Denver Personal Injury News

Slander vs. Libel: Defamation Law Explained by Your Personal Injury Attorney in Denver


June 13, 2018

You may have heard of the terms slander and libel and knew they had something to do with spreading false information. But were you sure what the differences were? In the court of law these two terms, while similar, have two very specific meanings. There are also several other terms that fall under this branch of law known as “defamation law.” Learn more what each of these terms means and when you may need to contact your go-to personal injury attorney in Denver to see if you have a case.

Defamation Laws

While American citizens have freedom of speech, when a person makes untrue statements about another that are damaging to their reputation, defamation occurs. Defamation is known as a “tort,” which is a civil offense. It is a particular act done by a person that leads to harm, whether that be an injury or other negative effects that fall under the personal injury umbrella.

Tort laws are in place to help a person recover anything lost after harm is done, whether that be money, their reputation, or wellbeing. These actions can be both intentional or unintentional, covering issues such as negligence, wrongful death, or slander/libel.

When it comes to slander and libel as defamation laws, a person with a damaged reputation can work with their local attorney to sue the offending party for damages. Defamation protects those who have truly been damaged, but still keeps first amendment rights intact. Defamation laws vary state by state.As such, Colorado has their own specific slander and libel laws. While all laws may be similar, the fine details are laid out separately.

Colorado

For Colorado, defamation laws stem from the 1994 case Keohane v. Steward, 882 P. 2d 1293.  The case found that defamation is a type of untrue statement that causes a person to experience damage to their reputation or even physical injury. When it comes to the different types of defamation, the focus is slander and libel.

In order for a person to be tried for slander or libel in Colorado, either of these acts must have been done in a public manner by one person, hence causing harm to another person. For instance, just by having a conversation with another person, calling them names, or saying certain offending things to them, it may not result in a defamation case. More may need to occur.

Also, there does not need to be direct intent for a person to be accused of slander or libel. A person can unintentionally publish content or say something publicly, but if harm is caused, a case can be made.  

Slander: Spoken Defamation

The definition of slander is a type of defamation that occurs in spoken form. This means a person has made a false statement about a person that has been damaging to their character and reputation. This can occur as something said in a public speech or online videos such as an upload to YouTube or Facebook. The only time laws can chance to include true statements is when information is shared without permission. Slander can also be used if a person shares personal details about a person that are not meant for public knowledge.

Example: Todd is jealous of his coworker Jeff. Jeff recently received a promotion that the two were competing for. Todd’s anger gets the best of him and he begins to spread false rumors that Jeff paid their boss Kathleen to receive the raise and hints the two may have had an affair. Word begins to spread around their company and eventually outside of the company. This is a prestigious role and begins to become problematic in their community and to Todd’s significant other.

Libel: Written Defamation

A person has a libel defamation case when a false statement has been written about the person. This can happen in actual writing or online, such as a blog, post, comment, or more. In addition, libel can be via a communication with another person in writing. Libel can be used if a written statement is then spoken via a video, audio, or in-person format. In many situations, libel has tended to be more harmful than slander because it is in publication forever. However, with the rise of social media and video, slander can be just as negative—if not more in some scenarios.

Example: Jessica is angered at recent actions taken by a local representative, John, of her community. She decides to start chatter on her blog and social media that the representative used taxpayer money to fund a recent extravagant trip he and his family took to Hawaii. This statement is not true. The closer the town gets to the election, the more this rumor spreads. The town becomes angered and more rumors pile on. John loses the election.

When You Have a Case

There are a few bases of defamation law that a premier attorney will need in order for a case to be made. These include having some form of false, defaming statement that has been shared with the public. It must be proven that the person making the statement knew it was not true and could hurt the person’s reputation, or in the case of slander if personal information that was private was shared. It is best to talk through with your attorney to see if the statement falls in line with the law. Last, there must be a base and proof of how the statements damaged a person. Once a case has all these conditions, a case can be filed. This qualifies even if a person provides doubt something may be true but spreads the false statement anyway. So, the lesson to be learned: Don’t spread rumors. Even if you are passing on from someone else. You can ruin your own reputation whether you intend to harm another’s or not.

