Bigger & Harman, APC September 2019




DRIVER Attorneys Defending Your Right to the Road


LABORING DAY Here’s to Those Still on the Road

When the holidays start edging closer, you hear more and more grumblings about how they’ve lost their meaning. By now, I’m certain most people are familiar with the commercialization of days like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas — but there’s an even earlier celebration being starved of value: Labor Day. These days, it’s hard to imagine, but the first Monday of September has some pretty contentious origins. The original “Labor Day parade” didn’t have floats and professional marching bands; it consisted of 10,000 disgruntled New York workers marching on Union Square to protest meager wages and 12-hour workdays. This, paired with more violent strikes and riots throughout the end of the late 19th century, finally led to the creation of the federal holiday in 1894. Today, however, you’d have to look pretty hard to see the blue-collar origins of Labor Day. While those with office jobs and regular 9–to-5 hours get to sit back and enjoy a three-day weekend, some of the hardest- working people in the country can’t get the day off. When it comes to critical jobs like public transportation and long-distance trucking, work can’t be stopped. That’s why we’d like to take our hats off and salute those commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who stay on the road while others enjoy parades and barbecues. It’s ironic that some of our nation’s hardest laborers can’t celebrate a day created for, well, laborers. But the truth is that commercial drivers are invaluable to the everyday functions of our country. A staggering 70% of all freight transported in the U.S. travels by truck. Every day, 34 million Americans rely on public transportation to get them around town. If these dedicated workers got out of the driver’s seat, our nation would literally grind to a halt.

Worse still, Labor Day weekend is a particular challenge for truckers. So many of us get on the open road to visit family and friends over the extended break that highways get congested quickly. Far from having the equivalent of a slow day at the office, the run up to the holiday can be an added source of stress for those already working one of the most demanding jobs there is. So, while many of these drivers are not able to take a day and celebrate their own hard work, Labor Day should at least be a time for the rest of us to celebrate them. In today’s fast-paced world,

“If these dedicated workers got out of the driver’s seat, our nation would literally grind to a halt.”

it’s easy to forget just how much of our lives are made possible by CDL drivers. From the food on our table to the gasoline in our car, none of these essentials would be here without the dedicated men and women who brought them to us.

Thank you, drivers. Your sacrifice does not go unnoticed.

–Mark Bigger

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Still, NFL and medical officials point to 2018’s decrease in concussions as a positive sign that league initiatives are working. Officials say the new rules helped push the numbers down, and the use of more sideline concussion protocol testing and increased advanced helmet technology aided in this boost. The NFL reported that 74% of its players were now wearing its latest protective headgear, a 33% increase from 2017. According to USA Today, the NFL’s chief medical officer, Dr. Allen Sills, also indicated that medical teams across the league performed more sideline concussion tests than any year prior and saw a 75% decrease in diagnosing. The league is considering testing mouthguard technology that would give medical teams more information for diagnosing concussions. As we prepare for another season of football, there’s no telling what 2019’s numbers will show about the NFL’s latest safety protocols, but if 2018 was any indication, they just might be headed in the right direction.

Prior to the 2018 National Football League (NFL) season, the league administration introduced two rules aimed at preventing concussions: Players are no longer allowed to “wedge” block — players running shoulder-to-shoulder into another player — during kick-offs, and they can’t lower their helmets when they tackle. Fans and players complained about the “soft” stance the NFL took on the gritty play football was built on. Most notably, former Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews was subjected to a game-costing “roughing the passer” penalty for tackling in a way that would have been allowed in years prior. The NFL reported that it would be using Matthews’ hit as a teaching tape.

Despite the backlash, offseason reports may suggest that these rules have influenced concussion rates. The NFL reported a 24% decline in the number of concussions between the 2017 and 2018 seasons, lowering the total from 281 in 2017 to 214 in 2018 when combined with preseason play. In the regular season alone, the number of reported concussions was 135 compared to 190 from the year prior.

However, it’s worth noting that 2017 saw high recorded rates of concussions. Figures going as far back as 2012 indicate that 2017 was one of the most concussed years in recent football history.

