Archive for July, 2018

31
Jul

Everything to Know About the Hernia Mesh Case

July 31, 2018

A Hernia Mesh is a device implanted in humans who are affected by hernias and have to undergo hernia repair surgery. The device is meant to stay in the body permanently and provide support and reinforce any damaged tissue surrounding a hernia or multiple hernias. By allowing this reinforcement, a Hernia Mesh is meant to reduce the risk of the hernia returning and causing added problems. Unfortunately, many patients who received a Hernia Mesh have seen more complications than help and the implant has caused everything from pain and infection to more serious issues.

Why Did the Hernia Mesh Case Come About?

The manufacturer of the actual mesh has stated on their material safety data sheet that the device is not to be used in humans.  Instead of following these warnings, the manufacturers got together and decided that these would be good to implant in humans and now people are having all kinds of problems, requiring revisions when the mesh fails, and having to undergo multiple surgeries.

Can a Patient Enter the Case Now?

They can still enter the lawsuits now.  Depending on the type of mesh, if it’s an atrium c-qur mesh, that’s pending in the district of New Hampshire, they can still enter that lawsuit. Ethicon physiomesh, that’s pending in the northern district of Georgia and they can still enter that lawsuit.  Speak with a local attorney to see your options for entering a Hernia Mesh case.

How Long Will the Case Take?

A mass tort case like this usually takes a couple of years, depending on the MDL.  Some MDLs, get resolved within a year, while other MDLs, like the Xarelto MDL, they’ve had five bellwether trials that all resulted in defense verdicts so there’s no settlement negotiations. There are over 21,000 cases pending in that MDL, so the court is in the process of selecting the 1,200 cases for trial and preparing those for trial, so some may take a lot longer but on average, it’s usually about two years.

What Can a Patient Expect in Terms of Settlement?

It depends on their injury and it depends on the factors that are considered based on the product.  If I’m alleging cancer but the client has had a long family history of cancer or they’re smokers, all that factors in. The age of the client can play a factor depending on what the product is.  There’s different things for each case that can affect your settlement, it’s not a one size fits all situation.

How Can an Attorney Help?

An attorney will gather their medical records and make sure you are a candidate for this specific case. Once that is established, your attorney will draft the complaint and help you through the process of plaintiff fact sheet. At that point, they will take over and do basically everything. A good attorney will only need the client to tell us where they had the surgery, who the surgeon was and what problems they were having and who they treated with.

If you’ve experienced complications due to a Hernia Mesh, contact the expert attorneys at Stewart & Stewart today. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

31
Jul

Talcum Powder Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

July 31, 2018

Talcum Powder is a very common ingredient used in baby powder and cosmetic toiletries. It’s so common, in fact, that most people are using it in their daily lives without even realizing it. Until recently, using talcum powder was a common occurrence, but since, there have been links between the powder and cancer. Here’s everything you need to know about the case against talcum powder.

The Talcum Powder Case

The allegations are that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer. We’ve all used the powder on our kids or on ourselves, but until recently, we weren’t aware that talcum powder comes from the same mines where asbestos comes from. So, in the allegations and some of the documents show that Johnson & Johnson knew the risk of ovarian cancer with talcum powder dating back to the 70’s, but they’ve never put any warnings on it. So far, there have been several trials that have resulted in big verdicts for the victim. With the Jackie Fox case, that resulted in a $72 million verdict in her favor. The Gloria Ristesund case resulted in $55 million in her favor.  They’ve ranged with the last trial on August 21st, 2017 which was in a Los Angeles, California court, they awarded $417 million.

Can a Patient Enter the Case Now?

Yes, the case is still ongoing.

When Will the Case Be Settled?

Usually what will happen is the court will have plaintiff lead counsel select five cases and defense lead counsel will select five cases.  Of those 10 cases, the court will select certain cases and then they’ll hold what are called bellwether trials.  There’s usually time to give everybody an idea of the value of these cases depending on the outcome of those trials. They drive whether or not defense is going to settle and that type of deal, settle the claim.

What Can a Patient Expect in Terms of Settlement?

It depends on their injury and it depends on the factors that are considered based on the product.  If I’m alleging cancer but the client has had a long family history of cancer or they’re smokers, all that factors in. The age of the client can play a factor depending on what the product is.  There’s different things for each case that can affect your settlement, it’s not a one size fits all situation.

