Author: Scott Reisch

Who is Liable in Slip and Fall Accidents?

Who is Liable in Slip and Fall Accidents?

Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere including grocery stores, hotels, amusement parks, and even in a friend’s home. These sudden accidents can often lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, muscle strains or sprains, head trauma, and spinal cord damage. If you’ve been involved in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries from the responsible party. But, who is liable in slip and fall accidents?

The Property Owner

The legal concept of premises liability plays an important role in slip and fall cases. In the state of Colorado, property owners are required to maintain safe conditions on their property. If a property owner fails to do so and a guest is injured as a result, the property owner could be held liable for the injuries.

However, a property owner is not automatically found liable for every injury that occurs on his property. It must be proven that the owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition and did not take action to remedy the situation.

For example, let’s say a grocery store employee accidentally spills a cup of water on the floor and fails to clean it up. The puddle of water remains on the floor for hours, until you slip and fall on it while leaving the store. In this case, the property owner may not have known about the hazard. However, an attorney may be able to prove that he should have known about it because it was present for hours before the injury occurred.

The Victim

The person who was injured in the slip and fall may be partially or totally liable for his own injuries. For instance, he could have been distracted at the time of the accident, and thus unable to avoid hazards in his path.

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state. This means you may still recover compensation for your injuries even if you are partially to blame, as long as you are not 50% or more responsible.

Using the examples above, say you could have avoided the slip and fall accident in the grocery store if you hadn’t been distracted by your cell phone. It may be determined that you are 30% responsible and the property owner was 70% responsible. In this case, you will only receive 70% of the compensation awarded to you. If you were found to be 50% or more liable, you would not receive any compensation.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s imperative you seek legal representation at once. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to learn how we can prove the property owner was liable so you can recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Do You Know if You Have a Personal Injury Case?

How Do You Know if You Have a Personal Injury Case?

So, you’ve been injured in a car crash, slip and fall, or some other type of unexpected accident. Many of your friends and family members may have recommended that you contact a attorney to discuss your case. But, how do you know if you have a personal injury case? Here are the three keys to every personal injury claim:

Negligence

First, consider whether the person who is responsible for your injuries was negligent. But, what exactly is negligence? People have a “duty of care,” which means they have a legal responsibility to avoid doing any harm to someone else. If this duty of care is breached, the person is said to be acting negligently.

For example, drivers are expected to operate their vehicles as safely as possible to protect other motorists on the road. A driver who decides to operate his vehicle while intoxicated is breaching his duty to other drivers by driving impaired and putting them in harm’s way.

To put it simply, the defendant is negligent if another reasonable person in the defendant’s situation would have known that his actions could potentially harm another person.

The Negligence Caused Injuries

The presence of negligent behavior is not enough to make a strong personal injury case. You must also be able to show that the negligence directly caused your injuries. Using the example above, the drunk driver may be negligent, but he would not be liable for your injuries if he was not involved in the accident. Even though his decision to drive while impaired was negligent, it did not lead to your injuries, and therefore the defendant is not liable.

However, if the drunk driver collided with you because he was too impaired to operate his vehicle, his negligence directly caused your injuries.

Damages

Finally, you will have to be able to prove that the injuries sustained in the accident caused you harm. Did you incur medical expenses? Did you have to take time off of work in order to recover from the injuries? Did the injuries cause you a great deal of emotional and physical pain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be able to recover compensation for the harm you have suffered as a result of your injuries.

Identifying these three elements of a personal injury case can be difficult, which is why it’s always in your best interests to discuss your case with an attorney. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to determine if you have a valid personal injury claim. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Cell Phone Notifications Can Distract Drivers

How Cell Phone Notifications Can Distract Drivers

By now, you have probably heard that texting or talking on the phone can be a huge distraction when driving. But, did you know that just receiving a cell phone notification is enough to distract a driver? Researchers at Florida State University set out to determine to what extent cell phone notifications can distract drivers—and the results may surprise you.

The 150 participants of the study were asked to complete a sustained attention performance test. During the test, participants sat in front of a screen as a series of single-digit numbers were displayed. The participants were asked to touch the screen every time the number changed, as long as the number was not “3”. Each participant sat through the test twice. The first time, the participants were allowed to complete the test without interruptions. However, the second time, the researchers sent text messages and placed phone calls to the participants’ phones so they would receive notifications while trying to concentrate.

Researchers found that the participants were extremely distracted by their notifications even if they did not pick up the phone to respond to the text or answer the call. Just knowing that their phone had a notification was enough to distract them from the task at hand. Researchers also determined that it didn’t matter what type of sound was used to notify the participants of the message or phone call—all notifications created the same level of distraction.

