With graduations and Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, it’s safe to say we’re approaching one of the most celebratory weekends of the year. I know it will be for me, as my eldest son, John Bozell, will be graduating from the Christian Academy of Louisville. He’ll be enlisting the Kentucky Air National Guard Reserves and heading of to UK in the fall to double major in computer science and computer engineering. Needles to say, I’m one proud and excited mom.
My Favorite Member of the Class of 2018
For graduates, there’s no more momentous occasion than donning their cap and gown and beginning the next chapter of their lives. At ceremonies across the area, speakers will tell graduates one well-worn piece of sage advice: You have your entire life ahead of you. It might be a cliche, but it’s true, which is why it’s so important that you stay safe while enjoying the parties and festivities.
Even if you don’t have a loved one walking across the stage this year, I’m betting that you’re gearing up for a weekend of fun and Monday off from work. And why shouldn’t you be? Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer and a great time to kick back, fire up the grill, and enjoy time with friends. No matter what you’re commemorating this weekend, however, it’s important to make sure that you don’t put good times ahead of smart decision making and lawful behavior. Here are a few of my tips to stay safe and smiling all weekend long.
Have a Plan
Graduation weekend often involves hopping from one party to the next to make sure your student can see all of their friends. If you’ll be attending multiple parties, it’s a great idea to assign a designated driver. When you have to wonder if you’re okay to drive, you’re not okay to drive. Pro tip: attend the parties you’re least likely to stay at for a long time first. A quick “hello” and “congratulations” doesn’t require hanging out for hours.
Stay Hydrated and Nourished
It will likely be mighty hot this weekend, so eating food and drinking water will go a long way in keeping you alert and focused. The more water you intake, the better. But don’t think that hydrating will make you less intoxicated, because it won’t. Spacing out drinks between water, on the other hand, helps you from drinking too much too quickly. Plus, who doesn’t love some Memorial Day barbecue or a graduation party spread?
Call a Ride
Look, I can’t state this plainly enough: If you’ve had anything to drink, don’t get behind the wheel. I totally understand that you may intend not to drink only to end up taking part in a Champagne toast. If that happens, call an Uber, Lyft, or taxi. There’s no shame in it, and I promise you won’t regret it. I can’t say the same for driving drunk.
Watch Out For Revellers
There will be lots of folks downtown partying, so you need to stay extra vigilant on busy roads. You should never assume you know how a pedestrian will behave, and that’s doubly true for this weekend. Take it slow and keep your eyes peeled. Better yet, avoid busy roads altogether if you can help it.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend with plenty of smiles and zero hiccups. That said, if you are injured in a car accident this Memorial Day (or any other time of the year), call Emery Law Office at 502-771-1LAW (1529) and ask how we can help.
Congratulations Class of 2018! And Congratulations John!
Ten years ago, an incident in Louisville sparked a national conversation about the animosity between cyclists and drivers on the roads of city streets. It was even featured in The New York Times. Dan Cooley, the bicyclist at the center story, perfectly summed up the problems facing cyclists and drivers on the streets of our city. “No one knows how to share the road,” he said.
We’ve come a long way in a decade, but Louisville is still a place where car culture reigns supreme. Creating an environment that accommodates more modes of transportation, however, benefits cyclists and drivers alike. There’s no denying that cars and drivers can do a lot more damage to bicycles and riders than vice versa, but both parties have a responsibility to act safely and in accordance with the law. Simply making the effort to behave politely can help build great relationships between the folks on four wheels and those on two.
Although Kentucky is known for crazy-complex laws—just ask me about them sometime—our bike laws are pretty straightforward. Riders need to make themselves visible with lights and noises. They can’t use a bike to transport more people than the vehicle intends, so unless you have a tandem bike, your ride should be a solo experience. And like all travellers, cyclists need to follow the rules of the road. Bicycles should always travel in the same direction as car traffic, use bike lanes when available, and never ride on the sidewalk. Conversely, pedestrians should always walk against traffic when they must use a road.
The Louisville Metro Police Department has created a handy set of safety tips for bicyclists. The majority of these fall under the category of common sense, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to give yourself a little refresher. Sadly, we don’t have all that many dedicated bike lanes and pathways, so almost any commute will require sharing the road with vehicles. If you ask me, the best advice is simple: Follow the law and don’t be a jerk.
