Manuel M. Weiss - Attorney at Law
Frequently Asked Questions
 
 
THE BASICS
 
1.  What will my first visit to your office be like? 
     During your first visit, I will discuss with you the circumstances of
      your care, your resulting injuries, and outline how we will proceed. 
      You are encouraged to ask questions, especially if you don’t
      understand the legal forms or the procedures.  You will receive
      information telling how you can help me handle your claim.  To
      prepare your case, I will investigate your accident.  I will contact
      witness, police and medical personnel.  I will research the legal
      precedents and, if necessary, consult with experts, such as accident
      reconstruction or medical experts.
 
 
2.  What should I do if insurance adjusters wish to speak
     with me about my claim?
      Insurance company adjusters may try to talk to you about your claim. 
      Don’t be afraid to refuse; instead, refer them to my office to talk to me.
      Do not sign any insurance or medical forms, especially insurance
      release forms, without first checking with me.   
 
 
3.  How much time do I have to file my claim?
     If you or a family member is injured in any accident, call me right
      away because there is a legal time limit (statute of limitations) for
      filing claims.  In addition, the sooner you call my office, the sooner I
      can begin the investigation.  Critical evidence is sometimes lost
      within hours.  Remember, the other party’s insurance company has
      probably already started their investigation, so we want to begin ours
      as soon as possible.
 
 
4.  How much compensation will I receive?  What is fair? 
      Under today’s laws, fair compensation means more than just paying
      your immediate bills.  Long term or permanent disabilities, medical
      bills, wage and economic losses, mental anguish, pain and suffering
      (past and future), and the loss of capacity to enjoy life are also
      considered when calculating fair insurance compensation for your
      injuries. Permanent injuries last a lifetime.  Hopes, dreams, and even
      careers are sometimes shattered as a result of another’s fault and
      carelessness.  Knowing how to calculate fair compensation can make a
      big difference in the amount you receive.
 
 
 
EMPLOYMENT
 
 
1.  What is at-will employment?       
      In Colorado, this means you can be hired or fired for any reason, no
      reason or the wrong reason.  There are many exceptions to this which
      would have to be explored in each individual case.
 
 
2.  What is my protection from discrimination? 
      Discrimination against employees is not necessarily illegal.  Only
      discrimination on a prohibited basis is illegal as is retaliation against
      employees who complain in good faith about prohibited
      discrimination.  Prohibited discrimination includes discrimination by
      an employer against an employee because of the employee's race, 
      religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, or disability. 
 
 
3.  Do I have a claim for wrongful termination?
     Employees often think that the term wrongful discharge or wrongful
      termination refers to any unjust termination and that there is a specific
      legal claim for unjust termination.  Wrongful discharge refers only to a
      specific legal claim recognized by Colorado courts that permits
      employees to sue for damages where an employee is terminated for
      opposing conduct that is illegal or against public policy.  There is
      no recognized legal claim that permits an employee to sue for a
      termination just because the termination is unjust or wrong.
 
 
4.  What can I do if I am harassed at work?
     
      Employees can bring a sexual harassment claim where:
      The employer takes an adverse employment action against an
      employee because he or she does not comply with a request for a
      sexual favor; the employee faces a hostile environment where he or
      she is treated with  hostility because of their sex; the employee faces an
      environment at work that includes unwelcome sexual advances or
      other unwelcome sexual jokes, comments, or physical contact that
      renders the environment  hostile. 
 
      Race harassment claims usually involve a hostile environment where
      employees who are members of a minority are treated in a
      disrespectful manner.  Like sexual harassment claims, the employer
      may have a defense in certain circumstances if the employee does not
      utilize available grievance procedures. 
 
 
INSURANCE COVERAGE
 
 
1.  What is private disability insurance?
      In private disability claims, you must have insurance. This can be
      provided through your employer or association or as an alternative,
      contracted for the individual. 
 
2What are property and casualty insurance denials?
      
      Property insurance covers damages to or loss of property, including
      homes, autos or luxury items such as jewelry or computers.  
     
      Casualty insurance is purchased to cover legal expenses incurred
      from bodily injury or property damage to someone else.  Property and
      casualty insurance is subdivided into two major lines: personal
      and commercial.
 
 
 3. What are the typical types of auto insurance coverage in
     Colorado?
      
      Liability insurance is insurance that pays damages where a person or
      organization is found responsible for injury or harm caused, for
      example, in the case of negligence.  
      
      Property damage liability insurance covers you if your car damages
      someone else's property. Usually it is their car, but it could be a fence,
      a house or any other property damaged in an accident.  It also
      provides you with legal defense if another party files a lawsuit against
      you. It is mandatory in most states. 
      
      Medical payment insurance (Medpay) covers medical expenses to
      you and your passengers injured in an accident. There may also be
      coverage if as a pedestrian a vehicle injures you. This coverage applies
      regardless as to who is at fault. Coverage is limited to the terms and
      conditions contained in the policy.  
      
      Uninsured motorist coverage is an addition to a standard automobile
      insurance policy that provides coverage in the event the other driver is
      both legally responsible for the accident and is not insured. Uninsured
      motorist coverage pays for injuries to the policy holder and his or her
      passengers, and in certain cases for damage to property.
      Underinsured motorist coverage is an auto insurance policy provision
      that extends coverage to include bodily damage caused by motorist
      with insufficient insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage is
      designed to provide the injured party with compensation above what
      is allotted by the at-fault party's policy.
         
      Collision insurance covers damage to your car when your car hits, or
      is hit by, another vehicle, or other object. Pays to fix your vehicle
      minus the deductible you choose. To keep your premiums low, select
      as large a deductible as you feel comfortable paying out of pocket. For
      older cars, consider dropping this coverage, since coverage is
      normally limited to the cash value of your car.    
 
      Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle, and other vehicles (in
      limited scenarios) you may be driving for losses resulting from
      incidents other than collision. For example, comprehensive insurance
      covers damage to your car if it is stolen; or damaged by flood, fire, or
      animals. It pays to fix your vehicle less the deductible you choose. To
      keep your premiums low, select as high a deductible as you feel
      comfortable paying out of pocket.