Dickerson Oxton September 2018

816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com

SEPT. 2018




Milestones OUR KIDS ARE GROWING UP At the time of this writing, my kids, Heidi and Ian, are about to head back to school. Heidi is starting her first year of elementary school, and her little brother is going through pre-K. The two are less than a year apart, but it’s funny how different they can be at times. Heidi couldn’t wait for school to start back up again, while Ian already sees school as work. Chelsea and I are excited for both of our kids to start this next chapter in their lives, but I can’t help feeling a little melancholy as well. Everyone always tells you, “Kids grow up so fast.” As much as I thought I understood that phrase when I was younger, becoming a father really made it hit home. Heidi turns 6 years old this month — a fact I’m still trying to wrap my head around. I can’t tell you where the time has gone. It feels like


recovering from injuries, you’re never really off the clock. Accident


victims have families just like ours, and both Chelsea and I are proud to do all we can to make their lives easier so they can reconnect with their loved ones. Still, that sometimes means missing important connections in our own lives. One day, my wife and I came to pick up Heidi from day care, only to discover she was walking . “Oh, that’s new,” I remember saying as I watched my daughter teeter her way over to us. We were proud of what a fast learner Heidi was, but missing her first steps underscored just how quickly she was growing up. Now I feel like I’ve blinked and that toddler wobbling her way across the day care floor has become a girl who’s fully capable of going down the water slide by herself (and proud of it). Heidi’s gone from scribbling randomly with a crayon to creating her own picture



just yesterday that Chelsea and I brought her home from the hospital. When Heidi was born, I was the first to hold her. I couldn’t help but think of how absolutely perfect she was in every way. Cradling my newborn daughter in my arms, I was overcome with emotion. I’ve shed tears of joy before, but in that moment, I was

"Everytime Iturn around,thebabyI heldinmyarmssix yearsagoishitting anotheramazing milestone inherlife."


books from scratch. Every time I turn around, the baby I held in my arms six years ago is hitting another amazing milestone in her life.


Over the years, Chelsea and I have strived to strike that balance between being there for our children and being there for our clients. It’s a unique challenge for a husband-and-wife legal team, but one we’ve never shied away from. Heidi and Ian may be growing up fast, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m so proud of who our kids have already become and can’t wait to see where life takes them next.

sobbing like, well, a baby. That night, Chelsea and I got to bring Heidi home to the bright pink bedroom we’d painted for her. Of course, she was already fast asleep, so we gently swaddled her in her blanket and put her to bed. For every vivid memory like this, there are moments I’m painfully aware of having missed. The downside of being a lawyer is that you end up missing out on a lot of family time. When you have clients who depend on you to be their voice, especially when they are



Here’s to the bittersweet moments of parenthood,

Our business is a family business built on referrals, and we invite and appreciate referrals from you. Referring a family member or friend to us on an injury or other legal matter is the best compliment we can receive. We practice personal injury law, but if you ever have any type of legal problem, we would be happy to see how we can help you. 1 Tom Dickerson


Missouri Drivers KNOWYOUR MED PAY BENEFITS Last month, we covered the PIP benefits available to Kansas drivers. In this edition, we’re diving deep into Missouri’s no-fault automotive coverage, Med Pay. Officially titled “medical payment coverage,” this supplementary insurance coverage provides an extra layer of financial security in the event of an automotive accident, yet many Missourians don’t know the full extent of these benefits. Under Missouri law, you are not required to have Med Pay coverage. It is something you opt into voluntarily, but it’s an option we strongly suggest you and your family look into. It is an extremely affordable, flexible, coverage plan, and its benefits can make an immediate difference after an accident. First and foremost, Med Pay is a no-fault insurance program, meaning your coverage does not change based on who caused the auto accident. Regardless of the situation, if you are injured in the accident, Med Pay will help with the medical bills. This is important because it allows coverage to kick in immediately rather than waiting on insurance companies to suss out the blame for the accident. NO FAULT

More and more Americans are keeping pigs as pets than ever before. With their keen intelligence, laid-back amiability, goofy snorts, and, of course, their stubby little legs, it’s no surprise that people take to these plump, fuzzy animals. And here’s an extra bonus: Apparently, they also save lives! Take the aptly-named Lucky , for example. When Illinois resident Ina Farler woke up to the frantic porcine screams of her best friend, she knew something was up. “He would jump down, run to the door, and then jump back on the bed and hit me really hard,” she told Chicago 5 News. “When I sat up, I realized the room was really smoky.” Her house was ablaze, and her room was quickly turning into an oven. But thanks to Lucky, she was able to grab her two grandchildren, escape from the house, and call the fire department to stifle the blaze before it took down the entire property. Lucky isn’t the only hog to have saved the day. Jo Ann and Jack Altsman adopted Lulu the pot-bellied pig after baby-sitting her for their daughter. Lulu grew to be great pals with Bear, the family’s American Eskimo dog. When Jo Ann suffered a heart attack while her husband was away on a fishing trip and no one else was around, Bear and Lulu teamed up to rescue their beloved owner. Sensing something was up, Bear barked furiously to get the attention of Lulu, who was out in the yard. Though she’d never come into the house from the yard before, she crammed her bulk through the much-too-small doggie door. In the process, she scraped her belly badly, drawing blood, but she pressed on in order to check on Jo Ann. Realizing that something was seriously wrong, she slammed back through the doggie door and scrambled out into the road, where she lay down. Lulu eventually convinced one conscientious motorist to slow down and see what the commotion was about. He found Jo Ann unconscious in her home and quickly dialed 911. Though Lulu wasn’t allowed in the ambulance, her owner was rescued and recovered after an intense open-heart surgery. And, of course, Lulu got patched up too! That'llDo,Pig OINKERS THAT SAVED THEIR OWNERS’ BACON


