• Language
  • EN SP

We are
Personal Injury
Lawyers

Protecting Personal Injury Victims in Denver

Personal Injury
Lawyers in Denver

Protecting Auto & Motorcycle Accident Victims

Bendinelli Law Firm
Denver Lawyers

Thousands of Clients Helped in Colorado

1
1
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.

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>

The Pain of Wrongful Death Cases

By | Automobile Accident, Distracted Driving, Drunk or Impaired Driving, Hit-and-Run Crashes, Uncategorized, Wrongful Death
sorrow

The Pain of Wrongful Death

It’s like a punch in the gut when an unexpected tragedy strikes, and a loved one dies. Not only are you dealing with unbearable grief, you may be wondering if your loved one died as a result of a wrongful death due to someone’s negligence or neglect.

 

In Colorado, wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits that attempt to establish the liability of a person or company resulting in the untimely and wrongful death of a loved one. To receive compensation, the family must show that the death was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior of another person or entity. Some examples of wrongful death claims are: car accidents, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, or death caused by defective or recalled parts.

In Colorado, families can sue for both monetary damages. This compensation would cover losses of the estate, and punitive damages. This  would help families during their time of need, and in some cases, punish negligent parties that caused the death of a loved one. Monetary damages cover things like lost wages and other assets the deceased would have likely earned. It also can cover a benefit loss (such as health insurance) as a result of the death. Families are also able to seek damages for loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, and assistance lost because of the death. The amount of monetary damages is assessed by a jury or judge and will be determined by the facts of the wrongful death case.

Families may also seek to recover losses to the estate, such as medical, hospital, or emergency care expenses, as well as funeral and burial costs. These bills can quickly add up after the death of a loved one. The Bendinelli Law Firm will ensure that the negligent party will be held responsible and can help families through this difficult time.

In addition to monetary and estate damages, there are punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer to deter them, and others from acting in negligent or reckless ways. Though this cannot bring back a loved one, it can feel like justice has been served for the suffering families.

The laws surrounding wrongful death cases very by state to state. In Colorado, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed only by the surviving spouse in the first year, and then by the surviving children the following year. If the deceased has no surviving spouse or children the parents can then file a wrongful death claim. All wrongful death lawsuits in Colorado must be filed within two years of the death.

It is important to speak with an attorney if you believe a loved one has died because of the negligence of another person or company. If you believe your family has been the victim of wrongful death, contact the Bendinelli Law Firm today to speak to an experienced wrongful death attorney.

These Ridiculous Lawsuits Give Lawyers a Bad Name

By | Uncategorized

2016 was full of all kinds of strange stories, but perhaps none stranger than the most absurd lawsuits of 2016.

Behind all of these ridiculous lawsuits, there is usually a ridiculous lawyer that agreed to take the case. Just remember thoughnot all attorneys base their practices on taking frivolous cases.  Personal Injury cases are serious and should not be taken lightly! So have fun with these absurd cases!

oh no

Government Overzealously Sues Business Owner:

Howard Root, CEO of Vascular Solutions, was sued by the government for selling the Varilase Short Kit, a FDA approved device to treat varicose veins. It took $25 million dollars for Mr. Root to fight the U.S. Department of Justice’s criminal charges that he had illegally marketed the Varilase Short Kit. Root denies that he was selling the kit illegally and he had all of the needed FDA permissions to have it on the market. It took more than 100 lawyers in 14 different law firms to get an acquittal from a Texas jury.

The SAT Five Minute Debacle:

A typo on a section of the SAT left students with a possible extra five minutes to finish. While some SAT proctors allowed students the extra five minutes allotted in the instructions, some did not, which caused confusion some students and parents. To maintain fairness, the College Board decided not to score that section of the test since those skills were tested in other sections. The score students received on the SAT remained valid since the section was not scored. A mother and son are suing the Education Testing Service and the College board, claiming they never would have sat for the test if they had known scoring would not be consistent. There has not yet been a ruling.

