Month: October 2017

What’s the Difference Between DUI and DWAI Charges?

What’s the Difference Between DUI and DWAI Charges?

Almost everyone is familiar with DUI charges, but not many people know about DWAI charges. DUI stands for driving under the influence, while DWAI stands for driving while ability impaired. What’s the difference between DUI and DWAI charges? Here’s what you should know if you are being accused of committing either one of these crimes:

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Testing

The legal limit in the state of Colorado is 0.08, which means if you are above this limit, you can be charged with DUI. However, many people don’t realize that they can still face criminal charges even if their BAC is below 0.08. Drivers who have a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 can be charged with DWAI because the law assumes that anyone within this BAC range is impaired. Furthermore, a police officer can arrest you for DWAI even if your BAC is below 0.05. However, in order to do this, the police officer must have a reason to believe that your ability to drive has been impaired.

Determining the Appropriate Criminal Charges

The district attorney will sometimes charge someone with DWAI when he believes the defendant was under the influence, but does not have enough evidence to convict him of DUI. In some cases, it’s possible to have DUI charges reduced to DWAI charges with the help of a criminal defense attorney.

Penalties

The penalties for each of these crimes are different. DUI is a more serious crime than DWAI, which means the penalties are more serious as well. If you are a first time offender, the penalties for DUI could include up to one year in jail, up to $1000 in fines, 48-96 hours of community service, and a license suspension. However, if you are convicted of DWAI for the first time, you will face up to 180 days in jail, up to $500 in fines, and 24-48 hours of community service.

Both of these criminal charges also add points to your driving record. DUI adds 12 points, while a DWAI adds 8 points. Keep in mind that anyone who has earned 12 points on their driving record within a year will have their license suspended. This means that even though your driver’s license is not automatically suspended if you are charged with DWAI, it could be suspended if adding these 8 points to your record gives you a total of 12 points that have been earned over the last year.

Have you been charged with DUI or DWAI? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. A criminal charge does not always lead to a conviction—especially if you are represented by our criminal defense team. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Slip and Fall Hazards at Hotels and Resorts

Common Slip and Fall Hazards at Hotels and Resorts

No one ever expects to get hurt while on vacation, but unfortunately, many slip and fall accidents happen at hotels and resorts. Don’t let an accident ruin your rest and relaxation—look out for these common slip and fall hazards at hotels and resorts:

Weather Conditions

Hundreds of guests travel in and out of large hotels everyday. If it’s raining or snowing outside, these guests will carry water, mud, and sludge into the hotel on their shoes and clothing. Unfortunately, employees often fail to clean the mess that is made around the main entrances of the hotel or resort, which creates a dangerous slip and fall hazard.

Poor weather conditions can also create hazards outside of the hotel or resort. For example, if the staff fails to salt the steps leading into the building, a guest may slip on a patch of ice and seriously injure himself.

Mopped or Waxed Floors

The employees at hotels and resorts work hard to keep the property sparkling clean, but sometimes a deep clean causes slip and fall accidents. If the floors inside a hotel or resort have recently been mopped or waxed, they may be slippery for a while. To avoid liability, the hotel or resort should have signs up that warn guests about the slippery floors ahead, but many places fail to put these signs in place. As a result, guests lose their footing on the newly cleaned floors and injure themselves.

Parking Lots

Hotels and resorts often have huge parking lots to accommodate all of their guests. Sadly, many slip and fall accidents happen in these parking lots before the guests even get the chance to check into their room. Guests may encounter cracks in the sidewalks or potholes that cause them to fall in the parking lot. It’s also possible that inadequate lighting in the parking lot could contribute to the accident since it’s much harder to spot hazards in the dark.

Flooring

A number of flooring hazards could cause guests at a hotel or resort to slip and fall. For example, guests could easily trip over torn carpeting or slip on a rug that isn’t secured in place. Guests could also lose their balance if the wooden floorboards inside a hotel or resort are uneven. To prevent these slip and fall accidents and avoid liability, hotel and resort property owners must do their part to ensure every inch of the flooring is in good condition.

Have you been injured in a slip and fall accident? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will gather the evidence that we need to prove the property owner should be held liable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Importance of Waiting For the Police After A Car Accident

The Importance of Waiting For the Police After A Car Accident

It’s never a good time to get in a car accident, but some times are worse than others. If you’re rushing to work or trying to get to an important meeting, the last thing that you want to do is wait around for the police to arrive at the scene, especially if it was a minor accident. But, don’t underestimate the value of waiting for the police after a car accident.

The police officer who arrives at the scene will gather information that he needs to write an official report. This report will include the location, date, and time of the accident, in addition to details on any property damage and injuries sustained by the drivers or witnesses. The police may also include statements from the parties involved in the accident, as well as the officer’s opinion on how was at fault.

