When an Abusive Relationship Becomes a Personal Injury Case

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Every year, about 10 million men and women are abused in the US. To be specific, this means about one in three women and one in four men are victims of abuse by intimate partners. The stats for domestic abuse are alarming. If you’re interested in these stats, check the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.  

Abusive relationship in this context isn’t just limited to physical abuse, it can be emotional, psychological and mental. This is why abuse can be very hard to detect –particularly when there isn’t any physical component- by unsuspecting individuals.

In fact, this is how many people get away with abusing their intimate partners or children. And when they eventually get down to the physical part of the abuse, they only hurt them in parts that their victims must cover during the course of the day –essentially lowering the odds of their abuse being evident.

Even worse is the fact that the abused often tend to be quite, secretive and unwilling to talk about it out of fear or some twisted form of loyalty. It often needs the expertise of a practiced eye –mostly previous abuse victims, social workers, and an attorney that understands domestic violence and abuse- to be able to get a victim to finally open up.

Usually, by the time it gets to the point where victims seek help by talking to social workers, hiring domestic violence attorneys, chances are that the abuse had been happening for a long time and they have just been able to summon the courage needed to tell someone.

For many, this usually happens when their lives and/or that of loved ones like their children have been threatened. The good thing is that because it has been going on for a long time, building a case against the abuser can be done.

Can You Sue Your Abuser?

The law courts provide ample opportunities for victims of domestic violence and people in abusive relationships. If there’s evidence that you sustained some injuries as a result of their direct actions, you can sue them. This is particularly important for physical acts of aggression and intent to injure or cause harm. Not only can the abuser be criminally liable, you can also bring a civil liability case against them. The latter is possible courtesy of personal injury laws designed to protect and empower victims of domestic abuse.  

Filing a Personal Injury Case Against a Family Member Because of Domestic Violence

For victims of domestic violence, we often recommend that they quickly report any domestic assault or incident to the nearest police station and get a restraining order against them. We know it’s difficult because of the emotional attachments, family, children, investments and so on. But, if you do value your life and that of your children/loved ones, and the relationship is doing you a lot of harm, this might be the necessary thing to do.

In the past, the courts didn’t encourage lawsuits against family members. This law was aimed at helping families stay together. This therefore, resulted in prolonged abuse by the dominant party in the relationship. Well, this is no longer the case in some states. The thinking is that if interpersonal relationships between family members have degenerated so badly that one party feels the need to file a torts claim against another, the family might as well be broken, and there’s no need for them to keep staying together. So, if a family member feels the need to take another member to court on the basis of abuse, then the plaintiff, should be able to do so. This is why courts are nor more liberal in allowing family members to bring personal injury claims against each other; particularly when the injuries were as a direct result of domestic violence.

Most of the states in the country with the exception of Utah, Delaware, Washington D.C, Louisiana, Iowa, Wyoming, Illinois, Missouri, Hawaii, Texas, Arizona, and Ohio allow tort claims against family members. The listed states however, would clearly allow personal injury claims cases against family members if it’s clearly established the abuser intentionally and deliberately inflicted injuries on the victim.

In the courts, domestic violence isn’t just limited to assault and battery. They also consider psychological abuse and emotional distress caused by the actions or words of the abuser. For instance, if a family member is guilty of threatening, stalking and damaging the victim’s properties, that would also be grounds for a tort claim.

What Damages Can You File For?

The abused in a relationship can often file for one or more of the following damages:

Medical bills and costs arising from treatment after abuse

Lost income and wages caused by abuse resulting in an inability to secure and keep a job

Pain and suffering, whether physical, emotional or psychological

Punitive damages

This is possible on the grounds that consistent abuse is usually about power and control on the part of the abuser, and helplessness and fear on the part of the abused. Suing for these damages can help the abused regain some control and get rid of the fear that might have resulted in one or more of the aforementioned damages.

If you are a victim of abuse in your relationships and need help, our domestic violence attorneys at Heil Law can help. Get in touch today.

How to Properly File a Social Security Disability Claim

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Legal Help with Filing for Social Security

Social Security, despite its slightly controversial nature, has been one of the hallmarks of modern American society. Ever since the program was started in 1935 as part of the New Deal, it has assisted those of our fellow citizens who lack some key financial advantages. This includes Disability Insurance, which was added in 1956.

