Denver Personal Injury News

Denver Workers’ Compensation Attorney Explains How to Appeal A Denied Claim


December 13, 2017

Employees who are injured at work are typically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But according to Denver workers’ compensation attorney Mark A. Simon, being entitled to benefits does not mean you will automatically receive them after an injury. If your request for workers’ compensation is rejected, it’s important to appeal the decision. Here’s how:

Request A Settlement Conference

Most people attempt to settle their claims in a settlement conference before requesting a formal hearing. An administrative law judge (ALJ) presides over the settlement conference and helps both parties resolve issues in the case. The ALJ can also ask both parties to exchange information related to the case with each other, since sharing this information could lead to resolutions.

If the issue can be resolved in a settlement conference, there’s no need to move forward with the formal hearing. However, the hearing is still an option if you are unable to reach an agreement with the insurance company during the conference.

Request A Formal Hearing

To request a formal hearing, fill out the Application for Hearing paperwork and submit it to the Office of Administrative Courts. You will also need to send a copy of this paperwork to the insurance company that has denied your claim.

An ALJ also presides over this type of hearing, where both sides will be allowed to submit evidence supporting their case. After the judge hears both sides, the hearing will come to an end. The ALJ will then review the information that has been presented and release a written decision that outlines who the judge is siding with and why. This written decision will not be released on the day of the hearing, so you will have to wait to receive it in the mail to learn the outcome. See the Division of Workers’ Compensation employee’s guide for more information.

Next Steps

If you disagree with the judge’s ruling, you will need to file a Petition for Review within 20 days. Both parties will draft a brief that outlines why they agree or disagree with the judge’s decision. The ALJ that presided over the formal hearing will get a chance to review these briefs to determine if he would like to reverse his original ruling. If he does not wish to do so, the case will be sent to the Industrial Claim Appeals Panel, who will review the files and issue a decision within 60 days.

If you do not agree with the Panel’s decision, the next step in the process would be appealing to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Cases can also be appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court if the injured worker does not agree with the decision made in the Colorado Court of Appeals. However, workers’ compensation cases rarely make it this far through the appeals process since most can be resolved in the early stages.

If you are injured at work, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Mark A. Simon will aggressively fight to ensure that you are awarded the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Call us at 303-321-4878 or contact Mark A. Simon to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
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Common Driver Errors That Can Lead To An Auto Accident in Denver


December 6, 2017

Car accidents can be caused by malfunctioning brakes, road hazards, and other factors that are beyond a driver’s control. But, the truth is that the vast majority of car accidents are caused by driver errors. Here’s a look at some of the common driver errors that can lead to an auto accident in Denver:

Speeding

There’s a reason why roads have speed limits—to keep drivers safe. Drivers that choose to ignore these speed limits are putting everyone else on the road in harm’s way. Speeding is always dangerous, but it becomes even more risky when visibility is low due to bad weather or when the roads are poorly lit. By the time a speeding driver recognizes that he needs to apply the brakes, it’s usually too late to stop his vehicle from colliding into another car.

Failing to Use Lights

Drivers need to turn on their headlights once the sun has set so they are visible to other drivers on the road. They also need to use their turning signals every time they change lanes or make a turn so other drivers know to get out of their way. Finally, drivers have a responsibility to make sure their brake lights are not out so other drivers can tell when they are preparing to stop.

If a driver fails to use or maintain the lights on his vehicle, he could cause an accident. For example, let’s say the brake lights are out on the car in front of you. There’s no way for you to tell when the driver is hitting the brakes, which means it’s very likely that you could rear end his vehicle. Find out who is liable in a rear-end collision.

Taking Too Many Risks

No one wants to get stuck at a red light, but that doesn’t mean you should speed up to try to make it through a yellow light. There may not have been a car in your blind spot when you checked several minutes ago, but that doesn’t mean you should change lanes now without looking one more time. These are two examples of risks that many drivers decide to take, and unfortunately they often lead to serious car accidents. Driving is dangerous enough on its own, so drivers shouldn’t make it more dangerous by taking too many risks while behind the wheel.

Tailgating

It’s important to leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you on the road so you have time to brake in the event of an emergency. Sadly, many drivers do not understand the dangers of driving too closely to other vehicles. As a result, a great deal of car accidents are caused by tailgating.

If you are injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney. Mark A. Simon will immediately begin investigating to determine if the other driver was at fault for the accident. Then, he will aggressively fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call us at 303-321-4878 or contact Mark A. Simon to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
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Denver Personal Injury Attorney Explains the Different Types of Truck Accidents


November 29, 2017

Trucks play an important role in our economy, but they also pose a risk to other drivers on the road. According to Denver personal injury attorney Mark A. Simon, even a minor fender bender involving a truck could lead to serious or fatal injuries. To protect yourself, it’s important to learn about the different types of truck accidents that could occur on the road.

Jackknife

One of the most common types of truck accidents is the jackknife collision. This occurs when the driver of the truck slams on his brakes too quickly. Slamming on the brakes causes the truck’s trailer to turn outwards and create a 90-degree angle with the front cabin of the truck. When this happens, any vehicles that are next to the truck are in danger of being hit by the trailer, which can whip around in a matter of seconds. Learn more about a jackknife or brake accident.

Rollovers

There are several different ways that a rollover accident can occur. First, if the cargo is not loaded correctly on the back of the truck, the uneven weight distribution could cause the truck to roll over when the driver attempts to turn. A rollover accident can also be caused by worn down or defective tires that are unable to grip the road and keep the truck upright. Regardless of the cause, these accidents are very dangerous. Anyone who is driving alongside the truck only has a few moments to get out of the way before the trailer crashes on top of them.

