Month: June 2017

What You Shouldn’t Say After a Car Accident

What You Shouldn’t Say After a Car Accident

No one ever expects to get into a car accident. As a result, you may experience a great deal of shock and fear in the moments following a collision. But, it’s important to take a few minutes to calm down so you can remain in control of the situation. The things you say after a car accident could affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries or property damage. Here’s what you shouldn’t say after a car accident if you want to avoid this situation:

“I’m sorry.”

Apologizing to the other people involved in the accident can be interpreted as a way of saying that you are fault for the crash. Even if you just meant “I’m sorry that this happened to all of us,” instead of “I’m sorry that I caused this,” your words can very easily be taken out of context. It’s important to avoid apologizing to anyone at the scene so you don’t get blamed for the crash.

“I’m fine.”

Drivers may end up standing around for a little while as they wait for a police officer to arrive on the scene. It’s normal to make small talk during this time, but you should avoid saying anything about your injuries. If you think you haven’t suffered any injuries or the injuries you have sustained are minor, keep this information to yourself for now. Symptoms of certain injuries may not appear for hours or even days after the accident. If you tell the other driver that you are not injured, but then realize later that you are, this will make it much more difficult to recover compensation.

“We don’t have to call the police.”

The other driver may say that there’s no need to call the police because the accident was minor, but you should never agree to this. A police officer needs to respond to the scene of every accident so he can create a police report. This report will explain exactly what happened and identify the at-fault party, and it plays a big role in your personal injury claim. The other driver may change his story after you leave the scene and try to claim you were at fault. If you don’t have a police report, it will be difficult for you to prove that you are telling the truth.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a claim. Our attorneys will stand beside you every step of the way and ensure that you don’t say anything that could impact the outcome of your case. Contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form to schedule a consultation.

Who Can Be Held Liable For Bus Accidents?

Who Can Be Held Liable For Bus Accidents?

Bus accidents are far too common, and unfortunately, many of them lead to serious and sometimes fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney who can determine who is at fault. A number of different parties can be held liable for bus accidents, including:

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers can cause serious accidents if they choose to drive recklessly or operate a bus while intoxicated or distracted. If a bus driver’s negligence causes an accident, he can be held liable for others’ injuries.

Bus Company

Companies that own and operate buses can be held liable if the bus accident was caused by the driver. This is because of the “respondeat superior” legal doctrine, which says the employer can be held liable for damage caused by employees’ actions.

Local or State Government Agencies

Many of the buses that you see on the streets today are owned and operated by local or state government agencies. If you are injured in an accident involving one of these buses, you may be able to hold the government agency liable. However, the process of filing a personal injury claim against a government agency is very different from filing a claim against a negligent driver. One of the main differences is the requirement that you must file a notice with the government agency within 180 days after the accident. It’s imperative that you don’t miss this deadline, which is why it’s important to immediately contact an attorney after a bus accident.

Parts Manufacturers

Sometimes, the bus accident is completely out of the driver’s control because it is caused by a defective part. For example, let’s say a bus’s brakes begin to malfunction and the driver is unable to stop the bus from colliding into another vehicle. In this case, the manufacturer of the defective brakes could be held responsible for the accident.

School District

Far too many bus accidents involve school buses that are used to transport innocent children to and from school. These buses are often owned and operated by the school district, which means the district could be held responsible in the event that a school bus is involved in an accident.

School districts often hire private bus companies to handle the transportation of students instead of operating the buses on their own. In this situation, the liability would fall on the bus company and not the school district.

It can be challenging to identify the liable parties in a bus accident, but a personal injury attorney can help. If you have been injured in a bus accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form. It’s important that you move quickly to meet the tight deadlines for filing a claim, so don’t delay any longer.

Who Can Be Held Liable For Truck Accidents?

Who Can Be Held Liable For Truck Accidents?

If you are injured in an accident that involves two cars, it is fairly simple to determine which driver was at fault. However, things are not so clear-cut when the accident involves a commercial truck. Why? There are a number of parties besides the driver that can be held liable for truck accidents, which means you will need a personal injury attorney to help you identify the at-fault parties. Here are some of the parties that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries after a truck accident:

Truck Driver

Truck drivers can cause accidents if they choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or extremely fatigued. Distractions such as cell phones, radios, or food can take the driver’s attention away from the road and also lead to serious accidents. Truck drivers can also be liable if they were driving recklessly at the time of the accident or if they simply made an error, such as underestimating the space they needed to safely make a turn.

Trucking Company

The phrase “respondeat superior” plays an important role in identifying the liable parties in a truck accident. This phrase, which translates to mean “let the superior answer,” refers to the employer’s liability for an employee’s actions. The trucking company may be held liable if the negligence of the truck driver caused the accident.

