Joe Miller Law December 2017


F ollow U s

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Recently, we got a call from a woman who’d been injured at work a year ago. Her doctor put her on light duty with a 10-pound limit — which meant she must have been very badly injured — but her employer didn’t have any work for her. The workers’ comp insurance adjusters denied her claim, and she wasn’t able to seek out any treatment for her injuries. All the while, she had no money coming in. I asked her why she waited so long to call a lawyer, and I got the answer I always dread: “I didn’t have any money.” “You don’t have to reach into your wallet when you need

have to reach into your wallet when you need a workers’ comp or personal injury attorney.

awarded fee is paid in full. Even then, if our client is in a bad state and needs every dime, we’ll waive the initial fee until later. But the main way we receive our fees is in the event of settlement. Typically, we are awarded by the commission 20 percent of the gross settlement in Virginia as a fee and 25 percent of the settlement as an attorney’s fee in North Carolina. But you will not have to write a check. The insurance company will write two separate checks — one for the attorneys fee and the rest to you. to scrape together enough money to hire a lawyer. In regards to personal injury or workers’ comp, every decision you make has the potential to destroy your case. Calling a lawyer right away can prevent huge mistakes from happening. We don’t charge for that phone call, either! Anyone who gets hurt on the job and gives us a call will have their situation evaluated by our elite, seven- step case evaluation process, free of charge. Here’s the bottom line: You don’t have to reach into your pocket to get help. If more people understand how easy it is to get the representation they need, maybe there would be fewer people calling for help when it’s too late. –Joseph Miller A person who has been severely injured at work has enough to worry about without also trying

Personal injury and workers’ comp cases are incredibly complicated, and it’s easy to make a mistake that will prevent you from claiming the compensation you deserve. Attorneys will help you navigate the stormy waters and get you the best possible outcome. Unfortunately, many people assume all attorneys operate using the same standards and means to get paid. If someone you know had to call a bunch of family members to scrape together $1,500 for a criminal defense attorney, or if a family member had to dig into their savings for a divorce lawyer, you might assume a workers’ comp lawyer will also cause you to have to come up with a wad of cash to hire him or her. But that’s simply not true. Those ads for attorneys on TV often claim, “We don’t get paid unless you win!” In this case, they’re being honest. Our fees are paid based on an award from the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission. If we are able to get our client an award, the commission determines how much our services are worth. If we obtain an initial award for you, we’re often awarded $600–$1,000, and this money is slowly withdrawn from the weekly checks that you receive as a result of the award. In a typical scenario, we’re given $25-$50 out of the workers’ comp checks each week, until the

a workers’ comp or personal injury attorney.”

I hear this response more often than I would like. “I was broke.” “I didn’t have any money coming in at the time.” “I couldn’t afford the attorney fees.” When I hear these things, it usually means the person on the other end of the phone has already made a huge mistake regarding their case. Now, it’s too late to help them. What’s worse, they didn’t have to wait at all! You don’t

If you belong to a union or other labor-related group and want to schedule my presentation at your group’s speaking arrangement, you can do so by calling 888-694-7994 . The presentation is free of charge, offers important information for taking appropriate action in Virginia workers’ compensation cases, and everyone in attendance gets a free copy of my book, “10 Traps and Lies that Can Ruin Your Virginia Workers Compensation Case.” Education is the best way to protect yourself from making a mistake, so call now, before it’s too late.

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GIVE UP THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS … And Look for Meaning Instead

How many books have you seen with the word “happiness” in the title? A lot, right? It’s such a popular topic because the pursuit, journey, and, ultimately, achievement of happiness is supposed to be the key to a fulfilling life. Happiness is the ultimate human condition; reaching it is our purpose and will bring us contentment. But before you pick up that guide to happiness, there’s some new data you need to pay attention to. Turns out, we’ve been focusing on the wrong goal. More and more research is supporting the benefit of pursuing a meaningful life over a happy one. Viktor Frankl could be called a leading expert on the topic. Frankl lived through the Holocaust in a concentration camp and saw firsthand how humans deal with unhappy circumstances. As a respected psychiatrist, his observations became the basis for his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Frankl found that the people who stood the best chance of surviving the horrific experience were those who saw some sort of meaning in their lives, even under the bleakest

circumstances. For Frankl, this meant providing therapy to others in the camp. As Frankl puts it, once a person finds meaning, they know the “why” of their existence, and they will be able to bear almost any “how.” In the years since “Man’s Search for Meaning” was written, it seems we’ve forgotten a lot of its advice. The Centers for Disease Control found that 4 out of every 10 Americans do not have a satisfying life purpose,

difference between “I’m going to buy this dress because it will make me happy” and “I’m going to volunteer at a shelter because it will be meaningful.” Happiness involves satisfying an immediate need, whereas finding meaning focuses on making choices that give us a sense of purpose. Even more telling, the Journal of Positive Psychology found that meaningful acts usually involve giving, but reaching happiness often means taking. Because of this, leading a meaningful life, while often more challenging, is also more satisfying. Is it possible that the pursuit of a meaningful life will lead us to happiness? Absolutely. Just don’t expect it to be an everlasting condition. Think of happiness the way psychologist Frank T. McAndrew does: “Recognizing that happiness exists — and that it’s a delightful visitor that never overstays its welcome — may help us appreciate it more when it arrives.”