And for such a widely varied government program, there will always be a lengthy process involved to ensure that you get what you want. Though there are some exceptions to the rule, most of the disability claims are mainly handled at the state level. Such state agencies are referred to as Disability Determination Services, or DDSs for short. In short, these are the people that will handle your claim and decide whether or not it is legitimate, and thus whether or not you end up with the money. And even though you can do it online or over the phone, it is probably for the best that you do it in person, provided that you are able. If you can’t, that is perfectly fine; however, it is likely that you will have to spend a lot of your time waiting on hold.

So before you start, you need to make sure that you have all of the proper papers at hand. As the official website makes abundantly clear, “The application and related forms ask for a description of the claimant’s impairment(s), treatment sources, and other information that relates to the alleged disability.” Also necessary for the supplemental papers are medical records and insurance papers, even from before the need for the disability claim arose.

More than anything else, the needs for prudence and patience are absolutely key at this particular stage. After all, what we are dealing with here is what can be considered standard government bureaucracy combined with the bureaucracy of a medical insurance company. Plus, if they feel that there is insufficient evidence, a consultative examination will be ordered and arranged as they see fit. Either way, you will be waiting for quite some time as they make sure that everything has been filed correctly and the disability claim is completely legitimate without the shadow of a doubt.

At this point, your claim will be handled by the proper agencies in charge of such bureaucratic work within the Social Security Administration. And as mentioned before, most of the disability claims are mainly handled by the Disability Determination Services in general, with trained staff on hand to make the final decision. If the claim is deemed valid, the Social Security Administration fills out the rest of the paperwork and starts making payments out to you and your loved ones. If not, they will keep the files in storage in the likely case that you try to appeal the decision. That is something that you can totally do; however, it does mean that you will have to start the whole process all over again.

If help is needed in this process, do not be shy. Call the Leo Trial Group for assistance on filing a claim for social security.

The Role of the Nurse Case Manager in Worker’s Compensation Cases

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Nurse case managers are registered nurses that coordinate all aspects, services, and resources of a particular patient’s care. They make sure that everything is running smoothly, and their services are utilized both inside and outside actual medical facilities. They work to make sure that a patient has everything he or she needs for treatment and the healing process, and they work with everyone involved with the case, from families to doctors. In worker’s compensation cases, nurse case managers can be vitally important because they can reduce the duration of the case and help you get back on your feet, as well as provide information to insurance companies. However, be aware that nurse case managers can sometimes have a conflict of interest. In this article, we will discuss the role NCMs play in worker’s comp cases, as well as how to protect your own interests and when to seek legal counsel.

When NCMs are used

NCMs are used for most workers’ comp cases. Unless the injury is catastrophic or extremely severe, a nurse, not a doctor, will be the case manager. Depending on your insurer (or third party administrator), the NCM may be provided to you, or the NCM’s services may be outsourced to a company that specializes in worker’s comp cases.

The role of the NCM

The nurse case manager is in charge of facilitating communication between all parties involved in the injured person’s case. The NCM manages the distribution of medical resources to the patient, and provides updates and detailed information about the injured party to the insurance company, employers, and others. In some worker’s comp cases, a nurse might take control of the patient’s medical treatment to make sure that he or she is being optimally positioned for recovery. If an NCM is working in the field, he or she may make home or workplace visits to assess the care that the person is receiving and to discuss any provisions that may need to be made in the event of the worker’s return. The NCM essentially deems the condition of an employee’s health in order to grant the approval of workers compensation.

A conflict of interest

There is an inherent conflict of interest with an NCM because he or she works for the insurance company. While almost all nurses are hardworking and ethical individuals, know that an NCM in a worker’s comp case reports to the insurance company and is supposed to serve their needs as well. And, as anyone who has ever faced off against an insurance company knows, the needs of the insurance company rarely correspond to those of the person who is injured and asking for money. If your workers compensation has not been granted due to a conflict of interest, then it is essential to contact a legal professional.

