Mark A. Simon - Past Case Summaries

How to Avoid Accidents with Emergency Vehicles in Denver


March 20, 2019

Commuters, professionals and small business owners from across Denver and surround know that the emergency vehicles utilized by our local police, fire department and ambulance services are on the road for one reason: to protect and serve the public at large. Whether it’s responding to crimes, accidents or emergencies, our first responders help keep us safe 365-days a year. Yet despite their best intentions, emergency response vehicles are involved in hundreds of accidents all over the country each calendar year. Crashes and accidents involving emergency response vehicles are a serious problem across the United States, all-too-often resulting in injury and death to emergency responders, other drivers and pedestrians alike. Understanding the underlying causes of these crashes is critical for establishing effective strategies for reducing the occurrence of similar incidents —and helping you take measure to avoid them, whether you’re traveling across one of Colorado’s picturesque highways or simply traveling in your own neighborhood. 

Emergency response vehicles are often more likely to get into accidents every year, particularly given the fact that they need to travel at have to travel at high speeds to reach emergencies. It is estimated that emergency vehicle accidents in the United States costs $35 billion annually, and the statistics regarding accidents and emergency vehicles might surprise you. But by following these tips, you can stay safe on Denver’s roadways while giving first responders ample time and space to do their jobs of protecting the public at large safely and effectively. 

National estimates say that over ambulances are involved in over 6,500 accidents each year —a third of which involve an injury or fatality. Over 63% of people killed in accidents with ambulances are passengers in another vehicle. Similarly, police vehicle pursuits result in over 300 fatalities on U.S. roads each calendar year. Estimates indicate that over 30% of these fatalities occurs to people who are not involved in the chase. Given the hazards inherent in most police chases, police officers are in involved in nearly double the rate of motor vehicle crashes versus the general public. If you’re on the road and see an emergency vehicle engaging or taking action on the road, following some simple steps can go a long way in keeping you out of harm's way —protecting you, the emergency response vehicle, and you fellow drivers. 

Sirens Approaching From Behind

All drivers know to pull over to the right hand side of the road when you hear a siren approaching from behind. However, it's important to remember not to be hasty. While our knee-jerk reaction may be to turn to the right as quickly as possible, make sure you're careful there are no other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists or cyclists in or around the breakdown lane or sidewalk. Also, keep your blinker or hazards lights on until all emergency vehicles have passed and you're sure it's safe to return to the flow of traffic. 

Sirens Approaching From Up Ahead

When you hear emergency vehicle sirens approaching from ahead, take the same diligence when pulling over to the right. If you are heading in one direction with the lanes separated by barriers, the chances of an emergency vehicle traveling against traffic is rare, but not impossible. Pulling fully into the breakdown lane (when possible) frees your lane for the emergency responders to pass through if they are traveling against the grain. 

Sirens Approaching as a Pedestrian or Bicyclist

Pedestrians and bicyclists also need to exercise caution when they are alerted by sirens on the road. Never operate a bicycle while listening to audio entertainment —particularly in heavily trafficked areas. Pedestrians should also remove any headphones prior to crossing heavily trafficked intersections and multi-lane roads —what you can’t hear might hurt you. In addition, both bicyclists and pedestrians need to utilize proper crossing areas such as crosswalks when navigating traffic. Failure to do so isn’t just a violation of the law, but could also jeopardize your safety. 

Colorado's Move Over Law

All drivers in Colorado should familiarize themselves with the state's "Move Over" laws —a set of rules and restrictions that delicate the proper approach drivers should take when they approach an emergency vehicle. Colorado Law 42-4-705 states: "On a highway with at least two adjacent lanes proceeding in the same direction on the same side of the highway where a stationary authorized emergency vehicle or stationary towing carrier vehicle is located, the driver of an approaching or passing vehicle shall proceed with due care and caution and yield the right-of-way by moving into a lane at least one moving lane apart from the stationary authorized emergency vehicle or stationary towing carrier vehicle." That's a long way of saying give emergency responders as much room as possible when the situation allows.

First Responders are Trained to Drive Safe

Rest assured, all emergency response vehicle operators receive training on how to navigate the roads properly. Emergency Vehicle Operator Courses (EVOC), are designed to educate first responders in identifying strategies and techniques that can be utilized during emergency vehicle operations. Throughout EVOC training, fireman, ambulance drivers and policeman are trained in the many dynamic forces of nature and physics, which will work both for and against the safe operation of emergency vehicles.


Injured in a Car Accident in Denver? Contact Mark A. Simon Today

If you’ve been injured in an accident with an emergency vehicle while following the rules of the road, the experienced and professional team here at Mark A. Simon are here to help. We have decades of experience with workplace compensation and personal injury suits across Denver, Littleton, Aurora and surrounds. Our team of attorneys works closely with each of our clients to get you what’s rightfully yours if you’re injured through no fault of your own. 
 