Are you wondering if you have a defamation case? Mark A. Simon will not only ensure you understand terms you know after a personal injury in Denver and help you explore your case. This top Denver attorney will provide you a quality experience to walk you through every step of your case to help you recover your reputation. Call 303-321-HURT for your free consultation.
Read More...

Know Your Rights for Workers’ Compensation in Denver


June 5, 2018

As an employee, it is important to know your rights. Many do not understand the ins and outs of workers’ compensation in Denver, making it difficult in the event of an accident. It is best to be informed by learning your local company policies. When you have serious you can utilize the services of a premier attorney. In addition, being prepared and knowing your rights in the matter is key.
 

Basics About Worker’s Compensation


Workers’ compensation is essentially insurance an employer has for their employees. In the event of an accident or illness, an employee can seek proper medical care. This care is provided by a designated provider by the employer’s plan. Not only do employees receive the medical care they need, but also funds to help them if they are unable to work for a period of time. This can be for both short- or long-term problems. However, there is a process where the workers’ compensation claim undergoes a review. In some cases, the claim may be partially handled. It can also be denied.
 

Laws in Colorado


Colorado established the Workers’ Compensation Act more than 100 years ago. According to the state’s statue, rules and guidance, the law says the Act will ensure an injured or sick worker will receive quick assistance and care—all at an affordable cost to the employer. So, who has to have workers’ compensation? State law mandates all private and public must have workers’ compensation insurance for both full- and part-time employees. While there are some exceptions, they say most must include it—and the cost must not come out of the paychecks of employees.  Each employer must choose a designated medical provider that employees must use. They also must inform an insurance company within 10 days of an employee’s accident. It is completed through the Employer’s First Report of Injury form which shares information about what happened with the insurer.
 

Worker Tasks and Responsibilities


By law, as an injured worker or one that sustains an illness must give a written report to their employer within four days. If you are injured to the point you are unable to complete the report, someone can do it on your behalf. In addition, your employer must submit that claim insurance. If you’re off the job for at least three days (or three shifts), insurance must review your claim within 20 days of the filing from your employer. Once approved, you will receive payments on a bi-weekly basis. If your employer does not complete and submit their report, or have workers’ compensation insurance, you can file a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, do not lose hope. The office of Mark A. Simon, attorney at law has you covered. As your top, go-to Denver workers’ compensation attorney, he has the knowledge and expertise to help you fight for your claim. Call today at 303-321-HURT to discuss your personal situation today. He will give you the quality attention you deserve to move through your case.

Read More...

Injured on the Job, Now What? - Denver Workers Compensation Attorney


May 30, 2018

No matter what industry you are in, workplace accidents can happen. In the event of becoming injured at work, it is imperative you know what your next steps should be. This will help you file a successful claim and focus on your recovery. There are many steps in the process the be aware of, making your top priority now to be informed. Use this step-by-step guide from your local Denver workers compensation attorney to lean every step of the process.

Be Proactive, Know Your Company’s Policies


Practicing safe work environment habits and procedures is best to ensure the safety of you and your fellow coworkers. Whether you work in an office or a warehouse, there are always steps you can take to promote a safe work environment. One of the ways you can be proactive now is to review your company’s safety protocol for your workplace. Second, and just as important, become extremely familiar with their workplace injury policy.

In the state of Colorado, by law, public and private employers must have workers’ compensation coverage. This is mandatory for both full-time and part-time employees. It is not a cost that is paid by you as an employee, but something the company takes on.

Additional to having workers’ compensation insurance, your employer must have the “Notice of Employer Injury” poster in the open for all employees to see in an open space. Make time in your day to find your company’s poster if you have not already done so and review it as soon as possible. This will help you become familiar with the process.

Employers with workers’ compensation insurance will have what is called “designated medical providers.” These are a list of doctors and specialists you can see based on your company’s workers’ compensation insurance. Keep the list of designated medical providers in a place easily accessible to you in the event of an injury. This will help you get to the right place as soon as possible. Can’t find your company’s designated medical providers? Ask! It is always best to be as informed as possible.

