Month: September 2017

How An Insurance Adjuster Calculates the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

How An Insurance Adjuster Calculates the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

An insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company who is assigned to your case to gather evidence, calculate the value of your claim, and negotiate a settlement with you. It’s important to understand how insurance adjusters work so you know what to expect, especially when it comes to the valuation of your claim. Here’s how an insurance adjuster calculates the value of your personal injury claim:

Calculates the Total Medical Expenses

First, the insurance adjuster will add up the medical expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries. However, during this calculation, the insurance adjuster may decide that some medical expenses should not be included. These are known as “soft” medical expenses, and they can include bills from chiropractors, physical therapists, and other healthcare providers that are not physicians.

Factor in Pain and Suffering

The next step is to factor in the pain and suffering that you have experienced since sustaining your injuries. If the insurance adjuster believes your injuries are minor, he will multiply your total medical expenses by 1.5 or 2. When the injuries are more severe, the insurance adjuster typically goes up to 5, however he can go as high as 10. This number will then be added to the total medical expenses.

Lost Income

Then, the insurance adjuster will need to review the evidence you have submitted that shows the amount of income you have lost due to your injuries. The insurance adjuster will arrive at an amount after reviewing your evidence, and then add this figure to the previous total.

Comparative Negligence Deductions

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means you can still recover compensation even if you are partly at fault for the accident. How does it work? The insurance adjuster will carefully review the case to determine the role that both parties played in the accident. If the insurance adjuster believes you are 25% at fault and the other party was 75% at fault, he will reduce the value of your claim by 25%.

The number that the insurance adjuster arrives at after following these steps may be the first offer that he extends to you during negotiations. But, the insurance adjuster often underestimates the value of your claim in an attempt to get you to settle for less than you deserve.

If you have been injured, never accept an offer from an insurance company without consulting with an attorney first. The personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will help you calculate the actual value of your claim so you don’t make the mistake of accepting an offer that is lower than what you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?

What is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?

If your child has been injured on another person’s property, it’s important that you understand the attractive nuisance doctrine and how this legal concept can impact your case. But in order to understand the attractive nuisance doctrine, you must first learn about the premises liability concept.

Premises Liability

Under premises liability laws, property owners have a legal obligation to maintain their properties in order to prevent injuries from occurring. But, they do not have an obligation to protect every person who steps foot onto the property. If someone is illegally trespassing on a property, the owner does not owe this trespasser the same duty of care that he owes to a legal visitor.

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

Adults know that trespassing is illegal, but young children might not understand this concept. Therefore, if your child sees something that grabs his attention in a neighbor’s yard, he may wander into the yard uninvited. Technically, he is trespassing since he is not a legal visitor, but because he is a child, the property owner may still be liable if he is injured.

The attractive nuisance doctrine was established so children who were injured on while illegally trespassing on another person’s property could recover compensation for their injuries from the property owner. There are four elements that must be proven in an attractive nuisance case, including:

  • The plaintiff was drawn to the property because of some activity or condition that is appealing to kids.
  • The activity or condition that grabbed the child’s attention created an unreasonable risk of injury to children.
  • The plaintiff was not mature enough to understand the potential risks. In Colorado, the attractive nuisance doctrine applies to children under the age of 14.
  • The defendant did not take any action to protect children like the plaintiff from injuries.

For example, a child may be drawn into a neighbor’s yard because he sees a pool and wants to go swimming. The child is so young that he does not understand the dangers of swimming unsupervised, so he jumps in, and suffers a traumatic brain injury after diving into the shallow end. In this case, the defendant may be held liable for the child’s injuries. However, if the defendant had a fence around his pool that was designed to keep young children out, he would probably not be held liable if the child still managed to injure himself in the pool.

Has your child been injured on another person’s property? Even if he was trespassing, he could still recover compensation with the help of the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can A Landlord Be Responsible For Slip and Fall Injuries?

Can A Landlord Be Responsible For Slip and Fall Injuries?

One term that arises in every slip and fall case is “premises liability.” Premises liability is a legal concept that describes a property owner’s responsibility to maintain safe conditions on his property. This legal concept applies to all property owners—even landlords. Can a landlord be responsible for slip and fall injuries that occur on his property? In some cases, yes. Here’s what you need to know:

Proving Negligence

Property owners—including landlords—are not automatically responsible for slip and fall injuries. In order to prove liability, you must show that the landlord was negligent, and that his negligence directly led to your injuries.

