Law Office of Driggs Bills & Day December 2017

Dec 2017

The Advocates Injury Attorneys • • (801) 783-3555

Y ears ago, a client came into our practice who had been involved in an extremely severe accident. Late one Saturday night, this woman in her early 20s and her close friend were heading home from a party when, suddenly, tragedy struck. Just as they were passing straight through a thoroughfare, the light as green as can be, another driver turned left, colliding almost head-on with their vehicle. The injuries were catastrophic. As the car crumpled against her, she shattered both ankles. The swelling got so bad that it resulted in something called “compartment syndrome,” a buildup of blood and fluids. The inflammation pressurized her legs to the point that it restricted blood flow, potentially fatally. In the hospital, she underwent seven brutal surgeries, and the doctors did everything they could to restore her to normal. In the end, she lived, but needless to say, the course of her life was fundamentally altered. Finding Meaning in Personal Injury Law After she approached us and we proceeded through the process, it came out that she had been drinking that fateful night. The other side focused on this fact constantly, arguing that the accident could have been avoided if she had simply been under the limit. But with extensive research, we found this claim to be totally baseless — she hadn’t been speeding, and she’d meticulously followed the laws of the road. It was the other driver who had run the red light and caused the collision in the first place. We were committed to going the distance, taking it all the way to court. But a week before trial, the insurance company buckled under the pressure and agreed to pay their measly policy limits. But by this point, we knew that wasn’t enough; it wasn’t right to simply pay off a tiny chunk of her insane bills. So we refused their offer. For days, they scrambled frantically for a solution. Eventually, the insurance company convinced their own client, the driver of the other vehicle, to file bankruptcy to get out of paying her share of the damages. Basically, they Helping Those Who Need It Most Still, as the medical bills piled up to an astronomical sum, the insurance companies refused to help. They wouldn’t even pay their miniscule policy limits.

sold her down the river to get out of paying up. They thought this would stop us in our tracks, but all it did was convince us to redouble our efforts. Though we couldn’t retrieve damages from the individual, we could still go after the insurance company. After a couple years of fighting against the insurance company and working with the bankruptcy trustee, we ended up reframing the case as a bad faith claim against the insurance company. They’d given the driver of the other vehicle horrible advice by encouraging him to file bankruptcy. Though, as the advocates for the plaintiff, we couldn’t represent the defendant, independent counsel came in. In the end, we received almost $450,000 for our client, and the defendant came out much better too. It makes you wonder why the insurance companies don’t pay what is fair to begin with in these situations. So many of the people who seek our representation are just struggling to put their lives back together in the wake of a terrible accident. When someone comes in desperate, not knowing where to turn or what to do, it means a lot to be able to look them in the eye and tell them, in no uncertain terms, that we’re there to help them make it through. When the defendant in that case filed bankruptcy, most firms would have packed it in and given up. But we knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, so we fought with everything we had until we got our client the resolution she deserved. It all comes down to the fact that we genuinely appreciate every person who puts their faith in us in the midst of crisis. We take that trust seriously, doing everything we possibly can to help them out of the terrible situation they’ve found themselves in. In the spirit of the giving Christmas season, as our families come together to spend time and reflect on what’s most important to us, I’d like to extend a sincere thank-you to each and every person who’s entrusted us with their well- being. Truly, there’s no greater gift we can receive during the holidays than a kind word from a client.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from all of the Advocates,

–Matt Driggs • 1

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When you brought home this year’s Christmas tree, you and the family most likely spent an evening decorating it with lights, store- bought and homemade ornaments, a star or angel topper, and maybe even tinsel. If

their homes to celebrate the Name Day of Adam and Eve on Dec. 24. The families decorated the tree with apples and gingerbread. Before long, glassmakers began crafting small ornaments to hang on the trees. In Victorian times, trees were even decorated with candles! Over time, paradise trees evolved into Christmas trees. In the 18th and 19th centuries, when many Germans immigrated to the United States, they brought the tradition with them. However, the practice of decorating a pine tree with apples didn’t quite catch on. Then, In the winter of 1841, Queen Victoria of England requested a Christmas tree at Windsor Castle for her husband, Prince Albert, who was of German descent. The Queen thought the tree would be a nice gesture, and the London News published a story about the royal Christmas tree in 1848. The tradition quickly spread throughout Europe and North America. When Christmas trees first rose to prominence in the United States, they were often decorated with homemade ornaments, while many German-Americans continued to use apples, nuts, and marzipan cookies. Popcorn joined later, dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought lights, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. And with that, Christmas trees quickly became an American tradition.

you’re more traditional, you may have even included a popcorn string. But have you ever wondered why we started decorating our Christmas trees in the first place?

While the origins of the Christmas tree are uncertain, we’ve used the evergreen fir to celebrate winter festivals, both pagan and Christian, for thousands of years. The tree has represented many things, including the winter

solstice, Saturnalia, and everlasting life with God.

During the 1500s in Germany, people brought

full pine trees, called paradise trees, into


“The Advocates are the only ones I’ve ever had to use, but they were the best to my wife and me. I’ve been in city government and dealt with legal issues and the attorneys who handle them, and I’ve never had great confidence in them; but I can’t praise or give Mark Stewart, Allen Tucker, and the staff enough credit. They were always available and responded quickly when not. We lost our case, at no fault of theirs or ours, but they worked with the treatment doctors and facilities that helped my wife and me through our treatments and took care of everything. I want to thank them again for the two years that this has dragged on, and we would recommend them in a heartbeat. Thanks again, guys.” –Rob and Terri LaRue

“Our case is still open, but to date, our attorney and his staff have been terrific. They’ve even called us after- hours to see how we’re doing after procedures. We talked with a few attorneys before a close friend recommended them, and they have not disappointed.” –Heidi Corbell “The Advocates were very on top of things with my car accident. They are easy to get ahold of and very understanding.” –Abigail Secord

If you would refer our services to a friend or family member, please leave a review on our Google or Yelp pages.

