29
Apr

$2.37 Billion Settlement Reached for Actos Drug Injury Lawsuits

April 29, 2015

Actos® is a medication used to treat diabetes in thousands of Americans over the past decade. But the Actos drug injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain the drug was linked to an increased risk of some patients developing bladder cancer. Now, those victims may be one step closer to getting the compensation they deserve.

The company that manufactures Actos, Takeda Pharmaceutical, has offered to settle the majority of the approximately 9,000 outstanding Actos drug injury lawsuits for an estimated $2.4 billion. Bloomberg Business reports that if 95 percent of the plaintiffs agree to the terms of the settlement, each of the victims would receive around $296,000 in compensation.

The announcement comes in the wake of last year’s decision by a federal grand jury finding Takeda and its partner, Eli Lilly & Co., responsible for paying $9 billion in damages to a man who claimed Actos caused him to develop bladder cancer. The award was later reduced to $36.8 million.

As part of the settlement, Takeda will not accept liability for the harm patients suffered.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we understand the hardships the victims have faced in their journey to receive the compensation they deserve. That’s why our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are hopeful the settlement will help bring closure to those adversely affected by the drug.

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22
Apr

Researchers Examine Public Opinion on Preventable Medical Errors

April 22, 2015

When we visit our doctor or a hospital, we trust that the medical staff will protect our health and safety. The Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys point out that, unfortunately, thousands of Americans are seriously harmed as the result of preventable medical errors each year.

One study recently conducted at Harvard University examines how often preventable medical errors occur, as well as the public’s opinion on the risk factors while receiving medical treatment. Reports indicate the research was funded by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction.

According to The National Law Review, researchers surveyed 1,224 adults about the medical care they received. Just under one-quarter of those who were surveyed stated they or a loved one were the victim of a preventable medical error in the past in the past. Approximately half of those respondents stated their health had been seriously harmed as a result of the error.

Roughly 90 percent of respondents felt doctors’ offices and hospitals should be required to report errors, yet more than half of medical error victims failed to report the incident. A majority cited the belief that reporting the matter would do no good to resolve the problem.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we believe in the importance of holding medical professionals accountable for their negligence, which is why our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers encourage victims of medical errors to report instances of potential medical malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help ensure your rights are protected at all times. Find out more about how a lawyer can help by calling our staff at (800) 33-33-LAW.

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15
Apr

Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers Look at the Impact of Distracted Driving

April 15, 2015

April is “Distracted Driving Awareness Month”, and the Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to focus on some of the most common driving distractions.

While most people tend to think of cellphones as the greatest distraction drivers face, many other items and electronics can force drivers’ eyes off the road. Take the case of the driver of a tractor-trailer who crashed on I-65 outside of Indianapolis while adjusting his radio.

According to WTHR 13 News, the 35-year-old driver of the southbound semi was hauling more than eight tons of potassium hydroxide near 38th Street at approximately 5:30 a.m. The driver told officers he was “messing with the radio” when he left the roadway and struck an abandoned vehicle.

The incident highlights the need for drivers to be focused on the road when behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. There are several steps you can take to heighten your focus behind the wheel, such as:

  • Turning off your cellphone when driving.
  • Avoiding eating or drinking while the vehicle is moving.
  • Making stereo and radio adjustments before entering the roadway.
  • Limiting the number of passengers you’re carrying.
  • Using GPS with voice commands.

At Stewart & Stewart, we’ve seen the devastation car accidents can cause, which is why our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers are hopeful these tips will help to keep you safe on the road.

 

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8
Apr

Indianapolis Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Discuss Nurse Case Managers

April 08, 2015

When a worker in our state is injured on the job, they may be entitled to collect Indiana workers’ compensation benefits. Getting the necessary documentation and records for a claim or making it to medical appointments can be difficult though, especially during recovery. But the Indianapolis workers’ compensation lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that workplace accident victims in our state are allowed to utilize a nurse case manager.However, there are guidelines that must be followed.

The Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board, the government entity that oversees our state’s workers’ compensation program, recently provided an outline for the use of nurse case managers. Nurse case managers can be involved in cases, but only to perform such duties as scheduling appointments, aiding in procuring care suggested by medical providers, and giving updates to employers or their insurers.

On the other hand, the nurse case manager is not allowed to provide any sort of opinion, guidance, or influence to victims or their doctors about the care an individual is receiving or should receive.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we encourage those who have been injured on the job to utilize any tool or service to help you recover and get compensation for an injury. If you have questions about how a nurse case manager may be of benefit to you, we have answers. Give our Indianapolis personal injury lawyers a call anytime at (800) 33-33-LAW for help.

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1
Apr

Indianapolis Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Explore Average Benefit Rates In Indiana

April 01, 2015

When a worker in Indiana is injured on the job, they have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. But how is the amount of benefits decided? The Indianapolis workers’ compensation lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that the body parts injured, as well as the severity of the injury, can factor into benefit amounts.

A new interactive database from ProPublica shows state average compensation rates for injuries to certain body parts as compared to the nation’s average compensation rate for that particular injury. In Indiana, many lost appendages will result in higher than average compensation rates for the injured. However, one must remember that the rate being shown is for an amputation. If the limb is not severed, the average rate of compensation in Indiana is slashed in half. This means many injured workers in Indiana receive less than the national average compensation rate for their particular injuries.

So what can you do to help ensure you get the Indiana workers’ compensation benefits you need? The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that an experienced law firm may be able to help.

At Stewart & Stewart, we have a legal staff that focuses on helping victims of workplace accidents. We’re here to answer your questions and help you get started with your claim. Call us anytime at (800) 33-33-LAW—we want to protect your rights.

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25
Mar

Video Hearings Will Be Used More Often for Social Security Disability Hearings

March 25, 2015

One of the biggest problems that our nation’s Social Security Disability system is facing is the lengthy periods of time applicants must wait for decisions to be made about their benefits. Under most circumstances, it can take a claim months—or even years—to be processed.

The Indianapolis Social Security Disability attorneys at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that officials are hoping to address lengthy wait times by using streaming video technology as a means of providing easier and faster access to hearings during the appeals process.

Data from the Social Security Administration shows that video conferencing was used to conduct hearings in 171,475 Social Security Disability appeals cases in 2014. This was only around 28 percent of the total number of hearings held this year. The success of these hearings in saving both costs and time has prompted officials to push for at least 30 percent of all hearings to be video hearings in 2015.

It’s important to remember that during the Social Security Disability hearing process, it can be wise to have an attorney by your side. The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart are here to answer any legal questions you may have about your claim. Feel free to give us a call anytime at (800) 33-33-LAW to discuss your disability claim.

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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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