Friedman & Simon - September 2019

LEGAL BRIEF

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FRIEDMANSIMON.COM

SEPTEMBER 2019

As the co-founder of Friedman & Simon Injury Lawyers, it’s my pleasure to introduce this first edition of our new and improved newsletter! With this publication, Roger and I want to put the personal back in personal injury law, sharing useful resources and insights from our own experiences. After all, if you’re looking to us to represent you or your loved ones, you deserve to know what we’re all about. So, what better place to start than the reason I became a lawyer in the first place? Sitting down to write this, I was tempted to give a very generic “about me” story — the kind you find on just about every lawyer’s website these days. “I went to law school because I’ve always been passionate about helping people,” etc., but that wouldn’t give you the full picture. For that, I need to delve Giving Back Why I Became a Lawyer

their world and their struggles. If anyone deserves to know the full truth, it’s the people who are being just as open with me. Growing up as the son of two Holocaust survivors is an experience defined by absence. From the time I was a young boy, I picked up on the fact that other kids had grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. It didn’t take long for me to start asking where our extended family was, and why we didn’t go visit them. I don’t remember how old I was

families, and multibillion-dollar insurance companies trying to defend their bottom line. Representing hardworking people against such powerful interests was the perfect way to use the opportunities this nation has given me to do some good in the world. In the decades since I started this journey, I can say my work has reinforced two lessons from my childhood: People face personal and family struggles every day, and I’ve seen how we all have our own way of dealing with the pain they cause. I’ve also learned just how resilient the human spirit can be, and how amazing our capacity to move forward after tragedy is.

when I learned they’d all been taken from this earth by a tyrannical government, but I’ve been processing the weight of that fact ever since.

into why giving people a voice in the court of law is so deeply important to me. I’m not going to lie. This is a story I’ve struggled to tell.

Grappling with such heavy subject matter has one silver

“I’m not going to lie. This is a story I’ve struggled to tell.”

lining: perspective. Freedom, individual liberties, and safety just weren’t things I

My parents were Holocaust survivors. It’s

not something I bring up lightly. In fact, up until a few years ago, I rarely told anyone about my heritage — I didn’t want to come off as self-pitying, and I definitely didn’t want to use it as some sort of marketing tool. So, I suppressed this defining fact of my family’s history, and every time someone asked me “Why did you become a lawyer?” my answers felt hollow. But, when I represent someone, they let me into

took for granted. As a boy I practiced martial arts to learn to protect myself — as a man I went to law school to learn to protect others. I wanted to do my part to stand up for the rights of those who might otherwise be powerless. Personal injury law was a natural choice. The work almost always involves “David and Goliath” matchups between suffering

To all those who have inspired me over the years, thank you.

––––-Edward Friedman

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‘HowMuch Do I Owe You?’

IS YOUR CHILD BEING BULLIED?

What You Can Do to Help

Contingency Fees Explained

A new school year is a prime opportunity for kids to make new friends among their classmates. Unfortunately, kids also form connections during the school year that aren’t always positive, and many children become the targets of school bullies. If you suspect your child is being bullied, there are a few things you can do to help. KNOW THE SIGNS Kids usually don’t open up about being bullied right away. However, there are some common signs that your child is being harassed. Here are a few of them: • If they’re refusing to go to school or ride the bus, they may be dreading their bully. • If they’re rushing to the bathroom after school, it may indicate that they’re being bullied in the bathroom, which is a common tactic bullies use to avoid teachers. • If their grades suddenly change, it may be the result of constant harassment. • Anxious or depressed moods can be the result of bullying as well. If you spot one or more of these signs, it’s time to talk to your child about what’s happening to them at school. LISTEN When your child does open up, the best thing you can do is listen. It can be tempting to try to give them advice or question the way they handled the situation, but doing this can give your child the impression that it’s their own fault they are being bullied. Let them tell you the whole story, without judgment, and then help them come up with ideas on what to do next. FINDING THE RIGHT SOLUTION Once you’ve been informed that your child is being bullied, you should inform teachers as soon as possible. Apart from that, there are several ways you can help your child to deal with bullies, so talk to them about what approach they would be most comfortable with, such as de-escalation strategies or a buddy system with their friends. As with most conflicts, the sooner you handle the situation, the better.

