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Category Archives: Denver Personal Injury Attorney

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!

Tired Driving More Dangerous

Is Tired Driving More Dangerous Than Drunk Driving?

By | Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Drunk or Impaired Driving

Almost everyone understands the dangers associated with driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, texting and driving, distracted driving, and talking on our smartphones while driving. Yet there has been very little information available about driving while tired. Drowsy or tired driving can be just as serious as these other poor driving decisions and could result in causing a serious accident and being sued by a Denver accident lawyer on behalf of an injured party.

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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.

Let’s Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With No DUIs

By | Automobile Accident, Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Drunk or Impaired Driving, Hit-and-Run Crashes

st pats
St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and you’re probably making plans to meet up with friends for drinks and a lot of fun! There are many events that start the day off early with fun runs, parades and green beer. Synonymous with binge drinking, St. Patrick’s Day has become one to forget, or rather, blackout from. Binge drinking can cause a range of problems, but blacking out and not remembering the night is one of the most dangerous.

Blacking out while drunk means that you don’t remember what you did. It’s only when friends bring something up or show you a picture on their phone do you realize you have no memory of the night before. It may be fun to see yourself riding down a parking garage in a shopping cart, but you should be wondering what other kinds of things you did that night that weren’t recorded.

The way alcohol works in our system is it breaks down the communication of our amygdala and prefrontal cortex, the parts of the brain responsible for critical thinking and behavior. To put it simply, you are more likely to take risks or make poor decisions while you are drinking. Being blackout drunk means you won’t have any memory of those risks in the morning.

You may think it is probably better to not remember the stupid things you do while drunk, but what if you decide to get behind the wheel while drunk? You may hit a person or car and keep driving. You get arrested for a DUI and wake to find yourself in jail in the morning. Enjoying a few too many can mean you change your life forever – and probably not for the better.

In 2016, the Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies arrested 396 drivers suspected of being impaired over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Don’t be one of them this 2017.

Follow these suggestions to stay safe and enjoy the holiday weekend:

  • Nominate a designated driver

Having a friend or family member drive you from bar to bar instead of taking your own car could save your life or a night in jail.

  • Take Uber or Lyft

With ride sharing services readily available there is no reason to take your own car.

  • Call a Taxi

If the rate hikes are too high on Uber or Lyft consider calling an old-fashioned taxi to get you to the next bar or home safely.

  • Use Public Transportation

With the Denver area expanding the light rail to most metro areas there is no reason you can’t take the train or bus to your favorite drinking spot and come home the same way.

At the Bendinelli Law Firm, PC, we want to remind you not to drink and drive this St. Patrick’s Day. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a drunk driving accident, please contact us for a free consultation on your case.



photo credit: Godo-Godaj <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/13832715@N05/5535132666″>Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day-Tralee Co Kerry</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

No DUIs on Valentine’s Day!

By | Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Drunk or Impaired Driving, Motor Vehicle Safety

romanceLove is in the air and many of us will be heading to our favorite restaurant to celebrate Valentine’s Day with our special someone. These romantic dinners may involve wine, beer, or cocktails, as we gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes. What many of us do not realize is how easy it is to go from just enough, to one too many, and then get behind the wheel thinking we’re are okay to drive. Getting a DUI on Valentine’s Day is definitely not how you want to end this special celebration!

A common myth is if we consume only one drink per hour we’re still sober enough to drive. Though it may be possible (as we all metabolize alcohol differently), research suggests that this just isn’t true. Dr. Kenneth R. Warren explains:

“The average rate of alcohol metabolism is 100 milligrams of alcohol per kilogram of bodyweight per hour. For a typical 160-pound man, this would translate into 7 grams of alcohol in an hour. The so-called standard serving, a 12-ounce bottle of beer, is 14 grams of alcohol, so it would take two hours to fully metabolize it. For most people, if you drink one drink an hour, you’re going to become more and more impaired each hour.”

While one drink a hour may be the norm for many people, your body is likely not processing the alcohol as fast as you think, which could lead to disaster if you do not take the time to sober up.

