Month: November 2017

Common Mechanical Errors That Lead to Truck Accidents

Common Mechanical Errors That Lead to Truck Accidents

Commercial trucks travel thousands of miles every year, which means they require constant maintenance. These trucks must be inspected on a regular basis to identify and correct issues that could be dangerous. Unfortunately, trucking companies often fail to maintain their trucks, which puts everyone on the road in danger. Here are some of the most common mechanical errors that lead to truck accidents:

Brake Problems

Brake problems can be traced back to either an issue with the design and production of the part or an issue with maintenance. If the brakes were designed or produced poorly, the manufacturer is to blame for any accident that occurs. However, many accidents occur due to the trucking company’s failure to maintain the brakes.

Before hitting the road, drivers are required to inspect their brakes to look for loose or broken components and to listen for air leaks. If these inspections are not done, problems could go unnoticed and the brakes may begin to malfunction. Brake problems can also occur when the weight of the truck’s cargo is not evenly distributed. An uneven distribution of weight can cause the brakes to overheat and malfunction, making it difficult or impossible for the driver to stop the truck.

Tire Problems

Tire problems are another type of mechanical error that could lead to disaster on the road. Similar to issues with the brakes, tire problems can be caused by either defective design or production or inadequate maintenance. During the pre-trip inspection, truck drivers must examine their tires to check the air pressure and look for signs of extreme wear and tear. If the air pressure is way off or the tires are rapidly deteriorating, they could easily blow out once the truck is in motion. A sudden tire blow out can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, meaning it is very likely that a collision with another vehicle will occur.

Tire problems can also occur if the trucking company chooses to use tires that do not match each other or meet the Department of Transportation’s requirements.

Sadly, tire and brake problems often occur together. This is because companies that do not inspect the brakes probably don’t inspect the tires either, and vice versa.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? Get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We will thoroughly review the details of your case to identify the liable parties. Then, we will aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Defensive Driving Can Help You Avoid Car Accidents

How Defensive Driving Can Help You Avoid Car Accidents

Every year, millions of people are injured in car accidents. Will you be next? You can’t control what other drivers do on the road, but you can reduce your risk of getting into a car accident by practicing defensive driving.

What is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving is a safe driving technique that you can use to avoid getting into an accident. This technique involves being aware of your surroundings at all times so you can prepare for the unexpected. Defensive drivers don’t just watch the road in front of them, they pay attention to what’s going on all around them, including what other drivers are doing.

Tips For Becoming A Defensive Driver

In order to become a defensive driver, all of your attention must be focused on driving, which means you need to put away anything that could be a distraction. Defensive drivers do not eat, apply makeup, text, or adjust the radio while they are driving. This allows them to stay alert at all times while behind the wheel.

Defensive drivers also understand the importance of making themselves seen. Many drivers assume that if they can see another vehicle, that vehicle’s driver can see them as well. But, that’s not always the case. To make yourself more visible, make sure that you always drive with your lights on while it is raining or dark outside. Always use your turning signals when changing lanes so other drivers on the road know what you are doing. You should also try to avoid lingering in another driver’s blind spot. If you find yourself stuck in a blind spot, either speed up or slow down so you can make yourself visible to the other driver.

It may sound negative, but defensive drivers typically assume the worst in other drivers. This means they never assume that another driver will remember to use his turning signal, check his blind spot before changing lanes, or stop at a stop light. If you assume the worst in other drivers, you can prepare yourself for anything that comes your way.

For instance, let’s say you are approaching a four-way stop at the same time as another vehicle. You have the right-of-way, but don’t assume that the other driver knows this. To avoid an accident, pause for a moment to make sure that the other driver does not plan on going through the intersection first.

Being a defensive driver doesn’t mean that you will never get into a car accident, but it will help you do a better job of protecting yourself on the road.

If you are injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, speak to a personal injury attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. We will stop at nothing to help you recover the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Sentencing Alternatives: Fines, Probation, Community Service

Common Sentencing Alternatives: Fines, Probation, Community Service

Defendants don’t always have to spend time behind bars if they are convicted of a crime. There are many sentencing alternatives, including fines, probation, and community service, that you may face after a conviction. Here’s everything that you need to know:

Fines

Some defendants will be ordered to pay a substantial fine as part of their punishment for committing a crime. The amount that you will have to pay will vary depending on the nature of the crime. Serious crimes could carry fines of thousands of dollars, while other minor crimes will cost you hundreds of dollars. For instance, the possession of 1-2 oz. of marijuana carries a $100 fine.

Defendants may have to pay restitution if the crime they committed caused someone financial harm. For instance, people who are convicted of theft may have to reimburse the victim for the property that was stolen.

