Aulsbrook Law Firm - January 2020

JANUARY 2020

I COME TO FIGHT. I DON’T BARK. I BITE! WWW.THETEXASLAWDOG.COM 817.775.5364

Looking Back on an INCREDIBLE DECADE

It’s that time again! I can hardly believe it’s already 2020, but it’s a new year and a new decade, and that’s incredible.

Nara actually just bought me out of the Fiesta franchise system, so I was with Fiesta for a full decade! It was a great opportunity, and it provided me with a great life over the past 10 years. While I may have handed off Fiesta, I haven’t gotten completely out of property and casualty insurance sales. I still maintain an independent agency — Legal Insurance Agency. While I was working in insurance, I was also at the University of Texas at Arlington getting my MBA. This was from 2010–2013. I went to school part time as I grew my insurance business. When the insurance business started to do well, I took a year off from school to focus on the business. Then, in 2014, I started law school. Law school took a lot of my focus — much more than when I was getting my MBA. This meant I had to take time off from work. I became an absentee owner in my agencies and grinded my way through law school as a full-time student from 2014–2017. Fast forward to April 2018. That is when Alison and I got married. Alison has definitely had a positive impact on me this last decade. Then, one month later, I passed the Texas bar exam and immediately opened my own firm. Since the day we opened our doors, we’ve been growing rapidly. We’ve already had the privilege of helping many injured victims who needed representation against other drivers and insurance companies. I look forward to being there for more people in the coming decade. It’s been an incredible journey so far, but in many ways, it’s just beginning.

Looking back, I can say the last nine years, from 2010–2019, were pretty good for me. I was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous on Sept. 5, 2010. I was 30 years old at the time, and I had battled drugs and alcohol since I was in high school. I held steady for several years after that but had a relapse that lasted a couple of months in 2016. I was in law school at the time. Other than that relapse, I’ve maintained sobriety for most of the last decade, and I get to start a new decade completely sober. This challenge gave me the perspective I needed to start making a real difference in other people’s lives. I now get the privilege of helping others who are battling addictions, and being a supportive influence has become a big part of my life. The beginning of the last decade was also when I opened my first Fiesta Auto Insurance franchise. It was in December 2009, so I started 2010 as a new business owner. Nara Diaz was one of my first team members, and we ultimately grew the business into three locations.

-Matt Aulsbrook 1

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Help Your Kids Achieve More This Year

With Simple, Actionable Goals

RECORDING THE ROAD

With every new year comes an opportunity to reinvent ourselves or start down a new path toward self- improvement. Making resolutions is a big part of many families’ New Year’s traditions, and parents often have a desire for their kids to take part in that tradition when they’re old enough. Following through on resolutions is tough, especially for young children, but with your help, they can achieve their goals. Practice what you preach. You are your children’s role model for almost everything, including following through on New Year’s resolutions. So, ask yourself if you follow through on your own resolutions. When you proclaim that you will read more books or finally get a gym membership, do you actually try to do it? Your kids will assign as much importance to New Year’s resolutions as you do, so by sticking to your own commitments, you can help them stay on track too. Keep things simple and achievable. When your kids are forming their resolutions, their first attempts will probably be very broad. Statements like “I want to be more kind” or “I will try to help more around the house” incorporate good values but don’t include any actionable steps. Help your kids think of tangible ways to act on those goals. For example, if they want to be tidier, a good resolution might be for them to clean their room once a week or take responsibility for one household chore every day. Don’t do all the work for them. While it’s important for you to help your kids formulate their goals, be sure that you aren’t taking over. If they’re ultimately responsible for their resolutions, they’ll feel more compelled to keep them. Instead, suggest different goal areas they could improve, such as home, school, or sports, and let them elaborate. When it comes to creating habits, nobody is perfect, so even if your kids falter on their goals in the middle of February, don’t worry. The important thing is that you continue to encourage them every step of the way.

Is Buying a Dash CamWorth the Investment?

