Can A Domestic Violence Conviction Affect Your Right to Own A Gun?

Can A Domestic Violence Conviction Affect Your Right to Own A Gun?

Having a domestic violence conviction on your record could affect your life in many ways. Parents who are convicted of domestic violence may lose the right to see their children. Being convicted of this crime can also make it more difficult to find employment in the future. But, can a domestic violence conviction affect your right to own a gun as well?

Domestic Violence Crimes Involving Firearms

It’s estimated that someone is killed with a firearm in the state of Colorado every 16 hours. Sadly, many victims are killed by people they know intimately. In 2011, around 18% of all homicide victims in Colorado were killed by either a family member or romantic partner. For these reasons, many lawmakers feel it is imperative that guns stay out of the hands of domestic violence offenders.

The Rights of Domestic Violence Offenders

Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of misdemeanor or felony domestic violence from owning a gun. Since domestic violence laws vary by state, it’s important to understand how domestic violence is defined by federal law. The law states that any crime involving the use or attempted use of force against certain parties, such as a spouse or partner, can be considered domestic violence. The use of force does not necessarily need to cause the other person harm in order for the act to be considered domestic violence.

In addition, anyone who is ordered to keep away from a victim by a protective or restraining order is also banned from having a gun.

The state of Colorado passed a law in 2013 that is very similar to the existing federal law. Under the state law, domestic violence offenders cannot purchase or possess guns or ammunition. This law also requires the courts to order anyone who is convicted of domestic violence or subject to a domestic violence protective order (DVRO) to surrender their weapons.

How Domestic Violence Offenders Can Surrender Their Weapons

According to the state law, domestic violence offenders who are ordered to surrender their weapons and ammunition must do so within 24 hours. If the defendant is in custody, the 24-hour time limit begins once he is released. The guns and ammunition can be given to anyone who has passed a firearms background check. Then, the domestic violence offender must submit proof that he surrendered his guns and ammunition to the court within three business days.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can Passengers Be Witnesses in A Car Accident Claim?

Can Passengers Be Witnesses in A Car Accident Claim?

In order to recover compensation, car accident victims must be able to prove that the other driver was to blame for the crash. To do this, personal injury attorneys conduct investigations to gather evidence that proves liability. Sometimes, the most important evidence comes from interviews conducted with people who witnessed the accident. No one may have had a better view of the accident than the passengers in your vehicle. But, can your passengers act as witnesses in a car accident claim?

Anyone who personally observed the events leading up to the accident, the crash itself, or the aftermath can serve as a witness in a car accident claim. This includes passengers in any vehicle involved in the accident.

However, the impact of any witness’s testimony will depend on the perceived credibility of the witness. On one hand, the passenger should be seen as credible since he most likely had a good view of the accident. He may have even heard the driver comment on the fact that a car was driving too close to him or speeding up behind him right before the collision. Therefore, it may be easier to believe him over a witness who was across the street when the accident occurred.

But, there are several factors that could hurt the passenger’s credibility as well. Passengers are typically either related to or friends with the driver of the vehicle. Because of this, the passenger may be hesitant to say anything that could be used to prove this person was at fault. This is especially true if the passenger was also injured in the accident. Passengers have the right to file a personal injury claim if they are hurt in an accident. If it can be proven that the other driver was at fault, the passenger can file a claim with that driver’s insurance company instead of pointing the finger at his close friend or family member.

Even if the passenger is completely honest, the insurance adjuster or jury may not think he is a credible witness due to his close relationship with the driver. But, the information that passengers may have about the accident is too valuable to ignore. For this reason, passengers almost always serve as witnesses in car accident claims.

If you have been injured in a car accident, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our personal injury attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence that can be used to prove liability for the crash. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Should You Ask For Pain and Suffering Damages?

Should You Ask For Pain and Suffering Damages?

There are two main categories of damages that may be awarded to a personal injury victim: economic and non-economic. The former compensates the victim for expenses he has incurred or losses he has suffered as a result of the accident. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are awarded to victims who have experienced pain and suffering due to their injuries. Any personal injury victim who has medical expenses or lost wages should ask for economic damages. But, when is it appropriate to ask for pain and suffering damages?

The Emotional and Physical Effects of the Injury

To determine if you deserve pain and suffering damages, think about how the injury has affected your emotional and physical state. Many people who are seriously injured experience depression, anxiety, or drastic mood swings after an accident. These are all examples of how victims suffer emotionally as a result of their injuries, and they deserve to be compensated for this indescribable pain.

Of course, injuries can also cause a great deal of physical pain. Victims who had to live in pain due to their injuries should be compensated for their discomfort.

Sometimes, the victim experiences temporary or permanent physical limitations due to the injury. For example, a victim with an amputated limb may find it difficult to participate in many of the activities he loved prior to the accident. Since this physical limitation is affecting the quality of the victim’s life, he should be compensated for his suffering.

