It’s frustrating when you’ve suffered a personal injury that’s not your fault. You really want to focus on your recovery and not worry about who’s going to pay for your medical bills, how will you pay your bills and take care of your family when you can’t work.. Unfortunately, for most of those injured in an accident, your life is soon filled with calls from your insurance company, paperwork from law enforcement and doctor appointments. That’s when a personal injury lawyer can be of great benefit to you.
When you’ve been in a car or motorcycle accident in Colorado, you may feel your injuries immediately or you may feel just fine. But all accidents are traumatic to the victim in some way. They can cause emotional, mental, and physical symptoms. However, in many cases, you could experience delayed symptoms which may not show up until several days after an accident has occurred.
It’s tough to keep a cool head after an auto accident. Even if you and your passengers come out seemingly unhurt, you may still feel bewildered, frightened, or angry. Maintaining presence of mind after an accident is important, however, since what you say and do after a wreck can greatly affect your settlement after the car accident.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
As 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
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
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.
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).
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>
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.
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 though―not 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!
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.
Love 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.
Let’s admit it—we all do it! We 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.
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.
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.
As 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.
As 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
The 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.
“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.
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.
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.