Author: Scott Reisch

What You Need to Know About Modified Comparative Negligence Laws in Colorado

What You Need to Know About Modified Comparative Negligence Laws in Colorado

The amount of compensation that you are able to recover for a personal injury may be affected by the modified comparative negligence laws in Colorado. What are these laws? How will they affect your settlement or verdict? Here’s everything that you need to know:

The Basics of Comparative Negligence

In order to recover compensation in a personal injury claim, you must be able to show that the defendant caused your injuries. But in some cases, it’s possible that both you and the defendant contributed to the cause of your injuries. For example, if you slip on a puddle of water inside a retail store and injure yourself, you may try to recover compensation from the property owner because he allowed this hazard to exist on his property. However, let’s say you were distracted by a cell phone at the time of the accident. If you could have easily avoided the accident by paying attention to where you were walking, you may be partially at fault.

In these cases, the defendant and plaintiff will each be assigned a percentage of the blame. In the above example, the property owner may be assigned 80% of the blame whereas the victim may receive 20% of it. The percentage of blame that is assigned to you is important because it will affect the amount of compensation that you are able to recover.

How Modified Comparative Negligence Laws Affect Compensation

Your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault that has been assigned to you. Let’s say that the total compensation awarded to you was $10,000 in the above slip and fall example. Because you were found to be 20% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 20%, or $2,000 and you would only receive $8,000.

However, some victims may not be able to recover any compensation at all if they are partially to blame for the accident. This occurs in cases where the victim is found to be over 50% responsible. Because the victim is assigned more of the blame than the defendant, the victim is not eligible for compensation.

The concept of modified comparative negligence can come into play in any type of personal injury case. It’s important that you work with an attorney who knows how to prove that the other party was at fault and that your contribution to the cause of the accident was minimal.

Have you been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault? Seek legal representation from Reisch Law Firm today. Our team of attorneys can gather the evidence needed to prove that you were not at fault for the accident so you can recover the maximum amount of compensation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Robbery vs. Burglary vs. Theft: What’s the Difference?

Robbery vs. Burglary vs. Theft: What’s the Difference?

The terms robbery, burglary, and theft are often used interchangeably, but these are actually three separate crimes. If you are being charged with one of these crimes, it’s important that you understand what you are being accused of so you can defend yourself appropriately. Here’s the difference between these three serious crimes:

Robbery vs. Theft

In the state of Colorado, you can be charged with theft if you knowingly steal another person’s belongings with the intent to keep this property from the rightful owner. Robbery also involves taking another person’s belongings, but in order to be classified as a robbery, the defendant must have used force, threats, or intimidation while committing the crime. For example, stealing a wallet out of someone’s back pocket would be theft, but pushing the victim to the ground to steal his wallet would be robbery because force is involved.

Burglary

When you think of burglary, you probably think of someone breaking into a house and stealing valuables. It’s true that this is considered burglary, but this is not the only way that burglary can be committed. Burglary is defined as the act of unlawfully entering onto a property with the intent of committing a crime. The legal definition of burglary does not specify that the crime committed on the property needs to be theft. Therefore, breaking into someone’s house in order to vandalize it would also be considered burglary since vandalism is a crime.

It’s also important to note that you do not need to actually commit a crime while on someone’s property in order to be charged with burglary. As long as the state can show that you had the intent to commit the crime, it doesn’t matter whether you went through with actually doing it.

Each of these crimes carries its own penalties. The penalties that you may face for being convicted of robbery, theft, or burglary will vary depending on the degree of the crime and your prior criminal record, among many other factors. It’s in your best interests to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you learn of the charges against you so you can get a better understanding of the consequences that you may face.

Have you been charged with a robbery, burglary, or theft? Don’t delay any longer—contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can defend you against these criminal charges. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

What are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most devastating and life-changing injuries that a person can sustain. Victims often sustain these injuries in car accidents, slip and falls, or as the result of a criminal act. Many people unfortunately do not recognize the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury until hours or even days after the accident has occurred. That’s why it’s important to learn the symptoms so you can recognize them and get medical treatment right away.

Mild TBIs

Mild TBIs are the least serious and most common type of brain injury. Some of the symptoms that you may experience include:

  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of consciousness for less than 30 minutes
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Inability to pay attention
  • Lack of coordination

If you have sustained a mild TBI, the symptoms may not appear right away. In fact, it may be days or even weeks before you start to notice that something is wrong. If you have been diagnosed with a mild TBI, you may start to see some improvement in your condition within the weeks or months following the injury. However, around 15% of people who have sustained a mild TBI continue to experience some of these symptoms for one year or more after the accident.