How did you injure yourself? Identify the hazard that caused you to slip and fall, and then determine how it got there. For instance, let’s say you slipped on a puddle of water inside your home that has formed because of a leak in the roof. Next, ask yourself if the landlord knew about the hazardous condition that caused your injuries. Did the landlord know about the puddle of water on the floor? It’s unlikely, unless he had recently been inside your home. But, did he know your roof was leaking? Tenants typically notify their landlords immediately when the roof is leaking so the landlord can arrange to have it fixed right away. If the landlord knew about the roof, you may be able to argue that he should have known about the hazards the roof would cause, such as a puddle of water inside your home.

Timing will always a play a role in proving negligence. When did you tell your landlord about the leak? If you had just told him a few hours prior to your accident, then the court may find that it’s unreasonable to expect him to have fixed the roof leak so quickly. However, if it has been weeks and he has not made an effort to fix the problem, then this may be considered negligence.

To put it simply, a landlord is negligent when he knows or should have known about a hazardous condition on his property, but does not take action to fix the issue.

Terms of the Lease

If you want to take legal action against your landlord, you should provide your attorney with a copy of your lease. There may something within the lease that could affect your personal injury claim. For instance, if you slip on ice that has accumulated on the walkway up to your front door, you may want to file a claim against your landlord. But, if the lease specifically states that the tenant is responsible for maintaining the outdoor area, then you may not have a claim.

Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident on a rental property? If so, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Proving a landlord is liable can be tricky, but our attorneys have the legal knowledge and experience to handle this challenge. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Aiding vs. Abetting vs. Being an Accessory to a Crime

Aiding vs. Abetting vs. Being an Accessory to a Crime

There is often confusion as to what aiding, abetting, and being an accessory to a crime means. These terms are used interchangeably because they are very similar in nature, however they do not mean the exact same thing. Here are the differences between aiding, abetting, and being an accessory to a crime in Colorado:

Two Types of Parties

If you are involved in committing a crime, you can either be labeled as a principal or an accessory. A principal is a person who actually commits the crime, while an accessory is someone who provides assistance to the principal after the crime. Although accessories did not actually commit the crime, they can still face criminal penalties for assisting the person who did commit it.

Aiding vs. Abetting vs. Accessory

Aiding is the act of helping the principal commit the crime, while abetting is the act of encouraging or inciting the principal to commit the crime. These two acts are often referred to together as aiding and abetting. You may be accused of aiding and abetting if the following three conditions are met:

  • Another person committed the crime.
  • You knew about the crime or the principal’s intent to commit the crime.
  • You provided some type of assistance or encouragement to help the principal commit the crime.

Most of the time, those who are accused of aiding and abetting are considered to be just as criminally liable as the principal who committed the crime. However, it is very likely that the principal will receive a much harsher sentence than someone who is accused of aiding and abetting.

An accessory is someone who is aware that the principal has committed a crime and helps him in some way, such as hiding evidence that could be used to convict him or helping him escape capture. For example, let’s say your friend tells you that he committed armed robbery at a local bank. If you dispose of the weapon that he used to commit the crime so law enforcement officers cannot find it and use it as evidence against him, you are now considered an accessory to the crime. However, helping a friend without knowledge that he committed the crime does not make you an accessory. Accessories will face criminal charges for their role in the crime, but most of the time, the charges and penalties are less severe for an accessory than they are for the principal.

Innocent people are often accused of aiding, abetting, or acting as an accessory to a crime. If you are facing these accusations, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. We will immediately begin defending your rights and poking holes in the prosecutor’s case against you. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What to Do if There’s a Warrant Out For Your Arrest

What to Do if There’s a Warrant Out For Your Arrest

An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge that gives police officers the power to arrest a specific person. Before a police officer can obtain an arrest warrant, he must be able to establish probable cause that the individual committed a crime. Once the warrant is issued, a police officer can arrest you at any time, so it’s important to know when there is a warrant out for your arrest.

To look for outstanding arrest warrants, you can either contact an attorney for help or perform an online search. Go to the website for the city or county that you live in or Google something along the lines of “arrest warrants in Denver.” This should direct you to a page where you can search for your name and see if there is a warrant issued for your arrest. If you can’t find the page online, you can always call the court clerk and ask if there is an outstanding warrant in your name.

If there is a warrant out for your arrest, it’s in your best interests to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Provide him with your information so he can look up the arrest warrant, which should contain information on the criminal charges that you face. He will be able to explain what charges have been filed against you and the possible penalties you may face for each charge if you are convicted.

The attorney will advise you on the next steps that you should take. It’s recommended that you turn yourself in as soon as possible instead of waiting for the police to track you down and arrest you. Why? By turning yourself in, you are showing that you are not going to run away from the charges. A judge will most likely take this into consideration when determining your bail. He may assume that you are not a flight risk since you were willing to turn yourself in, which will work in your favor.

If possible, have your attorney escort you when you turn yourself in so he can ensure that your rights are not violated. Your attorney will then get to work securing your release from custody and crafting an appropriate defense strategy for your case.

