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Archive for Trip and Fall

Real Life in the Moment

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Sunday afternoon I was sitting in my office at home, at my computer, doing “a little work”. At the same time, I was watching the Baltimore Orioles play Tampa Bay. I find major league baseball relaxing… as long as the Orioles are winning. I admit that I was also periodically turning the channel to watch some golf. Maybe even a “periodic text”.

The Orioles are currently in first place in their division with the season a little over halfway over,.But on this day, they were struggling. They ultimately lost 5-2.

However, there was one encouraging moment in the game that became a human interest story. It made me stop and watch without distraction. It was the major league debut of Orioles lefty reliever Donnie Hart, who had just gotten called up after several years in the minor leagues .

Hart’s entire family was sitting together in the stands. The television cameras from the MASN network kept focusing on them. Hart’s sister was showing the excitement and stress of the moment. His parents were taking cell phone pictures and nervously rocking back and forth.

They saw the left-hander Hart retire two Tampa Bay hitters on six pitches, including a looking strikeout of the second batter. For them, in that moment, nothing else mattered!

I am often extremely irritated by insurance adjusters who belittle client claims. Many times, they merely view the case related to the medical bills. They forget that life revolves around the moments and cannot be measured by simply adding up medical bills with some pitiful multiplier!  

And for pic o’ day, feeling positive:

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Tale of Two Lawsuits

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

I thought that my Monday blog should include some law! So, today I write about two unusual lawsuits. One is settled and the other is still pending and headed to trial.

First involves a mascot and ESPN (Chicago Tribune)

A wrongful injury lawsuit filed against ESPN by the school mascot for Mississippi State has been settled. The plaintiff, one of the university’s cheerleaders, was dressed as  Bully the Mascot when she was run over by one of ESPN’s motorized television cameras. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff suffered a compound fracture to her lower left leg during the incident. The plaintiff filed suit against both ESPN and Mississippi State seeking $75,000 in actual and compensatory damages. The amount of the recent settlement with ESPN has not been disclosed. She still has pins in her leg and continues to experience pain.

 

The second lawsuit is an employment wages lawsuit (The Post and Courier) that was filed against a Charleston, South Carolina restaurant for “breakage”.

A wage theft lawsuit filed against a seafood restaurant in Charleston, South Carolina, is headed to trial. The lawsuit was filed over the policy of Hyman’s Seafood Co. of charging employees under a “breakage fee policy” whenever employees would break glasses or dishes. According to the complaint which has been filed by 160 current and former employees of the restaurant, Hyman’s violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by charging employees a breakage fee.

In a deposition, the restaurant owner admitted that he had not consulted an attorney before implementing his policy. The plaintiffs need to show that his conduct in implementing such a policy “knew or showed reckless disregard”. It would make me nervous carrying the plates!

 

And finally our pic o’ day

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The Road Less Traveled

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Yesterday’s devotional in Our Daily Bread was taken from the Bible book of Exodus. (Exodus 13:17-22)

It’s the story of the children of Israel leaving Egypt. Pharaoh had told them to go, but that was only after the plagues. God’s instruction to Moses was to take them into the wilderness and ultimately they would cross the Red Sea.

The reality was that there was a shorter and easier way through the land of the Philistines. But they would have been discouraged and scared by all the violence and war at the shorter route. So, as the story goes, they took the route of the wilderness and ultimately through the parted Red Sea.

That story is a also a great metaphor and lesson. Robert Frost said in his poem The Road Not Taken that Two Roads diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.   

Recently I was sitting in a deposition, listening to my client answer a question about her rehab following a surgery. My mind wandered to my knee surgery several years ago and my rehab.

I remember the physical therapist telling me that there are no shortcuts. Sure, I could decide not to come to therapy and pretend that I was going to do home exercises, but I would pay for that later.

I remember going each time and just being miserable, as the therapist pushed me. Finally, I started seeing mobility. Today, I hardly think about that surgery… unless I am writing a blog about it.