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Marijuana & Driving in Colorado: What You Need to Know


March 14, 2019

Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012. As such, both local residents and tourists have celebrated their ability to purchase and utilize this long-illegal drug across Denver, Littleton, Aurora and surrounds. While residents and visitors to the state may relish in the seeming legality of marijuana in Colorado, there are, in fact, many laws in place dictating its use —particularly when it comes to operating a motor vehicle. If you are under the influence of marijuana and choose to drive a motor vehicle, you must do so with extreme caution. Not only is it difficult to ascertain one’s own level of impairment when using marijuana, it is also crucial to remember that any amount of marijuana use puts you at risk of driving impaired. Driving while under the influence of any substance puts your life at risk as well as the lives of passengers and fellow drivers. 

Observed Impairment vs. Legal THC Limits 

As of 2012, there is a specific amount of active tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, you can have in your bloodstream before being legally over the limit. Colorado law specifies that drivers with five nanograms of THC in their whole blood can be prosecuted for driving under the influence (DUI). THC is the chemical in marijuana that produces a “high.” Use of THC —whether eaten, smoked, or vaped — causes poor muscle coordination and delayed reaction times. Everyone from marijuana use advocates to law enforcement professionals strongly discourage the use of marijuana while operating machinery, including an automobile. 

Although Colorado state law dictates a five nanogram minimum, it is crucial to understand that law enforcement officers have the right to base arrests on something called “observed impairment.” If the officer believes you to be too heavily under the influence of marijuana to be able to drive functionally, you will be subject to a DUI arrest.  The reason for this caveat in the law is because THC affects everyone differently. While five nanograms may no be enough to impair one individual’s ability to drive, as little as two nanograms may be enough to render another person completely unable to drive. 

Nearly every Colorado law enforcement officer receives professional training through a program called Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE). In addition, many law enforcement agencies across the state have specially trained Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) on staff that can detect impairment from a variety of substances, including marijuana.

Marijuana Blood Tests in Colorado

If you are pulled over while under the influence of marijuana and the police suspect you are too impaired to be operating a motor vehicle, the officer on duty may require you to take a blood test. Refusal to submit to a blood test request can result in similar penalties as refusing a breathalyzer test, among them temporary loss of your driver’s license. 

In the state of Colorado, your driving privileges can be revoked if you do not cooperate with the chemical testing process requested by an investigation officer undertaking a drug-related DUI arrest. Any driver who refuses to take a blood test in Colorado is immediately designated by the state to be a “high-risk driver.” High-risk drivers can subject to a variety of mandatory stipulations, including: ignition interlock for a period of up to two years, mandatory completion of level two alcohol education and be required to attend therapy classes as specified by law. These penalties are “administrative,” which means they are applied and must be carried out by the test refuser regardless of whether a criminal conviction has been decreed.

Individuals who have permission their healthcare provider and the state of Colorado to use marijuana to treat a medical condition are not exempt from the state’s DUI laws. If any substance has impaired your ability to operate a motor vehicle —from alcohol, to marijuana, to prescription medication — it is illegal for you to be driving. This includes substances have been prescribed by a doctor or legally purchased.

Marijuana & Colorado’s Open Container Law

Many marijuana users are unclear on how the use of marijuana by a passenger can affect them as a driver. Marijuana is, in fact, included in Colorado’s open container law. This law stipulates that it is illegal to have marijuana in the passenger space of your vehicle if it is: a) in an open container, b) in a container with a broken seal, or c) if there is evidence marijuana has been consumed inside your vehicle. If you are operating a motor vehicle while other individuals inside it are using marijuana, you are still violating the law. It also be noted that is also against the law to consume marijuana on any public roadway in the state of Colorado.

Injured by a Marijuana-Impaired Driver in Denver?

Unfortunately, many local Denver-area residents and visitors to our great city remain unclear the Colorado state laws pertaining to marijuana use and driving. If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident in which a marijuana-impaired driver caused you injury, we encourage you to contact the law offices of Mark A. Simon today. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys brings decades of experience to your case, and will ensure that you get what’s rightfully yours if you have been injured by an impaired driver in the greater Denver area. If you are a marijuana user who is considering getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in greater Denver while under the influence, think again. The consequences are not only illegal —they can be deadly. 
 
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Common Denver Workers Compensation Claim Terms to Know


March 6, 2019

After experiencing an accident on the job, you will immediately need to file your report and get the process started. As you go through a Denver workers' compensation claim, you may encounter words and terms you don't know. Don't fret; this is where your human resources department and go-to local workers compensation attorney excel. Get to know more about the top terms you may hear when filing your claim. 

