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One of the biggest decisions you may have to make in your life is whether to file a personal injury claim after you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligence.

 

Once you’ve decided to pursue a personal injury claim, you need to then determine which personal injury attorney will represent you best. This is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly and will require you to do a bit of research. Of course, you’ll want to take into consideration the attorney’s proximity to your location, ease of access, and public reputation, but there are very specific questions that you should ask of any personal injury attorney before you decide to hire her to represent you in your case. Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between a very successful outcome, or an abysmal failure to collect any compensation for your injuries. To that effect, here are nine of the most important questions you should ask before you make your decision.

How experienced are you in personal injury law?

Many attorneys claim to handle personal injury cases, but you want an expert on your side, not someone who’s simply seen a few personal injury cases come through their doors. You are looking for a specialist in personal injury, such as those at Marathon Law, LLC. It stands to reason that a specialist in any area of law will have far more experience, and will end up with better results.

 

Do your research and ask specific questions, such as:

 

  • How many personal injury cases similar to yours has the attorney handled?
  • What is their success rate in these types of cases (wins, losses, compensation)?
  • How do they typically handle a case similar to yours? What is the process?

 

In asking these questions, and hearing the answers, you’ll be able to get a good “feel” for the attorney’s personality and whether they’ll be easy for you to work with. This is important, as personal injury cases can take time to settle or litigate, and you want to find an attorney you can get along with well.

Who will be handling my case?

You may have your consultation with one attorney, but find that another attorney will be handling your claim, especially if there are several attorneys employed at the firm you choose. Paperwork and routine business can very likely be taken care of by paralegals and junior attorneys, but make sure that there is an experienced attorney in charge of your case, especially where litigation is concerned.

 

You’ll also need to ask who your main point of contact will be. It will be far more convenient for you if you have one single person with whom you can discuss the details of your case. You are bound to have many questions as the process unfolds.

Will my claim go to trial?

Look for an attorney who is ready to go to trial, and has done their due diligence and preparation, even if the case settles out of court. The attorneys here at Marathon Law, LLC prepare every claim for trial, even though they may never see the inside of a courtroom for your case. It’s just what experienced lawyers do. We’ll fight to get the true compensation for your injuries that you deserve – whether or not your case ends up in litigation, or we end up settling with the insurance companies involved.

When will work begin on my claim?

It’s an unfortunate reality that many attorneys wait until the last minute before working on their client’s claims. This could mean that you wait years only to find that nothing has been done on your case. Definitely not the best case scenario for you.

 

Search for an attorney that will begin taking action on your claim quickly, preserving evidence and gathering the paperwork necessary to move your case forward to a successful conclusion sooner rather than later. The faster your case moves forward, the faster you can gain the compensation that you’re entitled to for your medical bills, lost wages, and other costs that are related to your injuries.

What amount of compensation am I entitled to?

Keeping in mind that every case is unique, your attorney should be experienced enough to give you an estimate of the compensation they’ll be able to secure for you. They’ll look at similar cases they’ve handled, and be able to provide examples from their past that will give you an idea of what to expect. A good attorney will not promise you a specific dollar amount because there are simply too many variables involved.

What will I have to pay for your representation? Will I have out of pocket costs?

The industry standard for personal injury attorneys is to work on contingency. This means that they only get paid if they are able to secure compensation for you. In general, look for an attorney who will charge 1/3 of any gross settlement amount and 40% of any gross judgment received at trial.

Has the attorney working on my case ever had disciplinary measures brought against her?

Because you’ll be sharing personal, professional, and financial details with her, you want to find an attorney you can trust. Choosing an attorney who has never been disciplined is a wise decision. Of course, bad things happen to good people, so find out the details of any disciplinary action before you make your decision.

 

At Marathon Law, LLC, we have a “client-first” attitude. We’ll fight to see that you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and we’ll be there for you every step of the way. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation at 303-704-1222, or via our website contact page.