Protecting your interests

It can be intimidating knowing that the nurse case manager isn’t immediately on your side. In many states, the NCM can request to be in the room with you when you are being examined and treated by the doctor for your injuries. However, you can also refuse to allow them into the examination room if you decide to for your own privacy (this is definitely something to consider if you feel that your NCM is not acting in a way that is conducive to your health).

Seeking legal counsel

Seek legal counsel if you feel that the insurance company is wielding their NCM in a way that prevents you from obtaining the healthcare and monetary compensation you need. There is a conflict of interest, and it is all-too-easy to forget that not everyone is out to expedite your treatment and cut costs to you personally (not just to the insurance company).

Obtain a personal injury lawyer if you feel that your case is being inappropriately handled by those involved. The Leo Trial Group assists in the mishandling of workers compensation cases. Contact attorney Charles Leo for legal advice if your case has not been appropriately resolved. You deserve compensation for your injuries and a path to a recovery.

Surviving a DUI

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In 2011, 1.2 million people were arrested for driving under the influence of narcotics and/or alcohol. About two-thirds of this number were first-time offenders, and one-third were repeat offenders. Generally, this seems to be the breakdown year over year.

For first-time offenders, being arrested for a DUI can be a terrible experience. After all, it is a serious crime that carries serious consequences. The legal consequences, along with the feelings of guilt, disappointment, anger, and depression, can make it a hard situation to move past.

You can find first-hand accounts from people who blew over the limit, many of whom were motivated to apologize to the internet at large and vow to change their ways. But, of course, this isn’t enough. There must be consequences, and indeed, there are.

Whether you have recently received a DUI charge or are simply curious, we’ll give you an idea of what to expect if you find yourself in this situation, and how to survive it so you can move on with your life.

What Happens When You’re Arrested on Suspicion of DUI

Once the law enforcement agents determine through field sobriety tests or a breathalyzer test that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than the accepted limit of 0.08, you will be arrested, taken to the nearest precinct and booked.

If there are any doubts, you might be asked for a blood and/or urine test for confirmation. The bottom line is your mug shot will be taken and you’ll be thrown in “jail” — this is basically just a holding cell — and held for around four to eight hours. The main reason for this is to ensure that you spend your remaining drunken hours somewhere you can’t harm anyone, or yourself.

Depending on whether you’re alone, your attitude and compliance, the state of any other vehicle occupants, and whether there was a resulting accident, one of four things will happen to your car:

  • If legally parked at a residence or other private property, it may remain there.
  • A sober occupant/owner may be able to drive the vehicle home.
  • The car might be kept in storage, typically on a private tow lot.
  • The vehicle could be impounded if it becomes part of an ongoing investigation.

After you’re released, you will be notified, typically by mail, of your court date.

To a large extent, your attitude when you’re arrested and previous criminal history — or, hopefully, the lack thereof — will play a large role in the severity of your sentence. First-time offenders in the state of Florida may get a jail term of 6-9 months, pay a fine of between $500 and $2,000, and have their driving license suspended for up to a year. Most of the time, though, it often comes to either jail or the fine, and generally license suspension in either case.

Chemical Tests and Implied Consent

In Florida, you can refuse to take a chemical test, but you will still have your license suspended for a year if you do so only once. These may seem to be lesser consequences than a DUI charge, and they are, but subsequent refusals will result in longer suspensions and the possibility of jail time. Also note that if you are discovered unconscious, an officer can administer a chemical test even if you have not yet been arrested. Furthermore, refusing a test does not guarantee that you won’t be convicted of a DUI — the prosecution can use your refusal to argue that you knew you were guilty of driving while intoxicated, and refused a chemical test for that reason.

Steps to Take in Order to Recover

Unlike more minor traffic crimes, DUI can have very serious and long-term consequences, which means this isn’t an offense you should fight alone. You need a seasoned DUI attorney who will help you determine if you have a case or not. Hiring experienced DUI attorneys like the lawyers at Conan & Herman can make the difference between a recovering from a mistake and living in the shadow of that mistake for years.

 

Product Liability Law and Your Injury Case

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If you have been injured or suffered damages because of a product, you may have grounds for a defective product liability claim. In the United States product liability claims tend to involve negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and various consumer protection claims. There is a range of product liability cases but they fall into three main categories: defective manufacture, defective design, and failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions concerning the proper use of the product. Understanding the differences between these categories will help you to determine what kind of claim you have, whether you have a valid claim and what strategy to use in presenting your case.

