Archive for October, 2014

29
Oct

How to Avoid Fire and Burn Injuries This Halloween

October 29, 2014

Setting up decorations around your home for Halloween can be a great way to get into the spirit of the holiday, but they can also present a serious risk of fire and burn injuries.

Data from the National Fire Protection Association shows that decorations are the first thing to ignite in roughly 920 home fires per year. Those accidents result in approximately six fatalities and 47 injuries annually. Furthermore, more than half of those fires are started because decorations are too close to heat sources. Roughly 40 percent of fires are started by decorations with candles, such as jack-o-lanterns.

So what can you do to keep your loved ones and home safe from fires this Halloween? The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys say there are several steps you can take, including:

  • Checking Costumes For Safety– Costumes shouldn’t touch the ground, where they can drag and come into contact with flames or heat sources. Masks and makeup should also be examined to ensure they don’t obstruct vision.
  • Keeping Decorations Away From Heat Sources and Flammable Objects– Items such as cornstalks or crepe paper are highly flammable and should be kept at least 10 feet from flames and heat sources. Jack-o-lanterns and candles should be placed in locations that are at least 10 feet from flammable objects.
  • Using Safe Lighting– Children should carry a glow stick or flashlight when trick-or-treating, rather than candles. Glow sticks are also a safe and spooky alternative to jack-o-lantern candles.
  • Keeping Exits Clear– In the event of a fire, being able to escape will be crucial. Keep exits clear and have an escape plan ready.

We hope these tips help you to have a safe and fun Halloween!

22
Oct

Social Security Administration Announces 2015 Social Security COLA

October 22, 2014

For the more than 64 million Americans who depend on Social Security Disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income as their primary financial resource, making ends meet can be a struggle. That’s why word of an increase in benefit payments is good news to most disabled citizens.

Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)

Each year, the federal government and Social Security Administration take into consideration the rise and fall in prices of certain everyday household goods and services. A cost of living adjustment—or COLA—is made to the amount each Social Security recipient gets in payments each month based on the rise or fall in costs.

How COLAs Are Determined

The amount of the annual COLA is decided by an equation called the Consumer Price Index. The fluctuations in prices of the goods and services being examined as part of the COLA are plugged into the equation, which is then used to determine a percentage the rate of compensation should rise or fall.

What Is the 2015 Social Security COLA?

According to a press release from the Social Security Administration, recipients should expect to see a 1.7 percent increase in payments beginning next year. This means each recipient should see an increase of around $20 per month in benefits.

COLA Benefits SSD Recipients

At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, our team of Indiana personal injury lawyers recognize the financial hardships many disabled Americans face on a daily basis. That’s why the firm is hopeful the increase in benefit payments will help provide families with some much needed relief.

15
Oct

New Report Examines the Number of Medical Errors in Indiana

October 15, 2014

Medical professionals in Indiana are legally and ethically required to protect the health and safety of their patients. But every year, mistakes are made at medical facilities across the state that often lead to Indiana medical malpractice claims.

Indiana Medical Errors By The Numbers

Records from the Indiana State Department of Health show that last year alone, there were a total of 111 mistakes that were made in the medical care of patients in Indiana. This was an all-time high for the number of medical errors being reported from 293 medical facilities.

These numbers leave many wondering what some of the most regularly reported mistakes are.

Most Common Indiana Medical Errors

According to an article from the Indianapolis Star, bedsores were the most commonly reported ailment, with 45 reports being received in 2013. On 27 occasions, surgeons were responsible for leaving “foreign objects”—such as sponges, clamps, and other tools—in the bodies of patients following medical procedures. Surgeons also conducted procedures on the wrong body part of 13 patients, while another 12 patients were injured as the result of a serious fall.

Methodist Hospital in Gary was amongst the most dangerous facilities in the state, with 10 errors reported in the past year.

Getting Help

If you’ve been harmed as the result of a medical professional’s mistake, know that help is available. At Stewart & Stewart Attorneys, we have an understanding of the law as it pertains to medical errors. This allows our Indianapolis personal injury attorneys to answer any questions you may have regarding your legal rights and how they pertain to your injury or condition. Call us today at (800) 33-33-LAW to speak with a member of our legal team.

8
Oct

How to Get Indiana Workers’ Compensation Benefits

October 08, 2014

Companies based in Indiana are required to provide their employees with a safe work environment. Each year though, a large number of Hoosiers are hurt or killed as the result of on-the-job accidents. Luckily, most companies are required to carry Indiana workers’ compensation insurance to cover expenses related to such accidents, and the lawyers at Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to let you know how to apply for these benefits step by step.

The first thing you should do if you’re injured at work is report the incident to your managers or supervisors. They can then gather the appropriate documentation for you to begin filing your claim. Waiting longer than 30 days after your accident to file a report could prove detrimental to being approved for benefits.

Once you’ve applied for benefits, your employer’s insurer will issue a decision on whether the claim was approved or denied. If your workers’ compensation claim was denied, there’s still hope.

You can take your claim before the Indiana workers’ compensation board for a review. If your claim is denied again, you can have the claim heard by an administrative judge.

The Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys understand how difficult it can be to recuperate after a workplace injury, and we are hopeful these tips aid you in getting you the benefits you deserve if you’ve been injured on the job.

1
Oct

Charity of the Month: Wounded Warrior Project

October 01, 2014

Each day, service members from our nation’s armed forces return home from battle overseas suffering from mental and physical injuries sustained in combat. Luckily there are organizations that aim to help these veterans, and the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers with Stewart & Stewart Attorneys would like to tell you about how you can support one such program.

The Wounded Warrior Project was founded on the idea of fostering one of the most successful, well-adjusted generations of wounded service members our nation has ever seen. They aim to accomplish this goal by:

  • Raising awareness of the needs of wounded service members.
  • Helping injured veterans aid and assist one another.
  • Providing beneficial programs to injured service members.

Demand for participation in the Wounded Warrior Project’s programs has swelled in recent years, leaving the organization in desperate need of volunteers for their events. You can also raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project during other events by becoming a community athlete. Once you have raised $500 for the organization, you can proudly wear the organization’s logo on a jersey as you compete.

You can also help the Wounded Warrior Project by simply clicking a button with your mouse. During the month of October, for every new and unique “Like” our Facebook page receives, we will donate $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project as part of our Charity of the Month program. Give back to those who sacrificed so much for our freedom by clicking the “Like” button today.