Let’s Get Even!

It’s Monday. Welcome to a new week. Today is the day for “Monday Ministry.” Did you know that Attorney Dean Burnetti went to seminary before he was called to the legal field?  The following* is a devotion given to you by Dean…

Proverbs 20:22 “Don’t say, ‘I will get even for this wrong.’ Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.”

The Bible is full of stories of people who have a reason to potentially  get even with someone. And that someone is usually someone very close.

vengenanceIn the story of Joseph and his brothers, when Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food, Joseph had the perfect opportunity — and a good reason — to get even. They had sold Joseph into slavery.

When Esau came to meet up with his brother Jacob after being separated for many years, he had a good reason to get even with his brother for having stolen his birthright.

Notice in both cases how they dealt with their opportunities to get even. It was as though their brothers had done them no wrong. They had gotten past it. They had gotten over it. They had forgiven. They had moved forward with their lives.

More than anything, they did not hold to  that burning desire to get even with someone else.

Today you probably have somebody that you want to get even with.  I don’t think it’s possible not to have someone we can reach back in life and justify a good butt kicking for.

Then how do you deal with it?  You turn it over to the Lord for Him to handle.

Sometimes we’re not ready to absolutely forgive, but by at least giving it over to God and asking Him to intervene, it takes you to the first steps of freeing yourself from the weight and anger you may be experiencing.

So then, how do we get even? We turn the matter over to the Lord to handle it for us. That may be your beginning to forgiveness.

Stay healthy and have a blessed week!

~Dean Burnetti

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Enjoy!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends, and don’t forget to wear those masks!

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Remembering a Legend

Happy Throwback Thursday, friends!  Almost three weeks ago, America and the Civil Rights Movement lost a great man, Congressman John Lewis.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re Black or White, a Democrat or a Republican, or even an American.  If you’re a member of the Human race, you can appreciate what a remarkable journey this man had. Not to discount his long political career, for time’s sake, today we’re just going to focus on his personal life and his impact in the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1940, John Robert Lewis was born in Alabama, the third of ten children of Willie Mae and Eddie Lewis. His parents were sharecroppers and lived on a farm with no electricity or plumbing.

From a young age, John aspired to be a preacher.  By age five, he was preaching sermons to his family’s chickens.  By the time he was six years old, John had only encountered two white people in his life.  It wasn’t until he was older and he began taking trips into town with his family that he experienced the burning sting of racism.

John had relatives who lived up North, and correspondence with them showed him how different things were there than where he lived in the South.  The North had integrated transportation systems, schools, colleges, and even businesses. At 11 years old, John’s uncle took him on a trip to Buffalo, New York, which made John even more acutely aware of Alabama’s acute segregation laws.

John was 15 the first time he heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the radio.  He paid attention to what the charismatic King had to say, and later that year, John closely followed the Montgomery bus boycott.  During that same year, John preached his first public sermon.

Two years later at age 17, John met Rosa Parks. That same year, 1957, he became the first member of his family to graduate from high school.  He met Dr. King the following year.

Around this same time, John applied for admission to Troy University in Alabama, but he was denied – because he was Black.  That rejection inspired him to write a letter to Dr. King for suggestions on what he might do.  Dr. King invited john to come meet with him, and referred to him as “the boy from Troy.”  At their meeting, Dr. King laid out all the pros and cons of suing Troy University for discrimination, with the cons being that doing so could endanger John’s family. John discussed the matter with his parents then decided to proceed with his education at a small, historically Black college in Tennessee.

A year later, John became involved in the workshops on nonviolence directed by the Reverend James Lawson, under the sponsorship of the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference. Inspired by Dr. King and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, John actively participated in the movement to secure civil rights for people of color.

Twice in late 1959, John joined other students in unsuccessful attempts to desegregate Nashville’s lunch counters. This led to Nashville’s first full-scale sit-in in February of the following year. One week after Whites verbally tormented the Black students at Nashville’s Walgreen’s lunch counter, John formulated the Rules of Conduct that became the Code of Behavior for protest movements throughout the South, with him stressing that violence on behalf of the protestors was not the way to get changes made.

