Tag: personal injury cases

Personal Injury Cases Involving Children

Personal Injury Cases Involving Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that injuries are the leading cause of death in children under the age of 19. Children’s fatal and non-fatal injuries are often caused by the negligent acts of another person, which gives these children the right to file a personal injury claim. But, the laws for personal injury cases involving children are slightly different than the laws for cases involving adults. Here’s what you need to know:

The Statute of Limitations For Personal Injury Cases Involving Children

Adults have two to three years from the date of their injury to file a personal injury lawsuit, however the statute of limitations for cases involving children is different. Children still have two to three years to file a personal injury lawsuit, but this two to three year period does not begin until the child turns 18.

For example, let’s say a 12-year-old child is injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver. The statute of limitations for car accident cases is three years. This means the 12-year-old child will have three years starting on the date of her 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.

Court Approval For Personal Injury Settlements

Many of the procedures in a personal injury case are the same regardless of whether the victim is a child or adult. However, the process of reaching a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company can be different.

The parents—or whoever is taking legal action on behalf of the child—may be required to obtain the court’s approval for a personal injury settlement. This approval is required when it is demanded by the at-fault party’s insurance company or when the value of the settlement exceeds a certain amount.

This allows the court to review the details of the settlement before it is official to ensure that it is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider the nature of the injury, the terms of the settlement, and whether the amount of compensation offered in the settlement is enough to cover the minor victim’s expenses and losses. The court will also review the attorneys’ fees to determine if they are fair before approving the settlement.

Obtaining court approval is a complex process, so it’s imperative to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

If your child has been injured, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our personal injury attorneys can guide parents and children through the complicated process of recovering compensation for an injured minor. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Hospital Liens in Personal Injury Cases

Hospital Liens in Personal Injury Cases

It can be incredibly expensive to treat the injuries that occur in a car crash, slip and fall, or other accident. But, it can take months to reach a settlement in a personal injury case. Because of this, many personal injury victims wonder how they are supposed to pay their medical bills while they wait to recover compensation from the at-fault party. If you are filing a personal injury claim, it’s important to understand how hospital liens are used in personal injury cases.

How Hospital Liens Work in Personal Injury Cases

A lien is a claim for repayment that hospitals can file against your personal injury case. If a hospital files a lien, it is their way of acknowledging that they understand you cannot pay for medical treatment until the personal injury case has been resolved. Instead of demanding payment now, the hospital files a lien to ensure that they are paid whenever you recover compensation in your case.

For example, let’s say you are in a car accident caused by a reckless driver and go to a hospital for medical treatment. The doctor performs diagnostic tests and treats your injuries before releasing you from the hospital. If you are uninsured, the hospital would typically expect you to pay the bill for these services. But, if you make it clear that you are filing a personal injury claim, the hospital can file a lien against your case instead of sending the bill to you.

Health Insurance Liens

People with health insurance may also have to deal with liens on their personal injury case. Consider the example above again, but this time let’s say you are insured. If you are injured in a car accident and treated at a local hospital, the hospital will bill your insurance company for their services. Depending on the policy, the insurance company may pay for some or all of the bill. But either way, a lien may be filed against your case. Why? Health insurance companies have a right to file liens against personal injury cases if they covered the costs of the victim’s medical treatment. So, if you are insured and the insurance company pays the entire bill, you may not have a hospital lien against your case, but you may have a health insurance lien instead.

If you are ready to file a personal injury claim, contact Reisch Law Firm today. The personal injury attorneys on our team are committed to helping the injured recover the compensation they need to move forward in their lives. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Medical Emergency Defense in Personal Injury Cases

The Medical Emergency Defense in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury victims cannot recover compensation for their injuries unless they are able to prove liability. But, sometimes proving liability is more difficult than it may seem. There are a number of strategies defendants can use to escape liability, including the medical emergency defense.

The Medical Emergency Defense

The medical emergency defense is typically used in cases involving car accidents. When a defendant uses this defense, he is saying that the accident occurred because he was experiencing a medical emergency. For example, let’s say a driver suffers a heart attack while behind the wheel. He loses control of the vehicle because of the heart attack and crashes into your car. In this case, he may be able to use the medical emergency defense.

