When Working Hurts: Common Construction Site Accidents

Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. We all know this. What we may not realize is that construction jobs (in all trades) are some of the most hazardous, and accounted for over 18 percent of workplace fatalities in 2010. Historically, 1 in 4 construction workers are injured on the job each year in non-fatal accidents. This certainly represents a dangerous occupation.

It does not take a great imagination to understand why these jobs are so dangerous. On any given construction site there are heavy machines, sharp tools, power tools, scaffolding, trip hazards, electrical hazards, and many other potential dangers. While any of these can cause harm, some hazards seem to cause more injuries than others. Continue reading

Nursing Homes and Financial Exploitation

When our parents and grandparents require residence in nursing homes, we expect that they will be cared for properly. In a perfect world, that is exactly what would happen. But, as we all know, we do not live in a perfect world and elder abuse happens each and every day in America. One of the most common forms of elder abuse is financial exploitation. In fact, this is one of the most quickly growing forms of abuse that the elderly face, and it often goes unreported.

In simple terms, financial exploitation occurs when someone (either within a nursing home or without) uses an elderly person’s money illegally or improperly. It can also involve using the person’s other assets or property. These acts are crimes, and there is no other way of putting it. The good news is there are steps that can help protect the elderly from these acts. Continue reading

Peter & Paul Catania: Tampa’s Top AV Rated Lawyer 2015 Recipients

Peter & Paul Catania: Tampa’s Top AV Rated Lawyer 2015 Recipients

Catania & Catania is proud to announce that Peter and Paul Catania have both received recognition as Tampa's Top AV Rated Lawyers for 2015.

Attorneys who receive this recognition are chosen because of their peer reviewed rating of AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. This is a considerably significant accomplishment as it signifies the regard others in the profession hold for each of the lawyers who were chosen.

At Catania and Catania, we strive for the highest level of professional excellence possible each and every day. We look forward to seeing both Peter and Paul Catania featured in the upcoming South Florida's Top Rated Lawyers edition next to so many other notable experts in the field!

The Long, Long Road to Social Security Disability

There are millions of Americans currently on Social Security Disability Benefits. Many of these individuals can tell stories of how long and difficult it was for them to finally get their benefits, and these were for legitimate claims. It is no secret that the process one must often go through can be confusing and challenging at times. This article takes a look at some of the more common issues you may face and how you can address those issues.

One of the more important issues to know about before doing anything is what constitutes a disability? Not every health problem will qualify. In simple terms, to be considered for benefits under SSI, you must have a qualifying impairment that is either medical, psychiatric, or psychological in nature. Continue reading

But I Barely Bumped Him: Rear-end Collisions and Back Injuries

Many people are surprised to learn that even a low-speed collision can result in pain and injury under certain circumstances. This can be especially true in certain types of rear-end collisions. For the purposes of this article, low-speed is any speed between 2 mph and 25 mph. Moderate is 25 to 40, and high speed would be anything over 40 mph.

It has been suggested by some experts that as much as 85 percent of neck injuries that are seen in medical facilities are caused by auto crashes, and that of that number the vast majority are from rear-end collisions. What surprised many people is that many of these injuries are caused in collisions where the speed was reported between 5 and 10 mph. In addition to speed, other factors are important as well. These include: Continue reading

What Should You Expect from Your Disability Attorney?

What Should You Expect from Your Disability Attorney?

The role of a disability attorney will cover a number of different jobs pertaining to a social security disability claim. Knowing what to expect from your lawyer will help you to ensure the best outcome for your claim and reassure you that you are getting the service that you are paying for.

Keeping You Up to Date

One thing your lawyer should do is to keep you up to date and communicate with you. In some cases, social security claims can take as many as two years to be completed and so it's crucial that you are kept up to date with the status of your application at all times.

Timely Appeals

Your lawyer should use a number of different systems in order to ensure that your appeals are handled in a timely manner and are up to date at all times. If an application or request for reconsideration/hearing etc. is late then this can potentially cost you the claim. Make sure that your attorney is organized and will stay on top of everything.

Legal Analysis and Consultation

As well as helping you through the actual process of making a claim, your lawyer should also be able to consult and advise you on the best type of claim to make as well as your likelihood of success. They should then subsequently be on hand at all times to answer you when you have any questions. In order to do this they should not only be intimately familiar with all the laws pertaining to your case but they should also be constantly up-to-date with the latest changes so that they can always give you the best advice.

Friendly Service

Finally, you should expect a friendly service from your attorney. It's always important that you feel you can trust the person you are working with and that you believe they are honest and genuinely want to help!

Smartest Ways to Protect Your Income

Smartest Ways to Protect Your Income

When everything is going well financially it can be easy to think that your problems are behind you and it's going to be nothing but plain sailing ahead. But you know what you say: it's always calm before a storm. In other words, if you get too optimistic about your financial position then this can actually end up being your downfall. That's why it's always crucial that you ensure you plan ahead and find ways to prevent the worst case scenarios.

Among other things, this means protecting your income. Here are some methods you might use to go about that.

