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ARCHIVES: April 2016

The Tragic Scope of Fatal Work Accidents in the U.S.: An Infographic for Workers’ Memorial Day

Workers’ Memorial Day, which is observed annually on April 28th, “is a day to honor those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers,” according to OSHA.1

At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law, we are commemorating this day via the following infographic, which displays some important facts about the scope of worker deaths, as well as some of the leading causes of fatal work accidents, in the U.S.

We invite you to share this infographic with others and post your comments about Workers’ Memorial Day on our Facebook & Google+ pages. And if you or a loved one has been harmed in any type of work accident, please contact our lawyers. They are ready to help you obtain the compensation you may need – and the justice you deserve.

Infographic: The Tragic Scope of Fatal Work Accidents in the U.S.

Contact a Columbia SC Attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

When accidents at work cause injuries or the death of a loved one, contact a Columbia SC attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for effective legal advocacy in your pursuit of justice and financial recovery.

Tenacious and tireless, our attorneys are focused on fighting for our clients’ rights and interests in any legal setting so that they can reclaim their lives and focus on their recovery and future.

Call our firm at (800) 531-9780 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

Social Security Disability: Top 6 Reasons Claims Are Denied

Top Reasons Social Security Disability Claims Are Denied

Frustrated men and women call our office every day seeking answers as to why their claims for Social Security Disability Insurancebenefits have been denied. Unfortunately, denials of SSDI claims are quite common. So what are the top 6 reasons such claims fail?

  1. Employment—SSDI claims are denied routinely because people will apply for benefits while they are still fully employed.  The Social Security Administration requires that a person not be employed for 5 months and have an expectation of disability lasting longer than 12 months.  Therefore if you are employed you will not be found disabled.  The argument that you will agree to quit if approved is not looked upon kindly.
  1. Youth—Younger individuals must demonstrate disability or inability to engage in substantial gainful employment, for any work in the local or national economy.  This is a hypothetical standard and there are always hypothetical jobs for younger individuals.  The SSA does not have to place you in a job, they just have to believe you would take one of these jobs if you really wanted to.
  1. Education—Individuals of any age, with college or other advanced degrees, especially those performed routinely at a sedentary level, are almost always denied benefits unless they can demonstrate psychological or cognitive difficulties that prevent performance of even the most sedentary type of work.
  1. Obesity—Obesity is no longer a listed impairment.  People who are disabled because of obesity will have one or several of the other health disorders associated with obesity.  If they are disabled it will be for the health problems derived from obesity but not the obesity itself.  If you are a relatively healthy obese person you will not be found disabled.
  1. Heart Disease—Heart attack victims are rarely found disabled because the cardiologist will always recommend a return to normal activity in the course of treatment. However, if the heart disorder is chronic congestive failure such that from which you do not recover, then you can be found disabled.
  1. Children’s Disabilities—Children with disorders such as ADD or ADHD, Asperger’s, low IQ, or MR (now called ID, intellectual disability) will not be found disabled if they function well.  If the child’s medication works and he or she goes to school, plays well with other children, plays sports and video games, and does many of the activities normal children do, the child will not be found disabled.

Of course, every Social Security Disability claim is unique and many claim denials are the result of the Social Security Administration’s lack of information. Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorney Danny Vega has helped hundreds of individuals with denied claims successfully appeal the decision of the Social Security Administration.

If you have questions about your claim, please don’t hesitate to contact a Columbia SC attorney at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. by calling (800) 531-9780 or emailing our firm via the contact form on this page.

Gree USA to Pay $15.45M Fine for Defective Dehumidifiers that Caused Fires, CPSC Announces

Gree USA to Pay $15.45M Fine for Defective Dehumidifiers that Caused Fires, CPSC Announces

Gree USA Sales, Ltd., along with its overseas affiliates, has recently agreed to pay a $15.45 million fine issued by authorities at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in relation to the company’s defective dehumidifiers.

According to the announcement for this penalty, Gree sold at least 2.5 million defective dehumidifiers in the U.S. from about January 2005 through August 2013. These dehumidifiers, which were first recalled in September 2013, reportedly contain defects that cause overheating, which can trigger fires.

The CPSC reportedly started receiving consumer complaints regarding these fires in July 2012. To date, the CPSC estimates that Gree’s defective dehumidifiers have caused at least $4.5 million in property damage (due to losses from home fires, etc.).

