Shuttlesworth Law Firm, LLC - February 2020

THE SHUTTLESWORTH SENTINEL

201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 ShuttlesworthLasseter.com

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02 .2020

MAKING RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS MORE COMMON IN A CRAZY DIVIDED WORLD

We live in a time where outrage and division are in vogue. From the highest seats of government on down through the masses, people of all stripes are finding any reason they can to be hostile to one another. It seems like any view we can take is polarizing, and that reconciliation with our neighbors is out of the question. While we might not know what to do about it, I think most people would agree that’s no way to relate with other people. I’ve seen this division play out in my own life. Not too long ago, I ran into a guy I knew at a coffee shop who described a friend of his as being “on the other team,” but essentially a good guy. Now I don’t know what “team” he was describing, but it’s a crazy, divided world when we describe our friends first and foremost by how we’re different from them. What does that mean we say about the people we consider our enemies? While February may be viewed as a month of romantic love in light of Valentine’s Day, there’s another little-known holiday in February I think bears some extra importance in light of our current societal woes: Random Acts of Kindness Day. “ACKNOWLEDGING THAT WE ALL HAVE LIVES OUTSIDE THE INSTANCES IN WHICH WE ARGUE AND DISAGREE WITH ONE ANOTHER IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARD TREATING EVERYONE AROUND US WITH DIGNITY.” While you might think it’s cliché, I honestly think our world could benefit more from random acts of kindness. I’m a big fan of clever bumper stickers (even though I don’t have any on my car), and one of the best ones that I’ve seen around town has been one that says something along the lines of “Be kind, for everyone you see is engaged in a great struggle.” We might all have our differences, that much is true. However, we’re also

all have hardships and challenges that we’re going through that might cause us to react angrily to others. Acknowledging that we all have lives outside the instances in which we argue and disagree with one another is the first step toward treating

everyone around us with dignity. One way we can show that acknowledgment is through a random act of kindness.

A few months ago, I was reading a follow-up article on a suicide awareness event in the news. One of the people who was involved at some level in the suicide prevention program told a story that some of you might be familiar with. This particular suicide prevention program was working with a similar program in San Francisco at one point, and they talked about how someone had found a suicide note on the Golden Gate Bridge that said if they had seen one person smile on their way to the bridge that day, they wouldn’t have gone through with it. That is heartbreaking, and it is also a testament to the power of small kindnesses. They can change lives. Whatever you believe, or whatever faith you hold, nearly every person on Earth agrees with some variance of the mantra “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” So why don’t we do that more? If all it takes to change this world for the better is to contribute a little bit of kindness to the stream of life instead of just living for ourselves, why not commit a few random acts of kindness?

–Perry Shuttlesworth

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THE MOON ISN’T MADE OF CHEESE? THE STORY BEHIND THE MYTH

AUTO VS. TRUCK ACCIDENTS

At first, it might make sense to assume auto accident lawsuits are similar to truck lawsuits — but, in fact, they often become very different cases. There’s a far higher rate of injury and fatality with big rigs and commercial trucks. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), 18-wheelers are at fault for nearly 12% of all traffic fatalities. Here are just a few key differences between auto and truck accidents in a personal injury case. WHY YOUR TRUCK ACCIDENT CASE NEEDS A SPECIALIZED ATTORNEY TRUCKING COMPANIES OFTEN PAY MINIMAL COVERAGE Like any other vehicle on the road, there are laws to prevent trucking companies from running uninsured 18-wheelers. For example, nonhazardous goods moved in a vehicle over 10,001 pounds would require a $750,000 insurance policy by law. However, that isn’t nearly enough when an accident causes millions of dollars in damages to the people involved — such as with traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries — or damages to its goods. And with a truck, it’s far more likely that your injury will be severe than minimal. MORE LIABLE PARTIES Another significant difference between auto and truck accidents is that there can be more parties at fault than just the truck driver in the later. The trucking company, the shipper, the broker, truck manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, or retailers supplying defective parts can also be held liable. Inexperienced attorneys don’t hold them responsible and aren’t aware of all insurance policy limits that could further compensate the truck accident victim or family. CERTAIN LAWS ONLY APPLY TO TRUCKS Both federally and state-wide, specific laws apply to Alabama truck accident injury cases that don’t in other personal injury cases. In last November’s edition, we talked about how the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had recently relaxed restrictions on truck drivers’ work hours, and they can

We’ve all heard the silly statement before: “The moon is made of cheese!” Although we may not fall for it as adults, when we were children, our eyes twinkled with possibility as we gazed up at the full moon and wondered if it really could be made of cheese. While science says no, it’s still an entertaining phrase that holds a valuable lesson for adults and children alike. The motif first appeared in folklore during the High Middle Ages as a proverb invented by a French rabbi. The full phrase is actually “The moon is made of green cheese,” and serves to warn against the dangers of credulity, or the willingness to believe in things that aren’t based on reasonable proof or knowledge. The simplest version of the phrase’s origin tells of a cunning fox that advised a starving wolf to search for food among humans. The wolf listened, and he was attacked by the humans. The wolf escaped, and in his fury, he attempted to kill the fox. To save himself, the fox promised the wolf he’d show him the location of an abundant food supply. That night, under the light of a full moon, the fox led the wolf to a well and pointed to the reflection of the full moon on the water’s surface deep in the well, claiming it was cheese. The hungry wolf jumped into the well to eat the cheese, forever trapping himself. Thus, the fox successfully escaped the wolf’s wrath.

drive for longer periods of time while forgoing their 30-minute breaks. This can be extremely dangerous, considering we already experience many fatigue-related truck injury cases. There are also special notice requirements under state and federal law that a local attorney might not be familiar with unless they have experience with these special laws. If you’ve been victim to a truck accident, you don’t need to fight for compensation alone. Give Shuttlesworth Law Firm a call — we know how to hold Alabama truck drivers accountable so you can get the justice you deserve.

