Law Office Of William F Underwood - March 2018


229-888-0888 •

MARCH 2018

Lately, I’ve been making a point to take more walks with one of my oldest, closest friends. Some of my clients who have been with me for a few years may have seen him around the firm back in the day, “talking” just a little too loudly from his spot in the corner of my office. Though I had to stop inviting him around during workdays, he’s a steadfast buddy who’s been with me through thick and thin. I’m talking, of course, about my English Labrador, Rawson. Ever since I picked him up as a little white puppy from Westover Animal Hospital veterinarian Henry Hart, he’s been the best friend a guy could ask for. I know I’m biased, but Rawson is one of the most friendly, happy-go-lucky dogs you’ll ever see. Certainly, he’s never met another dog or human he didn’t like, and he’ll come scampering over at the first sign of any attention he can get. Though the original plan was to train him to be a hunting dog, the trainer who was supposed to get him up to speed claimed Rawson didn’t love retrieving quite enough. So these days he’s not out nabbing birds too often. He much prefers to spend his days lounging on the couch, completely destroying any toy that comes in his path. And not only toys, for that matter. Rawson defies the laws of science with his digestive tract and eats all kinds of crazy stuff without a thought. He’s been known to fully consume starter logs straight off my fireplace, big bowls of chocolates, hairbrushes, aluminum foil wrappers … the list goes on and on. One time, he ran right up to the fire pit, grabbed a charred aluminum can, and ran off with it. I didn’t think anything of it, assuming he was just playing with the thing, but when I went to check out what he was doing, the can was gone — he’d eaten straight through the middle. What’s more, no matter what he chomps down, it never causes him any problems. The only time his eating habits prompted me to call the vet was when he was about three months old. It was about seven weeks after my father had passed away, and my godmother was staying with me along with her little toy-sized spaniel. Both dogs had their own food bags. While my godmother and I were out of the house running some errands, Rawson broke into the other dogs’ bag of food and ate the whole thing. When we got home, he was passed out on the MEET RAWSON: The 120-Pound Lap Dog

floor and happy as can be, but he looked like he’d swallowed an entire basketball. “It looks like he’s about to explode!” I told the vet. He just chuckled, and assured me that Rawson would be fine. And lo and behold, over the next couple days, my spherical pup shrank down to his normal size again. Unfortunately, he’s looking a little round again lately — he’s gained some weight as I’ve gotten busier at work. By now, I might even declare him morbidly obese for a 7-year-old English Lab. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been making sure to take him out more and more often to walk around the neighborhood and the nearby park. Honestly, though, that’s just a good excuse to get outside with my buddy by my side, helping him hunt for whatever weird thing he’ll inevitably eat next.

-William F. “Trey” Underwood, III

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Y our children turned to you for support all their lives. As babies, you provided them with food and shelter, and throughout their childhood, you guided them and led by example. But if you’ve continued to provide them with financial support into their adulthood, the lifestyle shift that comes with your retirement might come as a surprise to both of you. If your children are still dependent on you for financial support, it’s important to have a conversation about what might change with your retirement. It’s time to consider how your well- intentioned support will affect your retirement plans. Consider the Costs A study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave found that, on average, parents over 50 gave their children a total of $6,500 a year. When you compare that 6K to your current income, it might not look like much, but consider what that amount could do if you invested it into your retirement. Diane Harris, a personal finance journalist, explains, “If, instead, you saved that much cash every year in a tax-deferred account averaging 6 percent annual gains, you’d have close to $100,000 more for retirement within a decade.” Make a Plan Once you consider what you’re contributing to your child’s lifestyle, you need to find out how it’s going to affect your Prepare Your Kids for FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE In the days after a serious work injury, filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a confusing process. But if you follow these guidelines, you’ll give your claim the highest chance of success and minimize any doubt and frustration you may feel. Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Many workers find it uncomfortable or embarrassing to admit to their supervisor that they’ve suffered an injury on the job, but it’s an absolutely vital first step to receiving any workers’ comp benefits. Any delay in reporting an injury can be used as a basis to reject your claim. Report your injury to every medical provider you see. If you find yourself in a physician’s office of any kind in the months after your injury, it’s important to let them know when and how your injury occurred. When the insurance adjuster is reviewing your claim, they’ll check the records of every medical expert you saw as a result. Don’t allow room for any discrepancy. Carefully follow any directions given by your medical provider. If your doctor orders special tests (like an MRI) to determine the

ability to retire. It’s time to have the tough conversations. Before you talk to your kids, meet with your financial advisor and discuss your retirement goals. Your advisor can give you a reality check if your goals are not in line with your current lifestyle and tell you what needs to change to get them there. The Talk After your meeting with your advisor, it’s time to talk with your children. Explain how your retirement plan is going to affect them. It’s best to be honest and transparent. Let them know that this isn’t about your feelings for them and give them time to process the information. Remember that even if your retirement has been top of mind for you, it may not be on their radar. Erin Lowry, author of “Broke Millennial,” reminds us, “Adult children can’t be expected to know how ongoing support is affecting your finances if you haven’t talked to them about it.” If you can help them understand how the change will impact them and maybe even help them plan for it, you can open up that conversation and reduce tension around it. Instead of looking at the end of financial support as a loss, frame it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for your child to find financial independence, and while the journey can be rough, it will benefit everyone in the long term. full extent of your injury, undergo these tests as soon as you can. The same goes for physical therapy. Insurance adjusters may try to brush off the severity of your injuries, but if you have the results of an objective test on hand or weeks of documented therapy, it’ll be difficult to refute. Be wary of advice from your employer or insurance adjusters. You may trust your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance provider, but be aware that, at least financially, it’s in their best interest for your claim to be rejected. Many employers may very well be trustworthy, but it’s always wise to be wary. When in doubt, call a lawyer. There’s no getting around the fact that workers’ compensation is an extremely complicated field with all kinds of opportunities to get tripped up. To really give your claim the best chance, it’s important that you take any questions you may have to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Call the Law Office of William Underwood at 229-888-0888 to schedule a free consultation, and let us steer your claim to success.