Probation

You can also be sentenced to probation instead of jail time after a conviction. Defendants that are on probation are allowed to re-enter the community, but they must comply with certain terms established by the judge. For instance, those who are on probation must meet with a probation officer, submit to random drug testing, and obey the law. Some people must also maintain employment or stay in school throughout their probation. If you fail to comply with any of the terms of probation, the judge has the power to revoke your probation and send you to jail.

Probation is typically only given to defendants that do not have a prior criminal record. Defendants will not be given probation if they are considered a risk to the community, meaning the judge thinks that they will get into more trouble or physically harm someone.

Community Service

Another sentencing alternative is community service, which is unpaid work. The judge will specify how many hours of community service need to be completed and when they need to be completed by. Defendants that do not complete their community service hours or do not meet the deadlines set by the judge will face additional penalties.

Community service is often imposed along with other sentencing alternatives, meaning defendants are often sentenced to complete community service and probation or complete community service and pay fines.

Have you been charged with a crime? Contact Reisch Law Firm today to speak with a criminal defense attorney about your case. Our experienced attorneys 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.

When Should You Accept A Plea Deal?

When Should You Accept A Plea Deal?

A plea bargain is a deal made between the prosecutor and defendant where the defendant agrees to plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges or a lighter sentence. Plea deals are fairly common—in fact, it’s estimated that over 90% of criminal cases are settled this way—but, they’re not the best option in every case. When should you accept a plea deal? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you say “yes”:

Is it really a bargain?

Your attorney will be responsible for negotiating the terms of the plea deal with the prosecutor. Before you accept a deal, it’s important to think about what you are getting out of it. Both sides must be willing to compromise something in order for it to truly be a bargain. Therefore, plea bargains are usually somewhere in the middle between what the prosecutor wants and what the defendant wants. If the terms of the deal seem to be one-sided, it’s not really a bargain and it shouldn’t be accepted.

Do I understand the consequences of pleading guilty?

Every defendant needs to understand what it means to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain. Many defendants think that they can avoid some of the consequences of having a conviction on their record by pleading guilty, but that’s not the case. If you decide to plead guilty as part of a plea bargain, it will show up as a criminal conviction on your record. This means you will face the same challenges as defendants who are found guilty by a jury. Think about how a conviction will affect your future before accepting a plea deal.

What does my attorney think?

Defendants should always speak with an attorney before accepting a plea deal. An attorney will be able to review the details of your case to determine if a plea deal is in your best interest. If your attorney believes that the state has a strong case against you, he may recommend accepting the plea deal instead of risking it by going to trial. However, if he believes that a jury will not find you guilty, then he may suggest going to trial instead of giving in and taking the deal.

If you have been charged with a crime, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will guide you through the legal process and ensure that you are making the best decisions for your future. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Dangers of Unsecured Cargo

The Dangers of Unsecured Cargo

Any cargo that is loaded into a commercial truck must be properly secured before the driver hits the road. During the trip, the truck driver is responsible for checking on the cargo to ensure that it is still securely in place. Why? If the cargo becomes loose, it could cause serious injuries or even fatalities. As a driver, it’s important to understand the dangers of unsecured cargo so you protect yourself as much as possible.

Unsecured cargo is dangerous for several reasons. The first is that loose cargo can easily fly off of the truck and collide with another vehicle on the road. If it hits a windshield, it may be traveling fast enough to crash through the windshield and injure the driver. If it hits another part of the vehicle, it would still cause damage and distract the driver, which could lead to her losing control of the car.

Even if the cargo does not hit a vehicle as it’s flying off of the truck, it will still land in the road. Other drivers will have to quickly swerve out of the way in order to avoid colliding with the cargo, so this puts everyone in danger. Motorcyclists must be especially careful since hitting a piece of cargo on the road could be enough to throw them off of their bikes.

Unsecured cargo can still be dangerous even if it never leaves the truck. Whoever loads the cargo into the back of the truck must ensure that the weight is evenly distributed. If it’s not, the truck will be incredibly difficult to steer. Cargo that is not secured properly will shift from one side to the other as the truck is in motion, thus throwing off the weight distribution. This means one side of the truck will be heavier than the other, which could lead to the truck turning on its side the next time the driver tries to change lanes or turn.

