The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr. February 2019

19 feb

Road to justice |

Don’t Shortchange Yourself

You Only Get One Settlement

All too often, we’ll get a call from an injured party after they’ve accepted a settlement from an insurance company. These conversations usually go something like this:

Hey Jim, I was recently in a car accident. When I got home from the hospital, a representative from the other driver’s

insurance company showed up at my house. They offered me $50,000 to pay for my medical costs and other expenses. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, so I signed. Now I’m realizing that it’s not even close to what I need. What can I do to get a bigger settlement? Sadly, the answer to this question is,“Not much.” Settlements can be voided, but only under the most extreme of circumstances. Proving that you were coerced into accepting an offer is extremely difficult. Unless you literally had a gun to your head when you signed, a court is likely going to come to the conclusion that you voluntarily accepted a settlement. In other words, you’re stuck with what you accepted. The worst part of this system is that it’s exactly what the insurance companies want. Their number one goal is always getting you to settle for the lowest amount possible. It’s their job to protect their own financial interest, which is something you have to keep in mind whenever you interact with them. That rep who showed up at the house the day after you got back from the hospital knows exactly what they’re doing. They know you’re in a vulnerable state and under stress from your accident and its aftermath. They figure if they can get to you now—when you’re discombobulated and in need of a hand — you’ll accept way less than you should. It’s a dirty business, but that’s just the way it goes. Your best defense against these underhanded tactics is to never agree to a settlement without first consulting an attorney. In fact, you should call an attorney immediately after a serious accident. Agreeing to a settlement may be the worst mistake, but even providing a statement to an adjuster can hurt your claim. Like it or not, insurance companies will do everything

they can to poke holes in your claim. Without the advice of a lawyer, you could hurt your case without even knowing it.

The first settlement an insurance company proposes to you is never going to be their best offer. Just like shopping at a flea market, getting the right price involves negotiating. The difference here is that the stakes are a

heck of a lot higher. You probably won’t regret paying $20 too much for a vintage vase; you’ll definitely regret accepting tens of thousands too little for your auto accident claim. Don’t sign a settlement you’ll end up cursing months down the line. Talk to an attorney to preserve your rights, and remember that once you sign a settlement, you’re stuck with it. –Jim Snell | | F: 800-567-6249 | P: 803-753-1476 1

Safe and Sweet

Allergy-Friendly Valentines for Your Child’s Classmates

For a parent of a child with allergies, every day can feel like a battle with food labels and ingredients lists — and Valentine’s Day only exacerbates this fear. Avoid the danger of an allergic reaction on Valentine’s Day by creating alternative, candy-free valentines that the whole class will enjoy!

GET CREATIVE This valentine idea taps into your kids’ desire to create by using commonly found household items. Have your children draw pictures, create cards, mold tiny sculptures, or braid together friendship bracelets to create one-of-a- kind gifts that will be safe for their classmates to enjoy. Kids can put their own effort into gift-giving, and their valentines will have a personal touch candy cannot replicate. THINK LIKE A KID If you’re looking for a creative valentine that will be safe for all your child’s friends to play with, check no further than the toy aisle of your local dollar store. While being mindful of latex allergies, you can purchase little toys that kids will love that won’t break your bank. Think bouncy balls, mini skateboards, Army men, yo-yos, puzzles, rubber ducks, hand-held games, markers, or bubbles. Adorn these little gifts with yarn, ribbons, or personalized tags, and slap on cute sayings to make them fit for the holiday. Finish off the masterpiece by having your kiddo sign their name on each valentine, and you’ve got a kid-approved Valentine’s Day favorite.

FANCY UP SOME FRUIT If you’re worried about food allergies but still want to make a yummy treat, ask your child’s teacher for a list of students’ allergies, then just work around them. Fruits are usually a safe bet, but it’s best to double check. You could skewer strawberries and heart-shaped pieces of watermelon onto kabob sticks for a sweet and fun snack, or pass out goody bags with apples, bananas, and clementines. Offering a group snack that is allergy-friendly will keep your children and their friends safe and healthy, and it can also help children with allergies feel included in the festivities. As with all Valentine’s Day gifts, keep in mind that it’s not the item or money spent that means the most. It’s the thought behind each gift that makes receiving valentines the sweetest part.

We’ve all heard the term “one-percenter.” It refers to the people who are the richest 1 percent of the population. These folks live lives radically different from our own. They spend more on a car than we do on a house, and their lifestyle overflows with excess. Record producer Michael Blakey offers a glimpse into this world via his YouTube channel, ProducerMichael. Before he became the internet’s version of Robin Leach (host of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”), Michael Blakey was a music producer who worked with everyone from Waylon Jennings to Mary J. Blige. His time in the entertainment industry allowed him to hobnob with jewelers, exotic car dealers, and other high-society types. In 2017, he began documenting his lifestyle on YouTube, where he now has over 400,000 followers. His videos regularly attract millions of views. Despite his glamorous life, Michael never comes off as condescending or arrogant. Instead, he offers matter-of-fact analyses

of massive homes, outrageous watches, clothes that cost more than the average person’s mortgage payment, and more. Refreshingly, he’s also willing to poke fun at both himself and the absurdity of the world he inhabits. Most of us will never experience what it’s like to drive a Lamborghini or try on a five-figure watch. What we can do is get the vicarious thrill of watching somebody else do these things. That’s exactly what ProducerMichael offers its viewers. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a shopping spree, you’ll enjoy the up-close-and-personal look into the world of the excessively rich. to reviewing inexpensive fast-food items. ProducerMichael couldn’t be more different than ReviewBrah, but that’s exactly the magic of YouTube. No matter your interest, you can bet there’s somebody on the platform exploring it in great detail. Last month, we featured ReportOfTheWeek, a channel dedicated