Moderate or Severe TBIs

Moderate and severe TBIs are much more serious than mild TBIs. Victims with a moderate TBI will lose consciousness anywhere from 20 minutes up to six hours after the injury. Victims with severe TBIs can lose consciousness for hours or days. In fact, some severe TBI victims may never regain consciousness again. Besides loss of consciousness, moderate and severe TBI victims can experience emotional, cognitive, and physical changes as a result of their injuries.

Victims may have trouble paying attention or concentrating on one thing at a time. They may find themselves easily distracted, and may frequently lose track of what they’re talking about. TBI victims often suffer serious memory loss and have trouble controlling their impulses.

Physically, moderate and severe TBI victims may experience chronic pain, changes in appetite, and paralysis. They may be unable to control their bladder or bowels, depending on the location of the injury.

Victims may notice emotional changes after an injury as well. It’s common for moderate or severe TBI victims to become depressed or easily agitated. They may exhibit a lack of motivation and become dependent on those around them. Some victims may struggle making emotional connections with other people, which makes it difficult for them to hold onto relationships they had prior to the injury.

A traumatic brain injury can have serious long-term consequences. If you have sustained a TBI because of another person’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation. Contact Reisch Law Firm today to discuss your legal options by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Most Dangerous Intersections in Denver

The Most Dangerous Intersections in Denver

If you drive, walk, or bike around Denver, there’s a chance that you may be involved in a collision with other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists one day. Staying focused on the road and obeying all traffic laws can help you reduce the risk of being involved in an accident. Another way to protect yourself is by avoiding certain areas that seem to have high rates of accidents. According to traffic data, these are the most dangerous intersections in Denver:

Interstate 25 at 6th Avenue

From January 1st to March 5th of this year, there were 60 accidents at the intersection of Interstate 25 and 6th Avenue. If this rate remains consistent, it means that there will be around 360 accidents at this intersection by the end of the year.

Interstate 70 at Interstate 25

Through the same time period, there were 35 car accidents at the intersection of Interstate 70 and Interstate 25. The highway splits in two at this point so drivers can choose to continue on Interstate 25 South or Interstate 70, or veer to the right to get off at Interstate 25 North. It’s possible that many of these accidents were caused by drivers who switched lanes at the last minute to get off at the right road.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and Quebec St.

Data was pulled from a five-month period in 2015 and 2016 for this intersection. During the five-month period in 2015, there were 11 car accidents, but that number increased to 26 during the same five-month period in 2016, which represents a 136% increase. Data from this year is not yet available for this intersection, but based on the numbers from 2015 and 2016, it is clear that this is one of the most dangerous intersections in Denver.

  1. Federal Blvd and Alameda Ave.

This is a major intersection, so it’s not surprising that it makes the list of the most dangerous in Denver. There were 15 accidents at this intersection during a five-month period in 2016, which represents a 7% increase over the same five-month period of 2015.

These may be the most dangerous intersections in the area, but the truth is that accidents can happen anywhere. Even if you avoid these intersections, there’s no way for you to completely eliminate the possibility that you will one day end up in a traffic accident.

If you have been injured in a traffic accident anywhere in Denver, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. We can help you through every step of the process of filing a personal injury claim and recovering the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a consultation with our team by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Much is Your Car Accident Claim Worth?

How Much is Your Car Accident Claim Worth?

One of the first questions that clients often ask their personal injury attorneys is, “How much is my car accident claim worth?” This is a very difficult question to answer because of the many factors that can impact the value of a car accident claim. A personal injury attorney may be able to give you an idea of how much you will be able to recover, but only after carefully reviewing the details of your case.

Types of Compensation

It’s possible that you will be able to recover three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are awarded to plaintiffs who have incurred expenses or suffered losses as a result of the car accident. For example, these damages would be used to compensate victims for medical expenses or lost wages related to their injuries. Non-economic damages are awarded to plaintiffs who have experienced pain and suffering as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages are never guaranteed, but you are more likely to recover them if your injuries have seriously impacted the quality of your life.

Finally, there are punitive damages. This type of compensation is only awarded to plaintiffs in car accident cases where the defendant’s behavior was extremely negligent. Punitive damages punish the defendant for acting with a complete disregard for others’ safety.

Factors that Could Affect Your Claim

If you want to recover the maximum amount of compensation for your car accident claim, it’s strongly recommended that you work with an attorney and begin documenting evidence as soon as possible. An attorney will handle the negotiations with your insurance company so you do not get taken advantage of or persuaded to accept a settlement that is much lower than you deserve. Documenting evidence ensures that your attorney has everything he needs to present a strong case and achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Another factor that could affect your claim is your own negligence. Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means your compensation could be reduced if you are partly to blame for the accident. Let’s say you were found to be 25% at fault for the accident, and the other driver was 75% at fault. If you were supposed to receive $100,000, you will now only receive $75,000. Plaintiffs who are found to be 50% or more at fault for the accident will not be able to recover any compensation.

