Month: January 2018

How to Tell if You Have A Slip and Fall Claim

How to Tell if You Have A Slip and Fall Claim

One of the first thoughts that may cross your mind after a slip and fall accident is filing a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries. Many slip and fall victims successfully recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But, this does not mean that every person who slips and falls will automatically be compensated. Here’s how you can tell if you have a valid slip and fall claim:

You Were Not to Blame

Were you partially or totally responsible for the accident? In Colorado, personal injury victims can recover compensation as long as they were not more than 50% responsible for the accident. A slip and fall plaintiff who was illegally on the property at the time of the accident may hold more than 50% of the blame, which means she will not be able to recover compensation. It’s best to talk to an attorney about the role that you could have played in the accident to determine if it will affect your ability to recover compensation.

The Property Owner Was Negligent

Property owners are often held liable for slip and fall accidents due to premises liability laws. These laws state a property owner must maintain safe conditions on his property to protect his guests from harm. Therefore, if a slip and fall accident occurs because of an unsafe condition on someone’s property, the owner can often be held liable.

However, the victim must be able to prove that the property owner’s failure to maintain safe conditions was negligent. To do this, the plaintiff must prove one of these conditions is true:

  • The owner created the safety hazard that caused the accident.
  • The owner knew about the safety hazard that caused the accident, but did nothing to fix it.
  • The owner should have known about the safety hazard because a “reasonable” property owner would have.

The first two conditions are straightforward, and can typically be proven through surveillance camera footage, witness testimony, and other evidence. But, proving that an owner should have known about a condition can be a bit more complex. This is typically proven by showing the hazard existed for a long period of time or was located in a place that should have made it obvious to the property owner. If an attorney believes it is possible to prove the property owner is liable, then you may have a valid slip and fall claim.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the accident to gather the evidence we need to prove liability. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Who is Liable For Trampoline Park Injuries?

Who is Liable For Trampoline Park Injuries?

Trampoline park injuries are on the rise, according to a new study published in Pediatrics. Researchers found that the number of children who had to go to the emergency room due to a trampoline park injury rose from under 600 in 2010 to nearly 7,000 in 2014. Some children suffer minor injuries such as ankle sprains, but others sustain far more serious injuries, including fractures, spinal cord damage, and head trauma. If your child is injured at a trampoline park, it’s important to know who you can hold liable for his injuries.

The Trampoline Park Owner

Property owners have a legal obligation under premises liability laws to keep their properties safe so guests do not injure themselves. Therefore, if a child is injured while at a trampoline park, the property owner could be held liable.

Property owners are typically held liable for trampoline injuries if the injuries occurred as a result of poorly maintained equipment. For example, an owner can be held liable if a child injuries himself on an old trampoline that clearly needed to be repaired. The owner’s failure to repair the trampoline would most likely be seen as negligence, which is why he would be liable.

If a child is injured because he was not being supervised, a property owner can also be held liable. For instance, let’s say the trampoline park employees are supposed to closely supervise small children, but fail to do so. If a child who is supposed to be under supervision injures himself, the trampoline park owner can be held responsible.

The Manufacturer of the Trampoline Park

Manufacturers must ensure the trampolines they produce and sell to trampoline parks are safe. If an injury occurs due to a defective trampoline, the manufacturer can be held liable for the victim’s injuries. For example, if the part that is designed to attach the trampoline mat to the frame is defective, the mat may detach while a child is jumping on it. This can lead to serious injuries, and the manufacturer would be liable for producing a defective product.

A Trampoline Park Guest

In some cases, another guest at the trampoline park could be held liable for the child’s injuries. This occurs when the child’s injury is a direct result of another guest’s negligence. For instance, a guest can be held liable if he intentionally pushes a child off of a trampoline and the child breaks his ankle.

Has your child been injured at a trampoline park? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will immediately get to work to identify the liable parties so we can recover compensation on behalf of your child. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Defense Strategies Used in Dog Bite Cases

Common Defense Strategies Used in Dog Bite Cases

Owning a pet can bring a lot of happiness, but it can also be a liability. If you are bitten by a dog, the dog’s owner will most likely be held liable for your injuries. But, this does not mean that dog bite victims always recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim. Many owners will try to escape liability by relying on one of these common defense strategies used in dog bite cases:

The Victim Was Trespassing

Pet owners are only liable for dog bite injuries if the victim was lawfully on the property at the time of the accident. Therefore, the defendant may try to claim that you were trespassing at the time of the dog bite. If you were not supposed to be on the property at the time of the accident, the defendant may not be held liable for the attack.

