Perez Halpern English - February 2019

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February 2019



Recently, I reconnected with a client I worked with a few years ago. Since she is a yoga instructor, it was really interesting to not only catch up with her but also learn how her collision has changed her practice. I took her case very shortly after going out on my own as a lawyer. She had been involved in a collision and had sustained neck and back injuries. These types of limits on mobility present a challenge for anyone, and they made it especially hard for her to carry out her job as a yoga instructor. She couldn’t work one- on-one with clients as easily as she could before her injury. This caused her to pause and recognize how important our bodies are for what we do every day. One of the things she commented on during our conversation the other day was how working with me wasn’t so different from the work she does with her clients. Through teaching the practice of yoga, she helps people heal, become more flexible, and gain wellness. As she put it, I helped her heal after her collision. I played a similar role to hers in that I connected her with doctors, made suggestions for tracking her injury and lifestyle changes, and provided overall guidance during her healing process. She felt that as much as she helps her clients

heal through yoga, I helped her heal as her attorney. It was pretty amazing to hear that from a client.

Because I began this work to help people, I really appreciated hearing that I had played this role for someone. It’s important to know that the people we’ve helped feel that we’ve helped them. In my experience, the compensation is nice, but most clients would walk away from the money because at the end of the day, it’s about their bodies, feeling good again, and returning to their lives. What we hope to give to our clients, beyond compensation, is the guidance and support to make the best decisions they can in their circumstances. In February, we celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I would encourage you to extend that love beyond romantic relationships to your friendships and care for every person. You never know when you’re going to have an impact on someone. It was very special and rewarding to hear from a client — five years after the fact — that I helped to provide healing in a holistic sense. I’m thankful I get to be part of that.

–Meliha Perez Halp ern | 1

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Video games are present in an increasing number of American households. The Entertainment Software Association found that in 2018, 70 percent of parents reported that games were a positive activity in their children’s lives, and 67 percent even play alongside their child at least once a week. Some of you may already be regularly gaming with your kids, but for the rest of you, here are some things to keep in mind. Why Gaming Together Matters Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard, and UC Berkeley have shown that video games can have many positive effects on a child, from encouraging critical thinking and social skills to imparting the value of perseverance. Beyond these life skills, video games can also be a way for you to better connect with your child. As game designer and New York Times bestselling author Jane McGonigal, Ph.D., writes, “Games make it easy to build stronger social bonds with our friends and family. Studies show that we like and trust someone better after we play a game with them — even if they beat us.” Find the Right Game Finding the right game to play with your child can be a challenge. Regardless of what platform your child plays on, there’s a nearly inexhaustible list of games to choose from, and some are more child-friendly than others. At the very least, research the Gaming With Your Kids WHY YOU SHOULD PICK UP THAT CONTROLLER When you’ve been in a collision, you need professional help. It’s the kind of help that can take you from feeling overwhelmed to feeling comfortable and supported while managing this difficult time in your life. The right legal advice can help you understand the process and make even the most complicated aspects of insurance a breeze. The team at Pérez Halpern, LLC is here to do just that by providing legal services in Spanish and English and guiding you through your case. Just see what our clients have to say about their experiences with our firm. “I was in a car accident last year, and a friend recommended me to the Pérez Halpern Law Firm. I took my case to them, and they helped me with incredible efficiency — so much that I recommend Pérez Halpern to the community. I feel happy because after nine months in the process, the firm won my case. Thank you Meliha, and thank you Andy!” –Marcos “I spoke with Meliha about an auto accident I was involved in and found her to be a tremendous resource to help me better

Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating of a game to make sure its content is age-appropriate.

When choosing a game, it’s a good idea to keep your child’s interests in mind. Do they enjoy creating things? Games like “Minecraft,” “Super Mario Maker,” and “Scribblenauts Remix” can act as a great sandbox for you and your child’s imaginations to run wild. Does your child love to solve puzzles? “Snail Bob 2,” “Snipperclips,” and “Portal 2” will have you and your child thinking outside the box for hours. Want to engage in a little friendly competition? “Mario Kart,” “FIFA,” and “Bam Fu” are all excellent choices. Going Beyond Screen Time Whether you pick up a controller yourself or just watch your children play games, the most supportive thing you can do as a parent is reinforce the skills they are learning. Understanding that the same creativity and determination that gets them to the end of a level can be applied in the real world is be a powerful thing for a child’s development. understand the process of insurance company negotiations and the potential for future legal action. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone who is in a similar circumstance.” –Megan “My husband and I got into an accident a while back. I was feeling stressed about the whole situation. With them, it’s all been a breeze since I contacted them. They’ve made this whole process so easy. I would highly recommend Meliha and Andy.” –Kenia Marcos, Megan, and Kenia, thank you for sharing your experiences with Pérez Halpern. It is our pleasure to help you resolve your cases! If you’ve had a similar experience with our firm, please share it! We appreciate hearing from you, and it means a lot to us when you tell your friends and family about us. As a small business, we rely on this type of feedback to continue serving our community. Thank you for your support!