How Can an Attorney Help?

An attorney will gather their medical records and make sure you are a candidate for this specific case. Once that is established, your attorney will draft the complaint and help you through the process of plaintiff fact sheet. At that point, they will take over and do basically everything. A good attorney will only need the client to tell us where they had the surgery, who the surgeon was and what problems they were having and who they treated with.

If you’ve experienced health issues due to a Talcum Powder, contact the expert attorneys at Stewart & Stewart today. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

20
Jul

If I’m Injured in an Accident, Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?

July 20, 2018

Every time we drive on the roads, we are in danger of getting into an accident. No matter how cautious we drive or how hard we try to avoid dangerous situations, we are all at risk for injury and damage due to a minor or major car accidents.

Immediately following an accident, many people’s first reaction is fear and the inevitable questions arise: am I hurt? Is my car totaled? How much will this cost? But, once the initial shock wears off and all injuries and wounds are tended to, the next question that comes to mind is often whether or not you need an attorney.

If the car accident is minor, one party is admitting fault, and it can be solved with a simple payment or insurance claim, you may be able to get away without an attorney. Unfortunately, though, even the most minor accidents don’t end so easily. Often, the person at fault is hesitant to admit any wrongdoing and if this happens, you may end up being liable for all of your injuries and damages. That’s why, following a car accident, you should hire an attorney as soon as possible. Here are a few ways to know if you need an attorney on your side.

When No One is Claiming Fault

After a car accident, it’s very common for both parties to blame the other. Even if it is clear that the other party was at fault, it can be hard to prove unless the insurance company witnessed the crash happen. If you were in an accident that you know wasn’t your fault, having an attorney can help you prove it. They know the items needed to prove negligence and if you get them on your side early, they will be able to piece together evidence from the scene to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

When the Accident Was Serious

As mentioned, a minor fender bender with cooperating parties may not warrant an attorney. But if the accident caused injuries or damage to your car, it’s always a good idea to have a lawyer by your side. Even if the other party does admit fault, the insurance company will still try to give you the least amount of compensation. An attorney will ensure that you get what you deserve and take a lot of the hard work off your hands while you recover from injuries or get your car back to working order.

If the Insurance Companies Give You the Runaround

Insurance companies will do a lot of things to ensure they pay you the least amount of money. One of these things is calling you after the accident to get a recorded statement. If this happens, be sure to hang up and contact an attorney. If you give a statement, every minor detail you include can be turned against you and cause you to receive less or no compensation. An attorney will deal with the insurance company for you and know what to say, and what not to say, to get you the best end result.

If you were injured in a car accident, contact the trusted attorneys at Stewart & Stewart today. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

19
Jul

Top 4 Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

July 19, 2018

Motorcycles are a great way to get around, and for those that enjoy the thrill, it can make getting from point A to point B much more exciting. But with that excitement comes a much bigger risk for accidents. In fact, motorcycle accidents are extremely common and due to their lack of barriers, most accidents lead to extensive injuries and even death. To avoid getting into an accident while on a motorcycle, it’s important to understand what actually causes these accidents. From driver negligence to hazards on the road, here are the main causes of motorcycle accidents.

Speeding and Alcohol Use

Approximately half of all accidents involving a single motorcycle are caused due to speeding or alcohol use. While these factors play a substantial role in car accidents as well, they are much more severe for motorcyclists since they are afforded no protection by their vehicle.

Lane Splitting

Motorcyclists often take advantage of their small size by driving in between two lanes of slow moving or stopped traffic, which is known as lane splitting and is a practice that is illegal in most states. This poses a danger to motorcyclists due to their close proximity to other vehicles and the fact that most drivers would not expect someone to be passing them in slowed or stopped traffic.

Cars Making Left-Hand Turns

The most dangerous situation for a motorcyclist occurs when cars are making left hand turns. Cars often strike a motorcycle when the motorcyclist is going straight through the intersection and trying to pass or overtake the turning car. Motorcycles that pass within the same lane are even more likely to be struck since car drivers don’t suspect such a maneuver. These types of accidents are also common between two cars, but the smaller size of a motorcycle makes them difficult to notice, and the chance of injuries is much more likely for a motorcyclist.