The same goes for drivers. Four wheels and an engine don’t entitle you to free reign on the roads. In fact, as a driver, you have a duty to make the road safe for cyclists and pedestrians. The old saying goes that with great power, comes great responsibility. We may not realize it because they are an integral part of our daily life, but cars are powerful (and potentially dangerous) in the extreme. Don’t forget that when you are behind the wheel.
Drivers and cyclists need to work together to make Louisville a place where everyone feels safe and comfortable on the roads. Neither party should have a holier-than-thou attitude based on contempt for their counterparts. The number of bicycles are growing and cars aren’t going anywhere. Isn’t it much better to create an atmosphere of collaboration rather than one of confrontation?
No matter how much our culture of sharing the road improves, it’s impossible to avoid all accidents. If you’re injured in a car accident—whether you’re on four wheels, two, or none at all—call Emery Law Office at 502-771-1LAW (1529) to find out how we can help.
The busiest week of the Louisville calendar has arrived. The Kentucky Derby may be the reason for all this excitement, but there’s so much fun to be had in the days leading up “The Run for the Roses.” Here are my five favorite ways to make the most of Derby Week, along with one piece of advice everyone should take while they’re enjoying the festivities.
#1: Shop for a Derby Hat
The Derby’s most iconic fashion items are the extravagant hats you’ll find on race-goers both male and female. The origin of these hats is the result of a strict dress code from decades past. These days, they’re just for having little fun and expressing your personality. You don’t need to shell out a lot of money on a hat–heck, you don’t even have to buy one at all–but you should definitely check out some of the area’s local hat shops.
#2: Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum
As the longest running event in American sports, it goes without saying that the Derby is packed with history. The best place to take it all in is the Kentucky Derby Museum, which features one-of-a-kind artefacts, interactive exhibits, and games for the little ones. Because it’s open seven days, it’s the perfect way to fill some empty space in your Derby Week schedule.
#3: Enjoy Food and Music at Fest-a-Ville
Unfortunately, it’s probably too late to score a ticket to the exclusive Taste of Derby food event, but there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy Louisville’s culinary scene during Derby Week. The most fun is heading to Fest-a-Ville, which features the Chuck Wagon food stalls. Fest-a-Ville also includes live music, games, and fun for the whole family. The price of admission is only a Pegasus Pin, which costs a whopping $6.
#4: Place a Small Bet on the Race
It would take a ton of research to understand all the different ways to bet on the Derby. That said, you don’t need to be an expert to put $2 on your favorite horse, or pick three to win, place, and show. If you’re not going to Churchill Downs, you can also do a small, low-stakes pool with the friends you’re watching the race with. Put the name of each horse in a hat and have everyone pick one. You could also hold an office pool with your coworkers.
#5: Explore the City
Louisville is an amazing city, and Derby Week adds an extra sense of electricity. Take some time to walk around, talk to people, and enjoy the atmosphere. You’ll end up discovering something cool to do.
While you’re enjoying Derby Week, there’s one thing you absolutely should not to do.
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
Enjoying some mint juleps is a Derby tradition. If you end up sipping these iconic cocktails, however, you should never get behind the wheel. Call an Uber of Lyft, or have a designated driver. There’s too much at risk to drive after even one drink.
If you are injured in an auto accident, call Emery Law Office at (502) 771-1LAW (1529) to find out how we can help.
A Sparkling Start to Derby Season
Today, everyone recognizes Thunder Over Louisville as the official start of the Kentucky Derby Festival. It’s grown to become the largest annual fireworks display in North America. That may sound hard to believe, given the Fourth of July fireworks displays all across the nation, but it’s the truth. I’m sure you’ve experienced the wondrous sights of Thunder Over Louisville before, but you may not know its interesting history. This year’s display is on April 21, so now’s the perfect time to learn a little more about the event.
The Kentucky Derby itself has been held every year since 1875, making it the longest continuously held sporting event in the country. As with all major sporting spectacles—the Super Bowl, March Madness, etc.—a slew of supporting celebrations have grown around the race itself. After false starts to officially organize a series of events surrounding the Derby in the 1930s, the Kentucky Derby Festival became an annual occurrence in 1956. The Festival, which occurs over the two weeks leading up to the Derby, draws more visitors to Kentucky than any other event.