If you are experiencing this type of emotional or physical pain, it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney about recovering non-economic damages.

Documentation to Prove Injuries

Insurance companies will need to see proof of your injuries before they can even think about offering compensation for your pain and suffering. The documentation that you provide to the insurance company should not only show that the injuries exist, but also that they are severe enough to cause you pain or suffering.

Examples of documentation that can be provided to support this claim include medical records and written statements from doctors. It’s also recommended that personal injury victims keep injury journals so they have a place to record the symptoms they experience on a daily basis.

Personal injury victims who are experiencing physical and emotional pain and have the documentation to prove it will most likely be able to recover compensation for their pain and suffering.

If you have been injured, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Let our personal injury attorneys review your case to determine whether or not you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Get Your Car Repaired After A Car Accident

How to Get Your Car Repaired After A Car Accident

The impact of a collision can seriously damage both cars involved in the crash. Depending on the extent of the damage, the repairs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But fortunately, if the other driver caused the car accident, it is their insurance company that will have to pay for your repairs. Here’s how to get your car repaired after a car accident:

Contact the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company

If the accident was clearly caused by the other driver, you will need to get in touch with their insurance company as soon as possible. The at-fault party’s insurance company must repair your car so that it is in the same condition it was in prior to the accident. Once they are notified of the accident, the insurance company will ask that you take the car to a repair shop to obtain an estimate for the repairs that need to be made on the vehicle.

Visit A Repair Shop

Insurance companies typically have contracts with repair shops in the community. The contracted shops provide better rates for insurance companies since they account for a significant portion of each shop’s business. But, these are only suggestions, so it’s important to remember that you can obtain an estimate wherever you’d like.

Submit the Estimate to the Insurance Company

Next, the estimate will need to be sent to the insurance adjuster who is assigned to your case. At this point, the insurance adjuster may review and immediately approve the estimate. But unfortunately, the insurance adjuster often finds something that he does not agree with on the estimate. For example, the insurance adjuster may think that a part can be repaired instead of completely replaced. If this happens, the insurance adjuster and repair shop can negotiate until they reach an agreement.

Get the Repairs

Once the estimate has been approved, it’s your responsibility to schedule an appointment at the repair shop and get your car fixed. Be sure to ask the insurance adjuster about whether or not they cover the costs of a rental car that you can use while your car is being fixed. Many insurance companies offer this coverage, which makes it easier to carry on with your life while your car is being repaired.

If you have been involved in a car accident, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Let our team fight for the compensation that you deserve for your injuries and property damage. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Do Aggravating Factors Affect A Defendant’s Criminal Case?

How Do Aggravating Factors Affect A Defendant’s Criminal Case?

Many different factors are taken into consideration when determining an appropriate sentence for a defendant who has been convicted of a crime. Something the judge must consider when sentencing a defendant is the presence of aggravating factors. What are aggravating factors and how can they affect your case? Here’s what you should know:

What Are Aggravating Factors?

Aggravating factors are specific circumstances under which a defendant’s felony crime is considered to be more serious. These specific circumstances are:

  • The defendant was on parole or probation for another felony at the time he committed this felony crime.
  • The defendant was convicted of a crime of violence, including but not limited to murder, first or second degree assault, kidnapping, first degree arson, and aggravated robbery.
  • At the time of the crime, the defendant was under confinement or in a correctional institution because of a previous felony conviction.
  • The defendant was an escapee from a correctional institution at the time of the crime.
  • The defendant committed the crime while he was on appeal bond after being convicted of a previous felony crime.
  • At the time of the crime, the defendant was on bond following the revocation of his probation, which he was sentenced to after committing a previous felony crime.

If any of these aggravating factors apply to your case, it’s important to understand how their presence could affect your case.

How Will the Presence of Aggravating Factors Affect Your Sentence?

The presence of one of these aggravating circumstances does not mean that you will definitely be sentenced to prison. However, if the judge sentences you to time behind bars, the presence of these aggravating factors can affect the length of time that you will be incarcerated.

For example, let’s say you are convicted of a class 3 felony and the judge has decided to send you to prison. The sentencing range for a class 3 felony in Colorado is between 4-12 years. If aggravating circumstances are present, the judge must sentence you to at least 8 years, since this is the midpoint of the sentencing range for this crime. The judge cannot sentence you to more than two times the maximum term, or in this case, more than 24 years.

