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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Ft. Collins winter car accident lawyerAs the snow and ice begin to make their way onto Colorado roadways, it should come as no surprise that the accidents are beginning to pile up. On Saturday, November 24th, 2018, Colorado highway patrolmen responded to a collision outside Denver. What started as a one-car crash ultimately ended in a 20-vehicle pileup. According to Colorado State Patrol, heavy winds and snow were the main causes of the dangerous accident. 

The increase in inclement weather has prompted Colorado law enforcement to establish roadside shelters for passengers injured in winter car accidents. If you or a loved one are involved in a motor vehicle collision this winter, seek out medical attention and speak with a legal representative. 

Winter Driving Accidents in the United States 

Inclement weather is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents throughout the United States. According to the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 116,000 Americans are injured each year in accidents during snowfall. While the vast majority of these accidents do not result in death, over 1,200 people are killed annually in accidents caused by inclement weather. Studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that an alarming 17% of all annual motor vehicle collisions occur while snow is present. 

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Larimer County drunk driving accident attorneyDespite the fact that drunk driving charges can come with extensive jail time, substantial fines, and potential driver’s license suspension, hundreds of thousands of American drivers continue to drive drunk. In Colorado, drunk driving continues to pose a massive problem for law enforcement officials throughout the state. Although traffic officials throughout Colorado have implemented more DUI checkpoints and increased surveillance of the roadways, drunk driving continues to increase, and many people are seriously injured in accidents caused by drunk drivers. If you or a loved one are impacted by the reckless and negligent actions of a drunk driver, you should work with an experienced attorney to determine your options for pursuing financial compensation. 

Drunk Driving Rising in Colorado

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, DUI arrests rose by just under 30% from 2016 to 2017. In all, a staggering 10,359 drivers were arrested by Colorado state police in 2017 for driving under the influence of alcohol. This increase in drunk drivers has resulted in a tragically high number of fatalities. In 2017 alone, 226 people died due to alcohol-impaired driving in Colorado. While excessive speeding and distracted driving continue to be traffic issues that cause concern, drunk driving is a leading cause of motor vehicle collisions in Colorado. 

Alcohol-Impaired Driving Nationwide

Around the country, drunk driving is as big of an issue as it is here in Colorado. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 29 Americans die due to drunk driving every single day. Throughout 2016, more than 10,400 people died in motor vehicle collisions involving drunk drivers across the United States. Fortunately, law enforcement officials throughout the country are working diligently to lower the number of drunk drivers. Every year, state patrol officials and police officers arrest more than one million drivers for inebriated driving. 

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Fort Collins pedestrian injury lawyerLate this past October, a female pedestrian in Colorado Springs suffered fatal injuries when she was struck by an automobile. The victim was attempting to cross the street when she was hit by a driver who was under the influence of an undisclosed drug. For Colorado residents, this accident served as a reminder of the inherent risks that pedestrians face every single day. If you or a loved one are injured in a pedestrian accident, you should seek out legal assistance as soon as possible. 

Pedestrian Injuries Throughout the United States

Even though traveling by foot is commonly thought of as one of the safest ways to travel, pedestrians suffer injuries much more often than most people would like to assume. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 129,000 American pedestrians were hospitalized in 2015 alone. Pedestrians face increased risk due to their lack of protection in motor vehicle collisions. Because of this lack of protection, most pedestrian injuries are extremely severe. Of the 129,000 pedestrians that were injured in collisions throughout 2015, more than 5,350 ultimately died due to their injuries. 

Studies conducted by the CDC found that pedestrians are actually 1.5 times more likely to be fatally injured in a collision than motor vehicle drivers or passengers. In many of these cases, the accidents are directly caused by the negligence of the motor vehicle driver. Just under 50% of all pedestrian deaths in 2015 involved alcohol. 

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Fort Collins bike accident attorneyLess than a week ago, a tragic accident reminded all bicyclists throughout the state of Colorado of the dangers they face when sharing the roads with other vehicles. A biker was traveling near the campus of Colorado College in Colorado Springs when he was struck by a motor vehicle. The cyclist was rushed to a local hospital but ultimately died the morning after the collision. While the Colorado Springs Police Department stated that excessive speed or alcohol/drug use were not factors in this specific accident, the vast majority of motor vehicle collisions are caused by driver negligence. If you or a loved one is injured in a bicycle accident, you should contact a legal team you can trust. 

Bicyclist Fatalities Nationwide

Throughout the United States, bicycle injuries are far more common than most people would like to believe. In 2015 alone, over 460,000 bicyclists were injured nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1,000 of those injuries proved to be fatal. Studies conducted by the CDC found that children between the ages of 5 and 19 account for upwards of 33% of all bicycle injuries. 