Who is liable if you are injured by unsecured cargo? It depends. You will need to work with a personal injury attorney who knows how to investigate these cases to determine who was responsible for loading the cargo in the truck. The truck driver may also be to blame if he failed to check the cargo to make sure it was secure.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? If so, get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will immediately launch an investigation to determine if unsecured cargo played a role in the accident. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Open vs. Closed Traumatic Brain Injuries

Open vs. Closed Traumatic Brain Injuries

There are two different categories of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): open and closed. Both of these injuries can be devastating, and many are severe enough to affect the victim for the rest of his life. But, what’s the difference between the two? Here’s a look at open vs. closed TBIs:

Open TBIs

An open TBI is characterized by a broken, penetrated, or fractured skill. This type of injury usually occurs when a foreign object enters the brain by penetrating the skull, but that’s not the only way a victim can sustain an open TBI. In some cases, blunt force trauma can crack the skull, causing a piece of the bone to enter the brain.

Open TBIs are incredibly serious and often result in instant death. This is especially true in cases where the foreign object that penetrates the skull is traveling at a high speed. For instance, a bullet traveling through the brain at a high speed is almost always fatal. Even if the victim does survive, he will experience various symptoms for the rest of his life. Some victims will lose all brain function after an open TBI, which means they will remain in a permanent vegetative state.

Closed TBIs

Closed TBIs are often sustained in car accidents when the victim hits his head against the windshield, steering wheel, dashboard, or window of the vehicle. The skull remains intact in a closed TBI, but this does not mean that the injury should be taken lightly.

The severity of the injury will vary depending on the extent of the brain damage. In minor cases, the victim will experience headaches, nausea, confusion, and dizziness. One of the mildest types of closed brain injuries is a concussion, which is often sustained in car accidents or while playing sports.

In more severe cases, the victim will lose consciousness for hours or even days. When the victim takes a strong blow to the head, the brain will start to swell and press against the skull. This can cause immediate brain damage that cannot be reversed. Some victims will sustain such widespread brain damage that they will never regain consciousness after the injury.

Even though open and closed TBIs are two different types of injuries, they do share many similarities. Every type of brain injury is considered to be extremely serious. That’s why TBI victims must get in touch with a personal injury attorney if they have been injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence.

Have you suffered a traumatic brain injury? If another person was to blame, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact Reisch Law Firm today so our personal injury attorneys can explain your legal options. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Do Police Spot Drunk Drivers?

How Do Police Spot Drunk Drivers?

Have you ever wondered how law enforcement officers know when someone is under the influence just by watching him drive? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, officers look for over 100 visual cues that indicate a driver could be intoxicated. Here are some of the cues that police officers look for when trying to spot drunk drivers:

Unable to Stay in One Lane

People who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol will find it difficult to stay within their lane while driving. Therefore, police officers will be on the lookout for drivers that are weaving in and out of their lane or slowly drifting off to one side before jerking back to the center of the lane.

Fast or Slow Speed

Drunk drivers aren’t always aware of how fast or slow they are traveling. As a result, some drunk drivers go above the speed limit while others stay well below it. If a driver is aware that he is intoxicated, he may intentionally slow down so he doesn’t attract the attention of officers. However, police officers know that they should be looking for both drivers that are going too slow and drivers that are going too fast. Besides looking for drivers that are going too fast or too slow, police officers will look for drivers that are having a hard time maintaining a consistent speed. If a driver is randomly speeding up and slowing down, this is a sign that he is intoxicated.

Braking

Police officers are also trained to watch how drivers are using their brakes. An intoxicated driver may stop suddenly in the middle of the road for no apparent reason. Being under the influence makes it difficult to judge distances, so a drunk driver may overestimate how much space he has and stop well before a red light or stop sign. On the other hand, a drunk driver can also underestimate how much space he has, which leads to him slamming on his brakes at the last minute to avoid a collision. All of these behaviors indicate that the driver is under the influence.

Driving in the Dark

Anyone can forget to turn on their headlights, but drunk drivers are far more likely to make this mistake than sober drivers. For this reason, police officers will be watching for cars that are driving without their lights turned on.

Have you been charged with DUI? Get in touch with a criminal defense attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. We will immediately come to your defense, protect your rights, and fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Surprising Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

Surprising Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

A spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating and life-changing injuries that someone can sustain. Sadly, thousands of people are diagnosed with spinal cord injuries in hospitals every year, and many more die from their injuries before they even make it to the emergency room. Take a look at these surprising spinal cord injury statistics to learn more:

The Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Over 40% of spinal cord injuries are sustained in motor vehicle accidents, which makes this the leading cause of spinal cord damage. Over one-quarter of spinal cord injuries occur during falls, which is very common among older adults. Other common causes include sports-related accidents and acts of violence.

Working After A Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord damage can severely limit your physical activity, which makes it difficult for many victims to find employment. Research has shown that nearly 58% of victims are employed at the time they sustained the injury, but only 11.5% of them are still employed one year after the injury. Many of these victims are able to find a job later on, but it may take years or even decades to get back to work.