Immediately After Injury


Workplace injuries can end in a variety of situations. You could receive a minor injury that can be looked at after your shift ends or a more serious injury that requires immediate medical attention.

Upon experiencing an injury, do not see your own primary care physician first. You must go to a designated provider. Failure to do so could result in having to pay your own medical fees. You can always ask if your doctor is a designated provider, but do not make assumptions.  

Colorado law states any employee injured on the job must provide their employer a written report within four days. While you may need to leave immediately to a doctor, and speak with your supervisor to inform them, you must do more.

Within that four-day window, you must take time to document the incident in writing. This can be a simple write-up and needs to state your name, your recollection of the incident, how you became injured, and anything you are experiencing due to the accident/injury. Be completely honest and give an accurate representation of the situation to the best of your ability. Lying or exaggeration can lead to a denial of your claim.

Your Employer’s Responsibilities


In addition to the requirement to have workers’ compensation insurance, upon receiving your written accident report, your employer has next steps. Within 10 days, they must contact their workers’ compensation insurance. In this 10-day window, they must file an employer’s first report of injury form. This report takes your written statement of the accident to send over and kick off the workers’ compensation process.

Some of the information your employer will share on this form includes your personal identification information, wages, any benefits included (such as food or boarding), details about the accident, and more. They will also note if you went directly to see a doctor or if you had to visit an emergency room. Your employer will also need to keep the incident information for their files.

The Process of Reviewing Your Claim


Upon submitting the claim and first report of injury form, your company’s insurance company will review your claim. The insurance company must provide a response regarding your claim within 20 days. All details will be included such as acceptance or denial of the claim, as well as what your compensation benefits are. If accepted, your medical expenses will be paid.

If your claim has not been accepted, you have options. A Denver workers’ compensation attorney explains how to appeal a denied claim, which will walk you through the process.

Explanation of Wages


As an employee in the state of Colorado, you must use any sick time you have for the first three days after an injury. Once you have been out of work for three days, or 24 hours away from work, this is when benefits kick in. If you do not have sick time, any vacation or other time will be used.
From here, you may receive temporary or permanent partial disability.
 
  • Temporary Disability: This will begin once you have exceeded the three days of not being able to work. You will receive pay on a bi-weekly basis until you return to work. If you are completely unable to work, you will receive temporary total disability. If you are cleared for certain job duties but must work part-time or can only perform limited duties, you will receive temporary partial disability. These benefits will cease once you are cleared to return to work, if the designated provider concludes that you have received all services for your injury, you do not show for your scheduled appointments or more.
  • Permanent Partial Disability: If you sustain an injury that will impact your quality of life and ability to work permanently, you may be eligible for ongoing benefits due to that injury.

As you go through a workers’ compensation process, Mark A. Simon is a premier attorney at law that will help every step of the way. From denied claims to questions, he will ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to. As your go-to workers’ compensation expert, Mark A. Simon will help you know your rights as you work through the process. Call today for your consultation at 303-321-HURT.  
Read More...

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents in and Tips to Avoid Them from Your Denver Auto Accident Attorney


May 24, 2018

Accidents involving a motorcycle are one of the most dangerous types of accidents to become involved in and can often result in a fatality for the motorcyclist. For this reason, it is especially important to be aware of all of the ways in which a driver can avoid the possibility of an accident. This not only applies to drivers who are on the motorcycle, but also is relevant and important to know for those who are driving in a car or truck. Here are the common reasons why accidents involving a motorcycle occur and tips to prevent these incidents from occurring from your Denver auto accident attorney.

Cause #1: Road Hazards


Drivers of motorcycles are at a much greater risk for dealing with road hazards than those who are operating a car or truck. A pothole to a car can be an annoyance, and at worse can be damaging to the car, whereas a motorcyclist can easily crash due to hitting an unforeseen pothole if they aren’t mindful and cautious. Construction zones can also create similar dangers for those on a motorcycle, making it especially important for a person to be cautious when navigating through these parts of their drive.