Road Hazards

Motorcycles are also much more vulnerable to road hazards due to the smaller size and less stable nature of a two-wheeled vehicle. Potholes, slick pavement, uneven asphalt between lanes, unexpected objects like debris or litter, and even weather conditions can all pose a serious safety threat to motorcyclists.

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact the trusted attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

17
Jul

Who is at Fault When a Car Wreck Occurs?

July 17, 2018

Who is responsible after a car accidentCar wrecks can occur for many reasons. Someone may be distracted while driving, not following the rules of the road, or simply fall into a net of bad luck. No matter how the accident occurred, there always has to be fault proven for a lawsuit to gain traction.

Within a lawsuit, there will be one person identified as the “at fault” party. While defining who is at fault can sometimes be simple, it is often the most complicated part of a lawsuit, as no one wants to admit fault or full fault. Fault is so important because it determines who will be receiving compensation and who will be paying for it. Insurance companies will do all they can to prove their client is not at fault, making the determination even harder to pin down.

After an accident occurs, its essential to document the scene as well as you can. Taking pictures of the damage, the surrounding area, and any injuries sustained can be vital in proving the other party is at fault. Witnesses may also be able to help as they can give an account of what happened, proving that the other driver ran a red light, was texting, or was distracted in some way that in turn, caused the accident. Be sure to document everything you can and to contact law enforcement as soon as the accident occurs. A police officer is required to fill out an accident report on the scene, and that police report will be used heavily when determining fault. Both insurance companies will look to that report, but your own documentation is also helpful to further prove fault.  While documenting be sure to include:

    • Pictures of both cars, paying special attention to damage
  • Pictures of any injuries sustained
  • Pictures of the surrounding area where the crash occurred, including images of the stoplights, intersection and sidewalk
  • A written description of the events that occurred
  • Specific timing of the crash

 

Every state has their own laws for determining fault, so it’s important to know your states laws following an accident. In addition to distractions, there are a lot of factors that need to be determined before finding fault. If a car wreck occurred while a driver was turning left, you will need to prove that the rules of the road were in your favor. Sometimes, even if you feel the other driver was at fault, there may be loopholes in state law that turn that around. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to help you avoid these loopholes and prove fault.

If you were injured in a car accident, contact the trusted attorneys at Stewart & Stewart today. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

16
Jul

What Can I Do If My Child is Injured at School?

July 16, 2018

School Playgrounds are major source of school accidentsWhen you send your child to school, you have an expectation that they will be well cared for and will return home safe and sound at the end of the day. Unfortunately, many children are injured at school on a daily basis, with up to four million children and teenagers across the country suffering injuries while at school.

The majority of those injuries are accidents that happen through common, everyday activities like running, sports activities, or simply falling down. But there are other injuries that occur at school due to negligence by the school administration or even the student’s teacher. These are the sorts of injuries that could have been avoided entirely with proper care and oversight.

These types of school liability injuries may include a wide array of situations, including:

·         Injuries occurring on the school bus or other school-owned vehicle

·         Negligence of your child’s teacher or a nearby teacher

·         Failure to properly clean the school, resulting in mold or other harmful toxins

·         Sexual or physical abuse of any kind

·         Physical education or gym injuries

·         School playground injuries

·         School district negligence

·         And more

 

If your child has experienced any of these situations, the school may be held liable for those injuries. If your child is injured at school due to roughhousing, fights, or bullying, the school may be held liable if staff failed to intervene, because schools have a duty to hire enough staff to reasonably supervise the students and prevent these sorts of injuries. In some cases, when bullying or intentional acts cause injury to a child, the parents of the child who caused those injuries may be held liable as well. Likewise, school districts are also responsible for ensuring that staff and teachers are properly screened before hiring to ensure that dangerous adults are not interacting with or put in charge of children.

School injuries can and do occur in many different ways and for a variety of different reasons, but the most important thing is to speak to a school injury lawyer as soon as possible. There is an array of injuries that could lead to a lawsuit and entitle the parents to damages due to the child’s pain and suffering and medical bills, and it is important that you receive what you deserve.

If your child has been injured at school, leave the work up to us. The experienced school injury attorneys at Stewart & Stewart not only have kids of their own and have been in this situation before, but have helped countless other families deal with the aftermath of a child’s injury. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

15
Jul

What Are My Options for Trial?

