Month: July 2017

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?

There are laws that control who can file a wrongful death claim in Colorado to recover compensation for the loss of a loved one. If you have recently lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another person, it’s important that you understand who can and cannot take legal action.

One person that is allowed to file a wrongful death claim in Colorado is the spouse of the victim. In fact, the spouse is the only person who is able to file a claim within the first year after the victim’s death. In the second year after the victim’s death, both the victim’s death and the victim’s children are able to pursue compensation by filing a wrongful death claim.

Some victims do not leave behind a spouse or children. In this case, the victim’s parents will be allowed to file the claim.

Filing A Survival Action Claim

You may also want to consider filing a survival action claim along with a wrongful death claim. A survival claim is filed to recover compensation for losses that the victim suffered before her death. For example, a victim may have sustained serious injuries in a truck accident. If she was treated in the hospital before eventually passing away from her injuries, the estate may be able to recover compensation for the medical expenses and pain and suffering the victim experienced after the accident and before her passing.

Whereas a wrongful death claim compensates the family members for their loss, a survival action claim compensates the victim’s estate for the losses that the victim suffered prior to his or her death.

The only person who is allowed to file a survival action claim is the representative of the victim’s estate. If any compensation is awarded, it will go to the estate instead of directly to the family members.

Time Limits on Wrongful Death Claims

There are also laws that restrict the amount of time you have to initiate a wrongful death case after the victim passes away. In Colorado, the victim’s family must file the wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of the victim’s death. All family members will lose the opportunity to recover compensation if it has been longer than two years since the victim’s untimely death.

If you have lost a loved one because of the negligent acts of another person, seek legal representation at once. The compassionate attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will guide you through every step of the process during this challenging and emotional time. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How a Truck Accident is Different From a Car Accident

How a Truck Accident is Different From a Car Accident

Truck accidents and car accidents both involve collisions that occur on the road, but the similarities may end there. It’s important that you understand how a truck accident is different from a car accident so you understand the need to hire a personal injury attorney if you are ever involved in a collision with a truck. Here are several of the key differences between these two types of tragic accidents:

Federal Regulations

The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal government. Regulations cover everything from how a truck is maintained to how many hours drivers spend on the road before taking a break. If an accident occurs because one of these regulations was violated, the trucking company can be held liable. These regulations are unique to the trucking industry and will not affect your case if you were involved in a collision with another car.

More Severe Injuries

Semi-trucks weigh around 80,000 pounds, which is significantly higher than the average weight of a car. These trucks can do a great deal of damage when they collide into a vehicle. As a result, truck accident victims often sustain far more serious injuries than car accident victims. Some of the most common injuries include fractured bones, spinal cord damage, and traumatic brain injuries.

Larger Insurance Policies

Car and truck accident victims typically recover compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But, the amount of compensation that you can recover from an insurance company is limited based on how much coverage the insurance policy provides. For example, if the at-fault driver in a car accident has a $25,000 insurance policy, this is the most you will be able to recover from the company. But, the insurance policies are much larger on trucks, so you may be able to recover much more than you would with a car accident claim.

Liability Challenges

Usually one of the drivers involved in the car accident is found liable for the collision. But, liability is a bit more complicated in a truck accident. There are a number of parties that may be held liable for a truck accident, including the truck driver, trucking company, parts manufacturer, and the company that loaded the cargo. Identifying who is liable is challenging, which is one of the many reasons why you will need an attorney if you are involved in a truck accident.

If you have been injured in a truck accident or car accident, seek legal representation at once. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will fight tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Cost of Spinal Cord Injuries

The Cost of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are one of the most devastating types of injuries that you can sustain, so it’s no surprise that there are significant costs associated with these injuries. But, what is the actual cost of spinal cord injuries? How much should you expect to spend if you sustain spinal cord damage? Here’s what you need to know:

Medical Expenses

The medical expenses that you incur after a spinal cord injury will depend on the severity of the injury and the treatment that is needed. Injuries may need to be treated with surgery, rehabilitation, long-term care, medical equipment, and medication.

Costs tend to be the highest during the first year and then decrease in the years after. The Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation estimates that people with high tetraplegia will spend around $1 million on medical expenses in the first year, and then about $185,000 every year after. Victims with low tetraplegia spend about $769,000 in the first year, and $113,000 in the following years. The Foundation also estimates that paraplegics will incur around $518,000 in medical expenses during the first year, which will then drop down to $69,000 beginning in the second year.

Spinal cord injury victims may also experience mental health issues that need to be treated by a mental health professional, which can increase the annual medical expenses even further.

