New Ratings for Vehicle Safety But Still Many Old Cars and Accidents

Zephyrhills, Fla. – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has started a new safety rating system for 2011 model year vehicles. The ratings involve tougher crash tests and crash warning systems, which provide consumers with one overall safety score. Passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and pickups are all tested.

The NHTSA admitted that most vehicles were getting a four or five star rating, so these new, stricter standards will show the differences more easily to the consumer. Four collision tests – frontal, side-impact, rollover and the new side pole collision – will replicate what happens to most vehicles during an accident. will post the ratings on their website as the sticker that will show the safety rating is still being devised.

With the new rating, older vehicles from 1990 to 2010 should not be compared to the new safety numbers. Only newer vehicles have these crash avoidance technologies and safety standards, so the NHTSA decided to focus on them to help individuals make smart buying decisions.

“Now this great program has gotten even better by making it easier to compare the safety performance of vehicles not only in terms of crash survivability, but in terms of avoiding crashes in the first place,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.

Every year, more than five million driving accidents occur and 32,788 people die as a result. Close to three million people suffer moderate to severe injuries. Despite the efforts of the NHTSA and automakers, crashes still happen. Most are due to poor driver performance of the at-fault driver. Some of the injuries are not detectable right after the accident, but occur weeks or months later. Individuals should seek medical attention and legal counsel immediately to maintain their health and uphold their rights.

The most common injuries include head trauma, spinal cord injuries, bone fractures, burns and internal organ injuries. A skilled auto accident attorney will fight for their client’s rights to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

“You do not want to go for a quick settlement with your insurance company, as they will oftentimes want to force you into accepting an inadequate amount,” said Zephyrhills auto accident attorney Robert Alston. “We want to make sure all your health needs are met and push for full and fair financial compensation.”

The Disability Law Firm is well versed in negotiating with insurance companies and getting clients access to quality medical care. Robert Alston has more than 10 years of proven auto accident case results and prior to law school was a licensed insurance agent.

Posted on Sunday, July 3rd, 2011. Filed under Auto Accidents, News & Press.

Children Most Susceptible to Serious Head Injuries as Outdoor Summertime Fun Nears

Zephyrhills, Fla. – With the warm months of summertime quickly approaching, kids are bound to be outside playing with friends and running around. Climbing in trees, bouncing on trampolines and having contests are what being a kid is all about. But without supervision or some rules, kids can become victims of slip and fall injuries.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that an estimated half a million hospital visits are made for head injuries by children 14 years old and below. Slip and fall accidents account for 50 percent of the cases. And children from zero to four years old and teens from 15 to 19 years old are the most susceptible to these traumatic brain injuries.

“Kids should have fun and enjoy their friends and the outdoors,” said Robert Alston, Zephyrhills serious injury attorney. “Your duty as a parent is to prevent these accidents as much as possible – actively look out for dangers in and around your house and ask your child about the games or activities they are doing at a friend’s home.”

Parents can do everything to ensure their home and property is safe, but the same cannot be said of public places. Alston has dealt with cases of unsafe retail shops, restaurants, sidewalks and more, and knows that it sometimes takes legal action to rectify these perils. Hazardous conditions can lead to severe head trauma and cause seizures, neurological defects and sometimes death.

The Florida-based Traumatic Brain Injury Resource and Support Center advises parents to seek medical attention if their child has the following symptoms:

–          very sleepy or hard to wake up

–          unable to focus the eyes normally, loss of smell and taste

–          difficulty walking

–          vomits multiple times after hitting head

–          seizures

–          head, neck or back pain

–          difficulties with memory, processing information, paying attention

–          anxiety and egocentric behaviors

“When your child is trying to recover, the last thing you need to do is try to fight the legal and insurance issues on your own,” said Alston. “Legal counsel is critical in protecting your child’s and your family’s right to adequate compensation and medical care.”

The best advice for prevention of slip and fall accidents for kids is to not leave young kids unsupervised, use baby gates to prevent jumping from stairs, always buckle the kids in shopping carts and high chairs, and have them wear a helmet during sports activities.

The Disability Law Firm has more than a decade of experience in serious injury law matters. They are known for their tenacity and compassion to efficiently resolve a child’s devastating injuries.

For more information please contact:

Robert C. Alston, Tampa and Zephyrhills Serious Injury Attorney

Posted on Saturday, July 2nd, 2011. Filed under News & Press, Personal Injury.

True Diagnosis and Legal Representation Key to Social Security Disability Benefits

Social Security disability benefits can be difficult to get. The application process can be time consuming and is heavy on paperwork. Many individuals with signs of pain and fatigue wonder if they can get Social Security disability insurance (SSDI). There are some critical steps to increase your chances of successfully winning your claim with the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Step One: Diagnosis
Social Security looks to have a true diagnosis of an individual’s “medically determinable impairment.” You must have the signs, symptoms, and medical records supporting your situation. A qualified doctor that uses accepted practices to note your limitations and prognosis is critical. Social Security does not know your doctor, so your doctor’s input is very important when you apply for benefits.

Step Two: Qualified Legal Guidance
Having a qualified, Social Security Disability attorney increases your chances of getting your much-needed SSDI approved. An experienced attorney is skilled in getting the documentation completed accurately and has the expertise should your case go to a hearing in front of a federal administrative law judge. The Social Security Administration and its examiners review many claims a day and have little emotional investment to understand the extent of your situation. Having legal representation will help overcome the difficulties in getting SSDI.

Also, most SSDI attorneys work on a contingency basis, so you won’t have to pay any hefty fees up front. When you are granted SSDI benefits, up to 25 percent of it will be taken for the attorney’s fees as approved by the Social Security Administration. If no benefits are obtained, the attorney will not be paid, so the process protects your pocketbook.

Step Three: Periodic Disability Reviews
Continuing disability reviews happen every three to seven years. Even if you were initially given benefits because of a permanent disability, you must still meet the definition of disabled. The SSA will want updated records and documentation to verify your condition. And, should you work and earn more than $1,000 a month, the SSDI benefits most likely will end. If there is a sudden change in your medical or employment status, you will want to contact a qualified attorney to understand your rights.

Overall, Social Security disability attorneys help clients determine their eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance and, separately, Supplemental Security Income. These two programs are distinct as SSDI pays benefits to you if you have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes. Supplemental Security Income pays benefits to disabled persons with little to no income.

In Tampa, Social Security Disability attorney Robert Alston has more than a decade of experience successfully representing clients before the Social Security Administration. Even though SSDI and SSI are different programs, he will analyze what is the best course of action given your situation and finances. Alston is skilled in assisting disabled children and adults, veterans, and the aged and blind with their disability concerns.

Posted on Friday, July 1st, 2011. Filed under Social Security Disability.