Archive for December, 2017

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Fired from Your Job? You Have Rights.

December 28, 2017

Although Indiana is considered an “at-will” employment state, which means both employers and employees can terminate relationships at any time, employees have rights when it comes to keeping their jobs. In fact, employers must be careful when terminating workers to avoid infringing on those rights and committing wrongful termination.

Wrongful termination refers to firing employees in violation of state law or an active employment contract. However, because employers know Indiana employment is “at-will,” they may fire workers without considering the consequences. At Stewart & Stewart, we know all aspects of Indiana employment law, and we protect the rights of workers who were terminated in manners that violated contracts or state law.

No what matter circumstances led to your job loss, it’s important to remember that you have the following rights:

  • The right to be protected from retaliation – Whether you filed for workers’ compensation, attended jury duty, or were a whistleblower, state law protects you from retaliation by your employer. If you were fired during or after the events listed above, you may be eligible to file a wrongful termination claim.
  • The right to pursue compensation – If you were wrongfully terminated, you have many options for recourse. In addition to getting compensation for your lost wages and back pay, you can also be reinstated to your job and receive additional damages for emotional suffering. Your employer also may be fined and be responsible for personal liability for any losses that you incurred.

Getting fired is a devastating and stressful experience, but sometimes, it happens in violation of the law. If you suspect that you or someone you love was wrongfully terminated, get in touch with our Indiana wrongful termination lawyers today by calling our office for a free consultation.

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What Are the Differences Between Temporary and Permanent Disability Payments?

December 20, 2017

All workplace accidents are different, and the severity of the injuries they cause are different as well. Some people who get hurt at work are only off the job for a few weeks or even a few days. But other people may suffer more serious injuries that can put them out of work for years. Indiana’s workers’ compensation system is designed to help both types of injured employees by offering both temporary total disability payments and permanent total disability payments.

The two types of benefits differ in the following ways:

  • Temporary total disability – People who receive this level of benefits get two-thirds of their average weekly wages, up to a maximum of $780 per week, for up to 500 weeks. Workers who are able to return to part-time or light-duty work are eligible for temporary partial disability benefits, which are available for 300 weeks.
  • Permanent total disability – People who were found to be totally and permanently disabled by doctors are eligible to receive the same maximum payments as people with temporary total disabilities and for the same amount of time. However, permanently disabled people can also receive permanent partial impairment benefits depending on their degree of injury.

It’s important to know your rights and how much money you’re entitled to receive if you were hurt at work. At Stewart & Stewart, we know how the system works, and an Indiana workers’ compensation lawyer knows how to maximize our clients’ chances of getting approved the first time. Call today for a free consultation.

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Fatal Medical Mistakes Are Widespread

December 13, 2017

Most people know how dangerous medical mistakes can be, but they’re often not aware of how prevalent and widespread they are. A big reason for that is inaccurate research over the years that downplayed the number of medical malpractice cases.

For example, in 1999, the Institute of Medicine published a report indicating that around 98,000 people die every year because of mistakes made in hospitals. According to a report by NPR, that number was at first debated, but is now accepted by doctors and hospital officials throughout the country.

In 2010, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services reported that poor care in hospitals led to the deaths of around 180,000 Medicare patients alone each year. And another study released in September 2013 found that between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year due to preventable causes when they’re admitted to hospitals.

If that number is accurate, then medical errors become the third-leading cause of death in the country, just behind heart disease and cancer. At Stewart & Stewart Injury Lawyers, we know it’s difficult to accurately determine how many patients die each year because of medical errors and malpractice, as a huge number of cases go unreported.

However, we also know that patients and their families deserve a voice and an investigation when they suspect medical malpractice. That’s why our Indiana medical malpractice lawyers are ready to fight for the rights of anyone who received negligent care from a healthcare provider.

Don’t wait another day to get the experienced representation you and your family deserve. Call today for a free consultation.

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Finding the Right Nursing Home

December 06, 2017

Whether you’re finding a nursing home for your loved one for the first time or transferring them from a facility that failed to meet expectations, you want to make sure your loved one receives the best care possible. Nursing homes with caring and attentive staff and medical professionals can make a huge difference in your loved one’s daily life.

At Stewart & Stewart, an Indiana nursing home abuse lawyer knows that it can be difficult to determine which nursing home is the right place for a loved one. Many may look clean, organized, and well-staffed, but things can quickly change at night or after residents’ families leave. How can you tell if a nursing home is the right place for your loved one? We recommend looking for these signs:

  • An active, engaged, and happy resident population – Afternoons can be a telling time for nursing home facilities. When residents are left to themselves in their rooms, there’s a chance the facility is understaffed or doesn’t have any activities planned to keep residents occupied. Look for nursing homes where residents receive care and attention throughout the day.
  • An energetic and cooperative staff – If you’re touring a potential residence for your loved one, watch the staff carefully. Do they seem energetic and appear to enjoy their jobs? Are they communicating and cooperating with each other and the residents? High turnover rates and job dissatisfaction are major warning signs for nursing home abuse and neglect.

After you’ve chosen a nursing home, be sure to check in frequently to make sure your loved one is still receiving the care and attention that was promised when they moved in. And if you find out that the nursing home facility has failed to meet expectations, you may be eligible to file a claim. Call today for a free consultation, and let us evaluate your case.