Rear End

If a car rear ends another vehicle, it’s possible that both drivers will walk away with only minor injuries. However, this is not the case when a truck rear ends a car. Because of the difference in weight and size between the truck and the car, even a minor rear end accident could lead to serious injuries.

It can be difficult to prevent a rear end collision since you cannot control what the truck driver is doing. But, there is something you can do to protect yourself. If there is a truck driving behind you, make sure to leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the truck. If you cannot see the truck’s headlights in your rear view mirror, then you are too close to the truck. Either move to another lane or speed up to create more space.

Tire Blowout

A truck weighs tens of thousands of pounds, which is a lot for the tires to carry. If the tires are not properly maintained or if they are defective, they could blow out while the truck is in motion. This causes the driver to completely lose control of the truck, which puts everyone in grave danger.

If you are injured in a truck accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney. Mark A. Simon will immediately begin investigating the cause of the accident to determine who is liable for your injuries. Then, he will aggressively fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call us at 303-321-4878 or contact Mark A. Simon to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
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When to Send A Demand Letter After An Auto Accident in Denver


November 22, 2017

A demand letter is a written document that is sent to the at-fault party’s insurance company after an auto accident in Denver. The letter will include a brief summary of the accident, including what evidence you have that indicates the other driver was at fault, and a specific demand for compensation. Sending this letter will show the insurance company that you are serious about recovering compensation for your injuries. But, when should you send it? Here’s what you need to know:

Maximum Medical Improvement

It’s never a good idea to send a demand letter before you have reached maximum medical improvement, or MMI, in your case. Why? A victim reaches MMI when doctors do not believe that he will improve any further, even with additional treatment. Until a victim has reached MMI, it’s impossible to determine how his injuries will affect him in the future, and therefore impossible to accurately estimate the value of his claim. What is maximum medical improvement?

For example, if you sustained a back injury in a car accident, a doctor may recommend completing three months of physical therapy. Even if you still feel some lingering pain after three months of physical therapy, the doctor may say that you have reached MMI. Now that you know you will still experience some pain in the future, you will be able to accurately calculate the value of your claim. If you had sent a demand letter immediately after the injury, it’s possible that you would have underestimated the value of your claim and asked for too little from the insurance company.

Documentation

The insurance adjuster at the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster will not even begin to think about making an offer if he does not have your medical records and proof of expenses. Without this documentation, there’s no way for the insurance adjuster to determine if the amount you are asking for is fair or not. Therefore, it’s best to wait to send the demand letter until you have sent all of the documentation to the insurance adjuster.

Statute of Limitations

There is a three-year statute of limitations on car accident claims, meaning victims only have three years from the date of the accident to take legal action against the at-fault party. If you file outside of this three-year window, the court may immediately throw out your case. Be sure that the demand letter is sent to the insurance adjuster well before the three-year limit is up. Although it’s important to wait until you have sent documentation and reached MMI, it’s even more important to ensure you do not wait too long to send the demand letter.

If you are injured in an auto accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney. Mark A. Simon will draft a demand letter and send it to the at-fault party’s insurance company when the time is right. Then, he will aggressively fight for the compensation that you deserve. Call us at 303-321-4878 or contact Mark A. Simon to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
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Can You Afford to Hire A Denver Personal Injury Attorney?


November 15, 2017

People that have been injured in car crashes, slip and falls, and other accidents can recover compensation by filing a lawsuit against the person that has caused them harm. However, many victims fail to take legal action because they assume that they cannot afford to pay for a Denver personal injury attorney. Fortunately, that’s not the case.

An Introduction to Contingency Fees

When you hire a criminal defense, business, or family law attorney, you should expect to pay him either an hourly rate or flat fee. But, personal injury attorneys are different because they work on a contingency fee basis. How does it work? A personal injury attorney will not ask you to pay for his services upfront or charge you by the hour. Instead, lawyers that work on a contingency fee basis will take a portion of the compensation that you are awarded in a settlement or verdict. The amount that the personal injury attorney will take can vary slightly, but it is typically around one-third of the compensation. Learn more about paying for legal services when you need a lawyer.

But, what happens if the lawyer is not able to reach a settlement or win a verdict in your case? If the lawyer is not successful in his attempts to recover compensation for your injuries, you will not be expected to pay for his legal services.

Benefits of Contingency Fees

This type of arrangement ensures that anyone that has been injured can afford to hire a personal injury attorney to represent them. Because you will not be required to pay for the legal services unless you win, everyone can afford to work with a personal injury attorney.

That’s not the only benefit to hiring an attorney that works on a contingency fee basis. Lawyers know that they won’t make any money off of your case unless they are able to win. They’re also well aware that the more compensation they recover for you, the more they will pocket, too. This means that personal injury attorneys are highly motivated to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Because of this, you don’t have to worry about hiring an attorney that is not willing to put in the time that is needed to win your case.

Other Fees

During the course of your case, your attorney may incur several expenses as he gathers your medical records, hires expert witnesses, or pays standard court fees. Most personal injury attorneys will cover these costs upfront and then take what they are owed when you are awarded compensation for your injuries. Make sure that you go over this with your attorney during the consultation to ensure that you will not have to pay for any of these fees.

If you have been injured by the negligent acts of another person, don’t hesitate to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney. Mark A. Simon will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve. Call us at 303-321-4878 or contact Mark A. Simon to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
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