Personal Injury, Social Security Disability, and Workers’ Compensation
Why I Do What I Do My Story: How My Own Accident Changed My Life and Career
“You don’t seem like the Personal Injury Lawyer type ...”
I often laugh when I’m told this because I know exactly what they mean. The truth is that I’m not like most personal injury attorneys. To understand why, you have to understand why I do what I do — that is, why I represent accident victims. You could say my career started by accident. Specifically, it started when I was involved in a life-threatening rollover accident on August 3, 2004. My girlfriend (who has since become my wife) and I were driving from Texas to New Mexico when we were involved in a car accident. Our car rolled numerous times going 70 mph. As you can tell from looking at the photo of my vehicle here, we both should have died, but, by the grace of God, we were protected. While we were both able to walk away from that accident relatively unscathed 15 years ago, I still remember every single detail: the billowing dust, the blood, the shards of broken glass, the crunching of metal. There is something surreal about seeing all your personal items being thrown about the roadway that makes you extremely aware of every single sensation you can see, hear, and smell. I remember it all quite vividly. Once the car came to a halt, my mind raced with concern for my girlfriend. Once we realized that we were going to be okay, our concern was quickly replaced by an imposing fear of the unknown. Is my car totaled? Can I afford to buy a new one? How severe are our injuries? Do we need to go to the hospital?
Can we still walk and work? How much will our medical bills be? Unfortunately, the stress, anxiety, and fear pervading your mind while you’re sitting in a mangled car doesn’t leave once you get home. I know this because I experienced it. While I won’t go into every detail, I can tell you that my accident had a profound impact on my life. But I’m thankful I went through that experience because I realized I wanted to spend my career helping people through the scary unknowns of life after an accident. Drawing on my own life-changing experience allows me to relate to clients in ways most attorneys cannot. When a client comes to our office and tells me their story, I can feel
the sensations — the fear and the mental, emotional, and financial burdens — along with them because I’ve lived it myself, and that experience has made me even more devoted to helping those who come to us. Being the person who gets our clients back to living the life they had before their accident is the most important part of my job, and I will continue the process of empathizing with clients’ fears and advocate for them as best I can for as long as I can.
Helping accident victims is a deeply personal mission for me, and it’s why I do what I do.
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3 FAMOUS UFO SIGHTINGS (BESIDES ROSWELL) Did You See That?
Going stargazing this summer? Be sure to keep your eyes out for unidentified flying objects (UFOs)! July 2 is World UFO Day, commemorating the supposed UFO crash that took place in 1974 in Roswell, New Mexico. Everyone knows about the strange things that happened in Roswell, but let’s look at a few lesser-known, but no less strange, UFO sightings.
object giving off lights and still moving. The object was gone when police arrived, but they found unusual markings at the site. A few days later, more servicemen went into the forest where they spotted three mysterious bright lights in the sky that shone for hours.
EAST COAST GO FAST VIDEO
THE FIRST FLYING SAUCER
In 2015, a U.S. Navy Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighter captured video of a bizarre, fast-moving object that had no visible wings and emitted no heat or no exhaust trail. The video, which can be viewed at COI.ToTheStarsAcademy. com/2015-go-fast-footage, shows the object in the fighter’s targeting system. The pilot and the weapon systems officer can be heard shouting and asking, “What is that, man?”The video leaked in 2017 along with news of the Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program (AATIP), a secret U.S. government organization investigating UFOs. Most UFO sightings have rational explanations. Even the famous Roswell Incident was proven to be debris from a surveillance program the U.S. military used to spy on the Soviet Union. But there’s something to be said about how a UFO sighting makes us look up at the night sky and wonder if we’re not alone.
On June 24, 1947, civilian pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying his plane near Mount Rainier in Washington when he reported seeing nine blue, glowing objects flying in a V formation at around 1,700 mph. Arnold would later describe the crafts’motions like “a saucer if you skip it across water.”The government confirmed there were no aircraft tests in the area that day. In the following weeks, other sightings of Arnold’s flying saucers would crop up across the region.
THE RENDLESHAM FOREST INCIDENT
Things got weird at a Royal Air Force military base in England on Dec. 26, 1980. At around 3 a.m., two Air Force members saw odd lights falling into the nearby Rendlesham Forest. They reported finding a metallic
Gone to the Dogs HOW CAN A THIEF SUE THE FAMILY HE ROBBED?
