Video Blog McDivitt News – June 2016

McDivitt Video News June 2016

In McDivitt News this month: Spring and summer have been a busy time at McDivitt Law Firm. We participated in several events at Centennial Elementary to wrap up the school year, held our annual Distracted Driving PSA contest, hosted Bring Your Kids to Work Day, and we won some awards! Check out the full recap in this month’s edition of McDivitt News.

On-the-Job Injuries to be made Public

on the job injury reporting requirements by OSHA

I recently read that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has just enacted a new rule, one that will require employers in “high-hazard” industries to report directly to OSHA when on-the-job injuries or illnesses occur. OSHA will then post this information on their agency website. The rule will take effect at the beginning of next year, Jan. 1, 2017. OSHA hopes that “public disclosure will encourage employers to improve workplace safety and provide valuable information to workers, job seekers, customer, researchers and the general public.” Employer reporting requirements vary slightly depending on the number of employees, but the rule will apply to all employers, except for those with less than twenty employees.

Most Dangerous Times to Drive

As expected, being on the road during certain times of the day increases your chances of being in a car crash. This correlates to the times of the day where there are usually more cars on the road. Additionally, holidays often increase the number of drivers on the road traveling, as well as, the number of alcohol impaired drivers if it’s a holiday associated with drinking. Poor weather always contributes to car crashes too. That makes the summertime your safest time to drive as the weather is usually better. At least you don’t have to deal with icy or snow-packed roads then. However, let’s get a little more specific than these generalizations.

Your Heartburn Medication May Cause You Kidney Problems

heartburn medication causes danger to kidneys

Known to get heartburn or suffer from gastrointestinal reflux disease? You’ve probably turned to medications like Nexium or Prilosec. These brand names are common heartburn medications and many heartburn drugs are also available over the counter. They may even be sitting in your medicine cabinet at home right now. However, recent studies indicate the use of these medications, known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), may increase the risk for kidney disease.

McDivitt In The News – June 2016

McDivitt In the News Donovan Duran suit

In light of recently obtained police body cam footage, Donovan Duran was featured in a news story by KRDO about Mr. Duran’s injuries and lawsuit against a La Junta police officer. The suit claims excessive force was used by La Junta police officers during an arrest in which no charges were filed.

10 Tire Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

tire safety tips

One of the most integral and often overlooked parts of a car is the tires. They can also be one of the more dangerous aspects of a car if they are not properly maintained. Therefore, we all need to make sure that our tires are in the proper condition to ensure that we are safe on the road and also not a danger to other drivers. We’ve put together a top 10 list of tire safety tips that every driver and car owner should know.

For Teens, It’s the Deadliest Time of the Year

dangerous times for teen drivers

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released recent research that reveals the troubling behaviors behind distracted driving among teen drivers. You may not know this, but the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, which we are currently in, is known as the “100 Deadliest Days” for teens. As more teenagers are out on the road during the summer months, the number of fatal crashes involving teen drivers increases to an average of 10 deaths every day! That is 16 percent higher than the rest of the year. Given this information, it is imperative to highlight what type of distracted driving is most dangerous, in order to prevent it.

Whiplash: What No One Tells You About

facts about whiplash

Your first thought when you hear the word whiplash, is probably car accident. In fact, whiplash is a common neck injury that occurs after a rear-end auto accident. Whiplash can also be referred to as a neck sprain or neck strain, and is a type of neck injury that occurs due to forceful and rapid movement of the neck forward and backward.

Colorado Enacts Mandatory Reporting Laws for Elder Abuse

colorado-elder-abuse-laws

Colorado recently put into place new laws to help protect our state’s aging population. The tragedy of elder abuse is on the rise in the United States as the American population continues to age. Baby Boomers are turning 65 at a rate of one every ten seconds. In order to protect this population, Colorado, as of July 2014, put into place mandatory reporting laws. These laws ensure that those in the elder community are safe and cared for by requiring certain identified individuals to report any observations or reasonable suspicions of abuse of an at-risk elder to the proper authorities within 24 hours. Elder abuse can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, caretaker neglect, and exploitation of a person 70 years of age or older.

What You Need to Know About the Federal Nursing Home Act

Understand the Federal Nursing Home Act

In 1987, Congress passed the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (FNHRA), which was intended to ensure that residents of nursing homes received quality care and attention. To improve quality care in nursing homes, the FNHRA provides certain services that must be available to each resident, as well as, establishing a Residents’ Bill of Rights. The Act covers those nursing homes that receive federal funding, such as through Medicaid or Medicare; however, additional state laws govern nursing homes as well.

