Schuelke Law - November 2022

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November 2022


We consider ourselves pretty lucky because we get to spend our work time helping people. But what we’re apparently not great at is sharing what we do with our friends and clients. How do I know? In the past few months, I’ve learned that multiple clients hired other attorneys for something we typically handle. And each of them later said something like, “I wish I knew you did that.” So today, we’re letting you know about some of the types of cases we handle. Car Wreck Claims Car wreck claims make up a significant portion of our practice. Over the years, we’ve represented people in everything from multiple death wrecks to tiny fender-benders in a parking lot (if you’re a former client, I’ll often take your case to help you when we’d otherwise not be able to take the more minor cases). I also have particular expertise in uninsured/underinsured motorist cases, and I have given speeches on these claims to lawyers all over the state. Dog Attack Cases We have helped several victims, especially children, of dog attacks. These have ranged from the typical “routine” attack to representing the family of a child killed in a horrific attack by a neighbor’s bull mastiff. With the rise of the delivery economy, I’ve noticed more and more clients who are delivery persons, including drivers for UPS, Amazon, and DoorDash. Dog attacks are significant claims because of the emotional component. Many people have a deep-seated fear of large animals triggered by an attack that might not match the actual physical injuries sustained in the attack. On-the-Job Injuries On-the-job injuries are complicated because Texas is a workers’ compensation state. But when the employer does not have workers’

compensation or if the victim is hurt on the job by a third party, then we can often help. One unusual case involved a utility worker who received terrible injuries when hanging a transformer on a utility pole, and the entire pole fell. In another case, our client worked on a car lot and was walking between a long line of cars when a coworker, high on various drugs, was moving a vehicle and inexplicably hit the accelerator going forward (instead of reverse) and pinned our client between two cars. Premises Liability Premises liability claims are claims based on a property owner having a dangerous condition on the property. For example, one former client suffered a severe brain injury when she slipped at her apartment complex because the swimming pool bathroom floors were very slick polished concrete, which violates all building standards since many of the users would be dripping wet or have wet feet. In another case, our blind client suffered severe leg injuries when he walked down a sidewalk and fell into a large hole for a construction project that wasn’t adequately barricaded. Bicycle and Motorcycle Wrecks In bicycle wrecks, we have represented a wide variety of clients, from recreational cyclists to one client who was a professional Ironman triathlete. In one case, we had the double combination where our cyclist client was attacked by a dog while riding, causing the cyclist to crash. Most people (and even some lawyers) don’t realize that if you own a car and have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, it can provide insurance to you for wrecks when you’re on a bicycle. We’ve also represented several clients in motorcycle wrecks. As those who ride know, bicyclists and motorcyclists don’t have much protection on their bikes, so these injuries are often catastrophic. Commercial Cases Although injury work is the majority of what we do, we still handle a fair amount of commercial litigation. These may be “business divorces,“ representing businesses in customer disputes, etc. While we want to make sure you know what we do, please call us if you or your friends and family members need a lawyer in a different area. We know many lawyers and want to help point you in the right direction.

-C. Brooks Schuelke | 1

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Why Do I Constantly Think About This? How to Manage Intrusive Thoughts

Many people deal with unwelcome, intrusive thoughts every day. We’ve all experienced unwanted images or notions racing through our minds, and it can be difficult to concentrate on what we need to be doing. These thoughts can also trigger feelings of anxiety, worry, and shame. But know you’re not alone — some estimate that 6 million Americans are affected, so many can empathize with what you’re going through. Here is some good advice about intrusive thoughts and how to manage them in a healthy way.

Understand they will pass, but prepare yourself for other unwanted thoughts. Most importantly, push through and continue to complete your tasks and errands when the thoughts occur.

If you try to control, suppress, question, act, or engage with intrusive thoughts, you’ll likely be even more fixated on them. You’ll

feel more in control if you allow them to pass through your brain instead of trying to avoid and ignore them. Intrusive thoughts can feel distressing, but allowing them to freely enter and exit your mind will provide you with ease — even if it doesn’t seem that way. However, if intrusive ideas persist and

What are intrusive thoughts?

Intrusive thoughts are unwanted ideas that occur without warning at any time, often triggered by stress or anxiety, or even short-term biological factors, like hormone shifts. They can come in many forms, and people often worry about what they mean, so naturally, they try to control or stop the ideas altogether. But trying to prohibit these thoughts can make them more persistent.

continually impair your ability to work or do things you enjoy, seek information from a mental health professional. You’re never alone in your struggles, so don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

What can you do?

Instead of pushing these thoughts out of your mind, acknowledge that they are intrusive concepts and allow them to linger.