To increase your chances of recovering the maximum amount of compensation, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. We will fight tirelessly on your behalf to help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Tell if an Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith After a Car Accident

How to Tell if an Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith After a Car Accident

Bad faith is a legal term used to describe a situation where an insurance company has failed to fulfill the obligations set forth in the terms of the insurance policy. If you are able to show that the insurance company is acting in bad faith, you may be able to recover more than the amount of your initial claim. But, how do you know when an insurance company is acting in bad faith?

Examples of Bad Faith

There are several ways in which an insurance company can act in bad faith, including:

  • Denying a policyholder’s claim without good reason
  • Failing to provide an explanation as to why a claim has been denied
  • Failing to pay a claim in a timely manner
  • Requesting that the policyholder submit unnecessary documentation in order to have his claim processed
  • Failing to settle claims made against a policyholder in a reasonable amount of time
  • Failing to take action to defend you against a claim

Basically, if an insurance company does not live up to the terms of the agreement outlined in the insurance policy, the company is said to be acting in bad faith. Some people assume that an insurance company is acting in bad faith if the adjuster offers a low settlement or has a different opinion on the value of the claim, but that’s not true. A disagreement over the amount of compensation that you are entitled to is not an example of bad faith.

How to Handle an Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith

Sometimes, just using the words “bad faith” with your insurance adjuster is enough to show that you are serious. But, it’s recommended that you wait to say anything until you have talked to an attorney.

If you believe an insurance company is not fulfilling the terms of your policy, get in touch with an attorney right away to discuss your case. An experienced attorney may be able to help you recover the compensation from your initial claim as well as additional compensation to account for the insurance company’s unethical behavior. The insurance company will aggressively defend its decision to deny or delay your claim, so you will need an attorney who knows how to present a strong case and prove that the company was acting in bad faith.

Do you suspect that your insurance company is acting in bad faith? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys will make sure that the insurance company complies with the terms of your insurance policy. Schedule a consultation with our law firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Deal With an Insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident

How to Deal With an Insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident

If you have been injured in a car accident, one of the first things that a personal injury attorney will tell you is that you shouldn’t speak to the insurance adjuster assigned to your case. Why? Your attorney will know how to deal with an insurance adjuster, so it’s best that you leave this task up to him instead of handling it on your own and potentially making a mistake that could affect your claim.

What an Insurance Adjuster Does After the Accident

To understand why you should let an attorney handle the insurance company, it’s important to learn about what the insurance adjuster does. The insurance company will assign an adjuster to your case as soon as they are notified about the accident. The adjuster is given the task of researching the accident to determine exactly what happened, who is at fault, and the value of the claim.

To investigate the accident, the insurance adjuster will most likely reach out to you and ask that you provide a statement. He may ask both parties to submit evidence of injuries and property damage as well. After he has gathered all of the evidence related to the accident, he will determine the value of your claim and then begin the process of negotiating a settlement.

Why You Shouldn’t Speak to an Insurance Adjuster

Giving a statement to an insurance adjuster may seem innocent enough, but you should never do this without talking to an attorney. Why? Any statement that you make can be taken out of context and used to prove that you were partially or completely at fault for the accident. Your words could also be used to prove that you are not suffering from serious injuries, and therefore should not receive compensation. Even answering the question, “How are you?” with “I’m ok,” could be twisted around by the insurance adjuster and reported as “The victim says she is ok.”

The adjuster may also contact you immediately after the accident and offer you a settlement. There’s no way for you to know the extent of your injuries or property damage shortly after an accident, so it’s never wise to accept this deal. This is just another tactic that insurance companies use to try to avoid paying you the compensation that you deserve.

Remember, the insurance adjuster does not work for you, he works for the insurance company. Insurance companies are only concerned with reducing risk and maximizing profit, so you shouldn’t expect them to put your needs first.

If you have been injured in a car accident, let an experienced personal injury attorney at Reisch Law Firm handle the insurance adjuster. Our attorneys will ensure that you do not fall for any of the insurance adjuster’s tricks so you can receive the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a consultation with us today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Basics of Plea Deals

The Basics of Plea Deals

There is no clear data that shows how many cases are resolved through plea deals, but it is estimated that around 90-95% of federal and state cases are. Because there is a high likelihood that you will be offered a plea deal if you are charged with a crime, it’s important to understand exactly what this means.

What is a plea deal?

Plea deals, which are also known as plea bargains, are agreements made between the prosecutor and defendant. The defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest in exchange for the prosecutor dropping charges, reducing charges, or recommending a lower sentence to the judge.

When are plea deals made?

