New Technology Helps Reduce Traumatic Brain Injuries on Football Fields

Football can be a fun and entertaining pastime, but playing the game comes with inherent dangers. One of the most significant risks a football player faces is a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimate as many as one in five high school and collegiate football players will suffer at least one brain injury over the course of a single season. These numbers leave many wondering what’s being done to better protect players from such harm.

Not only have many sports organizations adopted new policies for the treatment of players suspected of sustaining head injuries, but programs are now teaching athletes to use a “heads up” tackling technique that can reduce impact on the head when hitting.

Technology is also improving safety in the game. One such device is the Shockbox® helmet sensor. This product can help identify and warn players, coaches, and parents alike when athletes have taken particularly hard blows to the head that should be further examined.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin have seen the impact that TBIs can have and are encouraged by the latest developments in safety technology. We encourage all parents, players, and coaches to educate themselves on the risks posed by TBIs.

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Indianapolis VA Facility Manipulated Dates on Veterans Disability Benefits Records

When soldiers are injured or disabled as a result of injuries sustained during service, they are entitled to benefits from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA). Unfortunately, the VA has failed to provide these benefits to many veterans in a timely manner. Now, reports indicate some agency employees—including those at the Indianapolis facility— have gone so far as to manipulate dates of records to hides shortcomings.

VA policy states that when a current or former service member applies for health care or veterans’ disability benefits, the date they wish to see a doctor be recorded as the “desired date” of the claim. This date is then used to ensure all claimants are able to receive care within a 14 day window; however, 5 percent of VA employees at the Indianapolis facility stated they were told to record different dates than the ones requested by veterans. Furthermore, the Indianapolis Star reports only 14 percent of employees felt the computerized scheduling system is being used correctly.

These shortcomings have forced the federal government to consider supplying veterans with vouchers that could be used to seek treatment from private care facilities to help them get out from under the large number of backlogged claims.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are aware of how difficult it can be for veterans to get the medical care and benefits they deserve. That’s why we are here to answer any questions you may have about getting your benefits. Feel free to give us a call anytime at (800) 618-4878 to discuss your claim.

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3 Ways to Avoid Indiana Car Accidents as Students Return to School

As summer wind downs, many children in the Hoosier State are preparing to return to school. This means the potential for increased traffic, which canlead to an increase in the number of Indiana car accidents.

The attorneys at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin suggest following these three safety tips to avoid accidents:

  1. Be Vigilant- Whether you’re a student making your way to a building or a driver heading down the road, it’s important to actively look and listen for pedestrian and vehicle traffic during school hours.
  2. Obey All Traffic Signals- Pedestrians and motorists must follow traffic signs and signals to prevent crashes. Sharing the road safely requires adhering to traffic lights, stop signs, and crosswalks.
  3. Be Visible- Motorists should use headlights at all times and slow down in order to increase visibility. Students walking or biking to school should wear light-colored or reflective clothing. Carrying a light in the hours before dawn or after dusk is a good idea as well.

To further increase safety at schools, WTHITV 10 News reports each learning facility in the Terre Haute district will be equipped with a school resource officer to help keep school zones safe.

Our team of Terre Haute personal injury lawyers is hopeful these tips help keep our community’s students and motorists safe from harm.

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Campaign Aims to Protect Motorists From Indiana Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving is an epidemic that affects everyone who uses Indiana’s roads. Data indicates there were a total of 114 Indiana drunk driving accident fatalities last year alone.

To help curb the number of drunk driving incidents involving Hoosiers, law enforcement agencies will be taking part in a traffic safety blitz later this week. Beginning on Friday, August 8, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office will partner with the Purdue, Lafayette, and West Lafayette Police Departments to conduct this year’s Blitz 80 as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

WLFI 8 News reports the operation will work by establishing both sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols along roads and highways in the area. Officers and deputies will then stop motorists who may be breaking alcohol impairment laws. The funds needed to supply manpower for the campaign are coming from a grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.

The aim of the campaign is to stop motorists from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated and instead choose alternative methods of transportation, such as cabs or ride sharing services.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, our Indiana personal injury lawyers know the serious ramifications drunk driving can have and ask citizens to do their part to keep our roadways safe by not drinking and driving.

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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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