Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Choking Hazards

As your Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer, representing Hoosiers all over the State of Indiana out of our Indianapolis offices, we think this is a very important topic, especially around the holidays.  So many toys have small parts that can become apart from the toy, be picked up by your energetic toddler and go straight into the mouth.  Candy, a huge part of the holiday is small and certainly will be put straight into the child’s mouth.  They swallow, the part, or the candy gets stuck, and it is a race against time to open up the airway. The lack of oxygen can kill but it can also cause brain injury, injury to the esophagus and trachea, and damage to the lungs.  As mom always said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Indianapolis Personal Injury AttorneysYoung children put almost everything in their mouth, which makes the main goal of choking prevention to keep any small items that your child might choke on out of his mouth. This may mean occasionally getting on all fours and checking under the kitchen table and other furniture and behind coach cushions.

Know what to look for.  Once you know what to look for the task is not so overwhelming. Some of the most common choking hazards include: whole grapes
• peanuts and other nuts
• popcorn
• hard candy and chewing gum
• hard foods, including raw vegetables
• soft foods, such as large cubes of cheese, caramels, etc.
• chewy foods, such as thick spoonfuls of peanut butter
• uncut hot dogs
• coins
• marbles and small balls
• small magnets
• small batteries
• balloons, which can be a choking hazard to kids under age eight when they put broken balloon pieces in their mouths or when they inhale intact balloons when trying to blow them up
• safety pins, pen caps, and tacks
• small toy parts that can fit inside a choke test cylinder or no-choke testing tube, which measures 1 1/4 inches wide by 2 1/4 inches long and simulates the size and shape of a young child’s throat, such as Lego building blocks, dice, beads, etc.
• dry pet food

Of course this does not mean that all of these items should be banned from the home, but it does mean they should not be in an area where your child, especially those crawling around on the floor, will be. Some tips include always be aware of what you are feeding your child.  If it is a hotdog, make sure the dog is cut into small enough pieces that they cannot become stuck in the throat. Supervise your children’s play and avoid age inappropriate toys.  If you have older children playing with smaller items, make sure the younger children are not able to get hold of the small pieces.

Choking Prevention

In addition to regularly checking the floor, your car, and other areas where your child crawls, walks, and plays, other steps to keep kids safe from choking include that you:

Learn CPR and keep emergency numbers by the phone, learn the Heimlich maneuver, keep medications and vitamins out of reach in child resistant containers, childproof cabinets and drawers so that your kids can’t get to small items inside them, supervise kids when they are eating, cut foods, like grapes and hot dogs, into small, one-half inch pieces, avoid foods that are not age appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers, like chewing gum, hard candy, and nuts until they are at least four years old, don’t let your kids play with toys that are not recommended for their age, since they may have small parts and could be a choking hazard, keep your older kids toys out of reach of younger siblings, regularly inspect toys to make sure that parts aren’t going to break off and throw out any broken toys, supervise kids under age eight if they are playing with a balloon, keep uninflated balloons out of reach, and throw away balloons once they deflate or break, see your pediatrician if your child seems to have an episode of choking, recovers, but then develops a chronic cough, since that can be a sign that your child aspirated the item and it is still in his lung, Also be sure to supervise your kids when they are outside, at someone else’s home that may not be as well childproofed as your own, or at a store, as there may be many choking hazards around that your toddler or preschooler could pick up.

Serious Personal Injury Attorney Discusses Holiday Drinking

holiday drinkingThe holidays are a time to be of good cheer.  Common at all parties is alcohol.  Common to alcohol is drunk driving.  Common to drunk driving are drunk driving accidents.  Common to Drunk driving accidents are serious person al injuries including brain injury, broken bones, paralysis and even wrongful death.  Common to serious personal injury is the devastating impact on families.  Bread winners can’t work.  Crushing medical bills drive Hoosiers into bankruptcy. Homes are lost.  Families are splintered. All because someone does not have the restraint or sense to call a cab, or walk or let someone else have their keys.

For the sake of all Hoosier families, including your own, if you are going to be drinking, resolve beforehand that you will not drive.  Keep a cab telephone number in your purse or wallet.  Leave your car at home and take a cab both ways.  Allow someone who has not been drinking to take your keys and drive you home. Do anything, but do not get behind the wheel drunk.  Do not destroy your life and the lives of Hoosier families. Don’t drink and drive.

Serious Personal Injury Lawyer and the Constitutional Right to Jury Trial

Indiana Trial LawyerAs a Serious Personal Injury Lawyer representing seriously injured Hoosiers all over the State of Indiana from our Indianapolis offices, I see, everyday, people with agendas, trying to take away one of your constitutional rights.  These are the same people who claim they adore the Constitution.  These are the people who vigorously defend the intent of the Founding Fathers when it comes to Freedom of Religion, Right to Bear Arms and a few other of our Constitutional rights.  I ask you, how can these people defend the intent of the Founding Fathers about some rights and bash them on others?          

