Month: September 2017

Questions to Ask Car Accident Witnesses

Questions to Ask Car Accident Witnesses

It’s recommended that you ask any witnesses at the scene of a car accident for their contact information so your attorney can get in touch with them later. Witnesses play an important role in personal injury cases because they may have seen something that you and the other parties involved did not. How can your attorney get to the bottom of what they know? Here are some of the best questions to ask car accident witnesses:

When did you notice the accident?

First, your attorney will establish when the witness started to pay attention to the collision. Some witnesses may have heard the impact of the collision and turned around to look at it right as it was happening. Others may have arrived at the scene of the accident after it had happened in order to see if anyone needed help. But, the most valuable type of witness is one that saw the events leading up to the accident.

Where were you located?

It’s important to find out where the witness was located so you know how well she was able to see the accident. For example, a witness who was driving behind the two vehicles involved in the accident would probably have a good view of what happened, but a witness who was driving in the opposite direction may not have been able to see things so clearly.

What did you see or hear?

Ask the witness to recount what he saw and heard on the day of the accident in as much detail as possible. Was one party driving erratically prior to the accident? Did he notice the either driver speeding or failing to obey traffic lights? Did either driver beep their horn at any point before the accident? Were turning signals used? These are all important questions that can be used to establish fault in the accident.

Can you draw a diagram?

If the interview is conducted in person, it’s helpful to ask the witness to draw a diagram that shows the positioning of each vehicle, the roads, and traffic lights or signs. Ask the witness to include as much information as possible so this diagram can be used to prove the other driver was at fault for the accident.

Remember, let your attorney handle the questioning. Don’t try to speak to a witness at the scene unless you are just asking for their contact information.

At Reisch Law Firm, interviewing witnesses is just one of the many ways our personal injury attorneys gather valuable car accident evidence. We conduct thorough investigations to gather as much evidence as possible so we can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Personal Injury Deposition Questions

Common Personal Injury Deposition Questions

A deposition is one of many tools that attorneys may use to uncover evidence during the discovery phase of a personal injury lawsuit. Your personal injury attorney will thoroughly prepare you prior to a deposition so you know exactly what to expect. What questions will you hear? Here are some of the most common personal injury deposition questions:

Employment Questions

Are you trying to recover lost wages from the at-fault party? If so, expect to hear a lot of questions related to your employment history. The defendant’s attorney will probably ask you to explain what you currently do for a living, how much you make, and how long you have held this position. You might also be asked to list the jobs you’ve held over the last 5-10 years and the reason you left each of these positions.

Medical History

The defendant’s attorney will also ask you questions about your medical history. The purpose of these questions is to determine whether you had any preexisting conditions that could impact your claim. The attorney will very detailed information about which doctors you have seen and what types of treatment you have received over the last 5-10 years. Answer each of these questions to the best of your ability and then add something along the lines of “That’s all that I can recall,” to protect yourself in the event that you accidentally left something out.

Life Impact

During the deposition, it’s very likely that you will be asked how your injuries have impacted your life. How have the injuries affected your day-to-day life? Are there any activities that you can no longer do because of your injuries? The attorney will also want to know whether your injuries have impacted the relationships in your life. For instance, many brain injury victims experience severe emotional and behavioral changes that make it difficult for them to maintain relationships with their loved ones. All of this information will be used to determine whether you should receive pain and suffering damages for your injuries.

Medical Treatment

Another topic that will be covered in your deposition is the medical treatment you received after you were injured. You will be asked to name the doctors you have visited, the treatments you have received, and the dates you received treatment. If you waited to seek medical attention or if there was a gap in your treatment, you will be expected to explain why you made these decisions during your deposition.

While discussing this topic, the defendant’s attorney may ask you a few questions that are designed to get you to say something that can be used against you later. For example, he may ask “But, you’re feeling better today, right?” Discuss how to answer this type of question with your attorney prior to the deposition. Remember, your attorney will be by your side so he can object to the questioning at any point.

If you have been injured, speak to a personal injury attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will guide you through every step of the legal process to ensure you know what to expect. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Nursing Home Abuse vs. Neglect: What’s the Difference?

Nursing Home Abuse vs. Neglect: What’s the Difference?

Over 1.4 million people are currently living in nursing homes across the country. Sadly, many of these residents are not being properly taken care of by nursing home employees or loved ones who visit the facility. Nursing home residents may experience abuse and neglect while living in a facility, and it’s often up to their family members to identify signs of trouble. The first step to protecting your loved ones is learning about the difference between nursing home abuse vs. neglect.

Nursing Home Abuse

Abuse can take many different forms within a nursing home. The first is physical abuse, which is characterized by the use of force against a nursing home resident. Physical abuse is the easiest type of abuse to spot because the victims often have bruises or lacerations on their bodies.