The Dog Was Provoked

The defendant may also claim that the victim provoked the dog prior to the attack by getting too close to him, taking something from him, or engaging in other behavior that could agitate an animal. The logic behind this defense strategy is the defendant should not be liable for the victim’s injuries since the victim was responsible for provoking the dog in the first place. However, it can be difficult for a defendant to prove that the dog was provoked, especially if there are witnesses or if the dog has a history of biting people.

The Victim Was Warned

Dog owners often put up warning signs so visitors know there is an aggressive dog in the vicinity. For example, these signs may say “Beware of Dog” or “Warning: Dog May Bite” and may be posted in a window, on a door, or in the yard in front of the house. A defendant can escape liability in a dog bite case by proving that there was one of these signs posted on their property on the day of the attack. However, the victim may still be able to recover compensation if he can prove that the sign was not clearly visible to visitors when the incident occurred.

If you have been bitten by a dog, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will poke holes in the defendant’s defense strategy and recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Can You Be Charged With Disorderly Conduct in Colorado?

When Can You Be Charged With Disorderly Conduct in Colorado?

Disorderly conduct laws are designed to protect people’s safety and ensure they can enjoy themselves in public places such as shopping malls, restaurants, and movie theaters. Each state has its own disorderly conduct laws, but it’s important to understand how Colorado defines this crime so you can avoid charges. Here are some of the ways you can be charged with disorderly conduct in Colorado:

Displaying or Discharging Firearms

Firing a gun in a public place is not only dangerous, but it will also lead to people panicking and fleeing for their lives. For this reason, discharging a firearm in a public place is considered disorderly conduct. But, you can be charged with disorderly conduct even if the weapon never fired. Someone who simply displays a weapon in a public place in order to alarm those around him can also face these charges.

Fighting

Getting into a physical fight with someone in public is also considered disorderly conduct. However, the penalties for engaging in a physical fight in public are not as severe as the penalties for discharging or displaying a firearm. This is a class 3 misdemeanor, whereas displaying or discharging a firearm is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Making Too Much Noise

If someone is disturbed by the amount of noise that you are making, it’s possible that you will be charged with disorderly conduct. The offense can take place either in a public place or near a private residence, which means a neighbor filing a noise complaint could lead to these charges.

Offensive Comments or Gestures

Many people are surprised to learn that making offensive comments or gestures in a public place can be illegal. The law states that the comments or gestures must “incite an immediate breach of the peace.” This means you will not be charged if you simply utter a curse word underneath your breath, but rather if the words or gestures you use alarm others or threaten their safety.

Disorderly conduct is not as serious as other crimes in Colorado. But, anyone who is convicted of disorderly conduct could face fines and jail time, so these criminal charges should not be taken lightly.

If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys stand by your side through every step of the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can A Police Officer Search Your Phone?

Can A Police Officer Search Your Phone?

Text messages, call logs, and photos stored on your cell phone can be incredibly valuable to a police officer that believes you have committed a crime. But, when are police officers allowed to search your phone to obtain this evidence? Here’s what you need to know so you can protect your rights:

When A Police Officer Can Search Your Phone

The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that a police officer must obtain a search warrant before he is allowed to search your phone. The search warrant must outline the phone that will be searched and the evidence that is being sought in the search. Searching a phone without a warrant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects people from unlawful searches and seizures.

Searching Without A Warrant

In some cases, a police officer does not need to obtain a search warrant before looking through your cell phone. For example, if you give your consent to the search, the police officer does not have to wait for a warrant. But, it’s recommended that you do not consent to a search of your cell phone, even if you are completely innocent.

Police officers can also search a phone without a warrant if “exigent circumstances” exist. This means the situation is so serious that a police officer cannot afford to wait for a warrant. For instance, if searching through a cell phone may help the police officer prevent a bomb from going off, the search can be conducted since this is an emergency situation. But, the legality of these searches can be challenged in court after they are performed. The police officer who conducted the warrantless search must be prepared to provide evidence that shows there were exigent circumstances.

Seizing the Phone

Police officers often worry that if they don’t search the phone immediately, the owner of the phone will delete valuable evidence so it can no longer be accessed. To prevent this problem, police officers are allowed to hold onto a cell phone until they are able to obtain a warrant. Even though the phone is in the police’s possession, it should not be searched until a judge has issued a warrant.

