123 North College Avenue, Suite 160, Fort Collins, CO 80524
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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

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970-225-2190 | 
1-800-664-3151

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Larimer County workmans compensation attorney

In Colorado, workers’ compensation benefits may be available to anyone who has suffered an injury on the job or in the course of their employment. In many cases, workplace injuries happen because of physical trauma, but this is not the only situation in which you can pursue compensation. You also may be entitled to benefits if you have suffered injuries or negative effects on your health due to immediate or prolonged exposure to a hazardous chemical.

Common Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace

Depending on your occupation and the industry in which you work, you may be exposed to any number of dangerous chemicals on a regular basis. Some of the most common hazardous substances encountered at work include:

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Larimer County personal injury attorney bike accident

The city of Fort Collins in northern Colorado has been recognized for being extremely bike-friendly, both for its system of trails and open spaces and its downtown amenities, but even in situations that are favorable to bicyclists, accidents can still happen. Understanding the common causes of bicycle accidents may help you avoid being involved in one, or pursue the compensation you need if you are injured. In some cases, a negligent driver may be at fault for causing the crash. 

When Do Bicycle Accidents Typically Occur?

Accidents between bicycles and cars or other motor vehicles can take place under a variety of circumstances. Some of the most common include:

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney car accident

Any time you are traveling on the road, you run the risk of being involved in a car accident, and if your job requires you to drive on a regular basis, you may be at greater risk. If you are injured in a car accident while on the job, you may fear that your only options for compensation are a claim through your car or health insurance provider, or a personal injury lawsuit against another driver. Fortunately, this is usually not the case, as you can likely obtain recovery through your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.

Employees at Risk of Vehicle Collision Injuries 

Many employees must regularly drive as part of their job responsibilities. Commercial truck and bus drivers may spend the most amount of time on the road, but delivery drivers, postal workers, and first responders including police officers, firefighters, and EMTs all drive frequently as well. The same may be true for employees of any business that provides a traveling service, as well as employees who simply run occasional work-related errands. Any employee who is injured in a car accident during the course of his or her workday may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, whether the accident was the fault of another driver or the employee him or herself.

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Larimer County peronsal injury attorney truck accident

Semi-trucks experience immense strain throughout the course of their work, accumulating hundreds of miles per day and regularly hauling around 100,000 pounds of cargo. In order to perform their work safely, large trucks require frequent maintenance to ensure that all parts and equipment are working properly. When there is a lapse in maintenance, the potential for accidents increases, and unfortunately, you may find yourself injured as a result.

The Dangers of Poorly Maintained Trucks in Colorado

A variety of equipment failures due to improper or routine maintenance checks can lead to serious accidents. Some of the most common include:

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

Over Labor Day weekend, Fort Collins experienced its earliest snow accumulation in over 130 years, reminding Coloradans once again of the state’s extreme weather fluctuations and the possibility for hazardous road conditions at almost any time of the year. It is never too early to start preparing for the necessary safety precautions when driving on snowy and icy roads so that you can avoid being injured in a car accident or causing a crash that injures someone else.

Precautions for Driving in Snow in Colorado

As a driver, there are many ways that you can take responsibility for preventing accidents in snowy weather, including:

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Fort Collins personal injury attorney motorcycle accidentIn Colorado, motorcyclists are at a high risk of injury compared to other drivers. Recent statistics from the Colorado Department of Transportation show that around 20 percent of all fatalities and serious injuries from vehicle crashes are suffered by motorcyclists, and in many cases, these collisions are the fault of another driver. An accident on I-25 this summer illustrates some important points about motorcycle accidents and why it is essential that injured motorcyclists work with an experienced attorney to understand their legal options for seeking compensation.

Colorado Motorcycle Crashes May Be the Fault of Another Driver

In a recent Colorado accident, a motorcyclist collided with a barrier and overturned after another driver swerved into his lane. While this case is still under investigation and fault has not been determined, other cases involving reckless driving, road rage, distracted driving, and other negligent behavior have resulted in significant compensation for injured motorcyclists. A personal injury attorney can help motorcyclists obtain financial relief for their damages through a settlement agreement or a court ruling.

Motorcycle Accidents Often Result in Severe Injuries

Many Colorado motorcyclists involved in collisions require emergency medical treatment for a variety of injuries because their vehicles offer little physical protection. Some common motorcycle injuries include:

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Larimer County wrongful death attorney workplace accident

Each year in Colorado, thousands of people are injured or fall ill due to work-related incidents, entitling them to relief through their employer’s workers’ compensation coverage. However, over 100 Coloradans die each year as a result of their work-related injuries, and many of them leave behind families who may struggle to get by after the death of their loved ones. Fortunately, these families can often obtain financial compensation through a wrongful death claim.

