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Most of us know or have heard of someone who is “on disability.” This means that the person in question is collecting benefits from the federal and state governments to help them pay bills and meet their monthly expenses after suffering an injury, illness or other condition that renders them unable to hold down a regular job. Often, people wonder what makes one able to collect these benefits. Learn who is eligible for social security/disability benefits through SSI and SSDI, and what circumstances allow you to collect before age 65.

Types of Social Security Disability

There are two types of federal social security/disability programs for which you can apply if you are unable to work and need assistance. These are SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, and SSI, or Supplemental Security Income. The qualifications for each of these vary based on several factors.

Social Security Disability Insurance

SSDI is available to those people who have suffered a disability and have already been in the workforce for a set amount of time. As you work, you build up “credits” with the Social Security agency. The number of credits you need to accrue in order to qualify depends on your age and exactly when you suffered your disability. At minimum, you have to have worked at least half of the last decade. Payments for SSDI are usually in the neighborhood of $1,000 per month, sometimes up to $1,200. The higher your original salary and the higher your original FICA taxes, the more you will be eligible to receive. After two years of benefits, you are eligible for Medicare.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a cooperative federal/state program and eligibility depends on the individual state. Every state, however, has to abide by federal standards as follows:

  • Age 65, is blind or has suffered a disability
  • Citizen of the United States
  • Permanent resident, military veteran, political asylee or refugee who meets strict standards
  • Low monthly income; your current income will offset the amount you can receive
  • Own less than $2,000 in property ($3,000 for couples). This doesn’t include large-ticket items like cars and homes.

SSI benefits cap at $733 per month ($1,100 for couples). Most states offer a supplemental payment that augments these benefits. In Illinois, if you are eligible for state supplemental benefits, you are also eligible for Medicare.

Proving Disability

In order to collect SSI or SSDI before retirement age, you must prove disability. That means you must have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from holding down gainful employment for at least a year. This can be difficult to argue; therefore, it’s very helpful for many to have a qualified attorney in your corner.

Contact Us if You Are Eligible for Social Security/Disability

If you are facing a disability and need federal aid, don’t wait. Read about how SSI in Illinois works, and get in touch with our office for a free, no-obligation consultation today!

As of late April, there have been 751 reported cases of Hepatitis A in the Tampa Bay area, with some of the highest infection rates coming from Pinellas County, Pasco County, and Hillsborough County.

Last October, health department officials discovered that a server at Hamburger Mary’s in Hillsborough County tested positive for the virus. The county’s health department came across four more restaurants with servers who tested positive, but they covered up the outbreak and failed to alert the public of these other cases.

Recently, the outbreak has spread to more counties in the Tampa Bay area, including Pinellas County, where there have been over 200 new cases. A server at Hellas Restaurant and Bakery tested positive for Hepatitis A, but the public was initially not informed. Officials from the Pinellas County Health Department have not made any comments about their decision to keep the outbreak a secret. In Hernando County, the Grill at Silverhorn is under investigation, and officials advise that customers could have been exposed from April 12-30.

With more than 1,200 reported cases of Hepatitis A in the entire state of Florida since January of last year, officials have formally declared a health advisory for the infectious virus. Health department directors in Pinellas County, as well as the directors in some other counties, continue to remain tight-lipped about the situations in their jurisdictions.

How Does Someone Contract Hepatitis A?

A person can get Hepatitis A by ingesting food or drink that has been in contact with someone who is infected. Usually, the disease is transmitted by trace amounts of fecal matter in the food or drink; however, the virus can live on surfaces and it is extremely hard to kill without bleach and high temperatures. This means that you could potentially be exposed to Hepatitis A from an infected server who touches your plate of food.

Hepatitis A can be life-threatening, as it affects your liver’s ability to function. However, if you receive a vaccine within two weeks of exposure to the virus, it might protect you from infection.

What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?

