Month: May 2018

Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney With Trial Experience?

Do You Need A Personal Injury Attorney With Trial Experience?

People often assume that personal injury lawyers spend most of their time arguing in court, but that’s not necessarily true. About 95% of personal injury cases are settled outside of the courtroom, which means personal injury attorneys only need to go to court for about 5% of their cases. Even though most cases will be resolved without ever going to trial, it’s still in your best interest to find a personal injury attorney with trial experience. Here’s why:

Send A Message to the Insurance Company

Insurance companies are familiar with local personal injury attorneys, so they know which ones have trial experience and which ones don’t. If you hire an attorney with trial experience, this tells the insurance company that you are willing to take the case to court if they don’t make a fair offer.

Why does this matter? Insurance companies know how expensive personal injury trials can be, so they will usually go to great lengths to resolve cases outside of court. If the insurance company knows that you are willing to take the case to court, the adjuster may make a sizable offer to convince you to settle. Without an attorney with trial experience, it would be difficult to recover a fair amount of compensation from the insurance company.

Be Prepared For Every Scenario

It’s not likely that your case will go to trial, but it’s possible. Hiring a personal injury attorney with trial experience is a good way to prepare for this unlikely, but possible scenario. If your case ends up in court, there’s no need to worry about how your attorney will perform since you chose someone with plenty of trial experience.

Building A Case

An attorney must be able to put together a strong and convincing case in order to win a verdict in court. The best personal injury attorneys begin planning for a trial as soon as they accept the case. These attorneys think about what evidence will be needed to persuade a jury of the defendant’s liability and the most impactful way to present this evidence. Attorneys with trial experience also immediately begin to identify possible defenses that could be used against the plaintiff so they can figure out ways to defeat these strategies. All of these tasks require unique skills that are only found in personal injury attorneys with trial experience. If you hire an attorney without trial experience, he may not know how to build a convincing case around the evidence, which could affect your ability to recover compensation.

There are many reasons why hiring a personal injury attorney with trial experience is in your best interests. If you have been injured, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys with at Reisch Law Firm today. Our attorneys are known for winning sizable verdicts on behalf of our personal injury clients. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Most Common Defense Strategies Used in Slip and Fall Cases

The Most Common Defense Strategies Used in Slip and Fall Cases

Property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their properties to ensure that visitors do not injure themselves. Because of this legal obligation, property owners are often held accountable for slip and fall accidents that occur on their property. But, this does not mean that property owners immediately take the blame for every injury sustained on their property. Many property owners put up a fight in an attempt to avoid liability in a personal injury case. How? Here are some of the most common defense strategies used in slip and fall cases:

“You’re to blame.”

A property owner can only be held liable if his negligence led to the victim’s slip and fall injuries. Therefore, many property owners will try to escape liability by proving that it was actually the victim’s negligence that caused the slip and fall accident. For example, if a grocery store customer is too distracted by her phone to notice the “Wet Floor” sign, she may be found partially or totally responsible for her injuries if she slips on the wet floor.

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means victims can still recover compensation for their injuries if they were less than 50% responsible for the accident. But, if a victim is determined to be partially responsible, he will not receive as much compensation. This means defendants can use this strategy to lower the amount of compensation they owe the plaintiff.

“You were trespassing.”

Trespassers do not have the same rights as legal visitors. Trespassers can only recover compensation for injuries deliberately caused by the property owner. If a trespasser is hurt in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, the property owner is not liable unless he deliberately created a safety hazard to hurt the victim. Therefore, property owners can use this as a defense in slip and fall cases in order to escape liability.

“You knew the risks of coming onto my property.”

The assumption of risk defense can also be used in a slip and fall case. This defense comes into play when the victim knew that participating in a certain activity was risky, but decided to do so anyways. If she was injured as a result of the activity, she may be held partially or totally liable since she knew of the risks beforehand. For example, let’s say a property owner warns his guest that the stairs leading up to his house are slippery from a recent rainstorm. The guest walks up the stairs anyways, slips, and injures herself. In this case, the guest knew of the risk involved and chose to engage in the activity anyways, so she may be held partially or totally liable.

These defense strategies may be common, but they’re not always effective. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, let the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm fight to hold the property owner accountable. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Can A Defendant’s Criminal Charges Be Reduced?

When Can A Defendant’s Criminal Charges Be Reduced?

A criminal defense attorney will always fight to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. If the attorney thinks that it is possible to get the charges completely dropped, this is the outcome he will pursue. But in some cases, the attorney may think that the best possible outcome is to get the criminal charges reduced instead of completely dropped.

What Does it Mean to Reduce Criminal Charges?