Tip #1: Be alert of when navigating through treacherous territory

If you are driving through a part of the road that is bumpy, has construction work on it, or is in some way hazardous an obvious, yet helpful reminder is to remain alert while driving. Distracted driving is a major factor in accidents, and this fact is only heightened when you are driving through a stretch of the road that is in some way hazardous. Sometimes the simplest solution is often the most useful, and this certainly applies to driving through hazardous conditions.

Cause #2: Cars Making Left Turns

Perhaps the most dangerous situation for a motorcyclist is the scenario in which cars are making left-hand turns. Approximately 42% of all motorcycle accidents are that also involve another vehicle are the result of left-hand turns. The situation plays out in a variety of ways, either where a car that is making a left-hand turn strikes the motorcyclist when the motorcycle is heading straight through an intersection or is attempting to pass/overtake the car. Because a motorcycle is smaller, and thus is much more difficult to be aware of, it is easy for a driver to not see it and collide with the driver as a result.

Tip #2: Drive Defensively

As a motorcyclist, it is important to keep in mind that many other drivers are not going to be able to see you as you are on the road. In situations where you are needing to pass or overtake a vehicle, you should take every precaution and prepare for the worst; that being that the other driver will not see you as you pass them. One of the most basic tenants of driver safety is to drive defensively, meaning you prepare for the other driver to be negligent or unsafe, leaving your better prepared for the possibility that they will do something unsafe. Driving a motorcycle presents a number of additional safety risks to the driver, making this rule that much more important and essential to abide by.

Cause #3: Lane Splitting

Lane splitting occurs when a motorcyclist drives in between lanes as a way to drive faster through stopped traffic. In states such as California, this tactic is allowed under the law and is a common sight on roadways as a result. This practice is a risky act for the motorcyclist, as the margin for error is reduced, while at the same time the inherent risk is dramatically increased as there is significantly less space between your vehicle and another’s.
Accidents resulting from lane splitting occur due to a number of factors. The amount of space that a motorcyclist has to maneuver between vehicles is significantly reduced, diminishing the ability of a driver to safely make their way through traffic. For drivers of the cars next to the motorcycle, this practice can make it difficult to anticipate or predict when a motorcycle will be driving next to them. If traffic begins to move again, this can create a very dangerous situation for the motorcyclist.

Tip #3: Avoid the Urge to Lane Split, But Practice Safe Habits if You Decide To

As a driver of a smaller vehicle that has the ability to navigate through stopped traffic, it can be very tempting as a driver of a motorcycle to split lanes whenever traffic is bad. But this practice also comes with risks that can include serious injury and death if the driver is involved in an accident. While lane splitting may shorten the amount of time the driver is in traffic, it may also shorten that driver’s lifespan if they get into a crash.

If you decide to practice lane-splitting as a motorcyclist, practice safe habits to reduce the possibility of getting involved in an accident. Don’t drive excessively fast through traffic, as this will allow you more time to react in the event that another driver decides to abruptly change lanes. It’s also a good idea to avoid splitting lanes near on-ramps and exits, as this is often where other vehicles are going to change lanes. It’s also advisable to not split lanes when traffic is moving above 30 mph, as this will increase the chances of a collision.

It is important to do everything you possibly can to avoid an accident, but sometimes things happen that are out of your control. In these cases, you will want someone to advocate for you every step of the workers’ compensation process. Because of this, it is important to seek out the services of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney that will fight for your rights every step of the way. Mark Simon is someone who will fight tirelessly for your rights and ensure that you receive the highest possible settlement. He will begin the investigation process immediately, ensuring you receive the best representation possible. Contact him at 303-321-4878 to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
Read More...

Safety Tips to Avoid Workplace Injuries From Your Denver Workers' Compensation Attorney


May 16, 2018

Getting injured in the workplace is never something that a person wants to happen. Not only is the possibility of this event permanently altering a person’s long-term health a daunting prospect, but it also has the ability to severely impact a person’s ability to continue working and earning the money they need to support themselves and their family. If at all possible, a person should do whatever they can to avoid this event from taking place, as it will negatively impact their livelihood in many facets. As a result, here are a number of strategies a person can implement in order to avoid workplace injuries from occurring from your local Denver workers’ compensation attorney. 
 