Did a police officer search through your phone? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will review your case to determine if the search was conducted illegally. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Negligent Supervision & Personal Injury Cases

Negligent Supervision & Personal Injury Cases

Many people trust teachers, nannies, and nursing home employees to take care of their children and elderly loved ones. But unfortunately, many child and elderly adults are injured while under the care of one of these professionals. If this happens, the victim may be able to recover compensation in a personal injury case. Here’s what you need to know about negligent supervision and personal injury cases:

Examples of Negligent Supervision and Children

Some of the child caretakers that are often accused of negligent supervision are daycare employees, teachers, camp counselors, babysitters, nannies, coaches, and other children’s parents. Injuries can occur if a supervisor fails to prevent a child from playing with dangerous items such as matches or knives. A child can also sustain injuries if he is not supervised while in a dangerous environment, such as near a pool or around animals.

Many of these injuries occur because a daycare center or school is understaffed. If there are not enough adults to watch the children, there is no way for them to provide adequate supervision.

Examples of Negligent Supervision and Elderly Adults

The people that are accused of negligently supervising elderly adults are almost always nursing home employees. These cases often involve bedsores, which are skin and tissue injuries that develop if a nursing home resident is left in the same position for a long period of time. If a nursing home resident develops bedsores, it is usually a sign that the nursing home staff is not paying enough attention to him or her.

A personal injury claim may also arise if an elderly individual with dementia is injured after wandering away from the nursing home. Falls inside the facility can also lead to personal injury claims if an employee should have been supervising the victim at the time of the accident.

Proving Negligent Supervision

There is no legal definition of adequate supervision, which can make proving negligent supervision challenging. In order to prove negligent supervision, a plaintiff must show that the level of supervision provided by the caretaker was inadequate based on the victim’s age, ability to care for himself, and activity. For example, a nanny does not need to closely supervise a child that is sleeping, but she should closely supervise a child who is playing outside by a busy street since this is a dangerous activity.

Proving negligent supervision led to the victim’s injury can be challenging, but it’s not impossible with the help of a personal injury attorney.

Has your loved one been injured while under someone else’s care? If so, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We will aggressively fight for the compensation your loved one deserves. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Who is Eligible For Parole?

Who is Eligible For Parole?

Parole is the early release of a prisoner who agrees to comply with certain terms until his sentence has come to an end. Many prisoners dream of being released on parole so they can get out from behind bars and start to rebuild their lives while they serve the remainder of their sentences. But, not every prisoner is eligible for parole.

Parole Eligibility

In the state of Colorado, defendants who are convicted of committing class 1 felonies are not eligible to be released on parole. Most defendants who are convicted of class 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 felonies are eligible for parole after serving half of their sentence. These prisoners can be released on parole even earlier if they have “earned time,” which are credits given to prisoners who exhibit good behavior and participate in certain activities while behind bars. However, there is a limit on how much earned time can be used. The earliest that this type of prisoner would be released on parole is after serving 38% of his sentence.

Prisoners who have committed violent crimes will not be eligible for parole after serving 50% of their sentence. For example, second degree murder is a class 2 felony in Colorado. But, a prisoner who has committed second degree murder will not be eligible for parole after serving half of his sentence because he committed a violent crime. Instead, he will have to serve at least 75% of his sentence, less earned time.

The Parole Hearing

Being eligible for parole does not mean that a prisoner will be released on parole. Every prisoner that is eligible for parole must attend a parole hearing. The panel at the parole hearing will ask the prisoner a series of questions before deciding if prisoner should be released. The goal is to determine if the prisoner is remorseful about his crime, if he has made an effort to better himself behind bars, and if he will pose a threat to the community when he is released.

Victims are allowed to submit statements to either support or oppose the prisoner’s release. Panel members will also take this statement into consideration before making this decision.

If you have been charged with a crime, get in touch with the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We will fight tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case

How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case

Law enforcement officers can use many different types of evidence against you in court, including evidence obtained from social media. In fact, posts, photos, check-ins, and tags on social media can all be used to prove that you committed a crime. How? Here are some of the ways social media can affect your criminal case:

Photos

Do you have any incriminating photos on your social media pages? Even if you didn’t post the photos, it’s possible that you have been tagged in an incriminating photo by someone else. For example, the state may use pictures of you smoking marijuana or posing with drug paraphernalia in the background as evidence if you are being charged with drug possession.

Check-Ins

Facebook and other social media platforms allow you to check-in to a location so you can share what you’re doing with all of your friends. It may seem harmless to check into a bar or restaurant when you’re out celebrating with friends, but what if you are pulled over later for DUI? The fact that there is proof you were at a bar prior to being arrested will not work in your favor.

