Archive for March, 2019

26
Mar

3 Complications Victims Deal with Following a Fire

March 26, 2019

No one ever want to experience a fire and with large house fires seemingly so rare, it’s something most of us never think about. But the truth is, fires are actually quite common and can lead to prolonged complications. And it’s not just house fires that people should be wary of—you can deal with the aftermath of a fire in an apartment, at your work or even inside your car.Complications Victims Deal with Following a Fire

The most unfortunate aspect of a fire is that the majority of the time, they occur due to the negligence of someone else, whether that’s the builder of the home or the landlord of the apartment complex. For many who experience a fire in a rented home or apartment, a landlord can be to blame if they do not follow fire safety measures. It is their job to ensure smoke detectors work properly, fire doors are installed and that all fire exits are kept clear. When negligence is involved, it’s important for victims to contact a fire and burn injury lawyer to get the compensation you need to get back on your feet.

Following a fire of any sort, victims deal with a difficult aftermath and many complications.

Injuries

No matter where a fire occurs, victims are likely to experience injuries, most commonly burns. Burns can range from surface level to deep and life-threatening, so it’s important for all fire victims to seek medical attention to ensure their burns are treated properly. There are three levels of burns that fire victims will experience:

  • First degree burn: this is a burn that only affects the top layer of the skin. While these can be extremely painful, they are often not life-threatening and heal quite quickly. Medical attention should still be sought out after a fire, but this type of burn can usually be treated at home by the victim.
  • Second degree burn: a second degree burn is a bit more severe as it goes beyond that first layer of your skin. A doctor or hospital will probably advise you to keep your burn bandaged and to care for it properly for a few weeks until it is fully healed. More complicated second degree burns, or second degree burns that span the entire body, will likely need increased medical attention.
  • Third degree burn: the worst kind of burn, a third degree burn not only torches your skin but can reach down to your bones and organs and affect them, too. Rightfully so, these burns are the most damaging and can lead to life-threatening illnesses, nerve damage and even death.

 

Property Damage

A fire leaves victims with damages to their skin and body, but it also leaves lifelong damages to their property. When a fire occurs in the home, it often acts quickly, making it nearly impossible to retrieve personal belongings. If the fire spreads throughout the house, it can leave families homeless or without items that help them sustain their everyday lives. If the fire occurred due to the negligence of someone else, you deserve to be compensated for everything you lost. While personal items and family heirlooms can never be replaced, it’s imperative that you contact a fire and property damage attorney so you can replace the things that are, such as a roof over your head, clothing and everyday necessities. The same is true for those who are displaced from an apartment, unable to attend their place of work or who lose their vehicle due to a fire.

In addition to dealing with the loss, you will likely also be dealing with your insurance company. Often, insurance companies may not offer to cover all of your losses and may try to give you the run around knowing you are in a fragile state. An experienced attorney can help handle this for you so you can focus on getting you and your family into temporary housing or back to life as normal.

Loss of Livelihood

Our homes are the heart of our lives. It is where we retreat to, where we find comfort and where our families go to be together and live day-to-day. When a fire occurs in our homes, it can be a life altering situation that leads to not only the physical detriments and loss of property mentioned above, but also emotional turmoil victims may not expect. Even if you experience a fire at your workplace or in your vehicle, you could end up experiencing emotional trauma and the inability to live your life as normal.

At Stewart & Stewart, we understand how difficult the aftermath of a fire is, no matter where or how it occurred. We want to help our clients get the compensation they need so they can get back on their feet as soon as possible. If you or a loved one experienced a fire due to the negligence of another, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you. Give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

24
Mar

How Can an Attorney Help Me if My Child Was Born with a Defect?

March 24, 2019

Birth defects are something that no parent ever wants to experience. Before the baby is born, parents look forward to all the milestones their child will complete and adding a brand new member to their family—they never expect to have to deal with lawyers, doctors and an unfair diagnosis that their child has a defect caused by birth.How Can an Attorney Help Me if My Child Was Born with a Defect?

When birth defects do happen, though, it’s imperative that you contact an attorney to help you through the process. While you deal with the aftermath, you are probably asking yourself why this happened in the first place—a question your attorney can help you answer. While many birth defects are unavoidable and no one’s fault, a lot of them can be directly related back to medications taken during pregnancy, a negligent surgeon or doctor during or before birth or a missed diagnosis from an obstetrician. If a birth defect can be linked back to one of these things, you will have a lawsuit on your hands.