First, let’s consider a defectively manufactured product. In this case the injury-causing product is usually flawed because of some error in its fabrication. To support your case, the injury must have been caused by this manufacturing defect. In the second type of product liability, it is necessary to prove the design, itself, is inherently dangerous or defective. The last type of product liability claim involves a failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions about the product’s proper use. These failure-to-warn claims generally involve a product that is dangerous in some way that’s not obvious to the user, resulting in injuries due to that lack of instruction.

To have a chance at winning your case you will have to prove that the product was defective and that the defect was responsible for causing your injury. Each type of product liability claim requires different elements to be proven to present a successful claim. One of the first things you’ll need to do is identify which people and companies might be liable and then name them as defendants in your claim. This can be a lengthy and complicated process depending on the product but it’s important to take the time to include any and all parties involved with manufacture and distribution of the defective product. You don’t have to choose one defendant over another, rather everyone involved in the chain of distribution should be named in your lawsuit.

The chain of distribution can be lengthy and usually begins with the manufacturer. Next, it’s important to consider the retailer since they could be liable for selling you a defective product. Finally, in terms of the distributor chain between these two points, know that there may be any number of wholesalers, suppliers, and distributors involved. They are all part of the chain of distribution of the defective product, are therefore potentially liable, and they should be named as defendants in your defective product lawsuit.

You don’t have to be the buyer to be able to recover damages and you don’t even have to be the product user to have a valid claim. If you were injured by a defective product someone else was using, you may still be entitled to a defective product claim. You might be also able to recover for injuries caused by used or second-hand products. If you purchased a used product that turned out to be defective, you can potentially sue the supplier, depending on such things as what the product is, the nature of the defect, and the legislation in your state.

For the purposes of product liability law, corporations are considered to be the equivalent of persons and can be held liable for distributing defective products. But corporations can often change shape, form, and/or owners by mergers with other companies, reorganization, re-branding, and more. Even with such changes these successor companies can inherit liability for its predecessor’s participation in the chain of distribution. You may also discover that certain companies in the chain of distribution are foreign corporations or businesses. This usually won’t prevent you from suing them, because a foreign company is generally subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the country where it does business.

Finally, if you or someone you know has been injured due to a defective product or another issue of product liability, you don’t have to pursue your claim alone. Contact a seasoned product liability lawyer like David Heil in Orlando to discuss your rights and your case.

Finding a Top Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

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There are many expert lawyers in Los Angeles, making your search for the most qualified counsel a bit difficult. How do you find a defense counselor that knows DUI law, forgery law or assault law? Someone who is looking for a defense attorney needs to ask these questions.

The usual question to ask a lawyer you have been referred to is whether e has experienced handling cases just like yours and how much court trial experience the lawyer has. Success rate would be the next issue raised, of course. And these couple of questions will bring you closer to the answer whether you are talking to the right lawyer or not.

Sometimes the lawyers will exaggerate their qualifications and the experience they have, which is a good reason for you to be careful about the choice you make. Buyer beware – it applies here too so you really have to do your research to get the best defense for yourself.

Los Angeles Criminal Defense AttorneyTo find a reliable Los Angeles criminal attorney, you need to know what crime you are arraigned with, ask your friends and colleagues for a referral and do a search online. Look for Los Angeles criminal attorneys, or better yet, look for attorneys that have experience with the cases just like yours.

Once you have your list, see whihc lawyer won the most litigations, how many years they are practicing law and what do the reviews say.

Meet with the lawyer you think is the right choice for you and ask about the fees. They will go anywhere from $100 to $750 per hour, even more. It’s best that you know the costs schedules so you are familiar with what you will have to pay down the road.

Be sure to ask as many questions about your cases as possible. You need to be comfortable with the attorney in order to trust he/she will represent you properly. Also, you need to inquire whether the lawyer you are talking to or a junior associate will do the work. Make sure you check the track record of the lawyer that is going towork with you so you know you are getting the best representation possible.

Why Is All The Buzz About Lawsuits Against Xarelto?