The Allegations against Gree

As CPSC officials have explained, Gree faced some very serious allegations as part of this federal investigation and case. Specifically, authorities have contended that Gree:

  • Intentionally did not report the defects associated with its dehumidifiers to the CPSC, as is required by federal law – In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) requires companies to report any issues that contribute to an “unreasonable risk of serious injury” to the CPSC within 24 hours of discovering them.
  • Intentionally misled the public about the safety of these dehumidifiers – Specifically, Gree is accused of putting UL safety certification marks on hte packaging for these dehumidifiers despite the fact that the company allegedly knew that these dehumidifiers did not meet UL safety standards.
  • Intentionally misled CPSC investigators by providing them with information known to false
  • Failed to report consumers’ complaints regarding the dangerous and malfunctioning dehumidifiers to the CPSC.

A Closer Look at the Settlement & Authorities’ Reactions to It

Gree has agreed to settle this case by paying the hefty $15.45 million civil penalty, as well as by implementing a new compliance program, which will reportedly require Gree to:

  • Develop internal controls, policies and procedures that will ensure compliance with all aspects of the CSPA
  • Implement confidential reporting channels so that employees can report potential compliance concerns without fear of retaliation
  • Conduct regular training on compliance-related matters
  • Maintain records regarding compliance issues, consumer reports, employee reports and compliance training.

Gree has reportedly refused to acknowledge any fault or failures in this case.

Commenting on the case and its outcome, CPSC Commissioner Marietta S. Robinson has stated:

On March 24, 2016, the Commission approved a groundbreaking proposed $15.45 million settlement agreement with Gree … to resolve CPSC staff allegations of numerous Consumer Product Safety Act (“CPSA”) violations… I applaud our Office of General Counsel for achieving a settlement imposing the maximum civil penalty for these violations.

What do you think about this case and the penalties imposed on Gree for its alleged violations? Post your opinions on our Facebook & Google+ pages.

Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

If you have been injured by any type of dangerous or defective product, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.

You can call our firm at (800) 531-9780 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

The Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse in the U.S. [Infographic]

Nursing home abuse can as physically harmful as it may be psychologically damaging. While this abuse can come at the hands of nursing home staff and caregivers, it may also result from other residents or guests, especially when homes are understaffed, when staff are inexperienced, etc.

To shed some more light on the scope and nature of this problem, below we have shared an infographic, featuring some of the latest facts and statistics regarding nursing home abuse in the U.S.

We encourage you to share this infographic to get the word out about nursing home abuse and help protect aging loved ones. If, however, you currently need help pursuing justice and recovery following an incident of nursing home abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law.

The Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse in the U.S.

Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

If you or someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.

Call our firm at (800) 531-9780 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

South Carolina Trucker Banned from Operating Commercial Vehicles after Fatal Crash

South Carolina Trucker Banned from Operating Commercial Vehicles after Fatal Crash

A truck driver licensed in South Carolina has recently been prohibited from operating any commercial vehicles by authorities at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). According to the announcement, this federal order was handed down following a fatal truck accident involving the driver.

Background on the Truck Accident

As the FMCSA report explains, the deadly crash at the center of this case occurred on February 8, 2016 on Interstate 77 in Chester County, South Carolina. Just after 3 am, the trucker driver reportedly smashed into the back of a passenger vehicle, pushing the vehicle off of the road and causing it to rollover. One of the occupants of the passenger vehicle was fatally injured as a result of the rollover.

Following the collision, the trucker reportedly fled the scene, taking the front bumper that had fallen off of his truck with him to discard at a different location. The truck driver, who completed the delivery of his cargo following the crash, returned to his employer and reported that he had been in a crash with a deer.

Subsequent investigations – conducted by federal officials with the FMCSA, as well as local law enforcement authorities – ultimately revealed that:

  • The trucker had falsified his on-duty records, trying to claim he was not in Chester County on the date of the fatal accident. This violated hours-of-service regulations.
  • The trucker was, in fact, the motorist responsible for the deadly hit-and-run collision.
  • Over the previous 8 months, the trucker had been involved in at least two other collisions – one in July 2015 (when a failure to slow with traffic caused a rear-end collision) and another in November 2015 (when an improper lane change resulted in a rear-end collision).