Becoming sober isn’t as easy as it sounds either. As we begin to wrap up our Valentine’s dinner we may order a cup of coffee, thinking that it will help us sober up for the drive home. But, again this just doesn’t seem to be the case. In an interview with the BBC, Dr. Thomas Gould explains:

“The myth about coffee’s sobering powers is particularly important to debunk because the co-use of caffeine and alcohol could actually lead to poor decisions with disastrous outcomes. People who feel tired and intoxicated after consuming alcohol may be more likely to acknowledge that they are drunk. Conversely, people who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine may feel awake and competent enough to handle potentially-harmful situations, such as driving while intoxicated or placing themselves in dangerous social situations.”

Though coffee, or other caffeinated drinks, can make an impaired person feel more alert after consuming a few drinks, it isn’t helping your body metabolize the alcohol any faster.

If you are still unsure whether you can drive your sweetheart home, download CDOT’s R-U-Buzzed app. Just put in your body weight, sex, and how much you have had to drink and it will give you an estimated blood alcohol concentration and when you will become sober.

Don’t give the love of your life the gift of a DUI this Valentine’s Day. Go out and celebrate with your love, but remember to celebrate responsibly. If you are too drunk to drive then use RTD, call a taxi, or using a ride sharing service such as Uber or Lyft.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a DUI or DWI crash speak with one of our expect lawyers. Contact the Bendinelli Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Keep Your Cool with these Colorado Winter Driving Tips

By | Automobile Accident, Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Distracted Driving, Hit-and-Run Crashes, Motor Vehicle Safety, Winter Driving Safety
Car in ditch on snow covered highway

Car in ditch on snow covered highway

Winter can come on quickly in Colorado and we’ve already had a couple of tough storms. New drivers and out-of-state drivers may not have the same experience as those of us who have lived here longer. The Bendinelli Law Firm has compiled some Colorado Winter Driving Tips to help keep your cool this winter season when you decide to hit the road.

  1. Check your tires.  We all know it is best if we have winter tires, but the point is to make sure you have enough tread on your tire to help you gain traction in the snow, whether it is winter or all-season tires. More tread will help you navigate those snowy conditions. If you aren’t sure you need new tires you can do the “quarter test.” Take a quarter with Washington’s head down in the tire tread, if his hair is covered your tires are still good, if it isn’t it’s time to invest in a new set.
  1. Slow down.  Even if you are running late or in a hurry it is best to slow down in snowy and icy driving conditions. Slowing down means being able to react when you need to come to a stop, or not spinning out when turning, go around a corner, or slowly down too quickly. Taking your time could help you avoid a car crash and save your life.
  1. Buckle up.  In the event of the unthinkable and you are involved in a car accident, having you and all of your passengers buckled up could save lives. And it’s the law in Colorado!
  1. Let the plows work.  Don’t try to pass plows that are working during winter storms. Conditions ahead are most likely worse than following at least four car lengths behind. You might be getting to your destination more slowly, but you will also be getting there more safely.
  1. Follow at a safe distance.  As with the plows, you want to give your fellow drivers enough room to work if something should happen. Giving extra distance between you and the next car means being able to stop or avoid an accident safely.
  1. Leave the high beams off.  Driving with your high beams on while there is falling or blowing snow makes it harder to see because of its reflective nature. Keep the high beams off and take your time to get to your destination.
  1. Stay home!  This isn’t an option for all of us, but if you can stay home on a bad winter day—just do it!

If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident during the winter months or any other time of year contact the Bendinelli Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation. We’re available 24/7!

Happy New Year! Drinking and Driving–It’s Not Worth It!

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

Blurred vision due to drunk drivingThe holidays are coming to a close and a new year just around the corner. As we head out to friend’s and family’s homes and company parties, there is the potential for winter weather road conditions, as well as drunk drivers – especially around New Year’s Eve. Though we may not be drinking at holiday parties, many people are, and the data shows it. Nationally, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s 2-3 times more people die in alcohol-related crashes than during other times of the year, 1,200 people will be killed, and there will be 25,000 people will be injured in traffic accidents related to alcohol.