A Balloon Full of Hot Air:

Randall Krause sued the University of Nebraska for releasing balloons after the Cornhuskers made the first touchdown of the game, a tradition for more than 50 years. Mr. Krause was suing the school over the fact that balloons are harmful to the environment and animals, the school was already using biodegradable latex and cotton strings to be environmentally friendly. A federal judge dismissed the case in July 2016.

A Case of the $40 Craig’s List Printer:

In 2009 Doug Costello sold a black-and-white printer for $40 plus shipping to Gersh Zavodnik. Mr. Zavodnik sued Mr. Costello the first time claiming the printer was malfunctioning and missing parts. When that suit was tossed, he filed again and “requested damages for breach of contract, fraud, conversion, deceptive advertising and emotional destress.” After six years of legal proceedings, a judge entered a $30,000 judgement in Mr. Zavodnik’s favor for breach of contract, which was reversed in march. The appeals court is deciding if the case should be dismissed.

It’s for the Animals:

When a monkey takes a selfie it’s all downhill from there. David Slater’s camera was taken by a 6-year-old crested macaque named Naruto, who took a selfie. Mr. Slater claimed copyright of the photo and had it published in Wildlife Personalities. PETA enters the picture, filing a lawsuit in San Francisco, claiming that Naruto holds the copyright of the picture and should be paid all of the royalties. A judge threw out the suit on the bases that only humans can hold copyright. PETA is back at it claiming that it is a “high crime” that these rights aren’t extended to animals. Should the judge agree, PETA will take over the financial responsibility of Naruto’s money.

It’s About What’s Left in the Tube:

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has put a stop to a class action lawsuit against Fresh Inc. over lip balm left in the bottom of the tube. The plaintiffs’ lawyers claim that the company is deceiving customers into thinking there is still useable product in the tube when the twist up mechanism prevents it from being utilized. The suit claimed that Fresh was in violation of California’s Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, specifically they were trying to follow the growing trend of “slack fill” litigation. The empty space in packaging is known as slack fill, such as extra room in a bag of chips that is filled with air to keep the chips from being crushed. This case was thrown out because the lip balm left in the bottom of the tube is slack fill and the product label accurately stated how much product a consumer could use.

There’s Not Enough Coffee in My Coffee:

Starbucks is facing two possible lawsuits over their coffee. In one suit, plaintiffs are claiming that Starbucks is underfilling their lattes by a quarter inch to save money while short changing the customer. The other lawsuit claims that iced drinks are mostly ice. The suit claims that drink sizes on its cold menu are the size of the cup rather than the amount of liquid you get in the drink.  So, in a venti sized drink, which is advertised at 24 ounces, only 14 ounces is liquid and the rest is filled with ice. The ice lawsuit has since been dismissed, while no ruling has been made on the underfilled lattes.

While these lawsuits are funny and ridiculous, getting injured through no fault of your own, is no laughing matter. If you’ve been injured in a car accident call the personal injury attorneys at the Bendinelli Law Firm. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.

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.

It’s Not Too Late for Your New Year’s Resolutions!

By | Automobile Accident, Distracted Driving, Drunk or Impaired Driving, Motor Vehicle Safety, Pedestrian Accidents, Uncategorized

Let’s admit itwe all do it! WNew Years Resolutionse make New Year’s Resolutions that we don’t or can’t keep. In fact, only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually keep them. At the Bendinelli Law Firm, let us help you with some easy resolution ideas to help keep you safe on Colorado roadways in 2017.

 

Never drink and drive

In 2016, there were 495 deaths or injuries attributed to drunk driving in Colorado. You can keep yourself and others on the road safe by always designating a sober driver when going out drinking, or use ride share services like Lyft or Uber. Public transportation is also a good option if it is available in your area. Better yet, this year make it part of your resolutions to be the designated driver. Your friends will thank you for it!

Do not use your cell phone while driving

There are so many ways that we can be distracted while driving, but using your cellphone has the highest rate of distraction. In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 injured nationally due to distracted driving. This year resolve to only use your cell phone when you are safely off the road. At the very least, resolve to use a hands-free device.