Along with other Nashville students, John also demonstrated against the city’s segregated movie theaters, and he refused to post bail when he was arrested. By April of 1960, he became a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Raleigh, North Carolina.

In 1961, John became one of the 13 original Freedom Riders, a group of seven Whites and six Blacks who planned to ride a bus from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans in an integrated fashion. At the time, several southern states enforced laws prohibiting Black and White riders from sitting next to each other on public transportation. In the South, John and other nonviolent Freedom Riders were beaten by angry mobs and arrested. In Rock Hill, South Carolina, John tried to enter a whites-only waiting room, and as a result, two white men attacked him. However, two weeks later, he joined a Freedom Ride headed for Jackson, Mississippi. He later said, “We were determined not to let any act of violence keep us from our goal. We knew our lives could be threatened, but we had made up our minds not to turn back.”

John later recounted the amount of violence he and the 12 other original Freedom Riders endured stating that in Birmingham, they were beaten with baseball bats, chains, lead pipes, and stones, then were arrested by police who led them across the border into Tennessee and let them go. They reorganized and rode to Montgomery, where they were met with more violence, and John was hit in the head with a wooden crate. “It was very violent. I thought I was going to die. I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious,” he said.

[In February 2009, 48 years after he was battered and left for dead at the Montgomery Greyhound station, John Lewis received a nationally televised apology from a white southerner and former Klansman, Elwin Wilson.]

John graduated from the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville in 1961 and was ordained as a Baptist minister. He then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from Fisk University in 1963 where he was a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

On August 28, 1963, John was named one of the “Big Six” leaders who organized and spoke at the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered. The youngest organizer there, John delivered one of the most stinging declamations of the day when he said, “By the force of our demands, our determination, and our numbers, we shall splinter the segregated South into a thousand pieces and put them back together in the image of God and democracy.”

In 1964, John coordinated the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s “Mississippi Freedom Summer” campaign to register black voters across the South and alert college students around the country to the dangers of African-American life in the South. He traveled the United States, encouraging students to spend their summer break trying to help people vote in Mississippi, then the most recalcitrant state in the nation.

However, it wasn’t until March 7, 1965 – a day that would later be known as “Bloody Sunday” – when John became nationally recognized during his prominent role in the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.  John and another fellow activist, Hosea Williams, led over 600 protest marchers across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. At the end of the bridge, they were met by Alabama State Troopers who ordered the group to disperse immediately. When the protesters stopped to pray, the police fired tear gas into the crowd and horse-mounted troopers charged the demonstrators, beating them with nightsticks. Though John’s skull was fractured, he escaped across the bridge to Brown Chapel, a church in Selma that served as the movement’s headquarters. Every day for the remainder of his life, he was forced to look at the scars left on his head from that single Bloody Sunday.

All told, John was beaten unconscious four times and arrested at least forty times throughout the 1960s decade for his peaceful protests against segregation and systemic racism.

In the late 60s, John Lewis met Lillian Miles at a New Year’s Eve party and they were married in 1968. They had one son, John-Miles Lewis, and remained married until Lillian’s death on December 31, 2012, 45 years to the date of their meeting.

On December 29, 2019, John announced that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He said, “I have been in some kind of fight – for freedom, equality, basic human rights – for nearly my entire life. I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”  He valiantly fought the disease until July 17, 2020, when he died at the age of 80 in Atlanta, Georgia.  May we never forget him or his legacy.

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So what if the whole world knows I was hurt?  It wasn’t my fault!

Wednesday is the day YOU get to “Ask an Attorney.”  Just leave your question in the comments below, and if your question is selected, it will be answered on an upcoming Wednesday by one of our attorneys at Dean Burnetti Law.