The symptoms of Hepatitis A include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Contact a Pinellas County Hepatitis A Outbreak Lawyer Today

If you or someone you know tested positive for Hepatitis A after eating at a contaminated restaurant, please reach out to Disparti Law Firm as soon as possible for a screening and consultation on your case. We may be able to help you take legal action and seek proper compensation.

Accidents involving commercial trucks are among the most serious in personal injury law. It is important for people to be aware of how these accidents occur and what steps they can take to protect themselves. While these accidents may be the truck driver’s fault, recognizing the ten most common sources of these collisions can create awareness and increase safety for everyone on the road.

  1. Driver Distraction

Truckers often haul their loads over long distances for many hundreds of miles at a time. As a result, they look for ways to keep themselves occupied, often at the expense of their attention to the road. The use of CB radios or cell phones is a leading cause of distracted driving and resulting accidents.

  1. Driver Fatigue

Many truckers’ schedules require them to be on the road for upwards of twelve hours a day. Driving these vehicles is difficult at the best of times, but driving while tired reduces reaction times and the ability to adjust to emergencies.

  1. Overloaded Trucks

Federal law places a maximum weight on tractor trailers based on their number of axles. Trucks that violate this law are slower to come to a full stop and are more liable to tip over in sharp turns.

  1. Improper Lane Changes

Trucks must follow the same rules of the road as everyone else. This includes the proper use of side view mirrors and turn signals prior to changing lanes.

  1. Speed

Especially due to their massive size, commercial trucks must take care not to speed. Sadly, the pressures of deadlines can cause many drivers to violate this law and subsequently endanger other drivers.

  1. Wet Roads

Heavy or snowy roads can jeopardize the ability of all drivers to control their vehicles, and this effect is magnified for commercial trucks. Their added weight makes it more difficult to come to a stop on wet roads in case of an emergency.

  1. Failing to Follow Traffic Signals

Commercial truck drivers must follow traffic signals just like everyone else. Truckers who ignore stop signs or red lights place other drivers on the road in significant danger. In fact, this is one of the most common sources of truck accidents in Chicago.

  1. Heavy Winds

Given how much larger commercial trucks are than other vehicles, the side of the truck’s trailer can act like a sail that catches wind, especially during storms. This wind can push the truck into other lanes or even tip it entirely during sharp turns on highways.

  1. Improperly Secured Cargo

Along with rules that govern how heavy a truck can be, there are also rules that state how that weight should be distributed. If a truck’s trailer is off balance, a sharp turn could cause the entire vehicle to flip. In some cases, a sudden stop with an unbalanced load could cause the truck to jackknife, leaving other drivers with no way to escape involvement in a crash.

  1. Driving with Faulty Equipment

Every part on a commercial truck plays a vital role in safety. From brakes and suspension to turn signals and headlights, a failure in any one of these systems can cause driver confusion or an inability to properly respond to changing road conditions.

Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney Today

These top ten causes of Chicago truck accidents are only the most visible ways that a truck driver may be liable for an accident. In truth, though, even simple poor driving can lead to a devastating accident.

People injured in these accidents should act swiftly, as 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/13-202 gives people only two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Contact an attorney to learn more about your legal options.

This year, Disparti Law Group founder and owner, Larry Disparti, will take on the No Shave November Initiative. We invite you to join Larry as he forgoes facial hair maintenance to raise funds for juvenile cancer.

By working with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Larry hopes to raise awareness of the hardships that children with cancer face every day. These children exhibit enormous strength and courage while undergoing treatments and fighting for survival. If you would like to participate with Larry in No Shave November, you can donate by joining his team. Additionally, don’t forget to send your before and after photos to info@dispartilaw.com so we can see your progress!

No Shave November is an initiative through St. Jude that aims to encourage critical conversations around cancer. Through participation and philanthropic engagement in No Shave November, St. Jude and Disparti Law Group hope to push the cancer survival rate higher each year.

A recent report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry states that the levels of ethylene oxide emissions from two Sterigenics International Inc. facilities in Willowbrook may present an elevated cancer risk to residents. Community leaders in Willowbrook have ordered Sterigenics to stop operating their local sterilization facilities until a further study can be conducted.