It wasn’t the easy way. It would have been much easier just to “let it heal” but that shortcut would have gotten me no where. Taking the hard route has made all the difference, even though it sometimes felt like I was going through the wilderness.

 

 And for pic o’ day, I am posting some equal political ridicule because I have been seeing some interesting political, mean posts lately on the Internet. I suspect it’s only going to get wilder. IMG_0188IMG_1504

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“Eye Witness”

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Uncle D said yesterday that he doesn’t like when I start with a coffee pic o’… so I will be brief!

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Here’s a good ole-fashioned trial story.  A lawyer was cross-examining a man who had witnessed a car crash. His questioning of the witness went as follows:

Did you see the man on the trainYes sir.

Where was he? About thirty cars back from the train engine.

At that time, where were you? I was in the train car behind the engine.

At this point, what time of night was it? About eleven o’clock.

Are you trying to tell me that you could see a man who was thirty cars away from you, especially as dark as it was? Yes sir.

How far do you think that you can see at night? I would guess about a million miles… cause I can see the moon at night too.  

And now for pic o’ day… some positive thinking!

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Circus News and Claims

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Over the weekend (CNN), Ringling Brothers. and Barnum Bailey circus had its last show with the elephants. No longer an elephant in the room for the 145-year-old circus. Yes… they still have the lions! But, when I saw the elephant story, it reminded me of the recent entry from The Luminary, the weekly Muncy, Pennsylvania newspaper.

This might be something that only my dad and I found interesting, but it comes from the section called Peeks of the Past. Here’s the history from April 29, 1881:

135 years ago: Miss Carrie Ort. Robert Barr, of Port Penn, while repairing the canal bridge near the P. & R. depot last Friday, cut himself on the arm with an axe. During the performance at the circus last Saturday night a portion of the seats gave way, injuring a number of persons, the most seriously being George Colley, of East Muncy, whose leg was broken in six places. The management of the circus settled with Mr. Colley’s father by the payment of $82. Some thieves effected an entrance into the clothing store of John H. Roker recently and stole goods to the amount of $100. Thirty Muncy people saw “The Union Spy” in Williamsport Thursday evening.

That little “blurb” has news of a job injury; an injury at the circus; and how much was paid for the negligence of the circus. Plus, you can compare the payment against the worth of the stolen goods at the grocery store. Yep… just some “negligence history” in Muncy!

“If a lion could talk… we couldn’t understand him”- Ludwig Wittgenstein

(Guess you have to be a lion to understand)

And for pic o’ day, I know this feeling!

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A Document Worth

Monday, April 25th, 2016

What is it worth? Documents detailing some of the original “Laws of Base Ball” sold for $3.26 million on early Sunday morning, It set a new record for the highest-priced baseball document. (ESPN)  .

The same auction house in charge of this sale also noted that a 1920 New York Yankees’ Babe Ruth jersey sold in an auction for $4.4 million in 2012. That same year,  the Naismith Rules of Basketball sold for $4.3 million.

According to the ESPN article, The original rules of baseball, as written by Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, stipulated that the ball could not weigh less than 5¾ ounces, and the bat could be of any length; but no more than 2½ inches at its widest part. The rules also stated that there would be four bases, 30 yards apart, with each base being one square foot.

I always believe that auction items make for a good jury argument, when discussing an injury case. If we put such value on a document and paper, what is the worth of a permanent injury to a leg that causes a lifetime of pain, or a lifetime of worry.

What is it worth to be able to put on an outfit and feel so good… that you don’t even have to look in the mirror?  No scars or pain. Just to feel happy. Emotional value! What is the worth of not having to worry about making that next house payment? Real life values.  Just a thought!

And for pic o’ day…

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Youth and Sports Injuries

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

I try to always give a Monday take-away thought. How about this one?

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OK, not what you were expecting from a Monday morning legal blog? Well, as Sam Elliot popularized the saying in The Big Lebowsky,  ”Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you”.

I probably was a little like that last week, as I fell behind on the blogging a bit. But, I am more of a lion person anyway… so I come roaring back with this morning’s blog!