Have you been charged with a crime? If so, you will need guidance from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to fight for the best possible outcome in our clients’ cases. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How An Attorney Can Help With Denied Car Insurance Claims

How An Attorney Can Help With Denied Car Insurance Claims

After a car accident, anyone who is injured has the right to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to recover compensation. The insurance company must compensate the victim for any expenses he has incurred or losses he has suffered as a result of the injuries caused by the company’s policyholder. But unfortunately, some insurance companies choose to reject the claim instead. If you are being denied compensation, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney. Here’s how an attorney can help with denied car insurance claims:

Demand Answers

The insurance company must tell the claimant why the claim is being denied. But, some insurance companies don’t provide this information when informing the claimant of the denial. If this happens to you, an attorney can step in and demand answers from the insurance adjuster.

Gather Additional Evidence

Sometimes, a claim is denied is because the insurance company does not believe their policyholder is liable for the accident. Claims can also be denied if the insurance company does not believe the victim is injured or does not think the injuries were sustained in the accident. If your claim was denied for one of these reasons, a personal injury attorney can gather additional evidence that proves the insurance company wrong.

For example, let’s say the insurance company believes you were at fault for the accident. An attorney can interview witnesses, examine photos from the scene of the accident, and work with an accident reconstruction expert to obtain evidence that proves the other driver was to blame. This evidence may be enough to convince the insurance adjuster to reverse his decision on the claim.

Threaten Litigation

It’s possible that the insurance adjuster is denying the claim despite the fact that he knows it is valid simply because he thinks he can get away with it. Even if you threaten to take legal action, the insurance company will probably not take this threat seriously unless it is coming directly from an attorney. Your personal injury attorney will make it clear to the insurance adjuster that he will not get away with denying a legitimate claim. Insurance adjusters know that personal injury attorneys mean business, so a threat is often enough to convince them to either provide answers or reopen the claim.

Has your car accident claim been denied? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. Let our personal injury attorneys communicate with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf. With our help, car accident victims can recover the compensation they deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Traffic Fatalities in Colorado

Traffic fatalities in the U.S. declined slightly in 2017, however the data from the state of Colorado tells a different story. There were 642 traffic fatalities in Colorado in 2017, which is the highest number of crash-related deaths in this state since 2004. Sadly, the number of traffic fatalities in Colorado has been steadily rising over the several years. Why are the roads in Colorado becoming increasingly dangerous? Here are some the most common causes of fatal crashes:

Failure to Wear Safety Gear

Many of the people who were killed in traffic accidents could have possibly survived if they had been wearing the appropriate safety gear at the time of the crash. For example, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reports that half of the people who suffered fatal injuries in traffic accidents in 2016 were not wearing their seat belts. In addition, most of the motorcyclists who were killed on the roads during 2016 were not wearing their helmets. To reduce fatalities, everyone should make an effort to protect themselves with the proper safety gear.

Drugs and Alcohol

Drivers need to be able to pay attention to the road and react quickly to changes in their environment. This is nearly impossible for drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is why many of these intoxicated drivers are involved in fatal crashes. According to CDOT, impaired drivers were responsible for 196 fatalities in 2016. Many of these accidents involved drivers impaired by alcohol, but drivers that were impaired by marijuana were responsible for 77 fatalities.

Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving may not seem serious, but it’s one of the leading causes of fatal accidents in the U.S. The AAA Traffic Safety Foundation estimates that about 21% of all fatal accidents involve a drowsy driver. Since over one-third of Americans are not getting enough sleep, it’s not hard to see why drowsy driving has become such a major issue.

Distracted Driving

Drivers can get distracted by many things, including cell phones, other passengers in the vehicle, GPS devices, and music. Even though the vast majority of drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving, this does not stop them from engaging in this behavior anyways. Drivers who are distracted cause an average of 40 crashes per day in Colorado, many of which are fatal. If drivers simply focused on their surroundings, the roads in Colorado would be much safer overall.

The Cost of Traffic Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that traffic accident injuries and fatalities cost over $1 trillion every year. Fortunately, traffic accident victims usually only pay about one-quarter of their expenses after a crash. The majority of expenses are covered by private insurers. This is because when an accident occurs, the at-fault party’s insurance company is legally obligated to compensate the victim for his or her injuries. If someone is killed in an accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company must compensate the victim’s surviving family members for their loss.

It’s important to note that getting the insurance company to fulfill this legal obligation is never easy. To recover compensation, it’s best to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our skilled personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to recover the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.


How Does the Make My Day Defense Work in Colorado?

How Does the Make My Day Defense Work in Colorado?

Everyone should have the right to protect themselves and their home from intruders. But, the laws governing what residents can and cannot do to protect their homes vary from state-to-state. In Colorado, the “make my day” law gives residents the legal right to use their weapons when an intruder breaks into their home. Here’s what you need to know about the make my day defense law:

Make My Day Law in Colorado

Established in 1985, the make my day law gives Colorado residents the right to shoot and kill an intruder without facing criminal penalties. However, in order to use this defense, the resident must have been under the impression that the intruder was going to commit a crime and use physical force against someone inside the house. Even if the intruder is armed with nothing but his fists, Colorado residents can still fire their weapons to protect themselves.

