Month: February 2018

What Decisions Will Defendants Have to Make In A Criminal Case?

What Decisions Will Defendants Have to Make In A Criminal Case?

Being charged with a crime can change your life in an instant. But more importantly, the decisions that you make after being charged with a crime could affect the rest of your life. Here are some of the decisions that defendants will have to make in a criminal case:

Plea Bargains

It’s estimated that between 90-95% of all cases are resolved through a plea bargain, so it’s very likely that a deal will be offered to you at some point. Deciding whether or not to take the deal is one of the many decisions you will need to make in your case. Taking a plea deal means pleading guilty, accepting the consequences, and living with a conviction on your record. But, it also means a shorter criminal case, which leads to fewer legal fees, and lighter consequences.

Choosing An Attorney

Hiring the right criminal defense attorney could make or break your case. Experienced attorneys may be able to negotiate better plea deals, secure your release from custody, and poke holes in the prosecution’s case in the courtroom. Do your research before hiring an attorney so you can find one who has had success representing clients in cases similar to yours.

Taking the Stand

Defendants do not have to take the stand and testify if the case goes to trial, but they can if they believe it will help their case. This is another important decision that could have a significant effect on your future. It’s impossible to predict how the jury will respond to you as a witness or how well you will hold up during cross-examination. Don’t make this decision without going over the pros and cons of taking the stand with your attorney.

Appealing the Verdict

Defendants who are found guilty at trial may be able to appeal the verdict if they believe that mistakes were made during the trial that affected the outcome. For example, if it is discovered that one of the jury members was secretly talking to a witness about the case, the jury member’s vote could have been affected by these private conversations. As a result, the court may find that this is grounds for an appeal.

Deciding whether or not to appeal can be challenging. Appeals can be time-consuming and expensive, so defendants have to decide whether they should accept the verdict or take another chance.

Have you been charged with a crime? If so, get in touch with Reisch Law Firm today. You will need to discuss these important decisions with an experienced criminal defense attorney so you can make the best choices for your future. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

An Introduction to Negligence Laws in Colorado

An Introduction to Negligence Laws in Colorado

Negligence is a legal term that is frequently used in personal injury cases. In order to recover compensation in a personal injury case, the victim must be able to prove that the defendant was negligent. But, what is negligence? The exact definition can vary from state-to-state. Here’s an introduction to negligence laws in Colorado:

The Basics of Negligence

There are three elements of negligence that must be proven in every personal injury case. The first is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, meaning the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a reasonable and responsible manner. Second, the victim must show that the defendant breached his duty of care in some way. Finally, the victim has to show that he suffered injuries as a result of the defendant’s decision to breach his duty of care.

To get a better understanding of these legal terms, consider drivers on the road. Every driver owes a duty of care to other drivers so everyone drives responsibly and no one is injured. But, a driver who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is breaching his duty of care to act responsibly. Drivers who ignore the speed limit, text while driving, or run through red lights are also breaching their duty of care to other drivers. If a drunk or reckless driver causes an accident, he can be held liable for the other driver’s injuries since the crash was a direct result of his negligence.

Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Colorado also has a modified comparative negligence law that applies to personal injury cases. This law allows a victim to recover compensation even if she is partly to blame for her injuries, as long as she is not more than 50% for at fault.

Take another look at the reckless driving example mentioned above. If the victim was texting at the time of the crash, she could be held partly responsible since she should have been paying attention to the road. If the court assigns 20% of the fault to her, she can only recover 80% of the compensation that she is awarded. But, if she is assigned more than 50% of the fault, she can no longer recover any compensation from the defendant.

It’s important to understand how negligence and modified comparative negligence work in the state of Colorado so you can understand more about your personal injury case.

Learn how these legal concepts apply to your personal injury case by contacting Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will review the details of your case to determine if another person’s negligence caused your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Who is Liable For Nursing Home Falls?

Who is Liable For Nursing Home Falls?

People tend to become more unsteady on their feet as they age, which is why falls are more common among seniors than any other age group. In fact, the National Council on Aging reports that falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for elderly adults. Many concerned family members bring their elderly loved ones to nursing homes when they become a fall risk so they can be supervised and cared for at all times. But unfortunately, nursing home falls are very common.

How Do Nursing Home Falls Occur?

Falls can occur in nursing homes for a number of reasons, including:

  • Inadequate supervision
  • Side effects from medications
  • Hazards such as wet floors or poor lighting
  • Muscle weakness
  • Failing to use a walking aid
  • Wearing the wrong size shoes

Who is Liable For Nursing Home Falls?

Every nursing home facility should develop a customized care plan for each resident upon his arrival. The resident’s health will need to be evaluated in order to create this plan, which means the facility should know right away whether the resident is a fall risk or not. If the facility fails to adequately care for a resident that is at risk of falling, this could make the facility liable for the victim’s injuries.