Lost Wages

Besides the medical expenses, victims will also suffer lost wages when their injuries prevent them from working. The vast majority of spinal cord injury victims are unable to work during the first year. Some victims are eventually able to return to work, but only after years of treatment. Even if you do eventually return to the workplace, you may not be able to work as many hours or return to the same type of work you were doing prior to your injury.

Other Expenses

There are other expenses associated with spinal cord injuries that also need to be taken into consideration when valuing your personal injury claim. Many spinal cord injury victims need to modify their homes by installing wheelchair ramps or elevators so they can get around, which can cost thousands of dollars. Spinal cord injury victims may also need to travel to another city or state to receive treatment from specialists. The costs of airfare and hotel accommodations should also be included in your personal injury claim.

Life after a spinal cord injury is incredibly expensive. If you have sustained a spinal cord injury because of the negligence of another person, you may be able to recover compensation for these expenses by filing a personal injury claim. Contact an attorney at Reisch Law Firm to discuss your legal options. You can schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

The Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect go unreported. This is because the victims are often too ashamed or scared to come forward or may not know how to go about reporting it. Some victims may even fear that they will be retaliated against for reporting abuse. Because of this, it’s important that you learn how to spot the signs of nursing home abuse so you can get your loved one help when he or she needs it.

Physical Signs of Abuse

The most obvious signs of abuse will appear on your loved one’s body. Be sure that you frequently check your loved one for bruising, cuts, wounds, and bed sores that indicate she is being abused. If your loved one has suddenly lost a lot of weight or is suffering from frequent infections, this could also be a sign of abuse or neglect.

You should also take note of any changes to your loved one’s personal hygiene. Extreme changes in personal hygiene could be a sign that your loved one is suffering abuse.

Behavioral and Mental Changes

Have you noticed that your loved one is acting odd? This could be a sign of abuse. Many nursing home abuse victims may be withdrawn and unwilling to talk to their family. Victims may be easily agitated and lash out or may burst into tears for no apparent reason. These mood swings are common among those who have suffered extreme abuse. If you notice that your loved one becomes nervous or uncomfortable when a nursing home employee comes into the room, this is also a sign that something is wrong.

Signs of Financial Abuse

You should also be on the lookout for signs that your loved one is being financially abused. If you have access to her finances, look for any unexplained withdrawals or transfers of money. If you don’t have access to her accounts, try to look through her checkbook to see if there are any missing checks that could have been stolen by a nursing home employee. Also, check your loved one’s room to ensure that none of her valuables are missing. You may even want to ask your loved one’s permission to run frequent credit checks. This will help you determine if someone has stolen your loved one’s information to open credit card accounts or engage in other fraudulent activity.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, it’s imperative that you take immediate action. Contact an attorney at Reisch Law Firm right away to discuss your legal options. You can schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Happens if You Violate the Terms of Probation?

What Happens if You Violate the Terms of Probation?

Some people that have been convicted of a crime will be sentenced to probation instead of jail time. Probation allows the defendant to stay out of jail as long as he follows certain rules that are set by his probation officer. Some of the terms of probation may include meeting with your probation officer on a regular basis, appearing at all court hearings, paying fines to the victims, refraining from alcohol or drug use, and not leaving the state without prior permission. If you choose to violate the terms of probation, you could face serious legal consequences. Here’s what you should expect immediately after you commit a violation of probation:

Notice to Appear in Court

If you violate the terms of probation, your probation officer can either issue a warning or require you to appear in court for a probation violation hearing. The probation officer will decide whether to issue a warning or take you to court based on a number of factors, including the severity of the violation and whether you have violated the terms of your probation in the past.

The Probation Hearing

The probation officer may decide against issuing a warning and take you to court to attend a probation hearing instead. The judge presiding over your case will listen to both sides and determine if a violation occurred. Unlike in criminal court, the prosecutor does not need to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor only needs to show that you are guilty by a preponderance of evidence, which does not require as much proof.

The Sentencing

If the prosecutor is able to prove that you violated the terms of your probation, you will face penalties. The judge may decide to extend the length of your probation or create additional terms of your probation. In some cases, the judge may decide to send you to jail. He can either send you for a brief period of time or he can revoke your probation and order you to serve the rest of your time behind bars.

The judge may take your criminal record, history of violations, and the nature of the violation in consideration when determining an appropriate sentence.

You have the right to an attorney during your probation hearing, and it’s important that you exercise this right. If you have been accused of violating your probation, contact an attorney at Reisch Law Firm right away. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

The Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

People who are facing criminal charges often worry about the possibility that they will end up behind bars. But, they may not realize that this is just one of the many consequences of a criminal conviction. A conviction can lead to a number of short and long-term consequences, including:

Deportation

If you are not a U.S. citizen, it’s possible that you could be deported if you are convicted of committing a crime. Not only will you be deported, but you may also be denied re-entry into the U.S. for the rest of your life. Every criminal conviction does not automatically lead to deportation, so it’s important to let your attorney know if you are not a U.S. citizen so he can prepare to defend your right to stay in the country.