and yet, 60 percent of Americans say they are happy. What gives? It comes down to the pursuit of happiness versus pursuing meaning in life. It’s the


“Having never had the occasion to retain an attorney, I was at a loss as to further action or what I should do. Your offices immediately responded to my call, and your staff’s contacting me and virtually taking over for me was a relief during a difficult time. I appreciate your representation and finalization of this suit. Thank you and your staff for their professionalism and courtesy.”

–N. Tanous

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We are really pleased to announce an awesome addition to our staff here at the Work Injury Center! She came on board earlier this summer, and I am pleased to report that she is succeeding beyond all expectations. Please join me in welcoming Indya to the Joe Miller Law Team! Indya Scott, Legal Assistant. IIndya was born in Buffalo, NY. She currently resides in Virginia Beach, VA, with her husband and their two children. Like Joe Miller, Indya is also a graduate of Western Branch High School in Chesapeake. Soon after graduating, she studied to become a surgical technician. Because of her strong desire to help

people, Indya later continued her work in the medical field as a medical records custodian, handling, scanning, cataloging, and filing medical records at an orthopedic practice in Suffolk, VA. In her spare time, Indya enjoys cooking, reading, singing, recording, and writing songs with her husband, who produces all of her music. She also likes to join together with organizations to support and be an inspiration for battered and abused women within her community. Because Indya has such a passion for helping others, she is grateful for the opportunity to play a role in helping severely-injured workers at Joe Miller Law.


Joe’s Monthly ‘SOUL SNACKS’

You are wherever your thoughts are. Make sure your thoughts are where you want to be. –R. Nachman Let the good in me connect with the good in others, until all the world is transformed through the compelling power of love. –R. Nachman

Ingredients • ¾ cup dry white wine • 1 tablespoon cornstarch • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced Swiss cheese

• 1 clove garlic • Salt to taste • Foods to dip (apple slices, bread cubes, roasted vegetables, etc.)


1. In a large bowl, whisk together wine and cornstarch. 2. Chop cheese slices into small, uniform pieces. 3. Rub clove of garlic all over the sides and bottom of a heavy- bottomed pot, then discard. 4. Heat wine mixture over medium-low heat in the pot until thick and bubbling. Add some cheese and slowly whisk. When nearly smooth, add more cheese and whisk gently. Repeat until all cheese is melted. If mixture seems too thick, add 1 tablespoon wine. 5. Season with salt and serve immediately. Keep pot on low heat to keep the fondue dippable.

Always wear a smile. The gift of life will be yours to give. –R. Nachman

(Recipe inspired by

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Inside This Issue

How to Afford a Workers’ Comp Lawyer page 1 Give Up the Search for Happiness pages 2 Testimonial page 2 Welcome Indya page 3 Easy Cheese Fondue Recipe page 3 Step Aside, Balto page 4

Togo the Sled Dog Saves an Alaskan Town

In the winter of 1924–25, the Alaskan town of Nome suffered a deadly outbreak of diphtheria. Facing an epidemic with no medicine on hand, the entire population of Nome and the surrounding areas could’ve been wiped out. The doctor sent a plea to the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, D.C., for help. Due to the harsh Alaskan winter, ships couldn’t reach the Nome port, and it was too dangerous for planes. Sled dogs were the only method of transportation available. They decided to send a shipment of serum by train to Nenana, Alaska. The serum was then transported to Nome by sled dog. The fastest trip from Nenana to Nome was nine days. Due to the brutal conditions, the serum could only last six days before it would expire. What followed was the Great Race of Mercy — a desperate relay to deliver the serum 700 miles across northern Alaska. Twenty mushers and 150 sled dogs participated in the relay, but most historians agree one hero stood out above the rest: Togo, lead dog of renown musher Leonhard Seppala, who crossed the longest and most dangerous leg of the relay. Togo’s 91-mile race crossed the frozen Norton Sound, where unstable ice could break apart and claim the lives of a musher and their dogs. But this route saved a day of travel, and Seppala and Togo carried on. In a whiteout blizzard, with temperatures at -85 F and winds up to 65 mph, Togo’s incredible stamina and ability

to sense danger led his team across safely. Thanks to their bravery, the serum arrived in Nome in 5½ days. The official death toll for Nome and the surrounding Native Alaskan encampments was less than 100 — far below the 100,000 predicted. Today, a statue of Balto, the lead dog of the relay’s last leg, stands in Central Park, New York City, though

it’s worth mentioning the award on the statue was not actually given to Balto, but to Togo. As Seppala said himself, “I never had a better dog than Togo. His stamina, loyalty, and intelligence could not be improved upon. Togo was the best dog that ever traveled the Alaska trail.”

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