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Beth P. from Brandon asks, “I got into a car accident last weekend and had a concussion and a broken thumb.  I had to spend the last four nights in the hospital.  This morning, I was released, and my boyfriend took a photo of me in the wheelchair holding the flowers he bought me because I wanted to post it to my Facebook.  The lady (not a nurse) who was wheeling me down to the car said if I was smart, I wouldn’t post anything about my accident.  She said her daughter just went through a similar situation and had major problems because of her social media accounts.  I don’t understand.  This accident was not my fault!  Who cares if I tell the whole world? Can social media really affect my personal injury legal claim?”

Hi, Beth.  I’m so sorry about your injury, but what a great question!  The short answer is yes, what you post on social media now can come back to haunt you during your personal injury claim. The defendant (the person you are claiming is responsible for your injuries) actually has the legal right to use tactics such as surveillance to help them prove and defend their case, and this includes using whatever you post on the internet against you.  I’ve actually witnessed several instances of offers being reduced or taken off the table because a personal injury client has posted something on their Facebook or blog which has incriminated them.  Remember, the internet is public, and it’s a wise policy to just to refrain from talking about your accident or injury in a public place.  Additionally, until your claim is resolved, you may want to think twice about posting photos or statuses of your daily activities.

Many people don’t realize that what’s posted on their social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok, or their blog can negatively affect their personal injury claim.  In fact, what you post on-line is not as private – or as innocent – as you may think.  For example, take a look at the following simulated scenario during a trial:

 DEFENSE ATTORNEY: “Ms. Smith, have your injuries have prevented you from participating in the types of activities you enjoyed before your accident?”

INJURY VICTIM: “Yes.  It hurts too much to do a lot of the things I used to do.”

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: “Such as…?”

INJURY VICTIM: “I used to go jogging every morning before work and play tennis every Thursday.  Now, I can’t even carry a bag of groceries from my car to my house without agonizing pain in my lower back.  I can’t sit on the ground and play with my kids.  I can’t even take the dog for a walk anymore, because he pulls at the leash.”

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: [produces photo] “Hmm… Can you tell me who this is accepting this runner’s medal for the Clearwater Annual Half-Marathon in this photo taken by your husband two months following your car accident?”

 INJURY VICTIM: “Hey!  Where’d that come from?”

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: [smiling] “Your husband’s Instagram page.  Is this you in the photo, ma’am?”

INJURY VICTIM: “Uh, yeah, but I only ran in that because I was already registered, and the registration fee was non-refundable, and…”

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: [produces second photo] “And who would this be sitting on the ground at this picnic sponsored by your husband’s employer?”

 INJURY VICTIM: [blushes] “What the—”

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: [smiling] “Your husband’s employer posted photos of the company picnic they sponsored just two months ago.  Is this you in the photo?”

INJURY VICTIM: [hangs head] “Yes.”

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: “Thank you, ma’am.  No further questions.”

So, you see, Beth, this is why it’s imperative to monitor everything about your online presence when you’re involved in a legal action. It might not even be you that posts something, but if your friends or family take photos that include you then post them, you better believe that the defense might be able to find them.

Best wishes!

~Dean Burnetti

   [If you have a question for one of our attorneys, please write it in the comments below, and be sure to check back soon for a response.]

    (The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.)

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You’ll Cry, You’ll Laugh…

It’s “Tuesday Newsday,” the day when Dean Burnetti Law brings you news of recalls, legal or political events, other important happenings, or just uplifting stories that make your heart smile…

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In our first story, grab the tissues, because you’ll be sure to need them…

Gabriel Hutto is a hardworking 13-year-old young man from Cleveland, Tennessee.  He mows yards and does other yard work to earn money.  He started with a used mower and has had to replace several mowers with those he found at yard sales and pawn shops when they broke down.

Finally, after moving seven yards in a single day, Gabriel felt he had earned enough money to purchase a new push mower.  So, he went to Lowe’s and browsed the lawnmower section.  That’s when he ran into Shannon Ingram, a Lowe’s employee.  The two chatted a while before Gabriel decided he’d need to earn a little more money.

But Shannon wasn’t having any of that.  She asked Gabriel to wait while she went and spoke to several Lowe’s employees who all pooled their money and bought the hardworking teen an upgraded lawnmower than what he would have been able to purchase.

