Can I Get Fired While Receiving Indiana Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Each year, thousands of Hoosiers are put out of work because of injuries related to workplace accidents. While many of these individuals will qualify for Indiana workers’ compensation benefits, one of the most common questions among potential claimants is whether or not receiving work comp benefits can affect job security.

The answer is yes, but only under certain circumstances. The Indiana state government says the state has an “at-will” employment policy. This means employers can hire or fire workers as they see fit, but the cannot discriminate against employees based on disabilities.

Furthermore, Indiana employers cannot fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, they may be able to terminate employees who cannot work for a period of time that violates their posted or published attendance or leave policies.

The Indiana personal injury attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin suggest taking these two actions while filing a workers’ compensation claim:

  • Communicate clearly with your employer- Let management know about your accident and the conclusions drawn by your doctor immediately.
  • Get legal assistance- An attorney from Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help clarify legal questions that arise during the workers’ compensation process and ensure your rights to employment are protected while you file your claim.
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Indiana Adopts “Dead Red Law” for Cyclists and Motorcyclists

When a vehicle approaches an intersection equipped with traffic signals, sensors in the roadway pick up the weight of the vehicle and use that information to determine traffic patterns and rotate the lights. But bicycles and motorcycles can have difficulty setting these sensors off, leaving them stranded at red lights for long periods of time.

To help address this problem, the State of Indiana enacted the “Dead Red Law” recently. An article from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel explains this piece of legislation allows cyclists or bikers to pass through a red light as long as they have stopped for two minutes and then proceed with caution.

The passing of the law puts Indiana into a category with 15 other states carrying similar regulations.

While some say the law will offer relief to the frustrations many bikers face on a daily basis, others believe the reform may lead to an increase in Indiana motorcycle accidents. This is because intersections are the most common place for motorcycle accidents to happen, and drivers who fail to recognize or yield right-of-way to bikers cause a majority of crashes.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our team of Indiana personal injury attorneys would like to remind cyclists and bikers to ride safe on Indiana’s roads this summer.

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New Brain Injury Treatment Stirs Controversy

The sooner a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is treated, the higher the likelihood of the patient having a full recovery. A new drug is showing potential in helping TBI victims recover from their injuries, but testing the medication has raised ethical questions in the medical community.

The drug, known as tranexamic acid, is used in trauma centers nationwide to stop internal bleeding in emergency situations. Doctors are now hoping to test the medication on TBI victims to see if it can stop bleeding in the brain after blows to the head. Unfortunately, many of the candidates who could potentially undergo the experimental treatment are unresponsive when they arrive in the ER, leaving researchers no choice but to administer the drug without the patient’s consent to gather data.

An article from The Seattle Times points out that this practice raises some serious ethical questions . Typically, medical staff must receive consent from a patient or their next of kin prior to administering a drug. But the law allows exceptions to this rule if researchers who are experimenting with new treatments make the public aware of their intentions and offer opportunities to opt out of participation.

The problem is there really is no standard as to what constitutes public awareness. At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we’re waiting to see how researchers and lawmakers can solve this problem to help ensure a better quality of life for TBI victims.

If you or someone you love has suffered a TBI due to someone else’s negligence, the Terre Haute personal injury lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin can help protect your legal rights.

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A Few Things You Should Know About Long-Term Disability Insurance Coverage

One thing you can count on in life is that accidents and illness will happen. These situations often leave their victims unable to work, without a source of income, and in need of financial assistance.

Many choose to attempt getting Social Security Disability benefits to help make ends meet, but a majority of these claims are denied. In fact, the Social Security Administration reports that as many as seven in 10 initial claims are denied. Large portions of claimants seek to have the decision overturned through the appeals process. Even then, only four out of every ten claims ends up being approved.

This leaves many people asking what they can do to protect themselves from a disabling injury or illness. One of the best options is to purchase a long-term disability insurance policy.

