Month: February 2018

What is the Seatbelt Defense?

What is the Seatbelt Defense?

Some insurance companies are willing to accept the fact that their policyholder was at fault for an accident if they have enough evidence that says this is true. But, other insurance companies won’t go down without a fight. One of the most common strategies that is used by the at-fault party’s insurance company in a car accident claim is known as the seatbelt defense.

What is the Seatbelt Defense?

Countless studies have shown that wearing a seatbelt is the most effective way to protect yourself in a car accident. Despite this research, it is estimated that only 85% of people in the state of Colorado wear their seatbelts.

Now, let’s say you were injured in a car accident that was clearly caused by the other driver. If you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the crash, the at-fault party could try to use the seatbelt defense. This means the at-fault party will try to prove that you would not have been injured or would not have suffered such serious injuries if you been responsible enough to wear your seatbelt. Basically, the defendant is attempting to reduce his liability by saying that you were partially or totally responsible for your injuries.

The Seatbelt Defense & Comparative Negligence

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means personal injury victims may still be able to recover compensation even if they were partially to blame for the accident. But, victims cannot recover compensation if they were 50% or more responsible for their injuries. Therefore, the seatbelt defense can be used to reduce the amount of compensation awarded to the plaintiff.

For example, let’s say you suffer a concussion and broken bones in a car crash. Then, the defendant successfully proves that you would not have suffered a concussion if you were wearing your seatbelt, but you would have still suffered broken bones. As a result, the court finds that 30% of the liability falls on you, while the remaining 70% falls on the defendant. This means the amount of compensation that you are awarded will be decreased by 30%, so the seatbelt defense was successful. If the court finds that you are 50% or more responsible for your injuries, the defendant will not have to compensate you at all.

If you were not wearing a seatbelt when you were injured in a crash, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will be prepared to fight the seatbelt defense and recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How A Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Personal Relationships

How A Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Personal Relationships

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects nearly every area of a victim’s life, including their personal relationships. Here are some of the ways your personal relationships may change after a TBI:

Different Roles and Responsibilities

You may have been the breadwinner in your home in the past, but that can change if you suffer a TBI. TBI victims may not be physically, mentally, or emotionally able to work. As a result, their partners often have to either enter the workforce or search for additional opportunities to earn money. This shift in roles and responsibilities can put a lot of pressure on a couple, and their relationship could suffer as a result.

Mood Swings

TBI victims can also experience mood swings due to their injury. Dealing with these sudden mood swings can be difficult for friends and family members, especially if the anger is directed at them. Loved ones may not understand that you do not have complete control over your emotions. Instead, they may feel hurt or upset by something that you’ve said or done during a mood swing. This can severely affect relationships with all of your closest loved ones.

Communication Problems

Communication is an important part of every relationship. But sadly, many people have trouble communicating with others after a TBI. Victims may not be able to put their thoughts or feelings into words. It’s also common for TBI victims to struggle with understanding what other people are talking about. Not being able to effectively communicate with someone can make it hard to connect with other people and maintain personal relationships.

Self-Consciousness

Many people feel incredibly self-conscious after suffering a TBI because of the physical and mental changes that this type of injury can cause. For example, a TBI victim who struggles to find the right words or speak clearly may be self-conscious every time he opens his mouth. Someone who has physical limitations after an injury may be too self-conscious to go for a walk outside or exercise around other people. The more self-conscious a TBI victim feels, the more he will isolate himself from his loved ones. Friends and family members may feel as if they are being pushed away, and some of them may not understand why, which can lead to feelings of resentment.

If you have suffered a TBI, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will ensure that you are compensated for the immense suffering that you have experienced as a result of your injury. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

FAQs About Probation in Colorado

FAQs About Probation in Colorado

People who are convicted of crimes are often sentenced to probation instead of jail or prison time. But, many people who face this penalty don’t know much about it beyond the fact that it is an alternative to incarceration. Learn more about probation in Colorado by taking a look at the answers to these FAQs:

Who is sentenced to probation?

Both adults and juveniles can be eligible for probation if they are convicted of certain felonies or misdemeanors. However, probation may not be an option for defendants convicted of violent crimes.

If probation is a sentencing option, the judge will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to sentence a defendant to probation or jail or prison time. For example, the judge may look at the nature of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal record.

What should you do after being sentenced to probation?

Defendants who are sentenced to probation should report to the Probation Office right away. At the Probation Office, you will be asked to fill out forms and will then be given your probation officer’s information. The probation officer will go over all of the terms of your probation with you.