Buckle up

Buckling up every time you get in the car will help protect you should you get into a crash. Seat belts have been showing to reduce serious crash related injuries by nearly half and saved 12,802 lives nationally in 2014. If you don’t already wear your seatbelt, this can be one of the easiest New Year’s Resolutions you ever make!

Respect Bicyclists on the road

With 70% of bicycle fatalities happening in urban areas and the number of people in Colorado that bike to work and for recreation, it only makes sense that this be part of your New Year’s resolution.  As part of Colorado law, bicyclists are considered drivers on the road and have a right to safety, just as the drivers of motor vehicles.

Keep your tires in good condition

In Colorado we can experience any number of road conditions throughout the year (even snow in the mountains in July!). Keeping your tires in good condition means you will be able to stop faster and will have more traction when nasty weather comes through Denver. Making sure that your tires have at least 1/8 inch of tread or having chains that will help you through heavy snow storms on your next trip to the mountains.

Watch for pedestrians

In 2014, 4,884 people were killed in pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes and 65,000 reported pedestrian injuries nationally. Pedestrian accidents are something we can avoid by driving more slowly through school zones and making sure there is no one using the crosswalk before we make a turn.  Pedestrians can help protect themselves by wearing reflective clothing at night and carrying a flash light.

If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, call the Bendinelli Law Firm to speak with an experienced personal injury layer for a free and confidential consultation. Don’t wait – call us now at 1-800-ATTORNEY.

Slip and Fall Accidents on Snow and Ice

By | Premises Liability, Slip and Fall

shoveling snow to prevent slip and fall accidentAs winter storms roll into the Denver Metro Area, we’ll be dealing with treacherous icy and snow packed sidewalks, walkways and parking lots. All of this snow and ice makes it more likely that we may hit a patch of ice. Before we know it, our feet can slip out from under us, we slip and fall and we may suffer an injury. If this happens, it’s important that you consult with a personal injury lawyer to see if there is a basis for a claim to cover your medical costs and lost wages during your recovery time. But while we may be aware of the dangers of snow and ice, how do we know if there is a basis for a personal injury claim?

In Colorado slip and fall accidents also called premises liability accidents, the property owner has a reasonable responsibility to keep walkways clear and free of obstacles, including snow and ice. Many slip and fall accidents can be settled before filing a lawsuit. But if your case should progress to a jury trial, Colorado law uses a system known as modified comparative negligence. This means that in a slip and fall accident the victim can recover compensation from the property owner if it’s determined that the property owner was more than 49% responsible for the accident.

We as consumers need to take responsibility for our safety and be aware of our surroundings. With modified comparative negligence, the victim can also be held responsible for their own fall. So, if you, the victim, did not take precautions and were found to be 35% at fault, then your court settlement will be reduced by 35%. If the victim was found to be 50% at fault for their fall then you will collect nothing from the lawsuit. An example would be if you parked your car in a parking lot that is partially covered in snow or ice. Instead of walking around the patch of ice, you decided to walk over it and then you slipped on that ice. In this instance, it could be argued that you could have avoided slipping on the ice if you have just walked around it.

But, as another example; if the entire parking lot has been covered in snow for several days with no attempt to clear it. You have no choice but to park on that ice and snow, so it may be easier to prove the property owner was at fault.

In these kinds of personal injury cases it all comes down to whether or not the property owner was able to make sure that walkways were as safe as reasonably possible. If they knew of the hazard, and if they had enough time to clear the hazard away. It’s always a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to answer your slip and fall questions.

If you or anyone you know has been the victim of a slip and fall on ice or snow, or any other premises liability accident, contact the Bendinelli Law Firm for a free consultation on your case.

Curb Your Anger on the Road and Prevent Road Rage

By | Automobile Accident, Distracted Driving, Drunk or Impaired Driving, Hit-and-Run Crashes, Uncategorized

Road Rage DriverAs we take to the roads for our daily commute to work or school, it is likely that we’ve seen people driving in anger, honking their horn, or any number of aggressive actions that can quickly escalate into road rage.

