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Colorado Traffic Fatalities and Legalization of Marijuana Connection?

By | Automobile Accident, Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Drunk or Impaired Driving

A series of articles in the Denver Post have investigated the link between the increase of traffic fatalities in Colorado and the legalization of marijuana.

In a recent study released by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) as reported by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA), shows a significant upward trend in fatalities on Colorado roadways since 2014. Some would argue that this increase coincides with the legalization of marijuana in the state of Colorado in 2014. Others including Colorado transportation and public safety officials claim that there is not enough data to positively prove that the increase in traffic deaths attributed to marijuana use is caused by the legalization of pot.

The Denver Post analyzed data at the federal and state levels as well as coroner reports and discovered some interesting trends for Colorado drivers who tested positive for marijuana.

Their findings include:

  • Since 2013, the number Colorado drivers who were under the influence of marijuana and involved in fatality, more than doubled
  • Since 2013, the level of potency found in Colorado drivers under the influence of marijuana has increased. In 2016 there were about 12 drivers whose TCH levels were five times the legal limit, and one tested at 22 times the legal limit
  • In 2016, all the drivers who were under the influence of marijuana and survived the car crash, had TCH levels that appeared that they used the drug within a few hours of being tested
  • The number of drivers involved in fatalities who tested positive for marijuana only (no alcohol or other drugs) has increased from 52 percent in 2014 to 69 percent in 2016.

Much of the controversy over marijuana impairment lies in the testing methods and understanding the impact marijuana use has on each individual.  Supporters of legalization assert that there still isn’t enough history and research of marijuana impairment as there is with alcohol impairment.

Drugged Driving Statistics

Whether or not you believe that there’s a connection between the legalization of marijuana and the increase in traffic fatalities caused by buzzed drivers isn’t really that important if you or a loved one has been the victim in a motor vehicle crash caused by an impaired driver. The Bendinelli Law Firm can help you with any car crash that wasn’t your fault, including distracted drivers, texting drivers, impaired drivers, or drunk drivers.

Call 1-800-ATTORNEY today for your Free and Confidential Consultation

Marco Bendinelli and Unprecedented Personal Injury Results

By | Automobile Accident, Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Firm News & Holiday Topics, Uncategorized
Marco Bendinelli

Marco F. Bendinelli, Esq.

Marco F. Bendinelli has accomplished what no other Personal Injury Attorney has ever done in the state of Colorado.

He obtained two jury verdicts in excess of $1 million each in less than a month*

$2.1 Million Jury Verdict: Scholle v. Delta Airlines

On March 25, 2016, in Denver District Court, Mr. Bendinelli and his team won a landmark jury verdict. This 67-year old client was hurt on the job while working at DIA, involving a Delta-owned motorized baggage transportation vehicle. The defendant disputed the extent of our client’s injuries as well as on-going need for future medical treatment. The final offer before trial of $85,000 was rejected by Mr. Bendinelli and his client. Mr. Bendinelli tried this case to a jury resulting in a judgement of $2.1 Million.


$1.4 Million Jury Verdict: Claycomb v. Fox

Just two weeks later, in Adams County District Court, Mr. Bendinelli tried another case before a jury. Here, his client suffered injuries from a car accident. The defendant hired a doctor to testify that our client was not that badly injured. They initially offered $70,000, then $250,000 on the Friday before trial. After a long trial, the jury returned a verdict which resulted in a $1.4 Million judgement.

FINAL OFFER BEFORE TRIAL: $70,000 initially/$250,000 Friday before trial

Mr. Bendinelli was again invited to be a featured speaker by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.

*Researched by the Jury Verdict Reporter of Colorado. (Historical data available to 1984)

The Bendinelli Law Firm’s Satisfied Client Reviews Are Real!

By | Automobile Accident, Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Uncategorized

Do you ever wonder if those positive client reviews that you see on some Denver personal injury law firms’ websites are really written by actual clients?

Well, here’s Meloni, an actual Bendinelli Law Firm client who shared her experience in her own words, in her own handwriting. It doesn’t get any more real than that!

“I attempted to deal with Geico on my own after their client rear-ended my car. They called me a liar and insisted that there was no way I could have been injured, which I was. Julian took over and got me a settlement that surprised me in how much more it was than I had expected.”  – Meloni

If you’ve been injured and need to talk to a Denver personal injury lawyer, don’t wait contact us now! We’re here to help!

