New Video FAQ: “What should I do if I have been bitten by a dog?”

In a new video FAQ, Hankey Law Office attorney Jim DuBach discusses common misconceptions about dog bite lawsuits and the steps you should take if you have been bitten by a dog. For many years, Jim and the attorneys of the Hankey Law Office have successfully represented individuals who have suffered dog bite injuries, and they are prepared to help you if you have been hurt by a pet owner’s negligence. Watch the FAQ below, or contact us at (317) 634-8565to discuss your case.


New Video FAQ: “What should I do if I’ve been involved in a car accident?”

In a new video FAQ released by Hankey Law Office, attorney Megan Cain discusses four essential tips that every driver should know and follow if they’ve been involved in a car accident. Watch the video below and visit our video FAQs page to learn more about this topic and many more. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Megan or any of the experienced attorneys at our firm for help. Contact us at (317) 634-8565 today.


New Video FAQ: Am I Eligible for Temporary Total Disability Benefits?

Hankey Law Office attorney Stacy Crider discusses the eligibility requirements for Temporary Total Disability Benefits in a new video FAQ. Stay tuned to our video FAQ page, YouTube channel, or this blog for more information about the topics that matter to you most. If you have a question or a disability claim, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Indiana disability attorney at (317) 634-8565.


New Video FAQ: “What Should I Do After A Bicycle Accident?”

Managing partner Charles Hankey discusses the steps you should take if you have been injured in a bicycle accident. Our experienced attorneys are prepared to help you if you have been hurt in an accident involving a bicycle and a car or truck, so make sure to call us to discuss your legal options. Watch the video here, and contact us at (317) 634-8565 if you need assistance. 


An emergence of vehicle technology means product defects may be on the rise

On Thursday, November 3, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana two people were killed after a driver lost control of their 2015 Tesla Model S and crashed into a tree. However, it was not the crash that caught rescuers off guard; it was the electric car’s lithium-ion battery, which exploded like a firework following the impact.  According to Indianapolis Star reports, the crash scene was spread over 150 yards, with firefighters attending to multiple fires caused by the lithium-ion battery fragments.

Details are still unknown as to what caused the horrific crash, but the fiery impact raises an important awareness of heightening product defect claims. Defects, particularly in vehicles, can come in all shapes and sizes. And as new technology begins to unfold—active cruise control, lane assist, auto driver—the list of potential vehicle defects will likely continue to rise. Some of the most common defects include defective seat backs, fuel-fed fires, and defective tires.

A seat back fails when it allows the occupant’s torso to move backward toward the rear seat. This can cause significant injury to the seat occupant. Usually the failure is due to a weakly made seat back or a defective recliner mechanism. As for fuel systems, significant system improvements have been made, but there are still potential errors that can occur. For example, some automakers may place fuel tanks in positions where they can be crushed or compromised in a collision, or they fail to properly protect the fuel tank from puncture damage. These types of errors can turn minor crashes into deadly situations.

If an auto defect is responsible how do consumers and advocates begin to compile the info they need for a case? As it turns out, ingenuity and luck may have much to do with it. In 2000, Congress passed the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act. TREAD requires automakers to report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) any claims they received that attribute serious injuries and deaths to auto defects. But in 2014, a New York Times investigation revealed that NHTSA had not required automakers to make full disclosures when they conducted death inquiries. It also allowed manufacturers to omit important information by making the following question optional on reports: “What may have caused the accident?” In the Times report, there were only four cases in which a manufacturer responded to the question, and none in which a defect in the vehicle was identified. So poor reporting compliance creates a significant hurdle to investigating whether or not a vehicle defect really did exist and how to prove it.

Although difficult, product defect cases are not impossible. There are numerous investigation techniques early on that can help you prove your product defect case:

  • Do a thorough inspection of the vehicle and the crash site
  • Collect the vehicle’s black box data
  • Identify the vehicle’s pre-accident condition
  • Find an experienced expert who can help you understand why and how the vehicle was flawed

Tesla Motors said in a statement on Friday that they are working with authorities in Indianapolis to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash. The car couldn’t transmit data to the company’s servers because of the amount of damage from the collision and resulting fire. They do not believe the Autopilot feature caused the crash, however. “Had Autopilot been engaged it would have limited the vehicle’s speed to less than 35 mph on this street, which is inconsistent with witness statements and the damage sustained,” the company said.