Clearly, there is a wealth of information in the police report, which is why this document can play such a big role in your personal injury case. A police report can support your version of events and prove to the other driver’s insurance company that you were not to blame for the accident. But, if you didn’t wait for the police, you won’t be able to provide this evidence to the insurance company, which may affect your ability to recover compensation.

At this point, you’re probably wondering why a police report matters in minor accidents where there are no injuries. It often takes hours—or even days—for the symptoms of an injury to appear. In many cases, what starts off as a minor symptom can slowly become worse over a matter of a few hours. So, even though you think you will not need a police report at the scene of the accident, it’s very likely that you will regret this information later on when it becomes clear that you are injured.

It’s been proven that passengers and drivers can sustain injuries in low-speed collisions. In fact, it’s possible to sustain injuries even if the car that hit you was traveling at 10 miles per hour. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to call the police and wait for them to arrive so you have an official police report that summarizes the accident.

Contact a personal injury attorney after leaving the scene of the accident. The team at Reisch Law Firm will thoroughly review your case to determine if you are entitled to compensation. To learn more about your options, schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Written vs. Recorded Statements After A Car Accident

Written vs. Recorded Statements After A Car Accident

As soon as the at-fault party’s insurance company is notified of the accident, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. Shortly after, the insurance adjuster will contact you to discuss the accident and damages. The insurance adjuster may try to pressure you to explain your version of the events in a recorded statement. But, most personal injury attorneys recommend that you put a statement in writing instead of agreeing to record it. What’s the difference? Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of written vs. recorded statements:

Recorded Statements

Insurance companies prefer that you provide recorded statements. Why? The insurance adjuster that is assigned to your case gets to control the conversation because he will be the one asking you questions. This means they can choose to focus on any aspect of the case that they are interested in, which they don’t have the opportunity to do if you submit a written statement. They also have the chance to ask you misleading questions in order to get you to make a statement that can be used against you later on in the case. Even something as minor as saying “I’m fine” when asked “How are you?” could be taken out of context and used against you.

An insurance adjuster will usually ask you to give the recorded statement during the initial phone call about your case. As a result, it’s very likely that you will not be prepared or know what you should avoid saying. This is another reason why insurance adjusters prefer recorded statements. By putting you on the spot, they may be able to get the information they need to lower the value of your claim.

Written Statements

Your personal injury attorney will probably prefer that you submit a written statement as opposed to giving a recorded statement. Why? An attorney can help you put your thoughts in writing and approve the statement before it is sent to the insurance company. He will prevent you from submitting a statement that is unclear or that contains information that you should not provide to the insurance company.

Car accident victims also don’t have to worry about answering questions if they choose a written statement. This gives you complete control over the tone and content of the statement.

If you have been injured, it’s important to contact an attorney before speaking to the insurance company. At Reisch Law Firm, we know exactly how to handle insurance adjusters who are not looking out for your best interest. Our team will aggressively negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How “Respondeat Superior” Could Affect Your Personal Injury Case

How “Respondeat Superior” Could Affect Your Personal Injury Case

One of the first steps in a personal injury case is determining liability. In order to identify who is liable for your injuries, it’s important to understand the concept of “respondeat superior.” Here’s what you need to know about this legal doctrine:

What is Respondeat Superior?

Respondeat superior, which translates to mean “let the master answer,” is a legal doctrine that states an employer may be responsible for the actions of his employee under certain circumstances.

When is an Employer Liable?

An employer cannot be held liable for something that an employee does during his private time. But, an employer is liable for the actions of his employee in the “course of employment.” Basically, this means that if an employee was on the clock and conducting business on behalf of the employer at the time of the accident, the employer may be liable.

It will not always be clear whether an employer is liable for your injuries or not. For instance, an employer is typically liable if one of his delivery truck drivers collides with another vehicle while making deliveries. Therefore, if you are hit by a delivery truck driver, you might automatically assume the employer is liable. But, if the driver was clocked out for a lunch break at the time of the accident, the employer is not liable. It’s best to let an attorney investigate and help you determine whether respondeat superior will come into play in your case.

Types of Cases Involving Respondeat Superior

This legal doctrine may come up in many different types of personal injury cases, but it is especially common in truck accident cases. Why? Truck accidents are often caused by negligent truck drivers. If a negligent truck driver injures or kills someone in a collision, the employer can be liable since the driver was on the clock and performing his basic job duties at the time of the accident.

Why does it matter who you hold liable for your injuries? Employers typically have more insurance coverage than their employees. This means if you can prove that the employer is liable, it may be possible to recover more compensation that you would have received if the individual was the only liable party.

