.

There are many risks associated with holiday driving, including the following:

  • Impaired driving: Many people enjoy drinking alcohol during the holidays. Unfortunately, some of them don't understand the importance of staying off the road if they have alcohol in their system. This puts them, as well as everyone else on the road, at risk of an accident. If you spot an intoxicated driver, keep your distance and consider reporting them to the authorities.
  • Distracted driving: This includes everything from texting to checking out on your children in the backseat to conversing with your spouse who's sitting shotgun. When driving, keep 100 percent of your focus on the road ahead.
  • Drowsy driving: Long road trips require you to spend hours on end behind the wheel. Just the same, it's easy to wear yourself down during the holidays, thanks to a variety of personal and professional responsibilities. You can't control how much other drivers sleep, but make sure you're well-rested before hitting the road.

What’s the best way to prevent a ladder accident at work?

You've climbed up and down a ladder at work so many times that it has become second nature. While experience can go a long way in keeping you safe, there's always a chance of an accident.

These five tips will help you prevent a ladder accident at work:

  • Inspect the ladder before use: Defects and damage can make a ladder unsafe to use, so you'll want to remove it from service until the issue is properly addressed.
  • Place your ladder on firm and level ground: For example, if you're working outdoors, don't place your ladder in a mulch bed or on a hill. Doing so increases the risk of tipping as you climb higher.
  • Don't carry a heavy load: Climbing or descending a ladder with a heavy load increases the risk of being pulled to the ground below.
  • Keep an eye on the sky: When working outdoors, it's critical to stay off ladders in inclement weather. Rain, strong wind, snow, hail and ice all increase the risk of an accident.
  • Maintain three points of contact: It's best to keep two hands and one foot or one hand and two feet on the ladder at all times. This helps maintain your stability and balance.

Common causes of pedestrian accidents

As a pedestrian, you're sure to be nervous anytime you find yourself near motor vehicles. You understand that an accident has the potential to cause serious injury or even death.

Knowledge of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents can help keep you safe:

  • Distracted driving: If a driver isn't paying attention to the road, they don't always see pedestrians or make note of conditions that could cause an accident.
  • Reckless driving: This takes on many forms, such as speeding, running a red light or stop sign or failure to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks.
  • Driving under the influence: Drugs and alcohol impair a driver's ability to make sound decisions. For instance, someone who is drunk may drive through a red light, thus putting everyone in the area at risk of injury.
  • Disregard for weather conditions: When weather conditions change, such as rain moving into the area, drivers must adjust their driving style. This can include everything from slowing down to using their headlights.

Most common causes of distracted driving

It is very easy to allow your attention to drift away from the road while you are driving. There are numerous distractions in contemporary society. Everything from hearing the sound of your cell phone ringtone to noticing something interesting outside your car can interfere with your concentration.

This is why distracted driving has evolved into such a significant issue in the United States. Taking your eyes off the road for a split second may not seem like a big deal, but this issue contributes to thousands of deaths every year. Distracted driving was responsible for 4,637 deaths in 2018, which is a significant increase from previous years. Lowering these statistics requires a significant change from American people, and that starts with identifying the primary causes of the issue.

Driving distracted or driving drunk: Which is worse?

It is no big deal for a driver to glance at his or her phone while cruising along the highway, right? Other people do it all the time, and no harm comes of it. After all, at least they aren't driving drunk.

This may have been your opinion until you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident involving a distracted driver. Or perhaps your loved one was one of the nearly 11,000 who died in a single year from injuries suffered in a drunk driving accident. You may be like many who wonder which is more dangerous: drinking and driving or driving while distracted.

Common reasons for a workers’ compensation denial

If you suffer a workplace injury, you need to receive immediate medical treatment. Not only does this help stabilize your health, but it also puts you in position to receive workers' compensation benefits.

Even if you assume that you're eligible for workers' compensation benefits, it's possible you could receive a denial letter. Here are some of the reasons why this may happen:

  • You did not report your injury to your employer on time (or at all)
  • You did not file your claim in time
  • You did not receive medical treatment immediately after suffering the injury
  • Your employer disputes your claim, such as by arguing that you were injured outside of work
  • You suffered a noncompensable injury
  • You are unable to prove that the injury is work-related
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