When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?

An employee can file a workers’ compensation claim when he or she has been injured on the job in the course of work, and the employee’s family members can file a wrongful death claim in a similar situation if the injuries lead to the employee’s death. The employee’s widow or widower has the first right to file a wrongful death suit within the first year after the death, and children and designated beneficiaries of the deceased can join the suit with the spouse’s consent. After the first year, children and other heirs can choose to file a suit without the spouse, and parents may file a suit if the employee has no designated heirs. In general, all wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within the two-year statute of limitations.

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Larimer County personal injury attorney truck accident

Between Interstates 25, 70, and 76, the Colorado Front Range experiences a significant amount of semi-truck traffic, and the state’s unpredictable weather patterns and often steeply graded roads can increase the risk of truck accidents. Another contributing factor in many truck accidents is driver fatigue, which can cause a driver to fall asleep at the wheel, react more slowly, or make poor driving decisions. If you have been injured in an accident with a drowsy truck driver, understanding why the driver may be fatigued can give you a better chance of receiving full compensation for your damages.

Common Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue

Truck drivers can become fatigued for a number of reasons, some due to the nature of their job, and some due to a failure to follow industry regulations. A few of the most common reasons include:

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), there were more than 500 fatal vehicle crashes in Colorado in 2018. Not all car accidents lead to fatalities, but they can cause serious to permanent injuries. If you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver, seeking compensation through a personal injury claim is often a clear decision. However, if you believe you were partially at fault for the accident, your options may seem more complicated, and you may wonder if it is even possible to receive any financial relief for your injuries. The good news is that because of Colorado’s negligence laws, you can still be eligible for some compensation as long as your negligence is determined to be less than that of the other involved parties.

What Constitutes Negligence in a Colorado Car Accident?

Negligence occurs when a person or entity fails to uphold their duty of care to another, and if this negligence results in injuries, the person impacted can seek compensation for his or her damages. In the case of a car accident, negligence can include violations of traffic laws or regulations and any other unsafe driving behavior that endangers other users of the road. Common examples include speeding, following too closely, failing to signal or obey traffic signs, drunk or impaired driving, and distracted driving due to texting, eating, or anything else that removes a driver’s attention away from the road.

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

Everyone hopes to avoid being injured in a car accident, but in the unfortunate event that it does happen, one would hope that the other driver’s insurance would at least cover medical bills for any injuries he or she causes. However, recent statistics show that 13 percent of Colorado drivers are uninsured, and many more have policies with the state’s minimum required bodily injury coverage of $25,000 per person injured and $50,000 total, which may be insufficient in cases of severe injuries that result in long-lasting consequences. That is why it is important to seek professional legal advice after being involved in any type of vehicle collision. 

Steps to Take After a Crash

If you are injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you may feel stress, fear, and uncertainty as to how to proceed, but fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to protect yourself even in this difficult situation. Follow these four tips for ensuring that you receive adequate compensation:

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Larimer County workplace injury attorney

The topic of unemployment, along with the benefits a worker may be entitled to after being laid off or furloughed, has been garnering increased media attention due to rising rates of unemployment and recent debate at the federal level. Although the spike of unemployment in the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic has begun to decrease, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in June that the unemployment rate across most industries still more than doubles the rate of unemployment from the same time frame in years past. Given our current state of affairs in this country, it is important to consider how workers’ compensation may affect unemployed workers in Colorado.

Can I Receive Unemployment Benefits and Workers’ Comp Simultaneously?

This sudden rise in the rates of unemployment across the country has caused many families a lot of stress and worry, but how does this surge impact those currently receiving workers’ compensation? The number of nonfatal workplace accidents recorded in 2018 exceeded 900,000 according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Even though the number is sure to be lower in 2020 due to higher than normal unemployment rates and quarantining practices, many people receiving workers’ compensation may find themselves also being displaced by the pandemic.

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Fort Collins catastrophic injury attorney

You may have recently heard of catastrophic injuries for the first time, especially with regard to brain damage. Recent discussions within the NFL surrounding traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy—TBI and CTE, respectively have brought catastrophic injuries into daily discourse and increased awareness of such injuries, many of which are suffered in car accidents. As you may have guessed, catastrophic injuries are among the most severe a person can suffer, including—but not limited to—“… those causing permanent severe functional disability, and those causing severe head or neck trauma with no permanent disability.” While emphasizing head, spine, neck, and brain trauma, many debilitating injuries are included within this category, up to and including death. For victims seeking compensation, an experienced personal injury attorney can help determine if a catastrophic injury was caused by another party’s negligence.