One of the major concerns people have when deciding if they need a lawyer is the cost. This is understandable, especially when you might be facing major medical bills after an accident. But, unlike so many other areas of the law, hiring a personal injury attorney won’t break the bank. In fact, firms like ours handle fees so your interests and the

interests of your lawyer are the same. WE DON’T GET PAID IF YOU DON’T

Contingency fees are the standard form of payment between clients and their personal injury lawyers. The amount the lawyer gets paid is contingent on the amount of compensation you receive. On the surface, this makes hiring a personal injury lawyer risk- free — hiring them won’t cost you a cent unless you win. But this arrangement has other advantages as well. YOUR WIN IS OUR WIN Contingency fees can do a lot to put a client’s mind at ease because our payment is directly tied to how good a job we do. When you hire a professional at an hourly rate, it doesn’t matter how hardworking or dedicated they are — you may still have a nagging suspicion they aren’t working as hard or as fast as they could be. By avoiding hourly rates, we sidestep that potential conflict of interest entirely. You can rest assured we are doing everything we possibly can to look after your best interests. After all, they’re our best interests as well. GET HONEST ANSWERS Being fully invested in delivering a successful outcome also means we have every reason to be upfront with you about the strength of your case. In fact, we’ll even give you this assessment for free, with no obligation to hire our firm after the fact. That way, you can make the most informed decision possible about how to move forward with your claim. If you’ve been injured, you have nothing to lose by inquiring. Pick up the phone and call 516-800-8000.

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The State of New York moved toward justice this August, vastly extending the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits against sexual abusers. Thanks to the Child Victims Act, accusers are now able to file suits until age 55. The law also created a one year “look-back window,”

that what happened wasn’t your fault. Your abuser deserves to bear 100% of the blame, guilt, and shame for their actions. You did not deserve to be hurt by them, and you do not deserve for their crime to define your sense of self. YOU CAN HEAL

A WINDOW OF HOPE

The effects of abuse can run deep. Many survivors struggle with intimacy, relationships, and trust. You may also suffer from low self-esteem because of the way you were made to feel. These struggles can seem insurmountable, but they are by no means permanent. Professional therapy and support groups have helped many survivors just like you overcome the scars of abuse. You deserve the same.

during which time expired cases can be reexamined. For survivors, this is an opportunity to finally hold their abusers, and the institutions that enabled them, accountable. But filing a suit and healing aren’t the same thing. There’s a reason these abuse cases, many of which happened when accusers were children, can take decades to surface. The experience often leaves long-lasting trauma, and confronting the memories of it can be incredibly painful — even when seeking justice. If you are a survivor of abuse, we’d like to offer the following messages of support. YOU AREN’T TO BLAME

YOU ARE POWERFUL

Make no mistake; grappling with the effects of abuse takes an immense amount of personal strength and courage — but you don’t have to go it alone. The following resources can help you take the next step in moving forward with your life. RESOURCES: • National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE • Survivor Manual: SurvivorManual.com • NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault: SVFreeNyc.org/survivor- resources • Mental Health Service Locator: FindTreatment.samhsa.gov

Often, survivors of abuse feel guilty about the incident or blame themselves for it happening to them. If you feel this way, understand

Basil Berry Sorbet

SUDOKU

Inspired by Good Housekeeping

Unlike standard ice cream recipes, this delicious sorbet doesn’t require fancy equipment or difficult prep. It’s also entirely dairy-free, making it the perfect vegan treat for the end of summer.

Ingredients

• 1 cup sugar • 1 cup fresh basil leaves • 6 cups frozen mixed berries • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Instructions

1. In a saucepan over high heat, combine sugar with 1 cup of water, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves, creating a syrup-like consistency. 2. Remove syrup from heat, add basil, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl and refrigerate until cold. 3. In a blender, combine syrup with frozen berries and lemon juice. Purée until smooth. 4. Transfer to a square baking pan, cover in plastic wrap, and freeze until set, about 2 hours. 5. Scoop and serve.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1 2

Edward Friedman Shares His History

How to Respond to School Bullies

How You Pay Your Lawyer Makes a Difference

3 4

Hope for Abuse Survivors

Basil Berry Sorbet

Honoring the Canines of 9/11

THE 4-LEGGED HEROES OF GROUND ZERO Honoring the Canines of 9/11

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service. Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts. Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without

any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.

Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org .

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