As mentioned above, driver negligence is the reason behind the vast majority of traffic accidents. It should come as no surprise that alcohol was involved in 37% of all bicycle injuries. After extensive research, the CDC concluded that bicycling is increasingly dangerous in highly populated areas. The vast majority of bicycle fatalities in 2015 occurred in urban areas. 

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Ft. Collins car accident injury lawyerA recent two-car crash in Lakewood resulted in severe injuries to a 19-year-old driver, as well as the death of the other driver involved. While the ultimate cause of the accident is still under investigation, according to Colorado state police, “speed was a factor.” 

Every year, thousands of Americans are killed due to drivers traveling at excessive speeds. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding resulted in the deaths of over 10,000 Americans throughout 2016 alone. In all, speeding accounted for 27% of traffic fatalities nationwide. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, it is likely that driver negligence was involved. 

Why Speeding Increases Risk 

We all understand the reasons behind speeding, since hectic work schedules and constant familial obligations leave most of us in a never-ending rush. Still, it is important to understand how speeding can impact one’s vehicle’s ability to operate at peak capacity. Speeding can reduce the effectiveness of safety restraint systems and limit the control one has over their vehicle’s steering and braking systems, while also increasing the ferocity of collisions. 

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Larimer County drunk driving car accident attorneyA few short weeks ago, the negligence of a drunk driver led to a two-vehicle car crash near Colorado Springs. The accident occurred when the 44-year-old drunk driver drifted off the road and collided with a parked car. The driver only suffered minor injuries, but a 21-month-old was ejected out of the other vehicle and narrowly avoided fatal injuries. After attempting to flee from the scene on foot, the drunk driver was ultimately caught by several witnesses and was later taken into police custody. 

While the accident did not result in any fatal injuries, it was a sobering reminder of the terrible impact of drunk driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,497 Americans were killed due to drunk drivers in 2016 alone. If you or a loved one are injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, finding quality legal representation can make all the difference in ensuring a healthy financial future for your family. 

Drunk Driving Nationwide 

Despite ongoing efforts by law enforcement officials and highway safety organizations to limit the number of drunk drivers on the road, inebriated driving continues to be a safety crisis throughout the United States. Studies conducted by the CDC found that drunk driving accounts for around 30% of all traffic fatalities nationwide. An alarming one million American drivers were arrested on DUI charges in 2016. Despite the potential loss of life and the harsh legal penalties that they may face, millions of Americans elect to drive under the influence each year. 

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Ft. Collins winter car accident lawyerOn Wednesday, October 10th, 2018, a number of car accidents occurred throughout the state of Colorado. One accident involving a semi-truck occurred near Haswell, another collision happened outside of Lone Tree, and a third took place near Aspen Park. The one common denominator? All the accidents were at least partially caused by icy roadways. 

With winter arriving quickly, it is important to begin practicing appropriate winter driving habits. The Colorado State Patrol was vocal about the recklessness of many drivers, stating that some accidents were caused by “people traveling too fast for conditions.” If a member of your family is injured in a motor vehicle collision this winter, you should contact a personal injury attorney that will represent your best interests and help you pursue compensation from any negligent parties. 

Driving Safely in Colorado

In 2017, over 640 people were fatally injured while traveling on Colorado roadways. Studies conducted by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CODOT) found that 35% of all fatalities occurred during winter months (November to March). 

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Ft. Collins motorcycle accident lawyerEvery year, thousands of motorcyclists throughout the United States suffer fatal injuries in accidents. Here in northern Colorado, we witness far too many fatal motorcycle accidents on an annual basis. Recently, a 37-year-old woman was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident in Fort Collins. The motorcycle was a two-person Harley Davidson, and when it collided with another vehicle, both motorcycle passengers were severely hurt, and the female passenger ultimately died. The accident reminded every Colorado native of the dangers that motorcyclists face when sharing the road with other vehicles. If you or a loved one have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you should take steps to understand your options for pursuing financial compensation. 

Motorcycle Accidents Nationwide 

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), approximately 5,000 American motorcyclists died in 2017. While this statistic marks a slight decrease in motorcycle fatalities on a national scale, motorcyclists are still much more likely to suffer fatal injuries than drivers or passengers of automobiles. In fact, motorcyclists are 28% more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle collision than those traveling in a standard motor vehicle. Despite the fact that motorcyclists make up a small number of all highway users, they accounted for approximately 14% of all traffic fatalities in 2017. Next time you ride a motorcycle, ride with caution. 

