Joe Miller Law May 2018


F ollow U s

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As many of my clients may be aware, I’m a bit of a space nerd. If something involves breaking out of Earth’s gravity and being out among the stars, then I’m completely fascinated by it. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of “Star Wars,” and when my family took a trip down to Orlando a few years ago, one of my requests was that we visit the Kennedy Space Center. So back in February of this year, my eyes were fixed on the sky — or more accurately the livestream — when Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy rocket launched. The SpaceX CEO would later call the launch “epic.” Musk told reporters, “That’s probably the most exciting thing I’ve ever seen, literally.” I would have to agree with him. I’ve always admired Elon Musk. In the early days of SpaceX, he risked his entire fortune after the failure of two launches of the original Falcon Rocket. He only had enough money for one more launch. The odds of success were not good. Fortunately, it succeeded, and the rest is history. Now, years later, after more than 50 successful launches of the reusable Falcon 9 Rocket, on the morning of Feb. 6, 2018, the Falcon Heavy Rocket — essentially three Falcon 9 rockets strapped together — became the most powerful rocket on the planet to successfully launch into space. The massive rocket went up beautifully, and two of the three reusable

Roadster (made by another company owned by Mr. Musk) and its mannequin driver named “Starman.” The video of the Roadster drifting above our planet, with a sign on the dashboard that said “Don’t Panic!” was incredible, though not everyone was as impressed. One of my friends (who’s a great guy but can be a little negative) saw footage of the Roadster in space and complained, “Real nice. A rich boy spent millions to send his car into space; meanwhile, people are starving on Earth.” An article with a similar sentiment appeared in a British newspaper as well. Of course we should help people who are struggling on Earth. That’s my purpose as a workers’ comp lawyer, after all. But I think people who looked at the orbiting Roadster and only thought “What a waste of money” probably missed the point. The Falcon Heavy is more than twice as powerful as our next most

boosters returned to the touchdown zone as planned. Even President Trump commented that he had never seen anything so amazing as the two boosters touching down on earth together. The launch and booster return were indeed awesome, but it was all upstaged by the test cargo aboard the rocket: a red Tesla shouldn’t tell people they can’t dream of the stars before planet Earth is perfect.” “This doesn’t mean we should stop trying to solve the problems we face on Earth, but we

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. Continued on Page 3 ...

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TRY GAMES, AUDIOBOOKS, AND PODCASTS TO PASS THE TIME Summer is right around the corner, which means you’ll soon pile the whole family into the car, ready to brave the road for a vacation. Everyone knows that riding in the car for hours can be torture. But with a little creativity, you can turn the worst part of a long trip into a fun event. can be fun for the whole family: a traditional road trip game. If you have a car full of storytellers, try “Fortunately, Unfortunately.” The rules are simple. The first person starts by saying, “fortunately,” and mentioning something good about the road trip or the destination. The next person (moving clockwise) then follows by saying something “unfortunate” about Road Trips Don’t Have to Be Painful Pack a Travel Game

the previous person’s statement. Take turns with every passenger in the car. If someone stumbles, they get a strike; three strikes and you’re out. The last passenger standing wins.

When the excitement of the family vacation starts to wear off, keep the peace and entertain your kids with a travel game. Many board game manufacturers offer travel-sized versions that are easy to pack and play in the car. Before your next road trip, consider purchasing digital Yahtzee, which packs all the fun of the classic game without the dice, or IQ Fit, a logic game with over 100 challenges. Both games cost around $10 and can provide hours of entertainment.

book is available in audio form, but it can be hard to find an enjoyable podcast. “Transistor” is a science-focused podcast that explores subjects kids and adults will find fascinating. Or if you’re looking for something fictional, try “Storynory,” in which the narrator tells fairy tales and legends from all over the globe.

Play an Audiobook or Podcast

We get it. Sometimes passengers don’t want to play games. Occasionally, they’d rather relax or take a nap. However, your listening material doesn’t have to be limited to Dad’s favorite music. Instead, consider listening to a family-friendly audiobook or podcast, which can make the longest and most boring parts of your trip an entertaining or educational experience. Almost any popular

Include the Whole Family

Once the travel games no longer pique anyone’s interest, try an activity that

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powerful rocket, the Delta IV Heavy. Yet, it was just one-third of the cost! Sure, that one-third is still hundreds of millions of dollars, but that’s a huge leap closer to Musk’s goal of making space travel accessible to everybody. I really admire Elon Musk as an entrepreneur. He looks at problems and comes up with incredible solutions to make life easier. To solve the bad traffic in LA, Musk created his idea of the Hyperloop, a vacuum-like tube that would hurtle passengers from San Francisco to LA at 760 mph. The loop, a series of underground tunnels to whisk cars, buses, and pedestrians throughout Los Angeles, would bypass notoriously horrible traffic. To help humans reach the stars, he’s been working to make space travel cheaper. Not that anyone would call the millions spent on the Falcon Heavy cheap,

hunk of steel, like test flights usually have. It made people pay attention. How many kids saw the rocket take off or the Roadster in space,

now flying in the direction of Mars, and thought, “Wow, I wanna do that!” How many kids became interested in science or engineering? How many adults saw those images and began to think about the possibility of space travel? This doesn’t mean we should stop trying to solve the problems we face on Earth, but we shouldn’t tell people they can’t dream of the stars before planet Earth is perfect. Developing new technologies is how we will make things better in the long run. At the office, I’m always happy to adopt new technology if it means I can better help my clients. We’ve recently implemented innovative technology that will improve the way we track cases, take in clients, and make the whole process run more smoothly. Sure, we’re not redefining the future of space travel, but for the people who come into the office, the technology we have in place can make a universe of difference for them.