For example, let’s say the nursing home facility determines that your loved one needs to use a walking aid due to muscle weakness and instability. The facility states that they will provide the walking aid to your loved one, but they fail to do so. Later that week, your loved one falls and injures herself while trying to walk to the bathroom without a walking aid. In this case, the nursing home facility would be liable for not providing adequate care to your loved one.

This is not the only way that a nursing home facility can be held liable. Facilities can also be blamed for falls that are caused by inadequate supervision since this typically indicates either the facility is understaffed or the employees are negligent. A facility can be liable when the fall occurred due to a hazard on their property, too. The facility is responsible for maintaining safe conditions on the property, and if they fail to do so, they are liable for any injuries that occur as a result of their negligence.

Some falls are not preventable, but if a fall could have been prevented, the nursing home facility may be held liable for your loved one’s injuries.

Has your loved one been injured in a nursing home fall? If so, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Let us handle the legal aspect of your case while you focus solely on caring for your injured loved one. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Will You Have to Pay Restitution if Convicted of a Crime?

Will You Have to Pay Restitution if Convicted of a Crime?

A criminal conviction can lead to a number of consequences, including incarceration, community service, probation, and fines. Many defendants are surprised to learn that they will also be ordered to pay restitution after a conviction. What is restitution? When will you have to pay it? Here’s what you need to know:

What is Restitution?

Restitution is money that defendants must pay to victims in order to compensate them for any losses they experienced as a result of the defendant’s crime.

When Are Defendants Ordered to Pay Restitution?

Restitution is one of many consequences that a judge considers when deciding how to sentence a defendant for his crimes. However, not all defendants will be ordered to pay restitution. Defendants are only ordered to pay restitution when the losses the victim has suffered are directly related to the crime that was committed.

For example, a defendant who is convicted of theft will most likely be ordered to compensate the victim for the items that were stolen. The amount that the defendant is ordered to pay will typically be the value of the stolen property.

However, crime victims must file a Victim Impact Statement with the District Attorney’s office in order to ask the court for restitution. In this statement, the victim is required to show proof of the losses he has suffered. If this statement is not filed, he is not entitled to restitution.

What If A Defendant Cannot Afford to Pay Restitution?

You will not be required to pay the restitution all at once. The court will create a payment schedule for the defendant that outlines how much needs to be paid and when it should be paid. All payments will be made to the court, which will then process the payment and send it to the victim.

If you miss any payments, the court has the authority to collect the money in other ways. For instance, the judge can issue a wage garnishment order, which means a portion of each of your paychecks will be sent directly to the court. A judge can also intercept tax refunds or put a lien on your property. In some cases, the court may decide to revoke your probation or suspend your driver’s license as punishment for missing restitution payments. To avoid these penalties, it’s important to stay on schedule and make all required payments.

Restitution is just one of the many consequences of a criminal conviction that can affect your future. Protect your future by seeking legal representation from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Throughout the legal process, we will aggressively 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.

How Long Does it Take to Settle A Personal Injury Claim?

How Long Does it Take to Settle A Personal Injury Claim?

Medical bills can start to pile up quickly after an accident, which is why so many personal injury victims are eager to reach a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In some cases, a settlement can be reached shortly after the insurance adjuster has all of the information he needs about the claim. But in other cases, it can take much longer to settle a personal injury claim. Why? Here are some of the factors that could be to blame for the delay:

The Amount of Compensation

High-value claims will take much longer to settle than low-value claims. Why? Insurance adjusters will not hand over six- or seven-figure checks until they are sure that the recipient deserves every penny. This means insurance adjusters will thoroughly investigate every detail of high-value claims to look for inconsistencies in the victim’s story, questionable injuries, or opportunities to pin some of the liability on the victim. It can take time to analyze every detail of a personal injury claim, which is why high-value claims take longer to settle.

Liability Disputes

Insurance adjusters will not even begin discussing compensation until they are confident that their policyholder was to blame for the accident. Therefore, if the insurance adjuster in your case is questioning who is at fault, this will delay a settlement. This can happen in any type of case, but it is common in cases where multiple parties were involved, such as car accidents with three vehicles.

Your Injuries

Ideally, personal injury victims should wait until they have reached their maximum medical improvement before they start negotiating with the insurance company. This is recommended because an attorney cannot calculate your current damages and estimate your future damages until you have reached this point in your recovery. Some victims are able to reach their maximum medical improvement within a few weeks, but it can take months for others to get to this point.

