How UM Coverage Can Cover You Pay a Little Now, Pay Less Later The Truth About Lyman Beginning a Journey Starts with Dedication to Transparency 2860 Piedmont Road, Suite 275, Atlanta, GA 30305 T: 404 267 1986 F: 470 745 0699 lymanfirm.com The Lyman Firm Newsletter TELEGRAPH Amicus Curiae www.LymanFirm.com 404-267-1986 February 2019 The Lyman Firm Newsletter
Welcome to the second installment of The Lyman Firm’s newsletter! We hope your summer is going swimmingly and that you’ve had a chance to jump into a body of water or three. As I write this, perhaps you’re gearing up for that annual family summer adventure or maybe even planning a trip to some exotic locale before school starts again. Here at the firm, we’re working hard and trying to beat the heat — not an easy proposition when Atlanta consistently offers 95-degree weather with 75% humidity. All these thoughts about travel and heat bring us to this month’s scorchingly hot topics: uninsured (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance coverage. (If the heat is really getting to you and you just can’t stand to read the next 400 or so words, go on and skip to the last few sentences. All the info you need is there.) UM Coverage For the uninitiated, UM/UIM coverage is auto insurance that protects you in the event that you are in a car wreck with a driver who doesn’t carry liability insurance or who doesn’t have enough coverage to pay for all damages incurred from the wreck. With respect to those other drivers, recent studies from the Insurance Research Council indicate that 1 in 8 drivers in the nation are uninsured. Hitting a little G eorgia is a blue-collar state — a grassroots mix of farmland, mountains, and urban development representing ever-expanding opportunities. Being a native of North Atlanta, I have spent most of my life in this fair state, cultivating both my character and my profession as I grew up. Now, I have a distinct opportunity to help those around me in ways I hadn’t anticipated in my younger days. I lead The Lyman Firm as a proud curator of justice for the everyday person, somebody who might not have gotten a fair shake before they met me. I believe one person can be the face of a greater movement, and these are the everyday people — the heroes — I work for as I drive our cases forward to the fullest extent within our legal system, fighting for what’s right. My passions weren’t always for courtroom thrills, though. Growing up in Smyrna, I sought to chase a different kind of rush: the roar of the racetrack. I wasn’t half bad either, eventually taking my hobby for auto racing from amateur status in 2004 all the way to semi-pro in 2007. Unfortunately, like so many other things that went down along with the economy the following year, my racing career crashed in 2008. Shattered by the abrupt end to my racing journey due to a lack of financing, “These small payments are going to hurt a lot less when we move to resolve a personal injury case.” “I believe one person can be the face of a greater mov m nt, and these are the everyday people — the heroes — I work for as I driv our cases forward to the fullest extent within our legal system, fighting for what’s right.”
coverage. Even if someone wants to argue that paying for the UM plan costs a little more day in and day out, these small payments are going to hurt a lot less when we move to resolve a personal injury case. James and three-year-old daughter Cleo — I am fully immersed in the fun-loving, homely, and exciting life of my family. They are my foundation, and without them nothing would be possible. But I also have a second family of sorts in my clients, whom I treat with the respect and attention a person is owed whenever they find they’re backed in a corner and need help. The pleasure I get from representing good, honest people in the courtroom is unrivaled when compared to the other fields of profession I’ve engaged in life. Oftentimes, I ask a client to share the names of the attorneys they’ve worked with on other cases. Almost none of them are able to muster an answer — the names of their lawyers completely lost in the tides of life’s trials. That’s when I tell them that there are a million different lawyers out there doing a million different things, but when I take on your case for a serious injury or a wrongful death suit, you’ll remember me as a man who gave you the best possible chance while shooting you straight every step of the way. When a case like this comes in, we try to explain to the client the benefits of UM coverage and detail how they’re really doing themselves a favor in the long run when they add it to their insurance plan. From there, we negotiate with the insurance companies regarding what the individual can actually pay. Even after we’ve helped our clients in these frustrating situations, most of them wish they opted for the UM plan in the first place. So, while prepping for your family road trip, destination vacation, or even diving into your favorite book this summer, take five minutes to call your insurance agent to ask what your current coverage looks like and whether a UM/ UIM plan would benefit you down the road.
