National Dog Bite Prevention Week focuses on the problem of dog bites

This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, and as such, many public and private organizations are working on educating the public about the prevalence of dog bites and how to avoid being bitten.

With nearly 1,200 dog bites and attacks reported to animal control agencies in Indianapolis in 2012, Indianapolis’s own Marion County Animal Care and Control Agency, along with the American Veterinary Association and State Farm Insurance, are working on decreasing the number of people bitten by dogs. According to Dawn Contos, spokeswoman for the Marion County Animal Care and Control Agency, the number of pet bites that occur can likely be decreased by owners acting responsibly and people exercising greater caution around dogs. For Indianapolis this is especially important, as it ranks 7th in the nation for the number of insurance claims filed for dog bites, according to State Farm.

Contos also warned that people, especially children who are susceptible to more severe bites as they are closer to a dog’s level, should be careful around all dogs, not just notoriously dangerous breeds.

At the Hankey Law Office, P.C., our legal team can help you if you have been bitten by a dog that was not properly controlled by its owner. Call 317-634-8565 to discuss your situation and potential legal options with us.


Debt and Social Security talks worry hoosier seniors

A move to change the way Social Security calculates cost-of-living adjustments to reduce deficit is cause for worry among seniors, especially women.

AARP associate state director for advocacy Sarah Waddle said the proposed chained Consumer Price Index (CPI), which lawmakers are currently considering, will result in smaller annual increases for seniors. Although the idea is that seniors will be frugal enough to find cheaper alternatives of what they need, Waddle says this. Hoosier seniors will lose around $2.6 billion over 10 years using the “chained CPI,” AARP calculates. Waddle also stressed that senior women will be greatly affected by “chained CPI” calculation because a majority tend to live longer and receive a lower amount in Social Security benefits.

Waddle also said seniors should not be targeted in deficit reductions because they have contributed to Social Security during their working years, and this program didn’t add to the debt.

Obtaining Social Security benefits is a difficult process, especially if you are disabled and in need of financial support. Thus, when you are in great need of these financial benefits, speak with a lawyer from the Hankey Law Office, P.C., by calling 317-634-8565.

Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II

Another hip implant was recently added to the growing list of hip replacement devices that are failing at alarmingly fast rates, as the Stryker Corporation issued a voluntary recall of their Rejuvenate and ABG II modular-neck hip stems. As a result many Stryker hip recall lawsuits have been filed across the country.

In theory, both the Rejuvenate and the ABG II were designed to provide patients with a more accurate fit. Unlike most hip replacement devices that only offer a one-piece neck and stem component, with the Strykers, surgeons could choose from one of six Rejuvenate stems and 16 modular-necks, providing patients with a near-custom fit and angle. The Stryker ABG II offered eight right stems, eight left stems and 10 modular necks.

This ability to custom-fit the devices and allow for the perfect hip angle was just one of the selling points that Stryker used to market the Rejuvenate and the AGB II to younger, more active generations.

Instead, these young, previously-active hip replacement patients are now facing serious complications that have caused excessive pain, immobility and even the need for revision surgeries that could result in life-long disabilities.

While the Stryker hip replacements are not considered metal-on-metal devices like the DePuy ASR or the Biomet, they are still comprised of chromium, cobalt and titanium, and are causing patients to experience high levels of metal toxicity in the blood.

According to the Stryker website:

“…we decided to voluntarily recall these modular-neck hip systems due to the potential for fretting and corrosion at the modular-neck junction which may result in ALTR (adverse local tissue reactions), as well as possible pain and/or swelling at or around the hip.”

Adverse tissue reactions can be very serious and have so far caused complications in many recipients of the 20,000 Stryker Rejuvenate and AGB II devices sold prior to the recall.

Complications include:

  • Metallosis, or elevated levels of metal in the blood
  • Osteolysis, or thinning of the bones
  • Pseudotumors
  • Revision surgeries that are highly invasive
  • Necrosis, or the dying of the surrounding tissues

If you have suffered a failed hip implant, you should get immediate legal advice by calling our office at (317) 634-8565.

Republicans in favor of Obama’s Social Security cuts

Republican leaders are happy with Obama’s proposal to cut Social Security benefits, and they are eager to schedule a debate to tackle the sensitive issue.

Two House subcommittees plan to hold a hearing this week in line with Obama’s proposal to cut annual increases in Social Security benefits. Higher Medicare premiums, higher Medicare eligibility age, and reduced benefits for well-to-do seniors will also be tackled in the hearing. Budget analysts say Republican leaders’ top priority is to reduce cost of entitlements. Included in the president’s budget proposal is the “chained consumer price index (CPI)” where benefits will be reduced by 0.3 percent.

The first public hearing for Obama’s chained CPI proposal is scheduled on Thursday, while hearings on proposals to restrain the cost of Medicare will be followed by the health subcommittee.

As a person seeking Social Security disability benefits, any changes to legislation can be worrisome. Discuss your disability benefits and any needs or questions you may have with the lawyers at the Hankey Law Office, P.C., by calling 317-634-8565.