Remaining Safe on Your Motorcycle

While there is no guarantee of safety while riding a motorcycle, there are a few steps you can take to help decrease your chances of serious injury. The first step you can take is riding responsibly. Do not recklessly pass drivers on corners or double lines. Recognize that you are not as visible as a standard automobile, and avoid drivers’ blind spots. 

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Larimer County car accident injury attorneyIf you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may not know what to do in either the immediate aftermath of the collision or the days following. Whether you were seriously injured and required emergency medical care or were able to safely leave the scene of the accident, you should take the following steps to protect yourself: 

Step 1 - Ensure Safety 

The first thing that should always be done following an accident is to calm down and ensure that everyone is okay. Unless you are severely injured and cannot move, it is a good idea to help others out of harm’s way and note the physical condition of each person and vehicle immediately following the accident. While making a mental note of all parties’ damages and injuries may is a good start, writing down detailed notes or taking pictures on a smartphone will ensure that this information is preserved. 

Step 2 - Call the Police

Call 911 to report the accident. It is in your best interests to have a police officer come to the scene of the accident and make a police report, which can be very helpful in determining who was at fault for the collision. Without a police report, the determination of fault will likely be based on incomplete information, such as statements from each party. A report from an impartial, trusted officer can be used to demonstrate what actually happened, reducing the likelihood of a dispute.

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No matter how large or small, being in a car crash can be overwhelming, to say the least. Choosing the best personal injury lawyer after your car accident can be one of the most important, yet difficult, choices you’ll have to make during this process. You must decide if you need medical treatment and if so, where should you go and who will pay for it? You must figure out how to get a rental car and where to get your car fixed and who will pay for that? You might also deal with a wage loss that puts great financial strain on you and your family, not to mention facing all the things you were able to do before you were injured that you can no longer do. You also have the insurance company telling you that you don’t need a lawyer, your friends telling you that you do, and tons of TV commercials telling you where to go!

We’d like to help make at least a part of this process a little easier for you. Choosing the right personal injury lawyer can make all the difference when it comes to how stressful this process will be for you and how happy you will be with the outcome. Therefore, we are providing you with our top five tips to consider when choosing a car accident lawyer:

#1 – Choose a local firm.

There are lots of attorneys who are willing to come to you to get you signed up, regardless of where their office is. This may seem reasonable since so many things can be done over e-mail nowadays, but you want an attorney who is familiar with the area where the crash happened and can visualize what you are describing. You also want to work with an attorney who knows and has good relationships with local medical providers. At some point in your case, the attorney’s office will need to communicate with your medical providers to get copies of your records or to request a special report. This process will go much smoother if you are working at attorney who is familiar with your providers procedures and has already developed a relationship with them. If something in your case comes up suddenly, you’ll likely want an attorney that is close to you and can provide immediate help. The last thing you want is to be driving for hours to visit your attorney.

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When people come to us seeking car accident legal advice, one of the first questions we ask is, “when did you first seek medical treatment for your injuries?” We often meet potential clients who were injured in a car accident but waited several weeks before seeking medical treatment, which can be detrimental to a claim.

One of the best pieces of personal injury lawyer advice I can offer is do not hesitate to seek medical treatment immediately following a car crash, even for the most minor symptoms. If your symptoms resolve and your claim settles quickly, then at least you will have peace of mind from being checked out and knowing you are ok. If your symptoms don’t resolve, become worse, or end up more severe than you thought, you will be very glad you got medical evidence and a doctor’s opinion right from the start.

Often times people don’t want to go through the hassle and hope the injury will resolve on its own. Sometimes people don’t get treatment because they don’t have the time or the money. We also frequently meet people whose symptoms didn’t begin right away or didn’t become severe until several weeks after the crash.

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Posted on in Wrongful Death

Losing someone you love is hard. Losing someone you love because of someone else’s misconduct or negligence can be even harder. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about wrongful death claims to help you begin to navigate this difficult situation.

#1 What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Colorado law provides compensation for family members of anyone whose death was the result of “a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” Some examples of situations that may justify a wrongful death claim include:

    • Death caused by a drunk, reckless, or careless driver
    • Death caused by a slip and fall or other hazards on private property
    • Death caused by a defective or mis-labeled product
    • Death caused by medical malpractice
    • Death caused by nursing home negligence or abuse
    • Work related deaths
    • Death caused by assault, battery, and other crimes

Of course, there is no amount of money that will make up for the loss of your loved one or the grief you are experiencing. The purpose of a wrongful death claim is to protect the interests of family members who, through no fault of their own, are suffering the emotional and financial burden of the loss of their loved one.

