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The Bendinelli Law Firm 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!

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.

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!