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Westminster Colorado Archives - Bendinelli Law Firm

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

DUI Checkpoint-drunk driving

DUI Checkpoint

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

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