Every criminal charge should be taken seriously, but some charges are more serious than others. If the charges against you are reduced, it means that you will be charged with a less serious crime. For example, let’s say you are arrested and charged with menacing, which is similar to assault. Menacing can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the nature of the crime, but in this case, you are charged with felony menacing. If the charges are reduced, it means the state change your charges to misdemeanor menacing instead of felony menacing.

When Are Criminal Charges Reduced?

There are several reasons why the state might decide to reduce your criminal charges. First, the prosecution may reduce your charges if you agree to a plea bargain. This means the prosecution will charge you with a less serious crime as long as you agree to plead guilty to it. Many criminal cases are resolved with plea bargains, but it’s important not to accept one of these deals before speaking with an attorney.

Prosecutors can also be forced to reduce criminal charges if they realize they do not have enough evidence to convict you of the original charge. For instance, consider the menacing crime example from above. The difference between felony and misdemeanor menacing is the former involves the use of a deadly weapon. As the prosecutor starts to build his case, he may realize that he does not have evidence of the deadly weapon. Or, he may realize that the evidence of the deadly weapon will not be admissible in court. Instead of risking a not guilty verdict at trial, he may decide to reduce the charges to misdemeanor menacing, which he will be able to prove.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our attorneys will fight tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case, which may involve reduced charges. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Recover Compensation For PTSD After An Accident

How to Recover Compensation For PTSD After An Accident

Car accidents can cause serious injuries such as broken bones, concussions, and spinal cord damage. But sometimes, the emotional injuries that occur as a result of a car accident cause much greater pain than the physical injuries. People who were involved in catastrophic accidents can suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. Fortunately, it may be possible for these victims to recover compensation for PTSD after an accident.

Proving PTSD After An Accident

Car accident victims will not be compensated for any injuries that cannot be proven. When a victim has a physical injury, it can usually be proven with lab reports or X-rays. But, PTSD won’t show up on MRI results or in blood work, which means it is more difficult to prove. To prove PTSD, car accident victims turn to expert witnesses. It’s common for car accident victims to use the mental health professional that has made the PTSD diagnosis as their expert witness. This individual will be able to provide the most valuable information since he is the one who is treating you.

How Expert Witnesses Can Help

If the case goes to trial, the expert witness needs to begin by describing his experience in the mental health field. This is necessary because it helps the jury understand why the witness should be considered an expert in the field. If this information is not mentioned, the jury will not know whether or not the witness can be trusted.

Next, the witness needs to explain what PTSD is, how it is caused, and the symptoms of this condition. The jury should clearly understand how tragic experiences such as car accidents could lead to PTSD.

The expert witness should then begin to describe your diagnosis. The jury should hear about the symptoms you were experiencing, when they first began, and why the expert decided to diagnose you with PTSD. The witness also needs to go over how this condition has interfered with your life. Has it affected your personal relationships? What is your current mental state? How severe are the symptoms? This information can be used to help the jury decide whether or not to award you pain and suffering damages for your PTSD.

If you have been diagnosed with PTSD after an accident, it’s in your best interests to seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Let our attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve for these painful emotional wounds. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

Every criminal case starts with an arrest. But, what happens next? Many people aren’t familiar with the different steps in the criminal justice process, so they don’t know what to expect after being arrested. One important step of the process is known as the preliminary hearing, which occurs after a defendant has entered a plea of not guilty.

Your criminal defense attorney may refer to a preliminary hearing as the “trial before the trial.” This is because the judge will use this hearing to determine if there is enough evidence against the defendant to move forward with the trial. It’s important to note that the judge is not reviewing the evidence to determine if the defendant is guilty or innocent. He is simply responsible for reviewing the amount and nature of evidence to see if the state has enough evidence to convince a jury of the defendant’s guilt.

Who is Eligible For a Preliminary Hearing?

Some defendants may never have a preliminary hearing. Why? First of all, these hearings can only be requested when the defendant has been charged with a felony. All defendants who have been charged with class 1, 2, or 3 felonies can request a preliminary hearing. Some defendants who have been charged with class 4, 5, or 6 felonies may also qualify. Defendants who have been charged with a misdemeanor do not have the right to request a preliminary hearing.

Defendants who have entered a guilty plea will also not be granted a preliminary hearing. Since this hearing is used to determine if a trial is appropriate, there’s no need to schedule one for a defendant who has already admitted guilt.

What Happens During A Preliminary Hearing?

A preliminary hearing is very similar to a trial. Both sides will get to present their arguments to the judge instead of a jury. Both the prosecution and defense are also allowed to call witnesses or present physical evidence to prove their case. The defense’s goal is to convince the judge that the prosecution’s case is too weak to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the judge agrees with the defense, the case will be dismissed. But, if he sides with the prosecution, a trial will be scheduled.