 Marathon Law Announces New Partner

Experienced Litigator Malissa Williams Joins Boutique Denver Employment and Personal Injury Law Firm

 

Attorney Malissa Williams

DENVER, June 12, 2017—Marathon Law, a Denver personal injury and employment law firm, today announced that Malissa Williams has joined the firm as a partner. In practice since September 2007, Ms. Williams brings a wide range of legal expertise, including complex commercial litigation, administrative and transactional law.

 

Prior to joining Marathon Law, Ms. Williams served as an assistant attorney general in the Colorado Attorney General’s office. For three and one-half years in that role, she represented the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in administrative and state courts.

 

Ms. Williams began her legal career as an associate at Holland and Hart, one of the largest law firms in the Rocky Mountain West. During her six-year tenure there, she litigated federal and state cases on behalf of oil and gas companies and other large commercial clients.

 

Ms. Williams is a 2007 graduate of the University of Colorado Law School and an honors graduate of Amherst College.

 

With a strong proponent of giving back to the community, Ms. Williams currently serves on the board of Scholars Unlimited, a nonprofit organization that provides free afterschool and summer tutoring to at-risk Denver Public Schools students. She has also volunteered with Meals on Wheels and the Veterans Pro Bono Consortium.

 

 

ABOUT MARATHON LAW

Founded in 2012 by Jeffry M. Dougan, Marathon Law is dedicated to helping people who have been victimized by negligence, employment discrimination, wrongful termination, and unfair labor practices get the justice and compensation that they deserve. Marathon Law specializes in vehicular accidents, including car, truck, and hit-and-run accidents. When it comes to employment law, Marathon Law litigates employment contract disputes, wrongfully withheld wages and compensation, as well as age, gender and race discrimination cases.

 

 

Overtime theft? If you’re not getting overtime, you’re probably getting robbed.

By Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney

Overtime theft

Overtime

In most cases, people who work for another person or company are legally considered “employees” under Colorado and federal law. This means that, in most cases, if a person works more than 40 hours per week or more than 12 hours per day, he is entitled to 1.5 times his hourly wage for every hour over 40 per week or 12 per day that he works in Colorado.

 

However, not-so-sneaky employers still try to label their employees “independent contractors” in order to avoid paying overtime and other legally earned benefits like workers’ compensation and social security.  This is nothing but plain ol’ wage theft.  And it’s highly illegal.

 

If you work more than 40 hours per week and do not receive time-and-a-half, you’re being ripped off and you could be owed back pay plus a whole host of other penalties including attorney fees.

 

The frustrating reality today is that employers are still intentionally misclassifying employees as “independent contractors” instead of “employees” so they do not have to pay overtime, minimum wage, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance or other employee benefits.  And if they can get away with it, why not?

 

Where Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney tends to see these cases a lot is in the construction sector where employees are routinely and purposefully labeled “independent contractors” so that the boss can avoid paying overtime overtime and other benefits.  And the worst part is that many of these people that the companies are ripping off don’t know that they’re being ripped off.  They’re just happy to have a job.

 

However, in the end, this means that a lot of people are being robbed of overtime they rightfully earned and a lot of injured workers have been that they don’t qualify for workers’ compensation because they are independent contractors.

 

This practice is illegal and if you are working or have been working for one employer on a consistent basis over 40 hours a week without receiving “overtime,” or if you’re being denied workers’ compensation because your employer is mislabeling you an “independent contractor,” you need to contact Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney for your FREE initial consultation today.

 

Your employer can’t fire you for filing a legal claim.

 

Now, let’s be honest: of course your employer CAN fire you for filing a claim, but firing you is ILLEGAL and your employer will be punished in court.  Any time an employee asserts his rights to back due overtime wages or workers’ compensation benefits, federal and state law both have said that it’s wildly illegal to fire that employee for exercising his rights.  And the penalties for doing so are so stiff that it’s a wonder that it happens at all. Never underestimate the stupidity of greed I suppose.

 

Nevertheless, you should never be afraid to exercise your legal rights for fear of retaliation by your employer.  And having Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney on your side from the beginning is the smartest way to go.

 

Don’t worry about attorney fees.