Workers' Compensation

Workers' comp is a type of insurance that offers wage replacement and medical benefits for those who seek to sue their employers for negligence in the workplace. This isn't actually something that the employee seeks out themselves but rather is purchased by the employer. This ensures that they are able to pay any claim that you might make. However, fit your employer is declining that claim, you may want to seek out a workers' compensation attorney.

Insurance

You can also take out insurance in other ways. For instance, you might take out disability insurance which will help to protect your salary in case you have a debilitating injury that leaves you unable to continue working. Life insurance meanwhile pays out in the case of your death so that your family can continue living the quality of life to which they will have become accustomed in your absence.

Loan insurance will ensure that you can afford to carry on paying any loans even if you are forced to give up your job and this can help to prevent spiraling debt.

Savings

This is an obvious one but it's crucial to ensure that you are putting away savings for that rainy day. This might even mean just saving $5 a day which can actually add up to a very large sum of money over the course of a few years. In three years in fact you can save $5,475 this way! Of course it's actually advisable to save considerably more than that, with the recommendation usually being between 10-20%.

Important Health and Safety Advice for Officers That Often Gets Missed

Important Health and Safety Advice for Offices That Often Gets Missed

It's easy to overlook health and safety in an office environment seeing as most offices don't present much in the way of immediate danger – unlike something like a construction site for instance. But just because there is nothing that can collapse in an office and there is no scaffolding for people to fall off of, that doesn't mean that offices don't also need to consider health and safety just as much.

Traffic Lanes

Your traffic lanes are the pathways through your office that will be most often walked. These include the route from one door to another for instance.

In an office, it's important that you have a clear route from one door to the other and try to avoid such things as jutting out corners of desks that might otherwise cause injury should someone bump into them.

Likewise, you should think about where people are most likely to trip and fall and avoid glass and other dangerous materials in these spots. In particular, any low glass should be safety glass.

Mood

Health and safety doesn't just apply to all the ways that people can injure themselves – it also applies to the mental health of staff. To avoid having to pay out workers comp and to ensure you get the most from your team, it's crucial your work environment is one that people will be happy working in.

To this end you should make sure there is enough light getting into your office, that your chairs are comfortable, that deadlines aren't too strict and consider the use of plants which have been shown to reduce stress symptoms.

Training

Finally, make sure that your team are all given the best training and advice when it comes to avoiding injury and illness as well as dealing with crises when they do occur.

Should You Sue for Your Workplace Accident?

Should You Sue for Your Workplace Accident?

If you've had an accident at work, then you might be questioning whether or not to try and get compensation. This can often be a difficult question if you enjoy the place you work and if you're unsure precisely who is to blame for the accident and simply making this decision can often be quite a stressful process in itself – on top of the stress you'll already be experiencing due to the actual accident.

Here we will look at some things that can help you to make up your mind.

Do You Have a Case?

Perhaps the first thing to ask yourself when deciding whether or not to sue is whether or not you can. In order for you to get compensation, then the accident will need to be due to negligence on the part of your employer. If you simply tripped or fell then you won't have a case and attempting to take the matter to court is likely only to result in a waste of time and money for both you and the organization. Contact an attorney who deals with workers comp and see what they have to say.

Do You Need Compensation?

The idea of compensation is not to make you feel better after an accident but is instead designed to help you get back to the state you were in prior to your accident. In other words, compensation is meant to help you regain money or time you've lost. If you're at a disadvantage due to the accident then it is only right really that you should be entitled to workers comp.

Will You be Helping Others?

You might decide that it's not worth the hassle of going through the process of taking a matter to court for yourself. Consider then that doing so may actually help others as well by forcing change in the organization you used to work for.

When You Should Consider Hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney

When You Should Consider Hiring a Workers Compensation Attorney

Worker compensation is offered to workers who have sustained an injury while on the job. However, a worker needs to qualify in order to be eligible for the compensation. There are instances when you may not get your compensation, in this case you will need to hire a worker compensation attorney. But then again, you need to know the right time when such a professional is actually required.

After Qualifying for the Compensation

There are two conditions that need to be met for you to qualify for the compensation. Firstly, you have to be at work and secondly, the injury needs to be directly related to the work itself. Even though you have met the two prongs and are unable to get your claim approved, you can hire an attorney to represent you.

Failing to File a Claim in Time

If an employee has sustained cumulative injuries like a lumbar back injury or carpal tunnel syndrome, it can be even more difficult to prove the authenticity of your claim. This is primarily because x-rays and medical exams cannot actually prove that it is an occupational injury in the first place. Furthermore, if such an individual fails to file his/her claim in time, it may be denied. In this case a worker compensation attorney will ensure you get what’s due without having to wait any longer.

Due to an Incorrect Compensation Amount or Serious Injuries

Before you actually go about hiring an attorney, it would be wise to file your claim with your insurance carrier and the industrial commission. If you are denied on both instances, you can take your claim to court to have it resolved. During the process, you can hire an attorney at any given time or if the compensation amount is incorrect and if you are suffering from serious injuries.

Keeping the aforementioned factors in mind, you have to keep in mind that the compensation will cover your lost wages to a certain extent. It may even cover your medical expenses but if you are not receiving the compensation you require, you need to find the right attorney to have your situation sorted out as soon as possible and before it gets too late.