Pedestrian Right of Way Laws and How You Can Make a Claim

By | Pedestrian Accidents

With about 300 days of sunshine a year, Colorado residents have some really nice days to be out walking and enjoying some of that sunshine. But, whether you’re walking for pleasure or to work, accidents happen. When a pedestrian it hit by a car or truck, the recovery can be painful, lengthy and costly. Fortunately, when you’ve been in an accident due to the direct negligence of a driver, it is possible to seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.

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Defensive Driving Techniques

3 Defensive Driving Techniques that Everyone Should Practice

By | Automobile Accident, Motor Vehicle Safety

One of the best way to reduce your risk of being in a vehicular accident is to practice defensive driving techniques at all times. It doesn’t matter if you are learning to drive for the first time or if you’ve been driving for decades; it is always a good idea to review your techniques every so often and improve when you have deficits. Understanding the meaning of defensive driving and these three individual techniques will help keep you and your loved ones safe while on the roadways.

Examples of Defensive Driving

Knowing how to drive defensively in even challenging situations allows you the opportunity to react to a possible accident due to bad weather, drunk drivers, and even poor drivers. By keeping your eyes moving and looking ahead, you’ll be better able to spot potential hazards. But identifying hazards is just the beginning; once you identify a potential hazard, you need to decide what you need to do and act on it.

Stick to the Speed Limit

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that speeding is one of the most common contributing factors in traffic accidents. In order to be a defensive driver, the key is to drive at the speed limit. Speeding up to pass or slowing down is fine, but use cautionwhen you do so carefully.

Avoid Distractions

If you become distracted, this means you cannot pay attention and keep your eyes on the road where they belong. This goes way beyond staying away from having your phone in your hand. Interacting with passengers, fiddling with a device, applying makeup, and even eating can divert your attention in ways that can be deadly. Even Jim Morrison, lead singer for the Doors, once said, “Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel.”

Be Alert

Simply put―don’t drive when you are tired. You might not feel that tired and that you don’t need to worry about a yawn or two but, even if you are just a tad drowsy, it increases the risk of an accident. The average driver reaction time falls dramatically when drivers are sleepy, even just from a long day at work. Responses can range from zoning out to dozing off for just a few seconds. When you are traveling at highway speeds, even one second of not paying attention can be disastrous. If you’re tired, pull over and rest for a bit before you continue.

In Case of an Accident

car accident lawyer denver

If you ever get into an accident, the event doesn’t end when you come to a stop. First, you need to think about safety—for both you and anyone else on the road. If possible safely move all involved to a safe area close to the accident scene.,. Colorado law requires that you report all accidents immediately. If there are no injuries or property damage, no drugs or alcohol was involved and it was not a hit and run accident, you may report the accident on-line later. Turn on your hazard lights and remain in the car until help arrives.

Car accidents can come with hefty propertery damage costs and extensive medical bills.  You may try to handle this stressful and complicated process by dealing directly with the insurance companies and medical providers yourself. However, the insurance industry’s own study shows that you may receive a larger settlement when working with an attorney. So, it is in your best interest to  call a car accident lawyer at the Bendinelli Law Firm for help. We can deal with insurance companies, police, doctors, and courts to reduce your stress and achieve the best possible result for you and your loved ones.

auto accident attorney in Denver

Driving High in Colorado: The Law & Consequences

By | Automobile Accident, Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Motor Vehicle Safety

The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has raised some questions over driving while impaired on cannabis. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) launched an initiative called Drive High, Get a DUI in order to educate the public about the laws and consequences of driving high. CDOT wants this outreach to communicate three main ideas: it is against the law to drive high, getting high and driving is dangerous, and you should always plan to drive sober or ride with someone who is.

If you are in an accident with a high driver, contact the Bendinelli Law Firm, your auto accident attorney in Denver. Because, whether or not the high driver that hit you is educated on the legal consequences of driving high, ignorantia juris non excusat (ignorance of the law excuses not).

Driving While High Is Illegal

While marijuana itself is legal in the state of Colorado, driving while high is against the law and is a prosecutable offense. Colorado law states that drivers with a THC concentration of 5ng/ml (that is, active THC in the blood) can be prosecuted for DUI. Marijuana consumption of any kind inhibits your motor functions and impairs your driving. Of course, a blood test on the side of the road is nearly impossible, but a police officer’s arrest on this charge can be made primarily on observed impairment of the driver.