How to Ensure You Receive the Benefits You Deserve

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2 of the Strangest 2017 Workers’ Comp Claims

A FALLING CLIPBOARD THROWS A HELICOPTER OUT OF CONTROL This example is anything but funny, but it still is one of the strangest workers’ compensation cases we’ve heard of. When the Idaho Department of Fish and Game hired a pilot from a local aviation company to fly two employees to a remote fishing survey site, it was supposed to be a simple trip. But when one of the passengers became nauseated and opened the door for some fresh air, a clipboard flew out and struck the tail rotor. The helicopter spun out of control and crashed, killing all three passengers. The father of the pilot filed a wrongful death action against Fish and Game. It was eventually rejected by the court, which determined that Fish and Game was the statutory employer of the pilot and therefore immune to any liability.

Workers’ compensation claims may seem dry and convoluted, but they’re not always as tame as you might think. Sometimes, as you’ll see in the following examples, they’re downright outlandish. A BOSS’ ‘JOKE’ RESULTS IN GENITAL SURGERY It seems that pretty much everybody complains about their boss from time to time, but it’s worth remembering that they could always be worse. Take the manager of a New York country club, for instance, who struck a locker room attendant in the groin with the shaft of a golf club while they were waiting around. In court, the manager stated that he didn’t think the attendant had been injured — possibly the best “I barely even hit him!” claim made in 2017. Unfortunately, the injury was all too real, and the attendant’s left testicle had to be surgically removed. The court ruled that the attendant could proceed with a civil action against his boss, and the case is still ongoing.

Have a Laugh!


Ingredients •

1 pound cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces

3 pounds potatoes

2 sticks butter

4 scallions, finely chopped

1 1/4 cups hot milk

Parsley, for garnish

1 head cabbage, cored and shredded

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions 1. Steam potatoes for 30 minutes. Peel skins and mash flesh thoroughly. 2. Chop 1 stick of butter into small cubes and add to warm potatoes. Once melted, slowly add milk, stirring constantly.

3. Boil cabbage in water. Add 2

tablespoons of butter to tenderize. 4. Add cabbage, bacon, and scallions to mashed potatoes, gently stirring to combine. 5. Serve garnished with parsley and a pat of butter.

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inside The Dog With an In estructible Stomach PAGE 1 Don’t Be the Family Bank PAGE 2 Give Your Workers’ Comp Claim a Fighting Chance PAGE 2 2 of the Strangest 2017 Workers’ Comp Claims PAGE 3 Colcannon PAGE 3 These Pets Make More Than Most Americans! PAGE 4


the canine’s estate have made some excellent investments since then, growing the fortune to $375 million — a sum that was inherited by Gunther III’s son, Gunther IV. Today, this top dog dines on steak and caviar, is chauffeured by limousine, and owns villas around the world, including a Miami Beach mansion once belonging to Madonna. GRUMPY CAT Fortune: Between $1–100 million While most rich pets inherit wealth, Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, is a self-made millionaire. Born with a form of dwarfism, the world fell in love with Grumpy Cat when pictures of her perpetual frown circled the internet in 2012. The meme sensation soon made the jump to real world celebrity, becoming the official spokescat for Friskies cat food and

Since humans first domesticated dogs almost 40,000 years ago, people have happily kept pets around. We feed them, groom them, and occasionally let them sleep on the bed. Some people love their pets so much they make sure their animals will inherit a vast fortune in the case of their owner’s death. Here are a few pets that, thanks to their dedicated owners, are truly living the good life. GIGOO Fortune: $15 million

When British publisher Miles Blackwell and his wife, Briony, passed away within weeks of each other, the childless couple left most of their fortune to a charity trust. About $42.5 million went to benefit arts, music, and animal welfare causes. However, the Blackwells didn’t forget about

their favorite pet, Gigoo the hen. The $15 million Gigoo inherited to ensure she

starring in her own movie, “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.” Sources claim Grumpy Cat is worth over $100 million. Her owner says this number is inaccurate, but one thing is certain — whatever she’s frowning about, it’s not her bank account.

was taken care of made her the only bird on Time magazine’s “10 Richest Pets of All Time.” GUNTHER IV Fortune: $375 Million German countess Karlotta Liebenstein left her entire $80 million fortune to her German shepherd, Gunther III. Trustees for

This list is a clear reminder of how much people love their pets. Of course, instead of a vast fortune, most of us are content to show our affection with an extra treat before dinner. After all, our pets probably don’t even know the difference.

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