Your Priorities

Some personal injury victims are willing to wait for months if that’s what it takes for their attorney to wear the insurance adjuster down and reach the highest settlement possible. Other victims, however, are more interested in reaching a settlement quickly so they can pay their bills and close this chapter of their lives. If moving on is more important to you than squeezing every penny out of the insurance company, you will be able to reach a settlement much faster.

If you have been injured, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm right away. Our personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to reach a favorable settlement as quickly as possible. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Preserve Evidence After A Car Accident

How to Preserve Evidence After A Car Accident

It’s very difficult—if not, impossible—to recover compensation in a car accident claim without evidence. The at-fault party’s insurance company will expect to see evidence that proves their policyholder was truly to blame for the accident. The insurance company will also need to see proof of your injuries and any expenses or losses that you are claiming. Because the outcome of your case depends on how much evidence you have, it’s important to preserve evidence after a car accident. Here’s how:

Keep Multiple Copies of Paper Documents

Car accident victims need to hold onto documentation that is related to the accident, including medical records, police reports, and receipts. But, paper is not indestructible, so it’s important to make multiple copies of this evidence in order to preserve it. Scan everything onto your computer so you have an electronic copy of each document in addition to the paper document.

Protect Photos

Photos taken at the scene of the accident play an important role in proving liability. But unfortunately, many car accident victims make the mistake of assuming their photos are safe on their smartphones, when this is clearly not the case. If the phone breaks before the data has been backed up, the photos may no longer be accessible. For this reason, it’s recommended that you either print a copy of the photos or send them to your attorney and a trusted friend or family member right away.

Record Witnesses

You—or your attorney—will need to reach out to witnesses in the days following the car accident to find out if they heard or saw anything that could be used as evidence in your case. Once you make contact with the witnesses, ask them if they mind being recorded so you can get their statement on record.

Why is this important? It can take a long time to resolve a personal injury case, and the witnesses may forget a lot of what they saw or heard by the time you need them again. Therefore, it’s important to record their statements while their memory of the crash is still fresh so you can capture all of the details.

Have you been injured in a car accident? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys will quickly get to work gathering evidence that can be used to prove liability in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How A Back Injury Can Affect Your Life

How A Back Injury Can Affect Your Life

Back injuries such as sprains, strains, and herniated discs often occur in car crashes, slip and falls, and other accidents. Many people think that personal injury victims who walk away from an accident with just a back injury should count themselves lucky, but these victims can suffer for years as a result of this type of injury. Here’s how a back injury can affect your life:

Career

A back injury could affect your ability to perform your job duties. For example, someone who is required to lift heavy objects at work cannot perform this job duty while recovering from a back injury. Even if your job doesn’t require physical labor, a back injury could make it harder just to sit at a desk for an extended period of time. For these reasons, it’s possible that you will need to take time off of work or ask to be reassigned to another position.

Family Life

A back injury may impact your family life, too. For instance, a back injury can make it difficult for a parent to care for their young child. The simple act of picking up a child could make the injury worse. As a result, the other parent may need to take on additional responsibilities until the injury has healed. This can put stress on relationships within your family as everyone struggles to adjust to their new roles.

Mood

Believe it or not, people with back injuries can also experience changes in their mood. This typically occurs when a back injury victim is no longer able to do some of the activities that he once loved. Missing out on these activities can make people feel as if they are living life on the sidelines, which can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anger, and anxiety.

Finances

Treating a back injury can be expensive even if you have health insurance. Many health insurance policies do not cover all of the expenses related to treating a back injury, so you may need to pay for some medical bills out of your pocket. Fortunately, anyone who suffers a back injury in an accident caused by another person can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation and protect their finances.

If you have suffered a back injury and someone else is to blame, contact Reisch Law Firm today. A back injury can affect many areas of your life, but it shouldn’t drain your finances. Let our personal injury attorneys fight for the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Collect A Personal Injury Settlement or Judgment

How to Collect A Personal Injury Settlement or Judgment

Many personal injury cases end with either a settlement or a judgment in favor of the victim. But, even if the at-fault party agrees to or is ordered to pay the victim, this doesn’t mean they will simply write a check right then and there. Here’s how to collect the money awarded in a personal injury settlement or judgment:

Collecting A Personal Injury Settlement

Read the settlement agreement to determine how long the insurance company has to pay you. The timing can vary, but many insurance companies give themselves 20 to 30 days to send a check to the victim. The agreement should also outline consequences for missing this deadline. For example, the insurance company may have to pay interest on missed payments or the plaintiff may have the right to move forward with a lawsuit if the payment is not made on time.

Insurance companies will typically send compensation on time in order to avoid these consequences. But if they fail to do so, meet with your attorney to determine your options. Sometimes, it’s best to have your attorney send the insurance company a letter that demands payment and reminds them of the consequences. In other cases, an attorney may think it is in your best interest to opt out of the settlement and go to trial to teach the insurance company a lesson.