In Colorado more than 26,000 people are arrested for DUI, and over 150 people are killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents each year. The fatalities due to impaired driving represent more than one third of traffic deaths in Colorado. These numbers are really horrifying, so how is Denver Metro law enforcement helping to keep roads safer?

In Colorado law enforcement agencies ran their annual, “The Heat is On” campaign from Nov. 18 – Nov. 28, with 97 agencies participating. The campaign is designed to help stop drivers that may be driving under the influence (DUI).  During this ten-day period officers arrested a total of 518 people who were suspected of DUI. This year there has been 177 fatalities due to impaired driving, a number likely to go up before the end of the year.

DUI Checkpoint-drunk driving

DUI Checkpoint

“The Heat is On,” will continue through December, with law enforcement agencies around Colorado creating sobriety checkpoints and increasing the number of officers on patrol to help spot and stop DUI drivers. To help you and your loved ones get home safely, you can download CDOT’s R-U-Buzzed app, a blood alcohol content calculator for Android and iPhone, nominate a designated driver before you go out to parties, use the RTD system free starting at 7pm, or plan to use a ride sharing services like Uber or Lyft.

If you or your loved ones have been hurt in a motor vehicle crash in Colorado involving a drunk or drugged driver, during the holidays, or any other time of year, contact the Bendinelli Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation.

Denver Personal Injury Attorney, DUI Accident Attorney Denver

Drunk Driving in Denver, Colorado – How Serious is it?

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

Auto accidents in Denver claimed 40 lives in 2013. 16 of the 40 deaths were attributed to drunk-driving collisions.

Clearly, all Denver residents should know best that drinking and driving is highly dangerous. Even so, many lives are lost in Denver year-in-year-out to drunk driving. Many more locals suffer critical injuries, with some being life-long, as some drivers fail to follow driving best practices.

4 Case Studies that Indicate the Reality of the Issue

Case Study 1

In august, 2013, a 38-year-old cyclist was hit head-on early one evening on a Friday on Lookout Mountain Road. According to Fox 31 Denver, the driver was a 20-year-old that reportedly crossed a double yellow line. Apparently, he was driving at a high speed rate.

The young driver faced several criminal charges including a homicide felony. The accident left friends and family of the victim mourning their dead loved one. The driver got 10 years in prison.

Case Study 2

A 50-year-old drunk driver hit a 17-year-old girl and her friend in September, 2014. According to the ABC 7 News in Denver, one of the girls died on the spot. The drunk driver was also texting when the accident occurred. The girl who survived the crash was still unable to walk, one year later.

The drunk driver who hit the girls had recently been sentenced to 28 years in prison as punishment.

Case Study 3

In another collision, a passenger in a Jeep that collided was pinned under the vehicle. According to CBS Denver, the drunk driver ramped into a concrete freeway support. His alcohol blood content read 0.163%. He was charged with DUI and vehicular homicide; offenses that would see him spend a maximum of six years in prison.

Case Study 4

A police officer got back to his vehicle along the I-25 Denver stretch after stopping a potential drunk driver. He was hit by a second drunk driver, while in his car. The driver was charged with vehicular assault.

The auto accident, according to ABC 7 News in Denver, involved four cars. The officer incurred serious injuries and ended up in hospital.


In 2013, 142 people died, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as a result of drunken driving collisions in Colorado. 25 of those deaths were experienced in El Paso County. Denver County was ranked second with 16 accident deaths. These two counties account for more than a quarter of all the deaths experienced in Colorado in 2013.

We can not stress enough the importance of drivers not driving while drunk as one of the best driving practices to help curb DUI accidents in Colorado.

Denver Personal Injury Attorney

Many people suffer serious injuries or even death due to drunken driving accidents, a clear issue in the county. If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver, Denver personal injury attorneys at the Bendinelli Law Firm can help you navigate your claim and get the treatment and justice you deserve.