Dickerson Oxton - September 2019

816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com

SEPT 2019






With fall just around the corner, part of me wants to enjoy the last of the summer weather, but the rest of me can’t wait for football season to kick off. Having been born and raised a Chiefs fan, I can hardly remember a more exciting time to call Arrowhead Stadium home. Our team is looking stronger than ever, especially with Patrick Mahomes calling the shots. I’ll admit it — the Chiefs don’t have a legacy of great quarterbacks. We’ve attracted the occasional star, like Len Dawson or Joe Montana, but these men had already made a name for themselves elsewhere. For decades we’ve tried to get by with journeyman quarterbacks who never really adapted to the demands of today’s more mobile game. Now Mahomes has already proven himself to be a game changer right at the start of his career. My guess is he’ll go down in history as our first real franchise quarterback. Longtime readers of this newsletter might be surprised I follow football so closely. As I’ve mentioned in the past, soccer was my sport growing up — long before I even considered being a lawyer, I dreamed of being a star player. But, even though I still love the sport I grew up playing, even I have to admit that football makes way better television.

The unique pacing of football lets you talk and socialize while watching the game before getting sucked back into the drama. Each time those teams meet at the line of scrimmage, there’s the potential for something explosive to happen. Any time the ball is snapped, there could be an amazing touchdown run, a heartbreaking interception, or a tackle so big you hear it over the crowd. But, more important than this suspense, the pacing of football makes it a deeply tactical game. granularity of strategies and tactics easy to see. Formations, play calls, audibles — you can piece together what each team’s thought process is, and track how they try to counter one another. It’s this aspect of the game that really speaks to Chelsea and me as lawyers. Let me explain. All sports are mental in some capacity, but football makes the Like any good quarterback, an attorney needs to plan and execute a viable strategy. In the case of law suits, this means identifying what documents, evidence, and witnesses we need to support a claim and counter the assertions of the opposition. It’s a lot like a quarterback going over tapes of their opponent’s defensive line — we have to know the best routes to score.


Of course, there’s planning, and then there’s execution. Come game day (or trial), all that strategizing won’t mean anything if you aren’t able to think on your feet. Chances are the other side’s done their research, too — if you fail to adapt, you’re going to get sacked. Great attorneys are able to call audibles and adjust their strategies as cases advance. This ability to fight for every point is what separates trial lawyers from those who are happy to take the first settlement offered to them. Of course, this isn’t a perfect comparison. As anxious as we may feel when our team’s quarterback has to make a split second decision, lives aren’t on the line. When a lawyer enters a courtroom, they aren’t fighting for fame; they’re standing up for people and families in desperate situations, often against powerful insurance companies. Unlike Mahomes, we have a moral imperative to give every game our best shot. Of course, as a fan, I hope he does anyway.






Go Chiefs,


–Tom Dickerson



For the R WHY CALL THE PO In the past, we’ve given advice on what to do after a car accident, and much of it probably sounded familiar. In most driver’s ed classes, we’re taught to exchange information with the other involved driver(s) and strongly consider calling the police even if no one appears to be hurt. Today, we wanted to drill down on this latter step. Do you always need to call the police? If so, when? Why do this? Read on to find out. POLICE REPORTS AND THE LAW Under Kansas City law, if anyone involved in an accident was injured, a police report needs to be filed: end of story. The easiest way to do this is to call the police and have them come out to the scene of the accident. They’ll take notes on all injuries and property damage involved in the crash, including details like who had the right of way at the time of the accident.

The 4-LeggedHeroes ofGroundZero HONORING THE CANINES OF 9/11 In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service.  Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.  Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes.  After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org

IF NO ONE IS INJURED Even if you and the other driver(s) feel fine after the accident, you may still want to file a police report. If the