5 Bad Driving Habits We Should All Stop Doing

avoid these 5 bad driving habits

Ok, we have all probably done one or more of these at some point in our lives, but the 5 bad driving habits below can not only lead to a ticket in some instances, but more dangerously, they can lead to an auto accident. Bad habits can be hard to break, but here are 5 bad driving habits we should all stop doing so that we can keep the road safe:

What Does “Resident Relative” Mean in an Auto Insurance Policy?

Divorce impacts resident relative in auto insurance claim

A recent case from the Colorado Court of Appeals, Geico v. Collins, analyzes the issues that may present themselves after an auto or motorcycle accident when spouses are undergoing a divorce. In this case, Mr. Collins was injured in a motorcycle accident with an underinsured motorist. He then sought underinsured motorist coverage under an insurance policy issued by Geico to his wife, who was in the process of divorcing him, at the time of the accident. The insurance company denied the coverage because Mr. Collins was not a “resident relative” under the policy since he did not reside in the same home as his wife at the time. The court had to look at whether “spouses may be considered residents of the same household for purposes of insurance coverage when, although they remain married, they live apart.” The court concluded on that issue, that yes they could, but it was dependent on the circumstances of the case.

Grand Jury Declines to Indict La Junta Police Officers after MMA Fighter Paralyzed

grand jury declines to indict la junta police

The case of Donovan Duran is a tragic one. Donovan, our client, was an aspiring MMA fighter, who one night in December of 2015, after being taken into custody by the La Junta police, was paralyzed while in police custody. His injuries occurred when an officer pulled him out of a police vehicle onto his head. He was rushed to a medical center, where he learned his spinal cord had been crushed. He is now paralyzed. This information was released in a grand jury report that came out this May.

Cinemark Theater Found Not Liable For Theater Shooting

theater found not liable for theater shooting

You may have heard that victims and families of victims of the Aurora movie theater shooting filed a lawsuit against Cinemark for the 2012 shooting. In May of 2016 the case went to trial and the six person jury came back with a decision—the theater was not liable. You may be asking questions like “How could the theater be responsible in the first place? They didn’t pull the trigger.” Or maybe you’re asking yourself “Why wouldn’t they be liable? Couldn’t they have done more to prevent such a tragic incident from happening?”

Chronic Pain: Neuroscientists to the Rescue?

manage chronic pain

I came across an article recently from the ABA Journal discussing how personal injury lawyers are turning to neuroscience to back claims of chronic pain in their clients. Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks; however, there is no test that can measure or pinpoint the location of pain with any precision. Common chronic pain areas include headaches, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain, and psychogenic (psychological) pain.

Quick Guide: The Difference between Wrongful Death and Homicide

differences in wrongful death and homicide

If you happened to catch the FX series, The People v. O.J Simpson: American Crime Story, you were probably reminded, or even learned, that O.J. Simpson was not convicted of murder, but later on was held legally responsible for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. How did that work? Well, there is a difference between criminal cases involving homicide and civil cases concerning wrongful deaths. Therefore, someone can be found not guilty of murder, but responsible for someone’s death in a civil suit. Let’s look a little more in depth at these differences.

10 Ways to Avoid an Auto Accident

tips to avoid auto accidents

The Team here at McDivitt Law Firm knows how traumatic and life-changing an auto accident can be. Unfortunately, car accidents are very common, but there are ways to decrease your chances of getting into one. The best way to avoid getting in a car crash is to practice safe driving habits. So, we’ve come up with a list of 10 tips to prevent an auto accident, and here they are:

It’s Finally Bicycle Weather, Enjoy but Be Safe

Season for Cyclists on the Road

Summer will be here in no time at all, and that means it’s already bicycle weather. With so many days of sunshine in Colorado, you know people are getting on their bikes to enjoy this weather and see what our great state has to offer. However, as much as many of us enjoying hitting the trails or the road, we probably don’t always think of the liability we may face in the case of a bike accident. As such, I recently spoke with someone over at KRDO about this very issue. You can view the interview below.