In some states, the law requires residents to attempt to retreat to a safe place prior to using a weapon to defend themselves inside their homes. But, this is not the case in Colorado. Residents do not have a duty to retreat, which means they do not need to make an effort to escape before firing at an intruder.

When the Make My Day Law Does Not Apply

It’s important to understand when the make my day defense law does not apply so you know when you could face criminal charges for shooting another person. The make my day law only gives residents the right to shoot intruders inside their home. This means the law does not protect residents who shoot intruders that are in the yard or on the porch. Therefore, if an intruder is shot in the backyard, the resident cannot use the make my day defense to justify their crime.

Because the law only applies to incidents involving home intruders, you cannot use the make my day defense if you shoot someone in self defense while on public property. Other self defense laws may apply to cases involving situations that take place outside of the home, but the make my day law does not.

No one should ever have to face criminal consequences for protecting themselves. If you were left with no choice but to hurt someone in order to protect yourself, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. Our criminal defense attorneys will fight tirelessly to prove you acted in self defense. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Assumption of Risk Defense in Personal Injury Cases

The Assumption of Risk Defense in Personal Injury Cases

There are several defense strategies that a defendant can use in a personal injury case to escape liability. One of the most frequently used strategies is the assumption of risk defense. When can this strategy be used? How will it affect your case? Here’s what you need to know:

What is an Assumption of Risk?

In some personal injury cases, the defendant can argue that the plaintiff is not entitled to compensation because he knowingly exposed himself to a potentially dangerous situation. For example, let’s say a pedestrian is hit by a speeding car as he is jaywalking across the street. The driver of the car could argue that the pedestrian knew there were risks involved with jaywalking, but chose to do so anyways. Therefore, he should not be compensated for his injuries.

How the Assumption of Risk Could Affect A Personal Injury Case

Victims may still be able to recover compensation even if it is proven that they knew of the risks involved in a certain activity. But, the amount of compensation that they are awarded may be reduced due to Colorado’s modified comparative negligence laws.

Take another look at the jaywalking example mentioned above. In this case, the jury may find that both the driver of the vehicle and the victim are partly to blame for the accident. The driver of the vehicle is at fault because he was speeding at the time of the accident. The victim is also to blame because he assumed the risk of being hit by a car when he chose to violate pedestrian traffic laws and jaywalk across the street.

The jury will then need to determine what percentage of fault should be assigned to each party. If the jury assigns 40% of the fault to the victim and 60% to the defendant, the victim’s compensation will be reduced by 40%.

However, if the jury believes that the victim’s assumption of risk makes him more than 50% liable for the accident, he will not be able to recover any compensation for his injuries. Therefore, while it is possible to recover compensation even if you knew of the risks involved in a certain activity, it’s also possible that you will be denied compensation for this reason.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Even if you are partly to blame for the accident, our personal injury attorneys may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Recovering Compensation For Nerve Damage in a Personal Injury Case

Recovering Compensation For Nerve Damage in a Personal Injury Case

Nerves carry messages back and forth from the brain to the rest of the body. Since nerves play such an important role in the body, the effects of nerve damage can be devastating. This condition can be incredibly painful and could greatly affect the victim’s daily life. Fortunately, if this injury was sustained in an accident caused by another person, the victim can seek damages by filing a personal injury claim. Here’s how to recover compensation for nerve damage in a personal injury case:

Provide Proof of Nerve Damage

Since nerve damage is not visible, the victim must be able to provide proof that the injury exists in order to recover compensation. A doctor can diagnose this condition by performing a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test. This test can be used to determine whether there is nerve damage, and if so, the severity of it.

Showing the insurance adjuster the results of this test can make it easier to recover compensation. Since it is difficult for an insurance adjuster to question the accuracy of such a complex test, he should no longer be able to argue that the injury doesn’t exist after seeing these results.

Document Pain and Suffering

It’s easy to show the insurance adjuster medical bills to prove that you should be compensated for injury-related expenses. But, it’s far more difficult to prove that you should be compensated for pain and suffering.

It’s recommended that victims with nerve damage begin documenting their symptoms immediately after the accident in an injury journal. Write down the symptoms that you experience everyday and how the injury has affected your life. A copy of these notes can be given to the insurance adjuster to help him understand what you have experienced as a result of the nerve damage.

To strengthen your case, it’s best to also ask your healthcare providers to submit written statements to the insurance adjuster. For example, the doctor that has treated the nerve damage can write a statement explaining the severity of the injury and how it will continue to affect your life in the future. If you have been seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, be sure to include a statement from him that explains how the injury has affected your mental health as well.

Victims should not be denied compensation simply because their injuries are not visible. If you have suffered nerve damage in an accident, contact Reisch Law Firm. Let our personal injury attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.