How does this translate to distracted driving? Researchers concluded that people become uncomfortable when they know they have a notification on their phones and have not checked it. Even if they are aware that they shouldn’t check their phones, they feel compelled to do so in order to get rid of the unpleasant feeling. This means drivers who receive notifications while behind the wheel may still check their phones even when they are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving.

Even a cell phone that is on silent or vibrate has the power to distract a driver if he feels the vibration or sees his phone light up from the incoming message or call. To prevent this problem, drivers are encouraged to turn their phones on silent and keep them out of sight. Another option would be to turn the phone completely off while behind the wheel.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prevent License Suspension After a DUI

How to Prevent License Suspension After a DUI

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the power to suspend your license if you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). This can make it difficult to get to work, school, or even to court to fight your criminal charges. Fortunately, there is a way to prevent license suspension after a DUI.

Requesting A Hearing

If you refuse to submit to chemical testing or if you blow a 0.08 or greater on the breathalyzer, the police officer will typically arrest you and issue an “Express Consent Affidavit and Notice of Revocation.” This notice serves as a temporary driver’s license for seven days following the arrest. If you do not want to fight to keep your driving privileges, your license will be suspended at the end of this seven-day period.

However, drivers who do not want their licenses suspended must request a hearing with the DMV before this seven-day period is up. The hearing must be requested in-person at your local DMV office. Your temporary driving privileges will be extended until the date of your hearing, which will take place within two months.

What to Expect at the Hearing

This type of hearing is much less formal than what you will experience when defending yourself against criminal charges in court. Some hearings even take place over the phone, although most are conducted in person.

During the hearing, you will meet with a hearing officer and have the opportunity to ask questions about the procedure. Then, the officer who arrested you will testify if he is present at the hearing, and you will be allowed to cross-examine him afterwards.

The hearing officer will issue a ruling after hearing the testimony. The officer will revoke your driving privileges if based on a preponderance of evidence, he believes that the officer had the right to stop and test you, and that you were driving under the influence at the time of the arrest.

Working With an Attorney

It is not required, but it is in your best interests to have an attorney with you at this hearing. An attorney can investigate your case to determine if the police officer illegally pulled you over or incorrectly administered the test. Law enforcement officers attend these hearings all the time, so they know exactly what to expect and how to answer questions. Let an attorney handle the questioning so you have a better chance of retaining your driving privileges.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our attorneys can defend your rights in both the DMV hearing and criminal court proceedings. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Expunge a Juvenile Criminal Record

How to Expunge a Juvenile Criminal Record

Many people make mistakes when they are young and end up with a criminal record before they are legally considered adults. Fortunately, the state of Colorado does not believe that people should have to carry the crimes they committed as minors with them for the rest of their lives, which is why the state allows some crimes to be expunged. This does not mean that your criminal record will be destroyed, but it will be sealed and treated as if you never committed the crimes. Here’s how to expunge a juvenile criminal record:

Determine eligibility.

You must meet certain requirements in order to file for an expungement, so the first thing you should do is contact an attorney to discuss your eligibility. You are eligible if there are no pending criminal cases against you, you have not been convicted of another crime or adjudicated for another juvenile offense, and expunging your record is in the best interests of the community.

However, there are certain exceptions to these rules. If you were an aggravated or violent juvenile offender or if you committed an offense that could be considered an adult violent crime, you are not eligible. Juveniles who committed unlawful sexual offenses are also not eligible for expungement.

There are also restrictions on when you are allowed to file for expungement. For instance, you can file one year from the date that you completed a juvenile diversion program. However, if you were under court supervision, you will have to wait four years from the date that this was completed.

File the request.

Work with an attorney to file your expungement request with the court. An attorney can help you prepare all of the paperwork that you need to submit to ensure that everything is in order.

Attend the hearing.

A hearing will be scheduled in your expungement case soon after you file the initial paperwork. Let an attorney guide you through what you should expect during this hearing so you are prepared to face the judge. The judge will most likely ask you questions about your request, including why it is in your best interests to expunge your record. At the end of the hearing, the judge will announce whether he is granting your request or not.

Notify agencies.

With the help of your attorney, you will need to notify certain agencies such as the Colorado Bureau of Investigation of your expungement by sending them a copy of the court order. These agencies are required to seal your record within 30 days of receiving the court order.