A plea deal can be made at any time during the court proceedings, although negotiations usually begin in the early stages of the process. Either side can initiate a conversation about a plea bargain, but if it’s the defendant’s idea, the prosecutor must be willing to make a deal in order for it to happen. Also, most plea deals are not finalized until a judge has approved of the agreement.

Why do prosecutors and defendants make plea bargains?

Prosecutors offer plea deals so they can save the time and money needed to take a case to trial. Making a plea deal also saves them from dealing with the uncertainty that comes with trying a case before a jury.

Accepting a plea bargain may be a good idea for a defendant depending on the details of the case. If there is a lot of evidence against the defendant, taking a plea bargain may be beneficial. Defendants can also avoid the high cost of a trial by taking a plea bargain. However, it’s important to note that you should never agree to a plea deal without first talking to an attorney. A criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you on whether accepting a plea bargain is a wise move in your case.

What are the consequences of a plea deal?

Pleading guilty as part of a plea bargain will result in a criminal conviction on your record. The conviction will appear just as it would if you had been found guilty by a jury. This means the conviction could affect many aspects of your life, including your ability to find employment or housing in the future.

If you have been charged with a crime, don’t make any decisions regarding how you will plead until you have consulted with an attorney. Our criminal defense attorneys will review your case to determine whether it is better to accept a plea deal or take your case to trial. Schedule a free consultation with Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Importance of Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent

The Importance of Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent

If you’ve ever watched a crime show on TV, you’ve probably heard the phrase “you have the right to remain silent,” but do you know what this means? This right is one of your Miranda rights, which are given to anyone who is taken into policy custody. No one should ever take this right for granted. If you are ever arrested, it’s very important that you understand the importance of exercising your right to remain silent.

People often think that if they just explain themselves to a police officer, he will let them off easy or cut them a deal. This is a huge mistake that could impact the outcome of your case. Police officers are trained to ask questions in a way that could get you to mistakenly admit guilt. The questions may be leading or confusing, especially when you are dealing with the stress of being arrested. Your answers may be taken out of context and then used against you in court to prove your guilt.

No one is perfect, so it is very likely that you will make small mistakes when relaying information to the police officers about what happened. These mistakes may be minor, but authorities may try to use them to show that your story is inconsistent and you aren’t telling the truth.

It’s important to note that everyone should exercise the right to remain silent—even if you are completely innocent.

How can you exercise your right to remain silent?

Now that you know the importance of staying quiet, you may be wondering how you can go about exercising your right to remain silent. If you are taken into police custody, politely inform the officer that you will be invoking your right to remain silent. Police officers are not allowed to question you if you have invoked this right, so do it early to prevent making any mistakes that could affect the outcome of your case. Make it clear that you will not answer any questions without your lawyer present.

The only questions that you have to answer after you have invoked your right to remain silent are those related to who you are. The police officer may ask you to identify yourself by providing your name. Even if you have invoked the right to remain silent, you can answer this type of question.

Besides the right to remain silent, you also have the right to an attorney. If you have been arrested, it’s imperative that you exercise this right as soon as possible and contact Reisch Law Firm. Schedule a consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident

How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident

Immediately following a car accident, one of the first questions that you will have to answer is who was at fault for the crash. Identifying the at-fault party is imperative if you plan on recovering compensation for injuries or property damage, but how can you figure out who is to blame? Here’s how to prove fault in a car accident:

Obtain a police report.

You should never leave the scene of the accident without calling the authorities. A police officer will come to the scene, speak to the drivers involved in the accident, and compile evidence needed to create a police report. This report will include information on who is at fault for the crash, so it plays a very important role in your case. Be sure to contact the police department after the accident to find out how you can obtain a copy of this report.

Document the evidence.

Before leaving the scene of the accident, it’s important to document the evidence by taking pictures. Photograph everything that you can, including your visible injuries, property damage, and any traffic signs or lights nearby. If there is any debris in the road related to the accident, take pictures of this as well.

If there were witnesses, ask them for their contact information so you can have your attorney get in touch with them later regarding what they saw. All of this evidence will help you prove that the other driver was at fault. For example, if the photographs show that your car only has damage on the rear end and the other car has damage on the front end, it’s fairly clear that the other driver rear-ended you.

Seek legal representation from an attorney.

Speak to a personal injury attorney immediately after the accident to discuss your case. An experienced attorney will begin reviewing the evidence right away to determine who is at fault in the accident. The attorney may interview witnesses, visit the scene of the accident, or even work with an accident reconstruction expert. Proving liability can be difficult in some cases, but it’s not impossible with the help of a skilled personal injury attorney.

If you have been injured in a car accident, focus solely on your recovery and let us handle the rest. Our attorneys will carefully review the evidence of the case and consult with experts to prove the other driver was at fault. Schedule a consultation with Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.