Kelly Law February 2018


Beyond Dollars & Cents


n personal injury law, sometimes you have a case that you take on simply because you believe it’s the right thing to do. Even when you’re up against a seemingly unwinnable battle, it comes down to the simple fact that you believe in the client, you believe in their story, and you know they deserve the justice they’re seeking. Years ago, an elderly couple came into my office with a unique problem. As they were approaching their retirement, with dreams of living the good life in their golden years and sitting back and enjoying everything they’d saved up, a family friend approached them with a proposition. The guy had a large stake in a new development that was popping up in the area, and he offered them a great $50,000 deal to get in on the ground floor. It was a large deposit, the initial investment for their new home on the property, but it would come with a steep discount offered, presumably, by a friend that had their best interests at heart. Excitedly, they agreed. Over the next few months, the couple, eager to see how their new home would turn out, kept driving by the lot that they supposedly owned. Each time, they found no new progress had been made. They were patient, but confused, and each time they called their friend, he’d offer only excuses. “Oh, we have to wait until the ground thaws to put the foundation in”— something along those lines. Finally, months after they’d put a massive chunk of their hard-earned money into a promising project, they picked up the morning paper to find that the developer had gone bankrupt. Their 50 grand was gone in a puff of smoke. By now, their friend had stopped answering their calls altogether, completely ghosting on these people that had put their trust in him.

When the couple came to me, they were near the end of their rope. Other lawyers in the area had turned their case down almost immediately, telling them there was no way to recover their $50,000. The guy had gone bankrupt, so what could be done? Their story broke my heart. Both of them were two of the sweetest people you’d ever meet, and they’d been taken advantage of so wholly, right as they were moving into their retirement. Though I knew we’d be fighting an uphill battle, I took on the case, wanting to do anything I possibly could for these wonderful people. Over the next few years, we fought tooth and nail to get their money back, eventually going all the way to trial. In court, we got a verdict against one of the developers to the tune of $180,000 for the couple. The defendants did their best to appeal the decision, dragging it out even longer, but ultimately, we were able to support the judgement in the appellate court. To this day, that particular individual’s wages are being garnished, and my client is getting a payment in his mailbox every month that has truly helped him enjoy his golden years just as he intended. Unfortunately, his wife passed away shortly after the appellate decision so she didn’t really have the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy the fruits of their labor, but to me, that makes it all the more important that her husband got the verdict he deserved. After all, the money from the settlement helped him to take care of her in their own home longer than he otherwise would have been able to, and what’s more important than that? Other firms may call us suckers for taking on cases like these, and sometimes, it comes back to bite us. But whether or not our firm pulls a big check, you just have to fight for what you believe in and do the right thing for people.

–Beth Brown




How the Holiday Came to Be

On the third Monday in February, the entire nation celebrates Presidents Day … sort of. While the holiday is known colloquially as Presidents Day, its official federal name is still Washington’s Birthday. If that wasn’t confusing enough, different states officially know it as “Presidents Day,”“Lincoln/Washington/Presidents Day,”“Washington- Lincoln Day,”“George Washington Day,” and more. Let’s untangle how all these variant names came about and delve into the fascinating history of the holiday. Washington was born on February 22, 1731. Given his incredible contribution to the founding of the United States, it’s understandable that a national holiday would be established to commemorate his legacy. The holiday was first established in 1879 for employees in Washington, D.C.. Six years later, it was expanded to include all federal offices nationwide. And for the next century or so, nothing changed. However, in 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This bill officially moved holidays that were once celebrated on specific dates, like Memorial Day and Columbus Day, to a particular Monday in a given month. This allowed for three-day weekends and, hopefully, encouraged retail sales with an extra day of shopping. But this, unintentionally, movedWashington’s birthday celebration to a day between his actual birthday and the birthday of another venerated president, Abraham Lincoln.

By the late 20th century, Lincoln’s reputation and legacy were as titanic as Washington’s. Because Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, many states found it appropriate to make the day a commemoration of two great presidents rather than just one. By the 1980s, “Presidents Day”was the more widely acknowledged name, if not the official designation. Why it hasn’t received a uniform federal name is anyone’s guess, but at least when you say “Presidents Day,” everyone knows what you’re talking about. No matter what you call it, the day is a chance to celebrate some of the people who’ve made lasting contributions to our nation’s history. If you look at any presidential ranking, Washington and Lincoln are probably No. 1 and No. 2. It’s fitting, then, that we celebrate their birthdays in tandem.