July 15, 2018

Court Room Before you enter into a trial, you must enter the discovery phase. This phase includes a lot of back and forth; a lot of questions and answers being exchanged, a lot of evidence being examined, and a lot of depositions. It’s the part of the case where your attorney is building value and beginning to paint the picture of what their argument is going to be at trial and what the insurance company is going to be up against. Once that discovery phase comes to an end, there comes the proverbial fork in the road. This is where your attorney will explore settlement or mediation or continue to get ready for trial.

Settlement

The first option, exploring settlement, often comes in the form of a formal attempt.  Most courts require that you go to what’s called a mediation or settlement conference before trial. Some courts require that you make this effort before they will give you a trial date. If your attorney goes forward with this attempt to resolve your case without a jury’s intervention and we go for what’s called mediation or a settlement conference, it’s possible to settle your case that way. The beauty of mediation or federal court settlement conference is that it gets everybody in the building at the same time. If you have two, three, four, five attorneys working on a case at those times, that can be a beautiful thing because it gets everybody in the same room at the same time and everybody is there with one goal in mind and that’s to try to get the case settled.

Mediation

In mediation, there is the introduction of the mediator. This is someone in the middle who isn’t working for your attorney and isn’t working for the other side, either. They’re truly a third party and the mediator’s sole job is to get the case solved as best they can. It’s equally possible that after the discovery phase is complete, your attorney may be able to settle your case informally with just a few phone calls and emails. It really depends on what the insurance company’s posture is in terms of how they value your case. If they value your case well below what you and your attorney value your case at, that can be an issue in terms of resolving it without a jury trial.

Trial

Even if you go to mediation and put forth these efforts to settle a case and you’re unsuccessful first, it’s still equally possible that your case will be resolved before a jury trial. If your attorney isn’t successful at mediation or successful at resolving informally and they keep going to trial, then the discussion about settlement is often rekindled. In this case, your attorney will continue to get your case ready for trial so that you can have your day in court.  There’s risks all along the way.  There’s risks for both sides.  One of those risks is the expenses associated with a trial. During trial, your attorney has to file the lawsuit, pay for deposition transcripts, pay for medical records, medical bills, and certified copies of all of those.  If you can settle the case before going to trial, you save a lot of money and that money just goes right back on your bottom line.

If you feel your case may enter trial, it’s important to hire experienced trial attorneys. At Stewart & Stewart, we are trial lawyers and it’s what we do but we are always keeping in mind that we want to do what’s right by you.  We want to fight for our clients’ interests. The bottom line is, this is your case, you are the one who was injured, you are the one who has been living it, and you are the one who might be dealing with it for the rest of your life.  For us, we’re much more used to the process but more importantly; we’re not the one who was hurt so we’re very cognizant of that.  We keep your interests in mind moving forward, but we still remain zealous and we fight hard for you.

If you are in need of a trial attorney, contact us at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

14
Jul

5 Main Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

July 14, 2018

When you are spending so much of your time on the job, you expect that your employer will maintain a safe work environment. Yet more than a million and a half work accidents happen every year, leaving thousands of employees out of work at any given moment as they recover from on-the-job injuries.

5 reasons most Slip and fall accidents occurUnder Federal law, you are entitled to a safe workplace, and you should not have to fear falling victim to an injury while at work. One of the most common injuries that can happen to employees whether they work in an office building or they work at a construction site is slipping and falling. You may be rushing to a meeting and slip on a wet floor or you may trip over poorly mounted scaffolding—but in either case, falling on the job can result in painful, long-lasting injuries. Here are the main causes of these all too common slip and fall accidents.

Improper Training

If you work in an environment that requires the use of machinery, being on your feet, or using your hands, it’s imperative that you receive the proper training before you begin work. If you are not shown how to do your job correctly, it can lead to an increase in injuries, especially slip and falls.

Uneven Surfaces

Everywhere from construction sites to office buildings are at risk for uneven flooring. It is your company’s responsibility to create a safe workplace, and that includes correcting uneven surfaces. If your company fails to do this, you are at risk for slip and falls that can cause serious injury.

Improper Cleaning

In addition to correcting uneven surfaces, your company must also ensure they clean your work space with the utmost care. If there is a spill in the break room that is not cleaned up in a timely manner, and you slip on it and hurt yourself, your company could be liable for your injuries.

Inappropriate Footwear

Many jobs require a certain type of footwear in order to ensure slip and falls don’t occur. If your employer does not provide the shoes for you, it is up to you to purchase, and wear, the shoes that are needed to keep you safe.