As with any ancient proverb, variations of the story have developed over time, but its message has remained the same: Don’t believe everything you’re told. In today’s world of oversaturated information and advice, this is a valuable tip to follow, no matter what age you are.

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THE DANGERS OF JUUL RISE IN INJURY LAWSUITS: ‘VAPING LUNG’ IS KILLING DOZENS

Many young Americans have been turning to e-cigarettes in an effort to participate in “healthier” smoking — Juul promotes their product as just that. However, recent injury lawsuits have proven otherwise. While the company denies that it produces marketing to youth, a December 2018 survey by the National Institutes of Health reveals that more than 20.9% of high school seniors reported vaping nicotine at least once in the past month. At time of writing, there are currently over 2,291 cases and 48 deaths related to vaping. About 64% of these cases have been Americans under the age of 24. The statistics back up common observations in court: Juul’s product looks modern, sleek, and promises “evolved smoking” with colorful advertisements and young, attractive models. Despite its health-oriented marketing campaign, the use of vaping products like Juul has proven to be significantly correlated

with the development of pneumonia and other mysterious lung diseases. Juul users often experience shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, difficulty breathing, or even nausea, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and abnormal weight loss. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that vaping patients often suffer from lung inflammation, as revealed by biopsies, resembling those who had been exposed to toxins during a chemical spill as if infected by pathogens. While the company characterizes vaping as “totally safe,” the FDA’s letter to Juul states strong skepticism for the CEO Kevin Burns’ statement that Juul can “deliver smokers the satisfaction they want without the combustion and harm associated with it.” Juul delivers a high impact of nicotine in its product, which

remains addictive. There are also currently ongoing lawsuits about Juul selling one million pods of contaminated mint nicotine fluid, which only supports the claim that Juul has been careless in marketing and product quality. If you or a loved one is suffering from lung damage by vaping or Juul’s products, contact the Shuttlesworth Law Firm — we can review your case for free and make sure you’re protected from the predatory actions of new generation tobacco companies.

TAKE A BREAK

DEATH THE ZONE OF WHERE YOU COULD LEGALLY GET AWAY WITH MURDER

Did you know there’s a place in Yellowstone National Park where you could theoretically get away with murder? According to the 6th Amendment, a jury must be formed of people who live in the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed. While parts of Yellowstone, including a 50-square-mile uninhabited piece of land in Idaho, extend beyond Wyoming, the entire park still falls under Wyoming’s jurisdiction.

Because that piece of land is technically under both Idaho and Wyoming’s jurisdiction, a jury would need to be comprised of inhabitants from within that 50-square-mile area. However, since nobody lives there, no jury can be formed and you would get off scot-free. The area’s curious legal status has earned it the name, “The Zone of Death,” but to date no one has actually tried to get away with murder there.

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201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 ShuttlesworthLasseter.com

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THIS ISSUE INSIDE

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Making Random Acts of Kindness More Common

A Cheesy Myth About the Moon

Auto vs. Truck Accidents

Rise of Injury Cases Against Vaping and Juul

Strange Facts for a Strange World

Give the Gift of Life

GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE FEB. 14 IS NATIONAL DONOR DAY

JOIN A DONOR DASH. Donor Dash fundraising events pop up all over the country on National Donor Day. These noncompetitive 5K running and walking events are designed to bring donors and recipients together and keep hope alive for those who are currently waiting for a donation. To learn more or to register for an event, check out DonorAlliance.org. PARTICIPATE IN #STARTTHECONVERSATION. Donor Alliance, a nonprofit that works to promote organ donation, began the #StartTheConversation campaign as a way to help spread awareness about organ and tissue donation. Starting the conversation can be as simple as sharing that you registered with your friends and family or as personal as sharing a story about how organ donation has touched your life or the lives of your loved ones. Don’t let another Valentine’s Day come and go in a tide of cellophane, candy hearts, and cheesy cards. This year, get involved in National Donor Day. After all, what better way is there to express the value of love than to give the gift of life?

With all the cards, chocolates, and expensive dinners, it’s easy to get cynical about Valentine’s Day. However, National Donor Day also falls on Feb. 14, and it can refocus our attention back on the real meaning of the day: love.

In the U.S., 20 people die each day while waiting for an organ transplant. Losing loved ones is one of the most painful aspects of the human experience, and while it is unavoidable, organ donation offers a pathway to help prevent that loss and keep more love in the world.

In the spirit of that love, here are a few ways you can get involved with National Donor Day this Feb. 14.

REGISTER AS AN ORGAN DONOR. Signing yourself up is easy and can be done either online or in person at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. You’ll need official identification to register. Registration is not permanent and you will always have the option to change your mind. Once registered, you will not need to carry your donor card with you as your status exists in the registry.

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