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Denver Personal Injury Attorney Archives - Bendinelli Law Firm

Colorado Traffic Fatalities and Legalization of Marijuana Connection?

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

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

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

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

Their findings include:

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

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

Drugged Driving Statistics

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

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

Marco Bendinelli and Unprecedented Personal Injury Results

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

Marco F. Bendinelli, Esq.

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

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

$2.1 Million Jury Verdict: Scholle v. Delta Airlines

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

FINAL OFFER BEFORE TRIAL: $85,000
JURY VERDICT/FINAL JUDGEMENT: $2.1 Million

$1.4 Million Jury Verdict: Claycomb v. Fox

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

FINAL OFFER BEFORE TRIAL: $70,000 initially/$250,000 Friday before trial
JURY VERDICT/FINAL JUDGEMENT: $1.4 Million

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

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

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

By | Automobile Accident, Denver Personal Injury Attorney, Uncategorized

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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/