“We couldn’t miss the chance to participate in his success, so we gave it to him,” Ingram said. “All I asked is for him to remember us and come work on our team when he’s old enough. What a great young man!”

After surprising Gabriel with the free mower, Shannon went on to put a call out to her social media friends and asked how they could donate to Gabriel’s business. With many pledges pouring in immediately, she set up a GoFundMe page for him which has raised more than $2,300 so far.

We say, what a great kid AND what fabulous generosity from Lowes and the Go-Fund Me donors!

Next up, there’s so much bad press lately about things that are wrong in the world, but this story’s sure to make you smile…

At a Gwinnett County, Georgia sheriff’s office, a deputy was fighting illness as he carried out his security procedures in the housing unit.  His peaked condition did not go unnoticed by inmates.  Although they were locked in their cells, they kept an eye on him as he returned to his seat at his desk.  Within moments, the deputy lost consciousness and fell onto the concrete floor, splitting his head open!

The inmates pounded on their housing unit doors and shouted the deputy’s name to try and wake him.

The deputy later said he didn’t realize he had fallen unconscious, but upon hearing the noise, he awoke and rose to his feet to open the cell doors, believing it was an inmate who needed his help.

Three inmates, Terry Loveless, Walter Whitehead, and Mitchell Smalls, rushed out of their cells to render aid to the deputy, who almost immediately lost consciousness again.  The inmates used the deputy’s desk phone and radio and called for help. Their efforts were successful, and help arrived within minutes.

“We’re happy to report that our deputy survived the harrowing incident and is recovering at home until he can return to duty,” the sheriff’s office said.

Inmate Terry Lovelace said, “We didn’t do anything for deputy Hobbs that he would not have did for us.”

Inmate Mitchell Smalls added, “I didn’t see him as an officer at that point. I just saw him as another human being going down and needing help.”

“We are deeply appreciative to these three inmates for the courage, determination and kindness they displayed when they came to the rescue of our deputy who recently suffered a medical emergency while supervising a jail housing unit,” the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

We say, these three heroes deserve to be applauded for their fast-thinking and kindness!

Finally, this last story is certain to bring a smile to your face…

For the last 24 years, this Vienna-based musical group has been showing that vegetables aren’t just good for your health—they’re good for your ears as well.

Prior to each of their performances, the members of the Vegetable Orchestra purchase fresh produce from a farmer’s market—all of which is later carved into instruments on stage for a live audience.  The Austrian musicians use everything from onion peels and carrots to pumpkins and bell peppers to perform their original songs.

And do you want to know the best part of the orchestra’s shows? After each of their performances, the musicians cook up all the spare parts from their carved veggie instruments into a healthy meal served to their audience.

Although the orchestra has been in quarantine since the start of the COVID-19 outbreaks, they recently reunited over Zoom to perform a new original song called “Green Days.”  Take a listen in the video below, and be prepared to giggle.

 

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God Knows Where You Are

It’s Monday. Welcome to a new week. Today is the day for “Monday Ministry.” Did you know that Attorney Dean Burnetti went to seminary before he was called to the legal field?  The following* is a devotion given to you by Dean…

Proverbs 5: 21 “For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes.”

where you are

It’s hard to fully appreciate that God is aware of each and every one of us, no matter when or what we are up to. But, sooner or later, each of us will  travel through difficult times.

When I am there, my worst tendency is to feel alone. That creates my worst feeling, despair.

Here the Bible tells us that as believers we are never alone. God is always aware of each turn we take. He is there within each conflict or obstacle we confront during the course of our day.

This is a simple promise. That God is always aware and that He always cares about you.
Today you may be confronting just that situation. The one that makes  you retract to hopelessness.

Today, there is a cure. Start by praising God. Take some time to thank Him that He is right there with you. That He is aware of what you are dealing with, right now. Then, seek comfort and allow God to intervene.

The problem with being in a sense of loneliness and hopelessness is that it places you in a position that will keep God out of your picture. Mainly because you build a shell around yourself.