Because so many kids are playing youth sports, not to mention the expense of equipment. By the way, have you seen the price of a baseball bat? Makes you want three, Right? But I digress.

Sports are more competitive than ever. With competitiveness comes the risk of concussion. I thought about this as I saw a kid riding his bike without a helmet on Sunday. No good!  

So, I thought I would do a short blog on concussions. A good website to read on this, was put together by the nonprofit group Cleared to Play, arising out of an orthopedics practice (Here

Sports concussions can have a lasting impact on a life. Some athletes end up experiencing a life of cognitive and neurobehavioral difficulties.(PubMed) Doctors sometimes call this post-concussion syndrome. No different than what can happen in a car crash or on the battlefield.

Symptoms include chronic headaches, fatigue, trouble sleeping, dizziness, short-term memory loss, and even difficulty with problem solving. Sometimes trying to do simple math and addition of pocket change becomes difficult.

Those who experience untreated concussions and multiple concussions are also at high risk for developing permanent brain injuries and brain damage. Symptoms like depression and anxiety take hold.

Athletes who return to practice or the game too quickly before they have recovered from a concussion are at great risk for second-impact syndrome. According to statistics shown on the website, fifty percent of second-impact syndrome incidents result in death.

Again, for “quick-clicking” purposes and to learn more about sports concussions,go to clearedtoplay.org. Serious stuff!

 And for pic o’ day….

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The Effectiveness of Order

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

It’s not unusual to talk to a new client and get asked one or both of the following questions: “How long will this take?” and “What is my case worth?”. The end at the beginning.

When investigators are called in to determine the cause of an airplane crash, they have to know the ending before they can start at the beginning. What caused the crash assumes the order of end-to-beginning.

The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) sends its GoTeam to the scene and states on its website that:

At the core of NTSB investigations is the “Go Team.” The purpose of the Safety Board Go Team is simple and effective: Begin the investigation of a major accident at the accident scene, as quickly as possible, assembling the broad spectrum of technical expertise that is needed to solve complex transportation safety problems.

When we analyze cases that come in, we start with the same order or working the case. Much like a sandwich… you start with the bread.

So, to be able to answer those first two questions from new clients, I have to start at the beginning. How long the case takes can be based on such factors like length of treatment and whether suit has to be filed. If we get in the case late, it may be hard to start at the beginning, if things are missing from the beginning. Maybe that’s why the insurance company adjuster tells a person that they will treat them fairly in the beginning… they don’t need a lawyer.

States where we practice are pretty tight on advertising results in cases. At the very least, they ask us to remind that each case is different and no value is the same. So, we start at the beginning to determine value of the case. By the end, we can look back over the losses, damages and medical treatment to determine a fair market value.

Unfortunately, to be able to answer both of those client questions at the beginning would be difficult, unless I could travel on the magic carpet of my time and space continuum.

The process of starting at the beginning is not very interesting. In fact, I congratulate you, if you made it this far in the blog. A plan of order is not exciting. Instead, it’s a good application of what George Bernard Shaw said, “Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great.”

And for pic o’ day, I saw this picture with this caption and laughed. And, maybe the chicken had more of a plan than just getting to the other side?

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Egyptian Honey

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

I was reminded by yesterday’s Our Daily Bread  of the findings of archaeologists who discovered King Tut’s tomb in 1922. Despite the local rumors that a curse would be placed upon anyone who entered this sealed tomb, they began preparations to carefully enter the tomb through the debris, and down the tomb’s interior chamber steps.

As they finally opened the door to the chamber in 1923, they began the long process of careful excavation. In 1924, their slow pace brought them to a sarcophagus with three coffins. (History.com) Then, they began finding the tomb-filled riches that had been placed there by the Egyptians to help usher the king into the afterlife.

Among the riches that were discovered included golden shrines, jewelry, statues, a chariot, weapons and clothing. There were small boats representing the journey to the netherworld and a shrine for the young pharaoh’s embalmed organs.

