Christina Rivenbark & Associates ATTORNEYS AT LAW

Wilmington North Carolina Law Blog

Your online presence can make or break a disability claim

Do you have a serious medical condition such as an inherited degenerative condition or an aggressive cancer you developed because of your job? You probably anticipate that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will help provide benefits for you and your family when you are unable to work.

Most people assume that simply having a particular medical diagnosis is all that they have to worry about if they want to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. However, any application for benefits will receive significant scrutiny from the SSA, especially if the application relates to a serious condition.

How can I avoid risky driving behaviors?

North Carolina drivers must take every precaution when on the road. Unfortunately, some motorists fail to keep the safety of others in mind, which can lead to devastating car accidents. Along with doing your part to drive safely, it also helps to understand which behaviors hold the most risk. Nationwide explains some of the most dangerous driving behaviors and how they can be avoided. 

Distracted driving involves more than just texting and driving. It also encompasses many other behaviors, such as eating behind the wheel, talking to passengers, or even changing the radio station. Texting while driving is highlighted because it's particularly dangerous. When you're composing texts or emails while driving, your mind is not on the task in front of you. You'll also need to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road. As a result, it's considered especially risky. 

Petitioning for grandparent visitation rights

Divorce in North Carolina affects more than the couple cutting marital ties and their children; it affects the entire family, including grandparents. At Christina Rivenbark & Associates, we take the time to learn about client needs and the familial situation to help ensure the best possible outcome.

According to LiveAbout, the state statutes regarding rights for grandparents make winning visitation a challenge. The North Carolina Supreme Court provides the definition of "intact family", and it is broader than in other states. An intact family consists of the children and their custodial parent. The grandparents on the non-custodial parent side have no legal rights or recourse for visitation unless it is part of the original custody decision.

How can I improve my co-parenting relationship?

Divorced parents must work together on behalf of their kids. This is often easier said than done. When resentment from your marriage is still fresh is can be hard to make decisions about your kids, whether they relate to education, health care, or other important topics. Parents Magazine recommends the following tips to improve your co-parenting relationship and keep peace in your family. 

Know how to deal with loneliness

Are you ready for the consequences of barbecue season?

Summer often brings an increase in social gatherings. Whether you are hosting a backyard grill out or inviting your friends and family to your beach home, alcohol might be a part of the experience.

Serving drinks at parties is nothing new. However, as alcohol can affect your friends' decision-making process, consider the potential consequences they could face if they get behind the wheel after enjoying a few drinks.

Just how distracting is eating while driving?

Oftentimes the circumstances of a car accident in Wilmington will leave you questioning how it could have ever happened. When blatant recklessness appears to have been a play in an accident, you might question whether impairment or distractions were involved. Alcohol and cell phone use are typically the culprits first looked in such situations, yet there is another potential form of driving distraction that is often even more prevalent yet not nearly as appreciated: eating while driving. 

Most view eating as being such a natural activity that few would even classify it as being distracting. However, a joint public awareness effort between The Auto Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons produced results that showed that the most common types of driving distractions are indeed present when people eat behind the wheel. These include: 

  • Visual distractions: One must take their eyes of the road (even if only for a moment) to look at what they are eating
  • Cognitive distractions: One must dedicate at least a partial amount of their attention when eating something while driving 
  • Manual distractions: Food must be grasped while it is being eaten, requiring drivers to take at least one hand off the wheel

Four indications that your child's car seat needs updating

There are many expectations put upon parents from family and friends. They have to know everything and anything that has to do with their child and the best practices to keep their kid safe.

However, many parents have no idea of the best time to change car seats for their first child. Luckily, there are easy-to-spot signs for updating a child's car seat.

Your mental health matters: Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, shortened to SSDI, are an important factor for many people who are hurt on the job. Injuries aren't just physical, so people should be aware that mental health disabilities can also qualify them for benefits.

While SSDI benefits often are for people who have physical disabilities, mental disabilities can be just as damaging. Mental health conditions such as depression or severe anxiety can make work impossible. 

Commit to distraction-free driving in April

Currently, most North Carolina drivers do not have restrictions regarding talking on a cellphone while behind the wheel. However, a texting while driving ban took effect in 2009. The team at Christina Rivenbark & Associates work with clients for a fine reduction and dismissal of distracted driving charges.

Esurance reports that distracted driving is more than talking on the phone while driving. It occurs whenever a driver’s focus is not on the road. It comes in three forms:

  • Manual distractions occur when a driver removes one or both hands from the wheel. This could be as a result of eating or drinking, changing the music selection or modifying the navigation system.
  • Visual distractions happen when you look away from the road. It may be to check the passengers in the back, or due to looking at an electronic device, such as an onboard entertainment system, tablet or cell phone.
  • Cognitive distractions are those that occur when your mind is not on the road. Talking with other passengers or stress over non-driving related issues qualify as mental distractions.

Starting a job, inexperience and workplace injuries

In the workplace, things can go wrong for many reasons. Even when all safety measures are taken, unexpected challenges arise, and they can leave workers with debilitating injuries (or even claim lives, in some cases). There are other accidents which are preventable as well as risk factors that should be taken into consideration, such as someone who has recently started a new job or someone who does not have very much experience in a particular line of work. Unfortunately, these workers may be especially likely to become hurt on the job or cause an accident that leaves other workers injured.

There are various reasons why inexperience can be dangerous in the workplace. Someone may not be very familiar with certain situations, such as working on a ladder or atop a roof. Or, a worker may have unfamiliarity with equipment they are using and various other hazards that are present. Sometimes, starting a new job can be overwhelming, and it may lead to stress, difficulty sleeping at night and other issues which can affect someone’s job performance and ability to stay safe at work.

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4009 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403

Phone: 910-338-9813
Fax: 910-395-8391
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