Harman Law - January/February 2020

January/February 2020



Personal Injury, Workers’ Compensation, and Employment Lawyers


With Our New Branch in Hickory, We Can Help More People Than Ever Before

My staff and I are incredibly excited to share some big news for 2020: We’ve opened a third Harman Law location in Hickory! Expanding the reach of our firm has been a goal of mine since day one because the more offices we have, the more people we can reach and help across North Carolina. Catherine Byerley, a talented attorney from our team, is running the Hickory office. It’s close to home for her, and she loves having the opportunity to help her neighbors out of tough situations. Catherine handles workers’ compensation, auto accident, and employment law cases and is looking forward to tackling the challenges that running an office will bring! (You can read all about her on Page 2.)

“As Tiger Woods put it, ‘No matter how good you get, you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.’”

This year, my big focus will be on streamlining our processes behind the scenes. The new policies I’m putting in place might not be obvious from the outside, but they should have ripple effects across the firm. Ultimately, we’ll put our best foot forward in every way, every day, and that includes contacting our clients with updates about their cases more frequently so they don’t have to worry and can instead spend this time with their families. Personally, I plan to spend as much time as I can with my own family in 2020. I’m so excited to watch Nolan, Miles, and Emerson grow up (it’s hard to believe they just turned 2 in December!), and Jen and I are starting the year off right with a lot of college and NFL football. If you have any suggestions for how Harman Law can improve in 2020 — whether they’re practice areas you’d love to see us take on or issues you’d like us to cover in more depth in this newsletter — we’d love to hear them. Call us today at 704-885-5550 to share your thoughts.

The new office won’t change my own day-to-day too much — I’m kept plenty busy handling cases in our Huntersville and Charlotte locations — but I’ll also be assisting with cases that come into the Hickory office and will always be just a phone call away for Catherine. Expanding has definitely pushed me to think bigger. For the last few months, I’ve been homing in on things we can do to improve Harman Law in 2020. Right now, consultations at our Hickory branch, which is at 520 8th St. NE, Suite 203, are by appointment and the team is still small, but one of our company goals for 2020 is to expand that office along with our original locations. We’re also planning to ramp up the individualized care and attention we give our clients. We already prioritize giving them the best possible experience by staying in constant contact and shouldering as much of their stress as we can, but I think we can always do more. As Tiger Woods put it, “No matter how good you get, you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.”

–Michael Harman


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – Call Us Today 704-885-5550

Ctrl, Alt, DeleteYour Clutter


Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order. Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid Start by Dusting

cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer.

Organize Your Files

Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need.

drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left.

Clean Up Space

Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there.

Back Up Your Computer

Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard

Employee Spotlight: Catherine Byerley

Watching Harman Law attorney Catherine Byerley dominate in the courtroom, you’d never guess she had to be talked into going to law school. “To be honest, I wanted to be a meteorologist,” Catherine admits. “But my mom made me go to law school. She was sure it would be perfect for me, and in the end, she was right — I loved it.” In her first semester at Elon University Law School, Catherine enrolled in a torts class and fell in love with civil action. She scored at the top of the class, and her professor held up her essays as examples. It was a life-changing experience that steered the rest of her career. Catherine worked her way through a range of positions after graduating law school, gathering experience in defense law, insurance adjusting, workers’ compensation, and personal injury, but she always had civil action in the back of her mind. When she joined Harman Law 2 1/2 years ago, she was finally able to tackle those cases full time. She thrives in the courtroomwhere she is given the opportunity to do what she enjoys most about being a lawyer — to zealously advocate for her clients.

“People who know me well say there’s the ‘lawyer me’ and the ‘personal life me,’” Catherine explains. “When I step into the courtroom, something clicks in me and it just works. A switch flips, and I become this don’t-mess-with-me powerhouse lawyer. Then it’s over, and I’m back to being little old me. It feels like something in me comes alive, and it’s so much fun!” That adrenaline rush is one of Catherine’s favorite things about her work, but she also loves helping her clients. “I’m going to go to bat for you and fight it out,” she says. “I want to win, but I’ll take a case even if there’s a chance of losing because I love the law and the process, and I want to help.” When she’s not in the office or the courtroom, you can find Catherine at the playground chasing her 1- and 3-year-old kids, or spending time with her husband, Matthew, an attorney with Gottholm, Ralston, Benton, Byerley & Moore.

Meet Our Powerhouse Civil Action Attorney

From all of us here on the Harman Law team, thank you, Catherine, for all you do!


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – HarmanLawNC.com


The 3 S’s That Make Truck Accidents Deadly

And How an Attorney Can Help When They Strike

In 2017 alone, almost 150,000 crashes involving trucks took place in North Carolina. Nearly 40,000 of them caused serious injuries, and 150 people died from the collisions. Those statistics are awful, and to make matters worse, people driving cars and SUVs suffered most of the injuries — not the truck drivers who risk their lives for a living.

