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.


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.


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.


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.



Risks of a Fire Injury Increase During the Holidays

December 23, 2015

As the holidays approach, you can almost hear the crackle of the Yule log. While warming yourself next to a cozy fireplace is wonderful, it’s important to remember the risks of suffering a fire and burn injury are significantly increased around the holidays.

Whether it’s a faulty strand of lights, or food grease spilling onto a burner while cooking, there are a plethora of causes for the roughly 210 house fires that ignite around the holidays each year. Data indicates issues with wiring and lighting account for roughly 30 percent of all Christmas tree fires.

Some of the other most common contributing factors include:

  • Electrical malfunctions
  • Burning candles
  • Dry Christmas tree
  • Cooking
  • Chimney fires
  • Children playing with Fire

These fires can be quite deadly, as well. Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association shows one in every 31 reported Christmas tree fires results in a fatality, as compared to the one death that’s reported for every 144 house fires.

So, what should you do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the serious risks that fires can pose? An article from The Times offers several tips to homeowners about what they can do to prevent residential fires during the holiday season.

The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys are hopeful the information we’ve provided helps you to have a happy and safe holiday!


Indianapolis Truck Accident Lawyers Urge Motorists to Move Over

December 16, 2015

Working on the highway can be a dangerous task, considering hundreds of employees are killed and even more are injured as the result of transportation accidents that occur while on the job. The Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys point out the latest of those victims is a 58-year-old worker with the Henry County Highway Department who was killed after he was struck by a tractor-trailer last month.

The fatal crash happened on November 20, in the southbound lanes of Indiana 3, just north of New Castle. Reports from The Star Press indicate the victim was riding a backhoe along the roadway as part of his job duties when a big rig being driven by a 58-year-old Lafayette man struck the piece of equipment from behind.

The victim was transported to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured skull. He passed away as a result of his injuries almost a month after the accident occurred.

The truck driver who caused the crash was cited for speeding, but investigators say it’s unclear whether or not he will face charges in connection to the highway worker’s death.

This particular case underscores the importance of drivers being aware of their surroundings when traveling through areas where construction or roadwork is being conducted. In order to promote highway safety, the Indianapolis personal injury attorneys at Stewart & Stewart encourage motorists to move over a lane of traffic when approaching emergency vehicles and work crews. This allows your vehicle to pass through the area while giving workers enough room to safely do their job.


Law Enforcement Working to Prevent Holiday Drunk Driving

December 09, 2015

The holidays are fast approaching and for many, which means gathering with friends and family to celebrate. The Indianapolis car accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys point out these festivities play a part in a notorious rise in the number of drunk drivers that are on the road during this time of year.

Luckily, law enforcement officials are already stepping up their efforts to keep intoxicated motorists off the road. WANE 15 News reports that during a two-hour sobriety checkpoint that was held in Grant County on December 4, six of the 113 motorists who were stopped were arrested for violating the law. Three of those who were taken into custody were arrested for operating a vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol. Three others were arrested on misdemeanor charges, while four other drivers were ticketed and released. Three warning tickets were handed out as well.

Indiana State Police say drunk driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle fatalities today, considering alcohol played a part in 101 traffic deaths during 2014. That’s why officials say similar operations will be held in other areas of the county and state as the holidays get closer.

Our staff at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys are aware of the impact a drunk driving accident has on the lives of those who are involved. That’s why our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys encourage you to be wise this holiday season and refrain from drinking and driving. Instead, use a designated driver or cab to get home safely.

We would also like to applaud the efforts law enforcement is making to keep our roads free of drunk drivers. We’re hopeful to see more checkpoints being established throughout the holiday season.





Indiana Workers’ Compensation Payments Rising

December 03, 2015

If you’ve been injured on the job at no fault of your own, the costs of your medical expenses and other damages may be covered under Indiana’s workers’ compensation benefits.

The Indiana workers’ compensation attorneys at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain that over time, the payments related to workers’ compensation claims have increased. This leaves many employees wondering if the rise in these costs has had an impact on their ability to receive benefits or the compensation they’re offered.

An article from the Insurance Journal shows that Indiana’s workers’ compensation claim payments increased by as much as six percent between 2008 and 2013. There is a correlation between this spike in individual claim payments and a decrease in the number of initial claims that are approved.

A rise in the number of disputed Indiana workers’ compensation claims has resulted in Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana reforming the way hearings in disputed cases are handled and scheduled.

These patterns highlight just how complex successfully navigating Indiana’s workers’ compensation system has become. It’s also indicative of the important role that’s played by having legal representation by your side throughout the claim process. The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys encourage you to visit our website to learn more about the options and resources an attorney may be able to offer to an injured worker.


Avoiding an Indianapolis Truck Accident

November 25, 2015

Indianapolis is one of the largest hubs for the transportation industry in the Midwest, so it comes as no surprise that the city sees its fair share of Indiana truck accidents.

What if you could access information that may allow you to avoid these collisions? The Indianapolis truck accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys explain this data is now at your fingertips.

ABC 6 News investigators recently spoke with officials from several state agencies that regulate and enforce laws pertaining to the trucking industry, including the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Transportation, and the Indiana Motor Truck Association. The information that was gathered was then compiled to determine the areas that were most prone to a truck accident occurring, as well as what some of the most common causes of these accidents are.

The team determined seven interstate intersections as the most likely places where tractor-trailers will crash. The ramp from I-70 West to I-465 South was by far the most likely to see a truck accident, accounting for a total of 39 collisions from 2011 to 2013.

The most common cause of Indiana truck accidents was vehicles following too closely. Other contributing factors included loads shifting, driver behavior, texting, and speeding.

Understanding what causes Indiana truck accidents to occur and what areas are prone to collisions occurring can help you steer clear of a crash. The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys are hopeful this information can be of benefit to you as you make your way around our great city.


New Research on Nursing Home Abuse in the U.S.

November 18, 2015

A new study hopes to shed light on the frequency in which older Americans are verbally, physically, or financially abused by their caregiver. The study also offers several solutions for helping to address the problem of nursing home abuse in the U.S.

A team of researchers from the Center of Aging Research and Clinical Care at Cornell University examined data that had been collected over the years and found that as many as 10 percent of elderly citizens are the victims of nursing home abuse. However, the team also found this number may not be accurate because of the number of victims who never report the abuse they suffer.

The study, which was published in the most recent issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, also discussed the important roles doctors can play in identifying and putting a stop to nursing home abuse. Researchers suggest physicians are one of an elderly patient’s front line defenses against abuse, considering doctors are in a position to notice injuries and changes in behavior that may be indicative of nursing home abuse. The team goes on to suggest that doctors should play a more significant role in intervening in cases where abuse or neglect is suspected.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we recognize the risks of nursing home abuse elderly citizens face and the Indiana personal injury lawyers are hopeful this new data can be used to spread a message of awareness about the problem.