Usually, a dog can brighten your day, even when it’s just passing you on the street. Happy pooches with their wagging tails and big expressive eyes are, for many of us, just about the cutest thing in the world. But when a dog has been abused, has a violent history, or is otherwise frightened, they can lash out. If you are bitten by a dog, it’s important to do the following:




this Missouri program has made in the lives of our clients, and we can’t recommend it enough. Again, the program is OPTIONAL, and insurance companies tend to obfuscate this low-cost, high-reward program. If you think Med Pay is the right move for you, ask for it by name when talking to your insurer.

As a supplement to your car insurance, Med Pay is used to cover your deductible when seeking medical treatment. This keeps out- of-pocket expenses low if you have to go to the hospital. This is incredibly important, especially for families just making ends meet. The time between filing an insurance claim and receiving a decision can be years. Having coverage to keep your finances in check and help you maintain good credit during this waiting period is a benefit few should go without.


Using Med Pay, your premiums will not increase for seeking

medical treatment. This means you don’t have to worry about what recovery will do to your checkbook — you can focus on actually getting better.


Over the years, our firm has seen the difference


• • •

12 ounces rigatoni pasta 1 bunch Tuscan kale, rinsed 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


are not enjoyable. Get the dog’s medical records quickly; you don’t want to get these shots if you don’t have to.

In the immediate aftermath of a dog bite, it is critical that you find out the dog’s medical history. In the event the owner isn’t present or isn’t in possession of the animal’s most up-to-date medical history, you’ll need the help of Animal Control to track down veterinary records and follow up with the owner. Furthermore, having a police report filed ensures there is an official record of the dog’s violent outburst. Not only can dog bites leave severe puncture wounds and lacerations, they can also put you at risk of serious diseases. That’s why finding out the dog’s veterinary records is so important: You’ll want to know whether or not you need to begin rabies treatment as soon as possible. The rabies virus is almost always fatal in humans if left untreated. If you aren’t 100 percent certain the animal that bit you has been vaccinated, getting the shot is the safest bet. But take it from us; the high fever, soreness, and potential hallucinations caused by this vaccine SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT


• • • •

Most renters and homeowners insurance policies cover dog bites. That’s because treatment and recovery from the wounds left by these animals can be financially and emotionally taxing for the victim. Having a team of experienced personal injury lawyers on your side can help you in your interactions with the insurance company and the dog’s owner, helping you find the best path forward for your recovery.

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt, for pasta water and to taste 2 ounces fresh grated Parmigiano- Reggiano (optional)


1. In a large stock pot, boil 6 quarts of liberally salted water. On another burner, heat a large skillet to medium-low. 2. Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes less than the package recommends. 3. While pasta is cooking, add beans, red pepper, and 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 4. Add cooked pasta, kale, and 1 cup pasta water to skillet. Toss vigorously as kale cooks, about 4 minutes. 5. Transfer to bowls, top with a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle with cheese or salt, and serve.


Inspired by Bon Appétit Magazine


1200 Main St. Ste. 2120 Kansas City, MO 64105

816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com




Balancing Law and Fatherhood Pigs to the Rescue What Is Med Pay? What to Do After a Dog Bite Take a Break Beans and Greens Rigatoni Why Labor Day Is Indebted to the Pullman Strike


included Pullman cars. The strike continued to escalate until workers and Pullman community members managed to stop the trains from running. Eventually, President Grover Cleveland sent in soldiers to break up the strike. Violence ensued, with soldiers making a great effort to quell the strike at its core. By the time the violence ended, 30 people had lost their lives and an estimated $80 million in damages had been caused throughout the town. A few months later, President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day a federal holiday. Many experts believe that this act was an effort to build rapport among his pro-labor constituents after handling the incident so poorly. This month, as you fire up the barbecue and enjoy your day off, take a moment to remember the workers who fought for labor rights in our country.

wages for the workers while netting the higher-ups millions of dollars.


Labor Day mostly means a day off and

But after the economic depression of the 1890s brought the country to its knees, everything changed. George Pullman slashed his workers’ wages by nearly 30 percent, but he neglected to adjust the rent on the company- owned buildings in turn. As a result, life became untenable in the town, with workers struggling to maintain the barest standards of living for themselves and their families. In response, the workers began a strike on May 11, 1894. As the event ramped up, it gained the support of the powerful American Railway Union (ARU). But Pullman, stubborn as he was, barely acknowledged the strike was happening, and he refused to meet with the organizers. The tension increased when Eugene Debs, the president of the American Railway Union, organized a boycott of all trains that

the closure of public pools. But when it was

first created, it was a president’s desperate attempt to curb the tension after one of the most violent strike breakups in American history. In the late 19th century, the workers of the Pullman Company, which manufactured luxury train cars, all lived in a company-owned town. George Pullman, the owner, lived in a mansion overlooking houses, apartments, and crammed-together barracks, all of which were rented by the thousands of workers needed for the operation. For some time, the town operated without a hitch, providing decent

Our business is a family business built on referrals, and we invite and appreciate referrals from you. Referring a family member or friend to us on an injury or other legal matter is the best compliment we can receive. We practice personal injury law, but if you ever have any type of legal problem, we would be happy to see how we can help you.


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