but you have to start somewhere. And the more minds you have working on a problem, the faster a solution can be found. That’s why Musk put a cherry-red Tesla blasting David Bowie’s “Starman,” on the rocket instead of a

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IT’S NOT PARANOIA Insurance Companies, Private Investigators, and Workers’ Comp

Insurance companies want to destroy your workers’ compensation case, and they will do so by any means necessary. Many insurance companies have been known to hire a private investigator to follow you around, taking photos or videos of you without your knowledge, in hopes of “proving” that you are not as injured as you claim to be. It costs insurance companies next to nothing to pay investigators to follow you everywhere — even out of state, on vacation, or within your home if the windows are open. Tiny cameras can be hidden on an investigator’s person — perhaps in a shirt button or belt buckle — to capture video footage up close without a person knowing. The investigator can even get video footage from a mile away using a high-powered lens. A private eye may be literally hiding in the bushes near your home. This can’t be legal! Unfortunately, it is. As invasive and downright creepy as it may seem, this tactic is completely legal, and we have seen an increase in this strategy being employed by workers’ compensation insurance companies. If the insurance company gets a video of you doing something you claimed you were unable to do or something your doctor told you not to do, then they can present this evidence to the Workers’

Compensation Commission to undermine your case. More recently, the insurance companies have started showing the doctors videos of their patients involved in these cases. They hope to convince your doctor to stop giving you care and encourage you to go back to full duty so you will be cut off from all compensation benefits. How can I protect myself? There is one simple way to prevent insurance companies from getting their hands on damaging footage: Don’t engage in any

activity you claim you cannot perform or that your doctor has told you not to perform. This includes strenuous physical activity like yard work, heavy lifting, or carrying groceries. If your doctor has told you not to climb stairs, then do not climb stairs at any point during your case. If you are suffering from a serious injury, assume you are being watched at all times. We beg you to act accordingly and restrict your behavior while your case is pending.

Grilled Skirt Steak With Asparagus

Joe’s Monthly ‘SOUL SNACKS’

“All life-forms need obstacles and challenges in order to evolve.” –Eckhart Tolle “There are many people who are always waiting for the next thing to react against, to feel annoyed or disturbed about — and it never takes long before they find it … They are addicted to upset and anger as others are to a drug. Through reacting against this or that they assert and strengthen

Ingredients • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak • 2 tablespoons canola oil • 1 pound asparagus

• 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper • Salt and pepper to taste • Grated pecorino Romano cheese side, depending on desired doneness. Skirt steak is thin and will cook quickly. 4. Let steak rest for 10 minutes. While it’s resting, grill asparagus for 6 minutes, turning once. 5. Sprinkle cheese and crushed red pepper on asparagus. Serve alongside steak.


1. Heat grill to high. Season room-temperature steak with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil. Any oil with a high smoke point, such as canola, will work. asparagus. Season with salt, pepper, and remainder of oil. 3. Cut steak into four portions and grill for 3–5 minutes per 2. Trim bottom inch of

their feeling of self.” –Eckhart Tolle

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Inside This Issue

To Boldly Go page 1 How to Make Your Road Trip a Breeze page 2 Who’s Watching? page 3 Grilled Skirt Steak With Asparagus page 3 Bobbie the Wonder Dog’s Incredible Journey page 4

Bobbie the Wonder Dog’s Incredible Journey Imagine America in 1923. Yankee Stadium opened its doors for the very first time. Walt and Roy Disney founded The Walt Disney He turned his head west and began walking. And walking. With winter setting in, Bobbie had a monumental task ahead.

Company. The first issue of Time magazine hit newsstands. President Warren G. Harding died of a heart attack in office, and Vice President Calvin Coolidge became the 30th president. And Bobbie the Wonder Dog trekked 2,550 miles to return home. Of all the stories to come out of 1923, Bobbie’s may be the most incredible. It all started with a road trip. The Brazier family of Silverton, Oregon, decided to take a road trip to visit relatives in Wolcott, Indiana. Mom, Dad, their two daughters, and their Scotch collie piled in the family Overland Red Bird touring car and headed across preinterstate-highway-system America. Several days later, after the Braziers had settled in with their Wolcott relatives, Bobbie the Scotch collie was attacked by a pack of dogs. The dogs scared Bobbie away, and despite a long search around Wolcott, the family was unable to find any trace of the collie. The search continued throughout their stay, but time ran out, and the Braziers had to return home to Oregon without their beloved Bobbie. What the Braziers didn’t know was that Bobbie had been searching for his family as well. He may have been scared away, but he was determined to get back home. And so began his incredible journey.

Bobbie swam across numerous rivers. He trekked across the Great Plains and over the Rocky Mountains. While we will never know

exactly what Bobbie endured, we know he made it home. Over 2,500 miles later, in February, 1924, a tired and beaten-down pup arrived home in Silverton, Oregon, to a stunned family.

Bobbie the Wonder Dog’s story made national headlines. He received a medal and the key to the city, and he became a silent movie star in the film “The Call of the West.”

Today, you can visit Bobbie’s memorial near his home in Oregon.

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