A check-in can also be used to show that you were in the area where the crime was committed. For instance, law enforcement may find it suspicious that you were located just a few blocks away from a home that was burglarized. This won’t be enough to prove their case, but it can be used to place you near the scene of the crime.

Posts

The things you post on social media can also be used against you in a criminal case. For instance, let’s say you are charged with first degree assault, which means you intentionally caused bodily injury to another person. Your criminal defense attorney could argue that you did not intend on hurting anyone, so you should be charged with third degree assault instead of first degree assault. However, if you posted something on social media about wanting to hurt the victim, this can be used to prove intent.

Don’t let social media affect the outcome of your case. Let your attorney look through your social media pages to determine if there are any posts or photos that could be used against you. An experienced attorney will be able to advise you on how to prevent social media evidence from hurting your case.

Have you been charged with a crime? Let the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm guide you through the process. We will offer you advice every step of the way to ensure you don’t make any mistakes that could impact your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Everything You Need to Know About Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Everything You Need to Know About Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana

Many people assume that because recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, there are no consequences for using it. However, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of any type of drug, even marijuana. Here’s what you need to know about the crime of driving under the influence of marijuana:

What is the Legal Limit?

If your blood-alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of 0.08%, you can be arrested for DUI of alcohol. But, what is the legal limit for marijuana? The law states that drivers with five nanograms of THC in their systems can be charged with DUI of marijuana. A blood test must be performed in order to determine the level of THC in a driver’s system.

There are several issues with the legal limit for marijuana. First, the law requires police officers to test a suspected drunk driver within two hours. However, there are no time limits in place for drivers suspected of being under the influence of marijuana.

Another issue with the legal limit is the limit itself. Everyone’s body processes marijuana differently. For example, someone who smokes marijuana on a regular basis may build up a tolerance to the drug. This person may not be intoxicated with five nanograms of THC in his blood, yet the legal limit still applies.

Are Medicinal Users Exempt From These Laws?

It doesn’t matter whether you are a recreational or medicinal marijuana user—you cannot drive while under the influence of marijuana. A medicinal user will not be treated any differently than a recreational user in this case.

What Are the Consequences?

Drivers who are under the influence of marijuana face the same consequences as drivers who are under the influence of alcohol. The criminal case will be handled by the county court, whereas the administrative case is handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In county court, the defendant will find out if he faces any criminal penalties such as fines, jail time, community service, and probation. On the other hand, the DMV will only rule on whether the defendant should lose his driving privileges or not.

Have you been charged with DUI for marijuana? If so, seek legal representation from Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will defend your rights and fight to protect your future. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Will Your Case Be Dismissed If the Police Didn’t Read Your Miranda Rights?

Will Your Case Be Dismissed If the Police Didn’t Read Your Miranda Rights?

Everyone who has ever watched a TV crime show knows at least the first line of the Miranda rights, which is “You have the right to remain silent.” But, sometimes these TV crime shows make it seem as if a defendant’s case will be dismissed if the police forget to read the defendant his rights. A case can be dismissed because of an officer’s failure to read your Miranda rights, however this only occurs in certain situations.

When Are Police Required to Read These Rights?

Police officers are required to inform a person of his Miranda rights if the person is in custody and law enforcement wants to question him. This means the police officer who arrests you does not need to read your rights once you are in custody unless he plans on interrogating you. Likewise, a police officer who has pulled you over or stopped you on the street does not need to read these rights since you are not in police custody.

What Happens If the Police Don’t Read These Rights?

If a police officer should have read you these rights but fails to do so, it could affect the outcome of your case. For example, let’s say you are taken into custody and interrogated at the police station without being read your rights. Any statements that you make during this interrogation were illegally obtained since you were not informed of your rights before answering law enforcement’s questions. When this happens, your criminal defense attorney will file a motion with the court to suppress the evidence obtained during this unlawful interrogation. Basically, this means the statements that you made cannot be used as evidence in your case because you were not made aware of your rights prior to questioning.

So, will your case be thrown out? It depends on how much evidence the prosecutor has against you. If there is other evidence that can be used against you, the case may not be thrown out. However, if the prosecutor believes that he can no longer convict you because your statements cannot be used against you, then he may have no other choice but to drop the charges.

If you were not read your Miranda rights, seek legal representation from a criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will carefully review the facts to determine if the officer’s failure to read your rights affects your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.