Dashboard-mounted cameras, or dashcams, are becoming more and more popular. They’re already widely used in Russia and China, where auto insurance fraud is common and roads are packed with questionable drivers. In the U.S., however, they’re still relatively uncommon, but that seems to be changing. Many people are buying dashcams as a way to potentially catch collisions and other bad driving behaviors on camera. In the event they need to call their insurance company to file a claim, they have useful footage they can share. Here’s the question: Are dashcams really worth the investment? How beneficial is it to mount a camera in your vehicle? Dashcams come in a number of different varieties. They run from about $50 to $150, depending on the features. Some are designed to sit on top of your dash, others mount under the rearview mirror, and some can be mounted next to the mirror, attaching to the windshield using an adhesive. They can work in practically every type of automobile, from compact cars all the way up to 18-wheelers. In terms of insurance savings, no insurance carriers offer any type of discount or incentive for using a dashcam at this time. State Farm Insurance, for example, says, “While a dashcam may provide information about why a crash occurred, it is not a device that is designed to inhibit the crash from happening in the first place.” This makes sense; a dashcam is a purely a reactive device. However, though a dash cam cannot protect you from ever getting into a car accident, it can protect you if someone files a claim or lawsuit against you or if you need to file against someone else. A dashcam can provide footage of the wreck and give everyone involved, including the insurance companies and attorneys, more information to potentially determine fault or reach a settlement. It’s important to keep in mind that having dashcam footage does not guarantee anything. Not all dashcams are created equal. Some provide much better footage than others. While many dashcams record in high definition, there is always the possibility of poor lighting, glare, or just bad footage (for example, the camera may not have been pointed precisely in the direction of the collision). At the end of the day, dashcams offer peace of mind more than anything else. Is it worth the investment? Possibly. If you get into an accident, providing clear footage of the wreck may be beneficial to your case. If you’ve been injured in a car accident and you have questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to give you the help you need to receive the maximum compensation and get your life back on track. You can reach us at 817.775.5464.

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USING THE SMART METHOD How to Become a Goal-Setting Master

SMART goals are S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R elevant, and T ime-bound.

With the new year comes new goals. It seems that everywhere you turn this month, someone is talking about resolutions and goal-setting (including this article!). However, when it comes to setting New Year’s resolutions, around 80% of people give up or forget about their goals by the middle of February, or roughly seven weeks after setting their goals. Why is this? A large part of it has to do with the fact that our resolutions lack the specifics and accountability to keep us on target. It has to do with how we set goals. A lot of people will write down a list of goals or just keep their goals on their mind — but we all know when you try to remember something long- term, like a resolution, it will eventually slip your mind. To avoid this, you have to set goals with purpose — you have to write them down, track them, and have accountability. This is why the SMART method of goal-setting is one of the best ways to go. SMART goal-setting adds accountability and serves as a guide as you work toward your goals.

Specific Your goal is clear, well-defined, yet concise. It’s a goal that can be easily communicated to others who can hold you accountable or help you achieve the goal.

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MONTSERRAT O S WA L D

Measurable Write down steps to follow as you work toward your goal. At the same time, track and review your progress so you can make course corrections along the way.

Achievable Your goal is within reach. This doesn’t mean it’s an easy task to accomplish, but it’s been thought out, and you have the resources, ability, and confidence to see it through.

Relevant Your goal makes sense to you personally. It's one that has real value and will enrich you, your family, or your career.

Time-Bound You know exactly when you want to achieve your goal. There’s a firm date written on the calendar or note you can reference for motivation.

This year, challenge yourself to take a SMART approach to goal-setting. Give yourself time to really think about what you want to accomplish — and how you want to accomplish it — no matter what it may be.

Texas-Sized Laughs

HOPPIN’ JOHN

A traditional New Year’s favorite in the South, Hoppin’ John includes black-eyed peas that are said to represent coins, a sign of prosperity for the coming year. It’s usually served alongside collard greens, which represent cash.

INGREDIENTS

• • •

1 cup dried black-eyed peas

• • •

1 smoked ham hock 1 medium onion, diced 1 cup long-grain white rice

5–6 cups water

1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)

DIRECTIONS

1. Wash and sort peas. 2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve. Inspired by Epicurious

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MONTSERRAT OSWALD

INSIDE Ringing in the New Decade 1 Helping Your Kids Make New Year’s Resolutions Should You Invest in a Dashcam? 2 Become a Goal-Setting Master Hoppin’ John 3 Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig 4

Cases We Handle: • Personal Injury • Wrongful Death

• Criminal Law/DWI • Business Law

Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig

How Lilou and Animals Like Her Calm Stressed-Out Travelers

I magine 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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