If you have been injured, let a personal injury attorney step in and help you identify the liable parties. The personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm have years of experience representing clients who have been injured by negligent employees. To learn about your legal options, schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The 4 Rules For Giving a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case

The 4 Rules For Giving a Deposition in a Personal Injury Case

Sitting for a deposition in your personal injury case can be nerve-wracking. Your personal injury attorney will thoroughly prepare you prior to the deposition so you know what to expect. But, he may fill your head with a list of do’s and don’ts that leave you feeling overwhelmed. Don’t worry—prepping for a deposition doesn’t have to be complicated. According to the American Bar Association, there are only four simple rules that you need to remember when preparing for a deposition in a personal injury case.

Rule #1: Listen to the question.

Make sure that you listen to the entire question before you start to think of an answer and respond. Don’t interrupt the person who is asking the question or assume that you know what he is asking before he finishes. Be patient so you can hear and process every word that he says.

Rule #2: Be sure you understand the question.

Anything that you say during a deposition can be used as evidence in your case. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you understand the question before you begin to answer it. If you are not 100% sure that you understand a question, ask for clarification. You should never feel embarrassed or ashamed that you don’t understand something.

Rule #3: Think carefully about the answer.

Don’t immediately begin to respond to the question. It’s recommended that you give yourself at least five seconds to think over your answer before you start to respond. This will give you time to think carefully about what you are saying and how it will be interpreted by the other party. Many people fail to pause before responding because they don’t want to seem dishonest, but this should not be a concern. No one will assume that you are trying to think of a lie if you take a few moments to gather your thoughts before responding.

Rule #4: Make it short and sweet.

It’s not a good idea to ramble on and on when answering a question. Respond in short, clear sentences so nothing that you say can be misconstrued. If you give a lengthy response, the other party may hear something of interest and begin asking you follow-up questions that he would have never asked if you hadn’t volunteered the information. Avoid these unnecessary complications by keeping it short and simple.

So you see, preparing for a personal injury deposition doesn’t have to be as challenging as it once seemed. But, it’s still in your best interest to work with an experienced attorney who will be by your side during the deposition to protect your rights.

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, seek legal representation from Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury attorneys will guide you through every step of the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Maximum Medical Improvement & Your Car Accident Claim

Maximum Medical Improvement & Your Car Accident Claim

When should you accept a settlement offer from an insurance company after a car accident? You should never accept an offer before you know the value of your claim, otherwise you won’t know how much compensation you deserve. But, in order to calculate the value of your claim, you will need to know exactly how injured you are and how the injuries will affect you in the future. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to wait until you have reached maximum medical improvement before accepting a claim.

What is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?

Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is the point at which a victim’s condition has improved as much as it is going to improve. For some victims, this means that they have fully recovered from their injuries. For instance, someone with a broken bone will reach MMI when the bone completely heals and the cast has been removed. But for others, MMI could mean that no further improvements are expected even though the victim is still experiencing symptoms. This can happen with many types of injuries, but it is especially common with brain and spinal cord injuries.

Why Should You Wait Until MMI?

If you don’t wait until MMI to calculate the value of your claim, it’s very possible that you will underestimate how much your claim is worth. If you have a brain injury, there’s no way of knowing what treatment you will need in the future, how long you will need to be treated, and how the symptoms will continue to affect your life until you have reached MMI. Even if a doctor predicts early on that you will make a full recovery, do not accept a settlement offer just yet. Remember, doctors can be wrong, and it’s very difficult to predict how someone will recover from traumatic injuries.

To illustrate why this is important, consider this example. A mild brain injury victim may be told in the early stages of treatment that he should fully recover within a matter of months. But after one year of treatment, the victim is still suffering both physically and emotionally even though he has reached MMI. If the victim had accepted a settlement in the early stages of his case, he may not have factored in the costs of future treatment and pain and suffering. Therefore, he would have ended up settling for an offer that is far less than what he deserves.

Once you accept an offer, there’s no way to go back and ask for more money from the insurance company, which is why it’s so important that you be patient and wait to reach MMI.

If you have been injured in a car accident, do not accept an offer without talking to a personal injury attorney. The team at Reisch Law Firm will help you calculate the value of your claim so you know how much compensation you deserve. Then, we’ll start fighting to recover the full amount for you. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What You Need to Know Before Police Search Your Home

What You Need to Know Before Police Search Your Home

If there’s a police officer standing at your front door, it’s important to know your rights. The police officer may want to search your home in an attempt to gather evidence that can be used against you or another defendant. But, should you let the police search your home? Do you even have a choice? Here’s what you need to know:

Do Not Give Consent

If a police officer does not have a search warrant, then he will almost always need your consent to search your home. Police officers typically will not tell you that you have the right to refuse consent, which leads many people to believe that they have no choice. But, it’s important to understand that you are allowed to say no if a police officer asks for consent to perform a search.

