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Monroeville Legal Blog

Study: Seniors especially vulnerable to in-dash distractions

Carmakers are constantly trying to outdo each other, offering new and improved technologies that make driving easier, safer and even more entertaining. For instance, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster offers a “head-up display that projects driving information in the driver’s line of sight.” The Tesla Model 3 offers the company’s “Enhanced Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system,” while the Mercedes A-Class includes a pair of 7-inch screens in its dash – one that includes the vehicle’s instrument read-outs, while the other acts as an infotainment center. There’s good news for those who want even more screen real estate in their dash, however: the screens can be upgraded to 10.25-inch displays.

While the merging of entertainment and information provides sellers with dazzling tech enhancements to prospective buyers, safety advocates worry that an abundance of eye-catching in-dash graphics and read-outs distract drivers from performing their most important duty: driving. A new AAA study shows that seniors in particular struggle with the technology built into the dash in new vehicles – putting themselves and other motorists at risk of being in a distracted driving crash.

By the numbers: Motor vehicle crashes versus war

Because we know that many of our regular Monroeville legal blog readers have military backgrounds, we are certain that know and understand military and U.S. history better than most. Even they might be surprised by a statistic we read of recently: since the turn of the century, more Americans have died in car wrecks than died in both World War I and World War II.

Since January of 2000, more than 624,000 people have been killed in motor vehicle crashes on U.S. streets, roads and highways, easily surpassing the 535,000 American service members who died in the World Wars.

Steps to take immediately after being in a car crash

Whether it’s a fender bender or a potentially life-altering event, car crashes can be a traumatic experience. The aftermath of a crash can be a confusing as well as a vulnerable time, potentially leading to unnecessary legal harm.

 2 important first steps

Being proactive about restraints and seclusion at school

Education is always an emotional matter for parents and children alike, but few questions cause more controversy than the use of restraint and seclusion in Alabama schools. These practices have a history of being used disproportionately with children having disabilities, which certainly increases the concern.

Below are some common-sense suggestions and practical advice from experienced advocates. Being better informed and prepared can often help in being and feeling more empowered when you need it most.

Separating fact from fiction with SSDI

The chances of someone being unable to work due to an illness or severe injuries are disturbingly high. Social Security Administration statistics reveal that a 20-year-old worker has a 30% chance of having a disability before retirement age.

Once a catastrophic event occurs, the person not only has to deal with the physical issues related to the illness or injury, but they will likely face serious financial concerns.

Young workers face a higher risk of on-the-job injuries

Most people know that different jobs involve different amounts of risk. For example, construction workers often face a higher risk of sustaining a severe work injury than office workers. 

However, the same also applies to different age groups. And it might be surprising to some that young workers actually face a higher risk of suffering an injury on the job than any other age group. 

What benefits are available for injured workers?

Workplace injuries are a major issue with more than 30,000 Alabama employees suffering workplace injuries each year. National Safety Council statistics show, on average, 2.5 out of every 100 full-time employees sustain injuries. Across the country, a worker is injured every seven seconds, amounting to 4.6 million workplace injuries each year.

Depending upon how and where the injury took place, Alabama workers may qualify for benefits to replace lost income and medical costs.

Typical workers’ comp mistakes that can cost injured employees

People injured on the job sometimes need to act to get the compensation they deserve, including coverage for medical costs and lost earnings while they recover. It’s a mistake for an injured worker to believe they are automatically covered just because their employer provides access to workers’ compensation insurance.

Alabama law requires employers with five or more full-time or part-time employees to have workers’ comp coverage. Injured workers have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. However, not reporting an injury to a manager or an employer within five days can cause workers to lose certain rights and benefits.

What is a 504 plan?

Each child learns differently. Great teachers understand this and find avenues to connect with their students to get results. Nevertheless, children with learning disabilities will need special education or individualized instruction through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or a 504 Plan.

An IEP was developed to ensure that elementary- and secondary-aged children with an identified disability receive specialized instruction and services. A 504 Plan, on the other hand, is for children in primary or secondary education to receive accommodations to help ensure their academic success. It does not provide individualized instruction and is not a type of special education. Nevertheless, the goal is to give children with learning disabilities access to the same education as their classmates.

A closer look at IDEA

Families who have children with disabilities might have high anxiety regarding their child's education. They might naturally worry about their child's experience in school. But they might also worry about whether their child's education will meet their child's specific needs or not. 

Several laws aim to protect a child's rights to education. One of those laws that specifically protects children with disabilities is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

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