You have to open and allow God to intervene not only in your situation but in your heart. Today, get past despair. Shake it off in praise. Embrace the promise and hold on to spiritual freedom and joy.

Stay healthy and have a blessed week!

~Dean Burnetti

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Be Safe!

Happy weekend, friends!  Remember, be safe.  Not just Coronavirus safe, but also Hurricane Isaias safe!  (She was upgraded from a Tropical Storm yesterday to a Hurricane a few hours ago.)

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PUNCHBUGGY!

Happy Throwback Thursday, friends!  On today’s date in 2003, the last of the original-style Volkswagen Beetles rolled off the assembly line in Puebla, Mexico.  Which brings us to today’s throwback…

Does everybody remember playing that game in the car when you were kids where you’d see a Volkswagen Beetle and cry “PUNCHBUGGY!” as you punched the person next to you in the arm?  Beetles have been an American icon since the 1960s, but how did they get here?  They’re German cars.  They have the engine in the back and the trunk in the front (which held an amazingly large amount of gear), they’re associated with the hippie movement of the 60s (as well as the other Volkswagen icon, the VW micro van), but what else do we really know about them?

It might surprise you to learn that The Beetle was actually commissioned in the 1930s by Adolf Hitler as the “people’s car” (German translation: “volks wagen”).  It might surprise you even more to learn that the car was designed by none other than Ferdinand Porsche (and, yes, he’s who you think he is!).  Hitler laid the cornerstone of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany in 1938. Civilian production was almost immediately stopped because of World War II, but some cars were built for military officers. Hitler was given the first convertible.

So, these cute little “bugs” (as they were eventually nicknamed) actually played a large part in the Nazi rise to power.  (If that blows your mind, then check this out:  Everyone know what an anti-Semitist American auto maker Henry Ford was and how big a fan of Adolph Hitler he was…  Well, how weird [sick!] is it that he actually had a framed photo of the German Führer on his desk… And here’s the really creepy part – He sent Hitler a framed photo of himself for Hitler’s desk!)  (Which Hitler did display in his office.)

Following World War II’s end, the Volkswagen factory was put under British control. By the end of 1946, more than 10,000 cars were manufactured and a decade later, a million had been sold.

In 1968, Disney released the first of six movies featuring “Herbie the Love Bug,” a cute ‘63 Beetle with a racing-style number 53 painted on the hood. (Forty years later, one of the cars used in 1977’s “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” and 1982’s “Herbie Goes Bananas” set the world’s record for the highest price paid for a Beetle at an auction, to the tune of $128,700!)

In 1971, Volkswagen introduced a premium model known as the Super Beetle. The car had a new front suspension and more trunk space under the hood. By February, 1972, Beetle No. 15,007,034 rolled off the assembly line, surpassing the record held by Ford’s Model-T which held for four decades as the best-selling car in the world.

Anyway, by the late 1970s, Beetles stopped production to make way for bigger and better road machines such as the Renault LeCar, the Ford Pinto, and the AMC Gremlin.

In 1994, Volkswagen unveiled a retro-themed concept car at a North American car show that resembled the original Beetle. So, in 1998, Volkswagen rolled out the “New Beetle” (which supposed to be a modern throwback, but actually just looked more like a rounder VW Golf).

Some changes were made to the 2012 model, but, of course, nothing could really replace the original. Still, over its 21-year resurrection, more than 17 million units were produced.

By mid-2019, Volkswagen officially pulled its iconic Beetle from the assembly line again, marking the second time in its 81-year history the beloved vehicle has been discontinued.

So, have people really slugged their last “punch buggy”?  As Hinrich J. Woebcken, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, said in his announcement, “There are no immediate plans to replace it. But . . . I would also say, ‘Never say never.’”

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Not as Easy as It Seems

Wednesday is the day YOU get to “Ask an Attorney.”  Just leave your question in the comments below, and if your question is selected, it will be answered on an upcoming Wednesday by one of our attorneys at Dean Burnetti Law.

