You May Be Able to Expedite Your Social Security Disability Benefits Claim

by Keith | April 7th, 2015

If you’re unable to work due to a debilitating mental or physical condition, you likely know all too well how difficult it can be to get the Social Security Disability benefits you need. In fact, data shows as many as 60 percent of all initial benefit claims are denied and the appeals process can take months—in some cases, even years—to complete. That’s why our attorneys at Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers would like to let you know about several initiatives that could help you get the benefits you need in a timely manner.

Compassionate Allowances

Compassionate allowances are conditions the Social Security Administration (SSA) has deemed serious enough that they will meet the agency’s standards of disabilities without placing a heavy burden of proof on the applicant. The program expedites processing for any application that names one of the compassionate allowances conditions as the reason for the benefits claim. This can slash the wait time for a decision down to just several weeks.

Veterans Benefits

If you’ve served in our nation’s military, you may also qualify for expedited processing of your claim for Social Security Disability benefits. In order to be eligible, an individual needs to have served in a military branch and be deemed 100 percent permanently and totally disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Video Conferencing

If your claim is denied, you may need to begin the appeals process. Luckily, the SSA is hoping to expedite the processing of appeals cases by using video conferencing technology to hold trials in the future. This can make it easier and faster to get your case before a judge.

Getting Help

Pushing your Social Security Disability case through the hoops and obstacles of the filing process can be complex. That’s why our team of St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Cofman Townsley is here to help. We can help you determine the best and most efficient way to get you the benefits you deserve. Feel free to call us anytime to discuss your case by dialing (888) 223-6225.

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Court of Appeals Overturns Missouri Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit

by Keith | March 24th, 2015

Asbestos is a mineral that is used in the manufacturing of numerous products in the United States, including insulation and other construction materials. Unfortunately, exposure to this fibrous material can lead to the development of deadly cancers, including Mesothelioma.

Property owners and employers have a responsibility to protect the public from exposure to asbestos on their property and any failure to do so can result in the victims taking legal action.

One such case was recently heard by the Missouri Court of Appeals, which could lead to victims receiving millions of dollars in damages. According to a post on Pitch, the court reversed a prior decision by saying the case should be handled as a class action lawsuit.

Court documents show the lawsuit was filed in 2010 on behalf of thousands of employees who worked at the Jackson County Courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. They claim that in 1983, a contractor was hired to renovate the building’s ventilation systems; however, the company failed to shut the system down before doing demolition in a part of the building containing asbestos-laced materials.

This released the asbestos into the air, which was then circulated throughout the building. The plaintiffs say the result was a significant coat of asbestos-containing dust throughout the building. The asbestos remains in the building today.

Experts say anyone who has been in the building more than 80 hours per year is in danger of asbestos exposure and potentially mesothelioma.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, we have seen the damage asbestos exposure can cause and our St. Louis personal injury lawyers are hopeful a decision being reached in this particular case can bring peace to the victims.

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Most Common Missouri Crush Injuries and Complications

by Keith | March 17th, 2015

When accidents happen, those involved may suffer serious injuries. One of the most serious types of injuries that can occur though are those that involve the victim being crushed.

Crush injuries can occur in a variety of ways. Whether it’s in a car accident or occurs during a work-related incident, the results can be deadly. A few of the most common Missouri crush injuries that are reported are:

  • Broken Bones- The force that is exerted when an accident victim is crushed is often enough to shatter bones. Broken bones can lead to other complications such as punctured or perforated organs.
  • Amputations- If the force of a crushing incident is strong enough, the victim’s limbs could be severed from their body.
  • Compartment Syndrome- If the blood supply to muscles is cut off due to crush injuries, the tissue can die as the result of this condition. If this occurs, further complications could arise.
  • Rhabdomyolysis- Often a complication associated with Compartment Syndrome, Rhabdomyolysis can occur when muscle tissue deteriorates quickly and releases large amounts of toxins into the body. An article released in the Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal explains the condition can often result in renal failure.

If you’ve suffered Missouri crush injuries, it’s important to know that help is available to you. The St. Louis personal injury attorneys with Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers have the knowledge and experience that is necessary to answer any questions you may have regarding your injury and your legal rights. Call us anytime at (888) 223-6225 to discuss your case.