Also found within the tomb were honeycombs that contained honey that was still deemed to be edible.(thebeejournal.com) The reason that honeycombs with edible honey was placed in the Egyptian Pharaoh tombs, was later revealed in the oldest medicine book in the world.

The Egyptian Papyrus Ebers was found in 1873, containing a listing of over 800 medical problems and diagnoses. In addition, there were treatments and cures with recipes for these medical problems. Over half of the recipes included the use of honey. Once again… honey for the Pharaoh to help combat medical problems in the afterlife.

We do now know that honey naturally produces hydrogen peroxide which is included in antibacterial ointments and such. Honey proponents also point out that it serves as a preservative for meats and fruits. It has been held out as an antioxidant, amino acid and includes vitamins that also helps to reduce inflammation and assists in the regeneration of the skin.

I’m not writing this blog as an advertisement for honey, but I do find those tomb discoveries and their history to be interesting. I have also been fascinated to hear that (CNN) King Tut’s tomb has a 90% chance of having hidden chambers with more potential discoveries to be found.

I blog about the finding of honey and its medicinal properties from these ancient days. These Egyptian doctors would certainly be amazed by all the medications and treatments that are available for prescription today.

For some of our clients with permanent injuries, they will need continuing medical treatment and medications. So, we have a life care planner to prepare a future medical care plan to outline what will be needed, and the costs that are associated with the future care. These plans can include many different items and treatments. King Tut’s tomb is a reminder that Egyptian life care plans would have had items like honey, tiny boats and religious shrines for the afterlife plan. A bit different from today.

And for pic o’ day…

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Let’s See What Happens

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Have you ever heard anyone say that they are losing weight for their wedding? I have always thought that it should be the opposite.

Why, you ask? Because all those wedding photos are taken and kept forever. My thought? That a person should eat as much and as fast as possible, in an attempt to gain weight for their wedding. Then, when someone looks at their wedding photos years later, they will always say, “you look so much thinner than you did back on your wedding day”. Good idea? Right?

Just my thought for planning for the future.

We just started a competition at the firm. A “Biggest Loser” competition. We got the idea from one of our new employees, who came from an employer where they ran this competition… and it motivated her to lose over 90 pounds. That is truly some serious capital letter successful loss of LB’s.!

We didn’t make participation mandatory… but we did create some “hard-to-ignore” cash and prizes.

So here’s my continuing theme on looking to the future. They had the “secret weigh-in” yesterday. Based on that number, the winner will be determined by the percentage of weight loss.

I’m sure that for the contest weigh-in,  people took out their cellphones; took off their shoes, and tried to weigh as little as possible. I suspect that they were embarrassed to log in their weight to the “weight monitor”.

I remember going to Weight Watchers, where I would go behind this curtain and be weighed. It was a bit like that. No one was calling out my name and weight, thankfully.

This secret weigh-in reminded me of my “eating wedding strategy”. For the weigh-in, why not go to Golden Corral the night before… and then eat a monstrous breakfast. Top that off with some heavy clothing and maybe not just a cellphone, but carry one of those big old home phones in the pocket. Lots of weight. Don’t they do that to horses at the racetrack?

Just a thought! Then, it’s all easy weight loss from there.

My blog picture from yesterday jogged my mind to write this blog today. Plus, every now and then, I hear someone say that they are going to wait to hire a lawyer… after they hear what the adjuster is willing to offer them for their claim. To me, that seems to be the horse and the cart… long after the cart is before the horse… or something like that.

Adjusters probably love to hear that someone will wait until “they see what the adjuster will offer”. That’s because it makes it harder to collect evidence and photos and video, if time has elapsed and things disappear. Cars are repaired and witnesses move away or forget important facts. Plus, police officers who investigate crashes, investigate many more crashes and forget specifics to the case.

What happens at the beginning can influence what happens at the end. So the moral of the story is… here’s an excuse to eat big meals… and it makes it easier for us when we can get busy on a case early!

 

And for pic o’ day…

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