Average Weekly Wage

The average weekly wage is a calculation of salary when a person is working to get disability (total, partial or total). To find this number, the sum of a person’s prior year earnings is divided by 52 (for the number of weeks in a year). 

Benefit Review Conference

If you have an issue or disagreement regarding your claim, a benefit review conference may take place. With a BRC, a mediator will be introduced to help the two parties in dispute come together. 

Claim

The claim is the report an employee files after sustaining an injury while on the job. When reporting injuries in Colorado, you will need to file as soon as possible. Your employer will need to have your claim submitted to their insurer 10 days after the incident. 

Functional Capacity Evaluation

During your time on workers’ compensation, you will need to continue visiting a doctor for regular appointments. These appointments will continue until the physician feels confident the employee is ready and safe to return to work. This process is the functional capacity evaluation. 

Impairment Rating

When a doctor feels the quality of a medical situation stemming from an on-the-job accident cannot be improved any further, if they will be permanently affected, an impairment rating will be assigned. 


Maximum Medical Improvement

Also once a person has completed the extent of treatment for an injury, the doctor will assign a maximum medical improvement. While a person might continue to seek treatment after, it may not be covered under worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation benefits may stop as well, depending on the situation and injury.  

Permanent Partial Disability

Those with permanent partial disability are workers that have recovered from an injury enough to get back to work, however, may have lost their ability to do specific tasks because of the injury. The person may then receive benefits based on this change. 

Permanent Total Disability

If a person sustains a permanent injury from a work accident and unable to work, they may receive permanent total disability funds. 

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the deadline a claim must be filed. For Colorado, most situations have a two-year statute of limitations. In some cases, it can be three but typically requires more documentation. This date is something that is best to discuss with a lawyer. 

Temporary Total Disability

If a worker can come back to work post-injury but has not been assigned a maximum medical improvement rating, they can get two-thirds of their pay from temporary total disability. 

Navigating the worker’s compensation process can be tough. Mark A. Simon is your premier attorney at law to walk you through all things related. Contact Mark A. Simon today for your free worker’s compensation consultation.
 
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Five Steps to Take if You’ve Been Hurt on the Job in Denver


February 27, 2019

Five Steps to Take if You’ve Been Hurt on the Job in Denver

Whether you’re a parts manufacturer in Denver, a runway technician from Aurora, or an electrician from Denver, getting injured on the job is never an easy situation to endure alone. After all, your work isn’t just a means of an income —it’s a place where you strive to be your most productive self and be an asset to both your company and your fellow employees. Unfortunately, in workers’ compensation cases, long-held assumptions about loyalty and trust between employer and employee can be strained. That’s why when you enlist the help of Mark A. Simon, you’ll be able to navigate your situation with the confidence of knowing you Denver’s most experienced and well-recognized personal injury attorneys at your back. Before you contact our team, there are a variety of steps you can take to make sure you’ve put yourself in the best position to get the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Report Your Injury Immediately 

In many personal injury cases, employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies partake in a strategy to deny claims if the injury was not promptly or properly reported. As long as your injuries are not life threatening, your employer should be the first person contacted after you’re injured on the job once you receive initial treatment. If possible, document the scene as best you can to maintain a proper record of the incident, as well as recording the names of any witnesses who saw you get hurt or injured. The more information you have about your case the better —leave no stone unturned. In Colorado, employers with one or more full- or part-time employees must have workers' compensation insurance, which covers work-related injuries and illnesses regardless of fault. In exchange, the employee gives up the right to file a lawsuit against the employer.

Inform Your Primary Healthcare Provider

Both employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies have been known to refuse personal injury compensation claims if the first medical note does not include a notation that the injury is a work injury. That’s why you need to make sure that your primary healthcare provider, doctor, or even dentist makes clear notes during the initial visit after your injury that your physical trauma has been the result of an on-the-job incident. Documentation from your healthcare provider acts as an official diagnosis of your injury. 

Present Written Notice About Your Injury to Your Employer

Some states require that you complete an official form that official documents your injury to your employer. Colorado state laws dictates that within ten days after the time you notify your employer of your injury, your employer must file an Employer's First Report of Injury form with its insurance company if: you've been out for more than three shifts or more than three days. Many states also require your employer to provide you with such documentation in the event of an on the job injury. If you do not live in a state that requires such forms, create your own document that includes the date of the injury with a short description of what happened and what injures you sustained. This document should be provided to your employer as soon as possible after the incident, and you should keep a copy for your own records.

Keep a Diary

Keeping detailed record of your post-accident experience may impact when you may begin receiving weekly wage replacement from the state. Carefully record all days that you miss work, in addition to all travel and out-of-pocket expenses related to your care. Many states require that mileage be paid for all medically necessary travel over 20 miles round trip, in addition to reimbursement for any necessary out-of-pocket medical expenses paid by the injured worker.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Denver

The timeline for getting your first workers’ compensation paycheck can vary on a variety of circumstances that are unique in every case, notably any existing employment agreement between the employer and employee. If there is no formal agreement in place at the time of your injury or accident, Colorado wage and hour laws provides that all wages and compensation must be due for regular pay periods no greater than one calendar month or thirty days, whichever is longer.