Snapchat Speed Filter Sparks Dangerous Driving

Using Snapchat while driving

If you use Snapchat you may be familiar with one of its more popular filters that indicates your speed at the time you snap a photo. And for those of you who don’t use the app, once you take a picture you can add a filter to it, one which will post the m.p.h. you were moving at the time of the shot. You have to be moving for it to work, so one can imagine that this filter is pretty popular in indicating how fast a person is going at the time of the snap. It’s the perfect storm for a car crash, and that is exactly what some say happened in an auto crash near Atlanta, Georgia.

Self-Driving Cars, are they an Answer to Auto Accidents?

safety factors of self driving cars

By now you’ve probably heard about the new technology concerning self-driving cars, and if you haven’t, that’s ok too, because here’s a little bit of information. Self-driving cars may sound like a futuristic fantasy, but they actually exist right now. In fact, Google currently operates these vehicles in California, Texas, and Washington. A self-driving car uses a computer to operate the car; no human interaction needed other than to program your drive.

Are You Paying More for Your Auto Insurance?

factors that impact cost of insurance

A recent press release from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) comments on how auto insurance companies charge good drivers as much as 47 percent more for basic liability auto insurance if they don’t own their home! Based on an analysis by the CFA, it found that premiums average 7 percent higher (about $112 per year) for drivers who rent instead of own homes. This is a disadvantage for many people, since low-to-moderate income individuals are usually the ones to rent. Thus, they are the ones paying more for auto insurance.

Biases Against Bikers

biased against motorcyclists

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, so I wanted to take the time to go over some biases people may have about motorcyclists so that we may all be more conscious about motorcyclists on the road. As more motorcyclists hit the road when the weather turns nicer, remember the saying: “Share the road.” Additionally, it is important to note that biases may affect motorcyclists trying to get compensated after a crash.

2016 Bring Your Kids to Work Day: McDivitt Law Firm Edition

McDivitt Law Firm celebrates Bring Your Child to Work Day.

Last Thursday, McDivitt Law Firm celebrated Bring Your Kids to Work Day with a lot of fun activities and learning experiences. McDivitt was excited to again host such a wonderful event, with this year’s theme being the Pixar movie, Inside Out. As part of the day, McDivitt planned many activities for the children to participate… Read more »

7 Tips to Avoid Hydroplaning

driving tips for wet roads

The wet weather is bound to come to Colorado. I’m sure we are all used to a summer thunderstorm. With that being said, I think it’s important to go over some safety tips to prevent accident on the wet pavement. Did you know that wet roads contribute to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year? This is a scary statistic, and something we can all hopefully lower. Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid hydroplaning on a wet surface while driving.

McDivitt Honored as 2016 Best of Winners

McDivitt wins 2016 Best of Springs

McDivitt Law Firm and Mike McDivitt were both recently honored as 2016 “Best of the Springs” winners for Best Law Firm and Best Lawyer respectively. This year McDivitt Law Firm placed Silver for Best Law Firm, and Mike McDivitt placed Bronze for Best Lawyer. We are all truly honored to be chosen by the people of Colorado Springs in both categories and thank all who voted for us.

What You Need to Know about Powers of Attorney

what is power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints a person—an “attorney-in-fact” or agent—to act in your place for general or specific purposes. Usually, a power of attorney comes into play when you either become incapacitated in some manner, or if you can’t act on your own behalf for a particular reason. When we say “attorney-in-fact,” we do not mean an actual attorney, but like an attorney represents your legal interests, your agent under a power of attorney “represents” you. A power of attorney may be either general or specific in nature. These powers of attorney may either be durable or non-durable, and also springing. Here is a look at the differences:

10 Common Car Accident Injuries

comment car accident injuries

Some victims of car accidents can walk away without injuries to their person; however, many victims sustain complicated and critical injuries after an accident. The lawyers at McDivitt Law Firm work tirelessly for those who have been injured in auto accidents, and have seen clients with an array of bodily injuries. Nonetheless, there are some common injuries that many sustain in an auto accident. Here are some of the more common car accident injuries:

What Not to Wear: Courtroom Edition

what to wear in court

Let’s cover what to wear, and what NOT to wear when attending court. Don’t worry; when you appear in court you don’t have to dress to the nines, and you don’t have to dress like an attorney (in other words don’t worry about pulling out a three piece suit). However, dressing appropriately is not only respectful to the court, but it helps with your overall presence to the judge and/or jury. You don’t have to forgo comfort (I know appearing in court, especially for the first time can be quite stressful); however, you don’t want to show up in your pajamas either.