Sterigenics International Inc. is a global contract sterilization company and provides services for sanitizing medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food, and packaged materials. The company uses ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment. Ethylene oxide is known to cause irritation to the eyes and skin as well as nausea and vomiting. Long-term exposure to ethylene oxide has the potential to cause leukemia, stomach cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and pancreatic cancer.

Willowbrook residents have hired a law firm to investigate whether the company possessed knowledge that past or current ethylene oxide emissions pose a danger to residents. Residents, several of which have cancer or have relatives who died of cancer, suspect 34 years of exposure to the harmful substance. Attorneys will bring a lawsuit based on the company’s negligence towards residents if the investigation yields such evidence.

Those who believe a company has acted in a negligent manner and caused them severe injuries should not hesitate to reach out to the lawyers at Disparti Law Group. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help you aggressively pursue proper compensation for any damages caused by a company’s irresponsible behavior.

On Saturday, August 18, 2018, the Disparti Law Group took to the streets of Chicago to participate in the Englewood Back to School Parade. The parade is the second oldest African-American parade in the city of Chicago and takes place every year in the Englewood neighborhood to help make education attainable for all of Englewood’s youth.

The Disparti Law Group was a proud sponsor of the parade with a $1,500 donation. They also gave away over 500 backpacks to help equip children with the necessary supplies as they head back to school this year. While attorneys handed out backpacks, hundreds of youths of all ages marched, danced, and flipped past them in a celebration of the progress and vitality of the Englewood community.

The Disparti Law Group is proud to have participated in the Englewood Back to School Parade with its long history of combating youth crises. Willie Pittman conceptualized the idea for the parade in 1962 when he saw increasing numbers of Englewood youth succumbing to pressures to join gangs and other unlawful groups. In response to the growing issue, Pittman established the Englewood Back to School Parade, a non-profit corporation that aims to keep all of Englewood’s Youth in school as a way to reduce crime.

With over 30 years of helping Chicago residents through legal issues, attorneys at the Disparti Law Group hope to continue giving back to the community in meaningful ways. Any Chicago residents who need legal counsel in a personal injury case should not hesitate to contact our compassionate attorneys.

On July 28, 2018, Chicago personal injury attorney Larry Disparti of the Disparti Law Group and the Chicago Police Department sponsored 125 children to attend the Chicago White Sox baseball game. The event was a “Senior and Youth Night Out” event for children in the Chicago Police Department’s Kids and Cops program.

Children and their families participated in a tailgate and later, watched the Chicago White Sox defeat the Toronto Blue Jays with a crushing score of 9-5. Chicago police members were delighted to share their love for sports with the kids and their families.

The Disparti Law Group is thankful to Chicago police officer Sabrina King for helping to establish the partnership and make this event possible. We are committed to giving back to the local community through meaningful relationships. A trusted resource for those in need of a personal injury attorney, the Disparti Law Group has helped hundreds of injury victims throughout Chicago and the surrounding areas.

Communication between our clients and Disparti Law Group, P.A., personal injury lawyers is crucial. Anyone who has suffered serious personal injury through another person’s or organization’s negligence or recklessness is likely to have questions. To assist our clients, the Disparti Law Group, P.A., loans a Google Nexus tablet free of charge for the length of their case.

The tablet is a user-friendly tool, preloaded with a variety of apps and information about the case. It allows clients to keep in touch with their attorneys and to build evidence in their own cases through photos, videos, notes and other data compiled with the help of the tablet.

Our Florida personal injury attorneys can also initiate communication with the client through the tablet.

The Disparti Law Group, P.A.’s ‘Client Recovery Maximizer System©’

The Disparti Law Group, P.A., has chosen to use the Google Nexus Tablet for our “Client Recovery Maximizer System©.”

The Google Nexus 10 features a 10-inch touchscreen with 16 or 32 gigabytes of memory, a 5 megapixel camera, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and ultrahigh resolution display. At a thin 8.9 mm and a weight of 603 grams (21.2 ounces), it is easy to carry and use.