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Did you know that more than 590 people in the US died in 2013 because of the massive and uncontrolled bleeding caused by the controversial Xarelto drug? At least this is what FAD (Food and Drug Administration) concluded in its report, which caused a real panic around the world. Lawsuits against Xarelto became almost regular. The real question here is how this could happen and how Xarelto was approved in the first place, despite all those strict safety policies and laws we have. Are lawsuits against Xarelto the only thing we can use to protect us?

Before we continue, let’s talk about the drug for a moment. In general, Xarelto is a typical anticoagulant, which means its main purpose is to dilute the blood and prevent many potential health complications including vein thrombosis, aneurysm, hearth attack, and stroke.

At the same time, Xarelto cannot be described as a typical anticoagulant because it is the only drug from this group that doesn’t have an antidote! Now you know why this medicament is potentially very dangerous.

xarelto

Although it can prevent many health complications, it is almost deadly. All side effects (or effects to be more precise) of similar medicaments on the market can be neutralized with other medicaments and substances. For example, it is known that Warfarin can be neutralized with the ordinary vitamin K. The same is with all others coagulants. With all others, except Xarelto. This means that if you have severe internal bleeding caused by this drug, there is a high possibility that you will die. As we said, there is no antidote for it.

Of course, FDA warned the producer of this drug (Johnson and Johnson) a number of times, but this had no effects at all. The producer continued to promote this drug, claiming it has no side effects! This is why people sue company so often in order to get the justice and satisfaction. It is known that the first lawsuit against Xarelto was filed in 2014. This was just a beginning and the moment when the avalanche started.

There are many reasons of why people file lawsuits against Xarelto and why they should do it.

First of all, the producer didn’t inform people about all potential risks and he ignored FDA’s warnings. The producer still promotes it as 100% safe drug.

There is a number of similar cases across the world, which means that people are not alone in this and that they can win the case.

The Purpose of an Estate, Probate, & Elder Law Attorney

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There is a famous saying that we are all aware of and that is two things are guaranteed in life, death and taxes. This is where an estate lawyer comes in. An estate lawyer wears many masks. They play a role that suits individuals and families through various stages in their life. When the subject of death and taxes come up, an estate lawyer specialized in probate becomes very useful. To start, what is the difference between an estate, probate, and elder law attorney?

Estate Lawyers typically deal with estate planning. They can prepare a will and trust for you. Trusts come in all shapes and sizes. With the trust, you have a financial vehicle that owns property and distributes this property to the beneficiary as stipulated in the trust agreement. These assets are managed by a trustee. A will is a document that sets forth how a deceased individual’s assets should be distributed. There are also times where a person may end up in an incapacitated state or a severely injured state. In most cases, their bills would still need to be paid for. Some tools that an estate lawyer can utilize to help this individual would be a power of attorney, a living will, a guardianship appointment, and a health care proxy. It is always advisable, especially when you have dependents, to seek out the assistance of an estate lawyer so they can better prepare you on what documents you should file to help you and your family in the event an unfortunate circumstance were to take place that would leave you ill or severely injured.

Elder Law Attorney

A Probate Attorney comes into play when a will is prepared and the decedent passes away. A probate attorney can work as the executor. An executor is an individual who manages the estate until the distribution of assets take place. A probate attorney can also be called upon to contest the will and prove that it is invalid. The probate process takes place in Surrogate’s Court and lasts several months.

Finally, you have an Elder Law Attorney. An Elder Law attorney assists with the estate planning needs of the elderly. Some of their day to day tasks deal with Medicaid planning, nursing home abuse cases, implementing the many tools we mentioned already that are utilized in estate planning, funeral planning, long-term care planning, social security, and retirement. This can be a complicated area of law but if you live in New York, it is advisable to contact an Elder Law Attorney in NY to assist you especially if you are a senior citizen entering retirement age or require estate planning assistance.

As you can see, estate attorneys wear many hats and help many individuals throughout the various stages of their life. Whether you are in your early twenties or early eighties, there is always something in the estate planning realm that would be beneficial to you and your family. It is better to prepare for the unpredictability of life rather then dealing with it without any form of legal protection.

Which Tactics Are Used For Injury Claim Devaluation

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In case you receive a personal injury and want to claim damages, you will most likely have to deal with an insurance adjuster which will use a lot of tactics to devalue your claim. Many fair and unfair tactics can destroy your insurance claim if yo don’t have an experienced personal injury attorney to protect you from these tactics.

