2
Mar

Why You Should Report Dog Bites

March 02, 2016

Dog bites happen often in Indiana. Unfortunately, many of these incidents go unreported, and even fewer dog owners are held accountable for their aggressive animals. There are a number of reasons why victims don’t report dog bites to the police, such as they don’t want to cause trouble or have anything happen to the dog in question. Although that seems reasonable on the surface, failure to report a dog bite can lead to dangerous repercussions for others and the animal in question. Here’s why:

The Next Victim—Dog bites are rarely isolated incidents. If a dog attacks a human once, they’re sure to do it again. By failing to report the attack or hold the owner accountable, you are opening the door for future attacks on others. What if the next person the dog attacks is a child or an elderly person? Are you prepared to take that chance? We’re not.

Signs of Neglect—We don’t believe dogs are naturally aggressive. They are taught aggression by their owners. Whether the owner intentionally raises their dog to become a weapon or they unintentionally make them so through neglect or mistreatment, the dog is a victim as well. By not reporting a dog attack, you are enabling the owner to continue to treat his animals in this way, and that’s not okay.

If a dog has attacked you, do the right thing by reporting the attack to the police. Then give us a call to learn your rights. You can prevent future attacks by holding the owner accountable, and we’re ready to help you do just that. Call us today for a free consultation.

24
Feb

There’s No Substitute For A Lawyer

February 24, 2016

In this age of the Internet, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips at all times. Need to learn how to fix a leaking faucet? Google has 250,000 search results to get you started. Want to learn how to yo-yo? YouTube is ready to cue up more than 800,000 videos on the subject. You can learn how to do almost anything on the web, but there’s one thing you shouldn’t take on by yourself, and that’s your personal injury claim.

That’s not to say there aren’t great resources out there that inform you about the process, the pitfalls, and the best strategies to take. This blog is one of them. However, learning about a personal injury claim and perfectly handling one are too very different things. It’s the equivalent of watching a video on the scientific concept of lift and believing you can now fly a plane.

The truth is, you need a legal professional representing you in order to get the most out of your injury claim. Personal injury claims are not a trial and error type endeavor. You get one shot to get it right, and if you don’t, you could compromise your right to compensation. Don’t rely on the Internet to try your case. Call our Indiana personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation. We’ll put our years of experience to work for you to ensure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.

17
Feb

Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

February 17, 2016

Getting workers’ compensation benefits after an on-the-job accident is vital to your family’s financial stability, at least until you can get back on your feet. At Stewart & Stewart, we’ve helped people from across the state of Indiana get those benefits, and we’re ready to help you as well. However, if you’re not quite ready to call an attorney, here’s some basic information you should know about your rights.

Workers’ compensation is an accident insurance program paid by your employer to compensate those injured at their place of employment or elsewhere on the job. You are covered for this coverage from your first day of work. Although not every employer is required to offer this coverage, chances are if you’ve been injured, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

So how do you get the benefits? Well, first of all, you must report the accident immediately. If you wait more than 30 days, you may lose your right to compensation. The amount of compensation you can receive depends on your current salary or wage and the extent of your injuries. If you’re unable to return to work for 7 consecutive days, you’re entitled to weekly income benefits, which is two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the past year, but no more than $600 per week.

Unfortunately, some Indiana workers have had significant trouble getting their workers’ compensation benefits or have even been fired for requesting them. That’s why it’s a good idea to have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side to protect your rights and get you fair compensation. If you’ve been injured at work, give us a call for a free consultation. We’re ready to help.

10
Feb

3 Steps to Take After a Car Accident

February 10, 2016

A serious car accident, no matter the circumstances, is traumatic—the split second before the crash, the impact, the paralyzing fear of not knowing if everyone’s okay. To say that you’ll be shaken up immediately following an accident is an understatement. However, once the initial shock subsides, it’s important to know what to do next.

Here are 3 steps you should take immediately following an accident:

  1. Get witness names and contact information. Unless your accident happened on a deserted road, there were probably a number of people who witnessed the wreck. Get the names and contact information for these witnesses. Their account of the accident could prove vital to your injury claim.
  2. Get medical treatment. Adrenaline will be racing through your body for a while after the wreck, which can mask injuries you may have sustained. It’s important to seek medical treatment after an accident, even if you feel fine. You may not know how injured you actually are.
  3. Don’t talk to the insurance company. If you were injured and the accident wasn’t your fault, you may hear from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. They’ll more than likely make a settlement offer to compensate you for your injuries. In our experience, these initial offers will not cover all your future medical costs and lost wages. Don’t take the insurance company’s first offer. Don’t even speak with them. Call an attorney instead. An experienced Indianapolis car accident lawyer can stand between you and the insurance company to make sure you get fair compensation for your injuries.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, give us a call today for a free consultation. We’ll investigate your accident and make sure your rights are protected.

3
Feb

What is the No Fee Guarantee?

February 03, 2016

You might have seen one of our commercials on TV where we talk about our No Fee Guarantee® and wondered what it’s all about. It’s actually quite simple. The No Fee Guarantee® means that if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything. It’s called a contingency fee agreement and it’s designed to protect you in the event we’re unable to recover damages for your injuries. In other words, we work for free until you get paid.

Why do we offer a No Fee Guarantee®? We’re so confident that we’ll get money for you, we’re willing to put our money where our mouth is. Over the years, we’ve helped hundreds of Indiana accident victims get the money they deserve for their injuries, and our track record demonstrates how significant many of those awards are. Although we can’t promise you that we’ll get you a million dollars for your claim, we can commit to handling your claim without any upfront fees so there’s no risk to you.

The No Fee Guarantee® is just one of the ways we make it easy for accident victims to get the legal help they need. If you’ve been injured, give our Indiana car accident attorneys a call and we’ll get started on your case today.

