Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers - March 2020

APRIL 2020

“I am fortunate to have some amazing partners. I work with my best friends day-in and day- out. Our skills and personalities complement each other’s, and we love what we do. It has made this journey that much more fun and rewarding.” Houma 504-444-4444 7887 W. Main St., Ste. 101 Houma, LA 70360 Baton Rouge 225-444-4444 1075 Government St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Denham Springs 225-444-4444 419 S. Range Ave. Ste. A Denham Springs, LA 70726 Lafayette 337-444-4444 2800 W. Pinhook Rd. Ste. 9 Lafayette, LA 70508 New Orleans 504-444-4444 622 Baronne St. New Orleans, LA 70113 Shreveport 318-800-8000 4300 Youree Dr. Ste. 250 Shreveport, LA 71105

From the Tennis Court to Judicial Court How Chad Dudley Went from Professional Athlete to Attorney

I spent over a decade training to be a professional tennis player. The discipline, training, and work ethic that I developed during that time made up the best preparation possible for my legal career. I never expected that I would become an attorney, but life never turns out quite as expected. Both my parents dreamed of going to law school, but it just never happened for them. I grew up in Hawaii, and I dreamed of playing professional tennis. I practiced nearly every day for several hours. After competing locally, I started to compete nationally. Traveling was expensive, and my family could not afford to pay for all of it. There was a group of competitive tennis players from Hawaii, and we were all in the same situation: We wanted to compete nationally, but the cost was too high. Eventually, a local personal injury attorney, who had a son who played tennis, stepped up and helped us with the costs. He was one of the first attorneys I remember meeting. In high school, I climbed the national rankings for tennis and eventually got a scholarship to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, which had the top tennis training facility at the time. Today, it is better known as the IMG Academy. During that time, I played national, international, and low-level professional tennis tournaments. It was tough. There are so many great players out there, and I decided to look at using my tennis talents to get a scholarship to go to college. I accepted a tennis scholarship from Louisiana State University, and it was an experience like no other. The tennis team was ranked top 10 in the country, and I worked harder than I had ever worked before. It was great playing on a team and playing for LSU. I will never forget it. When I obtained my marketing degree, Jerry

As a law clerk, I performed all the research for the lawyers — which is as important as you’d imagine — but our job was designed to be ineffective and cumbersome. At law school, we would perform research online. At the firm, they had this huge law library with all these old law books. Research that would take 15 minutes online at school could take hours in the library. It drove me crazy. One day, I decided to take all the research assignments and go to the law school library so that I could crank out the research online. I turned in my work and later got called in by one of the partners. He asked me how I had done so much research in such a short amount of time. I told him I went online and asked him if I got anything wrong. He said everything looked good, but I need to slow down because we were billing the clients by the hour and it didn’t help if I got it done faster and more efficiently. At that point, I made the decision that, if possible, I would avoid ever billing a client by the hour. From there, I switched to a personal injury firm. It was the first place where they told me, “It doesn’t matter how many hours you work; you just need to get the right result.” That was everything. It changed how I perceived the practice of law. We could help people and not just bill hours. I wasn’t tucked away in a library, and I got to meet the clients and see how our work helped them. I really enjoyed that. For many years, I got to work on some very cool cases. One of them was a toxic tort case where a company had exposed a neighborhood to all sorts of toxins. We represented nearly 4,000 people, and I was responsible for organizing all their information and communicating with them. To accomplish this, I taught myself database programming, and while I didn’t know it at the time, that skill had a big impact on my career. From there, I went to work for another law firm that handled catastrophic injury cases. It was another great experience to learn how to represent clients who had been severely injured through no fault of their own. While I was there, I also learned about what it took to run a law firm.

Simmons, the tennis coach at LSU, was one of the people who encouraged me to go to law school. As strange as it sounds, I really enjoyed law school. I loved every part of it. However, I did second-guess my decision when I got my first job in a law firm. I was hired as a law clerk for a large defense firm.

Eventually, I was asked to join different law firm as the Chief Operating Officer and focus on the management of the firm.

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Call for a FREE Case Evaluation 866-799-3519

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Is It Okay to Skip Breakfast? THE TRUTH ABOUT THE FIRST MEAL OF THE DAY Sometimes you skip breakfast simply because you don’t have time to eat. Other times, you skip breakfast because nothing really appeals to you. This is a common occurrence for many people across the country. But when you skip breakfast, you may find that you feel just fine. It begs the question: Is breakfast really that important? Do you need to eat breakfast? It depends. Most people can skip breakfast and be totally fine. They’ll make it to lunch without skipping a beat. It all comes down to how you feel. Some people need breakfast or they’ll have to deal with mood swings — often referred to as being “hangry” — caused by low blood sugar. A healthy breakfast can stabilize your mood, helping you feel more positive, energized, and focused throughout the morning. We can, however, bust the notion that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day.” This phrase was used to market breakfast cereal in the last century. In reality, it doesn’t mean anything. The most important meal of the day is whichever meal you get the most out of, whether it’s nutritional value, enjoyment, or both. Having a healthy, protein-rich breakfast does come with benefits, though. It gives you energy for the day and helps you avoid scrambling to find something to eat a couple hours later when hunger sets in. All too often, skipping breakfast (or having a carb- heavy breakfast) leads people to raid the vending machine or make unhealthy food choices they wouldn’t ordinarily make. Along these same lines, skipping breakfast may encourage you to eat more later in the day at lunch or dinner. You may think you’re saving calories, but over the course of a day, you can end up consuming more calories than if you had simply eaten breakfast. With so much research on the subject of breakfast, one thing is clear: You should eat when you feel hungry. You don’t have to live by the conventional wisdom of “three squares a day.” When you listen to your body, you’ll feel better for it!

