Edwards & Kautz
Protecting your rights in western Kentucky

August 2015 Archives

How can I expect my Social Security hearing to go?

A Social Security hearing is an informal proceeding. Those present in the courtroom are you; me, as your lawyer; the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), either in-person or on a TV through video-teleconferencing; the court reporter; a vocational expert; and often a medical expert. At the beginning of the hearing, the ALJ will place you under oath, so that you will give sworn testimony. Then, both the ALJ and I will ask you questions about your disability, the treatment you receive for your disability, and how your disability and treatment affect your day-to-day life. For instance, you will initially have the opportunity to tell the ALJ how far you went in school and about your employment history. Then, you can explain to the ALJ what disability you have and how that disability prevents you from working. After that, you will describe the doctors you have seen, the medications you have been prescribed, the physical therapy exercises you have done, etc. The ALJ will want to hear your testimony about how all of your different treatment has not cured your disability and why you cannot go back to work. And, just as important, if your prescription medications, for example, have negative side effects that make it difficult for you to work, the ALJ needs to know that, too. Your Social Security hearing is literally your day in court. This hearing also shows the importance of getting treatment for your disabilities. Your testimony must be supported by objective, medical records and evidence. Your testimony and what the doctors say disables you must agree. After you testify, the ALJ will hear from the medical expert (if present) and the vocational expert. The medical expert will give his or her opinion of what your disability is. The vocational expert will testify last, and this person's testimony often sounds foreign and confusing. Basically, a vocational expert is a professional at placing individuals in different jobs and providing testimony at Social Security hearings about what sorts of jobs you can or cannot do, based on your disability. After all this testimony is collected, the ALJ will take your case under advisement and we await the decision!

5 Things You Need to Know About Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation

Approximately 2.5 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries annually in the United States--50,000 of which are fatal.* The leading causes of traumatic brain injury are auto accidents, falls, and being struck in the head by objects--either by accident or as the result of an assault. Traumatic brain injuries can result in short- or long-term damage and either may require you to file for medical reimbursement, compensation for damages and long-term care, or social security disability. Five Things You Should Know About Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation in Kentucky:

Why Does My Insurance Have To Pay My Medical Bills When The Other Driver Was At Fault?

Kentucky is what we call a no-fault state. This does not mean that nobody was at fault in an accident; however, it does mean that your insurance is required to pay the first $10,000.00 of medical bills and/or lost wages. This seems counter-intuitive, particularly if another driver is at fault in an accident. The $10,000.00 of no-fault/personal injury protection (PIP)/basic reparation benefits (these terms are interchangeable) come from your insurance; however, your insurance seeks to recover paid PIP benefits at the end of the claim from the at fault driver's insurance. In other words, the idea is that your insurance company gets reimbursed at the end of a claim. Generally, your insurance company takes this recovery initiative on their own for accidents in which you were not at fault. Kentucky being a no fault state and requiring your insurance to pay the first $10,000.00 of medical and lost wages is actually very advantageous. It allows you to receive medical treatment, while not digging yourself into tremendous debt. As a side note, you are eligible to purchase additional personal injury protection through your insurance. I highly recommend talking to your insurance agent about purchasing personal injury protection/no fault/basic reparation benefits. Although you likely have $10,000.00 in coverage, and $10,000.00 sounds like plenty, that money will disappear quickly.

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Edwards & Kautz

Edwards & Kautz
222 Walter Jetton Blvd
Paducah, KY 42003

Phone: 270-908-4914
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