Month: August 2017

How Do You Know if You Have a Personal Injury Case?

How Do You Know if You Have a Personal Injury Case?

So, you’ve been injured in a car crash, slip and fall, or some other type of unexpected accident. Many of your friends and family members may have recommended that you contact a attorney to discuss your case. But, how do you know if you have a personal injury case? Here are the three keys to every personal injury claim:

Negligence

First, consider whether the person who is responsible for your injuries was negligent. But, what exactly is negligence? People have a “duty of care,” which means they have a legal responsibility to avoid doing any harm to someone else. If this duty of care is breached, the person is said to be acting negligently.

For example, drivers are expected to operate their vehicles as safely as possible to protect other motorists on the road. A driver who decides to operate his vehicle while intoxicated is breaching his duty to other drivers by driving impaired and putting them in harm’s way.

To put it simply, the defendant is negligent if another reasonable person in the defendant’s situation would have known that his actions could potentially harm another person.

The Negligence Caused Injuries

The presence of negligent behavior is not enough to make a strong personal injury case. You must also be able to show that the negligence directly caused your injuries. Using the example above, the drunk driver may be negligent, but he would not be liable for your injuries if he was not involved in the accident. Even though his decision to drive while impaired was negligent, it did not lead to your injuries, and therefore the defendant is not liable.

However, if the drunk driver collided with you because he was too impaired to operate his vehicle, his negligence directly caused your injuries.

Damages

Finally, you will have to be able to prove that the injuries sustained in the accident caused you harm. Did you incur medical expenses? Did you have to take time off of work in order to recover from the injuries? Did the injuries cause you a great deal of emotional and physical pain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be able to recover compensation for the harm you have suffered as a result of your injuries.

Identifying these three elements of a personal injury case can be difficult, which is why it’s always in your best interests to discuss your case with an attorney. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to determine if you have a valid personal injury claim. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Cell Phone Notifications Can Distract Drivers

How Cell Phone Notifications Can Distract Drivers

By now, you have probably heard that texting or talking on the phone can be a huge distraction when driving. But, did you know that just receiving a cell phone notification is enough to distract a driver? Researchers at Florida State University set out to determine to what extent cell phone notifications can distract drivers—and the results may surprise you.

The 150 participants of the study were asked to complete a sustained attention performance test. During the test, participants sat in front of a screen as a series of single-digit numbers were displayed. The participants were asked to touch the screen every time the number changed, as long as the number was not “3”. Each participant sat through the test twice. The first time, the participants were allowed to complete the test without interruptions. However, the second time, the researchers sent text messages and placed phone calls to the participants’ phones so they would receive notifications while trying to concentrate.

Researchers found that the participants were extremely distracted by their notifications even if they did not pick up the phone to respond to the text or answer the call. Just knowing that their phone had a notification was enough to distract them from the task at hand. Researchers also determined that it didn’t matter what type of sound was used to notify the participants of the message or phone call—all notifications created the same level of distraction.

How does this translate to distracted driving? Researchers concluded that people become uncomfortable when they know they have a notification on their phones and have not checked it. Even if they are aware that they shouldn’t check their phones, they feel compelled to do so in order to get rid of the unpleasant feeling. This means drivers who receive notifications while behind the wheel may still check their phones even when they are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving.

Even a cell phone that is on silent or vibrate has the power to distract a driver if he feels the vibration or sees his phone light up from the incoming message or call. To prevent this problem, drivers are encouraged to turn their phones on silent and keep them out of sight. Another option would be to turn the phone completely off while behind the wheel.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prevent License Suspension After a DUI

How to Prevent License Suspension After a DUI

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the power to suspend your license if you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). This can make it difficult to get to work, school, or even to court to fight your criminal charges. Fortunately, there is a way to prevent license suspension after a DUI.

Requesting A Hearing

If you refuse to submit to chemical testing or if you blow a 0.08 or greater on the breathalyzer, the police officer will typically arrest you and issue an “Express Consent Affidavit and Notice of Revocation.” This notice serves as a temporary driver’s license for seven days following the arrest. If you do not want to fight to keep your driving privileges, your license will be suspended at the end of this seven-day period.

However, drivers who do not want their licenses suspended must request a hearing with the DMV before this seven-day period is up. The hearing must be requested in-person at your local DMV office. Your temporary driving privileges will be extended until the date of your hearing, which will take place within two months.

What to Expect at the Hearing

This type of hearing is much less formal than what you will experience when defending yourself against criminal charges in court. Some hearings even take place over the phone, although most are conducted in person.

During the hearing, you will meet with a hearing officer and have the opportunity to ask questions about the procedure. Then, the officer who arrested you will testify if he is present at the hearing, and you will be allowed to cross-examine him afterwards.

The hearing officer will issue a ruling after hearing the testimony. The officer will revoke your driving privileges if based on a preponderance of evidence, he believes that the officer had the right to stop and test you, and that you were driving under the influence at the time of the arrest.

Working With an Attorney

It is not required, but it is in your best interests to have an attorney with you at this hearing. An attorney can investigate your case to determine if the police officer illegally pulled you over or incorrectly administered the test. Law enforcement officers attend these hearings all the time, so they know exactly what to expect and how to answer questions. Let an attorney handle the questioning so you have a better chance of retaining your driving privileges.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our attorneys can defend your rights in both the DMV hearing and criminal court proceedings. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.