18
Mar

DNA Testing Reducing Number Indiana Medical Malpractice Cases

March 18, 2015

One of the most common medical errors that leads to a Indiana medical malpractice claim being filed is misdiagnosis by a doctor. Data from the National Center for Policy Analysis states as many as 20 percent of patients receive misdiagnoses when they are examined by doctors, and of those cases, roughly one-third result in patients being seriously injured or killed.

But now, technology is helping to prevent these errors. Researchers have identified a new testing method that uses a patient’s DNA to help ensure the patient’s condition is properly identified.

According to The Indianapolis Star, a local company—Strand Analytical Laboratories— is working to reduce medical errors by collecting DNA samples from patients undergoing biopsies to identify potential cases of prostate and breast cancer. Those samples are analyzed and used to match biopsies with patients by identifying certain markers in the DNA samples.

While errors can not be completely prevented by the test, the company and some doctors believe the test is effective in helping to reduce the number of misdiagnoses caused by mix ups of lab test results.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we recognize the physical and financial costs a preventable medical mistake can result in, and our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are hopeful to see more hospitals and physicians adopting policies that require tests like the ones Strand is currently conducting.

 

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11
Mar

What Are the Chances of Being Approved for Social Security Disability Benefits?

March 11, 2015

Successfully completing a claim for Social Security Disability benefits can be a long and arduous task, but new data is shedding light on the chances of an approval through each step of the process.

The latest numbers from the Social Security Administration show that only around 20 percent of initial claims are approved. This means only one in five applicants will receive benefits after a case examiner first looks at their applications. Those who face initial denials must rely on the appeals process to get their claims approved.

Only 2 to 3 percent of applications are approved during the reconsideration process, in which a claims examiner takes a second look at an application. In previous years, around ten percent of claims were approved through the appeals council—the number has significantly decreased since 2011.

The difficulty of having a claim approved underscores the benefits of having legal representation by your side while applying for Social Security Disability benefits.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we have years of experience navigating the Social Security Disability system, and our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys have helped numerous clients get the benefits they need. We are here to help in any way we can, just call (800) 33-33 LAW.

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4
Mar

Indianapolis Police Officer Injured After Drinking Tainted McDonald’s Tea

March 04, 2015

The Indiana defective product lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that restaurants have a legal obligation to ensure the food and beverages they serve are safe for their customers. Any failure to meet these standards could result in legal action against the restaurant, along with it’s staff and management.

Such legal action was taken in January when a teenager from Muncie was harmed by tea from a McDonald’s restaurant contaminated with cleaning chemicals. Now, another such case has arisen in Indianapolis.

According to ABC 6 News, an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department filled a cup at the McDonald’s located on West 38th Street on Saturday, Feb. 28. He took one sip of the liquid and immediately reported a burning sensation in his throat. He reported the incident to restaurant management and was informed a cup should have been placed over the drink dispenser as employees were in the process of cleaning the vat and had walked away for a moment.

The officer was taken to the hospital and treated for ingesting a dangerous industrial degreaser. He was later released from the facility, but continues to have throat issues and is hoping there are no long-term side effects.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we know the struggles that can accompany unexpected injuries. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers are hopeful that both victims in these cases experience a full and swift recovery from their injuries.

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25
Feb

Indianapolis Auto Accident Lawyers Look at Common Cause of Crashes

February 25, 2015

Crashes occur everyday in the Hoosier State. In fact, state police report there are more than 189,000 Indiana car accidents per year. And the Indianapolis auto accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys point out car accident data shows the causes of many accidents may surprise you.

Tailgating seems to be the number one cause for car accidents in Indiana today. Of the more than 189,000 Indiana crashes that were recorded annually, roughly 30,000 were the result of a motorist following another vehicle too closely.

An article from ABC 6 News examined just how common following too closely is on Indiana’s roadways. Tailgating remains a problem because it’s a difficult infraction to enforce. Numbers show that, despite tailgating being the leading cause of Indiana auto accidents, violations of tailgating laws make up less than one percent of tickets in 2013 and 2014.

These numbers have many drivers wondering what they can do to prevent tailgating. Our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers suggest:

  • Allowing other vehicles space- Experts say there should be at least five car lengths between your vehicle and the vehicle you are following.
  • Obey the speed limit- Going only as fast as you are legally allowed will give you the time you need to stop in the event of an emergency.
  • Be in the right lane of traffic- Remember to keep right and allow faster traffic to pass in the left lane.
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18
Feb

Meeting the Eligibility Requirements for Social Security Disability Benefits

February 18, 2015

For those permanently unable to work due to a health condition, Social Security Disability benefits can be vital to making ends meet. However, there are certain standards recipients of these benefits must meet.

For instance, in order to receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must have first worked long enough and earned enough income to qualify. A claimant must have accrued a minimum of 40 credits to qualify for benefits, and if the claimant is older than 31 years old, 20 of those credits must have been earned in the past decade. In 2015, workers receive one credit for every $1,220 in income they earn.

If you meet work history and income requirements, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will then examine your claim to determine if you meet disability qualifications. Some conditions can receive expedited processing through the Compassionate Allowances program, while others must meet the standards outlined by the SSA.

Many claims that are initially denied are later approved during the appeals process. The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys say that if your Social Security Disability claim was denied, it may help to have a qualified legal representative examine your case. Doing so can help give you a better understanding of what is needed to file a successful disability claim.