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Marcie J. from Thonotosassa asks, “Last December, my two children were in the car with my husband’s parents when a drunk driver caused a semi-truck to veer lanes and the truck hit them head-on. My in-laws were hospitalized for nearly two months with various injuries.  My youngest daughter (9 years old) had to undergo emergency surgery for a lacerated liver and other internal injuries, and her face was cut up pretty badly, meaning she will need a series of cosmetic surgeries.  My other daughter (15 years old) lost three fingers in the accident, though two were able to be reattached.  She also suffered a brain injury and is still in physical therapy, trying to recover. Our family spent Christmas in the hospital, praying that everyone would survive.  Before the accident, my oldest was an honors student and hoped to become a pediatric oncologist.  After the accident, she had trouble feeding herself and speaking.  Now, she can feed and dress herself, speak, and is starting to master reading again, though it’s taking it’s toll on her, mentally.  Soon after the accident, my husband and I hired the same attorney his parents. (He plays golf with my father-in-law.)  At first, he really seemed interested in helping our daughters seek justice.  He even told us there was some comparable negligence on the part of the semi-truck driver (because his brakes were found to be defective), and that increased the amount of insurance my girls would have available to them.  Then the pandemic happened.  My oldest’s physical therapy was put on hold, and my youngest’s first cosmetic surgery was postponed.  The attorney’s office stayed open, but of course things didn’t move much back then.  However, when things started reopening, the attorney, who seemed so aggressive and eager to help us at first, kept making excuses of why nothing has happened.  He told us at first that the drunk driver portion of the case would be a quick settlement, but then he started saying he needed to get a legal guardian for my kids and making other excuses of why things were taking longer than he originally told us.  Now, no one in his office can even tell us what’s going on with our case, and they’re starting to just take messages when I call and not even let me speak to the paralegal, much less the attorney.  I hate to sound like a nag during a global crisis, but these medical bills are piling up, and neither the therapist nor the plastic surgeon will accept letters of protection.  Plus, my husband is the regional accounting supervisor of an international company, and we HAVE to keep our credit score in top shape or he runs the risk of losing his job, so we can’t afford to just wait on paying these bills until the case starts moving again.  Do you think we need to find a new attorney?  Is it normal to have to wait so long?  Should it take this long to get things settled when there was such a clear-cut case of negligence?”

Hi, Marcie.  I’m so sorry about your family’s injuries and about how you feel your case is progressing.  As a member of the Florida Bar, I cannot advise you to discharge your attorney or say anything that could influence you to fire your current attorney.  Let me ask, when you call your attorney’s office, do you ask to speak to him right then, or do you ask to make an appointment?  If you do not ask to make an appointment, are you asking for a telephone conference appointment or an in-person meeting? Do you ever leave a message and simply ask that he return your call?  It’s possible that your case is moving along on schedule, but you simply aren’t being kept in the loop with what’s happening behind the scenes.  When you initially met with your attorney, did he mention sending a demand letter or taking your case to litigation, and did he explain what these two stages entail? (As a clue, if your case happens to be in litigation, you can easily find out how it’s progressing by searching for your name in the County Clerk of Court’s Records Search, but that’s not to say that your lawyer shouldn’t have told you if your case was moving into the litigation phase.) I encourage you to make an appointment and speak with your lawyer to ask the status of your case.  If, after that, you are still unhappy, while again, I cannot advise you, I can just tell you that it is not impossible to discharge one attorney and hire another.  If this is the route you choose to take, your new attorney would not start to work on your case until your old attorney has been notified in writing that you are terminating his services.  Plus, depending on what your contract states, it’s likely that your old attorney will either need to be reimbursed for costs he incurred so far in your case, or, depending on how much work he has done, he may even place a lien against a portion of your proceeds.  As far as the steps your lawyer must take, it’s indeed true that (by law) he will need to seek a guardian ad litem to oversee your daughters’ settlement, and with the courthouse having been closed for so long due to the pandemic, this may have caused a significant delay.  As for the length of time it takes to settle an auto accident case, it is not uncommon for things to settle quickly, nor is it uncommon for similar cases to drag on for years.  There is no set limit on how long it takes to reach a settlement.  The only limit on auto accident cases is the 4-year statute of limitations that requires that if the case will be litigated, the complaint must be filed with the court before the 4 years have passed.  (Except if there will be litigation against your own insurance company for an Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist coverage claim, in which case the statute of limitations is 5 years.) In order to answer about a case similar to yours and how long things are taking, one would have to know the specific particulars about your case, and the only person that can fully answer this question is your attorney. When you meet with him, I encourage you to ask what insurance coverage is available, if the insurance company or companies involved are still in business, if all your medical records and bills have been obtained, if a demand package has been sent to the insurance companies, if the insurance companies responded to the demand package, and if so, what did they offer, and finally, if your case has moved to the litigation phase, and if so, has it yet been filed with the court. Finally, ask if it’s possible for your attorney to speak to the therapist and the plastic surgeon personally and revisit the possibility of them taking a letter of protection or making an exception in your case.  Have him explain your financial situation as well as the delays in legal proceedings brought about due to the pandemic.  Perhaps that will be enough to have them be able to bend a rule and allow your girls to continue with their scheduled treatment plans.  Good luck in finding the answers you deserve.

