Changes Made to Certain Indiana Wage Laws

September 16, 2015

For Indiana workers earning minimum wage, meeting basic financial needs can be difficult. Money can become even tighter if you have to pay for certain items you use at work, such as uniforms. The Indianapolis wage and hour lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys say that’s why new laws were created to help protect earnings from these types of expenses.

According to the Indiana Department of Labor, law changes that took effect on July 1, 2015, now allow employers to charge workers for costs associated with the purchase of uniforms, equipment purchases or rentals, or any other item deemed necessary to complete work tasks. However, there are certain stipulations that apply to these new rules.

Under the new policy, employers are not allowed to take more than $2500 or five percent of an employee’s disposable income, whichever is less. Furthermore, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires that the amount that is taken for these expenses not cause the employee’s earnings to drop below minimum wage requirements. The expense cannot take from overtime earnings either.

Changes were also recently made to the laws that require employers to pay workers who have been involuntarily removed from their positions.

The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to applaud our state’s lawmakers for taking a stand in favor of workers’ rights.


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Company Offers $200 Million to Settle Transvaginal Mesh Failure Lawsuits

September 09, 2015

Every year, tens of thousands of women undergo surgical procedures to treat conditions like urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. In many cases, transvaginal mesh implants are used to provide support to patients’ internal organs. However, these devices are notorious for causing serious harm.

Studies show a transvaginal mesh failure can result from the devices moving, deteriorating, or becoming embedded within the body. This can result in severe pain, swelling, irritation, and even bowel or organ perforation that requires corrective surgery.

To help cover the damages associated with a transvaginal mesh failure, some victims filed civil lawsuits against the makers of these faulty devices. Now, it seems one company is hoping to resolve a large number of these types of claims through a proposed settlement.

According to Bloomberg Business, transvaginal mesh manufacturer, C.R. Bard, Inc., has offered $200 million to resolve roughly 3,000 cases involving the failure of their transvaginal mesh product. Experts say that if the terms of the agreement are accepted and approved, each victim will receive roughly $67,000 in compensation.

The decision to settle comes on the heels of C.R. Bard being ordered to pay $2 million to a woman harmed by the company’s transvaginal mesh product in 2013.

The Indiana defective product lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys are hopeful a resolution can be reached soon.

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4 Tips to Prevent Indiana Farm Equipment Accidents

September 02, 2015

The harvest season is approaching in Indiana, and it can be a dangerous time for farmers and agricultural workers. Data from the Indiana Department of Labor says that one in five workplace injuries in our state occurs in the agriculture industry, and a majority of injuries involve heavy equipment and machinery.

The Indiana farm equipment injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys say that a recent accident claimed the life of a 34-year-old farm worker, highlighting the risks workers in the agriculture industry face. Reports indicate the incident occurred on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

WISHTV 8 News states the victim was pulling a mowing device behind a tractor when the piece of machinery overturned on top of the victim. When Indiana State Police and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene, they found the victim pinned beneath the tractor. Attempts were made to save the victim’s life, but he was declared dead at the scene of the accident.

The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to send our deepest sympathies to the family of the victim.

We also hope the incident can serve as a reminder to others in the agriculture industry to always keep safety a priority while working. Here’s a few things you can do to prevent on-the-job accidents:

  • Follow Safety Policies and Procedures- Most companies provide workers with instructions and guidance on how to safely perform job duties. Obeying these protocols will significantly reduce your chances of suffering an on-the-job injury.
  • Use Safety Equipment- Specialized safety devices are often necessary to reduce the chances of injury when performing dangerous job duties. Always use these devices.
  • Report Problems- If you notice something that could be a workplace danger, address the issue with your supervisor.
  • Create a Culture of Accountability- Hold other workers accountable for keeping safety in mind on the job and ask that they do the same with you.



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Cameras May Help Reduce Medical Malpractice Claims

August 26, 2015

One of the most difficult aspects of medical malpractice claims is determining what happened during a procedure or treatment that led to an error. But with today’s technology, the ways that negligence is currently determined may be a thing of the past.

The Indiana medical malpractice attorneys at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys point to a team at the University of Toronto that developed a device known as the surgical black box. The device records actions and movements of a doctor performing surgery so any mistakes can be identified at a later time.

Taking that one step further, several states have, or are considering, laws that allow patients to request medical procedures be recorded with audio and video. New York is considering “Raina’s Law,” which would put a camera in every surgical setting. According to NBC 15 News, Wisconsin is also considering a law that would allow medical procedures to be recorded.

Those in favor of these measures claim the laws will allow hard evidence of medical mistakes to be collected in an unbiased format. Those against the rules said the recordings could potentially violate patients’ rights to privacy.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, our Indiana personal injury attorneys are interested to see how the shift towards the use of cameras in medical settings develops over time.

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Grant Helps Fund Operation to Reduce Indiana Car Accidents

August 19, 2015

Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows more than 22 percent of vehicle collisions are the result of driver error. The Indianapolis car accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys point out a large number of those accidents occurred at road crossings as well.

To help reduce accidents, law enforcement agencies are using grant money to crack down on drivers who aren’t operating their vehicles safely.

As part of the NHTSA’s Operation Centipede, the Hammond Police Department was given $56,200 in grants to improve highway safety. The funds were used to pay for extra patrols along Kennedy Avenue and parts of Interstates 80 and 94.

According to policeone.com, officers issued as many as 200 citations to motorists making improper turns along Kennedy Avenue. Another 70 tickets were handed out during a sobriety checkpoint as well. The operation also resulted in one arrest for operating while intoxicated and four four arrests for possession of an illegal substance.