A heart attack is not the only health condition that can lead to a medical emergency. Any condition that causes someone to lose consciousness, diabetic episodes, and strokes can all be considered medical emergencies.

The Emergency Must Be Unexpected

It’s important to note that the defendant can only use this defense if the emergency medical condition he experienced was unexpected. If the driver was aware of the medical condition, he may not be able to use this defense to escape liability.

For instance, let’s say a doctor tells a patient that he should no longer drive while using a certain medication. If the patient ignores the doctor’s orders, he cannot use the medical emergency defense if his medical condition leads to an accident.

Fighting Back Against the Medical Emergency Defense

There are ways for your attorney to disprove the medical emergency defense. For instance, a review of the defendant’s medical records may reveal that a doctor had warned him to avoid driving. Medical records may also show that the defendant never sought medical treatment after the accident, which could call into question whether the emergency even occurred in the first place.

It’s also possible that court records will show that the defendant has been in this situation before. If this is true, it means he was well aware of his medical condition, and should not be able to use it to defend himself in this case.

Have you been injured in an accident that was not your fault? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys will immediately begin to gather evidence that is needed to prove liability in your case. 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.

An Introduction to Negligence Laws in Colorado

An Introduction to Negligence Laws in Colorado

Negligence is a legal term that is frequently used in personal injury cases. In order to recover compensation in a personal injury case, the victim must be able to prove that the defendant was negligent. But, what is negligence? The exact definition can vary from state-to-state. Here’s an introduction to negligence laws in Colorado:

The Basics of Negligence

There are three elements of negligence that must be proven in every personal injury case. The first is that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, meaning the defendant had a legal obligation to act in a reasonable and responsible manner. Second, the victim must show that the defendant breached his duty of care in some way. Finally, the victim has to show that he suffered injuries as a result of the defendant’s decision to breach his duty of care.

To get a better understanding of these legal terms, consider drivers on the road. Every driver owes a duty of care to other drivers so everyone drives responsibly and no one is injured. But, a driver who gets behind the wheel while intoxicated is breaching his duty of care to act responsibly. Drivers who ignore the speed limit, text while driving, or run through red lights are also breaching their duty of care to other drivers. If a drunk or reckless driver causes an accident, he can be held liable for the other driver’s injuries since the crash was a direct result of his negligence.

Modified Comparative Negligence Law

Colorado also has a modified comparative negligence law that applies to personal injury cases. This law allows a victim to recover compensation even if she is partly to blame for her injuries, as long as she is not more than 50% for at fault.

Take another look at the reckless driving example mentioned above. If the victim was texting at the time of the crash, she could be held partly responsible since she should have been paying attention to the road. If the court assigns 20% of the fault to her, she can only recover 80% of the compensation that she is awarded. But, if she is assigned more than 50% of the fault, she can no longer recover any compensation from the defendant.

It’s important to understand how negligence and modified comparative negligence work in the state of Colorado so you can understand more about your personal injury case.

Learn how these legal concepts apply to your personal injury case by contacting Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will review the details of your case to determine if another person’s negligence caused your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How A Back Injury Can Affect Your Life

How A Back Injury Can Affect Your Life

Back injuries such as sprains, strains, and herniated discs often occur in car crashes, slip and falls, and other accidents. Many people think that personal injury victims who walk away from an accident with just a back injury should count themselves lucky, but these victims can suffer for years as a result of this type of injury. Here’s how a back injury can affect your life:

Career

A back injury could affect your ability to perform your job duties. For example, someone who is required to lift heavy objects at work cannot perform this job duty while recovering from a back injury. Even if your job doesn’t require physical labor, a back injury could make it harder just to sit at a desk for an extended period of time. For these reasons, it’s possible that you will need to take time off of work or ask to be reassigned to another position.

Family Life

A back injury may impact your family life, too. For instance, a back injury can make it difficult for a parent to care for their young child. The simple act of picking up a child could make the injury worse. As a result, the other parent may need to take on additional responsibilities until the injury has healed. This can put stress on relationships within your family as everyone struggles to adjust to their new roles.