Collecting A Personal Injury Judgment

It can take much longer to collect compensation awarded to you in court. This is because the defendant may choose to appeal the decision, which means the case will go to the appellate court where it will be heard by a different judge. The defendant will not pay the judgment until he has exhausted all of his appeals, which means you could end up waiting for years to collect the money.

If the defendant does not pay after the appeals are over, work with an attorney to enforce the judgment. If the defendant was an individual, the court may enforce the judgment using wage garnishment. This means a portion of each of the defendant’s paychecks will be automatically withheld and sent to you until the defendant has paid the total judgment. Insurance companies typically pay on time, but if they don’t, the court can either order them to pay the judgment in full with interest or begin garnishing the company’s bank accounts.

Have you been injured by the negligent acts of another person? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will ensure that the defendant compensates you as soon as possible after a settlement or verdict is reached. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Types of Identity Theft

Common Types of Identity Theft

Identity theft is a complex crime that involves the theft of someone’s personal information that is used for another person’s gain. This crime is aggressively prosecuted in the state of Colorado, and anyone who is convicted can face serious consequences. For this reason, it’s important to learn about the different types of identity theft so you know when you could be charged with a crime. Here are some of the most common forms of identity theft:

Financial Identity Theft

This is by far the most common type of identity theft. Financial identity theft occurs when a victim’s personal information is used for the defendant’s financial gain. For example, the defendant may be accused of stealing the victim’s credit card information and using it to make purchases for himself. Financial identity theft can also involve stealing a person’s information in order to open up new credit card accounts in his name.

Medical Identity Theft

This type of identity theft crime is committed when the defendant steals the victim’s personal information and uses it to obtain medical treatment, prescription medications, or any other type of medical service. For example, someone who commits this crime could be accused of stealing the victim’s health insurance information and using it to see a healthcare provider.

Tax-Related Identity Theft

Similar to financial identity theft, defendants who commit tax-related identity theft are motivated by financial gain. This crime involves illegally obtaining someone’s personal information and using it to file fraudulent tax returns in order to obtain large tax refunds from the IRS. This type of identity theft may not be as well known as others, but it is becoming increasingly common.

Criminal Identity Theft

Some defendants are accused of committing criminal identity theft, which occurs when someone provides law enforcement with another person’s information. An example of this type of identity theft would be giving a law enforcement officer another person’s ID when you are pulled over for speeding. Your name would not be attached to the ticket since it would go on the victim’s driving record, which means you would benefit by not having to deal with the consequences of speeding.

Have you been accused of committing identity theft? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Identity theft is a very serious crime, so you will need our experienced criminal defense attorneys on your side. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Types of Evidence Can Be Presented in Court?

What Types of Evidence Can Be Presented in Court?

There are four types of evidence that may be presented by either the prosecution or the defense in a criminal trial: real, demonstrative, testimonial, and documentary. If you are facing criminal charges, it’s important to understand each of these types of evidence so you understand what can and cannot be brought up during your trial.

Real Evidence

The first type of evidence is referred to as real evidence because it can be seen or felt by the jury. The objects that are classified as real evidence are usually directly related to some part of the crime. For example, a knife that was used to commit murder would be real evidence. Controlled substances found in the defendant’s possession can also be considered real evidence. Both of these objects are real evidence since they are observable and related to the crime.

Demonstrative Evidence

The second type of evidence that can be used in court is demonstrative, which is used to illustrate a witness’s testimony. Demonstrative evidence can include maps, diagrams, and graphs.

This type of evidence can only be used if it is a true representation of what the witness is saying. For example, it may be easier for a jury to follow along with a witness’s testimony if they are presented with a diagram of the crime scene. However, the diagram must be drawn based on the witness’s testimony. If the witness said she found the weapon behind the sofa, the prosecution cannot place the weapon in the center of the room on the diagram. This would be misleading for the jury members who are trying to understand what was found at the scene of the crime.

Testimonial Evidence

Testimonial evidence is any type of information that is provided by witnesses who are testifying under oath. It’s important to note that testimonial evidence can only be provided by competent individuals. Anyone who clearly does not have any personal knowledge of the subject or cannot remember what he or she witnessed will not be deemed competent.

Documentary Evidence

Finally, there is documentary evidence. As you may have guessed, documentary evidence is any type of document that can be used to prove or disprove facts of the case. For example, a photo of the defendant leaving the crime scene could be considered documentary evidence. Emails sent to and from the defendant about the crime can also be used as documentary evidence. Documentary evidence is often the most convincing, which is why many prosecutors rely so heavily on it to prove their case.

If you are facing criminal charges, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will immediately begin to gather evidence that can be used to discredit the prosecutor’s case and prove your innocence. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.