Direct deposit, now an option for Social Security payment

People, including Indiana residents, who receive monthly Social Security benefits and other federal checks can now start receiving their payments through direct deposit to their bank accounts rather than through the use of conventional paper checks, according to a recent report.

Indiana is believed to save an average of $840,000 a year when everyone chooses to get their benefits through direct deposit, the U.S. Department of Treasury said. Additionally, the federal government is estimated to be able to save about $1 billion over a period of ten years when the transition is implemented. Moving to direct deposit helps address the issue of stolen paper checks from mailboxes, which had amounted to around 440,000 lost or stolen checks last year.

A Go Direct employee will contact any benefit recipient who missed the March 1 deadline to sign up for direct deposit.

Getting the Social Security benefits you need is critical, as it can pay for costly medical bills, among other types of expense. Our legal team at the Hankey Law Office, P.C., can help you file for the benefits you need or answer any questions you may have. Call (800) 520-3633 today to learn more about your eligibility for Social Security benefits.

Charles D. Hankey Interviewed on Fox 59 Regarding Slander and Internet Anonymity

Charles D. Hankey was recently interviewed for his thoughts on a recent Indiana court case regarding free speech and internet anonymity. The case involved an anonymous poster, going by the username DownwiththeColts, who commented on an Indianapolis Star article about a Junior Achievement construction project’s funding struggles, saying, “This is not JA’s responsibility. They need to look at the FORMER president of JA and others on the board. The ‘missing’ money can be found in their bank accounts.” The former CEO, Jeff Miller, accused the commenter of slander and requested that his or her identity be revealed by the Star, which refused.

An Indiana court of appeals ruled in Miller’s favor, requiring that the commenter come forward in order to be identified. As Mr. Hankey noted, this decision was an important decision in terms of both protecting free speech while acknowledging the responsibility that individuals must take for their speech. Noting that the court determined DownwiththeColts’ comments to be “defemation per se,” Mr. Hankey outlines his reasons for believing the decision was correctly reached, noting that the person was “not really a whistleblower,” but simply someone who made baseless claims after the story had gone up.

You can view the video of the interview below.

Sandy prevents NE residents from receiving Social Security checks

While the northeast is still struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy and now a new, snowy weather system moving through the area, hundreds of thousands who depend on Social Security paper checks each month are left empty handed.

Mail service for many areas of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut is still disrupted a week and a half later, Reuters reports. Although 94 percent of Social Security recipients collect their benefits electronically, 229,000 disabled and/or retired residents in New York still receive paper checks, as do 43,000 Connecticut residents and 92,000 New Jersey residents.

The Social Security Administration is switching all Social Security payments electronically on March 1st, 2013. At that time, recipients can receive their money through direct deposit, DirectExpress debit cards, and ETA banks or credit unions.

If you or someone you know need help applying for Social Security Disability Insurance, contact the experienced SSDI lawyers of the Hankey Law Office, P.C. by calling 17-634-8565.


National Disability Employment Awareness Month is this month

Employees with disabilities have contributed greatly to the American workforce and economy. To honor their hard work, the Department of Labor declared October to be National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

The month also helps those who employ disabled people reaffirm their decision to offer equal employment opportunities.

This year’s NDEAM theme is “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?” The Department of Labor offers suggestions on what you can do to raise awareness and be more inclusive.

Unfortunately, some disabilities are so severe they preclude a person from being able to work. If you are living with a disability that prevents you from working, contact the Indiana long-term disability attorneys of the Hankey Law Office, P.C., at 317-634-8565 to learn about how a lawyer can help you find and apply for the disability benefits you need to make ends meet.

Man kidnapped for Social Security checks was locked in basement

Police in Philadelphia rescued a 63 year-old man who they believe was held against his will in a basement so his captor could steal his Social Security checks. The victim, who is deaf and mute, was held in the basement for four months.

According to the Washington Post, the man told police his captor beat, punched, and threatened him during his imprisonment. He was given very little food while he was there. Authorities say they found the man through a tip.

His captor, a 56 year-old man, is believed to have kidnapped him after giving him a ride after work. The suspect is believed to be an acquaintance of the disabled man’s family. He has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, and forgery, among others.

Demographic trends correlate to rise in SSDI recipients

In 2011, there were 8.3 million individuals receiving disability benefits in the United States. This number has been rising for the past few years, and a recent study has connected this rise to different demographic trends in the country.

These trends include the poor economy, more women in the workforce, and Baby Boomers reaching their 50’s. The struggling economy has left numerous Americans without proper jobs to support themselves and their families. These individuals turn towards disability benefits in order to maintain their finances.

Women have increased their presence in the workforce since the 1970’s, and this has resulted in more working individuals suffering from workplace accidents and injuries. Baby Boomers reaching their 50’s has played the largest role in the disability benefits increase, due to the fact that the percentage of individuals receiving disability benefits who are older than 45 grew by more than 1o percent in recent years.

If you have questions regarding the Social Security Disability application process, please contact an experienced SSDI lawyer at Hankey Law Office, P.C. by calling (800) 520-3633 today.

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