27
Jan

Nursing Home Residents Have Rights

January 27, 2016

Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home can be difficult. You expect that they will be treated with dignity and respect, their basic needs will be met, and their rights will be observed. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Nursing home abuse takes place in many forms and can sometimes be easy to miss, especially if your loved one feels threatened or at risk of retaliation if they speak out. It’s important that both you and your loved one know their rights as a nursing home resident, so that abuse is recognized and stopped as soon as it occurs.

Nursing home residents have the following rights:

  • Right to privacy and confidentiality
  • Right to manage personal finances
  • Right to participate in social, religious, and community groups and activities
  • Right to see visitors
  • Right to be aware of services and charges
  • Right to be informed about their care

The compromising of any of these rights may be a sign of nursing home abuse. If you suspect that a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, call an experienced Indianapolis nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. Stewart & Stewart will investigate the nature of the abuse and hold those accountable responsible. Call today for a free evaluation.

20
Jan

Stop Distracted Driving in 2 Easy Steps

January 20, 2016

Seconds matter. According to a 2009 study, drivers take their eyes off the road an average of 4.6 seconds every time they text and drive. Don’t think much happens in 4.6 seconds? Consider this. At 55 mph, you’ll travel the length of football field in less time than it takes to send a text message. In the city, you could travel several blocks. In a residential area, you could pass dozens of homes. It only takes one child running out in front of you to change your life forever.

The simplest solution to mitigating this danger is to not text and drive, but that’s easier said than done. In this technological era, we all feel pressure to stay connected, making it tempting to glance down at your phone while on an open stretch. Seems innocent enough. After all, it’s just one text. But having handled several cases involving distracted driving, we’ve seen firsthand how just one text can lead to tragedy.

So, how do you beat the temptation? By taking your phone out of the equation all together. It’s a simple two-step process. Before you put the key in the ignition, turn your phone off. Then put it away, either in your pocket, in your purse, or in the glove compartment. Without the alluring ping of a new text message, social media notification, or voicemail to entice you, you’re less likely to pick your phone up while in transit.

When you arrive safely at your destination, pull your phone out and power it back on. We guarantee you didn’t miss anything more important than your life.

13
Jan

Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

January 13, 2016

You hear the term medical malpractice quite often in the news. It’s a broad term that refers to negligence by medical professionals that leads to harm, injury, or death. However, medical negligence and medical malpractice are different, though related. For example, if your doctor prescribed you the wrong medication or dosage, that doctor might be guilty of medical negligence. But does that mean you would have a medical malpractice case?

Not exactly.

Remember, medical malpractice refers to negligence that resulted in injury. Although he prescribed the wrong drug, the effects might have been completely harmless or you may have caught the mistake and never taken the medication. You would only have a medical malpractice case if his negligent treatment resulted in harm, injury, or death.

Determining whether or not you have a medical malpractice claim can be complicated. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can investigate your case and make a determination based on the facts. At Stewart & Stewart, we have years of experience helping people in Indiana who have been injured by medical negligence, and we’d be happy to evaluate your case for free.

If we determine you have a case and you become a client, we’ll handle everything concerning your claim. Our team of investigators can fully investigate the circumstances that led to your injury and work to hold those responsible accountable. Contact our Indiana medical malpractice attorneys today.

6
Jan

3 Things You Should Do After a Slip and Fall Accident

January 06, 2016

Premises liability is a legal term that refers to injuries caused by unsafe conditions on someone else’s property. Most often these types of injuries are the result of negligence on the part of the property owner. For instance, if you are walking across a footbridge at a business and the bridge collapses, injuring you in the process, you might have a premises liability claim. One of the most common type of premises liability in Indiana are slip and fall accidents.

There are a number of situations where a premises liability accident can occur:

  • Defective construction—Faulty wiring, broken stairs, and uneven floors create dangerous conditions and can lead to serious injuries or even death.
  • Inadequate maintenance—It is the responsibility of property owners to ensure their properties are safe by removing potential safety hazards.
  • Negligent security—Parking garages, swimming pools, and businesses in areas prone to crime should have adequate security to protect their guests and customers.

If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention. Your wellbeing is most important, and it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional.

Secondly, make sure the accident is documented. Most businesses have a procedure in place for documenting accidents that occur on their property, but don’t assume that is the case. Write down your account of the events, take pictures, and secure the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the event as soon as you are able.

Finally, call a lawyer before you sign anything from the property owner or their insurance company. A premises liability lawyer will work on your behalf to make sure the insurance company fairly compensates you for your injuries.

30
Dec

Ensuring the Protection of Nursing Home Resident Rights

December 30, 2015

Residents of long-term care facilities in the Hoosier State are entitled to certain standards of care. One of these Indiana nursing home resident rights is to receive dignity, respect, and privacy at all times. However, it seems staff members at many facilities fail to meet this particular standard of treatment.

One way patients’ rights to privacy are being violated is by staff members posting degrading and embarrassing images of nursing home residents on social media networks. Sources say that as many as 35 such cases of nursing home abuse have been identified nationwide since 2012.

An article from The Washington Post highlights one of these cases, in which a former nursing assistant at an Indiana nursing home was convicted of posting a nude photo of a resident to a website. Even more disturbing, is the fact that the caregiver showed no signs of remorse when asked about the situation.

So what is being done to protect patients from this particular type of nursing home abuse? The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the organization that regulates the operations of nursing homes in our country, is working to update the laws that outline patient care policies.

Until such changes are enacted, the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys suggest families of nursing home residents closely monitor their loved ones for signs of abuse. If you suspect your loved one isn’t receiving adequate care, don’t hesitate to report your suspicions to the proper authorities. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.