Friedman & Simon - March 2020

When the Police Don’t Take Your Side

It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring-cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring-cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring- greening , and make some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started. 1. SWAP YOUR PLASTIC SPRAY BOTTLES FOR BULK OR DIY CLEANING PRODUCTS. According to a Statista report, in 2019, the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit UnderATinRoof.com and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. 2. EXPLORE ALTERNATIVE LAUNDRY DETERGENTS. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant-based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on 1MillionWomen.com, and read up on ivy detergent at Permacrafters.com/English-Ivy-Laundry-Detergent. 3. SAY GOODBYE TO PAPER TOWELS. Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick. If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing. YOUR GUIDE TO SPRING- GREENING 3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make When You Declutter

Is Your Auto Accident Claim Sunk?

Something that happens far too often in auto accident cases is injured parties fail to pursue a claim because a police report paints them in a negative light. While having a favorable report from a law enforcement officer who responded to your car accident is always a welcomed piece of evidence, it won’t make or break a case. Here’s what you should consider if a police report doesn’t capture the full story of your accident. REMEMBER, THE OFFICER PROBABLY DIDN’T WITNESS THE ACCIDENT Police reports in New York are considered to be hearsay evidence, because it is very rare for the responding officer to have actually witnessed the accident. This means that the large majority of reports are based on the reporting officer’s version of statements received at the scene of the accident. Sometimes, if a person is hurt, they are unable to even speak to the responding officer at the scene. Often times, the full picture of a situation is not grasped or captured by the police report. When the actual facts surrounding your accident contradict the report of a police officer, and these facts can be proven by witnesses, video, or other evidence, judges, jury members, and even the insurance companies will eventually have to agree that the police report version of the accident is not correct. Further, in the majority of cases, the law does not allow for a police report alone to be conclusive proof of fault in an accident. BUILD YOUR CASE Even before law enforcement arrives on the scene, you should take action to gather evidence. If due to your injuries you are unable to, check to see if a family member or friend or good Samaritan can help you at the scene of the accident to obtain contact information of witnesses and take pictures. Taking pictures of the accident scene, including damage to any vehicles involved, conditions on the road, and the layout of the street or intersection are all invaluable facts that can vindicate you when a report offers a different version of events. You can also speak with bystanders who witnessed the accident about testifying on your behalf. If they agree, be sure to exchange contact information with them. The word of someone who was there during the accident itself will carry more weight than a report compiled in its aftermath. GET AN EXPERT OPINION Finally, don’t let an unfavorable police report hold you back from exploring your legal options. Many firms, including ours, offer free consultations so you can get the opinion of an experienced auto accident attorney as to whether or not you have a case. It costs nothing to consider this option, and it could cost you a great deal not to, so don’t let the interpretation of one officer keep you from seeking compensation.

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