If you have been charged with a crime, it’s in your best interests to seek legal representation from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Let our attorneys protect your rights and fight for your freedom through every step of the criminal justice process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Are Punitive Damages Awarded to Personal Injury Victims?

When Are Punitive Damages Awarded to Personal Injury Victims?

There are three main categories of damages that can be awarded to a personal injury victim: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic and non-economic damages are awarded to victims who have incurred expenses, experienced losses, or suffered physically or mentally as a result of their injuries. But, when are punitive damages awarded to personal injury victims?

An Introduction to Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are supposed to be used to punish the defendant for his extremely negligent conduct. Therefore, these damages are not awarded to compensate the victim for specific expenses or losses, but rather to teach the defendant a lesson.

When Are Punitive Damages Awarded?

Punitive damages are not awarded in every personal injury case. To recover punitive damages, the plaintiff must prove that their injuries were a result of the defendant’s decision to “commit an act of fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct.”

Most personal injury victims that recover punitive damages do so by proving that the defendant committed an act of willful and wanton conduct. This means the defendant knew he was acting in a manner that could put others in harm’s way, but continued to do so anyways. The court often finds that these defendants acted with a complete disregard for the safety of others and should be punished using punitive damages.

Many victims that are awarded punitive damages successfully prove that the defendant acted with malice, not willful or wanton conduct. This is done by proving the defendant’s actions were intentional because he had a desire to hurt the plaintiff.

How Much Compensation Will Be Awarded?

There is a cap on punitive damages in Colorado. Punitive damages cannot exceed the amount of non-economic and economic damages awarded to the personal injury victim. For instance, if the plaintiff is awarded $50,000 in non-economic and economic damages, he will not be able to recover more than $50,000 in punitive damages.

It can be difficult to recover punitive damages since the court reserves them for cases where the defendant acted with extreme negligence or malice. A personal injury attorney can review your case to determine if you should ask the court to order the defendant to pay punitive damages.

If you have been injured, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our personal injury attorneys will aggressively pursue compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Burden of Proof in Car Accident Cases

The Burden of Proof in Car Accident Cases

You’ve probably heard the expression “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” when watching courtroom dramas. This phrase is used to describe the burden of proof in criminal cases. If the prosecutor is not able to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant will not be convicted. But, the rules are different in civil court. Here’s what you need to know about the burden of proof in car accident cases:

“By A Preponderance of Evidence”

Instead of “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” the burden of proof in car accident cases is “by a preponderance of evidence.” This burden of proof is lower than the one used in criminal cases.

The burden of proof falls on the plaintiff in all personal injury cases. This means it is the victim’s responsibility to prove by a preponderance of evidence that the defendant’s negligence caused the victim’s injuries. To put it simply, the plaintiff must show the defendant was more likely than not responsible for the car accident.

How to Meet the Burden of Proof

To recover compensation, car accident victims must be able to meet the burden of proof. This involves proving:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim
  • The duty of care was breached
  • The breach led to the victim’s injuries

A duty of care is a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care. Every driver owes a duty of care to other drivers on the road since it is important that all drivers exercise reasonable care when behind the wheel.

Establishing the duty of care is easy, but proving that the duty of care was breached can be more difficult. Breaching a duty of care simply means failing to exercise reasonable care. In car accident cases, breaching a duty of care can mean many things, including running a red light, speeding, and driving while intoxicated. An attorney can prove that the defendant breached their duty of care by interviewing witnesses, reviewing the police report, or working with accident reconstruction experts.

If a plaintiff can prove that the accident occurred because the defendant breached their duty of care, the plaintiff has successfully proven negligence and met the burden of proof.

Have you been injured in a car accident? Discuss your case with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. We will immediately launch an investigation to gather the evidence we need to hold the other driver responsible. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Who is Liable For No Contact Motorcycle Accidents?

Who is Liable For No Contact Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcyclists usually only have a few seconds to avoid colliding with another vehicle on the road. Sometimes, it’s too difficult or dangerous for the motorcyclist to attempt to get out of the way to prevent an accident. When this happens, the motorcyclist can lay the bike down in order to prevent a crash. However, laying a bike down can seriously injure the motorcyclist. Who is liable for the injuries sustained in these no contact motorcycle accidents?

Proving Negligence is Key in Traffic Accident Cases

Proving negligence is the key to identifying the liable parties in traffic accident cases. No contact motorcycle accidents are treated the same way as other traffic accidents—the negligent party is liable for the other party’s injuries.

Drivers act negligently when they fail to act in a reasonable and responsible manner. For example, a reasonable and responsible person would obey the traffic laws. If a driver runs through a red light, he is not acting reasonably or responsibly, so this would be considered negligence. If a motorcyclist lays down his bike because of the actions of a negligent driver, the driver is liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries.