Have you heard the story of Terrence Dickson? Even if you don’t know the name, you might have heard his strange tale. Dickson was a burglar in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. One day, after breaking into a house and helping himself to some valuables, Dickson decided to leave through the garage. After discovering the automatic garage door was stuck closed, Dickson turned around and was horrified to realize he’d locked himself inside. To make matters worse, the family he was stealing from had just left for an extended vacation, so Dickson lived off of soda and dried dog food for eight days. When the family returned and found the unlucky burglar, a lawsuit was filed — by Dickson! He sued for mental anguish, and the jury awarded him $500,000. There’s nothing that shakes our faith in the justice system quite like injustice being served. When Dickson’s story first gained notoriety in 2001, thanks to an email circulated by the now-defunct Stella Awards newsletter, which highlighted “outrageous lawsuits,” people were rightfully enraged. There was just one problem: Terrence Dickson never existed. In 2002, a reporter from Pennsylvania contacted the Bucks County prothonotary’s office, where all records for civil cases in the county are kept. He discovered there was no record of any cases involving such a burglar. It’s worth noting the original email where this story
first appeared ended with a call for tort reform from a made-up law firm in Ohio. Likely, this hoax was an attempt to manipulate the public perception of the justice system. Despite being debunked 17 years ago, this tall tale still makes the rounds and often appears on lists of “outrageous lawsuits,”many of which are featured on the websites of legitimate law firms! There are plenty of wacky legal cases, but when a story is too ridiculous, there’s a good chance a few important details are being left out or the readers are being lied to. Don’t believe everything you read online!
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TAKE A BREAK
BEWARE THESE RETIREMENT
Common Financial Pitfalls
The bulk of retirement planning is spent discussing how you will save money in the years leading up to the end of your career, but that’s only half of the picture. Once you enter retirement, your focus shifts to the smartest way to divest your money for both your own enjoyment and your continued financial security. There are countless ways to wisely spend your nest egg, such as taking trips, providing for the education of your grandchildren, and more. However, this article isn’t about good ideas. Instead, let’s talk about some of the worst ways to spend your retirement funds. The appeal of a timeshare seems obvious. It’s a space of your own for a few weeks of the year, and you get to enjoy a nice change of pace from your regular environment. The problem is that these properties are full of hidden costs and have been outpaced by other vacationing options. In a world where you can book an Airbnb with just a few clicks, timeshares are poised to become a relic of a past age. Hackers and cyberscammers love to prey on the elderly. As gross as it may sound, they know that older generations tend to be less tech savvy than their younger counterparts. You should be wary of online offers that look too good to be true. If you have even the slightest doubt, have a loved one take a look at the offer to ensure you’re not being scammed. Never provide your private financial data to a source you don’t absolutely trust. TIMESHARES ONLINE SCAMS
JUICY LUCY SLIDERS
Inspired by Bon Appétit Magazine
2 lbs. ground chuck beef, 20% lean
16 small potato rolls, toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices melting cheese (like American, Swiss, Muenster, or cheddar)
Your favorite burger accompaniments
Many of us have walked into the house of an older relative to find a room full of American Girl dolls or a display case of Candlewick glassware. Collecting can be a rewarding hobby when done in moderation, but amassing junk simply for its own sake is a waste of money and space. Make sure you’re acquiring objects because you truly want to treasure them.
1. Divide beef into 16 evenly sized balls. 2. Rip cheese into roughly equal pieces, creating 16 equal portions. 3. Using your index finger, create a small indentation in each ball. 4. Fill indention with cheese and pinch meat around to seal. Then gently form balls into 3/4-inch-thick patties. Season patties. 5. Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high. 6. Lightly coat skillet with oil and cook patties in batches. Brown one side undisturbed, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until desired doneness, about 3 minutes for medium. 7. Serve on toasted potato rolls with your favorite accompaniments.
In general, real estate-based purchases can be extremely beneficial for retirees. The exception to this rule is a spur-of-the-moment relocation in order to be closer to your family or a retirement community. Because real estate transactions are so expensive, it’s best to approach them with extreme care and due diligence.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Putting the Personal Back in Personal Injury
Juicy Lucy Sliders The Worst Retirement Spending Decisions Going Stargazing? Watch Out for UFOs! Did You Hear About the Dog Food Burglar?
The Madden Curse
ON THE TRAIL OF THE MADDEN CURSE Truth, Lies, and Superstition
There is no urban legend in the world of modern video games as well-documented as the so-called “Madden Curse.”The curse revolves around the highly sought-after cover spot of the popular NFL video game “Madden NFL,” formerly known as “John Madden Football.”While the games date back to 1988, the curse is said to originate with the 1999 version. Garrison Hearst, a popular running back at the time, broke his ankle shortly after being featured on the cover of the 1999 edition. This was the first in a long line of injuries and personal issues that resulted in the rumor gaining traction. Soon, the idea
as coincidence. Despite the ambivalence of many players, there does seem to be a correlation between the cover and player issues. Of the 22 players who have been featured on the cover, 16 of them have suffered from significant issues in the season that followed. While the causes varied, with severe injuries, contract disputes, and personal issues all afflicting different players, something about the spotlight appears to have disturbed the powers that be. In fact, sometimes these issues occur shortly after the game is released in stores.
that the game’s seemingly innocent cover could have devastating effects on a player’s career was widespread. Once a substantial honor in the world of football, the Madden cover spot has become one of the sport’s most feared superstitions for fans.
Whatever the true cause, the curse seems to have taken a dip in recent years. Only one of the last five players has been affected, a stat that bodes well for this year’s star: Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The real answer probably lies somewhere between fact and fiction. The increased pressure of national attention is bound to make players tense up every once in a while, and in a game as physical as football, any distraction can end in disaster.
The players, however, seem to find the correlation more amusing than scary. Most of the athletes in contention for the spot still consider it to be a great honor, choosing to brush off the rumors
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