What are the terms of probation?

Everyone who is on probation must comply with certain rules that are set by the court. The terms of probation will vary on a case-by-case basis, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis
  • Avoiding drug or alcohol use
  • Paying court fees and restitution to the victim
  • Completing community service hours
  • Not engaging in any criminal activity

It’s important to understand which terms you are expected to comply with so you do not accidentally violate any of them. A violation could result in your probation being extended or revoked, which means you could be sent to jail or prison.

What are the benefits of probation?

Defendants who are sentenced to probation can continue working, earning money, and spending time with loved ones as long as they comply with the terms of their probation. Being on probation may not be ideal, but it’s much better than being behind bars.

Have you been charged with a crime? Get in touch with Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will aggressively defend your rights through every step of the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

The Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are around 1.4 million people living in nursing homes across the country. These nursing home residents may be in different nursing home facilities, but they all share the same rights. Here are some of the many legal rights of nursing home residents:

Healthcare Rights

Every nursing home resident has the right to see a healthcare provider. Residents should be allowed to choose their own healthcare provider, and they should never be kept in the dark about their medical condition. If a resident does not want to take a medication or undergo a certain procedure, he has the right to refuse to do so.

Money Management

Nursing home facilities must allow their residents to manage their own money. If a resident does not feel comfortable managing his own money, he has the right to ask a trusted loved one to manage his finances for him. In addition, the nursing home must allow all residents to access their bank accounts or financial records at any time.

Right to Privacy

Even though nursing home residents live in close quarters, every resident has the right to privacy. Nursing home residents should be able to make private phone calls, visit with loved ones in private, and keep their personal belongings in a private and secure space.

Representative Notification

Nursing home facilities must get in touch with a resident’s legal representative or family members in certain situations. For example, if the resident injures himself or becomes seriously ill, the facility should notify his representative or family as soon as possible. These parties should also be contacted if a resident’s mental or physical state starts to decline suddenly or if the resident is being transferred to another facility.

Free From Abuse and Neglect

Nursing home residents have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. No nursing home resident should ever be subjected to any form of abuse or neglect. If a resident is abused or neglect, he also has the right to complain to the facility’s staff without fearing retaliation. Unfortunately, the right to live freely without being abused or neglected is often violated.

Has your loved one been abused or neglected in a nursing home? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury attorneys will hold the nursing home accountable for this clear violation of your loved one’s rights. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Types of Truck Accidents

Common Types of Truck Accidents

Due to the size and weight of a commercial truck, a truck accident can cause serious and often fatal injuries. There are thousands of trucks on the road at any given moment, which makes it hard to avoid driving near one. But, by learning about the different types of truck accidents that can occur, you may be able to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Here are some of the most common types of truck accidents:

Jackknife Accidents

The term “jackknife” is used to describe a truck accident that occurs after a truck driver slams on the brakes too hard. When this happens, the truck’s cabin will come to a stop, but the trailer will turn outwards until it has formed a 90-degree angle with the cabin. The driver will not have any control over the truck during this type of collision, so he will not be able to move the truck to avoid crashing into other vehicles.

Wide Turn Accidents

The larger a vehicle is, the harder it is to turn, which is why truck drivers must exercise caution when attempting to make a turn. Truck drivers swing the truck slightly to the left before making a right turn, however this maneuver often leads to a crash. Drivers that are to the left of the truck may be caught off guard by the truck moving in their direction. On the other side, drivers may be hit if the truck driver does not successfully make the turn or if the truck starts to roll over.

Under Ride Accidents

Drivers may not have enough time to safely come to a stop if a truck driver suddenly slams on his brakes. As a result, the driver may collide with the back of the truck and get stuck underneath the trailer. This is one of the most fatal types of truck accidents, which is why it’s so important to always leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the truck in front of you.

“No Zone” Accidents

A truck driver’s blind spots are often referred to as “no zones” because no driver should ever drive in these areas. If a truck driver cannot see you, he may change lanes or turn and collide with your vehicle since he doesn’t know that you’re there.