The Challenge of Concussions HOWTO HELP THOSE IN NEED




damage to your car was over $500, having contemporaneous records stating that those damages were the result of this accident can greatly strengthen your claim. Otherwise, the other driver may suggest another accident was to blame, and the claims process will become a “he said, she said” argument. IF THE POLICE DON’T COME In some cases, officers may not make it to your location, especially if no injuries are reported. In these cases, you have a few options to file a police report. You can file one at any police station near where the accident took place, or call the local station and give them the information over the phone. In Missouri (not Kansas), you can also file accident reports online. Wherever you submit this information, With football season kicking off, we wanted to take a moment to address a serious injury that players on the field and folks driving home from the game might face — a concussion. While we might not see many football players in our office, our firm has seen our fair share of traumatic brain injuries inflicted by car accidents. No matter how it happens, when a loved one becomes concussed, it can be difficult to know how to help. Here’s a guide for caring for a loved one facing this very serious condition. KNOW WHEN TO GET HELP Sometimes, a traumatic brain injury can worsen, requiring another trip to the emergency room. If you try to wake your concussed loved one and can’t, call 911 immediately. You should also do this if they experience a seizure, increasing confusion, vision problems, slurred speech, or an outright change in personality. MAKE HOME SAFE If you live with someone with a concussion, you should do everything possible to limit stimuli that may cause them pain. Things like screens and bright lights can make certain symptoms worse, as can many physical or

it’s important to go into as much detail as possible. The more robust the police report, the stronger your claim will be.


Classic Apple Crisp

Inspired by Food Network


Filling: • 5 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped • 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour

mental activities. Adjust your living situation so they can rest as much as possible. Also, ensure they are accompanied at all times in case they lose consciousness, have a seizure, or need emergency assistance. HELP THEM READJUST Even when the symptoms of a concussion aren’t debilitating enough to keep your loved one from everyday activities like work or school, they may still be struggling. Just the confusion and mood swings alone can make an otherwise average day anxiety- inducing. Having someone there to support them and advocate for them is crucial while they try to get back to some semblance of normalcy. HAVE BOUNDLESS PATIENCE Supporting someone with a concussion is hard, especially when you live with them. They can be extremely irritable because of their condition and won’t always be thankful for your help. Sometimes, just the sense that the person you love isn’t themselves can be heartbreaking. But this won’t last forever. Staying positive and continuing to give them the love and support they need is the absolute best thing you can do.

• 2 tbsp maple syrup • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Topping: • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour • 1/3 cup brown sugar • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/4 tsp salt 

• 6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces • 1/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped


1. Heat oven to 350 F. 2. In a mixing bowl, mix all filling ingredients together. Transfer to individual serving ramekins.  3. In a different mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Mix in butter until it forms lumps roughly the size of a pea, then stir in pecans. Sprinkle topping over filling. 4. Bake for 35–40 minutes, let stand for 10 minutes, and serve. 


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1200 Main St. Ste. 2120 Kansas City, MO 64105

816-268-1960 | 913-428-8220 www.dickersonoxton.com



Chiefs, Lawyers, and Quarterbacks Honoring the Canines of 9/11 Get Police Involved in Your Car Accident How Concussions Change Your Home Life Take a Break Classic Apple Crisp Celebrating Math and Puzzles


International Sudoku Day


International Sudoku Day brings puzzle and math lovers together to enjoy the perfect in-between! Specifically chosen on Sept. 9 by the World Puzzle Federation, this holiday is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the beloved 9x9 puzzle game.

single.” In Japan, Sudoku quickly became very popular, mostly because it’s so much easier to play than other puzzle games like crosswords. Sudoku continues to be a popular puzzle choice in Japan where, according to Sudoku.com, over 600,000 Sudoku magazines are purchased every month. OBSERVING SUDOKU Celebrating this holiday has never been easier! Grab a Sudoku book, magazine, or newsletter and start solving! The best thing about Sudoku is that the puzzles can be done anywhere: while you’re enjoying breakfast, during a lunch break at work, or while you’re relaxing at home. They can also be done in one sitting or over an extended period of time. Filling out a puzzle doesn’t have to be an individual task, either. Challenge family or friends to see who can

HISTORY OF SUDOKU One of the first mathematical puzzles was published in “La France,” a French newspaper, in 1895. However, the puzzle we now see in newspapers, Sudoku books, and newsletters wasn’t invented until 1979 by Howard Garns. Originally published in “Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games” magazine, Garns named it “Number Place.” It was later given the name “Sudoku” in 1984 when it was published in Japan. However, the puzzle didn’t catch the interest of Americans until 2004, when it began to be regularly published in newspapers. INTERESTING FACTS The name “Sudoku” is short for the Japanese expression “sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru,” which translates to “the numerals must remain

finish a Sudoku the quickest or work on one together. Pick up a few Sudoku puzzles today and start solving!

ADVERTISING MATERIAL: The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. This newsletter is provided to former clients, individuals who have contacted the firm regarding representation, and individuals who have requested to be on the newsletter mailing list. This newsletter is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or direct solicitation for employment of the firm on any particular legal matter.


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