Demystifying Trucking A NOT-SO-OPEN ROAD

We serve a great deal of truck drivers here at the firm, and some of us even have truckers in the family. It’s an easy job to romanticize: you, the open road, long hauls across scenic country sides, and an $800-a-week starting salary. But any trucker will tell you the pay is so good for a reason. If you’re considering a career driving big rigs, you should know about a few drawbacks. Being alone on the open road begins to lose its charm when you spend weeks at a time on over-the-road runs. The pay and opportunities on these long routes are far better than more local work, but being far from home for so long can wear you down fast. Be sure your family understands the commitment you’re making before signing up for your first long haul. WORK-LIFE IMBALANCE

of state regulations and company demands. Everything, like the placement of reflector tape and when and how long you can drive, is closely monitored. Running afoul of these rules and regulations can lead to a very quick firing and a very long wait to ever get hired as a driver again.


Even those who idealize trucking probably don’t picture drivers sitting down for a nice salad dinner every night. Fast food and truck stop diners are almost unavoidable in this profession, both for their convenience and affordability, making diets impossible to maintain on the road. To make matters worse, driving also takes a good deal of sitting — there aren’t many opportunities to go to the gym when you’re hundreds of miles from home. Still, for those who can make it work, trucking can be a rewarding, enjoyable profession. We’re proud to represent these hardworking drivers who keep our country running. We may not be able to help you with your diet or work-life balance, but, if you find yourself caught up in the red tape of traffic laws, we’re here to keep you on the road.


If you have any illusions of living a “Smokey and the Bandit” lifestyle, it’s best to leave those ideas on the side of the road. Far from being the freebooting profession Hollywood makes it out to be, trucking is a constant struggle to stay between the lines

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INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION Thanks to your referrals, we were able to give $560 to fight human trafficking. To learn more about International Justice Mission, please go to To protect the poor from violence by rescuing victims, bringing the criminals to justice, restoring survivors to safety and strength, and helping local law enforcement build a safe future that lasts. Our long-term vision is to rescue millions, protect half a billion, and make justice for the poor unstoppable. MISSION:

Most people are used to thinking of traffic tickets as a slap on the wrist — or their bank account. That’s why many Californians are surprised when they or their teenage drivers are required to go to court. This can happen in a few situations, so it’s best to know ahead of time which tickets will cost you money and which will put you before a judge. NOT SO FAST The most common offense requiring drivers to appear in court is speeding in excess of 100 mph. In some parts of the state, this may be a pretty rare occurrence, but here in the Central Valley, with our miles of desert and many, many speed traps, our local traffic courts tend to fill up. If you thought paying an enormous fine was bad enough for speeding, imagine also having to take the time and energy to be admonished in a county courthouse. WHOA THERE, JUNIOR Drivers under the age of 18 are also frequently required to have their day in court. In the state of California, a juvenile charged with any moving violation will need to appear before a judge, alongside at least one parent or guardian. That’s right — something as simple as your teenager failing to use a turn signal could land you both in the courtroom. NOW, WAIT JUST A SECOND Of course, if you choose to dispute a traffic ticket, a court case will also be required even if the original ticket didn’t stipulate an appearance. Usually, there will be two court dates in these situations: an arraignment and the actual trial where you or your lawyer argue your case. These two appearances can make disputing traffic tickets sound like more trouble than they’re worth, but it doesn’t have to be that way. GO ON ... The good news about all of the above situations is that in most courts you don’t actually have to appear in court for any of these charges. Your legal representative, a traffic attorney, can often take your place in the courtroom, whether they are disputing a ticket or simply fulfilling your required appearance on your behalf. If you or your teen are required to appear in traffic court and can’t make the appearance, give us a call.






(661) 859-1177 | 3


Toll-Free (661) 859-1177 Se Habla Español


1701 Westwind Drive Suite 203 Bakersfield, CA 93301


A Lost Holiday ................................ PAGE 1

NFL Lowers Concussion Rates in 2018 ................................... PAGE 2

3 Reasons Not to Be a Truck Driver ..................................... PAGE 2

Tickets That Will Put You in Court .................................... PAGE 3

Honoring the Canines of 9/11 ...... PAGE 4

Have a ticket in California? Give us a call, and we’ll help you out! Regardless of the location, we can point you in the right direction free of charge!

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up. THE 4-LEGGED HEROES OF GROUND ZERO HONORING THE CANINES OF 9/11

Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: .

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