Mood

Believe it or not, people with back injuries can also experience changes in their mood. This typically occurs when a back injury victim is no longer able to do some of the activities that he once loved. Missing out on these activities can make people feel as if they are living life on the sidelines, which can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anger, and anxiety.

Finances

Treating a back injury can be expensive even if you have health insurance. Many health insurance policies do not cover all of the expenses related to treating a back injury, so you may need to pay for some medical bills out of your pocket. Fortunately, anyone who suffers a back injury in an accident caused by another person can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation and protect their finances.

If you have suffered a back injury and someone else is to blame, contact Reisch Law Firm today. A back injury can affect many areas of your life, but it shouldn’t drain your finances. Let our personal injury attorneys fight for the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Lump Sum vs. Structured Settlements in Personal Injury Cases

Lump Sum vs. Structured Settlements in Personal Injury Cases

Most personal injury cases are resolved before going to trial because the parties are able to reach a settlement outside of the courtroom. A settlement will require the defendant to compensate the plaintiff for his injuries. The compensation will either be paid all at once, which is known as a lump sum settlement, or in small payments over a specific period of time, which is known as a structured settlement. Which one of these types of settlements is better? Here’s what you should know about lump sum vs. structured settlements in personal injury cases:

Easier to Pay Bills With A Lump Sum Settlement

One of the reasons why personal injury victims are often so eager to settle is because they have medical bills and other expenses to pay. However, it can be difficult to pay the totality of your bills if you are given a structured settlement. You may need to wait for several payments to come through before you are able to pay off medical bills associated with your injury.

If the defendant would rather pay a structured settlement, ask if they are willing to provide a larger payment upfront so you can cover all of your expenses.

Managing A Lump Sum Payment Can Be Difficult

Receiving a large sum of money all at once can be a lot for one person to handle. You may not know what to do with the money or what type of account to keep it in. Some people may start spending the money even though they know that they should probably save it. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing a large amount of money, it’s best to ask for a structured settlement.

Taxable Income

The compensation that you are awarded for your physical injuries is not taxable, however other types of compensation are. For example, compensation that you are awarded for emotional injuries is taxable as long as there was no physical injury. This is rare, but if you are offered a settlement in case where you only suffered emotional injuries, a structured settlement may be better. This way, you do not receive a lump sum of cash that is considered taxable income.

If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will carefully review the details of your case to determine if you should move forward with a claim. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Negligent Supervision & Personal Injury Cases

Negligent Supervision & Personal Injury Cases

Many people trust teachers, nannies, and nursing home employees to take care of their children and elderly loved ones. But unfortunately, many child and elderly adults are injured while under the care of one of these professionals. If this happens, the victim may be able to recover compensation in a personal injury case. Here’s what you need to know about negligent supervision and personal injury cases:

Examples of Negligent Supervision and Children

Some of the child caretakers that are often accused of negligent supervision are daycare employees, teachers, camp counselors, babysitters, nannies, coaches, and other children’s parents. Injuries can occur if a supervisor fails to prevent a child from playing with dangerous items such as matches or knives. A child can also sustain injuries if he is not supervised while in a dangerous environment, such as near a pool or around animals.

Many of these injuries occur because a daycare center or school is understaffed. If there are not enough adults to watch the children, there is no way for them to provide adequate supervision.

Examples of Negligent Supervision and Elderly Adults

The people that are accused of negligently supervising elderly adults are almost always nursing home employees. These cases often involve bedsores, which are skin and tissue injuries that develop if a nursing home resident is left in the same position for a long period of time. If a nursing home resident develops bedsores, it is usually a sign that the nursing home staff is not paying enough attention to him or her.

A personal injury claim may also arise if an elderly individual with dementia is injured after wandering away from the nursing home. Falls inside the facility can also lead to personal injury claims if an employee should have been supervising the victim at the time of the accident.

Proving Negligent Supervision

There is no legal definition of adequate supervision, which can make proving negligent supervision challenging. In order to prove negligent supervision, a plaintiff must show that the level of supervision provided by the caretaker was inadequate based on the victim’s age, ability to care for himself, and activity. For example, a nanny does not need to closely supervise a child that is sleeping, but she should closely supervise a child who is playing outside by a busy street since this is a dangerous activity.