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Free Smoke Detectors Offered to Homeowners in Missouri

by Keith | February 17th, 2015

There are an enormous amount of substances and chemical reactions that can cause a fire and burn injury, but during winter months, one of the most commonly reported factors in such injuries are fires in the home.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a full-fledged house fire though. It could be a fire caused by an electric or kerosene heater, a cooking fire, or even an electrical fire. Regardless of the cause, one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from the risks of a fire and burn injury is to install smoke detectors in your home.

Luckily, families are currently able to receive free smoke detectors for their homes through the Red Cross of Eastern Missouri. All you have to do to get the free detectors is call the Red Cross at (314) 516-2797 and leave a message. A member of the Red Cross’s staff will then call you back to set up getting the smoke detectors to you.

An article from KMOV 4 News says the initiative was launched in the wake of a deadly house fire that claimed two lives. Officials say the home was not equipped with smoke detectors.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, we recognize the significant dangers fires in the home can present. That’s why our St. Louis personal injury lawyers would like to send our condolences to the families to the two people who recently lost their lives, and we would like to encourage you to call about getting the free smoke detectors if you don’t already have the devices in your home.

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Lack of Safety Equipment Could Lead to Shut Down of Missouri Train Systems

by Keith | February 10th, 2015

Trains are an essential part of hundreds of thousands of people’s daily commute. In fact, two main railways in Missouri transported more than 200,000 passengers in 2013 alone. Safety concerns that have arisen in the wake of a number of deadly train accidents could force some of Missouri’s railways to shut down sooner than later though.

Train accident avoidance systems—like Positive Train Control— were mandated by Congress to be installed on all passenger train routes in 2008; however the two main lines that transport citizens of St. Louis and Kansas City have yet to be equipped with the technology. The price tag to have the system installed? $32 million.

According to an article from McClatchy DC, the cost has prompted a debate as to who should foot the bill for installing the equipment. The companies that own the railways say they aren’t responsible for installing the equipment and the companies who operate their trains on the tracks say it isn’t their duty either.

Legislators are considering extending the deadline for the equipment so more time can be put into answering the questions regarding costs and to avoid a shutdown of the rail system.

Getting from one place to another safely is the most important thing to keep in mind. That’s why the St. Louis personal injury lawyers at Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers are hopeful a resolution to this dispute can be found.

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Fatigue to Blame for Missouri Train Accident

by Keith | February 3rd, 2015

While most Americans are aware of the dangers drowsy driving can pose on the road, many are unaware that sleep deprivation can pose the same risks across any form of transportation.

Take the Missouri train accident that occurred in May 2013 in the town of Rockview, Missouri. Officials have stated they believe the two trains collided because of operator fatigue.

KSDK 5 News reports the National Transportation Safety Board were on hand to investigate after a 60-car train collided head-on with a 75-car train along a set of tracks just outside of town. They concluded the conductor and engineer of one of the trains involved failed to take evasive action to avoid the crash due to fatigue stemming from erratic work hours.

The crash resulted in five bystanders being injured, as well as a conductor and engineer of one of the trains involved.

If you’ve been injured as the result of a Missouri train accident, the most important thing to realize is that help is available. A Missouri personal injury lawyer will be able to clarify your legal rights and answer any questions you may have in the wake of an accident. They will also be able to advocate on your behalf in court if a fair settlement can’t be reached to compensate you for your losses.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, we suggest reaching out and speaking with a legal representative today if you’ve been injured in a train accident.

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Settlement Reached in Missouri Class Action Lawsuit

by Keith | January 27th, 2015

When multiple people in our state are harmed as the result of similar actions by a business or the government, the victims may have a right to file a Missouri class action lawsuit. A group of citizens has taken such action after being cited and fined for traffic violations that were allegedly captured on film by 27 red light cameras operated by American Traffic Solutions from 2005 to November 2014.

Reports indicate hundreds of Missouri citizens were ticketed after being caught committing traffic violations by the red light cameras; however, many argued using the cameras was against the law. They stated there was no way to tell that the vehicle in question was actually being driven by the individual it was registered to at the time of the infraction. Furthermore, they argue the tickets are invalid because they are not considered moving violations.