According to DMV.org, road rage is, “…aggressive or violent behavior stemming from a driver’s uncontrolled anger at the actions of another motorist.” Simple actions such as not using your blinker, speeding, honking, or tailgating can quickly escalate into a more violent and severe road rage car accident.

In Colorado, road rage and aggressive driving incidences have been on the rise. In the first two months of 2016, the Colorado State Patrol received 7,594 calls reporting aggressive drivers, a 22% increase from 2015 during the same period.

Reportings of unsafe or aggressive drivers in the Denver Metro Area are tracked. The Colorado State Patrol sends out a warning letter after three complaints, hand delivers a letter after five complaints, and the has the option of keeping an eye on the drivers’ future behavior.

It’s important to remember that your behavior while you drive effects more than just you, it also effects your passengers and other’s on the road. In a road rage related car accident in December 2016, a truck driver was seen driving recklessly and aggressively on Interstate 76. While attempting to pass a semi-truck in the shoulder the truck driver lost control and drove through a guardrail and crashed on the street below.

Running late for work or school, or even having a bad day might make you drive differently than your normal habits, but it is not worth it when it could mean harming yourself or others on the roadway. The best way to prevent a car crash caused by road rage and aggressive driving is to drive defensively. Slow down and focus on getting to your destination while following traffic laws and driving safely. Someone cut you off? Maybe their day is going just as poorly as yours is, and it is always better to cut other drivers some slack than creating a situation where you may end up hurt or worse.

If you have been injured in an aggressive driving or road rage car accident, contact the Bendinelli Law Firm for a free consultation on your case.

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.

Statistics

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.

Marco Bendinelli’s “Win My Broncos Tickets” 2016 Contest Rules
distracted driving Denver, car accident attorney Denver, Denver Car Accident Lawyer

The Major Distracter for Denver Drivers – Use of Mobile Phones

By | Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Distracted Driving, Texting and Driving

Distracted Driving in Denver – The Major Distracter, Use of Mobile Phones

The Colorado law protects the rights of distracted driving victims.

In 2014, Colorado witnessed 486 road fatalities, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, with 43 of the accidents reported in Denver.

During the same period, many more motorists were seriously injured during the collisions. This is a true reflection of the constant risk and unending danger motorists in Denver face while on the road.

Distracted driving is one of the major causes of fatalities in Colorado. However, it’s the easiest to prevent. Focusing on driving and paying attention on the road on the part of drivers can help reduce collisions and thus save many lives.

In 2013, according to NHTSA, distracted driving caused more than 3,100 deaths in the wider US nation. If drivers focused on the road and avoided distractions, lives lost through such accidents would have been saved.

A Denver car accident lawyer can help victims of distracted driving to file claim for damages and injuries afflicted during such crashes.

The Use of Mobile Phones – The Number One Cause of Distracted Driving

Mobile phone use is the most widespread issue in matters regarding distracted driving. More than 660,000 drivers, according to NHTSA, use their phones every moment, every day.

Each time a driver decides to use his or her phone to text or make a call, they divert their attention and eyes off the road for at least five seconds. When travelling at 55 mph, this time is enough to cover the length of a football field hence the risk of causing a fatality.

Colorado has laws in place that restrict drivers from using their mobile phones while driving. For instance, drivers below 18 years are not allowed to use mobile phones while driving, whatsoever. However, drivers at least 18 years old are allowed to make phone calls only; no manual entering of information onto phones like texting.

However, drivers have exceptions in the law on usage of their mobile phones when contacting a public safety entity or having an emergency like the need to report a fatality, fire, criminal act or even a road hazard.

A distracted driver while using a mobile phone can be fined $50 for a first offence and $100 for a second offence. However, they are legally obliged to pay for damages caused.

Denver Car Accident Lawyer

Victims of distracted driving, specifically a texting driver, can use the services of a Denver car accident lawyer to file for compensation for injuries, medical expenses, lost wages and even pain or suffering caused. We invite you to contact the Bendinelli Law Firm to discuss the specifics of your situation.

