13
Nov

What the Indiana Second Injury Fund Can Do for You

November 13, 2014

The goal of most programs for the disabled in the United States is to offer the assistance that’s necessary to get individuals back into the workforce. What happens when a disabled worker returns to a job and is injured again though? Who should be liable for those expenses? In Indiana, the Second Injury Fund is used to address these questions.

According to the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Institute, the fund is used to alleviate some of the expenses employers who hire partially disabled workers will face if an accident occurs that causes one of these individuals to suffer a second—and permanently disabling—accident. This encourages employers to hire partially disabled workers by only leaving them liable for Indiana workers’ compensation benefits that could be associated with injuries sustained in a secondary accident.

A recent report shows the fund is in good standing, with a balance last month of approximately $1.9 million. Monthly expenses are expected to range between $96,000 and almost $430,000.

Applying to receive funds from the program can be complicated. That’s why the Indiana personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys suggest discussing your legal rights with a professional in the field of law prior to submitting your paperwork for benefits. Doing so can help ensure all of your documentation is together and the questions you have are answered prior to filing.

To discuss your case with a member of our legal team, call us at (800) 33-33-LAW.

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5
Nov

Charity of the Month: Wheeler Mission Ministries

November 05, 2014

Indianapolis can be a fantastic place to work and live. But like many metropolitan areas, homelessness is a problem the city faces. Estimates show there are currently almost 6,000 individuals living in the city without roofs over their heads.

Luckily, organizations are working to eradicate homelessness from Indianapolis, including Wheeler Mission Ministries. The organization was founded in 1893 under the name of Door of Hope. Since that time, the group has undergone many changes that have led to the ability to serve more needy individuals.

Since Wheeler Mission Ministries is a non-profit organization, they depend on donations from the public to continue helping the homeless in our area. That’s why the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys are doing our part to help this wonderful organization by naming them as our Charity of the Month.

Throughout November, for every new “Like” we receive on our Facebook page, we will donate $1 to Wheeler Mission Ministries. If you’d like to get involved in another way, the organization is always looking for volunteers to help with their events and campaigns. To sign up, simply visit their website.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we recognize the importance of giving back to the communities we serve and hope you’ll help Wheeler Mission Ministries continue their mission of helping others.

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29
Oct

How to Avoid Fire and Burn Injuries This Halloween

October 29, 2014

Setting up decorations around your home for Halloween can be a great way to get into the spirit of the holiday, but they can also present a serious risk of fire and burn injuries.

Data from the National Fire Protection Association shows that decorations are the first thing to ignite in roughly 920 home fires per year. Those accidents result in approximately six fatalities and 47 injuries annually. Furthermore, more than half of those fires are started because decorations are too close to heat sources. Roughly 40 percent of fires are started by decorations with candles, such as jack-o-lanterns.

So what can you do to keep your loved ones and home safe from fires this Halloween? The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys say there are several steps you can take, including:

  • Checking Costumes For Safety- Costumes shouldn’t touch the ground, where they can drag and come into contact with flames or heat sources. Masks and makeup should also be examined to ensure they don’t obstruct vision.
  • Keeping Decorations Away From Heat Sources and Flammable Objects- Items such as cornstalks or crepe paper are highly flammable and should be kept at least 10 feet from flames and heat sources. Jack-o-lanterns and candles should be placed in locations that are at least 10 feet from flammable objects.
  • Using Safe Lighting- Children should carry a glow stick or flashlight when trick-or-treating, rather than candles. Glow sticks are also a safe and spooky alternative to jack-o-lantern candles.
  • Keeping Exits Clear- In the event of a fire, being able to escape will be crucial. Keep exits clear and have an escape plan ready.

We hope these tips help you to have a safe and fun Halloween!

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22
Oct

Social Security Administration Announces 2015 Social Security COLA

October 22, 2014

For the more than 64 million Americans who depend on Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income as their primary financial resource, making ends meet can be a struggle. That’s why word of an increase in benefit payments is good news to most disabled citizens.

Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)

Each year, the federal government and Social Security Administration take into consideration the rise and fall in prices of certain everyday household goods and services. A cost of living adjustment—or COLA—is made to the amount each Social Security recipient gets in payments each month based on the rise or fall in costs.

How COLAs Are Determined

The amount of the annual COLA is decided by an equation called the Consumer Price Index. The fluctuations in prices of the goods and services being examined as part of the COLA are plugged into the equation, which is then used to determine a percentage the rate of compensation should rise or fall.

What Is the 2015 Social Security COLA?

According to a press release from the Social Security Administration, recipients should expect to see a 1.7 percent increase in payments beginning next year. This means each recipient should see an increase of around $20 per month in benefits.

COLA Benefits SSD Recipients

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, our team of Indiana personal injury lawyers recognize the financial hardships many disabled Americans face on a daily basis. That’s why the firm is hopeful the increase in benefit payments will help provide families with some much needed relief.

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15
Oct

New Report Examines the Number of Medical Errors in Indiana

October 15, 2014

Medical professionals in Indiana are legally and ethically required to protect the health and safety of their patients. But every year, mistakes are made at medical facilities across the state that often lead to Indiana medical malpractice claims.

Indiana Medical Errors By The Numbers

Records from the Indiana State Department of Health show that last year alone, there were a total of 111 mistakes that were made in the medical care of patients in Indiana. This was an all-time high for the number of medical errors being reported from 293 medical facilities.

These numbers leave many wondering what some of the most regularly reported mistakes are.

Most Common Indiana Medical Errors

According to an article from the Indianapolis Star, bedsores were the most commonly reported ailment, with 45 reports being received in 2013. On 27 occasions, surgeons were responsible for leaving “foreign objects”—such as sponges, clamps, and other tools—in the bodies of patients following medical procedures. Surgeons also conducted procedures on the wrong body part of 13 patients, while another 12 patients were injured as the result of a serious fall.

Methodist Hospital in Gary was amongst the most dangerous facilities in the state, with 10 errors reported in the past year.

Getting Help

If you’ve been harmed as the result of a medical professional’s mistake, know that help is available. At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we have an understanding of the law as it pertains to medical errors. This allows our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys to answer any questions you may have regarding your legal rights and how they pertain to your injury or condition. Call us today at (800) 33-33-LAW to speak with a member of our legal team.

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8
Oct

How to Get Indiana Workers’ Compensation Benefits

October 08, 2014

Companies based in Indiana are required to provide their employees with a safe work environment. Each year though, a large number of Hoosiers are hurt or killed as the result of on-the-job accidents. Luckily, most companies are required to carry Indiana workers’ compensation insurance to cover expenses related to such accidents, and the lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to let you know how to apply for these benefits step by step.

The first thing you should do if you’re injured at work is report the incident to your managers or supervisors. They can then gather the appropriate documentation for you to begin filing your claim. Waiting longer than 30 days after your accident to file a report could prove detrimental to being approved for benefits.

Once you’ve applied for benefits, your employer’s insurer will issue a decision on whether the claim was approved or denied. If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, there’s still hope.

You can take your claim before the Indiana workers’ compensation board for a review. If your claim is denied again, you can have the claim heard by an administrative judge.

The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys understand how difficult it can be to recuperate after a workplace injury, and we are hopeful these tips aid you in getting you the benefits you deserve if you’ve been injured on the job.

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1
Oct

Charity of the Month: Wounded Warrior Project

October 01, 2014

Each day, service members from our nation’s armed forces return home from battle overseas suffering from mental and physical injuries sustained in combat. Luckily there are organizations that aim to help these veterans, and the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to tell you about how you can support one such program.

The Wounded Warrior Project was founded on the idea of fostering one of the most successful, well-adjusted generations of wounded service members our nation has ever seen. They aim to accomplish this goal by:

  • Raising awareness of the needs of wounded service members.
  • Helping injured veterans aid and assist one another.
  • Providing beneficial programs to injured service members.