There is also emotional abuse, which occurs when the residents are ignored, humiliated, threatened, or verbally harassed by someone at the facility. Victims of emotional abuse may begin to withdraw and avoid interacting with other residents or employees at the facility. Family members should look for sudden mood changes that indicate their loved one could be suffering.

Nursing home residents can also be sexually abused within the facility. Abusers often target victims who are unable to give consent to sexual activity due to their physical or mental condition. If you are concerned about your loved one being sexually abused, look for physical signs of abuse, including bruising or bleeding, and emotional signs of abuse, including mood swings and withdrawal.

The last type of abuse is financial. This type of abuse occurs when someone steals or misuses money or other assets from a nursing home resident. For example, if an employee steals valuable jewelry or blank checks from a nursing home resident, this is a form of financial abuse.

Nursing Home Neglect

Abuse is always intentional, but neglect may be intentional or unintentional. A nursing home resident is neglected when her basic needs are not met by the staff. For example, residents who are not bathed, cleaned, or given their medications, food, or water are neglected. In many cases, neglect is a result of overstaffing or inadequate training within the facility. If there are not enough employees to care for the residents or if the employees are not properly trained, the residents may be neglected.

Do you believe your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home? If so, speak to an attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will stop at nothing to hold the negligent parties responsible for their disturbing behavior. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Difference Between Jail and Prison

The Difference Between Jail and Prison

People often use the terms jail and prison interchangeably, but they actually describe two distinct places. If you are facing time behind bars, it’s important to understand the difference between jail and prison.

Length of Stay

Jails typically hold defendants who are awaiting trial or those who have been convicted of a crime and ordered to serve a short sentence behind bars. Most people who are in jail have been convicted of misdemeanor crimes. On the other hand, prisons are long-term facilities that typically hold people who have been convicted of felony crimes. People who are sentenced to prison may spend years—or their entire lives—behind bars.

Operations

Jails are operated by local authorities, while prisons are operated by state or federal authorities. If you are sentenced to jail, the facility that you are sent to will most likely be located near the area where you were arrested. However, individuals who are sent to prison may be sent further away since there are not prisons located in every county. This is especially common in cases where the defendant is convicted of a federal crime. There are only about 100 federal prisons in the country, so chances are the one that you are sent to will not be close to home, which makes visitation difficult.

Amenities

Prisons have more amenities than jails because the people who are sent to prison will be there for a long period of time. It is common to see vocational training, recreation facilities, classrooms, and halfway house services within a prison. These amenities are provided to prisoners to keep them busy and to help them adjust to life outside of prison once the end of their sentence is near.

New Arrivals

New detainees arrive at jails across the country everyday, however the number of new inmates at prisons is much lower. This is because people who are arrested for crimes such as drug possession, driving under the influence, or assault are taken to jail, whereas people are only taken to prison when they have been convicted of a crime.

Same Rights

Inmates in jail and prison share similar rights, including the right to access the courts, the right to receive medical attention when needed, and the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment.

If you are facing possible time in jail or prison, speak to an attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Shocking Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

Shocking Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, there were 46.2 million people who were 65 years or older in 2014. This number is expected to grow over the next several decades. In fact, it is estimated that people over the age of 65 will outnumber people under the age of 18 for the first time by the year 2033. As a result of the aging population, the number of nursing home residents has also dramatically increased. Unfortunately, many of these residents could be abused or neglected within nursing home facilities. Take a look at these shocking nursing home statistics to understand the gravity of this problem:

Most Common Types of Abuse

Numerous studies have been conducted to determine which types of nursing home abuse are the most common. Multiple studies have confirmed that financial abuse is by far the most reported type of abuse, followed by emotional, then physical. It’s important to keep this in mind if you have a loved one in a nursing home because the signs of financial abuse are not visible.

Nursing Home Attendants

A study conducted in 2010 revealed that up to half of all nursing home attendants admit to intentionally or unintentionally abusing or neglecting nursing home residents. It’s very likely that some attendants who have committed abuse or neglect did not admit to it in the survey, which means the actual number could be much higher.

The Abusers

Sadly, in 90% of reported nursing home abuse cases, the victim knows her abuser. This means family members or friends who visit the victim or nursing home employees trusted to care for the victim are often responsible for abuse.

Underreported

Many researchers have tried to determine how many residents are abused or neglected in nursing homes every year, however the data that they collect is often inaccurate. Why? Many victims fail to report abuse or neglect. In fact, it’s estimated that only about 20% of incidents are ever reported. This could be because the victim is scared, embarrassed, or physically unable to report the incident. It’s also possible that many of the victims lack the mental capacity to understand that they are being abused or neglected.

Because victims often don’t report abuse, it’s important for family members to monitor their loved ones to look for signs of abuse or neglect.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact Reisch Law Firm to find out how you can seek justice on behalf of your loved one. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

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.