Keeping our streets safe is a priority to many in Indiana, which is why the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to applaud the efforts made by local law enforcement recently.

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Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyers Considering Lawsuit Against IU Health and Others

August 12, 2015

When undergoing medical treatment, we put our trust in the doctors and medical staff that provide our care. The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that, unfortunately, mistakes are sometimes made.

Such errors have led to one Indiana woman considering filing a lawsuit against Indiana University (IU) Health and it’s affiliates. An article from WTHR 13 News says the potential lawsuit stems from mistakes made during the delivery of the woman’s child that resulted in the baby suffering a serious birth injury.

On Jan. 25, 2013, the woman was admitted to an IU facility to induce labor. Hours later, the woman was sent home under the instruction of a certified nurse-midwife despite indicators that the child could be in distress.

Two days later, the woman was taken to the ER and delivered the child via emergency cesarean section. Medical staff struggled to clear the child’s airway, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain that caused a seizure disorder.

Experts say the problems in the delivery room could have been avoided if the woman had not been sent home. Furthermore, records indicate that dozens of others may have experienced similar negligence.

These findings have prompted the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys to examine other complaints against the IU Health system.

We believe in everyone’s right to proper care, and our medical malpractice lawyers are hopeful these cases result in fewer errors in patient care.

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How an Indiana Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help After a Work Injury

August 05, 2015

When you’re injured on the job, you may be entitled to receive Indiana workers’ compensation benefits. However, the Indiana workers’ compensation attorneys at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that the process of getting your benefits can be complicated.

Many rules and requirements must be met to successfully present a case for Indiana workers’ compensation benefits. Statutes of limitations limit the amount of time you have to file a claim, and strict rules govern the process of presenting evidence to the court. Any failure to adhere to these rules may result in evidence from your case being ruled inadmissible—potentially resulting in an unfavorable case outcome.

The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board encourages injured employees to hire a qualified workers’ compensation attorney to assist in the filing of a work-related injury case. Doing so can help ensure your legal rights are protected throughout every step of the Indiana workers’ compensation legal process.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we have experience helping injured workers, and we’re here to do the same for you. If you have questions about your workplace accident, our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers want to talk to you. Feel free to give us a call anytime by dialing (800) 33-33-LAW.

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Common Causes of Indiana Medical Malpractice Claims

July 29, 2015

Medical professionals in the United States are required to provide patients with safe and thorough treatment. Negligence that causes injury can result in medical malpractice claims. But what constitutes such a claim, and what should you do if you’re the victim of medical malpractice?

The Indiana medical malpractice lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys say that anytime a doctor or medical professional’s error or negligence injures a patient, the victim may be entitled to compensation for medical malpractice.

According to the National Institutes of Health, communication errors are one of the leading causes of medical malpractice claims today. Other common mistakes physicians and their staff makes include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Medication errors
  • Surgical mistakes
  • Negligent care

If you believe you’re the victim of Indiana medical malpractice, consider speaking with a qualified legal representative as soon as possible. There are statutes of limitations that limit the amount of time you have to file medical malpractice claims.

Once you’ve hired an attorney, it’s time to begin building your case. This means gathering as much documentation on your injury as you can. If there were any witnesses, you should be sure to write down their names and contact information.

It’s also crucial to be patient. The Indiana personal injury attorneys at Stewart & Stewart explain that filing a medical malpractice claim can be a long, arduous task.

We hope this information helps you to get back on your feet if you’ve been harmed as the result of Indiana medical malpractice.

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Groundbreaking New Game May Be Treatment Option for Brain Injury Victims

July 22, 2015

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) victims often display changes in mood and/or personality. The Indianapolis brain injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys point out that as many as 60 percent of TBI patients are diagnosed with a condition known as alexithymia, which can be identified by the patient displaying difficulties recognizing his or her own emotional state, as well as that of others.

Researchers have developed new technology that could one day help rehabilitate TBI patients suffering from alexithymia and similar conditions. Furthermore, one company has began testing on a video game that could help treat TBI patients experiencing difficulties expressing their emotions.

An April article from Med City News reports that software creators, EmotEd, are in the beginning stages of launching testing on a scenario-based video game for TBI patients. The game was developed by an associate professor at the University of Indiana School of Medicine in conjunction with the Indiana University School of Informatics and Indiana-based company, DeveloperTown.

The game works by teaching TBI victims how to identify and recognize emotions in themselves and others.

One of the groundbreaking aspects about the game is that it’s an online experience, meaning users can play the game at home. This reinforces what is learned during rehabilitation therapy sessions without many of the costs.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we are hopeful that technology can be used to help provide faster and more efficient treatment for brain injury victims. Our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are anxious to see how TBI treatment continues to evolve.


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New Study Examining Pain Treatment Options for Veterans

July 15, 2015

Chronic and debilitating pain from wartime injuries is a condition many soldiers and veterans face on a daily basis. This pain can interfere with mood, activity, and the ability to work, as well as other aspects of daily life. Luckily, the Indianapolis veterans disability lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that a study has shown that a new two-step treatment plan may effectively reduce pain over time.

Traditional pain treatment for veterans and soldiers involves education and providing encouragement to speak with doctors about pain-related issues. Researchers have found that a new two-step system may be more effective, though.

According to MD magazine, researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine examined 241 veterans who suffered pain after returning from service overseas. A total of 120 patients received traditional care, while the others received 12 weeks of treatment using painkillers along with 12 weeks of behavioral therapy.

Nine months after receiving treatment, those who received the two-step treatment reported feeling less pain and an improvement in quality of life. There was also a 30 percent decrease in claims of pain disability among the patients observed.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we are aware of how pain can effect one’s life, and our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are hopeful this study will help increase the quality of pain management for veterans.

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