A birth defect can happen due to a number of different reasons, but the most common causes include:

  • A prescription drug given to the mother while pregnant. The actual drug or the dosage amount could be to blame for a birth defect.
  • Exposure to chemicals or dangerous toxins
  • Failure to diagnose or properly treat a condition during pregnancy, labor or birth
  • Failure to properly monitor a child during pregnancy
  • Negligence during labor

 

A child who is exposed to these causes may be born with defects including club foot, cleft palate, brain and skull deformities, Spina Bifida, Cerebreal Palsy, heart defects and may even be born stillborn or suffer fetal death. If any of these can be traced back to negligence, medical malpractice or exposure, you’ll need an attorney to help you not only enter into a lawsuit, but to win it and get the help you need and deserve.

An experienced attorney will take the case out of your hands and pursue the law the on your behalf, taking into account your needs during this trying time. We will initially help you decide if you have a case to move forward with and from there, we will take the necessary steps to enter your claim and get you compensation as soon as possible.

Your family doesn’t deserve to deal with a birth defect, especially one that could have been avoided. Let us take this ordeal on for you so you can focus on raising your baby. For more information about how the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart can help you, contact us today at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

23
Mar

Can I Be Injured by a Warming Blanket?

March 23, 2019

With the harsh winter weather here in Indianapolis, it’s likely that many of you are reaching for your warming blankets when at home or even sitting in the office. While these heating pads and warming blankets are great for keeping us warm, they can also be extremely dangerous when they are defective or malfunction while in use.

Recently, there are have been many product liability and defective product cases brought out against manufacturers of warming blankets—proving that it is not only possible to be injured by a warming blanket, but it’s possible to be injured so badly that a lawsuit is needed to help pay for medical bills.

The most common type of injury involving warming blankets is severe burns. Often these burns are caused by:

    • Leaving the warming blanket at a high setting for too long
    • A defective product where the blanket heats up to a dangerous temperature
    • Many blankets have a shut off timer when the blanket gets too hot—if this is damaged or defective it can lead to severe burns
    • Falling asleep with the blanket at a dangerous temperature
    • Faulty fabrics that do not facilitate the heat on skin correctly
    • A faulty blanket causing a fire or fire hazard when turned on

What Can I Do if I’m Injured by a Warming Blanket?

If you or a loved one was injured, or even died, after using a warming blanket, you should hire a product liability attorney as soon as possible to start your case. There are two main reasons that a warming blanket would lead to a lawsuit:

1.    Labeling Defect: This occurs when a manufacturer fails to label their product correctly and in turn, leads to injury to the consumer. With warming and electric blankets, this could mean failure to inform consumers of risks and dangers associated with the blankets or failure to let customers know that the blanket should not be left at a high setting for long periods of time.

2.    Product Defect: This occurs when there is a defect in the making of the actual product. This could mean any aspect of the blanket not working properly, whether it is the fabrics used, the thermometer settings or the heating element itself. If you suffer an injury because of these defects, you should hold the manufacturer liable for their negligence.

If either of these situations happened to you, an attorney can help you enter into a product liability case, where you can seek compensation for any pain and suffering you experienced due to the defective product. At Stewart & Stewart, we understand how frustrating a case like this can be—you never expect to be hurt or burned by a product only meant to keep you comfortable during colder months. Our team of experienced attorneys is ready to help you hold the negligent manufacturer responsible and get the compensation you deserve after an injury, burn or death. For more information, contact us today at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

23
Mar

How Do I Know if I Had an Acetaminophen Overdose?

March 23, 2019

Acetaminophen is a popular drug used for a variety of illnesses and ailments. Most commonly found in Tylenol, Acetaminophen can also be found in prescription drugs and other over-the-counter medications. While many people can take Tylenol daily to treat things like headaches and muscle pain, others will have adverse reactions to the medicine, specifically when not taken correctly or when mixed with other medicines.

It may be shocking to know, but many people have overdosed or been severely harmed by the use of Acetaminophen—some cases of Acetaminophen overdose or wrongful use have even led to death. The most dangerous side effect of Acetaminophen use is liver damage, which often occurs when patients mix Acetaminophen with another drug or use too much Acetaminophen in one single dose.