Do you think there’s a warrant out for your arrest? If so, don’t wait to find out the hard way. The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will investigate to determine if there’s an outstanding warrant in your name, and then offer you guidance on what to do next. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Documents to Use As Evidence in A Personal Injury Case

Documents to Use As Evidence in A Personal Injury Case

If you want to recover compensation for your injuries, having the right evidence is key to building a convincing case. Begin gathering these documents as soon as possible so you can use them as evidence in a personal injury case:

Police Report

If a police report was filed, it’s important to get your hands on this document so you can use it as evidence in your claim. Police reports are common types of evidence in car accident cases, because one or more of the drivers involved will call 9-1-1 to request that a police officer comes to the scene. When he arrives, he will talk to witnesses and examine physical evidence before writing a report that identifies the liable party and explains the events leading up to the accident.

To request a police report, you can either contact the police department by phone or see if there is a way to request a report online.

Medical Records

Request a copy of your medical records so you can prove that you immediately sought treatment after the accident and the extent of your injuries. This is a crucial piece of evidence that can make or break your personal injury claim. If you don’t have all of your medical records, it will be nearly impossible to convince the insurance company that you deserve compensation for your injuries.

Journal Entries

It’s recommended that you begin to keep a daily journal immediately after you have sustained injuries. Everyday, write a brief entry that describes the symptoms you are experiencing, how you feel emotionally, and how the injuries have impacted your life. This is often introduced in personal injury cases to show the pain and suffering that the victim has had to endure as a result of her injuries.

Employer Statement

Some injuries are so severe that the victim is forced to take time off of work in order to recover from them. If this happened to you, it’s imperative that you request a statement from your employer that outlines the days you were absent from work. Providing this employer statement will help your attorney negotiate for compensation for your lost wages.

If you have been injured, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will help you understand what documents you will need to provide to strengthen your case. Then, we will immediately begin negotiations with the insurance company. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Cost of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The Cost of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can take a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Unfortunately, these severe injuries can also take a toll on your finances. The cost of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can vary depending on the severity of the injuries and the treatment you need to recover. But, here’s a general look at some of the costs that are associated with treating TBIs:

Total Costs of TBIs in the United States

Medical experts estimate that every year in the United States, $48.3 billion is spent treating traumatic brain injuries. Almost two-thirds of this is due to hospitalization costs, while the other one-third is attributed to the cost of TBI fatalities. It’s not surprising to see how much TBIs cost the U.S. every year, given that these injuries are a contributing factor in 30% of all injury-related deaths. It’s important to note that this figure does not include costs associated with lost income or productivity, so the actual cost is probably much higher.

The Cost Per Victim

Now that you know how much TBIs cost the country every year, you may be wondering how much they can cost each individual who suffers one of these injuries. The exact cost will vary, but it’s estimated that the lifetime cost of a mild head injury is about $85,000. But, the costs increase as the injury becomes more serious. Victims who sustain moderate head injuries should expect to pay around $940,000, while those who have severe injuries should expect to pay upwards of $3 million.

Why are these injuries so expensive? Victims may require emergency surgery immediately after sustaining a brain injury. They also may spend days, weeks, or even months in a hospital until a doctor decides their condition has improved enough to warrant a release. Victims may require months of physical therapy, rehabilitation, and mental health counseling after a TBI to help them live independently and cope with the changes.

Even after victims finish treatment, they may be unable to return to work or forced to find another job if they can no longer perform the duties of their existing one.

Based on these estimations, it’s clear that brain injury victims will need to work with an attorney who can recover as much compensation for them as possible. If you make the mistake of accepting a settlement offer before speaking to an attorney, you could end up paying for a lot of your medical expenses, which is a huge financial burden to bear.

If you have sustained a traumatic brain injury, seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today to learn how we can maximize the amount of compensation you are able to recover. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What You Should Know About Habitual Offender Laws in Colorado

What You Should Know About Habitual Offender Laws in Colorado

There are a number of factors that could lead to harsher penalties for defendants, including whether or not the defendant is labeled a habitual offender. What are the habitual offender laws in Colorado? How could these laws impact your case? Here’s everything you need to know:

What is a habitual offender?

In the state of Colorado, a habitual offender is someone who has a record with multiple criminal convictions. People with multiple misdemeanor convictions will not be labeled as habitual offenders, however if you have three felony convictions on your record, you will be a habitual offender in the eyes of the law.

The law was originally established to deter those who had been convicted of committing other crimes once they were released back into the community. However, it has been criticized for being too harsh on repeat offenders.

What penalties will habitual offenders face?

