Practice Areas

Social Security and Personal Injury Attorney Advising Accident Victims

At the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith, we understand that living with a serious injury or medical condition can be a life-changing experience, not only emotionally but also economically. Deciding whether to pursue compensation and benefits is an important decision that we can guide you through. For over 27 years, we have dedicated our practice to assisting individuals with their Social Security Disability and personal injury claims, including those arising from motor vehicle and workplace accidents. Knowledgeable Social Security and personal injury lawyer Russell J. Goldsmith has advised and assisted 1000’s of throughout New England with seeking and obtaining the financial assistance they need.

Assistance for Applicants Seeking Government Benefits

People who are struggling with a serious medical condition would be well advised to consult a lawyer when looking into obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. An experienced Social Security lawyer can make all of the difference in whether one obtains a favorable decision at the initial level. Assuming an application is ultimately denied, a knowledgeable disability professional will play a valuable role as part of their handling of the appeal. Under the Social Security Act, individuals covered by Social Security who can no longer work due to a serious, long-term medical condition are entitled to SSDI benefits. These consist of monthly payments to the claimant, and in some cases the claimant’s family and spouse, in an amount based on the claimant’s prior salary and work history.

The Social Security Administration uses specific criteria in deciding whether an individual and their medical condition meets the legal definition of “disabled” under Social Security’s rules. In order to be considered disabled, a person must show that they have been unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that has lasted or can be expected to last for at least one year (or that their condition is expected to result in death).

When applicants are denied SSDI benefits, there are four different levels of appeal. First, reconsideration is a complete review of your initial claim, as well as any additional materials that are submitted in support of your appeal. Following the reconsideration decision, you may request a hearing conducted by an administrative law judge. At the administrative hearing, you may present witnesses and other experts. If you disagree with the outcome of the hearing, you may request review by the Social Security’s Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council decides not to review your case, or you disagree with its decision, you may file suit in a federal district court. Claimants have the option to retain legal representation throughout the application and appeals processes.

Guidance for Accident Victims Pursuing Damages

If your injury or medical condition was caused by another individual or business, you may be able to hold them accountable for their careless actions. This type of lawsuit is typically filed as a negligence action, in which the plaintiff must prove the basic elements of duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty refers to the standard of care that one party owes to another, and it can vary based on the relationship of the parties and the circumstances surrounding the injury. Generally, however, all of us have a basic responsibility to avoid acting in a manner that would cause a foreseeable risk of harm to others. That duty is breached when the defendant’s actions are considered below the acceptable standard of care, considering the specific situation. The plaintiff must also prove that he or she would not have been hurt if not for the defendant’s careless actions. The accident must have been a foreseeable cause of the breach, although the specific extent of the injuries need not be.

Finally, in order to recover compensation for a personal injury claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate his or her damages, which are quantifiable costs and losses that have arisen from the defendant’s negligence. Depending on the facts of your case, compensation may consist of both economic or relatively objective damages, such as medical bills, lost wages, and lost future earning capacity, as well as non-economic or relatively subjective damages, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. To assert the right to damages, however, it will be necessary to file your claim within the appropriate statute of limitations. Compliance with this time period usually determines whether a case is heard.

Seek Legal Representation for an SSDI or Negligence Claim

After suffering an accident or discovering a serious medical condition, you are likely to face many uncertainties, but understanding your legal options need not be one of them. Seeking legal advice from a knowledgeable SSDI or injury attorney can help claimants make informed decisions. To receive an honest and thorough evaluation of your case, schedule a free consultation with the Law Offices of Russell J. Goldsmith by phone at (800) 773-8622 or online.

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