 

Both federal and state law say that if a plaintiff, i.e. the employee, is the successful party, the defense has to pay reasonable attorney fees and costs.  Therefore, if you have a good case, you should never have to worry about attorney fees.  Your Denver Personal Injury Attorney Jeffry Dougan NEVER charges for his initial consultation fee and only wins attorney fees if you win.

 

“How do I know if I’m an independent contractor or an employee?”

 

Again, each case is different and depends on the circumstances of each individual.  Fortunately, the Department of Labor has released a fact sheet establishing a number of factors to use when determining whether a person is an “employee” and is therefore legally entitled to overtime pay or whether that person is an “independent contractor” and is therefore not entitled to collect overtime pay or other benefits. Your Denver Personal Injury attorney has excerpted from that fact sheet here:

(1) The extent to which the work performed is an integral part of the employer’s business.

If the work performed by a worker is integral to the employer’s business, it is more likely that the worker is economically dependent on the employer and less likely that the worker is in business for himself or herself. For example, work is integral to the employer’s business if it is a part of its production process or if it is a service that the employer is in business to provide.

 

(2) Whether the worker’s managerial skills affect his or her opportunity for profit and loss.

Managerial skill may be indicated by the hiring and supervision of workers or by investment in equipment. Analysis of this factor should focus on whether the worker exercises managerial skills and, if so, whether those skills affect that worker’s opport

 

(3) The relative investments in facilities and equipment by the worker and the employer.

 

The worker must make some investment compared to the employer’s investment (and bear some risk for a loss) in order for there to be an indication that he/she is an independent contractor in business for himself or herself. A worker’s investment in tools and equipment to perform the work does not necessarily indicate independent contractor status, because such tools and equipment may simply be required to perform the work for the employer. If a worker’s business investment compares favorably enough to the employer’s that they appear to be sharing risk of loss, this factor indicates that the worker may be an independent contractor.

(4) The worker’s skill and initiative.

 

Both employees and independent contractors may be skilled workers. To indicate possible independent contractor status, the worker’s skills should demonstrate that he or she exercises independent business judgment. Further, the fact that a worker is in open market competition with others would suggest independent contractor status.

 

For example, specialized skills possessed by carpenters, construction workers, and electricians are not themselves indicative of independent contractor status; rather, it is whether these workers take initiative to operate as independent businesses, as opposed to being economically dependent, that suggests independent contractor status.

 

(5) The permanency of the worker’s relationship with the employer.

 

Permanency or indefiniteness in the worker’s relationship with the employer suggests that the worker is an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor. However, a worker’s lack of a permanent relationship with the employer does not necessarily suggest independent contractor status because the impermanent relationship may be due to industry-specific factors, or the fact that an employer routinely uses staffing agencies.

 

(6) The nature and degree of control by the employer.

 

Analysis of this factor includes who sets pay amounts and work hours and who determines how the work is performed, as well as whether the worker is free to work for others and hire helpers. An independent contractor generally works free from control by the employer (or anyone else, including the employer’s clients).

 

This is a complex factor that warrants careful review because both employees and independent contractors can have work situations that include minimal control by the employer. However, this factor does not hold any greater weight than the other factors. For example, a worker’s control of his or her own work hours is not necessarily indicative of independent contractor status; instead, the worker must control meaningful aspects of the working relationship. Further, the mere fact that a worker works from home or offsite is not indicative of independent contractor status because the employer may exercise substantial control over the working relationship even if it exercises less day-t0-day control over the employee’s work at the remote worksite.

 

When in doubt, you’re probably an “employee.”

 

When it comes down to it, most people are going to be classified as “employees” which makes the law really simple: If you are an employee who has been working more than 40 hours per week for the same person for a long period of time and you have not received payment of “overtime” for those hours that exceeds over 40 to week, you probably have a lawsuit.

 

You could win back wages, damages, attorney fees and court costs. And the best part about these cases is that if an employer tries to fire your for making a claim, you have another case against them that is potentially more valuable still.

 

If you suspect that your employer has been ripping you off of overtime and other benefits you have legally earned, call your Denver personal injury attorney Jeffry Dougan today at 303-704-1222 and schedule your FREE consultation today.  What are you waiting for?  You’ve already lost enough.

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