The first official Kentucky Derby Festival event was the Pegasus Parade. Other attractions were added over the years, with Thunder Over Louisville making its debut in 1989. Envisioned as the Festival’s equivalent of an Olympic Opening Ceremony, Thunder Over Louisville had a modest first year. Held during the day, the attendance was around 10,000 people and the fireworks display was limited. Since then, it’s safe to say the event has exploded in both scale and popularity. Thunder Over Louisville now regularly draws over half-a-million visitors and sets off over 60,000 fireworks.
After being moved to the evening, which only makes sense for a fireworks display, the event began to take off. In 1992, an airshow was added to the Thunder Over Louisville program. Two years later, the organizers decided to adopt a yearly theme for the program. We’ve had “Thunder Road,” “A Broadway Thunder,” and many more. This year, the theme is “A Disco Thunder,” which promises plenty of neon lights and hopefully some grooving tunes as well.
Thunder Over Louisville marks the beginning of the most electric two weeks of the calendar. Whether you’re attending the event on the banks of the river, enjoying the display from a rooftop “Thunder party,” or simply watching on TV at home, I hope you have the chance to take in this one-of-a-kind experience. As Chic sang in their famous disco anthem, “Leave your cares behind / These are the good times.”
At Emery Law Office, we love getting exciting for local events like the Kentucky Derby Festival. We’re proud members of the community, and are honored to serve the great people of Louisville and beyond. If you’re ever injured in an auto accident, we hope you’ll choose the local, personal representation offered by Emery Law Office. You can always give us a call at
(502) 771-1LAW (1529) to learn more about us.
Happy Derby season!
Don’t Skip These 7 Crucial StepS
Being in a car accident is nobody’s idea of a good time. It can be extremely stressful, to the point that 9 percent of people in serious accidents develop PTSD. The mental strain of being in an accident can cause those involved to make short-sighted decisions that could end up costing them money and peace of mind. Don’t fall victim to this trap. In you’re involved in an accident, no matter how severe, follow these steps to ensure you preserve relevant information and keep yourself safe.
#1: Stop and Get to Safety
You should never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a mild fender bender. Hit-and-run is a serious crime. You shouldn’t move your car at all from the location of the accident, as it will disrupt the scene and make it difficult to accurately record what happened.
#2: Alert Other Drivers
Turn on your flashers and make clear to those driving by that you’ve been in an accident. Don’t stand on the side of your car that’s nearest to traffic. If your accident occurs at night and you have a flashlight in your car (which you should), turn it on and keep it in your hand.
#3: Call the Police and Get a Report
You might not think your accident requires the police, but you should call them regardless. Raised adrenaline can mask injuries until hours after an accident. You don’t want to risk not having a police report in the event you are hurting a day later.
When the police arrive, document everything you can about your accident. Don’t speculate about anything. Rely on the facts and make accurate statements to the officer. If you’re asked about your injuries, it’s important to say “I’m not sure,” rather than “I’m not injured.”
#4: Exchange Information and Amass Evidence
Don’t forget to exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved. If it comes time to make a claim, you’ll need to speak with both your insurance provider and theirs. Not having their information can hold up the process significantly. You should also take pictures of the scene and document every detail you can.
#5: Seek Medical Attention
As mentioned above, you may not know the extent of your injuries after an accident. A doctor can give you a thorough examination and address any concerns. Not only will this help you feel better, it will also strengthen the evidence surround your claim.
#6: If You Think You Need an Attorney, Call or Text Emery Law Office at (502) 771-1LAW (1528) BEFORE You Submit a Report to Your Insurance Company
You shouldn’t make a statement to an insurance company without an attorney present. What may seem like an innocent conversation could end up harming your claim. I’ve seen cases where a statement made over 6 months prior is brought up by an adjuster. Without an attorney to verify what was or wasn’t discussed, there’s no way to dispute the adjuster’s perspective. If you think there’s any chance you’ll have to hire an attorney, do it before you reach out to any insurance reps. You can follow the hard-and-fast advice in this music video and heed these attorneys’ request to “please shut up.”
If you want to make sure you have all of this information in your glove box, stop by Emery Law Office to pick up a free insurance document holder that will guide you through to what to do in the event of an accident.
Does Your Coverage Have Cobwebs?
When you make your spring cleaning checklist, you probably prioritize those old boxes in the garage or the dust on your ceiling fan. You might not think that your auto insurance policy requires any upkeep, but you’d be surprised to learn that there could be holes in your coverage that you aren’t aware of. To make sure your policy does what it should, Emery Law Offices offers a FREE review of your coverage.