But, that is not the only way that a trucking company can be held liable. Trucking companies must comply with a number of different federal regulations, and if their failure to do so leads to an accident, they will be held liable. For instance, the federal government has limited the number of hours that truck drivers can spend on the road without taking a break. If the company overschedules a driver and does not allow him to take a break, this is a violation of the regulation. In this situation, the trucking company may be liable if the truck driver gets into an accident because he is drowsy.

Parts Manufacturer

Defective parts on the truck can also cause accidents, and if this occurs, the parts manufacturer may be held liable. For example, if defective tires suddenly pop and cause the driver to swerve uncontrollably across the road, the manufacturer of these tires could be liable for any injuries sustained in the accident.

Shipper/Loader of the Cargo

Cargo must be carefully loaded onto the back of trucks to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed. If the weight is unevenly distributed, the truck driver may be unable to control the truck. When this happens, the company responsible for shipping or loading the cargo onto the truck may be liable for the accident.

It’s possible that more than one of these parties will be liable in your case. Let us help you determine who is liable so we can start to aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Does a Judge Set Bail?

How Does a Judge Set Bail?

If you ever end up behind bars, the first thought on your mind is probably going to be, “How can I get out of here?” Most of the time, people who have been arrested are given the option of bailing out of jail. Bail is a process by which you are released from custody in exchange for paying a specific amount of money. The amount that you are expected to pay is determined by the judge presiding over your case. But, how does a judge set bail?

The judge will consider a number of factors before setting bail. First, he will review the details of the crime that the defendant has allegedly committed. Defendants who have committed minor crimes will have to pay less than defendants who have committed serious or violent crimes. In fact, defendants who have committed violent crimes may be denied bail if the judge believes they pose a threat to the community.

The judge will also review the defendant’s criminal record. Defendants who have a history of committing crimes will not be viewed favorably by the judge, and may have to pay more to secure their release from custody. If this is your first offense and it is minor, the judge should go easy on you when setting bail. You may even be eligible to be released on your own recognizance, which means you won’t be required to pay bail as long as you put in writing that you will show up to your court proceedings.

Some defendants are viewed as a flight risk, which means the judge has reason to believe that the defendant will skip town and not return for his court proceedings if he is released from custody. The judge may come to the conclusion that the defendant is a flight risk if he has no ties to the community. For example, if he does not have any family members living in the area and does not have a job, he is viewed as having no ties to the community and thus may be a flight risk.

Being represented by a criminal defense attorney may also affect the amount of bail that you are expected to pay. A criminal defense attorney can accompany you to your bail hearing or arraignment to negotiate the terms of your release. It’s possible that an attorney may be able to talk the judge into lowering your bail or allowing you to be released on your own recognizance.

Don’t attend a bail hearing or arraignment without an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Our attorneys will work with the judge to ensure that he sets a fair and affordable bail. If you have been arrested, contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident?

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident?

People who are injured in car accidents caused by another person’s negligence may be able to recover damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. But, the state of Colorado only gives victims a certain amount of time to file a personal injury claim after a car accident. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations, and it varies depending on whether the person was injured or killed in the accident.

Personal Injury Claims

Negligence plays a role in many personal injury cases, including traffic accidents, slip and falls, and dog bites. In Colorado, people who have been injured by another person’s negligence typically have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim. The only exception to this rule is if you were injured by another person’s negligence in a car accident. In this case, you will have three years to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.

It’s important to note that this means anyone who is involved in a car accident has the right to file a personal injury claim for three years after the date of the accident. This can include people who were not inside a car at the time of the accident, including pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. As long as you were injured by another person’s negligence in an accident involving a motor vehicle, you will have three years to file your claim.

Wrongful Death Claims

Unfortunately, some people suffer fatal injuries in car accidents caused by negligent drivers. The families of these victims have the right to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party, but the statute of limitations is different for this type of lawsuit. Although injured victims have three years to file a personal injury claim after a car accident, families of the deceased only have two years to file a wrongful death claim. The two-year time period begins the day that the person passes away, which may or may not be the same date that the accident took place.

Two or three years may seem like a significant amount of time, but it can go by fairly quickly when you are recovering from injuries or grieving the loss of a loved one. That’s why it’s recommended that you get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car accident.

Have you been injured in a car accident? Time may be running out to file a personal injury clam against the negligent party. Don’t wait any longer—contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases

The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Cases

There are two types of cases that may be tried in courts in the United States: civil and criminal cases. What’s the difference? Here’s what you to need to know:

How Legal Action is Initiated

If you want to file a civil lawsuit against someone who has wronged or harmed you, the ball is in your court. You can hire an attorney and begin the process of taking legal action against the defendant. Throughout the trial, you and your attorney will make decisions together on how the case should be handled.