As a Google product, the Nexus connects seamlessly with Gmail as well as Google docs, chat and calendar features.

Clients equipped with a Google Nexus will find a variety of uses for documenting and keeping up with their case. In addition to using your tablet to communicate with our lawyers through custom, secured email accounts, you can:

  • Keep a calendar of doctors’ appointments, attorneys’ meetings and other important appointments, dates and milestones in your case.
  • Record and save notes, thoughts, recollections and/or questions about your case.
  • Take photos and record videos to depict your recovery, including any difficulties you experience because of your injuries.
  • Record video statements from family members or others discussing your experience of  coping with injuries and recovery.

We can also use an editing app on the Nexus to compile videos and develop, for example, a video demand package. This package helps to increase your ability to secure maximum recovery in a settlement.

We anticipate that clients will come up with their own innovative applications of Nexus features to develop their case. We can learn from those uses in enhancing service for all of our clients.

Contact Us Today to Learn More About Our ‘Client Recovery Maximizer System©’

If you would like to learn more details about our firm’s Google Nexus tablet program, please contact our Florida personal injury lawyers today by calling our toll-free number or taking a moment to fill out our contact form.

The Disparti Law Group, P.A., has decades of experience in helping clients to recover the personal injury compensation they need and deserve. We can help you, too. Because we understand that many of our clients’ legal needs are urgent, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We won’t charge for our legal services until you recover compensation.

The Disparti Law Group, P.A., provides the Florida Injury Hotline App free online to help Florida residents protect their rights when they are involved in accidents and/or suffer personal injuries. Downloading the app equips the user with a variety of tools and information, including step-by-step instructions for what to do after an accident.

The Florida Hotline Injury App is an extension of the outreach the Disparti Law Group, P.A., has undertaken through speaking engagements and free downloadable books about personal injury law.

Disparti Law Group, P.A., is a personal injury law firm that handles a variety of personal injury claims, including car accidents, slip-and-fall or premises liability, product liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, nursing home neglect and inadequate security.

We serve clients throughout Florida, including Holiday, Tampa-St. Petersburg and surrounding areas.

Features of the Florida Injury Hotline App

The Florida Injury Hotline App enables accident victims to take photographs and record audio statements at the scene of an accident, but it is much more than that.

The app also provides information and tips about how to respond to:

  • Car crashes
  • Motorcycle wrecks
  • Trucking accidents
  • Workplace injuries and workers’ compensation
  • Social Security Disability benefits
  • Defective medical devices and dangerous drugs
  • Child care negligence.

The app also stores phone numbers for emergency assistance and has a GPS mapping feature that allows the user to identify their locations for emergency responders with the touch of a button.

In addition to helping an accident victim gather and store information that may help them later, the Florida Injury Hotline App lets the user transfer this information directly to the Disparti Law Group, P.A. It also connects to our law firm through social media to access the firm’s frequent updates about legal news and safety tips.

The Florida Injury Hotline App is available for the iPhone and iPad as well as the Android phone and tablet through online app stores.

Contact Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one of yours has been hurt in an accident that was someone else’s fault, you have rights that should be protected. In many cases, an accident victim can obtain compensation for medical expenses, property damage and other losses after an injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness.

Download the Florida Injury Hotline App now to have important tools and information at your disposal if you or someone close to you is hurt in an accident. Then contact the Florida personal injury lawyers of the Disparti Law Group, P.A., at our toll-free number or through our firm’s online contact form for a free consultation about your case.

Have you ever found yourself wondering in frustration what an insurance adjuster even is, after you’ve had a serious accident? These people can seem like nothing more than obstacles to you getting the compensation you rightfully deserve for the injuries you suffer. They make lowball offers, they try to bully you, and they won’t listen to the injury you’ve suffered.

Insurance adjusters can be very frustrating, especially when all you’re trying to do is get the money you deserve to get your life back under control. Learn how to answer the question, “what is an insurance adjuster?” and why seeking help from a qualified attorney can get you the settlement you deserve.