At this time, it is not clear if the trucker will appeal the FMCSA out-of-service order or whether he will work with authorities to resolve the violations.

Financial Recoveries after Deadly Truck Accidents

Following a fatal truck accident – or any deadly traffic crash, the impacts can be profoundly devastating for surviving loved ones. Although no amount of money can ever make up for these losses, pursuing financial recovery can be important to:

  • Holding the negligent party (or parties) accountable – While the trucker in this situation is likely one negligent party, the trucking company that employed this driver – and that allowed him to get behind the wheel after causing two prior rear-end collisions – may also be liable.
  • Obtaining compensation to cover expenses like funeral costs, medical bills, etc.

As a result, a wrongful death case can be the key to survivors’ overall recoveries.

Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

If you have been injured in a truck crash – or if you have lost someone you love to any type of deadly traffic collision, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.

You can call our firm at (800) 531-9780 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

Federal Regulators Renew the Fight against Distracted Driving with National Campaign, DOT Reports

Federal Regulators Renew the Fight against Distracted Driving with National Campaign, DOT Reports

Starting today, federal regulators with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will be rolling out a new anti-distracted driving campaign, hoping to encourage all motorists in the nation to be proactive about ignoring distractions when they are behind the wheel.

According to DOT’s recent announcement, this campaign – U Drive. U Text. U Pay. – will include public services announcements, digital ads and heightened enforcement over the coming weeks. While the goal is deter this preventable cause of crashes, it is also to prevent injuries and save lives.

DOT Releases New Distracted Driving Statistics

While we recently presented some shocking facts about the nature of the distracted driving problem in the U.S. via a compelling infographic, the DOT has updated some of its findings regarding this epidemic, sharing that, in 2014:

  • At least 3,179 people in the U.S. were killed in distracted driving crashes.
  • At least 431,000 others were injured by distracted motorists.
  • Roughly 13 percent of all distracted motorists involved in crashes were teens (i.e., drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 years old). – This finding has led authorities to develop some specific anti-distracted driving messages geared towards younger motorists.
  • At any given point during daylight hours, at least 587,000 motorists traveling on a U.S. roadway were using a hand-held cellphone.

Although these statistics may certainly be shocking, what may be more distressing is the fact that these numbers likely underreport the problem, as many motorists involved in crashes are reluctant to admit fault when distraction (and/or other negligence) may be involved.

Commenting on the scope of the distracted driving problem in the U.S. and what authorities are trying to do about it, Federal Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has stated:

Behind every distracted driving death is a story of loss. In the blink of an eye, lives can be transformed forever… Scrolling through song lists on a cell phone, or texting while driving is not just irresponsible, it can have tragic consequences. We’re calling on drivers to put down their devices and help keep the roadways safe for all Americans.

Similarly, Dr. Mark Rosekind, an administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA), has explained that:

Lives are at stake on our highways. NHTSA wants to drive behavior change, stop bad habits, and encourage safe driving…  People need to understand the potential price of distracted driving. The cost of a ticket is nothing, compared to the irrevocable cost of taking someone’s life.

What do you think about the latest statistics regarding distracted driving in the U.S.? Will you be supporting National Distracted Driving Awareness Month this year? We look forward to reading your opinions, comments and plans on Facebook & Google+.

Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

If you have been injured in any type of traffic crash, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.

Call (800) 531-9780 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

Dangers of Distracted Driving Revealed for April, National Distracted Driving Awareness Mo. [Infographic]

Distracted drivers can be as dangerous as drunk drivers, as distractions can significantly impair motorists’ judgment and reaction times. Although various efforts are being made to deter distracted driving in the U.S., every day, motorists across the nation are still making the poor decision to divert their focus from the roads, heightening the risk of crashes (and resulting injuries and fatalities).

Looking to tackle this problem head-on, federal authorities and transportation safety advocates are dedicating the month of April to support National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

To support this cause, Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. has assembled a compelling infographic (featured below), displaying some of the most important and shocking facts about the distracted driving dilemma in the U.S.

Distracted Driving Infographic - Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.

Contact a Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law

After a distracted driving crash – or any type of traffic collision, contact a Columbia SC personal injury lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your options for financial recovery, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.

Call (800) 531-9780 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.

From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

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