Do you have a juvenile criminal record? If you’re worried about how your criminal record will affect your future, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our attorneys will help you determine if you are eligible for expungement. If so, we will aggressively fight to have your records sealed to protect your future. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

If you are facing criminal charges, it’s imperative that you work with a criminal defense attorney, regardless of how minor the charges may be. A skilled criminal defense attorney is an invaluable asset that can greatly affect the outcome of your case, but unfortunately, many people who are accused of a crime aren’t aware of how important these attorneys are. What does a criminal defense attorney do and how can he help? Here’s what you need to know:

Investigation of the Case

An attorney will begin by diving deep into the details of the case to learn as much as possible about it. This may include talking to witnesses, questioning police about their procedures, and examining physical evidence. Throughout his investigation, he will be looking for opportunities to poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you. For instance, he may find that the evidence being used against you was collected during an illegal search and should therefore be thrown out.

Negotiations

In some cases, a defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. If you accept the plea deal, you will either face reduced charges or shorter sentences as a result of your attorney’s efforts. A plea deal is not appropriate for every defendant, so it’s possible that your attorney will not explore this option if he does not think it is necessary.

If the attorney finds a significant hole in the prosecution’s case, it’s also possible that he could have all of your charges dropped.

Jury Selection

When a case goes to trial, the attorney will take on the responsibility of selecting the jury that will decide your fate. A skilled attorney will ensure that there are no biased jurors who will assume that you are guilty regardless of the evidence that is presented.

Presenting the Case

Criminal defense attorneys may be best known for their work in trials. If your case goes to trial, a criminal defense attorney will stand before the jury to defend your rights and point out flaws in the prosecution’s case. An attorney will be responsible for preparing witnesses, analyzing the prosecution’s evidence, cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses, and convincing the jury to doubt the prosecution’s story.

Sentencing

Defendants who are found guilty or plead guilty will be sentenced for the crimes that they committed. If this happens to you, an attorney will present a compelling argument to the judge and jury to convince them to be lenient with your sentence.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will defend your rights and provide you with honest advice through every step of the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

FAQs About Ignition Interlock Devices in Colorado

FAQs About Ignition Interlock Devices in Colorado

An ignition interlock device is a portable breath test that attaches to the ignition of your vehicle. In order to start your vehicle, you will have to blow into the device to prove that you are sober. The vehicle will not turn on if alcohol is detected, but if no alcohol is detected, it will turn on and then retest you randomly as you drive. If you have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), it’s possible that you will have to use one of these devices. Here’s what you need to know about ignition interlock devices in Colorado:

When are you required to use an ignition interlock device?

If you have been convicted of DUI or if you refused to submit to chemical testing, you will be required to use an ignition interlock device in order to reinstate your driving privileges early.

Will you have to pay for the device?

Yes, this is one of the many costs of being convicted of drunk driving. In most cases, you will have to pay installation costs and a monthly fee for using the device.

How often do you have to use the device?

You will have to blow into the device any time that you want to start your vehicle. As previously mentioned, you will also be required to take retests as you drive if the initial test showed no alcohol. The retests will occur at random and can begin between 4 and 45 minutes after the car has been started.

What happens if the device detects alcohol during a retest?

If the device detects alcohol during one of the retests, a number of things may occur depending on the vendor of the device. All devices are programmed to record the sample so it has a log of your violations. Some devices will also activate the car alarm, lights, and horn on your vehicle at the same time. In order to get everything to stop, you will have to pull over and turn the car off.

What happens if you don’t follow use the device properly?

Drivers who have been ordered to use the ignition interlock device cannot drive a vehicle that is not equipped with this device. Drivers also cannot ask someone else to blow into the device in order to get the vehicle to start. It is also the driver’s responsibility to have the device serviced by the provider every 60 days and to stay current on payments owed to the provider. If the driver fails to follow any of these rules, he may have his license suspended or revoked as a result.

If you have been charged with DUI, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our team of attorneys can aggressively defend you against these charges and help you reach the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Everyone knows that drinking and driving is never a good idea, but many people are unaware of the dangers of drowsy driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving was the cause of 72,000 accidents and 44,000 injuries in 2013. Although the CDC only reports 800 deaths caused by drowsy driving in 2013, the organization believes these fatalities are underreported and the actual number of deaths is closer to 6,000.

Based on these statistics, it’s clear that drowsy driving is a significant problem. Here’s everything you need to know to stay safe on the road:

The AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety Study

A recent study found that drivers who miss one or two hours of sleep are twice as likely to get into a car accident as drivers who slept seven or eight hours. In fact, the more sleep that you miss, the more dangerous you are on the road. Researchers said those who only sleep four to five hours a night are just as dangerous as drunk drivers, while people who sleep less than four hours a night are just as impaired as they would be if they were twice the legal limit of alcohol.