Every body is different, but the FDA states that the recommended daily dose for Acetaminophen is 4,000mg per day for adults. There are differing accounts of this, with the maker of Tylenol actually saying that the dose should be limited to 3,000mg. Always talk to your doctor if you are prescribed, or plan to take, a dose this large in one day.

Symptoms of an Acetaminophen Overdose

Most people do not expect to have any side effects after taking a prescribed medication, especially one as common as Acetaminophen, and even more so when they are taking an over-the-counter medication like Tylenol. But, for those that do take Tylenol regularly or were prescribed a medicine that contains Acetaminophen, it’s important to know what an overdose may look like so you can catch it before it’s too late.

If you experience any of these symptoms, head to the doctor or hospital immediately.

    • Pain in your stomach area, specifically the upper right side
    • Vomiting or intense nausea
    • Loss of appetite or inability to stomach foods as usual
    • Dark urine
    • Extreme fatigue
    • A yellow tint to your skin tone
    • Excessive, uncommon sweating

 

If these symptoms are ignored for too long, they can lead to a swollen abdomen, mental confusion, jaundice or even cause a patient to fall into a coma.

What Can I Do If I am Harmed by Acetaminophen?

Unfortunately, the use of Acetaminophen can lead to illness and dangerous side effects even when taken as prescribed. If you or a loved one experienced liver damage, signs of overdose, fell into a coma or even died after taking a prescribed amount of Acetaminophen, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages. While the FDA stands strong on their recommendation to limit the use of Acetaminophen, many patients are still prescribed high doses or given the okay to take a drug containing Acetaminophen with another, causing an unintentional overdose or liver damage.

If this happens to you or a loved one, contact Stewart & Stewart immediately. The statute of limitations on this type of case is short, so waiting to file a claim could cause your case to be thrown out.

No one deserves to suffer after taking a medication that was meant to help him or her recover or relieve symptoms. Any medicine offered over-the-counter should be considered safe and the warnings and dangers surrounding it should be clear and readily available to all who buy or take the drug. For more information about how the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart can help you, contact us today at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.

21
Mar

What Can I Do if My Airbags Failed During an Accident?

March 21, 2019

You get into your car everyday with the expectation that you will arrive at your destination safely. You also expect that should an accident occur, the safety measures inside your car, specifically your airbags, will work to keep you and any passengers safe from increased harm. But what do you do if the airbags fail to deploy after an accident?Air Bag failure

When an accident occurs that is serious enough to cause harm, the airbags should deploy to stop a victim from flying through the windshield and experiencing serious injuries or death. When airbags fail to do this, it is often due to a defect. Makers and manufactures of airbags, along with the makers of the cars, are required to ensure that every product they make works efficiently. When their products fail, they should be held liable for any injuries or harm caused by their negligence.

After an accident, there are many steps one should take to ensure they are not only kept safe and out of harms way, but that they can also file a claim and get the compensation they need to return to a normal life. When an accident occurs, you should always remain calm and try to move out of the way of other cars or busy intersections, if possible. If you suffered injuries, make sure an ambulance is called so you can be treated as soon as possible. If you are able, you should also take pictures of the scene, any injuries you see on your body or the body of a passenger and get the information of the other driver or drivers. If your airbag didn’t deploy in addition to the accident, you should also follow these steps:

  • Take pictures of the interior of the car to prove that the airbag did not deploy
  • Have a medical professional write down all of your injuries and take note of ones that could have been avoided if the airbags worked properly
  • Contact an attorney as soon as possible

When airbags do not work properly, there are a few people who can be held responsible. During the creation of an airbag, there are many different stages of design where a defect can take place. Because of this, an attorney will need to determine at what stage the defect occurred and who is responsible for your injuries. The following could be responsible for injuries related to a defective airbag:

  • The airbag manufacturer
  • Installers, tasked with physically placing the airbag correctly into the vehicle
  • The distributor or transport service who may have damaged the airbags during transport or storage
  • Testers, tasked with testing the airbags before the vehicle is put on the market to be sold
  • The car manufacturer

Determining who is to blame can be tricky, as it can hard to pinpoint exactly where in the process things went wrong. An experienced attorney will be able to look at all the facts and determine who was negligent and who should be held responsible for your injuries.

After a car accident, victims are subject to serious injuries and harm. Without airbags, those injuries can be intensified and lead to lifelong suffering and even death. If you or a loved one was in a car accident where the airbags failed to deploy, contact the attorneys at Stewart and Stewart right away to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. For more information, give us a call at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website for more information.