YouTube Channel of the Month Producer Michael and His Opulent Lifestyle

2 The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC | P: 803-753-1476

3 Myths About Our Favorite Furry Meteorologist What Do You Really Know About Groundhog Day? Despite the fact that most, if not all, meteorologists place little value on a furry marmot’s ability to predict an early spring, the annual tradition of Groundhog Day is still one that millions of people love to celebrate. Because it is based more on folkloric legend than scientific evidence, Groundhog Day is associated with shams and spoofs of varying degrees. There are many myths regarding the tradition as well as the famous Punxsutawney Phil himself. MYTH 1: THE PREDICTIONS ARE ACCURATE. Many event-goers put a lot of faith in Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions. Unfortunately, he is more likely to be wrong than right. According to studies based on Phil’s predictions and the weather patterns that follow, it seems Phil’s predictions receive an accuracy rate of only 39 percent. MYTH 2: GROUNDHOG DAY IS HARMLESS. Much like humans, most groundhogs don’t like being suddenly jostled out of their sleep. Their frustration often leads to them biting their handlers. For this reason, the handlers usually wear heavy gloves to protect themselves. However, that isn’t always enough of a precaution to ensure everyone’s safety. In 2009, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was bitten through his glove, and subsequent mayor Bill de Blasio dropped his groundhog in 2014.

MYTH 3: PHIL IS THE ONLY FAMOUS RODENT. While Phil is probably the most well-known ground-dwelling meteorologist, he is not the only groundhog with weather predicting abilities. For example, General Beauregard Lee is the weather predictor for the city of Lilburn, Georgia. Staten Island Chuck takes care of the New York territory, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has three groundhogs of its own, which is probably due to its rich Pennsylvania Dutch history. Canada has even started a Groundhog Day tradition with Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia and Balzac Billy in Alberta.

Even though Groundhog Day is a holiday based on many myths, it still provides a great time for event-goers all across the world. You

might not be able to fully trust Phil’s predictions, but the superstition and mystique associated with this unique and festive day make it one you shouldn’t skip out on.



Which attorney, nicknamed Easy Eddie, went from


6 egg yolks

working for Al Capone to helping federal prosecutors convict the famed mobster of tax evasion?

3 tablespoons sugar

1 pound mascarpone cheese

24 packaged ladyfingers

1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish

2 teaspoons dark rum

Send your answers to Caitlyn (


1. The first correct answer wins a $15 gift card to Starbucks.

1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each ladyfinger into mixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottom of a walled baking dish. 5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.

2. All other submissions are entered in a drawing to win a second $15 gift card to Starbucks.

3. The funniest wrong answer will be chosen by Caitlyn and will also win a $15 gift card to Starbucks. All entries must be sent to Caitlyn by Friday, Feb. 22, and the winners will be announced in our next edition.

Last month’s winner: Becky Pagoota

Inspired by | | F: 800-567-6249 | P: 803-753-1476 3


The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC 123 Harmon Street Lexington, SC 29072

Don’t hesitate to give our office a call! 803-753-1476

Inside this Issue

Take Time Before You Sign PAGE 1

Candy-Free Valentines A YouTube Look Into the 1 Percent PAGE 2

3 Myths About Our Favorite Furry Meteorologist Tiramisu PAGE 3

Snell Law Office Happenings PAGE 4

We firmly believe that the greatest compliment we can receive is one that comes from the people we serve. Sure, industry accolades are great, but they never mean as much as kind words from the people we help every day. That’s why we were so honored to earn Lexington Life Magazine’s award for best criminal defense firm for 2019. Given that the award is voted on by readers, it makes us feel proud to be honored by the members of our community. Speaking of that community, for the past two years, we’ve taken part in Kid’s Day of Lexington — an annual event the city and local businesses put on for the children of our area. We’ve always had a booth at the event, complete with free goodies and a balloon artist. It’s been so much fun that we’ve decided to upgrade our involvement this year by becoming an official sponsor.

Kid’s Day of Lexington is an event designed to educate families on “issues of health, safety, and environmental awareness.” All the proceeds go to local children’s shelters. It’s also totally free for guests. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 27 at Virginia Hylton Park, beginning at 10 a.m. Head to for more information. We’re honored to take part in such a wonderful event that benefits the young people of our community. As a local business, we think it’s important to contribute to the place that’s made us who we are. There would be no Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr. without the wonderful people of Lexington and the surrounding areas. It’s only right that we give back to the people who’ve given us so much. What better way to do that than by putting smiles on the faces of the next generation of Lexingtonians.

Office Happenings Kid’sDayof Lexingtonanda VerySpecial Recognition

4 The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr., LLC | P: 803-753-1476

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