Monday, April 22, 2013

Law can hurt not help society


As a Christian injury lawyer, I am acutely aware of the law’s impacts on society. Scripture indicates Satan hates all God created. This fallen angel cannot create anything, so he perverts and distorts God’s handiwork.  The law has been changing to make this even easier for him.

Since the Devil hates human life, he loves murder in all its forms. Whether in a violent assault, an abortion, suicide or euthanasia, he is pleased.  Murder rarely results in a death sentence anymore.  Abortion has been legal since the travesty of Roe v. Wade. Suicide is on the increase, and legal euthanasia (assisted suicide) seems destined to become legally accepted.

He hates God’s design of marriage as expressed in Genesis 1-3.  Clearly, it wasn’t long until the Old Testament records sinfulness like multiple wives, adultery, fornication, concubines, and divorce. Homosexual activists have two cases pending at the Supreme Court and are successfully couching their lifestyle in the language that African-American Civil Rights activists once used. Co-habitation is fast-outpacing marriage as the norm. We are now several decades into so-called “no-fault” divorce and families are suffering.  Today, according to the Federal Reserve Board's 1995 Survey of Consumer Finance, only 42 percent of children aged 14 to 18 live in a "first marriage" family--an intact two-parent married family.

He hates children. Satan encouraged false religions that actually celebrated child sacrifice on burning altars. Now, legal abortions sacrifice unwanted children on the altar of convenience.

He hates gender roles and intimacy in a Biblical marriage. The Bible states, “Male and Female He made them,” and the fight has been on ever since to either make the genders totally the same, or even create additional hybrids. This is succeeding to the extent that some schools are installing “transgendered bath rooms.”

The law has not helped much. For instance, welfare has often rewarded the wrong and punished the right. Originally, divorce or separation would sometimes remove a father from the home. By 1995, almost 60 percent of all AFDC families were headed by unmarried mothers.  Births to unwed teen mothers who were poorly educated and who had no income other than welfare was the predictable result.

This country, including our lawmakers, need to turn back to God and His Word.

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Monday, April 15, 2013


As an injury lawyer, I have handled many cases involving Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Often the diagnosis is not made right away, but only becomes clear over time.

I recall a particular workers compensation case I handled where a man was struck by a machine while wearing a hard hat. Even though he did not need a single stitch, that blow caused his brain to bleed. Over time, his personality changed radically and he became irritable, angry and lacked the ability to concentrate.  His memory became so limited that he would leave pots on the stove for hours and either double dose his medication or not take it at all. Eventually, that single blow caused him to become disabled. 

Motorcycle helmet use is currently at issue in Tennessee. Some want to repeal the helmet ban and allow adult motorcyclists to ride without a helmet, like in Arkansas.  The National Institutes of Health said in Pennsylvania, after dropping the ban, helmet use among riders in crashes decreased from 82% to 58%. Head injury deaths increased 66%. Motorcycle-related head injury hospitalizations increased 78%. Helmet law repeals jeopardize motorcycle riders, and their long-term care for a TBI eventually falls upon all of us.

The very young and the elderly account for many TBI cases. Approximately 18% of all TBI-related emergency department visits involved children aged 0 to 4 years. Approximately 22% of all TBI-related hospitalizations involved adults aged 75 years and older.

Males are more often diagnosed with a TBI (59%). Blasts (such as IEDs) are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.  The NFL gridiron is also rife with head injuries. Over 3,000 players, spouses and other relatives or representatives are suing over TBIs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a few of the leading causes of TBI are:

Falls (35.2%) Falls continued to be the leading cause of TBI (35.2%) in the United States. Falls cause half (50%) of the TBIs among children aged 0 to 14 years and 61% of all TBIs among adults aged 65 years and older.

Motor vehicle – traffic (17.3%) Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes and traffic-related incidents were the second leading cause of TBI (17.3%) and resulted in the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths (31.8%).

Struck by/against events (16.5%) Struck by/against events, which include colliding with a moving or stationary object, were the second leading cause of TBI among children aged 0 to 14 years, with 25%.

Assaults (10%) Assaults produced 10% of TBIs in the general population; they accounted for only 2.9% in children aged 0 to 14 years and 1% in adults aged 65 years old and older.
Very little is understood about concussions and other brain injuries. Some are not properly diagnosed. Tests sometimes do not show the injury. 

Insist on helmets for your loved ones. Fact is, we might ought to all be wearing helmets all the time!