It may surprise you to know that the Founding Fathers thought so highly of a citizen’s right to ask a jury to determine fair compensation for their injuries, whether to their person, their property, their intellectual rights and so on, that they wrote the seventh amendment into the Bill of Rights.  The Seventh Amendment  states: In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

So why are our legislators infringing that right.  Did you know that in securities cases arbitration is mandatory and the Right to a Trial by Jury is almost impossible.  Did you know that there is a current effort by some special interest groups to abolish the right to trial by jury?

 A serious personal injury to a wage earner is often times the most important event in that person’s life as well as the lives of their family. Broken bones, brain injury, paralysis and even wrongful death can devastate the welfare of that family unit.  Requiring the negligent individual or corporation to fully make up for the harm they have caused is the right of the injured, as well as the taxpayer who will have to care for the person and the family if the responsible party does not meet their obligations. A Trial by Jury, as our Founding Fathers knew, is that check and balance which we all call fairness. Do not let anyone take that right from you, or from us!

Medical Malpractice and Health Care Costs

Medical Protective President and CEO, Timothy Kenesey acknowledges that the perceived threat of law suits or litigation on health care costs is relatively small.  Why is this important? It is important because as the CEO of one of, if not the, biggest medical malpractice insures in the world, Mr. Kenesey would know.  It is important because it confirms what Trial Lawyers have said for years, lawsuits, which are filed to hold doctors responsible for their mistakes, are not the cause of rising health care costs.  So, the next time you hear a politician use the threat of Litigation to justify your right to go to Court and ask for fair compensation, know that the politician is wrong.  Know that allowing those who are hurt by another’s negligence is simply the right thing to do.

Social Security Lawyer Talks About Work Attempts

Did you know that the Social Security Administration not only allows a person to work while their application for benefits is pending, but encourages it?  As a starting point, the Social Security Administration prefers that people work instead of receiving disability benefits.  A working person contributes taxes, supports their families and helps the economy.  A working person, statistically, will also live longer than a person receiving disability. This is not to say that the SSA begrudges anyone who is disabled receiving their due, but as an economic choice, it is better to have people working.

So, the Social Security Administration rules and regulations allow for trial work periods.  If you apply for benefits, you may try to reenter the work force while your application is pending without prejudice to your application if you are unable to continue that work.  The rules are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, 20 CFR Sec. 1592.  Under this provision, if you are unable to work for nine consecutive months, then this work will not be evidence that you are able to work.  If you work more than 9 consecutive months then the work will be considered in making the disability decision.  It is my experience that Administrative Law Judges look favorably on those with failed work attempts, especially in those cases where the judge’s discretion is key to the case.  What I mean is if your claim is a “close call”, a failed work attempt may serve to increase the claimant’s credibility and give them the benefit of the doubt.

If you have a claim pending, are not currently represented, and have a question about attempting to work while your application is pending, please give a call.  I may be able to answer your question quickly, and give you a little peace of mind.

Why Trial Lawyers Have a Valuable Place in our Society

I am a serious personal injury lawyer.  You often hear me referred to as a Trial Lawyer.  I represent Hoosiers when they have been seriously injured as a result of another’s negligence.  If a Hoosier suffers an amputation, a brain injury or wrongful death, they often seek me out to help them achieve a modicum of justice.  My guess is that you, the reader of this entry, are skeptical of my motivation and what I do.  I ask you to examine why you feel the way you do about trial lawyers, if for no other reason then consider the following.

Our legislators (whose approval ratings are in the toilet) are consistently telling us that trial lawyers are greedy no good SOBs who live off the misery of others and interfere with our competitive abilities in the world market place.  Now, these folks don’t come up with this vitriol on their own.  They get it from vested interests whose goal it is to be free from the obligation of being responsible for the harm they cause, so as to maximize profits.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all for maximizing profits, I just don’t think anyone, whether an individual, a corporation or a government should be able to do whatever they wish without being responsible for the harm they cause.  My mother was right.  Mom taught her children that being a good citizen, whether in our neighborhood, our city, our state or our country required us to be responsible for our actions.  This included being responsible for making up for the harm we cause.  She would be shamed if a law was passed giving her children protection from their actions, when those action hurt others.

If you agree with my mom, ask yourself, why should a corporation be protected and not be responsible for its actions?

Now, here comes the part about trial lawyers.  Our Government is too big.  We spend more money than we have.  But the people need protection from those who would flaunt safety rules and regulations for their own gain.  The simple, low cost answer is the trial lawyer.  Trial lawyers do not require subsidies from the government.  Trial lawyers hold wrong doers responsible for their actions.  Trial lawyers take people and corporations to task for the harm they cause others.  We do this at little or no cost to the tax payer.  When people and corporations follow simple safety rules, we have less injury, fewer people out of work, fewer people on Medicare or Medicaid, and more people contributing to the welfare of society.