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Spinal Injury? Don’t Leave Your Treatment Up to Chance

The spine is an incredible component of human anatomy, composed of a column of stacked vertebrae that protect and support the spinal cord, a vital bundle of nerves. This complex structure is instrumental in the normal operation of the human body.

The spine can be injured in hundreds of different ways, so treatment needs to be just as varied. Some individuals may require the use of breathing machines, hydrotherapy, steroidal injections, or surgical intervention. If the injury is serious, it’s likely physical rehabilitation will be necessary in order to reestablish muscle memory patterns. As you can imagine, all these treatments can get expensive very quickly. Following an accident, especially one that involves spinal injury, you’ll probably be contacted by an insurance adjuster within a day or two. Often, this adjuster will extend a settlement offer to you and ask you to sign a final release. Do not do this. Insurance companies often make offers that substantially undercut the costs that victims will incur. Instead, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you’re able. At the Law Offices of Driggs, Bills, & Day, we’ll work with medical experts to determine your future treatment needs and the ongoing costs of your care and work with the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.

But, as with most other parts of our bodies, this complexity can easily result in higher rates of injury. When you get in a car accident, the physical forces can twist and turn your body in unnatural ways, putting intense pressure on the spine and potentially resulting in deadly, disabling, or excruciating damage to the spine. If spinal injury is likely after an accident, first responders will immobilize the victim at the scene and use a board to transport them to the hospital. Doctors use a variety of tools to determine the extent and severity of the injuries, including X-rays, computerized tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging machines.

Easy Holiday Party Cheese Fondue

Recipe inspired by

give a little

Scrambling to find something for the holiday potluck? This fondue is sure to impress!


• • •

¾ cup dry white wine

• • •

1 clove garlic

Giving, receiving, enjoying gifts, it doesn’t matter — we love gifts no matter the occasion. But research confirms that the types of gifts you give also make a difference. Giving an experience (event tickets, couple’s massage, cooking classes, etc.) brings more satisfaction than something tangible such as a new TV or clothes. 26 If you plan to give something tangible, consider asking your partner what they want and then give your partner what they ask for. As the giver you feel better knowing that you are picking something out your partner really wants and the one receiving the gift perceives you as more loving and thoughtful. 27 Give your partner the gift of an experience they really want. Better yet, pair it with a small, meaningful physical present, such as a college sweatshirt with tickets to a football game, a nice pan with cooking classes, or a CD with concert tickets.

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Salt to taste

1 (8-ounce) package sliced Swiss cheese

Foods to dip (apple slices, bread cubes, roasted vegetables, etc.)


1. In a large bowl, whisk together wine and cornstarch. 2. Chop cheese slices into small, uniform pieces. 3. Rub clove of garlic all over the

some cheese and slowly whisk. When nearly smooth, add more cheese and whisk gently. Repeat until all cheese is melted. If mixture seems too tight, add 1 tablespoon wine.

sides and bottom of a heavy- bottomed pot, then discard.

5. Season with salt and serve immediately. Keep pot on low heat to keep the fondue dippable.

4. Heat wine mixture over

medium-low heat in the pot until thick and bubbling. Add

26 Boven, L. V., & Gilovich, T. (2003). To Do or to Have? That Is the Question. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 27 Zhang, Y., & Epley, N. (2012). Exaggerated, mispredicted, and misplaced: When “it’s the thought that counts” in gift exchanges. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141(4), 667-681. • 3


331 South 600 East Salt Lake City, Utah 84102

Inside This Issue

Helping Those Who Need It Most



Christmas Trees Are German?



Spinal Injury? Here’s What You Need to Know

Easy Holiday Party Cheese Fondue

The Origin of Santa Claus


The Origin of

Santa Claus wasn’t always a husky, omniscient gift-giver who circumnavigates the world once a year, propelled by flying caribou and backed by an army of friendly elves. Though the historical St. Nicholas had many of the same generous tendencies as our contemporary “King in the North,” he lacked a high-tech sleigh that could exceed the speed of light. To be exact, St. Nicholas was a renowned Bishop of Myra — an old Roman town near modern-day Demre, Turkey — way back around A.D. 300. SANTA CLAUS

Even before he became the bishop, St. Nicholas was known for his generosity. The most famous tale of his charity involved a poor man who could not afford a proper dowry to marry off his three daughters. In those days, this generally meant the daughters would remain unmarried, making it likely that they’d fall into prostitution. Wanting to help, but also wanting to spare the family embarrassment, St. Nicholas traveled to the house at night and threw three purses packed with gold coins through the window. After his death, St. Nicholas became a beloved patron saint, but during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the respect that many Catholic saints received diminished, and his popularity dwindled across Europe. One area where he remained popular was the Netherlands. There, he lived on as “Sinterklaas,” a mythical figure who went house to house on the eve of St. Nicholas’s nameday, December 5, leaving treats and gifts for children.

Sinterklaas traditionally wore

red bishop’s clothes and

employed elves, and he traveled with horses that could walk across rooftops.

When the Dutch emigrated in droves to America during the 17th and 18th centuries, they brought this kindly icon to the new colonies. Over time, notably through Clement Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” and a famous 1930s depiction by Coca-Cola ad illustrator Haddon Sundblom, Santa evolved into the figure we see today.

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