Accident Lawyer in Denver, DUI Denver Colorado, Smoking Marijuana and Driving in Colorado

DUI – Is There Increased Use of Medical Marijuana by Colorado Drivers?

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

Just like other plaintiffs, DUI victims have legal rights to protection and compensation for damages and injuries caused by auto accidents through the services of an accident lawyer in Denver. Moreover, criminal convictions can provide evidence of negligence in such cases.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there’s increased use of marijuana by Colorado drivers. In 2007, drivers who were suspected to be under the influence of drugs tested positive for marijuana. They made up 28% of all the suspected drivers. In 2008, the figure shot up to 43%, 45% in 2009 and 58% in 2010.

According to a local police, Sgt. Mike Bell, “What we’re seeing is an increase of, probably, marijuana use in the car. There’s a definite increase in drivers using medical marijuana as an excuse. However, they have nothing to do with the drug.”

Over 16% of all fatal auto accidents that took place in Colorado between 2007 and 2010 involved drivers under the influence of drugs. Drugged driving can lead to serious consequences on the highways and state streets in terms of fatalities.

These fatalities lead to serious spinal cord and brain injuries or even lifelong impacts on passengers, motorists and pedestrians.

Although the use of medical marijuana is legal, it can cause intoxication for those behind the wheel. Therefore, drivers under the influence of drugs must compensate victims for injuries, damages or even death caused in case of a fatality.

Drivers involved in crashes should look out for incoherent speech, red or glassy eyes or the smell of cannabis in other drivers as signs of drug use. Drivers that notice any of these signs should make notes for use when informing law enforcement officers or making statements.

Evidence of Drug Use by Colorado Drivers

Evidence of drugs and intoxication in the blood of drivers are two different things. Drivers who test positive for drugs upon suspicion of being intoxicated might have difficulties when it comes to blame evaluation. Employers usually test their injured professional drivers involved in crashes for drugs.

Even if a driver uses drugs off-job and wasn’t responsible for causing a fatality, he or she risks being fired and losing wages, if traces of drugs are found in the body system.

Accident Lawyer in Denver

Such drivers and other victims of auto or truck accidents can seek the services of an accident lawyer in Denver for rights protection and filing for compensation. The Bendinelli Law Firm offers complimentary consultations and our friendly staff are available to discuss the details of your case.

Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Commercial Trucking Accident Attorney, Truck Accident Lawyer

Commercial Trucking Accidents – Causes of Fatalities in Denver

By | Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Distracted Driving, Drunk or Impaired Driving, Semi-Truck Accidents

More than 330,000 commercial trucking accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), occur every year in the U.S. and these crashes result in thousands of death and injuries on a yearly basis.

Crashes involving commercial trucks like tractor trailers, semi trucks, box trucks, delivery vans or 18-wheelers, and small passenger vehicles usually see occupants of the latter vehicles sustain the worst kind of injuries in the accidents.

This is where a Denver truck accident attorney comes in to help victims navigate the legalities of filing a claim for the injuries or damages incurred.

Top 4 Causes of Commercial Accidents in Denver, Colorado

There are several causes of commercial trucking accidents, just like in the case of car crashes. Although truck drivers are usually at fault and the major cause of trucking fatalities, there are other factors that can lead to serious road crashes.

  1. DUI – is a major cause of road accidents. Drivers use stimulants to keep awake for prolonged periods on the road. Any mishap or error on the part of a truck driver under influence can easily cause a crash due to the heavy nature of commercial vehicles.
  1. Distraction – emailing, texting, chatting on social networks, surfing the internet, using the GPS device, drinking, eating, reading books, using a road map, changing music or even watching a DVD while driving can cause distraction. The moment of distraction is enough to cause an accident.
  1. Drowsiness – it is common for truck drivers to overstretch their load delivery goals or mileage to improve their pay scales. As a result, many truck drivers skip critical breaks to rest, forge log books and fail to get enough sleep for prolonged periods.