Lack of Employment Opportunities

A criminal conviction will remain on your record long after the trial is over, which could affect your ability to find employment. Employers often conduct background checks on job applicants, and if they see a conviction on your record, it’s possible that you will not be hired for the job. This is especially true if your conviction is related to theft, white collar crime, sexual assault, or violence. Many companies do not want to be responsible for employing people with these convictions on their records.

Some convictions may automatically make you ineligible for certain employment opportunities. For instance, you will not be hired by a school district if you have a sex crime conviction on your criminal record.

Reputation

Certain convictions may affect your reputation for the rest of your life. For example, if you are convicted of a sex crime, others may immediately view you differently. Your personal and professional reputation may suffer from this type of conviction, which can make it hard for you to form relationships or advance in your career. People that you were once close to may begin to distance themselves from you after learning about the conviction. It may take years for you to rebuild your reputation in your personal and professional life after a conviction.

As you can see, there are many other consequences of a conviction outside of jail time, fines, probation, and community service. If you would like to avoid these consequences, it’s in your best interests to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Don’t let the consequences of a criminal conviction affect the rest of your life. If you have been charged with a crime, speak to an attorney at Reisch Law Firm. Our attorneys will fight tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Are Juries Selected For a Criminal Trial

How Are Juries Selected For a Criminal Trial

Anyone who is charged with a crime has a right to a trial by jury that is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution. These jury members play an important role in the criminal trial because they will ultimately determine whether you are innocent or guilty. How are juries selected for your trial? Here’s a look at the process:

Random Selection

First, names will randomly be pulled from a pool of potential jurors, which is a list that is frequently updated by the state. The people that are pulled will receive a notice in the mail that informs them of the date and time they are expected to appear for jury duty.

“Voir Dire” Jury Selection

After the potential jurors have arrived in court, the lawyers and judge will select the 12 people that will sit on the jury through a process called “voir dire,” which is a French phrase that means “to speak the truth.” The judge will begin by asking each potential juror questions about their eligibility to serve on a jury. This may include asking about whether being a jury member will cause them undue hardship. If it will, the potential juror may be dismissed.

Challenging Jury Members

After the judge has finished, the lawyers will have a chance to continue the “voir dire” process by asking jury members questions. Lawyers will want to know if the jurors have any prior knowledge of the case that could affect their ability to be unbiased. Attorneys may also ask jurors personal questions to get a better idea of whether they are fit to hear this case. For example, an attorney who is defending someone who is accused of committing sexual assault may ask jurors about their own history with sexual assault. If a juror has been sexually assaulted in the past, it may not be in the defense’s best interests to have her sitting on the jury.

If a lawyer or judge feels that a potential juror will be biased when deciding on the defendant’s fate, the juror may be dismissed. In the example above, the sexual assault victim may rule against the defendant even if it is clear that he is innocent because of her own negative experiences. If a lawyer thinks a juror may be biased, the juror is not dismissed unless the judge grants the lawyer’s dismissal request.

Once both lawyers are satisfied with the selected jury members, the jurors will be officially sworn in by the court clerk and the trial will begin.

If you are facing criminal charges, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side through every step of the legal process. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will aggressively protect your rights and defend you against the charges. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Protect Your Kids From Dog Bites

How to Protect Your Kids From Dog Bites

It’s estimated that dogs bite around 4.7 million people every year, and nearly half of these victims are children between the ages of 5 and 9. Kids are too young to understand that dogs may be dangerous, so it’s up to parents to teach them how to behave around unfamiliar dogs. Protect your kids from dog bites by teaching them these tips:

Ask for permission.

Tell your children that they should never approach or touch an unknown dog before asking the owner for permission. If your child quickly reaches out and tries to pet a dog without asking for permission, the owner may not have time to warn him that the dog is aggressive.

Don’t escalate the situation.

Make sure your child knows how to avoid provoking a dog that already looks agitated. If your child encounters an aggressive-looking animal, be sure that he knows not to make any sudden movements. Children should also refrain from yelling, throwing something at the dog, or hitting the dog in an attempt to get him to go away. It’s best if the child remains completely still or slowly and quietly backs away from the animal if in this situation.

Look for warning signs.