Best wishes with everything!

~Dean Burnetti

[If you have a question for one of our attorneys, please write it in the comments below, and be sure to check back soon for a response.]

(The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.)

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Check Your Neck

It’s “Tuesday Newsday,” the day when Dean Burnetti Law brings you news of recalls, legal or political events, other important happenings, or just uplifting stories that make your heart smile…

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Florida news reporter, Victoria Price, who works for WFLA-TV in Tampa, was “diagnosed” by a viewer who spotted a nearly invisible lump on Ms. Price’s neck during a television spot and just knew it was cancerous.

The 28-year-old reporter received the following email from a viewer on June 4:

“Hi, I just saw your news report. What concerned me is the lump on your neck. Please have your thyroid checked.  Reminds me of my neck. Mine turned out to be cancer. Take care of yourself.”

Victoria Price took the viewer’ advice—and is glad she did.  She learned that the barely perceptible lump was indeed thyroid cancer. Her doctor told her the tumor was spreading from the center of her neck and would need to be surgically removed, along with her thyroid and some lymph nodes.  She will undergo surgery this week.

“As a journalist, it’s been full throttle since the pandemic began. Never-ending shifts in a never-ending news cycle,” Victoria said. “We were covering the most important health story in a century, but my own health was the farthest thing from my mind. We’re hopeful this will be my first and last procedure.  Had I never received that email, I never would have called my doctor. The cancer would have continued to spread. It’s a scary and humbling thought.”

When she broke the news of her diagnosis, Victoria commented that thyroid cancer is far more common in women than men, adding that roughly 75% of all cases diagnosed in the US this year have been women.

The broadcaster quipped that the station’s motto, “8 On Your Side”, has become more than a catchphrase.  “I found a viewer on MY side, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I will forever be thankful to the woman who went out of her way to email me, a total stranger. She had zero obligation to, but she did anyway. Talk about being on your side, huh? The world is a tough place these days. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Take care of each other. [And] ladies…#CheckYourNeck!”

We wish Ms. Price the best with her surgery and recovery and hope she is al better soon!


By the way, this isn’t the first time that a watchful viewer has given helpful medical advice to a TV personality:

In 2018, former Liverpool defender and football pundit Mark Lawrenson thanked a doctor who gave him a cancer diagnosis after watching him on BBC One’s Football Focus.

In 2013, cable news host Tarek El Moussa was alerted to a lump on his neck by a nurse who had seen him on the home makeover show Flip or Flop.  He has since recovered from what turned out to be stage-2 thyroid cancer.

Australia’s Network Ten reporter Antoinette Lattouf received a letter from viewer Wendy McCoy last November saying she spotted a lump protruding from Lattouf’s neck.  Lattouf, who was unaware of the lump, got it checked and discovered she had a potentially deadly cyst on her throat.

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