However, victims are not in control in a criminal case. Victims are responsible for reporting crimes to law enforcement officers who will then investigate their allegations. A criminal case will only begin if law enforcement can find enough evidence to arrest and then charge someone with a crime. At this point, the state, not the victim, will be responsible for presenting the evidence against the defendant. Victims may be called during the trial as witnesses, but they have no say in other matters of criminal cases.

Some criminal cases do not involve any victims. For example, you can be arrested for driving under the influence even if you have not harmed anyone. Regardless of whether this is a victim or not, the state will be the one who prosecutes the defendant in the criminal cases.

Standard of Proof

In a criminal case, the evidence that is presented must prove that the defendant committed the crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If the prosecutor cannot prove this, the defendant should not be convicted of the crime. However, the standard of proof is different in civil cases, which must be proven by “the preponderance of evidence.” This standard of proof is much lower than the proof that is required in a criminal case. Why? A lower standard of proof is permitted in civil cases because the penalties are far less severe than those of criminal cases where someone’s liberty or freedom is at stake.

The Outcome

The outcome in civil and criminal cases is also different. The goal of a criminal case is to determine whether the defendant is innocent or guilty, and if he is guilty, what punishments he should face as a result of the crime. However, the goal of a civil case is to determine whether the defendant should be ordered to compensate the plaintiff. The jury does not determine whether a defendant should face criminal penalties such as jail time or probation during a civil case—this only comes into play in criminal cases.

Reisch Law Firm handles both civil and criminal cases. If you are facing criminal charges, our criminal defense attorneys will defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, our personal injury attorneys will ensure you recover the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prepare For a Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney

How to Prepare For a Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney

Before you hire a personal injury attorney, it’s important to attend a consultation where you discuss your case and learn more about the law firm. But to make the most out of this consultation, you will have to spend a bit of time preparing for it. Here’s how:

Bring all of your documentation.

It’s recommended that you document evidence related to the accident and the injures you have sustained. This may include photographic evidence, witness statements, police reports, and your medical records. Bring all of this documentation with you to the consultation so the attorney thoroughly understands the details of your case. If possible, make copies of all of these documents so you can leave them with the attorney after the consultation is over.

Research the law firm.

Personal injury attorneys will use the consultation to learn more about your case, but you should use this time to learn more about the attorney. Before you arrive at the appointment, research the law firm so you know what questions you should ask. For example, let’s say you were involved in a slip and fall accident, but the attorney’s website mainly contains information for car accident victims. You will want to ask the attorney whether he has experience handling slip and fall cases, and if so, how successful he has been representing these clients in the past.

Create an outline.

Many people leave consultations with attorneys and realize they left out very important details regarding their cases. A personal injury attorney will need to know the ins and outs of your case before deciding whether he should take it on, so take the time to create a brief outline prior to the consultation. The outline should include important dates such as the accident date, dates of medical treatment, and date you were contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance company. Include as much detail as possible in this outline so the personal injury attorney has a very clear picture of the events that took place.

Bring a pen and paper.

If you are meeting with multiple attorneys before deciding which one to hire, bring a pen and paper with you to each meeting so you can take notes. This will help you remember the details of each consultation so you can review your notes later and decide which attorney you would like to hire.

Now that you know how to prepare for a consultation with a personal injury attorney, it’s time to schedule one. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation regarding your personal injury case. Get in touch with our law office by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What to Do if the Police Pull You Over

What to Do If the Police Pull You Over

If you suddenly see the bright flashing lights of a police car behind you, it’s normal to feel a bit nervous or intimidated. But, how you act when the police officer approaches your vehicle could affect the outcome of the traffic stop. Here’s what to do if the police pull you over:

Prepare for him to approach the car.

Find a safe spot to pull over and immediately do so. Then, prepare for the police officer to approach your car by rolling down the window. If you are smoking a cigarette, put it out prior to him coming to your window. If the traffic stop occurs at night, you may want to turn on the light inside your car so the police officer knows that you are not hiding a weapon or anything else that could cause him harm. Then, keep your hands firmly planted on the steering wheel unless the police officer advises you to do something else.

Be polite.

Don’t give the police officer a reason to dislike you. Be polite when you speak to the officer and do not exhibit any signs of aggression. When you address the officer, call him or her “officer,” “ma’am,” or “sir” to show respect. Being rude will not get you anywhere—in fact, it may make matters worse for you.

Move slowly.

Don’t make any sudden movements while a police officer is by your car. If you quickly and suddenly reach for something in back of your vehicle, the police officer may assume that you are reaching for a weapon. Instead, move slowly and announce what you are doing. For example, if the police officer asks you to hand over your license and registration, but it is in the glove compartment, clearly state that you are going into your glove department to retrieve the requested documents.