So, what makes truck accidents so deadly? Well, in our experience, the danger comes down to three S’s: size, speed, and sleepiness.

Size This factor is pretty simple: Trucks are huge, and that makes them deadly. According to TheTruckersReport.com, a large tractor-trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds (that’s 40 tons!), while the average automobile weighs just 5,000 pounds. Because there’s such a stark weight and power difference, when a car collides with a tractor trailer, the car and its driver inevitably come off worse. Speed Most tractor-trailers travel almost exclusively on highways, which have higher speed limits than normal roads. It’s rare to see a big truck cruising down a residential street because most truckers can’t afford to choose routes with low speed limits. The government also doesn’t want dangerous trucks to use residential roads because the risk of injury is too great. As a result, most truck accidents take place on the highway where they can occur at speeds as high as 70 mph. Sleepiness Truck drivers travel up and down the coast delivering goods to their clients. Often, they’ll drive thousands of miles a week, sometimes spending 12 hours a day behind the wheel and only taking a single day off. No doubt, truckers are hard workers, but sometimes they can also be careless drivers, particularly when they’re short on sleep or drive more hours than they’re legally allowed to. Driving while drowsy is extremely dangerous and can make the difference between life and death when a crash is imminent. If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident, our team of experienced North Carolina truck accident attorneys can help you win the compensation you deserve for expenses like medical bills, lost wages, property damage, disability, or pain and suffering. Call today to schedule your free initial consultation — you’ll pay nothing until we win your case.

Solution on Page 4

Cabbage is in season right now, which means it’s the perfect time to try your hand at making sauerkraut. The fermented cabbage requires only two ingredients, keeps for months, and is packed with beneficial probiotics. How to MakeYour Own Sauerkraut


2 lbs cabbage

4 tsp fine sea salt


• •

● Jar

● Something to weigh down cabbage, ideally made of a nonreactive material like glass

● Lid with airlock


1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Slice very thinly.

2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and salt. Let stand for 20 minutes. 3. Squeeze cabbage to release juices. Let the cabbage continue to soak and release juices for another 20 minutes. 4. Transfer to a jar and press down cabbage until completely submerged in its juices. Weigh down cabbage. 5. Seal jar with airlock. Let cabbage sit at room temperature and away from sunlight for one month. Once fermented, transfer to the fridge. Sauerkraut will keep for six months to one year.


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – Call Us Today 704-885-5550

8712 Lindholm Dr., Suite 300 Huntersville, NC 28078 Offices in Lake Norman, Charlotte, and Hickory 704-885-5550 HarmanLawNC.com



Inside This Issue

We’ve Opened a Third Office! 1

Sudoku Solution

Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer

Meet Catherine Byerley! 2 How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut The 3 S’s That Make Truck Accidents Deadly 3 Athletes Who Fought Their Way to the Top 4

UNLIKELY PRO ATHLETES WHO BEAT THE ODDS Sometimes All It Takes Is the Power of Will

The life of a professional athlete can seem like all glitz and glamour, shaking hands, kissing babies, and occasionally performing in the spotlight under a little bit of pressure. But for every athlete you see on your television screen, there are actually hundreds more in the minor leagues fighting against all odds to make it to the big stage. And some of those athletes have disadvantages that mean they have to work twice as hard just to get the same respect as those who’ve had an easier road. These professionals prove that sometimes all it takes to see your dreams come true is an ability to block out the noise, put your head down, and keep your disabilities from holding you back. Here are two athletes who did just that. Billy Miske: Fighting for His Life Boxing is a sport of extreme violence and diligent strategy. To be a winner, you must be smart and physically capable. For a while, Billy Miske was both of those things — until he was diagnosed with the life- threatening Bright’s disease that severely affected his kidneys. Already considered a bit of an underdog, he chose to keep fighting to pay off his increasing medical debts and give his family a shot at a better life. As his

disease progressed and he realized his days were numbered, fate pitted him against heavyweight Bill Brennan. Despite his doctor’s orders, and despite facing a much larger opponent while he was literally at death’s door, Miske shocked the world by knocking Brennan out and delivering the dream Christmas that he’d promised his children in the process. He died a few days later, immortalized by his fighting spirit and refusal to quit. JimAbbott: Never Needed a Hand After being born without a right hand, the odds of Jim Abbott playing baseball in any capacity seemed slim, but Jim Abbott didn’t care about the odds. After developing a one-of-a-kind fielding routine where he would switch his glove from his shorter arm to his dominant one, Abbott took his talents all the way to the major leagues. Fans around the world watched as he turned his disability into a 10-year MLB career that included throwing a no-hitter in 1993 against the New York Yankees, which was one of the most remarkable accomplishments in baseball.

Sometimes the sky isn’t enough. Ultimately, the only limits that hold you back are the ones you set for yourself.


Unwavering Client Experience. Outstanding Results. – HarmanLawNC.com

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