Indianapolis Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Share Safety Tips

May 13, 2015

Motorcycle season is here in Indiana, and the Indianapolis motorcycle accident lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to remind you to be extra vigilant on the road this time of year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 62 percent of motorcycle fatalities occur between the months of May and September.

There are numerous organizations that are working to raise awareness about motorcycle safety during the coming weeks. An article from WTHITV 10 News says that state officials have announced that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Several awareness rides and motorcycle events will coincide with the campaign, but if you’re looking to get involved with spreading the word about motorcycle safety, your actions behind the wheel may be your best bet.

Here are several ways drivers and bikers can help prevent accidents and injuries on the road:

  • Be Vigilant- Look twice in both directions and blind spots before maneuvering in traffic.
  • Use Safety Equipment- Helmets can reduce a motorcyclist’s chances of death by 37 percent, and vehicle seatbelts have been found to significantly reduce injuries and fatalities for drivers.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive- Alcohol is one of the leading contributing factors in crashes today. So please, arrange for a safe ride home if you’ve been drinking.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys hope these tips help to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road!


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Indiana Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Discuss New Alliance Focusing on Workplace Safety

May 06, 2015

Each year, thousands of Indiana workers are seriously injured in on-the-job accidents—especially those working in the concrete industry. In fact, data from the Indiana Department of Labor (IDOL) shows that 3.8 out of every 100 concrete workers were hurt while working in 2013.

The Indiana workers’ compensation lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys point out that officials have stated one of the best ways to lower workplace injury rates in our state is to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place. That’s why IDOL is working with the Indiana Ready Mixed Concrete Association (IRMCA) to create a workplace safety alliance.

According to a press release from IDOL, the alliance will focus on three key areas:

  1. Promoting increased communication between IDOL and the IRMCA
  2. Creating case studies showing the value of workplace safety and health
  3. Holding more meetings where opinions on workplace safety and health can be voiced and heard

The alliance between IDOL and IRMCA will remain in effect for at least the next two years.

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we’ve seen the struggles caused by work injuries. That’s why our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys are hopeful this alliance can help reduce the number of workplace injuries that occur each year in our state.


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$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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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