Such a policy can provide as much as 50 to 70 percent of your wages if you’re unable to work for longer than six months. These benefits can be received on top of any other federal benefits you’re awarded, including Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income.

It’s important to remember that long-term disability is an insurance policy and when you attempt to collect benefits due to an accident or illness, the insurer may not have your best interests at heart. That’s why having a qualified Indiana personal injury attorney by your side may prove beneficial.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our team of lawyers can help you examine your insurance policy and finances to help ensure you get the maximum benefit you’re entitled to. So call us today at (800) 618-4878 or fill out a free online consultation form on our website, and a member of our legal staff will be in touch with you soon.

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Law Enforcement Says Indiana Distracted Driving Laws Difficult To Uphold

It’s no secret that drivers who are distracted by cellphones remain one of the greatest hazards on the road today. Just look at the growing number of accidents that are attributed to this behavior. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 9 people per day are killed as the result of distracted driving.

This leaves many citizens curious as to what is being done to address the risks of an Indiana car accident that a distracted driver can pose. Indiana distracted driving laws state motorists are prohibited from sending or receiving texts and emails while driving, but law enforcement believes the laws are too difficult to enforce.

In an article released by the Insurance Journal, police officers in Indiana are saying the laws fail to prohibit drivers from using electronic devices to make calls, type phone numbers, change music, or access phone applications. Furthermore, officers aren’t allowed to confiscate a phone to check for activity, even when distracted driving is suspected.

These difficulties have left officers and troopers struggling to enforce the measures, with a mere 400 tickets being issued for infractions over the past two years. This low number came in spite of the state attributing more than 1,000 car accidents to distractions behind the wheel.

This is why many citizens are chipping in to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, with one 9-year-old girl launching a campaign asking drivers to pledge not to text and drive.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Terre Haute Injury Lawyers understand the importance of spreading the message about the dangers of distracted driving. That’s why we hope the efforts that are currently being made will be enough to curb the epidemic of distracted drivers.

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Indiana Car Accident Caused By Faulty GM Ignition Switch Sparks Lawsuit

Manufacturers of automobiles in the United States have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the vehicles they release. This is why General Motors (GM) is facing heavy scrutiny for failing to correct electrical problems in a number of their vehicles, which led to accidents that killed at least 13 motorists and injured another 54.

One of those victims was a 28-year-old woman who has filed an Indiana car accident lawsuit against GM. She claims that as she was riding in a Chevrolet Cobalt being driven by her boyfriend when the vehicle suddenly shut off. This caused the man to lose control and crash, causing the driver to lose an eye and the passenger to suffer severe facial trauma that will require several corrective surgeries.

The lawsuit argues that GM failed to take action to correct the known defect in the ignition switch that caused the vehicle to stall and is seeking damages for the harm that was inflicted upon the accident victims.

An article from The New York Times states the sheer number of cases being filed by victims of similar accidents has forced GM to settle many cases out of court in hopes of reducing the amount of money they will be required to pay.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Indiana personal injury lawyers know how costly an injury caused by a defective product can be. That’s why we are hopeful a settlement in the GM recall lawsuits will help to bring a sense of closure to the victims and their families.

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Advancements Made In New Spinal Cord Injury Treatment

It’s no secret that a spinal cord injury can have a serious impact on a victim’s mobility and function. Luckily, advancements are currently being made in the treatment of such injuries.

An article released by Becker’s Spine Review explained how a team of researchers is using stem cells to help patients who have severed their spinal cord recover from their injuries. Dr. Armin Curt, MD, stated that his team has been examining the effects of directly transplanting stem cells into the spinal cords of injury victims, while also using an immunosuppressive treatment.

His findings show that patients who have undergone the treatment showed a significant increase in sensory function after just six months. Even more shocking is the time frame in which the treatment has been found to be effective. Patients who were treated anywhere between four months and two years after their injury still responded well to the treatment.