Treatment Time

The average time that spinal cord injury victims spend in a hospital and in rehabilitation has declined since the 1970s. Victims used to spend an average of 24 days in a hospital’s acute care unit after an injury, however these days victims spend an average of only 11 days here. In the 1970s, victims spent an average of 98 days in a rehabilitation center, whereas now they are only staying for about 35 days. This statistic shows that treatment has come a long way since the 1970s, but there is still a lot of progress to be made.

Mortality Risk

People who have sustained spinal cord injuries are 2-5 times more likely to die prematurely than those who do not have spinal cord damage. Many of these deaths can be prevented if victims are quickly treated by competent medical professionals. Other deaths are caused by secondary health conditions that spinal cord injury victims often develop, including deep vein thrombosis and infections.

If you have sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to speak to our personal injury attorneys about the value of your case. You can schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Take Photos After A Car Accident

How to Take Photos After A Car Accident

Personal injury attorneys strongly recommend that car accident victims gather evidence from the scene of the accident if they are able to do so. Besides talking to witnesses and exchanging information with the other drivers, victims should also take pictures of the scene. Why is it so important to take photos after a car accident? What should you photograph? Here’s everything that you need to know:

Why Taking Pictures is Necessary

People who have been injured in a car accident caused by another driver will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. But without evidence, the other driver or his insurance company may argue that the accident was your fault. If it turns into a “he said, she said” argument, it’s not likely that you will recover the compensation that you deserve.

To avoid this problem, take as many pictures as possible at the scene of the accident. Why? Photos can reveal a lot about the accident, including the direction the drivers were traveling in, the impact of the collision, and the damages caused by the crash. Even if something seems insignificant to you, it could be the missing piece of the puzzle that your attorney needs to prove liability. In some cases, photos are also used to help an accident reconstruction expert recreate the collision to prove which driver was at fault.

What to Photograph

If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the vehicles that were involved in the accident before they are moved off of the road. Photograph the vehicles both up close and from a distance so you can capture the positioning of the vehicles as well as the dents, cracked windshields, and scratches caused by the collision. If the vehicles hit anything else such as a light pole or stop sign, photograph the damage caused by this collision as well.

If you have visible injuries, take photos of these as well. It’s best to photograph your injuries on a daily basis so you can show how they worsened or how long they took to heal.

Then, look around to see if there is anything on the road. Did one of the vehicles leave skid marks on the road? Is there broken glass from a window or a piece of a bumper laying in the middle of the street? Photograph this debris so you can paint a clear picture of what happened later on.

Finally, look for any traffic signs or lights that could have played a role in the accident. Try to take these pictures from far away so the picture shows exactly where the vehicles are in relation to the traffic signs or lights. This may help you prove that the accident was caused by the other driver’s failure to obey a traffic sign or light.

Have you been injured in a car accident? There’s no time to waste—seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact Reisch Law Firm today so our personal injury attorneys can begin analyzing this photographic evidence to prove liability. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Differences Between State and Federal Charges

The Differences Between State and Federal Charges

There are two types of criminal charges that you may face: state and federal charges. The vast majority of defendants face state charges, but it is still important to learn about federal charges in case you ever find yourself facing these serious accusations. Here’s an overview of the differences between state and federal charges:

Crimes

Defendants who are accused of violating state laws will face state charges. However, defendants who commit crimes on federal property, cross state lines while committing a crime, or commit a federal crime will face federal charges. In some cases, the crime that you are being accused of is both a state and federal crime. State and federal prosecutors decide on a case-by-case basis how and where to prosecute these crimes that violate both state and federal law.

Prosecutors

Federal prosecutors will be responsible for handling cases involving federal charges, whereas state prosecutors take on cases involving state charges. Both state and federal prosecutors are skilled legal professionals that have a deep understanding of the law. However, federal prosecutors typically have fewer open cases than state prosecutors. This means that a federal prosecutor has more time to gather evidence and build a case against you, which could result in a stronger case.

Investigations

Federal investigations are much more thorough than state investigations. Why? Crimes that occur at the state level are investigated by county and city police departments, whereas crimes at the federal level are investigated by federal agencies. The FBI, IRS, SEC, and DEA may be involved with a federal investigation, and they have far more resources at their disposal than state investigators. Federal agencies will leave no stone unturned when investigating a crime, so your attorney must be prepared to face a tough trial.

Penalties

The penalties that you may face will vary depending on the nature of the crime. But in general, the penalties for being convicted of a federal crime are much more serious than penalties for being convicted of a state crime. Defendants who are convicted of a federal crime are typically given longer sentences, which will be served in a federal prison as opposed to a state prison.

If you are facing state or federal charges, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced team of criminal defense attorneys 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.