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When you’ve been injured in a car accident, it can be difficult to find a good lawyer. Sometimes people sign up with an auto accident attorney who they think is good, but months down the road find themselves wondering if they are getting the best representation they could be. For the people wondering if they’ve hired the best auto accident lawyer for their case, we have put together a list of some of the ways you can tell if you have a good car accident lawyer who is working for you and your best interests. We hope you will find it helpful.

#1. How do you feel when you think about calling your attorney’s office?

Nobody really looks forward to calling their lawyer, and we get that. However, if the thought of calling your lawyer’s office fills you with dread, annoyance, or frustration, you may not be in the right place. If you call during normal office hours, there should always be a friendly voice on the other end to take your call. If the person you need to speak to is not available, you should still feel like your call is important to the person taking the message and you should definitely get a return call within 24 hours.

Additionally, when you call your lawyer’s office to ask a question, you should never feel like the lawyer or paralegal is annoyed with you or trying to rush you off the phone. At the Hoggatt Law Office, we purposely keep our caseload small to ensure that we always have time to listen to our clients, answer their questions, and address any of the issues they may encounter.

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How you handle a work-related injury or illness from the beginning will substantially increase the likelihood that the insurance company will cover your claim, pay for your medical treatment, and compensate you for any lost wages. Many people have never been through something like this before and don’t realize they may be making critical errors even within the first hour of sustaining an injury at work. We want you to be prepared and have the information you need right from the beginning so we have summarized for you five simple steps to follow when you’ve experienced a workplace injury:

1) REPORT TO YOUR SUPERVISOR:

Immediately after sustaining a work injury, you should inform your supervisor. This begins with verbally reporting the circumstances to your supervisor. When doing so, make sure you explain how you were injured (mechanism of injury), how it was within the course and scope of your employment (what work related activity you were doing at the time), and which body parts you injured. It is essential that you report every single body part that is hurting, even if one is minor compared to another.

After notifying your supervisor, it is important to document what you reported on your own in case your injury is not accurately represented from your previous conversation. You can document your reporting by sending a text or email to your supervisor – and you can (and should) fill out an accident report. If there were any witnesses present when you hurt yourself, make sure to get their full name and phone number. It is even better if they are willing to provide a written statement detailing how you got hurt and what they saw.

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The time immediately following a car crash can be hectic, frantic, and downright scary. It is not a situation that you have likely prepared for or, hopefully, been in before. While this is not a comprehensive list and should not take the place of common sense, it will hopefully provide you with some guidance on what to do if you’re in a car accident.

1. Make Sure Everyone Involved is OK and Safe

The first step to take after you’re involved in a car crash is to ensure that everyone is physically ok and safe. This will start with you! Take a moment to make sure that you are not hurt or bleeding. If you have anyone else in your vehicle, ensure that they are not hurt or bleeding as well. Ask them: “Are you OK? Are you hurt?” Look them over for any signs of obvious injury. Sometimes a person can feel perfectly fine but can be bleeding significantly.

You then want to ensure that you are safe. Make sure that your vehicle is in a safe position while you wait for the authorities. If you can, you should get out of your vehicle and see if you are about to move it. Before potentially moving any vehicles, check for any leaking fluid. If possible, take photographs of the cars in their original positions before moving them. If you’re able to, move your car to the side of the road to prevent an additional accident from occurring.

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Posted on in Car Accident

What do the different types of coverages offered by insurance companies actually mean?

At the Hoggatt Law Office, we see people come in all the time who either don’t know what is covered under their type of car insurance, or have waived certain portions of their offered coverage not fully understanding what that is. We will attempt to explain several different types and aspects of automobile insurance coverage, and why certain aspects can be helpful if you’re involved in an accident.

Unfortunately, despite its common use, the term ‘full coverage’ does not have any accepted standard meaning. Many different insurance companies offer ‘full coverage,’ but what is included varies from company to company. While the below list is not exhaustive of all types of coverage that can be offered, and it does not fully explain the intricacies of the different types of coverage, it will hopefully give you an understanding of what these different types of coverage actually mean to you as an insured driver.

Liability Coverage

In Colorado, It is required by law to have liability insurance coverage on every vehicle that is on the road. Liability coverage protects the insured when they are at fault for a car crash. When liability coverage is offered, you are allowed to pick the amount of coverage you want. The state minimum is $25,000/$50,000. This means that if you are at fault for a car crash, your personal insurance company will cover the damage and losses the other party, with a maximum of $25,000 per each person, or a grand total of $50,000 per car crash.

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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

Greeley
3835 W. 10th Street, Suite 200F
Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
970-460-2220
Longmont
353 Main Street, Suite A
Longmont, Colorado 80501 |
720-575-0509
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