Know your rights.

You and your passengers have the right to remain silent during a traffic stop. Exercise this right if the police officer begins to question you. But, don’t just sit there silently. Politely inform the police officer that you will be exercising your right to remain silent. You also have the right to say no to unlawful searches of your vehicle. Unless the police officer has reason to believe that your car contains evidence of a crime, he cannot search your vehicle without your consent. Don’t give consent under any circumstances.

If you have been arrested after being pulled over by a police officer, get in touch with a criminal defense attorney right away. Contact Reisch Law Firm so our attorneys can immediately begin working on your case and defending your rights. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Benefits of Working With a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident

The Benefits of Working With a Personal Injury Attorney After a Car Accident

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, working with a personal injury attorney is your best chance at recovering the compensation you deserve. Although it is not legally required that you hire an attorney in order to recover compensation, it’s strongly recommended that you do so. Why? Here are some of the many benefits of working with a personal injury attorney after a car accident:

Attorneys Can Assess the Value of Your Claim

If you attempt to recover compensation without an attorney, how much will you ask for? It’s much more difficult to determine how much your claim is worth than it may seem. Why? Let’s say you have suffered a back injury in a car accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may compensate you for current and future medical expenses. But, to ensure you receive enough to cover all of your bills, you will need to calculate how much you think your expenses will be. If you don’t realize that you may need additional treatment in the future, you may underestimate the value of your claim and receive an unfair settlement that doesn’t cover your expenses. An attorney knows how to calculate both current and future damages so you won’t run into this problem.

Communicating With the Insurance Company

Personal injury attorneys are skilled negotiators, so they will have no trouble communicating directly with the insurance company to negotiate the terms of a fair settlement. If you attempt to communicate with the insurance company on your own, you may end up falling for one of their tricks that affects your settlement. For example, an insurance adjuster may take some of your statements out of context and use them against you to prove that you were partially or completely at fault for the accident. This won’t happen when you work with an experienced attorney who knows how to handle an insurance company.

Access to Resources

Some personal injury cases are more complicated than others. In complex cases, you may need to call upon expert witnesses to prove your version of events. For example, you may need to hire an expert to reconstruct the car accident and prove the other driver was at fault. But, it can be difficult for you to find and hire these expert witnesses if you don’t have an attorney representing you. As a result, you may be unable to provide evidence that the other party was negligent.

Trial

Most personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom. However, there is a chance that your case will go to trial. If so, you will need an attorney who can represent you well in court and present a strong case that proves you are entitled to compensation.

Are you ready to work with a personal injury attorney now that you understand how beneficial it is to do so? Contact Reisch Law Firm today to talk to our team of personal injury attorneys who have experience representing clients in cases involving traffic accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice, slip and falls, and more. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Surprising Distracted Driving Statistics

Surprising Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted driving occurs when a driver operates a vehicle while also attempting to do something else, such as texting, making phone calls, changing the radio station, eating, talking to other passengers, or applying makeup. There are three types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive. If you are visually distracted, it means your eyes are off of the road, whereas manual distraction indicates that your hands are off of the steering wheel. Finally, cognitive distraction means that your mind is not focused on other things besides the road in front of you. By now, you should know about the potential dangers associated with distracted driving. But, just how dangerous is it? Take a look at these surprising distracted driving statistics:

Length of Time

If you send a text message while driving, your eyes will be off of the road for an average of five seconds. This may not seem like much time at all until you realize that a car traveling at 55 mph can cover the length of a football field within just five seconds. Plus, even though your eyes are only off of the road for five seconds, it’s estimated that you will remain distracted for up to 27 seconds even after you put your phone down.

Texting

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), using a cell phone while driving causes over 1.6 million crashes every year in the U.S. Texting is the most common type of distraction. In fact, one of out every four traffic accidents is caused by drivers who were texting at the time of the collision. This has led researchers to determine that texting while driving is far more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.

Teens & Cell Phones

Distracted driving is prevalent among drivers of all ages, but teens are the biggest offenders. Teens are aware that texting is dangerous, but that doesn’t stop them from doing it. Despite 94% of teens acknowledging that texting while driving is dangerous, over one-third of them admit to doing it anyways.

Teens & Other Distractions

Cell phones aren’t the only distractions that teens face on the road. Teens that have other passengers in the car are far more likely to get into an accident than teens that are by themselves. If a teen has one passenger, he becomes twice as likely to get into a fatal accident. But with two or more passengers, the teen becomes nearly five times as likely to get into a fatal crash.

Have you been injured by a distracted driver? If so, get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We can help you prove the driver was acting negligently at the time of the accident so you can recover the compensation you deserve.. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.