What Is an Insurance Adjuster?

Answering the question, “what is an insurance adjuster?” is actually fairly straightforward. At the most basic level, an insurance adjuster is someone whose job it is to settle an injury case, quickly and at as low a level as possible.

Insurance adjusters sometimes work directly for the insurance company. Other times they are independent and are brought in on a contract basis. Regardless, their performance is measured by the number of cases they can resolve fast, and on how little they pay out. Often, they could even be limited to as low as $5,000 in what they’re allowed to offer. Even the most experienced ones may be limited to as little as $20,000 without permission from superiors.

Getting What Your Case Is Worth

Because their job is to resolve a case without elevating it to a superior, claims adjusters will go to great lengths to avoid going above their limit. They very likely aren’t even familiar with your case beyond a cursory glance, but they’ll try to blame you for the incident. They’ll try to strongarm you or bully you into just signing off, sometimes threatening you with nothing if you refuse.

To get what your case is worth, there are two things you need to remember. First, you know what your case is worth. You know what you’ve suffered and you know what your lost wages cost, what your mounting medical bills say, and what kind of pain and suffering you’ve endured. Secondly, you’re within your rights to tell them that you’re going to refer them to your attorney.

Working with an Attorney

If you’ve been in an accident and are hitting a wall with the claims adjuster, don’t throw your hands up in frustration and ask, “what is an insurance adjuster?” Instead, call on the services of an experienced personal injury attorney. The right attorney can stand in your corner and refuse to let an adjuster bully you into accepting a low offer for your injury.

At Disparti Law Group, we have helped many people across the nation get significant compensation for their injuries, including millions in total accumulated settlements over the years. We are ready to help you get the compensation you deserve. Instead of fighting an ongoing battle with the insurance company, give us a call for more information and a free consultation about your case today.

Many people at some point in their lives find themselves in a situation where they need to access either their own or someone else’s medical records. It could be something very simple—you’ve moved to a new town or changed healthcare providers and your new doctor needs your old records. It could be something more serious like you’re pursuing a personal injury case or even a medical malpractice case.

The first thing to know is that in most cases, you have the right under federal law to access your records. There are also some circumstances where you might have access to other people’s records as well. Learn about getting medical records, who has access to your records, whose you can access, and the situations when you might need help from an attorney.

Getting Medical Records via HIPAA

HIPAA is a Federal law which stands for the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. It’s an important set of laws that protects your privacy, while at the same time making sure that you always have the ability to access your important documents. You have the right, under HIPAA, to view the original versions of all your medical records at the doctor’s office where they are kept. You can also request to be given copies of these records.

The only exceptions to this law are in situations where the doctor feels accessing your record would put your health, life or safety in danger (or the health, life or safety of another); psychotherapy notes which are always confidential; or when the healthcare provider is gathering information for a court case.

Access to Others’ Records

In certain cases, you may also access the records of others under HIPAA. The most common situations for this are those where you are accessing your children’s records or the records of someone over whom you have legal guardianship. In these situations, you can access records except in situations where the procedures don’t require parental consent, where courts have ordered the treatment, or where you have agreed on the doctor-patient confidentiality involved.

In addition, you may be able to take a look at the records of a deceased person if you are either the personal representative of the estate, or you are a relative of the deceased who needs access to these records for matters that are related to your own health.

Obtaining Medical Records

Getting medical records usually requires just submitting a written request to the doctor’s office. You should include your complete contact information, the records you need to access and why. In some cases, you might need your social security number.

After this, the doctor’s office is required to provide your records, under federal law, within 30 days. If they decline or experience a delay they have to provide you written notice as to why.

Challenging Delays and Denials

f you experience delays or denials in getting medical records, a qualified attorney may be your best bet. The right lawyer in the Tampa, FL area can help cut through the red tape and protect your rights in accessing your records. If this is you, contact Disparti Law Group for help today.

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