Getting hurt on the job can be confusing and stressful, which can make navigating the Colorado workers’ compensation process still more difficult. The law offices of Mark A. Simon can help you file all forms and communicate with your workers’ compensation insurance company with confidence, making sure you recover all the wages you deserve and are legally entitled to during the time that you are out of work for both recovery and treatment. The Mark A. Simon personal injury attorneys in Denver will stay with you throughout the entire process and see you through until the very end.
 
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The 6 Most Common Mistakes People Make After Car Accidents That You Can Easily Avoid


February 20, 2019

Whether you're a professional truck driver from Bennett, a commuter from Denver, or a soccer mom from Aurora, getting into a car accident can be a life altering experience. From the moments immediately following a collision, to the weeks that follow when it comes time to tend with property damage and injury, it can be a chaotic time. But when you rely on Mark A. Simon as your council, you'll have the benefit of years of experience and the confidence that you'll be properly compensated for pain and suffering as well as damage to your vehicle. 

A car accident is only fraught with risk for potential injury, but can upend your family or small business for weeks. Mark A. Simon has specialized in providing fast, professional, and effective counsel for Denver car accident victims for decades. In fact, Mark A. Simon has over two decades of experience representing those who have been injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents as well as those who have been victims of drunk drivers. Before you enlist the personal expertise of Denver’s foremost car accident attorney, there are several steps you can take in the wake of an automobile accident that will help your cause later. 

Never Admit Fault —Under Any Circumstance

Shock. Confusion. Guilt. These are all common emotions when you endure a car accident. As difficult as it is in the moment, maintaining calm is key. Regardless of your interpretation of the incident, never admit fault after a car accident. Doing so can not only imperil you in the eyes of the law, but also rob you of potential compensation down the road if you are proven not to have been the cause. There is a process for proving fault that your Denver area car accident attorney can methodically walk you through once you enlist legal representation. Do not admit fault to either others who are involved in the accident or to law enforcement authorities upon their arrival.

Properly Exchange Information with All Parties & Witnesses

Regardless of the severity of your accident, always take the time to get the names and contact information of every party involved as well as any witnesses. In addition, be sure to notate the insurance information and license plate numbers of the other driver or drivers. This information not only aids law enforcement authorities and insurance representatives in determining fault, but can also be a key way to reinforce your interpretation of events in a court of law. A list of key information you should acquire even in circumstances where you, fellow passengers or the other driver are not injured include:

Full name and telephone number
Insurance company holder and policy number
Driver's license and license plate numbers
Make, model and color of all vehicles involved
Exact location and time of the accident


It’s Never “No Big Deal” —Always Notify Police

The confusion and chaos of a car accident can be difficult to deal with, but it’s always important to watch out for red flags if you have been injured in a car accident or if your vehicle has been damaged. If other drivers who are involved are content to exchange information and let your opposing insurance companies work out the details later, it should arouse suspicion. Never minimize the scope of an accident or resolve the situation without law enforcement present. If the individual you have been in an accident with claims they need to leave or departs the scene of the accident, record as much information about their vehicle as possible.

Never Minimize Injuries Out of Embarrassment

The law office of Mark A. Simon understands that car accidents can be harmful to our pride as well as our bodies. So while it may feel natural to minimize injuries sustained in a car accident, or chalk them up as no big deal in the instances immediately following an accident or collision, it’s imperative never to do so. Just because the pain you're experiencing in the immediate aftermath of an accident may no feel severe, it does not mean it could not worsen or lead to other health problems in the future. Once you have exchange information with others involved in a car accident and have resolved the accident with police, the next crucial step is to immediately document and address any injuries sustained with your healthcare provider or at an emergency treatment facility. 

Properly Document Every Facet of the Accident Scene

Your mobile phone camera can be one of your best ally’s when it comes to dealing with the scene following an automobile accident. Take careful steps to document any and all damage to your vehicle at the accident scene, including any other factors that may have resulted in its cause. This includes documenting damage to other vehicles and the exact location of the incident. Photographs can later prove to be an invaluable resource when it comes time to pursue legal action after a car accident. 

Always Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Too many Denver area drivers make the mistake of going it alone when it comes to dealing with personal injuries and property damage that can come as the result of a car accident, motorcycle accident, drunk driving incident or truck accident. When you have an experienced, knowledgeable and accomplished attorney like Mark A. Simon by your side, you’ll have the confidence to move forward with legal action or personal injury compensation demands with confidence.
 
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