 


Usual uses of “Benefit Verification Letter” issued to SSDI beneficiaries

Individuals who have been receiving any Social Security benefits, like disability insurance (SSDI), may consider requesting a “benefit verification letter” by visiting the agency’s official website. A benefit verification letter can be used as evidence for the following:

  • For loan or mortgage application
  • For those who want to receive other benefits offered by the government, like assisted housing
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of retirement or disability status
  • Proof that you are currently covered by Medicare insurance

Individuals should note that they may request a benefit verification letter even their Social Security benefits are not given to them and their claims are currently being processed. Individuals could also filter the information that they want to include in the letter. If you want to know more information or have any concerns with your SSDI benefits in Indiana, get in touch with a skilled attorney of the Hankey Law Office today by calling (800) 520-3633.


Pedestrian fatally struck by vehicle in Indianapolis

A male pedestrian recently succumbed to his injuries after he was struck by a vehicle in the eastern portion of Indianapolis, an article of theindychannel.com reported on January 3.

According to reports, the fatal pedestrian accident, which occurred in the 2500 block of Brookside Parkway South Drive about 7:00 a.m., also resulted in injuries to two other people. According to the information provided by police, the pedestrian, whose name was not revealed, was situated on a walkway when the vehicle struck him. Rescuers immediately brought the pedestrian to the hospital where he later died. The driver of the vehicle and its passenger were both injured, as the vehicle ended up crashing a house. Reports also revealed that there were two people inside the house when the accident happened, and neither of them sustained injuries. Authorities did not release the identities of the persons involved in the mishap.

The wrongful death attorneys at the Hankey Law Office express their sincere condolences to the families and friends who have been affected by the untimely demise of their loved one.


When can disabled individuals start receiving Medicare benefits?

People in Indiana who receive Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits should know they are also entitled to Medicare benefits. This is important, especially if the medical condition of the SSDI beneficiary worsened with time.

Generally, the Social Security Administration (SSA) informs disability beneficiaries they are eligible for Medicare benefits after receiving SSDI benefits for two years. The Medicare Trust Fund was created to provide beneficiaries access to medical facility services and procedures. In Indiana, when Medicare beneficiaries are determined to have an extremely low income, the additional costs surrounding their Medicare benefits could be waived as well.

The lawyers at the Hankey Law Office provide legal assistance to Indiana SSDI beneficiaries to help them fully understand their benefits. If you have concerns about your benefits, or if you have decided to apply for or appeal your benefits, call us today at (800) 520-3633 to find out how we may work on your behalf.


What SSDI beneficiaries should know upon changing marital status

Individuals who are receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits should understand the payments they receive could be affected once they decide to change their marital status. Below are the things that could happen to disability benefits when a person changes his or her marital status:

  • SSDI beneficiaries who got their payments from their spouse can no longer receive benefits if they got divorced before reaching 62 years of age.
  • Individuals who have been receiving SSDI benefits from their deceased spouse may have their benefits stopped if they remarry before reaching 50 years of age.
  • Individuals who are receiving other kinds of benefits could stop receiving those benefits if they get married.

Those who have changed their marital status could continue receiving benefits upon divorcing a spouse if they are over 62. If you want to know more about your SSDI benefits in Indiana, consult with an Indiana attorney of the Hankey Law Office. Call us today at (800) 520-3633 to learn more about your disability benefit options.


What SSDI beneficiaries should know about disability review

The Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts a review of every person who receives disability benefits (SSDI), so they can know if the beneficiaries still deserve to get financial assistance.

Usually, the SSA notifies beneficiaries by mail that a review will take place. SSDI recipients should know they will be guided by local SSA officials regarding the review process and their rights. During this time, beneficiaries are expected to provide copies of their updated medical records that may include medical procedures they had. Beneficiaries will then be reviewed by a doctor and a disability examiner. At some point, additional medical exams at the expense of the SSA are requested from the beneficiaries. If the SSA decides an individual is still disabled, he or she is still entitled to benefits. However, benefits could stop if the SSA learns the person’s disability is improving. SSDI beneficiaries who believe their benefits were wrongfully stopped may consider appealing for their benefits.

If you want to learn more about how the SSA reviews your condition as an SSDI recipient, working with a skilled attorney is beneficial, especially if you heavily rely on your benefits to sustain your medications. Consult with an Indiana attorney of the Hankey Law Office today by calling (800) 520-3633.


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