The gaps in your coverage aren’t your fault. Our current insurance system is insanely complicated. I wish that weren’t the case, but pretending insurance is easy only makes the problem worse. The same way you might not know about a leak until it causes serious damage to your home, you may think your policy is rock solid until your in an accident. Nobody deserves to experience that fate. The best way to avoid it is to analyze your coverage in detail.
Think of our review as a thorough spring cleaning of your auto insurance policy. As we discuss your policy, we’ll focus on both the areas where coverage is patchy and the areas where you may be overpaying. On area of particular concern are the uninsured motorist (UM) and underinsured motorist (UIM) portions of your policy. In Kentucky, UM coverage is standard on every policy, but far too many people unknowingly waive that coverage.
UM and UIM clauses help cover the costs incurred when you are injured in an accident and the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance of their own. UM covers bodily injury (not property damage) when you’re injured by an uninsured, at-fault driver. UIM, on the other hand, kicks in when the driver was insured, but their policy cannot sufficiently cover the costs of your bodily injury. When either of these coverages are used, your insurance company retains the right to go after that at-fault person to get their money back. We all know that you can't squeeze blood from a turnip, but the insurance company can go after that turnip with more resources (and likely lower cost) than the insured driver (you) ever could.
Without these policies, you could end up paying out-of-pocket costs even though you weren’t liable for an accident. Do I think that’s fair? Not at all. But it’s the reality of the situation, and you should be aware of it.
Taking some time to understand the types of coverage within an auto insurance policy will help you identify potential areas for concern. However, as I said early, this stuff is purposefully convoluted. The best way to level the playing field is to have an attorney with experience look over your policy. I’ve seen first hand what can happen when you’re injured in an accident without various coverages in place.
Why would you want me, an attorney, to do this inspection rather than an insurance rep? Because I don’t sell insurance! I have nothing to gain from telling you that you need more (or less) coverage. I just want you to have the policy that makes the most sense for you. At the whopping cost of $0, you have nothing to lose. Try to find somebody who will clean your attic for that price!
Call Emery Law Offices today to schedule your free policy review. It’s spring cleaning that will benefit you for years to come! It only takes 30 minutes and is entirely free of charge. So what are you waiting for? Call us today.
The FIrst Four Questions You Should Ask a Potential Attorney
With March Madness tipping off, you’re probably thinking about the Final Four. While I hope your bracket turns out great and your team makes a deep run, today I want to talk about a different four: the first four questions you should ask an attorney.
After an auto accident, you have a lot of things running through your head. It can seem like choosing the first attorney you hear about is the easiest option. In fact, it might be, but the easiest option is very rarely the best one. Now, I’m not saying you have to choose me, but I do want you to make the effort to ensure you have the right person for your case.
When you first meet an attorney they are probably going to ask you a lot of questions. That’s a good sign. Just as important, though, are the question you ask them. Remember that you’re about to hire somebody to handle something very important. Take the time to ensure that you’re making a wise decision. Every case is different, but there are a few pointed questions that can tell you a lot about the person who will represent you.
#1: Do you have experience with my type of case?
It might seem like any auto accident lawyer would be capable of handling your case. The truth is that accident law is extremely complicated. You want to work with somebody who has experience with cases similar to yours. This question is especially crucial when you’ve been involved in an accident with major injuries.
#2: Who will be handling my case?
Far too many attorneys handle the initial consultation and then pass off the rest of the work to their support staff. A team approach can be great, but you want the person you’re speaking to taking the lead on your case. Any attorney that can’t answer this question with “me” is probably pumping out a huge volume of cases with the help an army of underlings.
#3: How long will my case take?
There’s no right answer to this question, but there is a wrong one. Anybody who tells you that they’ll have a settlement ready in no time is not working as hard as they should to get you the best result. If you think interfacing with communicating with multiple insurance representatives and the at-fault party can be resolved overnight, think again.
#4: What do you want to know about me?
This classic job interview question is actually quite telling. If your attorney doesn’t want to know about you as a person, that should raise alarm bells in your head. Cases aren’t just about numbers; they are about people. In this case, that person is you.
Take the time to vet your attorney before you settle for less than you deserve. It will make a world of difference.