For example, let’s say a car and motorcycle are stopped at a four-way intersection. It’s the motorcyclist’s turn to go through the intersection, but the motorist goes anyways. In order to avoid a collision, the motorcyclist lays down his bike and injures himself. Since the motorist violated a traffic law by entering the intersection before the motorcyclist, the motorist can be held liable for the motorcyclist’s injuries.

Recovering Compensation in No Contact Motorcycle Accident Cases

Motorcyclists can face several challenges when trying to recover compensation for their injuries. First, the driver may not even realize that his actions have caused the motorcyclist to lay down his bike. Because he is unaware of what he’s caused, he may not even stop to exchange information with the motorcyclist.

The at-fault party’s insurance company can also make it difficult to recover compensation. The insurance adjuster can argue that the motorcyclist is responsible for his own injuries because he could have safely avoided the collision in another way instead of laying down his bike.

Let an experienced personal injury attorney help you overcome these challenges. If this happens to you, let the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Is It Illegal to Share Marijuana in Colorado?

Is It Illegal to Share Marijuana in Colorado?

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Despite the legalization of marijuana, the state of Colorado still has laws that regulate the use and possession of this drug. Some of these laws pertain to sharing marijuana with others. Is it illegal to share marijuana in Colorado? Here’s what you should know:

Legal Age For Marijuana Use

Recreational marijuana may be legal, but that doesn’t mean it’s legal for everyone. In Colorado, adults must be over the age of 21 in order to legally purchase, possess, and use recreational marijuana. Legal adults should never share marijuana with someone who is under the age of 21. Sharing marijuana with someone who is under the age of 21 is a felony crime in Colorado. This law applies even if you are sharing it with someone who is close to you, such as a family member or friend.

The penalties for sharing marijuana with someone under the age of 21 will vary depending on the amount of marijuana involved in the crime. Sharing less than one ounce can lead to up to two years behind bars and a fine of up to $100,000. But, sharing larger quantities of marijuana can lead to enhanced penalties. For example, sharing more than 2.5 pounds of marijuana with a minor could lead to up to 32 years of imprisonment and up to $1 million in fines.

Sharing With Legal Adults

It’s not hard to see why giving marijuana to someone who is not legally allowed to use it is a crime. But, what about sharing marijuana with other adults who are above the age of 21? Adults in Colorado are allowed to share up to one ounce of marijuana with other legal adults. However, sharing more than one ounce of marijuana with another legal adult is illegal since adults are prohibited from having more than one ounce in their possession.

Giving marijuana to other legal adults is also illegal if it is considered selling instead of sharing. If you are being compensated in any way in exchange for giving a legal adult marijuana, it is illegal.

Many people don’t find out that sharing marijuana is illegal under certain circumstances until they’ve been charged with a crime. If this happens to you, let the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can A Low Impact Car Accident Cause Serious Injuries?

Can A Low Impact Car Accident Cause Serious Injuries?

No one questions how someone involved in a high-speed car accident suffered serious injuries. However, insurance companies may be skeptical if a victim claims to have suffered serious injuries in a low impact car accident. It may be hard to believe, but it’s true that victims can be seriously injured even if the cars are traveling at a low speed at the time of the collision.

The Force of a Low Impact Collision

A standard passenger vehicle weighs around 2,000 pounds. If a standard passenger vehicle collides with another vehicle while traveling 10 miles per hour, it can produce an impact force of about 3.7 tons. The impact force is even greater if the collision involves a larger vehicle, such as a truck or SUV. These cars weigh up to 3,000 pounds and are capable of producing an impact force of 5.6 tons when they collide with another car.

A car traveling at 10 miles per hour may not seem dangerous, but when you understand the force that these cars can produce during a collision, it’s easier to see how injuries occur.

Magnification of Acceleration

A number of car crash studies have revealed that rear-end low impact car accidents can cause serious injuries even if the car is barely moving at the time of the collision. This is because of a principle known as the magnification of acceleration. According to this principle, the passengers inside a vehicle will accelerate faster than their vehicle during a collision. As a result, the passengers absorb much of the force of the impact during a low speed collision. This principle explains why it is possible for passengers to sustain injuries even when the accident does not look serious.

Common Low Impact Car Accident Injuries

Soft tissue injuries in the neck and back are common in low impact car accidents. One of the most common types of soft tissue injuries is whiplash. This injury occurs when the force produced by the collision throws a passenger’s body forward. Seatbelts should hold the passenger’s body in place, but the passenger’s neck may be thrown forward and backward. This sudden movement often leads to pain and discomfort in the neck, back, and shoulders that can linger for days or weeks after the accident.

Have you been injured in a low impact car accident? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. Proving injuries can be difficult in low impact car accident cases, but our personal injury attorneys can help. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.