closer to home, according to the Insurance Information Institute, 12% of all Georgia drivers are uninsured. I began to look for a new avenue to pour my passions into. As we grow older and further away from our teens and 20s, we begin to realize that life isn’t always about going fast, both literally and metaphorically. It was during my post racing downtime that I realized I wanted to go back to school at Georgia State. After spending years as a writer and editor, I discovered and followed my newfound calling and began practicing law after graduating from law school. After years of unparalleled grit, drive, and success in the field of law, I was fortunate enough to be able to open my own practice in January of 2018. This new venture has even allowed me to work alongside my brother, a paralegal and case manager, in what has been one of the most exciting periods of my life. For now, our plans for the future include an imminent expansion of the fir and growing the company in ways that still allow us to keep our fundamental values and operations in check. Unfortunately, not all drivers know what UM coverage is or how it can help them. And, while the last thing I want to do is tell my clients to pony up money on more insurance, this coverage is some of the cheapest around. After Googling a bit, we were able to find run-of-the- mill UM/UIM plans offering $25,000 in add-on coverage for somewhere between $25 and $75 per month. This is a pittance compared to the following scenario. My client was rear-ended at a stop light, and, because of her injuries, she accrued over $37,000 in medical bills. Sadly, this client had declined UM coverage because she viewed it as simply adding more money to her insurance. When we ultimately resolved the case, her recovery was significantly diminished because the at-fault driver’s plan only covered up to $25,000 in damages. That’s about par for the course with many of these UM/UIM cases, as they usually involve low- limit policies of $25,000 or $50,000 in total At home with my wife Lindsay beside me, and our two children — our five-year-old son
Have a great summer, everyone!
-Thomas J. Lyman -Tho as .
www.LymanFirm.com | 1
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HELPING HUMANS SLOW DOWN AND LOOK UP The Art of Stargazing
Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, and meteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum. 2. Extra Set of Eyes While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead. You’ll need
to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope.
3. Utilize Assets Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer-songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing, “I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”The “fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work. experienced a traumatic event during a routine trip to the lady’s room. In 2007, a schlocky horror plot came to life in a building along Philadelphia’s famous Market Street. The culprit was a faulty plumbing system. The woman was inside a restroom stall on the eighth floor, and, as she sat on one of the old toilets customary in the building, pressure building from inside the tank caused a massive explosion that sent her body hurling out of the stall. You don’t need to know the details of her injuries to understand the extent of her grievances. Some forms of suffering are better left to the imagination, especially if the aggressor was a literal stink bomb. She sued the building’s landlords for anxiety, pain, and medical expenses, but it’s hard to determine which party was truly at fault without more information. IT’S RAINING CATS AND DOLLARS You can’t predict the weather, no matter what your weather app says, but some people tend to forget that. A few years ago, an Israeli weatherman was faced with a lawsuit by a woman who claimed his inaccurate forecast caused her a great deal of suffering. She claimed he misrepresented a particularly harsh day in the forecast, and it encouraged her to wear insufficient layers that left her health to the whim of the elements. As a result, the woman caught the flu from the downpour and missed work for four days. Citing lost income, large medication costs, and tremendous anxiety, she sought reparations from the fraudulent weatherman and was amazingly awarded a four- figure settlement!
The Right Place at the Wrong Time A LOOK AT SOME INTERESTING PERSONAL INJURY CASES
There is no shortage of crazy cases that come through a court of law, but those revolving around personal injury can be especially surprising. Whether it’s a slip-and-fall accident or something a little more eccentric, there are a million ways to hurt yourself while simply going about your day. The problems arise when it’s determined to be another party’s fault. Let’s take a look at some notably strange cases where bizarre miscalculations led to injuries and ailments. AS BELOW, SO ABOVE Time spent in the restroom is inherently private. We don’t normally talk about it, but that’s not the case for a Pennsylvania woman who
TAKE A BREAK
WHAT’S NEXT FOR MARVEL MOVIES? 3 Marvel Movies to Watch out For
For the past 10 years, Marvel movies have delighted families and comic book nerds alike with their memorable characters, incredible action scenes, and sprawling, interconnected storylines. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the story of the Avengers so far, told through 23 movies. Even though this year marked the end of a massive arc that Marvel Studios dubbed “The Infinity Saga,” there are still more movies coming out that will feature everyone’s favorite heroes. Here are a few films coming up next in the MCU. International assassin Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, was the first female member of the Avengers and made her debut appearance in “Iron Man 2.” She never got her own movie, but Marvel announced recently that a Black Widow movie is officially in the works for the next phase of Marvel movies. Besides the fact that they’ve started filming, there’s not much information about it yet. But for many excited fans, this movie has been a long time coming. A BLACKWIDOW SOLO MOVIE
ROASTED CORN SALSA
‘GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3’
Inspired by Bon Appétit
Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, and the gang are all back in the third installment of this smash-hit franchise. Without getting into too much detail, “Avengers: Endgame” and the post-credits scene of the second “Guardians”movie provided some clues about the plot and possible main villain. Though details are slim, “Vol. 3” is sure to be another rollicking ride through the cosmos.
2 medium ears of corn, shucked
1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 jalapeño or Fresno chile, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, sliced
1/2 red onion, diced
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt, to taste
‘BLACK PANTHER 2’
“Black Panther”was immensely popular (it earned nearly $700 billion domestically), and its success removed all doubt that there would be a sequel. Audiences will journey back to Wakanda and see the newest adventures of King T’Challa and crew, although not much is known about the plot or the release date as of now. But you can rest assured that the creative minds behind the sequel are taking their time to make it as good as the first. The future storyline of the MCU is up in the air, but, if the previous movies are any indicator, families, fans, and audiences everywhere have a lot to look forward to.
