Harmonson Law Firm - August 2019

AUGUST 2019

HARMONSON HEADLINES

YOUR GUIDE TO PERSONAL INJURY IN THE BORDERLAND

IN TEXAS LIFE AND FAMILY

August is here, and this month marks my oldest son Clayton’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, and my 45th birthday. It is hard to believe that I have gotten so middle-aged, and with a toddler to boot! I am going to end up joining the AARP before Winn gets to kindergarten. Of course, it’s more motivation for me to exercise and stay healthy, but that’s going to be a challenge here in the Mexican food capital of the world.

an artist who makes imaginative wood pieces, and we were delighted to see the studio where Keith displays his work.

When it comes to my family history with the great state of Texas, I will say Texas is in my blood. Our family roots date back to 1850, when Texas had only been a state for five years. Born in Kentucky in 1797, Peter Harmonson, a farmer and law officer, moved with his wife and 10 children to North Texas, where he accepted a land certificate issued in 1850 by the Texas Emigration and Land Company. Peter and his wife, Anna, moved the family to farm 640 acres in Denton County. He helped organize the county and Denton’s first Methodist church. County residents then elected him their first sheriff. Then in 1854, Peter Harmonson moved the family to Fort Belknap, where two years later he became Chief Justice for Young County. Fort Belknap was the northernmost installation on the Texas frontier. In one of the last recorded Indian raids in Texas, Peter was wounded by several arrow shots and ultimately passed away because of those injuries on Jan. 9, 1865. We are direct descendants of Peter Harmonson, and my dad and brother are both named Peter after him. As I sit on my comfy sofa writing this article, I find it hard to imagine the difficulties of life on the frontier. I am certainly thankful for all the luxuries that most of us are afforded today. I also thank my lucky stars we live here in Texas, the greatest state in the nation! Until next month, I wish blessings to all of you and your families, especially those of you who have children returning to school this month.

Looking back at the summer, our family was on the go because we decide to take a tour of

Texas. It started when we spent the Fourth of July weekend with my sister and her family in Fort Worth. It was a true family reunion when my brother and cousins and their families joined us last minute. After the holiday weekend, I flew home to return to work, and Sheri took the kids to see their Gran in Leakey, Texas, home of the Frio River made famous by country singer George Strait (“I remember that ol’ Frio River, where I learned to swim …”). In late July, I rejoined the family and we spent a week in “WHEN IT COMES TO MY FAMILY HISTORY WITH THE GREAT STATE OF TEXAS, I WILL SAY TEXAS IS IN MY BLOOD.” Austin, visiting friends and family. My brother and his grown kids call Austin home. Sheri’s half-brother Keith lives in Wimberley, southwest of Austin. We spent a day in Wimberley with Keith enjoying the quaint central Texas town. Keith is

– Clark Harmonson

915.584.8777 • 1

Myths and Misconceptions Ab Your Car Accident

THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL BE FAIR. Whether you know it or not, you are at war with the insurance company. From the minute you had your car accident, the insurance company for the at-fault driver is working hard to deny or minimize your claim. An insurance adjuster may pretend to be nice to you, but their only goal is to save the insurance company money. Even if you send a reasonable settlement demand, don’t expect the insurance company to give you a reasonable settlement offer in return. THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL PAY MY MEDICAL BILLS PROMPTLY. The insurance company is not obligated to and will not pay your medical bills as you submit them. The insurance company will only pay you once you reach a settlement for all of your claims and have signed a release of their insured or after you have received a final, nonappealable court judgment against their insured. I AM REQUIRED TO GIVE A RECORDED OR WRITTEN STATEMENT TO THE INSURANCE COMPANY. There is no requirement that you must provide the insurance company of the at-fault driver any written or recorded statement. In fact, these statements can be extremely prejudicial to your case. We have settled countless car accident cases without any recorded statements from our clients. When an adjuster SUDO KU

Hopping on your bicycle for a family bike ride through the neighborhood is a great activity for beautiful summer weather, but nothing spoils a fun day of riding more than a flat tire or dislodged chain. That’s why it’s important to keep up with bike maintenance, even if you typically stay close to home. By following these four tips, you and your family can enjoy a smooth ride all summer long. Give your bike a once-over. The best way to avoid any problems with your bike while riding is to inspect it thoroughly before you head out. Check each component and make sure everything is in working order. If you notice your handlebars are loose or your brake pads are worn, you’ll be able to make adjustments or repairs before hopping on. Fill your tires properly. Proper bike tire pressure can seem ambiguous; many people just inflate the tires until they seem plump enough to ride on. But a bike tire will typically have the recommended air pressure in psi (pound-force per square inch) stamped into the side of the tire. For example, your tire might say Min. 85–Max. 135 psi . This may seem like a broad range, but it all depends on what you’re looking for: A higher psi will increase speed, while a lower psi will give you a smoother ride. Keep it clean. Cleaning your bike regularly is essential in preventing premature wear and tear. When cleaning the body of the bike, use a damp rag with window cleaner or diluted dish soap to wipe it down, and take extra care not to get any of it on the chain. If the chain is dry to the touch, remove any debris that may be caught in it with a small brush or old toothbrush before applying a good bicycle chain lube. Involve your kids. Encouraging your kids to maintain their own bikes will help them understand the importance of taking care of their possessions. Teach them to inspect their bike, clean and lubricate their chains, and regularly check their tire pressure. This summer, set yourself up for cycling success and make bike maintenance a priority.

