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Obtaining workers' compensation benefits in Maryland

Maryland, like most states, has a workers' compensation statute that provides financial benefits for costs associated with work-related illnesses or injuries. Obtaining benefits from the system can unfortunately seem unnecessarily difficult and complex.

The first element in obtaining workers' compensation benefits is proving that the claimant suffered an illness or injury that is caused by the claimant's employment. An injury could be the result of any one of numerous causes so long as it is related to the claimant's employment. A work-related illness can be any illness that is caused by a condition on the worksite or other place related to the claimant's employment.

Multi-vehicle accident on Route 40 claims three victims

Traffic accidents happen swiftly. In a matter of seconds, a fairly routine collision can expand, involving several vehicles. More importantly, the number of victims, either fatalities or injured persons, can quickly grow.

A recent collision southeast of Hagerstown showed how quickly the damage and personal injuries can expand.

Understanding a Maryland advance directive

As modern medical science develops new techniques to prolong life, many Maryland residents worry about suffering a crippling illness or injury that would rob them of meaningful qualify of life but leave them in a permanent vegetative state. The Maryland Legislature has addressed these concerns by enacting the Maryland Health Care Decisions Act.

The act, which has become an important estate planning tool, allows Maryland residents to make certain choices about their medical care and to appoint persons to look after their financial interests if they should lose the capacity to do so. The basic tool for accomplishing these ends is the "advance directive," a document that provides specific directions to health care providers, family members and legal authorities about a person's preferences for certain types of medical care and post-death matters such as funeral arrangements. An advance directive must be signed by the person making it and be witnessed by two persons who will not benefit by the maker's death.

Distractions increase the risk of collisions: Avoid them!

When you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are essentially driving a weapon. If you do not pay attention to the road, the rules of the road, the weather conditions or other aspects of driving, then you could be involved in a serious, potentially fatal, traffic accident.

Multitasking and driving do not mix. Even for those who have experience, the reality is that trying to do more than one thing at the same time makes it more likely that you're going to be involved in an accident.

At least eight persons injured when truck hits MTA bus

Most people in Maryland who ride municipal buses assume that their ride will always afford extra protection from injury in a traffic accident.

Such an assumption may generally be correct, but several individuals riding an MTA bus in suburban Baltimore may have differing opinions after a recent accident.

Vehicle collision kills 1 worker, injures another

Automobile accidents often trigger workers' compensation claims in Maryland, but at least one of the claimants is usually in one of the vehicles involved in the collision. A recent collision involving a pickup truck and an SUV killed one worker and injured another, and neither of the workers was in either of the vehicles.

According to Hagerstown Police, two construction workers were working in the parking lot adjacent to the police department. An SUV was traveling north on Burhans Blvd. when it was struck by a pickup truck heading westbound on West Washington Street. The crash threw the SUV into the police department parking lot, where it struck both workers. The SUV also struck a vehicle in the parking lot that had another worker inside. When police arrived on the scene, they found one of the workers had been killed when the SUV was thrown into the parking lot. The other worker suffered non-life threatening injuries. Police believe that one of the involved vehicles may have run a red light.

Motorcyclist dies in box truck collision

In Maryland, motorcyclists face innumerable dangers when sharing the road with passenger vehicles and trucks. Although riders are willing to face that risk and there can be serious injuries and death when there is a collision, that does not eliminate the importance of drivers keeping a close eye on motorcycles, sharing the road, yielding and making sure everyone remains as safe as possible. When there is a motorcycle accident, riders can suffer personal injury and death. When these unfortunate incidents occur, it is wise for the injured person or the family left behind to think about a legal filing for compensation.

A 23-year-old motorcyclist died when a box truck went into the rider's path and there was an accident. According to the law enforcement investigation, the box truck was driven by a 21-year-old woman. She had pulled the vehicle from a parking lot at around 8:30 p.m. The motorcycle crashed into the box truck as it headed north. The rider was declared dead at the site of the crash. The driver was arrested for driving under the influence. She also failed to yield when the rider had the right of way. She faces multiple charges.

Prepare yourself for dangerous fall and winter road conditions

Maryland is blessed with four distinct seasons. Many people enjoy the pristine white beauty of freshly fallen snow or the colorful display of trees whose leaves are getting ready to fall in autumn. However, with the glorious landscapes that fall and winter weather provides comes increased risk to people on the road.

Although you have probably been navigating slippery road conditions for your entire adult life, it can sometimes take a little while to adjust to the driving requirements of new seasons. Considering that Maryland drivers are among the worst in the nation, every little bit of caution could reduce your risk of a collision.

Designating beneficiaries and estate planning commonly linked

Maryland residents will undoubtedly understand that it can be a wise decision to craft an estate plan that addresses their needs. Whether that means a will, a trust, a power of attorney or other devices that can be used when estate planning, the document can provide security and peace of mind. Still, there are concerns that should be considered. One is understanding the importance of naming beneficiaries -- also referred to as beneficiary designations -- for retirement accounts, life insurance, bank accounts and more.

People might make mistakes when they are unaware of the common links between an estate plan and a beneficiary designation. Therefore, it is wise to be prepared. First, cash gifts are a common part of an estate plan. If that is the case, the testator should ensure that there is a sufficient amount for it to be paid as desired.

Common workplace injuries lead to workers' compensation claims

In Maryland and across the nation, workplace safety is a common topic of discussion. In certain jobs, workers are notoriously vulnerable to injuries, medical costs, lost time on the job, permanent disability and even death. Still, it is wise to remember that work injuries can happen in any kind of job. Researchers, state and federal government agencies, and lawmakers are responsible for taking steps to ensure these workers are protected. Workers' compensation benefits are critical to help these workers with their treatment and covering lost wages. One important part of workplace safety is understanding the most common reasons for injuries and safety violations that are part of the problem.

Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its top 10 safety violations so far for 2019. This is only the preliminary list as the year is not over. The OSHA is handles oversight into workplace safety and cites businesses for violations. For the ninth year in a row, fall protection was the most common reason for citations. A new cause for concern from 2018 -- eye and face protection -- was again in the top 10 for the second consecutive year.

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