Lets see what are some of the tactics used so you can remain calm and fight for your legal rights if you ever meet with some of these fair and unfair moves.

personal-injury-attorney

Determining A Real Case Value

It is known that adjusters will try to intimidate the claimant with attorneys who will give negative opinions in relation to case value. What you need to keep in mind is that these attorneys are not objective, the insurance company is paying them to say what they want them to say. It’s your attorney who should review the claim and tell you his opinion on the value of your claim.

High Travel Expenses

The adjusters can sometimes try to persuade the claimant that the travel expenses for pursuing the claim will be very high so they shouldn’t think about going to the jurisdiction of the accident. Sometimes the claimant will take a lower settlement just to avoid high travel expenses, time loss and everything else that is related to travelling to another jurisdiction in order to pursue a claim. But these claimants don’t know that their presence isn’t required at all times. Talk to your attorney first and see whether you will have to travel of not.

Exposing Private Life Details

Some adjusters will even gather all the information they can concerning your private life. Some claimants do not want their private life to be exposed so they are ready to take a lower settlement. Sometimes it’s a misdemeanor that will scare the claimant and sometimes it’s an issue that may show your character in another light. The adjusters know they won’t be able to win with using these informations, but they want to scare the claimant, that’s the only goal these information will be used for. This is why it is important that your attorney explains to you what information is relevant and what is proper.

expert reports

Hiring Various Experts

Attorneys who write letters just to hinder the settlement is one of the tactics many adjusters use. Various other experts will be hired by the insurance company in order to devalue your claim. It’s your attorney’s job to deal with these “fixed” opinions and neutralize them.

There is not guarantee that you will settle your at all and it is impossible to tell the value of the settlement. You will need a good solicitor to respond to any unfair tactic an adjuster is using. Visit this site http://www.tylers-solicitors.co.uk/ and get in touch with a reliable solicitor to consult about the details.

What Does The Social Security Administration Look For When Evaluating Your Disability

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To receive an initial disability determination, there are a series of consideration steps/questions involved in the process. When an examiner receives your case from the Disability Determination Services (DDS), they will use the information provided in the application to determine if an applicant meets predetermined criteria for receiving benefits.

The considerations steps/questions are as follows:

  1. Is the applicant working at Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)? Even if you work a small amount, it does not keep you from claiming disability. However, you will be denied benefits if the examiner determines you are able to support yourself through working. To move on from this step, the examiner must determine that your impairment keeps you from earning enough money through your vocation to financially support yourself.

  1. Is the condition listed in your claim so severe that even doing basic work is not possible?

  1. How does your specific condition(s) compare with the list of impairments? Does your condition meet the ‘meet or medically equal’ definition? To move forward past this step and still be considered you must be able to show that your condition(s) meet the required threshold. If you fail to meet this threshold and this definition your claim will be denied.

  1. What is the applicant’s past line of work? Can the applicant return to their last line of work with their condition(s)? In this step the applicant must show that they are unable to return to their past line of work due to their conditions.

  1. The last step and threshold that will have to be met by an applicant at this stage is for the SSA and experts to determine whether the applicant is able to do another type of work. This process is a slight modification from the previous step and seeks to determine whether there is a type of vocation the applicant can perform given the condition(s).

In case you’re unsure how to answer the questions above it is advisable to consult with Social Security Lawyers. In some cases, more medical information is needed and you may be asked to do a Consultative Exam (CE). This option allows for new or missing information to be obtained through a SSA contracted physician to assist the examiner ultimately in making a determination on the application.

A CE exam is paid for by the SSA and can be critical to a final determination. When enough medical information is obtained your application will be approved or denied. After the last step the application is returned to the SSA to proceed with the action required. For applicants who are approved, the SSA will then calculate the appropriate benefits to be paid out and will begin paying that amount. Applicants who are rejected will have the opportunity for appeal.

Jorgensen Law in San Diego, CA specializes in Social Security disability benefits and can evaluate your claim, help with your initial application and help you with your appeal. Visit their website for more information: http://www.mysocialsecurityattorney.com/