Friday, April 5, 2013

SCAM ALERT for the Elderly


As an attorney, I hear stories of scams and abuses everyday, but the ones that make me the angriest are those focused against our elderly.  Our aged population is targeted as they tend to be more trusting and usually won’t hang up on people. They also underreport fraud due to embarrassment, or fear that family will not trust them to handle their affairs.

Please share these tips with anyone who can benefit:

1. This is a new one: Never respond to an official-looking letter saying that you need to pay $50-90 dollars for a copy of your property deed.  You do not need a copy anyway, but official-looking letters have been sent out in Tennessee with “compliance deadlines.”  Trash them. (If you want a copy, you can print for free online or the Register’s office will provide one for a very nominal fee).

2. There is an old one that keeps coming up: An email is sent saying that a loved on was on a trip, and needs money.  They claim you cannot talk to them by phone. The fact that they contact you by email and claim no phone is available should make you suspicious. Ignore it.

3. Spring is the time of year when people will sometimes walk up and offer to patch your driveway, repair your roof, trim trees, or other things that you did not request.  Beware. They often demand money upfront or expect much more after the job.  Get written estimates from three companies, check with the Better Business Bureau and ask for your family’s advice to be sure.

4. Phones in your home are there for your convenience, not the caller’s! If you are getting telemarketing calls, put yourself on the Tennessee Do Not Call Program: Call 1-877-TRA-7030 from your home phone. The National Do-Not-Call Registry is 1-888-382-1222.  Currently over 50 million consumers have registered.

5. Never give out personal information on the phone, especially to those who call you asking for “verification” of your bank account or social security number. According to the FBI, these are common lines to watch out for: “You must act now, or the offer won’t be good.” “You’ve won a free gift, vacation, or prize, but you have to pay for postage and handling.” “You do not need to speak to anyone about this.” They do not want your asking your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.

6. We all see commercials for Reverse Mortgages, but did you know that about 1 in 10 winds up in default? If that occurs, they can foreclose on your home, leaving your homeless. Proceed with extreme caution.

7. Identity theft.  A “credit card company” calls and gives the last four digits of the card and says there was a fraudulent purchase. The caller offers to fix it if he just has the three- or four-digit verification code on the back of the credit card. Of you hear, “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully. Just hang up.

8. You have not won the Canadian Lottery or the Jamaican Sweepstakes! No one in Africa has millions to get out of the country. “If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is.”
If I could stop all this I would. As Moses advised, “Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32(NIV).

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Monday, April 1, 2013

AVOIDING a Car Accident

As a Christian injury attorney, I see the aftermath of tragic car crashes every week. There are a few common accidents that you can either avoid or mitigate if you know what to do.

Avoid Overcorrection:  We all have heard and felt that sudden rumbling of our wheels running off onto the gravel shoulder. The steering wheel jerks to the right, and what is our instinct? Jerk back to the left with all our might!  This is called “overcorrection.”  Especially with younger drivers, the panicked jerking back to the left will often cause the car to turn sideways and roll or flip, sometimes with roof-crushing results. The fix? Ride it out, and gently ease back onto the pavement. We have been driving on gravel roads for 100 years, so two wheels on it for a few seconds is no need to panic.

Blowout Reaction: The “Boom” and instability of a blowout at speed induces panic in all of us. Remember though, that control of the car is best achieved through steering and not emergency braking.  Like the overcorrection issue before, quick braking or turning can easily cause a fatal rollover. Ride it out to the shoulder as best you can.

Avoid Hydroplaning: When you steer, but nothing happens, you might be on black ice, or hydroplaning. When the water on the road lifts off your steering tires and you lose contact with the pavement it is called “hydroplaning.”  Just ease off the gas and it should let the wheels grip again. If you feel unsure in the rain, consider a tire brand made for better rain disbursement.
Mechanical failures: If your car continues to accelerate uncontrollably, get the car out of gear. In a manual, simply press the clutch to the floor and brake. If you are in an automatic transmission, shift into Neutral (“N”) and brake.  Your engine may be noisy, but your car is easier to replace than you are. Once stopped, you can shut the car off, and shift back into Park.  If you lose brakes, follow the above steps to get the car out of gear, and trying pumping the brakes all you can as you come to a stop.
Sometimes, such as with a high speed brake failure, a car jacking situation or a head on drunk driver in your lane, you may even have to crash on purpose!  

Hopefully, this information will never be needed in your home, but if you are teaching kids to drive, please simulate these emergency situations in a safe place. When panic sets in, you only have time for one reaction, so let’s make it the safest one. 

Every twelve minutes, someone in our country perishes in a car crash. I help people with the results of accidents caused by others, but maybe this advice will save at least one life. 

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