The law allows the court to punish habitual offenders more severely than first-time offenders. If you have been convicted of two felonies within the last 10 years, and you are then convicted of a third felony, this means you are now a habitual offender. The consequences you face will depend on the crime that you have been convicted of committing. As a habitual offender, you could face up to three times the maximum sentence for the crime that you have committed. For instance, let’s say the crime you committed typically has a maximum sentence of 2 years behind bars. Because you are a habitual offender with three felony convictions, the maximum sentence you could face is 6 years.

If you are convicted for a fourth time, the possible penalties are enhanced even further. Fourth-time felony offenders may receive up to four times the maximum sentence. Using the previous example, this means the fourth-time offender would face a possible sentence of up to 8 years in jail.

The penalties increase again if you are convicted for a fifth time. If a habitual offender with four prior felony convictions on his record is convicted of committing a violent felony, he will face a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for a minimum of 40 years.

If you have been charged with a felony, even if it is your first brush with the law, it’s imperative to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and defend you against the charges that have been filed. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can Gaps in Medical Treatment Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

Can Gaps in Medical Treatment Affect Your Personal Injury Case?

Personal injury attorneys often warn their clients that compensation is never a guarantee because there are so many factors that could affect the outcome of your case. One of these factors is gaps in medical treatment after an accident. How will this affect your case? Here’s what you need to know:

Types of Gaps in Medical Treatment

There are two types of gaps that the insurance company may use against you. The first is a gap between the time that you were injured and the first time you received medical treatment. In this situation, the insurance company may argue that your injuries were not sustained in the accident, because if they were, you wouldn’t have waited so long to get treatment.

The second type of gap in medical treatment is the time between your first and second visit to a doctor. This could affect your ability to recover compensation in some cases. For example, let’s say you visit a doctor immediately after the accident and are told to come back for a follow-up visit in one week. If you wait two months to return to the doctor, this is a huge gap in your treatment. The insurance company will have access to your medical records, so they will see that the doctor requested a follow-up visit in one week, but you chose to wait a month. This shows the insurance adjuster that you did not follow doctor’s orders, which means you could have made your injuries worse because you failed to do what you were supposed to do.

Provide Explanations For Gaps

To prevent these gaps from lowering the amount of compensation you are able to recover, it’s important to provide explanations for any gaps in your medical treatment. For instance, if there was a death in your immediate family, let the insurance company know that this is why you had to push back your follow-up appointment with the doctor. If you went to get a second opinion after your first visit with your doctor, make sure you provide these records as well so the insurance company sees that you were still seeking treatment elsewhere during the gap between the first and second visit. If you don’t have an explanation for any gaps in your treatment, the insurance adjuster will most likely point these gaps out during negotiation process.

Insurance companies will use any excuse they can find to lower the value of your claim, but the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm won’t allow this to happen. Contact our attorneys today if you have been injured due to the negligent acts of another person. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Calculate Long-Term Expenses in a Personal Injury Claim

How to Calculate Long-Term Expenses in a Personal Injury Claim

Some injuries are minor, so they will heal within a matter of days or weeks. But unfortunately, many injuries that personal injury victims sustain are far more serious. Some victims may not see a significant improvement for months or even years after the accident. Others may never see any type of improvement. If you have sustained an injury that will continue to affect you in the future, it’s imperative that you add in the cost of long-term expenses and lost wages when calculating the value of your claim. How can you calculate long-term expenses in a personal injury claim? Follow these tips:

Talk to your doctor.

A good place to start when calculating these expenses is with your doctor. Talk to him about what the future looks like for you. How long will you need to attend rehabilitation? Will you need any other treatments? Is it possible that you could suffer a setback in your recover and need additional treatment? Will you be able to return to work? Ask your doctor to provide you with a written statement that covers these topics. Not only will this help you calculate your long-term expenses, but the statement can also be provided to the insurance company and used as proof of your future expenses.

Calculate recurring expenses.

Some expenses may be recurring, so you should look at how much you’re currently paying, then figure out how long you will be paying these expenses. For example, if you have to take prescription medication as a result of your injuries, figure out how many refills you will need of the medicine, and then calculate that number by the cost of one month’s supply.

Figure out your lost wages.

It’s possible that your injuries will affect your ability to work, so you will need to calculate how much income you will lose in the future. Let’s say you have had to find a new job that does not require physical labor because you could no longer perform the duties of your old job. This new job pays you $3 less per hour than your old job, so you are losing $3 every working hour because of your injuries. In this case, you should work with an attorney to determine how many years you would have spent in your old job if you had not been injured. Then, you can calculate exactly how much income you have lost because of your injuries.

Calculating long-term expenses in a personal injury claim can be challenging, so don’t attempt to do it without the help of an attorney. If you have been injured, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. We will immediately begin to gather evidence related to your injuries so we can accurately calculate the value of your claim. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.