Archive for June, 2018


Stewart & Stewart To Represent Family of Hit-and-Run Victim

June 18, 2018

A warrant is outstanding for Omar Lopez who is wanted for Hit & Run and fleeing the scene of an accidentOn June 8, 2018, Annastaisha Leslie Sandlin was walking back from a friend’s place when she was hit by a silver SUV on Shelby Street near Standish Avenue, traveling southbound. The driver behind the wheel, 20-year old Omar Lopez, fled the scene of the crime and eventually ditched the vehicle near Madison Avenue and Bacon Street.

Lopez was apprehended by a witness of the crash, who followed Lopez until he climbed a barbed wire fence and got away. On Tuesday, June 12, an official warrant was put out for Lopez’s arrest for leaving the scene of an accident that caused death to a person.

Sandlin, a 50-year old resident of Indianapolis, was killed during the hit-and-run accident near the University of Indianapolis. The law offices of Stewart & Stewart have taken on the case on behalf of the Sandlin family.

For more information about the case, visit Fox 59, WTHR or the Indy Star. To learn more about your own rights involving a hit-and-run, contact the offices of Stewart & Stewart today.


What is Social Security Disability?

June 15, 2018

According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security Disability is a benefit that someone is entitled to based on their work record. If you’ve worked for enough quarters prior to an injury or an illness that causes you to be unable to work for an extended period of time (at least 12 months), then you are able to file for disability based on your work record.

There’s also something called Supplemental Security Income that’s more of a needs-based income and is reserved for those that don’t have enough working quarters to qualify for Social Security Disability. Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability are both based on disability and the inability to return to any kind of gainful employment and both give out a monthly income to help people live and keep a roof over their head.

For many, getting Social Security Disability isn’t easy. In fact, most people will face a denial or other hardships during the application process.

Why Did I Get Denied?

A lot of denials are simply based on the fact that the Social Security Administration doesn’t gather all of the medical records that are pertinent to the case and don’t receive the medical opinions from the individual’s treating doctors and physicians. There are certain injuries, illnesses and medical conditions that qualify an individual under different requirements that the Social Security Administration has. If those medical records show that those medical conditions or those sections are met, then you will get approved at the initial or reconsideration stage.

On the other hand, for instance, for a back injury, there’s certain medical findings for a back injury that qualify someone for social security benefits and if the medical records aren’t submitted or physician statements aren’t submitted to the Social Security Administration showing that those requirements are met, you will get denied.

How can an Attorney Help with Social Security Disability?

An attorney knows the process, the waiting times and what needs to be submitted to the Social Security Administration. Your attorney will gather your medical records and make sure they get submitted on time. They will also make sure that your appeals get filed on time. The process can be daunting, so a good attorney will help you understand how long it will take and counsel you through the process, staying by your side through the application to the hearing, should there be one.

Often times, people get denied at the initial stage of filing for Social Security Disability and then they also get denied at what’s called a reconsideration stage. Once that reconsideration stage is denied, your attorney will then file for a hearing. This whole process often takes much longer than 12 months, often taking as long as 18 to 24 months to get to the hearing level. Once you’re at a hearing level, you want to make sure that you have someone representing you that knows what they’re doing so they can make sure to point the judge in the right direction and make sure they have the proper medical opinions and medical reports and that the judge can actually see the individual’s level of disability.

Overall, an attorney provides a lot of organization, a lot of understanding and a lot of communication. They make sure that the Social Security Administration gets what they need because if you’re claiming Social Security Disability, you have to make sure that you’re providing everything that the Social Security Administration needs and if that’s not happening, then their chances of getting approved are very, very small. A good attorney will make sure that all of that happens correctly.

If you are applying for Social Security Disability, contact the trusted attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.


What Do I Need to Do If I am Injured on the Job?

June 13, 2018

Getting injured on the job is something no one wants to deal with, but unfortunately, it is much more common than we may think. Whether your job requires a lot of manual work that puts you at a higher risk for injuries, or you have a desk job where the chances are much lower, getting injured at work can happen to anyone. Once injured, a person will go through a difficult battle of getting the medical attention the need, the wages they deserve and the rights to certain benefits. If you’ve been injured on the job, here are the first things you need to do.

Get Medical Help

If it’s a serious injury, you need to make sure you are taken to the emergency room or to see a medical professional right away. The emergency room will tell you to follow up with your primary care doctor or a specialist of some kind, which is the next step.

One thing that injured workers in Indiana need to know is that the employer or their insurance company has the right to essentially “direct their care.” Often times, they’ll go to an emergency room but after that, they’re sent to an occupational medical center or a med-tech to follow up. No one is telling you not to go and get treatment. If your employer is not stepping up to the plate and you have some sort of emergency situation, obviously go and get the treatment you need, but remember that an employer in Indiana has the right to essentially choose the doctors and the medical providers that follow up with you and that are in charge of giving you your treatment.

Report the Injury

The most important thing that someone should do when they’re injured on the job is to make sure to report the injury. Often times, there’s some sort of dispute as to how the injury was reported or what kind of injury was reported, or whether or not it was witnessed. The biggest thing to do if you get hurt at work is to make sure somebody knows about it. Make sure your boss knows and that you comply with whatever guidelines that your employer establishes. Often times, there’s an employee handbook that everyone has to have, and everyone has to have read or reviewed, and there’s a protocol for reporting an ‘on the job’ injury. It’s imperative that you make sure that protocol is followed.

If you fall and you land on numerous parts of the body, make sure all of your injuries are included in your initial report. Each part of your body that’s hurt, or that you suspect there’s some sort of injury to, needs to be reported. Often times, someone will report, “Oh, I fell down.” In this instance, they may end up with an injury to their neck, to their back, to their shoulder, or to their knee, and if it’s not expressly stated in there then by the time they get to their doctor and get evaluated, the insurance company will say, “Hey, we’re covering your knee because that’s what you told us right off and we’re not covering your hip or your back,” or whatever it might be that ends up hurting a few days down the road when the swelling goes down on the knee. Just make sure that whatever you hurt, whatever gets injured, that it’s all clearly reported to your employer.

Hire an Attorney

If you’ve suffered an injury and you think there’s going to be some time that you’re going to miss from work and you think you’re going to have to be receiving some significant medical care, the earlier an attorney gets involved, the more they can protect someone’s right to their benefits. Many people want to please their employer and they try to play by the rules by not hiring an attorney. But then they try to go to the doctors and all of a sudden, six weeks down the road, they’re released. They’ve seen maybe a doctor once or twice and the doctor just sent them packing on their way and yet they still have pain and they still can’t return to work. It it usually at this point someone will look to hire an attorney, but it is much harder to undo what’s been done than to try and control the situation from the outset. But, no matter when you look to hire an attorney, it’s essential to have representation so that you make sure you’re getting the benefits that you are entitled to.

If you have been injured on the job, contact the trusted attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.