Dogs may not be able to speak, but their body language can speak volumes. Dogs that are showing their teeth, growling, or snarling are preparing to attack. Other signs of aggression may not be so obvious. For example, dogs that are excessively yawning or licking their lips may also be tense and getting ready to attack. Look at the dog’s back to see if any of his fur is raised. The fur on the back and neck of a dog may begin to rise when he feels threatened, so this is another warning sign that your child should take seriously.

Don’t treat a dog like a toy.

Parents need to make it clear that dogs are living, breathing creatures and should not be treated like toys. If you don’t take the time to explain this to your kids, they may not understand that it’s not appropriate to tug on a dog’s tail or ears or to take a toy from his mouth.

Give him alone time.

Most dogs are friendly, but there are certain times that they want to be left alone. Tell your children to never bother a dog as he is eating or sleeping. Approaching a dog that is eating or sleeping may catch him off guard and cause him to attack.

Even if your child follows all of these tips, there’s a chance that a dog could still attack. If your child has been bitten by a dog, contact Reisch Law Firm today to learn how we can help you recover compensation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse

Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse is becoming a major problem for facilities across the country. Abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, financial, and psychological. For most people, the thought of inflicting harm on a vulnerable nursing home resident is repulsive. So, why are there so many victims? Here are some of the most common causes of nursing home abuse:

Inexperience

Sometimes, the abuse inflicted upon nursing home residents is a result of inexperience. Nursing home employees that are not properly trained may not know how to properly care for the elderly. Dealing with residents that require a lot of attention may be too much to handle for those who don’t have a lot of experience. These employees may lash out and become physically or emotionally abusive when they feel overwhelmed or frustrated.

Understaffing

The senior population is growing, which means more and more people are entering nursing homes. Some nursing homes may not have enough employees to handle the number of residents within a facility. This could lead to neglect, which occurs when a resident is not given the food, medication, water, or care that he needs. It can also lead to abuse if the overworked and stressed out nursing home employee takes out his frustrations on the innocent resident.

Failure to Properly Screen Employees

Nursing home facilities should carefully screen job applicants to ensure they are only hiring those who will treat residents with the utmost care. Unfortunately, some nursing homes fail to do so and end up hiring people who do not have the best intentions. For example, a nursing home may hire someone who has a history of committing petty theft. This person may take advantage of the vulnerable nursing home residents and steal their belongings while on the job. This is a form of financial abuse, and nursing homes can prevent it by properly screening potential employees.

Lack of Supervision

Most cases of abuse involve a nursing home employee inflicting harm on a resident, but there are some cases where one resident abuses another. Nursing homes that adequately supervise their residents would be able to prevent this type of abuse. But unfortunately, residents are not always supervised by nursing home employees.

If you or a loved one has been abused in a nursing home, seek legal representation from Reisch Law Firm today. Let our attorneys investigate your case so we can help you seek justice against the abusers. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What You Need to Know About Modified Comparative Negligence Laws in Colorado

What You Need to Know About Modified Comparative Negligence Laws in Colorado

The amount of compensation that you are able to recover for a personal injury may be affected by the modified comparative negligence laws in Colorado. What are these laws? How will they affect your settlement or verdict? Here’s everything that you need to know:

The Basics of Comparative Negligence

In order to recover compensation in a personal injury claim, you must be able to show that the defendant caused your injuries. But in some cases, it’s possible that both you and the defendant contributed to the cause of your injuries. For example, if you slip on a puddle of water inside a retail store and injure yourself, you may try to recover compensation from the property owner because he allowed this hazard to exist on his property. However, let’s say you were distracted by a cell phone at the time of the accident. If you could have easily avoided the accident by paying attention to where you were walking, you may be partially at fault.

In these cases, the defendant and plaintiff will each be assigned a percentage of the blame. In the above example, the property owner may be assigned 80% of the blame whereas the victim may receive 20% of it. The percentage of blame that is assigned to you is important because it will affect the amount of compensation that you are able to recover.

How Modified Comparative Negligence Laws Affect Compensation

Your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault that has been assigned to you. Let’s say that the total compensation awarded to you was $10,000 in the above slip and fall example. Because you were found to be 20% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 20%, or $2,000 and you would only receive $8,000.

However, some victims may not be able to recover any compensation at all if they are partially to blame for the accident. This occurs in cases where the victim is found to be over 50% responsible. Because the victim is assigned more of the blame than the defendant, the victim is not eligible for compensation.

The concept of modified comparative negligence can come into play in any type of personal injury case. It’s important that you work with an attorney who knows how to prove that the other party was at fault and that your contribution to the cause of the accident was minimal.

Have you been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault? Seek legal representation from Reisch Law Firm today. Our team of attorneys can gather the evidence needed to prove that you were not at fault for the accident so you can recover the maximum amount of compensation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.