Unfortunately, these are just some of the many types of truck accidents. If you have been injured in any type of truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury attorneys will immediately launch an investigation to determine who should be held liable for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Recent Updates to Colorado’s DUI Laws

Recent Updates to Colorado’s DUI Laws

In 2015, a law was passed in Colorado to ensure that repeat DUI offenders faced harsher penalties for their crimes. Under this law, anyone who was arrested for DUI would face a felony charge if they already had three or more DUI convictions on their record. However, many people did not believe the law was effective, so lawmakers had no choice but to update it earlier this year. Here’s what you should know about the recent updates to Colorado’s DUI laws:

The Problem With the 2015 Law

Even though the law was passed to ensure repeat offenders faced greater consequences than other DUI offenders, many people felt they were actually being treated more leniently. People who were convicted of their third DUI faced a mandatory jail sentence along with a number of other penalties. However, judges had more freedom when sentencing fourth time DUI offenders due to the new law. As a result, many judges ended up treating fourth time DUI offenders more leniently than first, second, or third time offenders.

The Denver Post reviewed sentencing data and found that 8% of defendants who were convicted of felony DUI were not sentenced to spend time behind bars. In one case, a man who was convicted of DUI for the sixth time with a BAC that was almost three times the legal limit was only given probation. Lawmakers, attorneys, and activists demanded change so all defendants would be treated fairly.

2017 Changes to the Felony DUI Law

Lawmakers believe that the changes that went into effect in August will ensure the law works in the way it was intended. The new law requires that any fourth time DUI offenders who are only sentenced to probation serve between 90-180 days in jail. Defendants who participate in work release programs are also required to spend time in jail. These defendants may be sentenced to up to two years behind bars under this new law. The law also states that defendants who are convicted of felony DUI cannot be released from incarceration early through sentence reductions.

But, these new rules will only affect your case if it was filed after the changes went into effect in August. If your case was filed before that, the 2015 law will still apply.

Have you been charged with DUI? If so, seek legal representation from a criminal defense attorney at Reisch Law Firm at once. We will aggressively defend your rights regardless of whether this is your first, second, third, fourth, or subsequent DUI charge. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Possible Outcomes of A Personal Injury Case

The Possible Outcomes of A Personal Injury Case

Many clients are eager to understand how their personal injury case will end. There’s no way to predict the future or guarantee that a case will end favorably for the plaintiff, but there are only a handful of ways that a personal injury claim can be resolved. Here are the possible outcomes of a personal injury case:

The Case is Dropped

The injured party has the right to change his mind and drop the case at any time. Personal injury victims drop cases for many reasons. For example, the victim may realize that the case is not worth pursuing after learning he won’t be able to recover much compensation. If the case is dropped, the victim will not be awarded compensation.

The Case is Settled

About 95% of personal injury cases will end with a settlement that is negotiated out of the courtroom. By accepting a settlement, the victim agrees to no longer take legal action against the defendant for his injuries. In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, the defendant will compensate the victim for his medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The Plaintiff Wins At Trial

A personal injury claim will only go to trial if both parties cannot reach a settlement agreement outside of court. During the trial, both sides will have an opportunity to present their case to the judge and jury. The jury will get to decide whether or not the plaintiff deserves to be compensated after hearing both sides of the story. If the plaintiff wins, he will be compensated by the defendant for his injuries.

The Defendant Wins At Trial

Plaintiffs do not always win during personal injury trials. In some cases, the jury will decide that the defendant should not have to compensate the plaintiff. This may occur if the jury believes the defendant was not negligent or the plaintiff was to blame for the accident.

If the defendant wins, he will not have to compensate the plaintiff. He can also ask the plaintiff to cover his legal expenses, including his attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and court filing fees.

It’s important to note that a trial verdict can be appealed. This means the defendant can appeal the court’s decision if the plaintiff wins and the plaintiff can appeal the court’s decision if the defendant wins. If this happens, the personal injury case would end with a verdict in appellate court.

If you have been injured, seek legal representation from a personal injury attorney at Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury 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.

Are the Police Allowed to Lie?

Are the Police Allowed to Lie?

Police officers are responsible for enforcing our laws and protecting our communities, so they are typically viewed as trustworthy and reliable people. But, police officers aren’t always honest. In fact, the law permits police officers to stretch the truth under certain circumstances. When are the police allowed to lie? Here’s what you need to know:

Lying to Get A Confession

Police officers are legally allowed to lie or mislead suspects if they are trying to get them to confess to committing a crime. For example, a police officer may tell a suspect that he has evidence the suspect committed a crime. He may say that a witness came forward to name the suspect even though this is not true. A police officer may also fib by saying physical evidence was discovered that proves the suspect committed the crime. Sometimes, a police officer will even tell a suspect that one of his accomplices finally gave in and told the police everything.