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11
Feb

Indiana Farmers File Sygenta GMO Corn Lawsuits

February 11, 2015

The agriculture industry makes up an integral part of Indiana’s economy, accounting for an estimated $4.4 billion in produce value. So when the negligent practices of a seed supplier affected corn prices in the United States earlier this year, many farmers took legal action.

Problems arose when seed supplier, Sygenta Corp., stated that China was on the verge of accepting a genetically modified (GMO) strain of corn known as Agrisure Viptera. Instead, Chinese officials placed a ban on the corn.

Since crops were mixed together prior to their export, tons of non-GMO corn were mixed with the Sygenta strain, causing the shipments to each contain trace amounts of the banned corn and preventing the shipments from entering China. This, in turn, caused the price of corn to plummet.

Many farmers filed Sygenta GMO corn lawsuits in response. The lawsuits allege that Sygenta’s failure to prevent their product from contaminating other crops caused serious economic loss. According to WDRB News, several farmers in Indiana have filed such suits.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we understand the economic impact a drop in corn prices can have on many Indiana businesses and families. That’s why our Indiana personal injury lawyers are hopeful a fair resolution can be reached between farmers and seed producers in these cases.

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4
Feb

Indiana Awarded “Green Light” for Traffic Safety Laws

February 04, 2015

Highway safety is important to the Indianapolis car accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys. That’s why we’re thrilled to learn the Hoosier State recently received praise for efforts to keep motorists safe.

An article from My Wabash Valley states the rating was given by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety based on the passing of certain traffic safety laws, such as laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets and all motorists to use seat belts .

Indiana received the “green light” rating—the best available rating—because the state passed 11 of 15 suggested safety laws. Areas where the state can still make improvements include creating tighter regulations for inexperienced teen drivers.

Raising the minimum age for  learners’ permits to 16 years old and placing restrictions on teenagers operating vehicles at night are just a few of the suggestions made. Indiana has also been asked to pass a law requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets and convicted drunk drivers to have ignition interlock systems installed on their vehicles.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we would like to applaud the efforts that have been made to improve Indiana’s highway safety rating. Our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys would also like to encourage the public to continue practicing safe driving habits.

 

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28
Jan

Limited Time Left to Return Safe and Sober Vouchers

January 28, 2015

Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle fatalities in Indiana each year. In fact, Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports there were 198 deaths attributed to drunk driving in 2014. These fatalities accounted for more than one-fourth of all traffic deaths.

These numbers may leave you wondering what’s being done to prevent Indiana drunk driving accidents. Experts say the state has approved legislation that requires repeat drunken driving offenders to have ignition interlock systems installed on their vehicles. Judges can now also order first time offenders to have the equipment installed as well. This isn’t the only action being taken to combat Indiana car accidents caused by drunk driving though. At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we are once again sponsoring our Safe and Sober Ride Home program.

On New Year’s Eve, we offered free cab rides home to people celebrating in Indianapolis. To participate, individuals were asked to print and sign cab voucher and save the receipt from their rides. They were then instructed to send us the receipt to get a voucher for the cost of the ride.

We have been collecting receipts throughout January, and we will be accepting them until this Friday, Jan. 30.

If you printed our Safe and Sober voucher before going out on New Year’s Eve, our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers would like to applaud you for making the right decision to get home safe.

 

 

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21
Jan

Indiana’s Veterans Struggling to Get Fair Compensation

January 21, 2015

When military veterans suffer from injuries or illnesses related to their service, they may be entitled to receive veterans disability benefits. But some former service members in Indiana are getting compensated less than veterans in other states who are suffering from the same conditions.

Information collected by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) shows that the State of Indiana receives $4,935 per veteran from the federal government to cover expenses—more than $1,100 less than the national per veteran cost average of $6,088.

These numbers may leave you wondering why Indiana’s veterans receive less than others in the U.S. Many experts believe it has to do with soldiers and veterans simply not being educated about their benefits. KPBS News says VA research indicates fewer than half of all veterans understand the benefits they’re entitled to. Other factors can include which military campaign the veteran was involved in and the difficulty of completing applications for benefits.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we’re aware of how complicated navigating veterans disability claims can be. If you’ve been denied veterans benefits, our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys are here to help. Call us at (800) 33-33-LAW today.

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14
Jan

Med Mal Lawsuit Questions Medical Treatment for Indiana Prisoners

January 14, 2015

Doctors are required to protect the health and safety of the patients they treat. But how does this requirement apply to prisoners? This issue is currently at the heart of an Indiana medical malpractice lawsuit.

Reports indicate that a prisoner at the Rockville Correctional Facility informed doctors at the prison that she had undergone an operation to change her gender from male to female. The procedure required hormone replacement therapy and the use of a vaginal stent to prevent complications. However, prison medical staff determined the hormones and the stent were not necessary. The latter was even determined to be a security issue.

An article from USA Today explains the prisoner developed complications and filed an Indiana medical malpractice lawsuit against the prison and it’s staff. She claims the negligent care she received resulted in the need to undergo a corrective surgery that could cost as much as $120,000. The courts initially dismissed the case, but the decision was overturned on appeal and is currently in litigation.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we are aware of the importance of holding doctors, hospitals, and medical staff to ethical standards. That’s why our Indiana personal injury lawyers are hopeful a decision in this case will establish a case precedent for medical care for incarcerated people.

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