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Providence Personal Injury and Social Security Disability Law Blog

How to teach teens to be good drivers

Every parent eventually comes to the point in time when their child wants to learn to drive. While this can be quite scary and daunting, parents take on the responsibility of being a good teacher who instills proper values and skills in their children to ensure they are safe on Rhode Island roadways. It is the skills a child learns at the hands of a parent that stick with him or her for life and really shape the type of driver he or she becomes. 

Metlife suggests parents have multiple practices when teaching teens to drive. Repetition is key to learning the important skills. It is also important to teach teens to pay attention to the roadway and anticipate what could happen. Teaching teen drivers to look ahead of them and watch other vehicles on the road enables them to learn how to react when another driver does something that could be dangerous. This is a valuable lesson that will help teens become good drivers. 

What should you do when faced with a wrong-way driver?

Every driver with some experience understands how easy it is to lose focus while driving. Between the familiarity that comes from driving the same roads day after day to the multi-tasking that is so common while driving, it is easy to let our minds wander while behind the wheel. And as our minds begin to wander, we may not have the same ability to react to dangerous situations as quickly as necessary.

One dangerous situation that could present itself while you travel is finding yourself in the path of a wrong-way driver. This type of scenario is terrifying, and unfortunately, numerous accidents caused by wrong-way drivers result in serious injuries or fatalities. Even if the incident is a relatively low-speed crash, the risk of death remains high. Therefore, you may wonder what you could do to remain as safe as possible.

Did another driver's lack of focus cause you harm?

Pretty much the only thing you can control when you're driving on a Rhode Island road is your own driving behavior. No matter how cautious you are behind the wheel, a nearby driver who is negligent poses a significant safety risk.

Do you know how to recognize a distracted driver when you see one? Knowing what to be on the lookout for and what to do if you witness a suspected distracted driving situation may help get you to your destination alive and well.

What is the Social Security disability appeals process?

Getting Social Security disability payments is notorious for being difficult. The process can sometimes be quite long. The Social Security Administration has strict rules and guidelines for disability payments. However, if you are denied, you do have the right to appeal. The appeals process, much like the application process, can be lengthy.

To begin with, you file an appeal with the SSA within 60 days of receiving notice your application has been denied.  When you get your notice, the directions for how to appeal with be included. Upon this first appeal, your application goes through reconsideration where the SSA looks over the information again and makes a new determination. You may get denied again. 

The dangers of jet skis

Jet skis and other personal watercraft can be a lot of fun on Rhode Island waterways. Because they are on the water, many people do not realize just how dangerous they can be. Every year, there are severe injuries and deaths caused by jet skis. It is a serious hazard. According to Fox News, there is a push by those advocating safety on watercraft for people to be required to have a licensed to operate them and for minimum operator age restrictions. In addition, this group wants safety education to become more of a priority.

Treating jet skis and other similar watercraft like boats and motor vehicles could be the key to saving lives and preventing water disasters. However, in many states, there are no laws at all regarding the operation of jet skis. In some places, anyone over 16 can rent a jet ski and only have to sit through a quick safety lesson before hitting the water. On private property, there is even less restriction because most laws do not extend to private waterways.

What are the signs of a brain injury?

If you suffer any injury to your head, you should take it seriously. Brain injury is something that can be mild, but it also can be quite serious. It is difficult to assess the extent of the injury just by looking at a person because most of the damage is inside the skull. In addition, not all symptoms happen immediately after the injury. It could be days or even weeks before the symptoms of a brain injury become apparent, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Brain injuries can be mild to severe, which refers to the damage to the brain, not the severity of the injury. It can also happen to anyone, including children and infants. The symptoms in children can be different than those in an adult because they may not be able to verbalize what they are feeling. You should watch children for signs that include acting depressed or having low energy, a loss of appetite, crying for no obvious reason and a change in sleeping habits.

What causes a delay in symptoms after a car crash?

When you are involved in a car accident in Rhode Island, your first thoughts may not be about yourself. You may be worried about passengers or people in the other vehicle. You may be concerned about the damage done. Even right after the accident, you may still be focused on the financial aspects. As long as you feel fine right after the accident, you may dismiss any chance you could be injured and be quick to enter into an insurance settlement.

Insurance companies know this. They jump right on the chance to settle things quickly. One of the reasons is because you could experience delayed symptoms of an injury that could end up costing them more money.

Is it difficult to get social security disability benefits?

You may have heard how tough it is to get Social Security disability benefits in Rhode Island and wonder if this is really true. In order to combat fraud, the Social Security Administration does require a complex application process to ensure you are actually qualified for the benefits, so it can be tricky.

To increase your chances of being approved and to help make the process easier, the Huffington Post recommends reviewing all the information available from the SSA about disability benefits. You should check if your health condition qualifies you for the program. There is detailed information and many restrictions on what health conditions do and do not make you eligible. This is the first place to start because if your condition does not qualify, there is no need to continue on.

The most dangerous boating situations in 2016

While boating accidents in Rhode Island and across the country continue to happen year after year, the main causes and circumstances can change at any time. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security recently released the 2016 statistics for the most dangerous situations for boaters.

According to the report, collisions were the most dangerous type of incident. The two highest numbers of accidents occurred when boat drivers collided with other recreational vessels or fixed objects. While many boaters are afraid of capsizing, this type of accident was number five on the list, resulting in only 305 episodes across the country, as compared to over 1,000 crashes that occurred between two vehicles.

Why do children need to ride in car seats?

In Rhode Island and every other state in the country, there are laws requiring children to be properly restrained when riding in a vehicle. This has not always been the case. Car seats are actually a rather new invention. However, they are now mandatory based on a child's age and weight. You may wonder why this is and how car seats actually protect a child.

U.S. News and World Report notes the reason children need to ride in proper car seats is because they are so much smaller than adults. The seats in a vehicle are not designed to properly protect a child in an accident situation. Furthermore, seat belts are not designed for use by anyone under 4 feet 9 inches tall. A properly installed and fitted car seat can keep a child secured into the vehicle, preventing him or her from being thrown from the vehicle or within the vehicle upon impact.

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