Fatigue is as good as drunk driving and can cause serious fatalities.

  1. Poor Maintenance of Vehicles – trucks, just like cars, require regular maintenance for optimal performance. Oil changes and maintenance services done on brakes and transmission systems are meant to keep vehicles in good working condition.

Failure to carry out such routine maintenance means vehicles can fail on the road. This can lead to serious fatal crashes.

Other Causes – defective engine components, poor road designs, faulty tires, poor weather conditions and other motorists failing to follow driving best practices can also cause fatalities.

Denver Truck Accident Attorney

All victims of car or commercial trucking accidents have legal rights and insurance companies do not always act in your best interest. A Denver truck accident attorney can help protect the rights of accidents victims, helping file claim for injuries and damages caused. Contact the Bendinelli Law Firm for a complimentary consultation to discuss your case.

personal injury attorney denver, DUI

CDOT Launches New Campaign to Combat “Buzzed Driving”

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

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), more than 26,000 people are arrested for drunk driving incidents in Colorado every year. Unfortunately, the drunk drivers police officers don’t catch are responsible for more than 150 fatal traffic crashes where alcohol played a key factor. By those numbers, drunk driving accounts for more than 30% of all traffic fatalities in Colorado.

While researching this alarming trend, CDOT discovered that males ages 21-35, a key DUI demographic, do not believe in “buzzed driving.” In short, they think it is acceptable to have “just a few drinks” before getting on the road, if they’re not visibly or noticeably impaired. What they don’t realize is that alcohol affects everyone differently, and any amount of intoxication is still against the law.

Last year during this time, CDOT launched a campaign called “A Few Can Still Be Dangerous,” to remind drivers that any and all impairment on the road can still affect a driver’s vision, judgement, and reaction time.

As part of the campaign, CDOT is encouraging drivers to use modern technology for additional safety options. For example, personal breathalyzers are now widely available, and some even attach directly to the driver’s smartphone. Last Labor Day weekend, CDOT employees hosted an event that allowed bar patrons to test their intoxication levels using these devices. They hoped the the event would encourage responsible alcohol use, and cut down on the number of Labor Day DUIs. The event attracted more than 3500 people. They also encouraged use of Uber and Lyft, ridesharing companies that are often more convenient than traditional cabs.

Unfortunately, warnings and education are not enough to deter repeat offenders, who often struggle with alcohol addiction. According to the Denver Post, one in three drivers arrested for DUI has a previous DUI arrest. In a state that has almost 30,000 drunk driving arrests every year, this can amount to 10,000 repeat offenders on the road at any given moment. In a three-year span, police re-arrested 5,679 people who had two or more DUI arrests, and 84 offenders had ten or more.

Is DUI a Felony in Colorado?

For many years, Colorado was one of the only four states that did not have a felony DUI offense. It was nearly impossible to ban repeat offenders from the road permanently. If the driver caused an accident, he or she would only be charged with a misdemeanor, even if the innocent victim was severely injured.

However, the Governor, John Hickenlooper, signed a felony DUI bill into law in 2015. The event took place in Wheat Ridge at Lifeloc Technologies, a manufacturing company. Family members and victims of DUI accidents, as well as law-makers who put pressure for stern action to be taken against DUI drivers, were present.
According to the Democrat, “The government world is measured in steps. You rarely get big change. However, this is a pretty big step.”

The law took effect later in August last year (2015) and makes drunk driving a felony. Every time a driver is charged for the fourth time for DUI, he faces up to 6 years behind bars as punishment. Previously, Colorado gave drivers misdemeanor charges with a maximum of one year imprisonment as punishment.

Although only a small fraction of the offenders will possibly get jailed for accidents that result from DUI, the increase in expenses incurred by prisons and judicial systems will see about $20 million spent in the first 3 years.

According to one of the people in attendance, who lost 3 family members in a drunken-driving accident, after the signing of the bill, “It is a bittersweet feeling. I feel like I’ve been putting off my need to grieve and I know that after today, it will hit me hard, knowing this is now over.”