Even if you use marijuana medicinally, you cannot use the substance and drive. Just like cough syrup or Vicodin, you cannot operate a vehicle while impaired under the influence of drugs. A DUI can cost you more than $13,500 and jail time.

driving while high laws

High Driving Is Not Safe

Like all substances, cannabis has empirically detectable physiological effects on your body. It affects the way you operate and drive. Marijuana impacts concentration, reaction time, hand-eye coordination, and depth perception.

Some people believe that driving high actually increases their perception, but this is utterly false. Marijuana, like alcohol, is a depressant that physically blocks neural synapses from effectively communicating, rendering your reflexes to sluggish proportions.

Plan Your Sober Ride

If you plan on consuming cannabis make sure that you plan your ride ahead of time. You can use a ride sharing service, public transportation, or even call a cab.

What to Do If You Are in an Accident with a High Driver

It is important that you know the steps to take after you are involved in an accident—with a high, drunk, or sober driver.

  • Call the Police – Call 911 immediately so you can file a police report of the accident. A police report can help your insurance company determine who was at fault and process your claim faster.
  • Call Your Car Accident Lawyer – If there is bodily injury or damage to property, call your personal injury lawyer. A qualified attorney can help recover monetary damages to compensate you for things like medical bills, lost wages, car and other property damage, and other losses.

If you were in an accident with a high driver and have questions about what your monetary compensation could be, please contact the Bendinelli Law Firm today.

Motorcycle Tips for Safe Riding

By | Automobile Accident, Motor Vehicle Safety, Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle riding tipsAs the weather warms, more and more motorcycles are populating the roads. Veteran motorcyclists don’t skip a beat, quickly hitting the open road with grace and skill. But not all motorcyclists are seasoned veterans. Some of these riders may have little experience driving on roads, traffic-populated or otherwise.

Riding a new motorcycle can be a little intimidating for the inexperienced. Unlike automobile drivers, motorcyclists have no exterior shield around them to protect against most collisions. This means that motorcyclists must be constantly aware of their surroundings.

Motorcyclists must always keep a keen eye out for vehicles making lane changes or abruptly braking. They must be careful not to drift into the blind spots of big trucks on the freeway. They must be fully aware of cars that might be approaching from behind them. These are just some of the elements of the open road that must be constantly monitored by motorcyclists. But even the most experienced motorcyclists are not immune to accidents. To really know the ropes and avoid a costly collision, here are a few safety tips from an experienced motorcyclist and accident lawyer that all motorcyclists must know before they hit the summer roads.

Motorcycle Riding Tips and Tricks

Motorcycle safety

Equip yourself with safety gear. If an accident causes you to fall from your bike, your body will meet coarse pavement with significant velocity. If you’re wearing casual clothes like a T-shirt, jeans, and sandals, you’re going to suffer severe (and perhaps unrecoverable) injuries. You need the right gear to help keep you as safe as possible in the event of an accident. Listed below is the gear that you should wear to reduce your chance of serious injury:

  • Motorcycle helmet (make sure the helmet has the DOT certification sticker on it!)
  • Leather or other reinforced jacket
  • Full pants
  • Over-the-ankle footwear
  • Gloves

It might get warm underneath all that protective gear, so be sure that the material is breathable to keep you both safe and comfortable.

Check for and avoid bad weather. You should check the weather every time you go anywhere on your motorcycle. Rain, for example, creates slippery conditions on the road which greatly increases your risk of being involved in a serious accident. It also obstructs and reduces your vision—and when you are a new rider, you need a clear and unimpeded sight of the road.

Always ride defensively. Every move you make must be certain and exact: never assume. Not every driver is on the look out for a motorcycle in their mirrors and many of them won’t see you. Make sure that you use your astute skills of observation at every intersection and keep your fingers on your brakes just in case.

Motorcycle accident lawyer

What to Do If You Get Into an Accident

Not even the best riders are safe from the risks associated with motorcycle driving. If you are ever to get into an accident, here are a few tips on what you should do.

  • Call 911 and collect information. Assuming you are not in dire need of medical attention, call 911 to report the accident. Write down or photograph the make, model, and license plate numbers of all vehicles involved in the accident. Take snapshots of the accident to provide visual evidence for your insurance claim.
  • Contact the Bendinelli Law Firm. You need a motorcycle accident lawyer that is proficient in both local and state motorcycle laws. A quality personal injury attorney in Denver can help you monetarily by getting you the compensation you are owed (e.g. medical bills associated with motorcycle injuries, bike damage, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related costs).

f you were in an accident and have questions about what we can do for you, please contact Bendinelli Law Firm today.