Tactics Insurance Adjusters Use to Invalidate Your Claim Don’t Trust the Adjuster

Car, bike, and health insurance are put in place to protect us, to bear the brunt of the colossal expenses if we ever find ourselves in a serious accident. But when push comes to shove in such a situation, our well-being is often the furthest thing from the insurance company’s mind. Instead, insurance adjusters do everything they can to reduce the compensation they rightfully owe to victims in their time of need. It’s important to know that, as a rule, insurance adjusters are not on your side. Sure, most will masquerade as your friend, stating that they need information from you to close the case and get you your money quickly, but really they’re strategizing behind the scenes. Don’t ever forget that the adjusters work for the insurance companies, not you. They’re either trying to string you along until the statute of limitations expires on your case or gathering information to later use against you in court.

Following an accident, most adjusters will call the victims at the earliest opportunity, while they’re still vulnerable. They’ll often claim that, in order to receive benefits, the victim has to provide them with a statement on the accident. Do not provide an insurance adjuster with a statement. Despite what they might say, you don’t actually have to, nor should you. They’re just trying to catch your story in an inconsistency, get you to understate the value of your claim, or second-guess the details of the accident. But insurance adjusters won’t stop at what you say directly to them, they’ll also snoop around your Facebook. Be wary of your social media usage in the weeks after an accident. Many a claim has been sunk by an offhand status update stating that everyone is fine in the wake of a collision. If you end up in court looking for compensation for an injury, such a statement will be used against you. The same applies to any pictures you post — don’t put anything up that makes it look like you’re faking your injury.


Motorcycles have been around long before the Kawasaki H2R was tearing up tracks at speeds upwards of 249 mph, and long before any of us were even born. However, these early bikes weren’t exactly the type you’d want for a cruise down a modern highway. The earliest prototype we can find for the contemporary motorcycle can be traced back to Sylvester Howard Roper. He was an American inventor responsible for the steam- powered velocipede (the early form of bicycle you see in old pictures) way back in 1867. The machine used coal to heat up steam which was then used to propel itself forward. But as you might expect, the vehicle wasn’t the safest form of transportation. Roper sadly learned this while demonstrating its capabilities in front of a crowd, and dying suddenly. Around the same time, other European inventors were attempting similar designs. But it wasn’t until Edward Butler developed the three-wheeled Butler Petrol Cycle that any were powered by combustion engines. Almost a year later, the Petroleum Reitwagen was built by the German inventors Gottlieb Daimler andWilhelm Maybach, though it functioned more as a testbed for a new engine design than a real usable vehicle.

After that, motorcycle popularity exploded, with many different manufacturers trying to capture this new market. Though few stuck around to develop exclusively motorcycles as the years went on, except for William Harley and the Davidson brothers, launching Harley-Davidson in 1903. Their first prototype, with a larger engine and a new loop-frame design, laid the framework for future motorcycles. The company’s early positive reputation would earn them huge profits in the coming years, particularly after the start of WorldWar I, when messengers on horses were replaced by motorbike riders. Meanwhile, the British company Triumph designed the Triumph Model H, which today, is widely regarded as the true predecessor to our modern machines, with its four-stroke single-cylinder engine, belt- driven rear wheel, and pedal-free operation. Regardless of their origins, though, two things are certain: Motorbikes are here to stay and they are getting more popular than ever. Skeptics of the two-wheeled vehicles may wonder why, but as any rider who’s taken a hairpin turn on a mountain highway can tell you, their popularity goes beyond a form of transport. It’s a way of life.

Sure, your showoff pal can wrap a tater tot with a piece of bacon and call it “The Daniel,” but you can take it a step further. Prepare a couple batches of these savory snacks for your Super Bowl party or the next family get-together. Snag a few for yourself before they disappear! Tater Tots BACONWRAPPED


• •

2 cups frozen tater tots, defrosted 1 ounce sharp cheddar, cut into ¼-inch squares

• • •

4 slices bacon, quartered

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 2. Press a cheese square into each tot, then wrap with a piece of bacon. Dredge each tot in brown sugar. 3. Place tots seam side down on baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, using metal tongs to turn halfway through. 4. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.

800-859-8800 (Recipe inspired by



Kelly LawOffices LLC 5521West Lincoln Highway Suite #101 Crown Point, IN 46307


When A Case Becomes Personal Page 1

Presidents Day or Washington’s Birthday Be Wary of Insurance Adjusters’ Sneaky Tactics Page 2 The Origins of the Modern Motorcycle Not Sure What to Bring to the Super Bowl Party? Page 3 The Most Romantic Destinations on Earth Page 4

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of this seaside town, taking in the century-old multicolored Italian architecture perched precariously on the verdant

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