Rear-Ended by an 18-Wheeler?

Make Sure You Know What to Do in a Trucking Accident Truck accidents are terrifying. They have a much higher fatality rate and involve more complicated state and federal laws than car accidents. At Dudley DeBosier, we know just how difficult this experience can be. When you’re on the scene, you can easily become overwhelmed with the multiple parties involved, including the lawyers and insurance adjusters trying to reach you. First thing’s first: Breathe and take it one step at a time. Step 1: Make sure you’re safe, then call 911. If possible, remove your car from the roadway and make sure you’re in a safe spot to call 911. You don’t want to jeopardize your own safety (or someone else’s) unnecessarily. You’ll want to get the complete police report even if it’s a minor accident. It’s the best way to have immediate documentation of the accident and can be presented as evidence if you end up in court. Step 2: Seek medical help. You might think you’re fine, but you should still get evaluated on the scene and at a doctor’s office. You may be experiencing internal bleeding, which a doctor will be able to diagnose. Step 3: Identify and document all parties involved. If you’re uninjured and it’s safe for you to be walking around, you’ll want to document as much as you can. Take pictures, gather contact information of witnesses and people involved, and write notes about the road, weather conditions, or other factors that could have affected the accident. Tips for taking pictures: Getting an overview from several angles of the accident can help tremendously. Vehicle damage and other property damage are important, but traffic signals and the weather are significant too. Step 4: Be careful with what you say. Don’t be mean, never lie, and don’t be too nice and admit fault if you are not responsible. Some trucking companies will send a whole team of lawyers to the site, or your own insurance company might call you to “make sure you’re okay,” but they use all these tactics to get you to say you’re in better health than you actually are.

If you’ve been in a truck accident, you can find an experienced attorney to fight for you with Dudley DeBosier.

Call us for a free case evaluation at 866-799-3519.

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Workers’ Comp: FINDING A DOCTOR YOU CAN TRUST

All doctors have a responsibility to be honest and treat their patients to their best ability, and some are better than others. However, your company incentivizes you to pick company-provided doctors who are less likely to address the severity of your condition and look out for your best interest. It can be tempting to choose a company doctor, but keep in mind how vitally important your initial doctor is. In order to receive compensation at all, you’ll need an initial medical diagnosis. After your treating doctor diagnoses your condition, they direct all of your medical care (whether you need physical therapy or medications, for example), refer you to other specialists, decide your work restrictions, determine your level of permanent disability, and provide evidence for your case. All their decisions directly affect your recovery and benefits.

also required to have an examination by a physician whom the employer and workers’ comp insurance company provide and pay for. This examination is called a Second Medical Opinion (SMO) — and if you refuse it, your lost wage payments may be suspended temporarily. It’s important to note the SMO doctor does not treat you; it’s a one-time, short evaluation to give insurance companies a potential basis for denying benefits. That’s why choosing your initial treating doctor is so important. Make sure you consider their level of experience and skill, area of specialization, and familiarity with your type of injury. You may want to ask about their understanding of workers’ comp claims, as it might indicate their willingness to advocate on your behalf and accept your workers’ comp medical fee schedule. Their availability for appointments and proximity from your home are also fair considerations when choosing your treating doctor.

The rules for choosing your treating doctor vary from state to state, but under Louisiana workers’ compensation law, you’re entitled to choose your own physician: one per field or specialty.

If you’re in pain and need legal help to navigate this complicated journey, don’t feel pressured to continue alone. Dudley DeBosier’s team of legal experts have helped many people like you get through this difficult time, and with our No Fee Guarantee, you’ll never pay us unless we get you money.

However, no matter whether you take a company doctor or your own, you’re

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It was a great opportunity and allowed me to use many of the skills that I had developed through my legal career. It also allowed me to use what I learned training to be a professional athlete and playing on a college team. After several years in this position, the owners of the firm offered to sell the firm to Steve, James, and myself. It was a big commitment, but we decided to do it. From the very first day, we have focused on a few key things: 1) take care of our employees, 2) take care of our clients, 3) be great at what we do, 4) give back to the community, and 5) have fun. We take those values seriously. I am fortunate to have some amazing partners. I work with my best friends day in and day out. Our skills and personalities complement each other’s, and we love what we do. It has made this journey that much more fun and rewarding. We have built a team of attorneys, legal assistants, and support personnel that feels the same way we do. Every day when I go to work, I look around and am so grateful to work with such amazing people and to work for such amazing clients. I didn’t make it on the professional tennis tour, but I can’t imagine that being as fulfilling or as fun as what I am doing right now.

Call for a FREE Case Evaluation 866-799-3519

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PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

1075 Government St. Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Inside THIS ISSUE

Chad Dudley: Professional Athlete Turned Attorney

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Should You Skip Breakfast?

Step-by-Step Guide of What You Should Do After a Truck Accident

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Having a Doctor You Can Trust

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Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig

Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig HOW LILOU AND ANIMALS LIKE HER CALM STRESSED-OUT TRAVELERS Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets. Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver

airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip!

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