Tag: Personal injury claim

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.

How Insurance Adjusters Value Types of Injuries

How Insurance Adjusters Value Types of Injuries

There are many factors that can affect the value of a personal injury claim, but none that have a greater influence than the victim’s injuries. The amount of compensation that you are awarded for medical bills and lost wages will be calculated based on the evidence that you provide of these expenses and losses. But, the amount that an insurance adjuster is willing to pay for pain and suffering will depend on how serious he perceives your injuries to be. Insurance adjusters place different values on certain types of injuries that could affect how much you are able to recover for your pain and suffering. Here’s what most insurance adjusters think of these common injuries:

Soft Tissue Injuries

In general, insurance adjusters place a lower value on soft tissue injuries than they do on many other common types of injuries. This is because doctors rely heavily on the victim’s description of his pain and discomfort when determining the severity of a soft tissue injury. As a result, insurance adjusters often argue that the victim is exaggerating the extent of his injuries. Even though insurance adjusters place a lower value on soft tissue injuries, victims with these injuries can usually still recover pain and suffering damages.

Broken Bones

Many personal injury victims suffer broken bones as a result of the defendant’s negligence. A broken bone can easily be proven with X-rays, which means insurance adjusters cannot doubt its existence. The value that an insurance adjuster places on this type of injury varies depending on the severity and location of the break. For example, it’s easy for an insurance adjuster to understand why a broken leg would impact the victim’s life, but he may not understand why a broken finger would. Therefore, the insurance adjuster would place a higher value on the broken leg than the broken finger.

Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries

Insurance adjusters typically view spinal cord and brain injuries as the most serious injuries that a victim can sustain. Not only are these injuries expensive to treat, they can also significantly reduce the quality of the victim’s life. For this reason, it is less difficult to prove that a victim has experienced a great deal of pain and suffering as a result of his spinal cord or brain injuries.

If you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence, contact Reisch Law Firm for help. Our personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to prove the severity of your injuries to the insurance adjuster so we can recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What is an Independent Medical Exam?

What is an Independent Medical Exam?

Personal injury victims are often asked to take an independent medical exam by the at-fault party’s insurance company. Before agreeing to an independent medical exam, it’s important to understand what to expect and why it’s required. Here’s everything that you need to know about independent medical exams in personal injury cases:

What is an Independent Medical Exam?

The insurance adjuster who is assigned to your case will want to verify your injuries before making a settlement offer. To do this, the insurance adjuster will typically ask that you agree to an independent medical exam. This is a medical examination that is supposed to be performed by an independent physician. However, in many cases, the physician that is chosen for the exam is one that has a relationship with the insurance company.

The purpose of the exam is to determine whether the victim’s injuries truly exist, and if they do, that they are as serious as the victim is claiming. The physician will also examine the victim to determine if the injuries could have been caused by something besides the accident caused by the insurance company’s policyholder.

How to Prepare For the Exam

Do not agree to an independent medical exam before speaking to an attorney. Your attorney will be able to tell you whether or not the exam is necessary. If it is, the attorney can prepare you for the exam by going over some basic rules. For example, it’s important to be honest when answering questions during the examination. Do not exaggerate your injuries or lie about the symptoms you experienced and the treatment that you received. If you are dishonest, this could affect your ability to recover compensation from the insurance company.

What to Expect After the Exam

After the exam, the physician will prepare a report that summarizes his findings and send it to the insurance company. The report will include the doctor’s opinion on a number of matters, including the severity of your injuries, the appropriateness of your treatment, and how the injuries have affected your life. The insurance company will then use the information in this report to determine how much they are willing to offer you.

If you have been injured, don’t hesitate to contact Reisch Law Firm. Our personal injury attorneys will handle the negotiations with the insurance company so you focus solely on recovering from your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Should You See A Chiropractor After A Car Accident?

Should You See A Chiropractor After A Car Accident?

Many people who are involved in car accidents suffer from back, neck, and shoulder pain following the crash. Physicians can treat these injuries, but chiropractors are known for specifically treating soft tissue injuries located in these areas of the body. So, if you suffer these injuries, should you see a regular physician or a chiropractor after a car accident? Many car accident victims end up seeing both a physician and a chiropractor during their recovery, but it’s best to see a physician first. Here’s why:

Get A Professional Opinion

It may be obvious that you have suffered some sort of neck, back, or shoulder injury based on the symptoms that you are experiencing. But, it’s best not to diagnose your own injuries in case you’re wrong. Go to a physician as soon as possible after the accident so you can be examined by a medical professional.

Remember, chiropractors do not go through the same training that physicians do, so they will not be able to offer the same level of care. If you go to a chiropractor first, he may not be able to identify other injuries that you have suffered in the accident.

The Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

The at-fault party’s insurance company will need to see copies of your medical records in order to calculate the value of your claim. If the insurance adjuster sees that you solely went to a chiropractor after the accident, this could affect the value of your claim.