The findings could be significant, considering there are approximately 12,000 individuals who become spinal cord injury victims each year. There are also an estimated 273,000 spinal cord injury victims currently living in the United States today.

The Terre Haute personal injury lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize the devastation that can be caused to the lives of a spinal cord injury victim and his or her family. That’s why the firm hopes these findings can be used to help find better treatment options for these individuals as soon as possible.

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Challenge Gets Local Organizations To Raise Money For Needy Police Officers And Their Families

For some people there is nothing more invigorating than jumping into a freezing cold body of water. Just look at the Polar Bear Clubs around the nation and the recently trending videos of cold water challenges that are taking place.

For others, there is no better feeling in the world than helping others. That’s why our team of Terre Haute personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin have combined these two activities for the betterment of our community.

Our firm has partnered with the local fire and police departments—as well as The Soggy Donut Fund—to raise money through a corporate cold water challenge. To kick off the event, Fire Chief Jeff Fisher and the founder of The Soggy Donut Fund, Brad Newman, each stood in front of a fire hose in order to raise money for the organization to use to assist the needy families of police officers who are injured or killed in the line of duty.

The event raised more than $550 with more expected to come in as the challenge grows after a video of the challenge was posted to Facebook. Fisher and Newman have challenged the Vigo County Courthouse, City Hall, and local business, Eyecare Express to complete the same challenge. If they do, they can raise funds for The Soggy Donut Fund and pass the challenge on to another participant. If they fail to complete the challenge, they owe $100 to The Soggy Donut Fund.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, helping others is a mission that is dear to the hearts of each member of our legal team. Learn more about our attorneys and what giving back means to them by checking out our website.

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Indiana Special Olympics Attempts To Break High Five Guinness World Record

Helping and supporting others in the community, especially those with disabilities, is a mission that’s important to our team of Indiana personal injury lawyers here at the law firm of Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin. That’s why we are asking the citizens of Terre Haute to come out in support of the 45th Annual Indiana Special Olympics Summer Games that are taking place in the city this weekend.

Attending this year’s opening ceremony will be particularly special, as those who attend and participate will be asked to join in on breaking the Guinness Book of World Records number for the longest high-five line ever created. According to an article from WTHITV 10 News, the high five line started as a tradition at the event a few years back and has grown to be a highlight in the introduction of participating athletes. This year, event organizers hope to make the line one for the memory and record books by having hundreds of people gather to show their support through a slap of hands.

Registration to participate in the record attempt begins at 6 p.m. this Friday evening at the Hulman Center. The first 500 people to sign up will receive a free gift as well.

Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin’s team of attorneys are hopeful the record breaking attempt is a success and would also like to wish all the athletes participating in the games this weekend the best of luck in their events!

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3 Ways to Prevent Drowsy Driving Accidents

Every day, motorists get behind the wheel without enough rest and cause serious car accidents. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation estimates approximately 168 million drowsy drivers are on the road each year.

The dangers of drowsy driving were highlighted when investigators determined an Indiana drowsy driving accident was responsible for leaving one person seriously injured earlier this week. Reports indicate the crash happened near the intersection of SR46 and Dearborn Street in Vigo County.

According to an article from WTHITV 10 News, the victim fell asleep while traveling east along 46 and veered off the road. The car then struck an embankment and flipped, leaving the driver requiring immediate medical attention.

The Terre Haute personal injury lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin recognize the dangers of drowsy driving and would like to offer these tips to help keep you safe during your travels.

  1. Get Enough Rest- Drivers should refrain from getting behind the wheel with less than eight hours of sleep prior to driving.
  2. If you get tired, pull over- If you find yourself becoming fatigued behind the wheel, pull over at the next safe exit or location, lock the doors of your vehicle, and rest.
  3. Don’t Rely On Tricks- Rolling down the windows, turning on the air, or turning the radio up are all unsupported myths to prevent falling asleep at the wheel. The only way to prevent a drowsy driving accident is to get some sleep.


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