Drowsy Drivers

Anyone can make the poor decision to operate a vehicle while tired, but there are some drivers that are more likely to do it than others. Drivers who take certain medications, have sleep disorders, or work long shifts are more likely to drive drowsy than other motorists.

How to Prevent Drowsy Driving

It’s recommended that you get a minimum of seven hours of sleep before driving if you are an adult and eight hours if you are a teen. Even if you are getting enough hours of sleep, you should avoid taking medications that list drowsiness as a side effect. If you’re unsure of whether it’s safe to drive while taking your current medications, consult with a doctor instead of trying to do your own research.

It’s also important for drivers to be honest with themselves and recognize when they are too tired to drive. If you start to feel drowsy in the middle of a drive, find a spot to pull over so you can change drivers or take a 15-20 minute power nap in your vehicle.

Have you been injured by a drowsy driver? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today for the legal representation that you need to recover damages. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident

Ask any personal injury attorney about the first thing you should do after a car accident and you will hear the same answer: first, seek medical attention. If you decide against seeking medical attention after a car accident, you’re making a big mistake that could affect your health and personal injury claim. Here’s why:

Delayed Symptoms

Some injuries are immediately apparent after a car accident, but the symptoms of other injuries won’t begin to appear until hours or even days following the crash. For instance, you may not experience any symptoms of a concussion right after you have hit your head. Common symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea may not set in until later in the day.

Even though you don’t have any noticeable symptoms, doctors can still identify injuries using imaging tests and other diagnostic tools. If you choose to wait until symptoms appear, it’s possible that your condition will be worse than it was immediately after the accident. Your health should always be your first priority, so don’t take any chances by refusing medical treatment after an accident.

Personal Injury Claim

If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries. But first, you will need to prove that you actually sustained injuries in the crash, which is not possible without medical records.

Just having medical records is not enough—the date that you received treatment will play an important role in your case. Let’s say you waited until two or three days after the accident to visit a doctor, who diagnosed you with whiplash. The at fault party’s insurance company may argue that the whiplash was not caused in the car accident because if it was, you would have seen a doctor sooner.

To avoid this problem, seek medication attention right away and inform your doctor of every symptom that you are experiencing, even if it is a minor one. These symptoms may become worse, so it’s important to document them early on so you have proof that they are linked to the accident. Be sure to ask for a copy of your medical records and keep them somewhere safe while your case is ongoing.

Seeking medical attention should be your first priority, followed by getting in touch with an attorney. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today to learn how we can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prevent Truck Accidents

How to Prevent Truck Accidents

Trucks weigh between 20-30 times more than the average car, so when a truck collides into a car, the results can be catastrophic. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 4,000 trucks were involved in fatal accidents in 2015 and another 87,000 trucks were involved in accidents with nonfatal injuries. Because of the severity of these crashes, it’s important to learn how you can prevent truck accidents.

Stay out of the blind spots.

Truck drivers have blind spots in the front, back, and to the sides of their vehicles. Make sure that truck drivers can always see you by staying out of these blind spots. How? Take a look at the truck’s side mirrors. If you cannot see the driver’s reflection in these mirrors, he cannot see you. Of course, this doesn’t apply to drivers who are in front of the truck. If you are in front of a truck, do your best to leave as much space as possible between your vehicle and the truck to ensure you are not in the driver’s blind spot.

Pay attention to turning signals.

Drivers have to make wide turns, so they may accidentally slide into the next lane as they attempt to turn. Keep a close eye on the turning signals of any truck that you are close to on the road. If a driver signals that he is turning, give him ample room to maneuver so you don’t have to worry about the truck crashing into your vehicle.

Don’t cut in front of trucks.

Try to avoid passing in front of a truck on the road unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do have to pass a truck, make sure there is plenty of space between your car and the truck. Remember, it takes truck drivers a long time to slow down their vehicles, so if you cut in front of a truck and don’t leave enough space, it’s possible the truck won’t slow down in time to avoid a collision.

Slow down.

If a truck driver is trying to cut in front of you, slow down and allow him to do it if possible. By slowing down, you are staying in control of the situation and ensuring there will be enough space between your vehicle and the truck.

Remember these safety tips every time you have to drive close to a truck. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers can still be involved in truck accidents even if they are following this advice. If this happens to you, it’s important to understand your legal options.

Have you been involved in a truck accident? Don’t delay any longer—contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.