Proving negligent supervision led to the victim’s injury can be challenging, but it’s not impossible with the help of a personal injury attorney.

Has your loved one been injured while under someone else’s care? If so, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. We will aggressively fight for the compensation your loved one deserves. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Are the Damage Caps in Colorado Personal Injury Cases?

What Are the Damage Caps in Colorado Personal Injury Cases?

Anyone who is injured due to the negligent acts of another person has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. Victims may be able to recover damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. But, many victims are unaware that there are damage caps that limit the amount of compensation they can be awarded. Here’s what you need to know about damage caps in Colorado personal injury cases:

Types of Damages

Before learning about damage caps, it’s important to understand the three different types of damages that may be awarded in a personal injury case. The first type is economic damages, which are awarded to compensate victims for any expenses they have incurred or losses they have suffered as a result of their injury. Economic damages typically cover current and future medical expenses and lost wages. The second type is non-economic damages, which compensate victims for emotional pain and suffering. Finally, there are punitive damages, which are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted with extreme malice or negligence.

It’s important to note that compensation is never guaranteed in a personal injury case. A personal injury victim is only awarded damages when he is able to prove his losses, expenses, and suffering.

Damage Caps

Each state has the right to limit the amount of compensation that can be awarded to personal injury victims. In Colorado, there are no restrictions on economic damages, but there are caps on non-economic and punitive damages. The cap on non-economic damages is frequently adjusted for inflation, but as of 2008, it has been set at $468,010. The cap on non-economic damages is increased to $936,030 in cases that involve “clear and convincing evidence” that justifies more compensation.

But, there are a few exceptions to this rule. In medical malpractice cases, victims cannot be awarded more than $1 million total. Medical malpractice victims also cannot be awarded more than $300,000 in pain and suffering.

There is another exception that applies to victims that have suffered permanent physical impairment. The cap on non-economic damages does not apply to these victims, so they can recover an unlimited amount of compensation.

The state of Colorado has also limited the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded to a victim. Punitive damages cannot exceed the total amount of economic and non-economic damages. Therefore, if the plaintiff is awarded $100,000 in economic and non-economic damages, he cannot be awarded more than $100,000 in punitive damages.

If you have been injured by the negligent acts of another person, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation permitted by law. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Using Mediation to Resolve Personal Injury Cases

Using Mediation to Resolve Personal Injury Cases

A personal injury case isn’t always resolved in a courtroom—in fact, the vast majority of them are resolved before going to trial. If you want avoid going to trial, talk to your personal injury attorney to determine if mediation is an option in your case. How can plaintiffs use mediation to resolve personal injury cases? Here’s what you need to know:

The Basics of Mediation

Mediation is a process that involves both parties of the lawsuit in addition to a neutral, third party mediator. The goal of mediation is to bring both sides together so they can reach an agreed upon resolution to the case.

What Happens During Mediation

The third party mediator will explain how the process works at the beginning of the first session. Everyone involved will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement before the discussions begin. Then, both the plaintiff and defendant will have an opportunity to explain their case to the mediator. Both sides are allowed to have legal representation during mediation, but that does not mean the session will turn into a courtroom brawl. In some cases, the mediator will even put the plaintiff and defendant in two different rooms to avoid issues.

The mediator plays an important role in this process. He will help both the plaintiff and defendant evaluate each other’s cases and guide them towards a resolution. Some mediators will even offer their own opinions regarding which side has a stronger case.

The Benefits of Mediation

A trial can drag on for months—in some cases, even years—so many victims prefer mediation because it allows them to reach a resolution much faster. Mediation is also far less expensive since you will not have to pay your attorney for representing you for months in court. Finally, mediation gives you more control over the outcome of your case. If you go to trial, the jury will get to decide your fate. However, mediation gives both parties the opportunity to give their input and suggest resolutions. Therefore, you will have a say in the final outcome of your personal injury case if you choose mediation.

There are many benefits to mediation, but it’s not right for everyone. To learn if mediation is a good fit for your case, talk to the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.