Coping Strategies for Serious Injuries

Beyond the physical trauma, a catastrophic injury-induced loss of function or disability can cause serious, lasting mental anguish, and victims may find themselves experiencing the famous five stages of grief. Although not every victim of a catastrophic injury will necessarily experience all five stages, here is what the average victim may experience along with strategies for coping with the effects of their injury:

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Larimer County workplace injury attorney heatstroke

Summer is often regarded as the time of year when construction projects peak. Regardless of the type of project, orange barrels and caution cones will be a common sight across the country for the next several months. Although summertime may see many construction projects undertaken in earnest, it is also a time when outdoor workers and laborers face increased risks due to heat-related illnesses. According to Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) magazine, “Productivity decreases by about one percent for every degree the temperature rises above 77 degrees Fahrenheit.” In sweltering 90 degree days, this can lead to substantial reductions in productivity, but also serious heat-related injuries for workers. In Colorado, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in the event of a workplace accident. 

What Is Heat Stress?

Extended periods of time in a hot and sunny environment can lead to serious heat-related injuries, which may be exacerbated by heavy gear and equipment, manual labor, lack of airflow, lack of water, and more. Heat-related injuries can range from heat rash to the possibly lethal heatstroke, or sunstroke as it is sometimes called. Between these two lies a variety of other potentially dangerous conditions, and somewhere in the middle of the spectrum lies “heat stress.” Although heat stress itself is an umbrella term for several heat-related injuries, heat stress injuries share many symptoms. 

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Fort Collins personal injury attorney

From the many popular lakes, public pools, rivers, and mineral hot springs, Colorado boasts some of the most varied and exciting waterways in the country. Although pandemic precautions may cause some of these popular pools and swimming spots to operate below capacity—or even close entirely—numerous Coloradoans and their families will find themselves entering the water at some point this summer. Whether boating, kayaking, or swimming, these popular aquatic activities come with their fair share of risks.

You may be surprised to hear that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recorded an average of 3,500 non-boating related drownings each year from 2005-2014. Kids are common victims, with drowning listed as the leading cause of death for children ages 0-4. Nonfatal submersion injuries are also very common for young kids. Although they are nonfatal, these submersion injuries can lead to hospitalization, permanent disabilities, or loss of function due to a decrease in oxygen levels in the brain.

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Fort Collins accident lawyerEven though lockdowns and quarantines as a response to the coronavirus pandemic have kept many Coloradoans off the roads, the number of driving citations issued by law enforcement for speeding has not reflected this change. In fact, traffic tickets issued by police for exceeding the speed limit have actually increased with the implementation of statewide isolation orders.

While fewer people are currently on the road, incidents of reckless driving have paradoxically increased, according to the Denver-based news agency, FOX31. Not only do they report a rise in the number of speeding citations issued since 2019, but the number of car accidents has also spiked. The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) reported 6,550 car accidents in the first four months of 2019. Just one year later, this number skyrocketed to approximately 9,600 crashes in the same amount of time — a 70 percent increase in one year.

How You Can Protect Yourself

As restrictions begin to ease and lockdown orders come to an end, the roads will gradually begin to fill again. Since many drivers have not been on the roads for the past few months, there will be even more opportunities to get caught in an automobile accident. Cultivating strong, defensive driving habits now may keep you and your family safe even as the rate of accidents grows.

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney disability

Although Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ “Stay At Home” order officially expired on April 26, many counties and cities in the state have continued to observe restrictions on business in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus. For many Coloradoans, the return to normalcy will be a much longer time in coming as the Colorado Public Radio reports the COVID-19 pandemic “has erased one in 10 jobs in Colorado.” As heavily affected industries—such as restaurants, construction, and public works—begin to operate again and resume their projects, it may be more important than ever to be vigilant about safety. Workplace accidents occur even in the best of times and to the most cautious of employees. As a number of employees begin to return to work and employee density around construction sites, high-pace workplaces, and hazardous areas increases, accidents can occur. Therefore, it is important to understand disability and how it relates to workers’ compensation claims.