SOLUTION PG. 4

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HOW TO BEAT THE HEAT

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asks me for a statement, my standard answer is always a firm “no” and yours should be too.

I CAN SUE THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY IF THEY AREN’T BEING FAIR. In Texas, you are not allowed to sue the at-fault driver’s insurance company, no matter how mean or unreasonable they may be. In fact, at trial, the rules of evidence prevent you from mentioning the other driver’s insurance. MY INSURANCE COMPANY WILL CANCEL MY INSURANCE IF I MAKE A CLAIM. Texas law gives you certain rights regarding your automobile insurance. The Texas Bill of Rights states that your insurance company cannot refuse to cancel or renew your insurance policy unless you have two or more no-fault claims in a one-year period. Often times, it is faster and much more beneficial to make a claim under your own insurance instead of waiting for the other driver’s insurance while they drag their heels on your claim.

Tips for Staying Safe This Summer

The average high temperature in El Paso during the month of August is 94 degrees, and it’s rare to have a low below 70. More often than we’d like, the mercury can spike into the triple digits — and in July of 1994, we even lived through a 114-degree day. If you’re not thinking seriously about carrying a hefty water bottle and making sure your boots don’t melt into the blacktop, this is the time of year when you should be. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are real threats during a Texas summer and can sneak up on you while you’re hiking, biking, or working outside. So that you don’t end up as one of our personal injury clients, start living by this equation: Extreme heat = extreme precautions. Here are a few steps you can take to stay safe. DRESS FOR SUCCESS When the temperature goes up, tight-fitting clothes are out. Choose loose-fitting clothes made from light fabrics (though not so light that the sun can penetrate them), and don’t forget layers of high-SPF sunscreen. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE The more water you take in, the more you can sweat out, and sweating is the human body’s best way to regulate its temperature. Make sure to drink water before, during, and after exposure to the elements, just to be safe. TAKE IT EASY If possible, refrain from doing too much physical labor in the heat. Keep strenuous activities like hiking and biking to a minimum, and make sure to take plenty of rest breaks. If you can’t avoid heavy labor outside, watch closely for the signs of illness listed below. KNOW THE DANGER SIGNS According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion include high body temperature; skin that feels hot and dry to the touch rather than sweaty (unless you’ve been exercising heavily); confusion, agitation, or slurred speech; nausea and vomiting; headache; rapid breathing; and increased heart rate. If you experience any of those symptoms, get help right away.

This article comes direct from the blog at clarkharmonsonattorney.com/blog. Be sure to visit the blog for more insight from Clark!

SENEGALESE LAMB SKEWERS INSPIRED BY FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE

Adapted from a recipe by famed Southern chef Sean Brock, these skewers are seasoned in a Senegalese style and served alongside mustard-flavored onions.

INGREDIENTS

For the lamb: •

• •

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced Salt and white pepper, to taste

2 lbs trimmed leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 tbsp peanut oil, plus more for grilling

Equipment •

• •

Bamboo skewers

Salt and black pepper, to taste

• • • •

1/2 cup Dijon mustard 1/2 tbsp agave nectar

For the onions: •

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced Salt and white pepper, to taste

• •

1/2 cup Dijon mustard 1/2 tbsp agave nectar

DIRECTIONS

1. In a bowl, coat lamb with 1 tbsp oil and generously season with salt and pepper. 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and agave nectar. Toss in onions and season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium and oil the grates. 4. Thread lamb on skewers and grill for 6–8 minutes. 5. Serve alongside onions.

915.584.8777 • 3

5505 North Mesa St. Suite 3 • El Paso, TX 79912 WWW.CLARKHARMONSONATTORNEY.COM 915.584.8777

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1

Texas Is in My Blood

A Biking Adventure

2

Myths About Car Accident Claims

Senegalese Lamb Skewers

3

How to Stay Safe in the Summer Heat

Not Your Average Vacation Lodgings

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AMERICA’S WEIRDEST AIRBNBS This Ain’t Motel 6!

ManCave Apartment/Airplane Hangar - Geneva, Florida Airbnb super hosts Dan and Deborah have no shortage of quirky properties for rent — including yurts and treehouses — but their apartment fashioned out of an airplane hangar surely takes the cake. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a theme restaurant featuring eclectic aviation. Memorabilia lines the walls with a bar front and center, and the bed is in a loft high above the ground. Dog Bark Park Inn B&B - Cottonwood, Idaho As you approach the Dog Bark Park Inn, you won’t have to guess if you’re in the right place. After all, how many buildings are shaped like beagles? When describing the space on Airbnb, the hosts make no bones about who this rental is aimed for. “Stay in a giant dog!” they say. In addition to being inside a massive wooden dog, you’ll find canine- themed games, books, and more. Talk about ruffing it.

When Airbnb was founded a little over a decade ago, the developers hoped to provide an alternative to traditional travel accommodations. Today, with annual revenue in the billions, the service is an industry unto itself. While most people use Airbnb to “live like a local” while traveling, you can find some truly wacky lodging options if you spend some time searching the platform. Here are just a few of the many contenders for the title of “Weirdest Airbnb in the U.S.” For ease of searching, the listings here have the same titles as they do on Airbnb. Brand New Studio Earthship - Taos, NewMexico Earthships, houses run by clean energy and featuring reused materials, are a fixture of the Taos area. This one, which looks almost like a crashing wave with a living space in its undertow, combines the rustic charm of truly getting away from it all with modern amenities like Wi-Fi and in-home laundry. It’s a truly unique living space surrounded by pristine nature and not far from the historic Taos Pueblo.

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