Flattmann Law - December 2019

FLATTMANN FILES “Quality Is No Accident”

December 2019 FROM THE DESK OF Grady Flattmann

Now offering free and confidential ‘CRASH COURSES’ for DIY car wreck claims!

“You may not need to hire an attorney for your car wreck claim.”That’s something you don’t hear from those bigwig billboard attorneys! But it’s true. While hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is a great idea when an accident results in significant injuries and medical bills, fender benders can usually be handled without an attorney. But even for small accidents, it is important to understand your rights BEFORE speaking with the insurance company. That’s where our CRASH COURSE comes in. Here’s how it works: Give us a call at (985) 590-6182. We immediately schedule a 15-minute call to cover key information you should know BEFORE starting your insurance claim. Completely FREE, CONFIDENTIAL, NO STRINGS ATTACHED .

Winter is a time for festive joy when celebrations culminate to carry us through the gloomy weather and keep us cheery about ringing in another year. Sometimes it’s hard to look outside our own traditions because we love them so much, but there’s a whole world out there full of people who have their own wonderfully different ways of celebrating a season that means so much. Here are just a few you might find as fascinating and heartwarming as we do. THEY DO WHAT INWINTER? WinterCelebrationsAroundtheWorld Celebrated at the end of February to denote the passing of winter, this seven-day festival is a time of indulgence for people all across Russia. As the name suggests, piping hot pancakes (or blinis, as they’re called in Russia) are served up every day of the celebration as people stuff themselves to the gills in preparation for Lent. The blinis are golden, fluffy, and come with an array of decadent toppings, like chocolate and fruit, or savory options, like sour cream and caviar. The festival also involves plenty of dancing, winter sports like ice skating and skiing, and culminates in the burning of the Maslenitsa straw figure to signify the forgiveness of any wrongdoings suffered. That all sounds fun and dandy, but they honestly had us at pancakes. RUSSIA: MASLENITSA, OR PANCAKE WEEK

Here are just a few of the topics we will cover:

How to properly file a claim (what the insurance company will ask you and why)

• • •

Your rights and responsibilities

How to get your car repaired and get a rental How medical bills get paid and how to remain compliant with your health insurer Different insurance coverages you may not know about

Have a wonderful December!


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carving competition part of the annual Christmas market in an effort to promote local agriculture. Seeing as radishes were already an integral part of Oaxacan cuisine, citizens latched on tight and haven’t let it go since.

While this holiday is celebrated all around the world with varying customs from country to

country, China’s history and traditions surrounding the holiday are the most renowned. Often falling in late


January, Lunar New Year marks the start of a new lunar cycle, and thus a time to reflect on the past and look to the future. Family from across the country comes together to spend time appreciating one another and their ancestors as neighborhoods are adorned in a festive scarlet red. Cash gifts are given in small red packets, and food, dancing, parades, and fireworks entertain late into the night. It all culminates in the Lantern Festival when families light lanterns as a sign of peace and forgiveness.

You may have heard of this one or even participated in the past. But for those of you who haven’t, SantaCon is open to all! Throughout the month of December in cities big and small, men and women alike

dress up in Santa’s traditional red garb and get together to have some fun. The biggest gathering ever recorded occurred in New York in 2012 where an estimated 30,000 Santas all congregated to celebrate! While some like to get a little rowdy by turning their celebrations into events like festivals and pub crawls, others volunteer their time at charities or raise funds for good causes. Whatever the case, it’s a time for adults to get into the spirit of the season by harkening back to their childhood whimsy about Santa and all the joy he brings. This winter, we hope you’ll celebrate and cherish your own fun traditions to the fullest, whatever they may be. The season can be cold and drab for some, but for all, it should be a time to reflect on our past, be thankful for what we have, and tap into the potential of all the things the coming year may bring.


Celebrated every year on Dec. 23 in Oaxaca, Mexico, Night of the Radishes is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Bright magenta radishes are grown just for this one-night celebration, when they’re picked then carved into fun and intricate figurines, including Nativity scenes,

mythical monsters, and much more. They’re put on display for all to enjoy for just a few hours before they start to wilt, and prizes are awarded to the best carvings. This tradition has roots (pun intended) that date back to 1897 when the mayor of Oaxaca at the time made the


Saint Augustine once called physical pain the “greatest evil” known to man. If you think back as early as you can remember, you’ll probably recall painful episodes involving scraped knees and twisted ankles, among many others. While almost everyone can experience physical pain (more on that later), most of us don’t know a lot about the nature of pain. Experiencing physical pain is hardwired into our evolutionary biology, but not all types of pain are the same. Since almost all physical therapy treatment deals with pain, let’s take a moment to demystify the nature of the beast. WHYWE FEEL PAIN “At the most basic level,” states the Mayo Clinic, “pain begins when particular nerve endings are stimulated.” In other words, pain is a type of signal; it’s our brain’s way of communicating that something is wrong. The world is full of dangers capable of causing us serious, irreparable harm, and when we feel pain, we know to leave those dangers alone. A small percentage of people suffer from a congenital insensitivity to pain. While that sounds like a superpower in theory, it’s a nightmare in practice. If you can’t feel pain, you have to be constantly mindful not to do something that could permanently injure or even kill you. 2 TYPES OF PAIN Pain can be categorized inmany ways, but one of the most useful distinctions is between acute and chronic pain. Acute pain occurs from an A Look at the Most Common Human Ailment

injury and subsides once that injury heals. In cases of acute pain, our brain tells us that part of our body is physiologically wounded and in need of repair. If we sprain an ankle, we know to avoid walking on it because it hurts to do so. Treating acute pain often involves protecting and encouraging healing in the injured area while strengthening the surrounding muscles for added support.