The Four Categories of Disabilities in Colorado

When dealing with the possibility of lost time or wages due to a workplace injury, it is imperative to remember not all injuries and their resulting disabilities are equal. The State of Colorado Department of Labor and Employment recognizes this and has defined four categories of disability under which injured workers can make claims. They are temporary or permanent, and partial or total disability as explained below:

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Larimer County e-scooter accident attorney

Like them, love them, or downright hate them, electric scooters will not be leaving Colorado anytime soon. By now, you have probably heard of Bird, Lyft, or Lime, three of the most popular e-scooter rental companies. Fundamentally, these companies do not differ much: Customers use a phone application to rent a scooter for a given amount of time by linking some form of online payment. In the last five years, these e-scooters have gone from fun novelty to a major mode of transportation. With such rapid implementation nationwide, this new mode of transportation has spread throughout the United States more quickly than current laws can keep up, leaving many states and cities with a patchwork of hastily adopted legislation. Although the technology of electronic transportation devices such as these is ever-changing, as with any motorized device, there is the potential for accidents with minor to serious injuries. Below are some answers to commonly asked questions regarding e-scooters that can help users stay safe and avoid collisions with other vehicles or scooters.

Current E-Scooter Laws

The legality of riding these electric scooters varies from county to county, even city to city. In Breckenridge, for example, e-scooter businesses are banned entirely, although “the ban does not apply to people who own their electric scooters,” according to KKTV. The city of Boulder also placed a moratorium on issuing business licenses to commercial e-scooter companies. However, the original pause expired in April 2020. While electric scooters do not currently face any form of state-wide ban, there are some regulations that riders should understand to help prevent a traffic accident.

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Larimer County hit-and-run accident attorney

Following a motor vehicle collision, the drivers involved are required to remain at the scene, render any necessary aid to those who have been injured, and exchange contact information with each other. Unfortunately, some drivers choose to flee the scene of a collision, and these hit-and-run car accidents can leave victims suffering from severe or fatal injuries. The Denver Post reports that, as of Thursday, May 28, 2020, the city of Denver has recorded 1,899 hit-and-run accidents since the beginning of the year, averaging approximately 390 incidents monthly. Drivers who have been involved in these types of accidents will want to understand the steps they can take to pursue compensation if the other person leaves the scene.

Four Steps to Take After a Hit-And-Run

An automobile accident is enough to leave anyone dazed, and doubly so if the other party has left the scene. Here are four things you should do in the event you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident:

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Larimer County bicycle accident attorney

The summer months are approaching, and bicyclists are going to flock to the roads in Colorado. As such, it is worth reviewing the rules of the road regarding how drivers and cyclists are supposed to interact. Using a few safety strategies can help avoid any unnecessary bike accidents. However, it is impossible to control the actions of others on the roadway, and negligent behavior by drivers can lead to serious injuries for cyclists. If you were injured in an accident while riding your bike, it is important to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney as soon as your immediate medical needs are addressed. Seeking compensation in Colorado requires finding fault with the other driver or cyclist involved, so you will need strong representation from a legal team you can trust.

Rules of the Road

Since Colorado is an “at-fault” state, abiding by the traffic laws will help prevent you from being deemed at fault for a collision, and this can ensure that you will be able to receive the compensation you deserve. Unlike pedestrians, cyclists are expected to follow the same rules as drivers, with a couple of additions. Determining how you should ride your bicycle depends on where you plan to go on your next trip. 

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Larimer County auto accident attorney

Colorado’s relatively new Made Whole Doctrine serves to protect you from losing all or a significant amount of your liability claim benefits to an insurance company. It is important to understand how this law works so that you know you are getting the compensation that you deserve if you have suffered a personal injury due to another party’s negligence. Even though this law is designed to protect you, you still must work with a qualified personal injury attorney to pursue compensation in court and ensure that insurance companies are not violating any part of the Made Whole Doctrine.

Compensation Before the Made Whole Doctrine

Before the Colorado legislature amended state insurance laws to include the Made Whole Doctrine, health insurance companies or medical providers were allowed to subrogate (substitute themselves as the primary recipient of your personal injury claim) to guarantee that their costs were covered in full before you, the insured, received any compensation. As you could imagine, this caused a lot of problems. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and accrued medical bills that totaled $150,000, but you only received $100,000 in compensation from an at-fault driver's insurance policy or a personal injury lawsuit, the health insurance company could take the entire amount of compensation you received, and you would still be at a loss. Since the goal of compensating an injured party for his or her losses should not harm him or her financially, the Made Whole Doctrine needed to be implemented. 

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
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