Demand for participation in the Wounded Warrior Project’s programs has swelled in recent years, leaving the organization in desperate need of volunteers for their events. You can also raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project during other events by becoming a community athlete. Once you have raised $500 for the organization, you can proudly wear the organization’s logo on a jersey as you compete.

You can also help the Wounded Warrior Project by simply clicking a button with your mouse. During the month of October, for every new and unique “Like” our Facebook page receives, we will donate $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project as part of our Charity of the Month program. Give back to those who sacrificed so much for our freedom by clicking the “Like” button today.

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24
Sep

Study Examines Ways to Prevent Xarelto® Drug Injuries

September 24, 2014

The use of anticoagulant medications—like Xarelto®—can be an effective way to prevent blood clotting, especially in patients who are prone to heart attack or stroke. But what patients may not realize is that using this particular drug could put them at risk of suffering Xarelto bleeding injuries.

Injury Lawyer News recently discussed a study examining ways to prevent these bleeding events. Researchers found that while only a small percentage of anticoagulant users experienced a significant bleeding event related to the medication, there was a significant risk the bleeding could not be stopped depending on the type of anticoagulant being used.

While bleeding associated with Warfarin use can be halted with an injection of vitamin K, bleeding events associated with Xarelto use were not stopped by the injections. In fact, only the use of activated charcoal was effective in slowing bleeding–but could not stop the bleeding altogether.

These bleeding events have led to thousands of lawsuits being filed against the makers of anticoagulant drugs.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, our team of Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are aware of the risks using anticoagulant drugs can pose and are here to help if you’ve been injured. Call us today at (800) 33-33-LAW to learn more.

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19
Sep

Exciting Volunteer Opportunities In Indy

September 19, 2014

We are always looking for ways to serve our neighbors outside the courtroom, but we can’t fill every need on our own. Our community needs your support too, so we’ve put together a few great volunteer options throughout the Indianapolis area:

Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic

Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation offering pro bono legal representation and preventive legal education to low-income families, including immigrant families. Visit their website to learn more about several legal and non-legal volunteer opportunities with Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic.

Youth For Understanding

Youth for Understanding is a nonprofit international educational organization with partners in more than 60 different countries. It is one of the world’s oldest, largest, and most respected intercultural exchange programs. Click here to learn about how you can help.

Partnership For Lawrence

Partnership for Lawrence (PFL) is a nonprofit organization working to improve education, business, and quality of life in the community. With a focus in the arts, the program hosts several events and community projects that they need your help with. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities with PFL.

Gleaners Food Bank

Gleaners reaches thousands of people who need food assistance. They help the working poor, the unemployed, single parents, and the elderly. They aid the homeless, the disabled, and the mentally ill. And they assist battered women, victims of disaster and helpless children. Check out the Gleaners website to learn how you can join the fight against hunger and help your neighbors.

Habitat For Humanity

Habitat for Humanity has long been known for providing homes for people around the world. We have families in our own back yard who need support, and you can help! Click here to learn about opportunities to help in the Indianapolis area.

The team at Stewart and Stewart is proud to support our community. We hope you’ll join us.

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17
Sep

How to Get Social Security Disability Benefits

September 17, 2014

If you suffer from a disability that leaves you unable to work, you may be entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits.  However, the rules regulating this program can be quite complex. That’s why our legal team has outlined the steps of the process of applying for disability benefits.

  • The Application- Filling out an application is the first step towards receiving disability benefits. It should be submitted with all the necessary documentation to support your claim, including doctor’s notes and medical records.
  • The Review- Upon receiving your application and paperwork, a claims examiner from the Social Security Administration will investigate your claim and issue a decision. If you’re claim is approved, you will soon be receiving benefits. If not, you may need to enter the appeals process.
  • The Appeal- The Social Security Administration estimates more than half of all initial disability claims are denied. Most will enter the appeals process and the decision will be overturned. During an appeal, your case will be reexamined to determine if your denial was the result of a mistake or misunderstanding.

These processes can be confusing, and it may prove beneficial to discuss your case with an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected. So call us today at (800) 33-33-LAW to learn more about what we can do for you if you’re considering applying for disability benefits or if you have a claim that was denied in the past.

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