3
Jul

Indianapolis Officials Offer Safety Tips to Prevent Injuries Caused by Fireworks

July 3, 2013

With Independence Day just around the corner, many Americans are preparing for the holiday by stocking up on fireworks. However, these devices too often result in innocent victims suffering serious Fire and Burn Injuries. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that as many as 200 people per day suffer such injuries in the two weeks prior to and following the Fourth of July holiday.

To help prevent these accidents from occurring, Indianapolis fire officials are offering several safety tips to follow when using fireworks. According to an article from The Indy Channel, Courtney Gordon, a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Fire Department stated that each year, a large number of children under the age of 14 years old are injured while playing with fireworks.

For this reason, Gordon stated that children should never be allowed to use or ignite fireworks. Furthermore, fireworks should never be ignited within 50 feet of people or buildings. Also, a hose or bucket of water should be readily available to help extinguish discharged fireworks.

Gordon added that individuals should never attempt to pick up fireworks that fail to ignite.

The Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys are aware of the serious risks posed by handling fireworks. That is why the firm is hopeful these tips will help citizens enjoy a fun and safe holiday tomorrow!

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26
Jun

Two Killed In Indiana Truck Accident

June 26, 2013

Two people were killed as the result of an Indiana Truck Accident that occurred this week. Records show the crash happened at approximately 7:15 a.m. on Monday morning along the southbound lanes of I-65, outside of Lafayette, Indiana.

According to an article published by The Indy Star, a white tractor-trailer pulled onto the shoulder of the road after becoming disabled. A short time later, a red big-rig pulled in front of the truck so that the load from the first truck could be transferred into the second vehicle.

As the 44- and 31-year-old drivers stood along the edge of the highway though, a tractor-trailer being driven by a 42-year-old man struck the rear end on the white truck and then ran into the two men as well.

The impact left one victim dead at the scene, while the other died shortly after arriving at a local trauma center.

The crash highlights the dangers faced by those who work in the transportation industry each day. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that transportation accidents were the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the United States in 2012.

The Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys recognize the risks truck drivers face, and they are here to help anyone who has been hurt in an accident involving a commercial vehicle.

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19
Jun

Two Children Injured in Indiana Car Accident

June 19, 2013

An Indiana Car Accident that left two children injured highlights the need for parents to properly restrain their children in a moving vehicle. Reports indicate the crash happened at approximately 3 p.m. this past Sunday afternoon along County Road 350 S.

Reports state that the children’s 34-year-old mother was at the wheel of a 2003 Dodge Caravan minivan traveling east along the road. She told law enforcement that when she looked down to observe a picture one of the children had drawn, the tires of the vehicle veered off the roadway. She overcorrected, causing the van to flip and eject the 7- and 10-year-old passengers who were not properly restrained.

The Shelbyville News stated the crash left the driver suffering from a leg injury that was treated at a trauma center, while the 7-year-old was left with severe bleeding. The child was airlifted to a local hospital for further treatment. The 10-year-old passenger was complaining of pain at the scene of the crash and was also taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

Indiana state law dictates that all children are to be restrained in a safety or booster seat until they reach the age of 8-years-old. Once they are 8, they must then be restrained by a seat belt in the backseat of a moving vehicle.

The Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys urge parents to always ensure their children are properly restrained before a vehicle they are riding in moves.

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12
Jun

What Qualifies a Person for Social Security Disability Benefits?

June 12, 2013

When a person’s physical or mental condition leaves them facing death or unable to work for an extended period of time, they may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Benefits. However, there are certain qualifications that must be met before an individual’s claim can be approved.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) explains that the individual applying for benefits must first have worked for a specific amount of time during their adult life. This ensures the individual has worked enough to put in to the system before receiving money out of the program. The person must also meet certain income requirements. If an individual makes too much money, their claim for benefits may be denied.

If the claimant meets both of these requirements, they will then be asked to provide documentation of their condition, diagnosis, and treatment from a qualified physician.

Many of those who are able to provide all of this information and meet other qualifications as well still have their claim rejected.  Data from the SSA shows that roughly 70 percent of initial claims for benefits are denied by the agency.

The Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys recognize the complexities of getting a claim for Social Security Disability benefits approved. That’s why the firm suggests discussing your legal options with a qualified attorney if you are considering applying for such benefits or had a claim denied in the past.

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5
Jun

Indiana Truck Accident Prompts Concerns Over Commercial Vehicle Safety

June 5, 2013

An Indiana Truck Accident that occurred last month was responsible for leaving one woman seriously injured. Reports indicate the crash prompted concerns over the need for more safety measures in the state for commercial truck drivers.

According to an article from RTV 6 News, the crash happened on May 6 along U.S. Highway 150/State Route 56 in Orange County, Indiana. It was there that a trash truck was driving down the road, when two wheels from the vehicle broke free and collided with a tractor-trailer and a yellow Hyundai sedan. As a result of the impact, the 27-year-old female driver of the Hyundai sustained injuries to her shoulder, back, leg, and neck. She was taken to a local hospital in order to receive further treatment.

Further investigation determined that the Indiana State Police had never inspected the trash truck prior to the accident. This comes as no surprise to many experts though, since the state has only one inspection officer per every 13,000 commercial trucks registered in the state.

One state representative stated he plans to use the crash as an example to support measures that would strengthen safety standards and inspections on commercial vehicles.

The Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys recognize the dangers posed by commercial trucks that have not properly been inspected. The firm is hopeful the legislator is successful in his goal of stiffening inspection standards.