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In this column, Andy shares some of his knowledge on property damage so you can better understand how the process works. Last month, I shared with you the importance of minimizing damage to your vehicle after a collision, even when it wasn’t your fault. I talked about what to do if you can safely and legally drive your car away from the scene, but what if you’ve evaluated the situation and determined that your vehicle is not drivable?

company, the insurance company tells her she’s responsible for the excess storage fees incurred by leaving her car in the tow company’s storage yard for so long. Through the lens of the insurance company, Sam didn’t mitigate or minimize the expenses related to towing. Most insurance companies in the D.C. metro area say that 7–10 days is a reasonable amount of time for a driver to pick up their car before they are responsible for paying out-of-pocket expenses for storage fees. After picking up your car from a tow company’s yard or having it towed from the scene of the collision, ensure you don’t take on other expenses. In some states, it’s illegal to leave a disabled vehicle parked on the street, so if you live in an area where towing is your only option, ask a family member or friend if you can store your car in their garage or driveway while you’re waiting to have it repaired. Even if your car seems drivable, it may not meet the legal safety requirements for driving on public roads — for example, if one of the taillights is out — and it is best to have these issues fixed before you drive it anywhere. 5. Peel plantains and cut into long 1/4-inch slices. In a large frying pan over medium heat, fry plantains until soft and golden, about 2–4 minutes per side. Place on paper towels to drain. 6. Assemble casserole by arranging 1/3 of the plantains in a single layer in baking dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese and half the picadillo mixture. Repeat these layers ending with a layer of plantains. 7. Beat eggs with 2 tablespoons of water. Pour over casserole and shake to distribute through the layers. Sprinkle with extra cheese. 8. Bake for 20–30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. • Dash of dried oregano • Salt and pepper to taste • 1 medium potato, peeled and cubed small Pastelón • 4–6 ripe plantains • 1 recipe yield picadillo • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar and Monterrey Jack) • 2 eggs • Vegetable oil, for frying • 1 teaspoon adobo • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder If you’ve been in a collision and are unsure what to do next, give our bilingual office a call. I am happy to speak with you.

In this scenario, it’s still your responsibility (again, even if the collision was not your fault) to minimize the expenses related to towing and driving the car. Let’s turn to our driver Sam again. In this collision, Sam’s vehicle was towed because the damages made that vehicle unsafe to drive. In the first several days following the collision, Sam doesn’t get around to picking up her car from the towing company. Another week goes by, and she finally goes to get it. Because Sam has waited so long to pick up her car from the tow


Ingredients • 1 pound ground beef • 2 heaping tablespoons sofrito

• 1/2 cup (4 ounces) canned tomato sauce • 2 tablespoons Spanish olives, chopped Directions Picadillo 1. In a large frying pan, brown ground beef over medium heat. Add sofrito and sauté for a few minutes. 2. Stir in tomato sauce, olives, adobo, garlic powder, and oregano. Season generously to taste with salt and pepper. The flavors should be robust. 3. Add potatoes, reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are cooked through, about 15–20 minutes. Pastelón 4. Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish and set aside. | 3

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inside How Attorneys Help People in More Than Just Legal Terms PAGE 1 Why Parents Should Play Video Games PAGE 2 200A Monroe Street, Suite 303 Rockville, MD 20850

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Couples Who Sweat Together Stay Together

Play Catch! Grab a medicine ball and do some overhead passes, feet-to-feet situp passes, and back-to-back twists with each other. All of these easy at-home workouts help build a solid core. Go for a Run! If the weather is nice, the two of you can lace up and hit the pavement together. You could even make a couples playlist to listen to as you run. If the cold temperatures are preventing you from enjoying the great outdoors, head to the gym and challenge each other on side-by-side treadmills. Try Some Rock Climbing! This is a great way to get a good workout while simultaneously building trust with your partner. Most rock-climbing gyms offer classes in belaying, and staff members can give you tips to improve your form. Sign up to work with an instructor and test your personal limits together.

Each Valentine’s Day, people all over the world rush to the store to buy chocolates and all the ingredients necessary to whip up a romantic dinner for two. Unfortunately, these calorie-laden holiday traditions can undermine the fitness resolutions you made just six weeks before. Instead of throwing your goals by the wayside this February, why not make fitness a couples activity? The National Library of Medicine published a study showing that couples who focused on their health together went to the gym more often and reported feeling more connected in their relationship. These findings were corroborated by a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Scientists claimed that partners who exercised together reported higher levels of happiness and satisfaction in their relationship. If you and your sweetheart are looking for a romantic way to burn some calories this month, here are some great workout ideas for two.

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