Many insurance adjusters favor treatment provided by physicians instead of chiropractors. If you only went to a chiropractor, the insurance adjuster may assume that the injury is not as severe as you are claiming. As a result, the insurance adjuster may lower the value of your claim simply because you chose a chiropractor instead of a physician.

To avoid this problem, it’s best to go to a chiropractor only if it is recommended by a doctor. Be sure to ask your doctor for recommendations so you can make sure that you go to a highly respected chiropractor in the area. Doing this will ensure that your visits to the chiropractor will not impact your ability to recover compensation.

If you have been injured in a car accident, seek medical attention first, then get in touch with a personal injury attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will handle the negotiations with the insurance adjuster so you can focus solely on recovering. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Long Does it Take to Settle A Personal Injury Claim?

How Long Does it Take to Settle A Personal Injury Claim?

Medical bills can start to pile up quickly after an accident, which is why so many personal injury victims are eager to reach a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In some cases, a settlement can be reached shortly after the insurance adjuster has all of the information he needs about the claim. But in other cases, it can take much longer to settle a personal injury claim. Why? Here are some of the factors that could be to blame for the delay:

The Amount of Compensation

High-value claims will take much longer to settle than low-value claims. Why? Insurance adjusters will not hand over six- or seven-figure checks until they are sure that the recipient deserves every penny. This means insurance adjusters will thoroughly investigate every detail of high-value claims to look for inconsistencies in the victim’s story, questionable injuries, or opportunities to pin some of the liability on the victim. It can take time to analyze every detail of a personal injury claim, which is why high-value claims take longer to settle.

Liability Disputes

Insurance adjusters will not even begin discussing compensation until they are confident that their policyholder was to blame for the accident. Therefore, if the insurance adjuster in your case is questioning who is at fault, this will delay a settlement. This can happen in any type of case, but it is common in cases where multiple parties were involved, such as car accidents with three vehicles.

Your Injuries

Ideally, personal injury victims should wait until they have reached their maximum medical improvement before they start negotiating with the insurance company. This is recommended because an attorney cannot calculate your current damages and estimate your future damages until you have reached this point in your recovery. Some victims are able to reach their maximum medical improvement within a few weeks, but it can take months for others to get to this point.

Your Priorities

Some personal injury victims are willing to wait for months if that’s what it takes for their attorney to wear the insurance adjuster down and reach the highest settlement possible. Other victims, however, are more interested in reaching a settlement quickly so they can pay their bills and close this chapter of their lives. If moving on is more important to you than squeezing every penny out of the insurance company, you will be able to reach a settlement much faster.

If you have been injured, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm right away. Our personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to reach a favorable settlement as quickly as possible. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Possible Outcomes of A Personal Injury Case

The Possible Outcomes of A Personal Injury Case

Many clients are eager to understand how their personal injury case will end. There’s no way to predict the future or guarantee that a case will end favorably for the plaintiff, but there are only a handful of ways that a personal injury claim can be resolved. Here are the possible outcomes of a personal injury case:

The Case is Dropped

The injured party has the right to change his mind and drop the case at any time. Personal injury victims drop cases for many reasons. For example, the victim may realize that the case is not worth pursuing after learning he won’t be able to recover much compensation. If the case is dropped, the victim will not be awarded compensation.

The Case is Settled

About 95% of personal injury cases will end with a settlement that is negotiated out of the courtroom. By accepting a settlement, the victim agrees to no longer take legal action against the defendant for his injuries. In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, the defendant will compensate the victim for his medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The Plaintiff Wins At Trial

A personal injury claim will only go to trial if both parties cannot reach a settlement agreement outside of court. During the trial, both sides will have an opportunity to present their case to the judge and jury. The jury will get to decide whether or not the plaintiff deserves to be compensated after hearing both sides of the story. If the plaintiff wins, he will be compensated by the defendant for his injuries.

The Defendant Wins At Trial

Plaintiffs do not always win during personal injury trials. In some cases, the jury will decide that the defendant should not have to compensate the plaintiff. This may occur if the jury believes the defendant was not negligent or the plaintiff was to blame for the accident.

If the defendant wins, he will not have to compensate the plaintiff. He can also ask the plaintiff to cover his legal expenses, including his attorney’s fees, expert witness fees, and court filing fees.

It’s important to note that a trial verdict can be appealed. This means the defendant can appeal the court’s decision if the plaintiff wins and the plaintiff can appeal the court’s decision if the defendant wins. If this happens, the personal injury case would end with a verdict in appellate court.

If you have been injured, seek legal representation from a personal injury attorney at Reisch Law Firm at once. Our personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Defense Strategies Used in Dog Bite Cases

Common Defense Strategies Used in Dog Bite Cases

Owning a pet can bring a lot of happiness, but it can also be a liability. If you are bitten by a dog, the dog’s owner will most likely be held liable for your injuries. But, this does not mean that dog bite victims always recover compensation by filing a personal injury claim. Many owners will try to escape liability by relying on one of these common defense strategies used in dog bite cases:

The Victim Was Trespassing

Pet owners are only liable for dog bite injuries if the victim was lawfully on the property at the time of the accident. Therefore, the defendant may try to claim that you were trespassing at the time of the dog bite. If you were not supposed to be on the property at the time of the accident, the defendant may not be held liable for the attack.