Search Warrants

Officers are allowed to enter and search your home if they have a warrant that gives them permission to do so. In order to obtain a search warrant, an officer must show a judge that there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and evidence of this crime will be found inside your home.

If a police officer shows up at your home with a search warrant, ask him if you can look over the warrant before he begins the search. The search warrant will explain exactly what areas of your home can be searched. Make sure you carefully review the warrant to determine which areas are off-limits. For example, if the officer has a warrant to search the main residence on your property, he cannot enter the guest house on your property without obtaining another warrant.

Plain View Searches

Under certain circumstances, the officer can gather evidence from areas that are not included on the search warrant. For instance, let’s say a police officer has a search warrant for your home, but the warrant does include the back porch. If the police officer looks outside a window and sees drug paraphernalia sitting on a table on your back porch, he will be able to gather this evidence even though it was found in an area not listed on the warrant. Why? Because the evidence was in plain view.

“Exigent Circumstances”

The police also have the right to search your home without a warrant under “exigent circumstances.” If the police believe that someone’s safety is in danger or there’s a chance that evidence will be lost if they don’t move quickly, they can perform a search without waiting for a warrant or asking for consent.

Have you been charged with a crime? Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will protect your rights throughout the legal process and ensure that the police do not conduct unlawful searches of your property. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prevent Seatbelt Injuries

How to Prevent Seatbelt Injuries

Seatbelts are designed to keep us safe in the event of a car accident, but they don’t always work the way that they should. In fact, some people who are involved in car accidents are actually injured by the seatbelt that is holding them in place. Most seatbelt injuries are minor bruises or scrapes, but it’s possible to sustain serious internal injuries or soft tissue damage from a seatbelt as well. How can you prevent seatbelt injuries? The key is keeping the seatbelt in the proper position. Follow these tips:

Value Safety Over Comfort

Have you ever adjusted the strap that goes across your body so it sits behind your back or tucked under your arm? This may be more comfortable than wearing it across your chest, which restricts your movement, but it’s not a good idea. The seatbelt cannot hold your body back in the event of a collision if this strap is not laying across your chest. In addition, the strap may cause minor scrapes and bruises if it’s underneath your arm at the time of the crash.

Check the Positioning

Before you hit the road, check the positioning of the lap and shoulder belt. Many people stretch the lap belt across their stomach, but this could lead to internal injuries if you are in an accident. The lap belt is designed to lay across your hips, not across your stomach. To protect yourself, adjust the lap belt so it sits right below your stomach.

The shoulder belt should cross over the middle of your chest. If the shoulder belt is too close to your neck, it may cause soft tissue damage or bruising in an accident. Adjust the height of the seatbelt or your seat in order to reposition the shoulder strap.

Loosen the Seatbelt

A seatbelt should never be so tight that it digs into your skin or cuts off circulation. In fact, a seatbelt that is this tight could cause serious internal injuries and painful bruising if you are involved in an accident. If your seatbelt is too tight, adjust it before you begin driving. The seatbelt should be comfortable, but it shouldn’t be too loose.

Even though seatbelts can cause injuries, don’t use this as an excuse to not wear one. Seatbelt injuries are minor in comparison to the serious injuries that you can sustain in accident while not wearing a seatbelt.

Have you been injured in a car accident? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will do whatever it takes to recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When is Bail Revoked?

When is Bail Revoked?

Getting released on bail after being arrested and taken to jail can be a huge relief. But, the freedom that you experience after being released on bail could be short-lived. In some cases, bail will be revoked and you will be taken back into custody. When is bail revoked? Here are some of the ways that you can be sent back to jail after being released on bail:

Committing A Crime

Defendants who are released on bail are expected to obey the law while they free. If a defendant commits another crime while out on bail, the bail will be immediately revoked. Committing a crime while out on bail shows the court that you may be a threat to the community and that you have no respect for the law.

Violating Other Conditions of Bail

If you have been released on bail, there are certain rules that you must follow. For example, the judge may tell you that you are not allowed to make contact with the victim of the crime that you are accused of committing. If you call the victim once out on bail, this would give the court a reason to revoke your bail and take you into custody. Again, violating the conditions of your bail shows a complete disregard for the law.

Failing to Appear in Court

Defendants are required to appear in court for scheduled hearings if they are out on bail. If a defendant fails to appear for a court hearing, the judge will revoke his bail and issue a bench warrant for your arrest. It is very unlikely that the judge will be willing to listen to you explain why you missed your scheduled hearing, so don’t make the mistake of assuming you can get out of trouble by coming up with an excuse.

If your bail is revoked for one of these reasons, it is not likely that you will be granted bail for a second time. This means in most cases, you will be in custody until your trial begins. The property or cash that you or a loved one put up to secure your release will also be handed over to the court if your bail is revoked.

If you have been charged with a crime, it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will fight tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.