Drunk drivers don’t just endanger their own lives, but also put everyone on the road at risk. If the driver has been warned repeatedly, their actions move from negligence to outright defiance of the law and complete disregard for the safety of others. In these cases, criminal laws may not be enough.

Personal Injury Attorney Denver

When criminal laws fall short, a Denver personal injury attorney can help you get justice. Civil lawsuits offer a crucial legal alternative for victims, allowing them to recoup losses, and hold reckless drivers personally accountable.

If you have lost a loved one to a drunk driver, or been seriously injured yourself, schedule a free consultation with Bendinelli Law Firm. Our experienced legal staff knows the law inside and out, and we can help you get justice while protecting future drivers from unnecessary pain and suffering.

truck accident attorney denver

Truck Crashes Involving Hazmat Can Have Devastating Results

By | Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Semi-Truck Accidents

Accidents or collisions involving semi-trucks carrying hazardous materials increase the possibility of other drivers being injured. Flammable materials can explode, launching projectiles into the air and into other lanes of traffic. Toxic chemicals are released, polluting the air, affecting nearby drivers and first responders. Depending on the damage, drivers can wait for hours for these scenes to clear. In worst case scenarios, drivers can face serious injury or even death.

How Are Hazmat Drivers Trained?

Driving semi-trucks containing hazardous materials is a dangerous job. This is why drivers are required to carry a specific license to prove that they know the rules and risks of what they’re carrying. If a driver misses crucial safety steps, he can endanger not only his own life, but also the lives of everyone around him.

Anyone transporting hazardous materials must adhere to Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) set forth by the federal government. Drivers are usually trained in 3 areas:

  • Recognizing and identifying hazardous materials
  • Safety training and emergency procedures
  • Function specific training that is directly applicable to the employee’s current job

Hazmat employers are responsible for training their hazmat employees. Their training covers subjects like proper labeling, protective packaging, and hazard communication. These may seem trivial, but correctly identifying hazardous materials and packaging them securely is the first step to making sure that they are handled properly.

There are also additional trainings drivers must complete if the hazmat in transit surpasses the Materials of Trade regulations, namely: function-specific, general awareness, security awareness and safety as well as passing a written test.

Another important aspect of safety is incident reporting. Hazmat employees are required to document any incident with hazardous materials to the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), a faction of the US Department of Transportation. They keep record of any instance where proper safety procedures were not followed. This can include inadequate or improper packaging, problems occurring during loading and unloading, inadequate blocking, or securing of packages within transport vehicles. All of these issues can create safety concerns down the road.

I Was Hurt by a Hazmat Truck! Who Is Responsible?

Even if the driver is present when the vehicle crashes, he may not be fully responsible for the damage involving the hazardous material. Breakdowns earlier in the process can play a crucial role in the overall result. An item may have been damaged during loading, or a hazmat facility may have mislabeled inventory, causing it to be transported in dangerous conditions. If an innocent driver is injured in the accident, he or she may have trouble determining who is really at fault.

Trucking companies work with their insurance providers to minimize culpability for their drivers, their trucks, and their clients. If you were injured in an accident that involved hazardous materials, you need to speak with an attorney who knows the law, and can hold big trucking companies responsible.

Trucking Accident Attorney Denver

Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Bendinelli Law firm for a free consultation. We can provide you with legal options and crucial resources to help you build your case. Our truck accident attorneys know how to battle the big guys, so let us work for you.

 

References:
http://www.nbc11news.com/content/news/Driver-injured-in-Interstate-25-tanker-accident-381004301.html

http://ehs.okstate.edu/MODULES/dot/

We are
Personal Injury
Lawyers

Protecting Personal Injury Victims in Denver

Personal Injury
Lawyers in Denver

Protecting Auto & Motorcycle Accident Victims

Bendinelli Law Firm
Denver Lawyers

Thousands of Clients Helped in Colorado

65
Awards Won
268
Completed Designs
37
GitHub Repo's
439
Cups of Coffee