A suspect that is fed this information may feel as if he has no choice but to confess since the police already have enough evidence to convict him. Later, the suspect may realize that the police officer was not telling the truth. But sadly, a confession cannot be thrown out just because a police offer used these tactics in order to get it.

Lying to Get You to Talk

Everyone has the right to remain silent, but police officers often get frustrated when they are unable to get someone to talk. When this happens, the police might turn to dishonesty in order to get a suspect to start answering questions. For instance, a police officer may suggest that the suspect’s refusal to cooperate will lead to more severe consequences in his criminal case. A police officer may also tell a suspect that by not answering questions, he is simply making himself look more guilty. This is not the case, so don’t fall for these lies.

A police officer may also try to convince a suspect to cooperate by using phrases such as “it’s in your best interest,” or “we’re just trying help you.” But, police officers are not looking out for you in this situation. Even if you have nothing to hide, it’s recommended that you wait until an attorney is with you before you begin speaking.

If you are facing criminal charges, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will stand by your side throughout the legal process to ensure that you do not hurt your case by falling for these tricks. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Things You Should Never Say After A Car Accident

Things You Should Never Say After A Car Accident

Being in a car accident can be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience. In fact, the shock and stress of being in an accident may cause you to say things that you will regret in the future. Here are some of the things you should never say after a car accident:

“I’m sorry, it was my fault.”

Don’t ever take the blame for the accident—even if you think that you were at fault. It’s possible that the other driver was partially or completely to blame, so don’t let him off the hook by accepting fault. Taking the blame will affect your ability to recover compensation in a car accident claim, so keep your lips sealed.

“I’m not injured.”

The other driver may ask how you are feeling after an accident to see if you were injured in the crash. Even if you feel fine, do not tell the other driver that you were not injured. It’s possible that you won’t discover the injuries until hours or days after the accident when the symptoms become more noticeable. But, telling the other driver that you are not injured could make it difficult to recover compensation for any injuries that you discover. It’s recommended that you never comment on your injuries until you have been examined by a doctor.

“I was distracted.”

A police officer or another driver may ask you a question about the events leading up to the accident. For example, a police officer may ask if you saw the other driver make an illegal turn. If you don’t know the answer to this question, say you don’t know. Don’t explain why you don’t know by admitting that you were looking at your phone or talking to someone in your car. Admitting that you were distracted at the time of the accident is almost the same as admitting that you were at fault.

Don’t let these mistakes affect your car accident claim. It’s best to avoid talking to anyone at the scene of the accident with the exception of the responding police officer. The only times that you should talk to the other driver are when you are asking if he needs medical attention and when you are exchanging information.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys can communicate with other parties on your behalf so you don’t accidentally say anything that could affect your claim. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Different Degrees of Burglary Charges in Colorado

The Different Degrees of Burglary Charges in Colorado

Many people assume that burglary is very similar to theft, but that’s not necessarily true. Burglary is committed when someone unlawfully enters a structure with the intent to commit a crime once inside. The type of structure that you enter and what you do once inside can determine whether you are charged with first, second, or third degree burglary. Here’s what you need to know about the different degrees of burglary charges in Colorado:

Third Degree Burglary

Third degree burglary is committed when someone breaks into a vault, safe, cash register, safety deposit box, or any other type of equipment with the intent to commit a crime. Although this is the least serious of the three charges, it is still a class 5 felony. It can even be increased to a class 4 felony if the person broke into the structure with the intent to steal controlled substances.

Second Degree Burglary

Second degree burglary occurs when someone knowingly breaks into a building or any type of occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime. You can also be charged with this crime if you are unlawfully remain inside a structure after lawfully gain entry. For example, let’s say you hide inside a store and wait for the owner to close the store and leave for the evening. Technically, you did not break into the store since you lawfully entered it when it was open for business. But, because you stayed in the store after it was closed, this would be considered unlawfully remaining inside the building.

This crime is typically charged as a class 4 felony, but it can be increased to a class 3 felony in the event that it took place within a private residence. It can also be charged as a class 3 felony if you intended on stealing controlled substances.

First Degree Burglary

First degree burglary is similar to second degree burglary with one exception. If the person who is committing the crime assaults or threatens someone who is inside the structure being burglarized, the crime is charged as first degree burglary.

First degree burglary is the most serious type of burglary charge. It is typically charged as a class 3 felony, however it can be charged as a class 2 felony if the crime involved the theft of controlled substances.

Have you been charged with burglary? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience representing clients who have been charged with first, second, and third degree burglary. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.