The case was brought to a close after a settlement allowed for anyone who was ticketed by the camera to apply for a 20 percent refund of the amount they were fined for their violation. An article from KMOV 4 News provides details on how you can apply for a refund if you were ticketed by red light cameras in Missouri.

We at Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers understand the financial strains a traffic ticket can cause and our St. Louis personal injury lawyers are hopeful the settlement will bring closure to everyone who was fined for traffic violations using the red light cameras.

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Crush Injuries Resulting From Crane Accident Claim One Worker’s Life

by Keith | January 13th, 2015

There are countless hazards that workers can face on the job site, but one of the most common risks seen at work today is coming into contact with objects or equipment. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates these accidents accounted for 16 percent of all workplace fatalities that occurred in 2013.

Recently, a worker was killed as the result of crush injuries that occurred after he came into contact with a crane at a construction site where he was working. Reports indicate the incident occurred at approximately 11 a.m. on the morning of Monday, January 12, at a site located on Lakeview Corporate Drive in Edwardsville, Missouri.

According to an article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the 31-year-old victim was working on the crane when the boom collapsed and crushed him. The victim died at the scene.

Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have arrived at the scene and are currently investigating to determine the cause of the accident. A full report on the accident and its contributing factors will be issued at a later date.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, we are aware of just how devastating an injury or the loss of a loved one to a work-related accident can be. That’s why our team of St. Louis personal injury lawyers would like to send our deepest condolences to the family of the worker who was recently killed.

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How to Avoid a Burn Injury Caused By Hot Liquids This Holiday Season

by Keith | December 29th, 2014

The holidays are synonymous with warm cocoa and coffee in many households across the United States. While a hot drink can be soothing during the holidays, it’s important to remember these liquids can scald you, causing a serious burn injury.

These risks only increase if you’re using a coffee or cocoa maker that may be faulty, including some models of the Keurig MINI Plus Brewing System. Reports indicate the company recently recalled 6.6 million units of the product after discovering it may put users at risk of exposure to liquids with extremely high temperatures.

KSDK 5 News reports the unit is capable of overheating water that’s placed into it, which can result in scalding liquids being sprayed out onto consumers. Keurig has received an estimated 200 complaints of hot water being sprayed from the defective product and another 90 reports of users suffering burn injuries.

If you’re in possession of an affected unit, there’s a free repair option available; however, the St. Louis personal injury attorneys with Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers point out there are several other actions you can take to protect yourself from burn injuries caused by hot liquids this holiday season. They include:

  • Don’t Drink On-The-Go: Stay seated and still while drinking hot liquids.
  • Test Lid Security: If you are using a cup with a lid, make sure it is securely fastened to the cup before attempting to drink.
  • Let It Cool Down: Don’t try to drink coffee or hot chocolate after it’s first made. Instead, let it sit and cool for a few minutes.
  • Get Help: If you are burned by a hot liquid this holiday season, get the medical and legal assistance you need.

We hope these tips help you and your family have a happy and safe holiday season!

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Mesothelioma Is a Hazard of This Unlikely Occupation

by Keith | November 11th, 2014

Every job has hazards, but sometimes the greatest dangers are found in occupations where they are least expected.

Take, for instance, new evidence that shows winemakers may be at risk of exposure to asbestos, which can lead to the development of a deadly cancer known as Mesothelioma. Reports indicate some filters used in the winemaking process can contain asbestos.

According to an article from Surviving Mesothelioma, the discovery was made after a man who worked at an Italian winery for several decades was found to have developed Mesothelioma. An investigation uncovered the asbestos-containing filter and officials were able to determine the worker was exposed to the deadly material either during filter changes or through particles that made their way into the wine.

While this is the first documented case of the disease being associated with winemakers, eight other similar cases have arisen since 1993.

These reports truly underscore just how common asbestos is in the products we are exposed to on a daily basis. They are also a reminder to be vigilant of our health and surroundings while at work.

At Cofman Townsley Injury Lawyers, we understand the devastating effect Mesothelioma can have on a person and that’s why our St. Louis personal injury lawyers are here to help. If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma and have questions regarding your legal rights, feel free to call us for answers and a free consultation of your case by dialing (888) 223-6225.

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