Chronic pain, which lasts indefinitely and can lack a clear cause, is a murkier subject. Chronic pain is undoubtedly real, but diagnosing and treating it requires more guesswork. Sometimes it is the result of an underlying condition, such as arthritis. In others, it is the result of damage to the nerves, a condition known as neuropathy. No matter how much or what type of physical pain you suffer, physical therapy can likely help get you on the path to feeling less of it.

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WHAT ABOUT DUNDER AND BLIXEM? The Strange History of Santa’s Reindeer

now know the duo as Donner and Blitzen, Moore originally named them Dunder and Blixem— the Dutch words for thunder and lightning — but publishing companies wanted names that would rhyme better with the rest of the poem. Still, it was a few decades before Donner and Blitzen made their appearances in the version of the poem we know today.

We all know reindeer visit our rooftops every Christmas Eve, but what brings them there? Follow the unique and complicated history of Santa’s reindeer to find out.



In the 1820s, Clement Clarke Moore penned a holiday poem that became the foundation for a phenomenon still alive today. Commonly known as “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,”“A Visit From St. Nicholas” is a beloved story shared by every generation. It is in this poem that reindeer were first credited with powering Santa’s sleigh around the globe. Many popular songs, movies, and plays have preserved Moore’s vision of St. Nick, and his reindeer and their names are no exception. (Well, kind of.) Rudolph wouldn’t join the squad until a department store added him as part of their promotions in the 1930s.

Moore’s poem paved the way for Santa’s most famous form of transportation, but it was actually Carl Lomen, an Alaskan businessman, who mass-marketed reindeer as Santa’s companions. In the late 1890s, the Sami natives of Northern Europe, who were longtime reindeer herders, made their passage from Norway to the U.S. with a herd of reindeer to invigorate the Alaskan landscape and help their native neighbors. Lomen saw the reindeer as an opportunity and partnered with the Macy’s department store company to create a promotional Christmas parade in which Santa, led by his reindeer, a sleigh, and Sami herders, were prominently featured. Lomen’s goal was to promote his massive reindeer conglomerate for the production and sale of reindeer meat. Instead, a holiday story was born.


Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, and Cupid were all brought to life by Moore, but have you ever heard of Dunder and Blixem? Though we

Inspired by FoodNetwork.com

Take a Break!

Potato Latkes


2 tsp kosher salt

2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed

1 tsp baking powder

1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 large eggs

Safflower or vegetable oil, for frying

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Directions 1. Using either a food processor

3. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan containing 1/4-inch of oil

with a coarse grating disc or the coarse side of a box grater, grate potatoes and onion. (If using a food processor, halve or quarter potatoes.) Once grated, wrap in a clean dish towel or cheesecloth to wring out as much moisture as possible.

over medium-high heat. Use a heaping tablespoon to drop batter into the hot pan, working in batches. Use a spatula or

spoon to form them into discs. Fry about 5 minutes per side, until deeply browned. 4. Transfer to a paper towel-lined

2. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in eggs, flour, salt, baking powder, and pepper.

wire rack to drain, and serve alongside applesauce and sour cream.

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“Quality Is No Accident”


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From the Desk of Grady PAGE 1 Winter Celebrations Around the World PAGE 1 Why We Feel Physical Pain PAGE 2 How Santa Claus Became Powered by Reindeer PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Potato Latkes PAGE 3

Florida City Sues Family Over Extreme Christmas Display PAGE 4

There’s nothing quite like the magic of twinkling Christmas lights. But for city officials in Plantation, Florida, Christmas lights are a stark reminder of a prolonged fight, nearly $500,000 in court fees, and continued drama. In 2014, Plantation sued residents Mark and Kathy Hyatt for their “Hyatt Extreme Christmas” lights display, claiming it was a “public nuisance.” Each year, the Hyatts decorated their yard with more than 200,000 lights, snow, a Christmas tree, a Nativity scene, a functioning Ferris wheel, and more. Their creation was featured on two nationally televised programs and attracted flocks of visitors. But, for the Hyatt’s neighbors, extreme didn’t even begin to explain the chaos. Neighbors complained to the city about increased traffic, litter in their yards, and potential injury or death to pedestrians due to the traffic. Police officers in Plantation were dispatched to the light display multiple times each season for complaints by neighbors, accidents, and traffic control. After a two-year battle in court, a judge ruled in favor of the Hyatts, claiming the city could not prove the display was dangerous or a nuisance. The city had spent nearly half a million dollars fighting their case. LIGHTS OUT Florida City Battles to End ‘Extreme’ Lights Display

For the Hyatts, Christmas 2016 was a celebration, though their display was restrained due to the timing of the court’s decision. By 2017, “Hyatt Extreme Christmas”was in full swing again, much to their neighbors’ chagrin. Mark Hyatt rode the wave of support for his display all the way to a vacant seat on the Plantation City Council in 2016, but the highs would soon stop there. Plantation news outlets reported in 2018 that Mark Hyatt filed for divorce, effectively ending any hope of another “Hyatt Extreme Christmas.” As the snow has settled, an extravagant lights display has instead become a story of nasty court battles with a sad ending for the Hyatts and their “extreme” Christmas devotees.

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