The fire continued to spread quickly, and Bostic described it as a “black lagoon” of smoke on the ground floor. He checked all of the bedrooms but couldn’t find the little girl. Then, as he approached a window to exit the home, he heard a child’s cry. Bostic then had an internal conversation with himself: He knew the child needed help, and although he was terrified to go back downstairs through the fire and smoke, he wouldn’t quit. After wrapping his shirt around his mouth, he ran through the home, following the girl’s cries for help. Once he found her, he picked her up, ran upstairs, and jumped out the window onto the lawn. All of the children were safe and suffered no injuries. Bostic received first-degree burns and severe cuts on his arm. He was airlifted to the nearest hospital once first responders arrived at the scene. Bostic’s cousin created a GoFundMe to pay for Bostic’s medical bills, and it collected $556,000. Late-Night Driver Becomes a Sudden Hero Right Place, Right Time

Nicholas Bostic had a heated argument with his girlfriend one night, so he went out driving around to clear his head and relax. Little did he know he would become a hero that same night. During his drive, he witnessed a raging fire that had engulfed a family’s home. Bostic stopped his car and ran inside despite the flames. He immediately began yelling for anyone since no one appeared to be inside the house — not even emergency personnel. His cries woke up 18-year-old Seionna Barrett, the oldest of five children, and she gathered her siblings together to exit the home. Bostic ran to Barrett and her young siblings, and he helped her take the children outside. But Barrett then told Bostic that her 6-year-old sister wasn’t with them. Without a second thought, Bostic again entered the home, hoping to rescue the little girl.

Today, Bostic is healthy and healing. He now has a new perspective on life and is looking forward to whatever his future might hold.

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College graduates are eager to get into the workforce and start using their newly acquired knowledge in the “real world.” However, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, only 20% of U.S. college students in 2009 had a job after they graduated. In 2009, Trina Thompson found herself in that 80% of unemployed graduates, and she wanted to do something about it. I WANT MY MONEY BACK! Recent Graduate Sues Her College After graduating from Monroe College in New York, Thompson couldn’t find a suitable job. So she filed a $70,000 case against her school (the amount of her tuition for her bachelor’s degree) and $2,000 to compensate her for what she endured while searching for a job. In her lawsuit, she claimed that the college’s career counselors promised career advice and job leads but didn’t work hard enough to find her a job. In addition, she suggested that Monroe’s Office of Career Advancement shows preferential treatment to students with high GPAs — not students like herself who had a low GPA. In response to the case, Monroe College spokesman Gary Axelbank said, “The lawsuit is completely without merit. While it’s clear that no college, especially in this economy, can guarantee employment, Monroe College remains committed to working with all its students … to prepare them for careers and to support them during their job search.” But Thompson or the college didn’t have to worry about attending trial because the case didn’t make it that far. Her case might have stood up in court if she hadn’t received a job offer. Her media attention and IT degree caught the eye of Steve Bellamy, CEO of The Ski Channel. He loved her hunger and willingness to put herself out there, and he offered her a position at his



• 3 cups peeled and chopped tart apples • 1 1/2 cups cranberries • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, divided

• 1 tbsp lemon juice • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour • 1/3 cup butter, cold • Vanilla ice cream (optional)

company. Thompson got the job, so her case was eventually dissolved.


1. Preheat oven to 375 F. 2. In a large bowl, combine apples, cranberries, 1/4 cup brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon. 3. Grease an 8-inch baking dish and pour the mixture into it. 4. In a small bowl, mix flour and the remaining brown sugar. Cut in cold butter until the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle this over the fruit. 5. Bake uncovered for 25–30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. If desired, serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

Inspired by | 3

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3011 N. Lamar Blvd., Ste. 200 Austin, TX 78705


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What We Do

A Healthy Way to Manage Intrusive Thoughts Man Saves 5 From a Burning Home


Apple Cranberry Crisp Recent Graduate Sues Her College

It’s National Gratitude Month!


It’s About Showing Gratitude Thanksgiving Is About More Than Food

As we prepare for our Thanksgiving feasts, Thursday night football games, and Black Friday shopping, take some time to show gratitude for those around you and for what you have. Here are a few ways to practice gratitude this month. Appreciate everything. Get into the habit of being grateful for the little things in your life. It can be easy to acknowledge the “big” things, but nothing is too small to be thankful for. You can be grateful the weather is nice and sunny, that you received the package you’ve been waiting for, or that you got out of bed today. Don’t leave out anything when practicing gratitude. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of what’s happening around you. So, instead of being overwhelmed by what you need to do tomorrow or next week, focus on the present moment and enjoy the time you spend solo or with your loved ones. Live in the moment and take one day at a time. Tomorrow will surely come, and you only have a limited amount of time in the present. Celebrate your challenges. Sometimes struggles and battles in our lives can weigh us down. But when you persevere and continue to push forward, you will find success. Challenges help you improve and strengthen your abilities

and resilience, so celebrate the progress you’ve made. Showing gratitude for challenges and negative experiences allows us to acknowledge humility and appreciate growth in our lives. Keep a journal. Writing down the things you’re grateful for will remind you of all the great things you have when other things aren’t going so well. So, keep a journal about what you’re grateful for each day or week — even if it’s just small things at first. Your perspective on life will change, and it will get easier to see the good things and to feel grateful for things you were likely overlooking. Showing gratitude is something we should do every day, all throughout the year — not just during the holidays. So, try to practice mindfulness and gratitude using these tips! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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