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29
May

Improper Payments to Social Security Beneficiaries Add to Existing Problems

May 29, 2013

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is currently struggling to keep the Social Security Disability Benefits program afloat. Estimates show that the trust that funds payments to recipients could run dry within the next three years.

Experts attribute the problems to several contributing factors, one being an influx of claim applications that are attributed to a poor economy. A higher volume of recipients means less money to go around. This is complicated by a high rate of improper and fraudulent payments made by the agency.

An article from CNS News reported that the SSA wrongfully paid out a total of $7.9 billion last year alone. This resulted from the agency making $4.7 billion in wrongful payments to Supplemental Security Income recipients, while $3.2 billion was improperly paid to recipients of the Old-Age, Survivors’ and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

Officials say the overpayments were often made because of a lack of updated information about recipients. In an effort to solve this problem, the agency has vowed to conduct hundreds of thousands of audits on recipients during the coming year. A resolution is vital considering the agency expects an influx of 80 million individuals applying for Social Security over the next 20 years.

The Indiana Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys acknowledge the complexities associated with applying for Social Security benefits. The firm suggests discussing you options with a lawyer if you are considering applying for benefits.

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22
May

Reforms to Indiana’s Workers’ Compensation System Signed into Law

May 22, 2013

Governor Mike Pence recently signed several pieces of legislation into law that make major overhauls to the Indiana Workers’ Compensation system. The changes are intended to reduce costs associated with claims by offering better control over the pricing of medical care.

According to an article published by Business Insurance, the bills signed into law on Saturday not only create a fee schedule for medical costs that are relevant to Medicare’s rates, but also caps the prices that can be charged for medical implants and repackaged drugs.

Medications that are reprocessed by anyone other than the original manufacturer can no longer be sold for more than the average wholesale price.

Before the reform, providers of medical supplies were allowed to charge any price they saw fit for a product, which drove costs through the roof and left many injured workers unable to afford medical care. Most lawmakers agree the changes will help to establish better regulations regarding costs of healthcare products.

The Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys recognize the need for more affordable healthcare for workers who have been injured on the job. The firm is hopeful the reforms will be effective in achieving this goal.

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15
May

Woman Facing Trial for Fatal Indianapolis Car Accident

May 15, 2013

A 24-year-old woman is preparing to face trial after causing a fatal Indianapolis Car Accident on Nov. 24, 2012. Reports indicate the crash happened at around 2:30 a.m. along Shadeland Avenue on the northeast side of town.

According to an article published by the Indianapolis Star, the woman drank approximately six beers at a friend’s apartment on the evening of the accident. At around 1 a.m. she decided to drive to her parents’ house. As she drove along Shadeland between 71st and 75th, she veered off the road and struck a 23-year-old man from Columbia City who was walking along the edge of the road.

The woman immediately slammed on her brakes, got out of the vehicle, and looked around before getting back in the vehicle and fleeing the scene.

The victim was found deceased the next morning, and it was determined he had died as a result of head injuries sustained in the crash.

The woman was later charged by police with one felony count of failure to stop following an accident that resulted in death. If convicted, she faces up to eight years in prison.

The Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys know how devastating the loss of a loved one to such an accident must be. That’s why the firm would like to send their deepest sympathies to the family of the victim.

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8
May

Could Cameras in Operating Rooms Reduce Medical Malpractice Claims?

May 8, 2013

Video recordings are a great way to document actions for later review if any kind of question or concern was to arise. This leaves many wondering why cameras are not utilized during surgeries in order to prevent Medical Malpractice Claims.

A new study released in the most recent issued of the Journal of the American Medical Association has shown that utilizing cameras during procedures can be beneficial for several reasons. Data indicates that doctors tend to examine patients closer and take more time when the record button is on. In fact, gastroenterologists spent 49 percent more time looking at patients’ colons when procedures were recorded.

Another reason to utilize cameras during surgical procedures, according to an article from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, is that doctors are capable of reviewing video to help in diagnosis or to examine their techniques to help make improvements for future procedures.

Experts also tend to believe that documenting procedures can become vital evidence if a case of medical malpractice is brought against a doctor.

While those opposed to cameras in the operating room claim that they infringe patients’ rights to privacy, many tend to believe the benefits outweigh the harm making such a recording could cause.

The Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys applaud any efforts that are made to reduce medical mistakes and better protect the safety of patients.

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1
May

May Declared Motorcycle Awareness and Safety Month Across Indiana

May 1, 2013

Governor Mike Pence named the month of May “Motorcycle Awareness and Safety Month” in Indiana, and many organizations and citizens are planning to educate the public on how to prevent Indiana Motorcycle Accidents. A press release from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute discussed these efforts and offered several crash prevention tips.

According to recent studies, drivers other than motorcyclists are responsible for causing more than two-thirds of all multiple vehicle accidents that involve a motorized bike. Many of these collisions occur when motorists simply do not see the bike or its operator prior to impact. These statistics have prompted officials to ask that motorists always look twice before entering traffic at an intersection.

Motorists aren’t the only ones to blame for a high number of crashes involving motorcycles. Experts say that self-taught motorcyclists are involved in roughly 92 percent of all accidents. That’s why state officials are urging all motorcyclists to participate in rider training and safety courses before hitting the streets. The course covers all aspects of safely operating a motorcycle, including how to properly take a curve in the road.

The Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys recognize the dangers motorcyclists face each time they ride the roads. That’s why the firm is hopeful the campaign will be successful in reducing accidents by making others more aware of these risks.

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