Weather

While weather is no one’s fault, per say, it is one of the leading causes of slip and falls in the workplace. And although your employer can not stop the rain or the snow, if you do fall on their property, they can be liable as they are obligated to keep the area safe for employees.

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

12
Jul

3 Common Wage Disputes in Indianapolis

July 12, 2018

Common Wage disputes Here in Indiana, we have state and federal wage and hour laws that protect workers and ensure they receive fair and timely wages. The Indiana Minimum Wage Law ensures that workers are getting paid the salary or hourly wage they deserve, while the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act gives local Indiana workers the assurance that they are treated fairly while at work. Both of these laws protect workers should their employer underpay them, fail to pay overtime, or force you to work outside of your scheduled hours.

At Stewart & Stewart, we handle many cases involving wage and hour here in Indianapolis. Some of the most common are as follows.

Underpayment of Wages

In Indiana, the minimum wage is currently set at $7.25/hour or $2.13/hour for tipped employees whose tips cover the difference in minimum wage. If your employer fails to pay you this set minimum, you are entitled to a lawsuit. Being paid under this minimum makes it extremely difficult for an average person to live a sound life, pay bills, and keep a roof over their heads. Employees with families will find more trouble with this, so it’s imperative to speak with an attorney if your employer fails to pay you what you deserve.

Working Off the Clock

You may think it’s normal to be forced to work outside of regular hours without any pay. In Indiana, if you work more than 40 hours in one week, you may be entitled to additional compensation and back pay. Your employer should set hours in your contract, and if you consistently work over these hours, you should contact an attorney to help you get the compensation and overtime money you deserve.

Unpaid Commissions

Many employees rely on commissions in their jobs, especially when those commissions make up a bulk of their take home pay. Here at Stewart & Stewart, we often see cases where an employer fails to pay the full amount of the commission as highlighted in the contract. When listed in a contract, the employer becomes legally obligated to pay out these commissions in full, and the failure to do so can result in a lawsuit.

If you have been a victim of one of these wage disputes, contact an experienced wage and hour attorney today. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

11
Jul

5 Road Safety Tips to Help You Avoid Accidents

July 11, 2018

Accidents happen everyday, and sometimes, no matter how careful we are, it is impossible to avoid one of those accidents. When we get into our cars, we never expect to experience an accident that may not only ruin our day, but cause extensive injury and medical issues we may have to deal with for years to come.Distracted drivers cause accidents. Don't text and drive

Practicing safe driving is something we all must do every time we get into our cars, whether we are simply driving to the grocery store down the street or taking a road trip across the country. To help you avoid accidents, here are five of the top road safety tips all drivers should abide by.

Avoid Distractions

Distractions can come in many forms. We may hear our phone go off, be looking for a good song on the radio, or even see a billboard that catches our attention. Simple distractions occur almost every second that you are behind the wheel, which is why it is extra important to try to avoid these distractions while the car is in drive. Consider putting your cell phone in the back seat so you cannot reach it or creating a playlist you want to listen to before you get into the car.

Take Care of Your Car

It’s imperative that all drivers keep their cars in top condition. In addition to regular oil changes and tire rotations, drivers should also pay attention to small inconsistencies they may notice and take their car in when something doesn’t feel right. Avoiding caring for your car could lead to break downs on a busy street, the loss of important functions and other hazards that cause serious accidents.

Wear Your Seat Belt

This is something we hear all the time when we are younger, and while this is common sense for the majority of drivers, it has also been witnessed that many adult drivers actually fail to put on their seatbelt while driving. Always wear your seatbelt to avoid additional injuries should an accident occur, and ensure that all passengers also have their seatbelts fastened before starting the car.

Don’t Drive Under Bad Circumstances

Drinking while driving is a common and dangerous mistake that many people make, but there are other symptoms someone may have that should also prevent them from getting behind the wheel. If you are overtired and drowsy, taking a new medication, or feeling under the weather, it is usually best to avoid driving. Similarly, if the weather is bad or the traffic is heavy, consider delaying your journey until conditions lighten.

Follow the Rules of the Road

Sticking to the speed limit, following road signs, and keeping a good distance between you and the vehicle in front of you are all important aspects of driving that can help you avoid accidents.

If you have been involved in an accident, contact the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.