So I ask you again, do you really think that trial lawyers are the problem?

Indianapolis Auto Accident Lawyer Discusses What to Do If You are in A Collision

Car crashes cause serious personal injury.  Injuries such as broken bones, brain injury, paralysis and amputations leave the injured person either unable to communicate or unclear in their thinking.  The first thing to try and do at a collision scene is to stay calm.  If you are seriously injured, do not worry about anything but your health.  Follow the instructions of the emergency aid providers and let the police investigate the rest of the claim.

Indiana Auto Accident LawyersIf you are not so seriously injured that you are able to walk and talk and think clearly, then we suggest that you give a concise statement of the facts to the investigating officer.  Ask the officer to record the names of witnesses at the scene.  You may exchange insurance information at the scene of the collision.  If the other driver is not cooperating, do not force the issue.  Allow the police to take care of it.  However, you should record the license plate number and make and model of the other car.

Limit Discussion of the collision and talk only with the police or your claim handler.

If you receive a call, a visit, or a letter from an attorney or attorney’s office within the first thirty days of the collision, know that they cannot be trusted.  They cannot be trusted because the rules of the Indiana Supreme Court prohibit such contact.  If a lawyer, a law firm or one of their workers contacts you within that 30 days, know they are not honest and you must report them to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.  Someone who would violate this rule cannot be trusted to work for you.

Give no statement to the insurance company for the person who caused the collision. 

If you are injured seek medical attention and follow the doctor’s orders.  It is difficult for those without insurance to obtain quality care, but do what you can.

If you have any questions about your rights, seek the advice of people you know and respect to locate and retain a lawyer.  Experience counts, and your friends and family probably know a good lawyer with whom they have worked and trust.

Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer Talks About Bad Weather Driving

In my experience, auto accidents do not just happen.  Thus, to call car collisions accidents is a misnomer.  What I mean is they are collisions usually caused by one of the drivers failure to follow the rules of the road.  What about driving in bad weather, does that mean the collision is an accident, meaning no one is at fault?  Well, every case is very fact sensitive, but in my experience most bad weather collisions, which cause serious personal injury and even wrongful death, are usually caused by someone’s failure to follow the rules of the road.  One common negligent cause of bad weather collisions is being in too great a hurry.  One thing everyone knows for sure when they are driving in ice and snow is that they are driving on ice and snow.   Therefore, they must slow down.  Speed limits on roads are devised to keep traffic safe and moving under optimal weather conditions.  However, they do  not mean that when the weather is bad that it is safe to travel at that speed.  When ice and snow are on the road, slow down.  Make sure you have enough room between you and the other car so that you can stop, or evade a collision.

A common negligent act is to drive with bald or significantly worn tires.  We all know that tire treads give us better control in wet conditions as well as on snow and ice.  If the tread is worn, or the tire is bald, you will have less traction and the chances of causing a collision are markedly increased.  Serious personal injury including amputation, paralysis, broken bones and dislocations and brain injury occur when a driver loses control because tires are worn.  Drivers must check their tire treads and change their tires according to manufacturer recommendations.

Never assume that we are at the mercy of the elements.  There are many things we can do to protect ourselves, our families and others using the road.  A little thought and a little caution will go far to keep everyone safe.

Children Are Stop Signs

In my practice, as Indiana’s serious personal injury attorney, I see little children as in need of special protection.  If you are driving down the road and you see a stop sign, you instinctively take your foot off the gas, you may coast a little, but you will move your foot to the break and stop at the stop sign, after all this is a rule of the road.  It is a rule of the road that keeps everyone safe when we are moving 2000 plus metal objects down the road.  If we think of the little child and the concept of the stop sign together we can see the wisdom in treating every little child as a stop sign.

We all know that small children do not understand the dangers associated with moving cars.  We know they are impulsive and we know that even if they are carefully instructed about cars and streets, they may not always follow the rules that adults and older children will follow.  Finally, we know that if a car hits a small child, serious personal injury and even wrongful death are likely results. So, I ask you to take the drive smart Kids Dart warnings seriously.  One way to drive smart is to see every little child as a stop sign.  If you are driving down the road, especially in a residential neighborhood, if you see a child, no matter how old, assume there are other, younger children around, even if you cannot see them.

You may not see them because they are behind cars or trees or other objects, or they are just so small they are hard to see.  So, you see the child, you take your foot off the gas, you may coast, but as you approach the child, your foot moves towards the brakes.  Maybe, even likely you will not come to a stop, but you are travelling at a speed which will allow you to stop instantly if a small child appears.  No matter how important that meeting, no matter where you need to be, 2-3 extra minutes will not kill you.  However, will you ever be able to forgive yourself if you seriously injure or cause the wrongful death of a small child?

NOTICE: No face-to-face meeting needed. You can remain safely in your home from case signup to settlement.