Pedestrian Fatalities Increased in 2015

A recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette states that pedestrian deaths rose nationally to an estimated 10 percent last year. The article cites multiple factors that may have contributed. One factor cited as a possible reason for this increase, was the decrease in gas prices, which has put more motorists on the road. Another factor, the growing use of cellphones, which increases not only the number of distracted drivers, but the number of distracted walkers. And what should be a positive factor, the growing awareness of the health benefits of walking more could also be a potential factor.

Dangers of Blood Thinning Drugs and Devices

dangers of blood thinning drugs and devices

Blood thinners have been on the market for years, mainly in the form of the drug warfarin. Newer anticoagulants, like Xarelto and Pradaxa, are now on the market. These drugs can cause serious side effects and require that the blood’s ability to clot be monitored. There are medical devices out there that check the coagulation levels of the blood in order to prevent dangerous bleeding episodes.

Colorado, It’s Time to Buckle Up!

seat belt safety in Colorado

A recent article in the Denver Post, discusses how experts in Colorado are urging for stricter laws for drivers in Colorado. In an earlier blog, I noted that traffic fatalities have escalated in Colorado. Part of this seems to be due to the fact that drivers and passengers are not wearing their seat belts.

8 Things You Need to Know About Insurance Claims Adjusters

Colorado Insurance Claims

If you have been in an auto accident, then you probably know that you are going to have to deal with your insurance company. In fact you may have already contacted them, and either spoke to a claims adjuster or are expecting to speak with one soon. Well, be warned, the claims adjuster doesn’t have your best interest in mind. Here are eight things you need to know about claims adjusters:

How Does Medicare Affect My Auto Accident Claim?

colorado auto accident and medicare

The aftermath of an auto accident can be a difficult and intimidating time for the victim. As part of your recovery you will probably have to deal with hospitals and medical bills. And, as you most likely know, healthcare can be extremely expensive. In most situations, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be liable for your medical care.

Essure Contraceptive Now Black Boxed

essure gets black label

Previously, I have written about the contraceptive device, Essure, a device implanted into the fallopian tubes to block and prevent pregnancy. Back in June of 2015, the FDA notified that it planned to hold a meeting with obstetricians and gynecologists in September to discuss the risks and benefits of this device. The meeting occurred, and… Read more »

Workplace Safety in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

workplace safety personal injury colorado

You may recall hearing during filming of Star Wars: The Force Awakens that Harrison Ford broke his leg when he was hit by a heavy hydraulic door. According to an article in People, the U.K.’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is similar to the U.S.’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), has brought four charges of breaches of health and safety law against Foodles Production Ltd, a London-based subsidiary of the Walt Disney, Co.

10 Things to Look for When Buying a Car in Colorado

Tips-for-buying-new-car-w-300x200

Thinking about purchasing a new car? Buying a car can be a grand undertaking and trying to find the perfect one can be grueling. You’ve probably scouted the internet learning facts about certain cars you are interested in. However, have you thought about what features to look for in a car that will be beneficial with the Colorado weather? Well if not, here are some helpful tips when thinking about what vehicle to purchase to drive on the roads of Colorado.

The Dangers of 4 Commonly Prescribed Drugs

Drug Dangers

Prescription medications: you see the ads on T.V. all the time, or you may have even been prescribed a few. However, many drugs while FDA approved, still have serious health risks that the drug manufacturer has not made you aware of. Here are 4 commonly prescribed drugs that could have the serious complications when used:

J&J to Pay $72 Million in Cancer Suit Over Baby Powder

Talcum Powder Law suite

Late February of this year, a jury in St. Louis, Missouri awarded the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer $72 million. The woman claimed that Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The plaintiff, Jacqueline Fox, died of ovarian cancer before the case… Read more »

Do You Want Your Car Insurer Tracking You?

car insurance tracking device

There was a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal that discussed how insurance companies, like Progressive, are trying to get their customers to allow them to track their driving behaviors. The article discusses how companies are trying to figure out how to use location data (where the car is) that they gather in order to assess drivers. The companies get customers to install devices that track things like how far the customers drive and how often they hit their brakes. The companies are collecting personal data in order to draw some sort of conclusion about driving habits. Of course, the companies have to get consent from their customers to get this information.