The Dog Was Provoked

The defendant may also claim that the victim provoked the dog prior to the attack by getting too close to him, taking something from him, or engaging in other behavior that could agitate an animal. The logic behind this defense strategy is the defendant should not be liable for the victim’s injuries since the victim was responsible for provoking the dog in the first place. However, it can be difficult for a defendant to prove that the dog was provoked, especially if there are witnesses or if the dog has a history of biting people.

The Victim Was Warned

Dog owners often put up warning signs so visitors know there is an aggressive dog in the vicinity. For example, these signs may say “Beware of Dog” or “Warning: Dog May Bite” and may be posted in a window, on a door, or in the yard in front of the house. A defendant can escape liability in a dog bite case by proving that there was one of these signs posted on their property on the day of the attack. However, the victim may still be able to recover compensation if he can prove that the sign was not clearly visible to visitors when the incident occurred.

If you have been bitten by a dog, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will poke holes in the defendant’s defense strategy and recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Factors That Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

Factors That Affect the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

Personal injury victims are often eager to know how much their claim is worth so they know what they should expect to receive in a settlement. To get an idea of what your claim is worth, it’s important to understand how the value of a claim is calculated. Calculating a personal injury claim involves much more than simply adding up medical expenses and lost wages. There are a number of different factors that could affect the value of your personal injury claim, including:

Shared Fault

If you were partially to blame for the accident that caused your injuries, this will affect the amount of compensation that you are awarded. For example, if you were found to be 20% responsible for the accident, the compensation that you are awarded will be reduced by 20%.

Type of Injury

The type of injury sustained by the victim can also affect the value of the claim. A victim who has sustained a traumatic injury, such as spinal cord or brain damage, will typically receive more compensation than a victim who has suffered a broken bone. This is because serious injuries require more extensive medical treatment, which means the victim will incur more expenses treating these injuries. Serious injuries can also have a greater impact on the victim’s life, which can increase the compensation awarded for pain and suffering.

Medical Treatment

The type of medical treatment that you receive after an accident can also affect the value of your claim. Victims who are only treated by chiropractors and physical therapists after an accident may not be offered as much by the insurance company. To avoid this problem, it’s recommended that you visit a doctor so you can show the insurance company that you have been diagnosed and treated by a physician.

Recovery Time

How long did it take you to fully recover from your injuries? In most cases, a longer recovery time means more compensation. Why? Victims can argue that a lengthy recovery has caused them a great deal of pain and suffering. Many victims will also be forced to take time off of work as they recover. The longer the recovery, the more the victim will lose, so the defendant will have to compensate the victim for these lost wages.

Have you been injured in an accident? Find out if you have a personal injury case by contacting Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will review your case to determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How An Insurance Adjuster Calculates the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

How An Insurance Adjuster Calculates the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

An insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company who is assigned to your case to gather evidence, calculate the value of your claim, and negotiate a settlement with you. It’s important to understand how insurance adjusters work so you know what to expect, especially when it comes to the valuation of your claim. Here’s how an insurance adjuster calculates the value of your personal injury claim:

Calculates the Total Medical Expenses

First, the insurance adjuster will add up the medical expenses you have incurred as a result of your injuries. However, during this calculation, the insurance adjuster may decide that some medical expenses should not be included. These are known as “soft” medical expenses, and they can include bills from chiropractors, physical therapists, and other healthcare providers that are not physicians.

Factor in Pain and Suffering

The next step is to factor in the pain and suffering that you have experienced since sustaining your injuries. If the insurance adjuster believes your injuries are minor, he will multiply your total medical expenses by 1.5 or 2. When the injuries are more severe, the insurance adjuster typically goes up to 5, however he can go as high as 10. This number will then be added to the total medical expenses.

Lost Income

Then, the insurance adjuster will need to review the evidence you have submitted that shows the amount of income you have lost due to your injuries. The insurance adjuster will arrive at an amount after reviewing your evidence, and then add this figure to the previous total.

Comparative Negligence Deductions

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means you can still recover compensation even if you are partly at fault for the accident. How does it work? The insurance adjuster will carefully review the case to determine the role that both parties played in the accident. If the insurance adjuster believes you are 25% at fault and the other party was 75% at fault, he will reduce the value of your claim by 25%.

The number that the insurance adjuster arrives at after following these steps may be the first offer that he extends to you during negotiations. But, the insurance adjuster often underestimates the value of your claim in an attempt to get you to settle for less than you deserve.

If you have been injured, never accept an offer from an insurance company without consulting with an attorney first. The personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will help you calculate the actual value of your claim so you don’t make the mistake of accepting an offer that is lower than what you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.