Immediately and Consistently Reduce Wetness in Slippery Areas

 
One of the most common workplace injuries that take place are slips and falls. According to OSHA, slips and falls account for approximately 15% of all workplace deaths that occur while on the job and are extremely costly to employers and employees as a result. This fact should stress upon individuals and employers the importance of reducing dangerous and slippery conditions whenever possible. If you are in a workplace that commonly includes slippery and wet surfaces, implement a policy of consistently wiping down and drying surfaces to reduce the likelihood that you or your coworkers will become injured on the job.
 
If someone spills something on the ground, immediately clean it up. Even if you spot a spill that you didn’t help to create, find a towel, rag, or mop and eliminate the slippery surface as soon as possible. Creating a workplace environment where everyone looks out for everyone else will help to reduce the potential for workplace slips and falls. While this area is still slightly wet or slippery, place warning signs in the general vicinity to reduce the potential for someone to become injured from this environment. 
 
If at all possible, it is also a good idea to include strategically placed mats and platforms throughout your workplace as a way to reduce the effects of moisture. If slips and falls are an especially common occurrence in your workplace, having employees wear protective waterproof footwear can be another additional step to take to reduce the potential for slips and falls.
 

Report All Unsafe Working Conditions Immediately

 
It is common for individuals to see something that is out of the normal or unsafe and look past it, as it is not their responsibility or job description. This aspect of human behavior can become a serious liability, one that increases the potential for workplace injuries to occur. Creating and fostering a workplace environment that encourages employees to report unsafe working conditions will dramatically reduce the likelihood that someone will become injured as a result of these factors. 
 
Encouraging employees to consistently clean up after themselves, whether it is a spill or excessive debris in an area, will improve the overall safety conditions for the workplace. Having regular safety meetings to stress these elements will also help you and your employees consistently keep the workplace safe. Constant reminders are sometimes necessary in order to drill in the idea that workplace safety is something everyone should place a high amount of value upon. 
 
In addition to having employees report unsafe working conditions, it is incumbent upon supervisors and people in a position of power to hold themselves accountable and to be responsive to requests to improve the overall safety of the workplace. It is a good thing to keep in mind that while this can sometimes include an additional upfront cost, in the long run it will go a long way towards dramatically reducing workplace injuries, and as a result, reduce lost workplace productivity that results from an injured workforce.
 

Provide Proper Lighting Within the Workplace

 
Improper or inadequate lighting within the workplace is another common element that can lead to workplace injuries. A poorly lit workplace environment is likely to lead to trips and falls, as employees will not be able to adequately see all obstacles within their line of sight when the lighting is poor. As a result, you can certainly expect a poorly lit workplace to have a plethora of workplace injuries, which is definitely not the desired outcome for any employer.
 
In regards to workplace injuries, slips and falls are second only to vehicle-related accidents as a cause of workplace fatalities, which further stresses the importance of having your workplace properly lit. Common areas where your workplace is likely to be poorly lit include stairways, parking lots, and warehouses. Consistently work with your facility manager to ensure that all elements of the workplace environment are properly lit.
 

Immediately Address Environmental Risks

 
A very common safety risk can be weather-related environmental hazards. In the winter time, the likelihood that workplace slips and falls will occur increases dramatically, as the presence of snow and ice can lead to unsafe walking conditions. If it is snowing outside, immediately have your walkways and parking lots cleared as soon as possible to reduce the possibility that one of your employees will slip and injure themselves as a result of this factor. 
 
If possible, have someone in your workforce assigned to this task, assuming you aren’t hiring this responsibility out to a third party. Even if you do have a snow removal service, they often aren’t as responsive as you need them to be, meaning you may want to assign the task regardless of this fact.
 
 
It is important to do everything you possibly can to avoid an accident, but sometimes things happen that are out of your control. In these cases, you will want someone to advocate for you every step of the workers’ compensation process. Because of this, it is important to seek out the services of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney that will fight for your rights every step of the way. Mark Simon is someone who will fight tirelessly for your rights and ensure that you receive the highest possible settlement. He will begin the investigation process immediately, ensuring you receive the best representation possible. Contact him at 303-321-4878 to discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
Read More...