1. Heat a cast-iron skillet to high. Char corn, turning occasionally, for 10–14 minutes until kernels begin to blacken in spots. 2. Using a sharp knife, remove corn kernels from cobs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. With a wooden spoon or potato masher, gently crush corn to release starch and juices. 4. Add jalapeño, onion, tomato, and cilantro. Mix to combine.
5. Top with lime juice and season with salt. 6. Serve alongside your favorite tortilla chips.
404-267-1986 www.LymanFirm.com 2860 Piedmont Rd Atlanta, GA 30335
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE INSIDE
1 2 3
My Life in the Courtroom, the Home, and the Racetrack The Benefits of UM Coverage
3 Wild Divorce Settlements Ways to Invest in Yourself After Retirement Bistecca Alla Fiorentina The Most Iconic Super Bowl in NFL History Roasted Corn Salsa The Next Phase of Marvel Movies The Art of Stargazing Bizarre Per onal Injury Cases
Let’s Retire These Health Myths
How to Best Protect Yourself From Scam Calls
The 5-Second Rule Will Make You Sick 3 Health Myths You Probably Believe RING, RING — IT’S A ROBOT What You Can D to Protect Yourself From Phone Scams and Robocalls
The official stance from the John Hopkins Arthritis Center states, “There is no evidence that cracking knuckles causes any damage such as arthritis in the joints.” Still, chronic knuckle- cracking can lead to reduced grip strength, so you might want to break the habit anyway. You’ve probably heard these myths for years, but just because something is common knowledge doesn’t mean it is true. With information so easily available, always take the time to research the facts, especially when it comes to your health. PUT UP SOME DETERRENTS. You can even go a step further and block the calls. Many phone service providers offer call-blocking options, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. You can sign up for this service in-store or on your service provider’s website. Each service costs about $4 per month. There are also a number of call-blocking apps available on Android and Apple devices, but if you subscribe to a blocking service through your phone provider, these apps are unnecessary. Finally, you can sign up for the Federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” program (DoNotCall. gov). While the Do Not Call program can help cut back on calls, this list is largely ignored by scammers. If you’re getting a ridiculous number of robocalls every day, signing up can offer you some brief respite.
We live in the golden age of information. The answers tomany of life’s questions are just an internet search away. Despite this readily available wisdom, we still have a bad habit of believing health-relatedmyths. Here are three popular health“facts”that are total works of fiction. Two of the most common scams are phone scams and robocalls. These calls are incredibly annoying and can trick you out of valuable information if you’re not careful. While it might seem like these scams are inescapable, there are some precautions you can take to avoid their traps. GIVE THEM THE SILENT TREATMENT. One thing you can do to avoid these fraudulent, time-wasting calls is to simply hang up. If possible, it is best to not answer at all. It’s always good
BOTTLEDWATER IS SAFER THAN TAP WATER
Seeking out safer water alternatives increases the sales of bottled “spring water” each year. However, bottled water is more expensive, bad for the environment, and, as Dr. Morton Tavel of the Indiana University School of Medicine pointed out, over 50 percent of bottled water is just filtered tap water. The same effect can be achieved with a home filtration system. Of course, if the tap water in your area has been contaminated, bottled water is a safer alternative. However, in most circumstances, bottled water is no healthier than tap water.
THE 5-SECOND RULE KEEPS FOOD SAFE to have a list of numbers you can reference, so you never have to guess who is calling. Think of it as going one step beyond caller ID. In some cases, answering and then hanging up can actually do more harm than good. Answering the phone gives the scammers confirmation that the number works and that they should try again. Once your number is confirmed as active, it often gets put on an “active number” list that can then be sold to other scammers who market in these types of phone numbers. If you can’t verify who is calling without picking up, don’t answer. Let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, the person will leave a legitimate message and you can respond afterward. Obviously germs and bacteria don’t really wait five seconds to pounce, but snatching your chip off the floor fast keeps most of the germs away, right? Not according to a 2006 study published by Dr. Paul Dawson. He found conclusive evidence that when food comes into contact with a contaminated surface, bacteria are transferred immediately. Even one second spent on tile, wood, or carpet is enough to infest your food with salmonella or another serious contaminant.
Thankfully, Congress is already attempting to fix this problem by making it harder for scammers to call you. But until they are able to pass tough, effective legislation, it is up to us as consumers to remain vigilant and do what we can to keep our personal and financial data safe and secure.
CRACKING YOUR KNUCKLES CAUSES ARTHRITIS
The connection between knuckle-cracking and arthritis came from studies where participants self-reported their habits. Modern medical research has shown these results to be false.
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