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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

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fort collins pedestrian accident lawyerNearly everyone is in a situation at some point throughout the day that puts them in danger of being hit by a car. As a pedestrian, being hit by a car can be catastrophic, if not fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 76,000 car accidents involving pedestrians across the country in 2021. In addition to that, more than 7,300 pedestrians were killed in such accidents. 

Pedestrians are at risk of suffering severe injuries, like broken bones or brain injuries, when hit by a car, mostly due to the sheer difference in mass and size between the person and the vehicle. In many pedestrian accident cases, the injured pedestrians are able to receive some sort of compensation, which can come in many forms.

Types of Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident Case

When you file a lawsuit against a person for any type of accident, you will need to address the amount and types of compensation that you are seeking to recover. When you are unexpectedly injured, the types of losses you experience can be widespread. In a personal injury case, you can recover for many of these losses, which include:

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Larimer county personal injury lawyerIf you have been injured by another person’s carelessness or negligence, you might decide to take your case to a personal injury lawyer. After reviewing the details of your case, the attorney might tell you that you do not have a valid case. That lawyer could suggest that, based on the facts, you will not be able to win the case, or imply that even if you won the case, what you will gain from the win will not make the cost of legal representation worth it to you. Be wary of this, particularly if this is the first lawyer you have seen about your case. Here are some ways you can decide for yourself whether you do have a case and should continue pursuing it.  

3 Ways to Handle a Lawyer Refusing to Take Your Case

Unfortunately, many people let accidents and injuries go unaddressed from a legal perspective by paying their medical bills and not pursuing legal action on the matter. With so many inaccurate representations of personal injury law in the media and entertainment world, it can be easy to be dissuaded or discouraged from filing a lawsuit for personal injury damages.

If you worked up the strength to take that first step, and the first lawyer you visit says you do not have a case, there are a few things you should do before giving up on the case entirely. These include but are not limited to:

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colorado work injury lawyerUnder Colorado law, employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for almost all employees. Failure to do so may result in up to a $500 fine each day of noncompliance. In the overwhelming majority of cases, workers are eligible to receive these benefits even if they are partially to blame for the workplace accident. By obtaining these benefits, workers are generally prohibited from filing a lawsuit against their employer for additional damages. However, if a third party contributed to their injury, workers can pursue a lawsuit against that third party.

Why You Might Want to Pursue a Third-Party Claim

Although workers’ compensation benefits are intended to cover your medical expenses and lost wages that resulted from your work accident, they do not cover other damages, like pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and punitive damages. In order to obtain compensation for these considerations, you would have to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a third party is responsible for your work-related injury, you may be able to file a claim against that person or entity.

There are several situations in which a third party may be held liable for your work injury, including:

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fort collins truck accident lawyer Truck accidents are very common on the roads of Colorado, and they can occur very suddenly. Many times, drivers of smaller vehicles are left with serious injuries, but they do not know how the truck accident happened. The cause of an accident is not always easily identifiable, and it often requires extensive investigation. An experienced truck accident attorney can initiate this investigation to identify the cause so you can claim the full compensation you deserve. Today, we will look at some of the most common causes of truck accidents in Colorado.

Drowsy Driving

Truck drivers must meet very tight deadlines and to do that, they need to be on the road as much as possible. Federal regulations do outline the hours of service a truck driver can remain on the road, and when they must take breaks. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore these rules in order to meet their deadlines. Other times, the trucking company may actually offer incentives for drivers to ignore the rules. When this happens, truck drivers can become very drowsy on the road and make mistakes that result in an accident.

Impaired Driving

For many, it is unfathomable that anyone would drive while impaired, much less the driver of a commercial truck. Unfortunately, truck drivers often think that drugs or alcohol might actually help them stay awake, which also means they can remain on the road longer and get to their destination on time. Impaired driving is incredibly dangerous and reckless behavior. When truck drivers engage in this behavior, it often causes some of the worst truck accidents.

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fort collins personal injury lawyerThroughout December and early January, many Americans get together with their friends and families to celebrate the winter holidays. For many people—especially those whose employers throw company-paid holiday parties—such celebrations may include a night out at a local restaurant or bar. While these parties might start with the proverbial good cheer of the holiday season, the combination of alcohol and personal differences can lead to verbal and even physical altercations.

People often lose sight of the fact that no perceived slight or indignity is grounds for assaulting another person. When flared tensions result in personal injuries or even emotional distress in some instances, there are consequences in both the state’s criminal courts and, if the injured person should choose, civil courts. If you have been injured in a physical altercation in a Colorado bar or restaurant, whether as an intended victim or mere bystander, you have the legal right to hold the at-fault party responsible for the harms that you have suffered.

Battery Is Both a Crime and a Tort

Physical violence has long been codified in criminal and civil law. In common law (the antecedent to American law), the tort of battery is a “harmful or offensive” intentional contact. Examples include a shove, punch, kick, grab, or inappropriate sexual contact. Importantly, in the context of battery in a bar or restaurant, the legal doctrine of “transferred intent” allows for liability for harm intended by a tortfeasor—the individual who caused the injury—to one person to be transferred when someone other than the intended victim is harmed.

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fort collins car accident lawyerEveryone has experienced the sensation of fatigue or sleepiness. Your eyelids feel heavy, and your vision becomes blurry. It is hard to think clearly, and all you want is to take a nap.

Driving a car under these circumstances is extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, many people do so anyway. Drowsy driving is estimated to contribute to approximately 100,000 traffic accidents every year in the United States, resulting in 50,000 injuries and 800 fatalities annually.

If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may be able to take legal action against the liable party. You may be entitled to monetary damages, including compensation for medical bills and other expenses.

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fort collins construction accident lawyerConstruction workers make up only about 6 percent of all U.S. laborers, but they are responsible for about 17 percent of all work-related fatalities, according to federal estimates. If you work in the construction industry, this statistic may not surprise you. Construction jobs may require workers to work in extreme conditions, often using very powerful equipment. Some of the most common construction site fatalities are caused by falling from heights, electrocution, and being struck by an object. If you or a loved one have suffered a severe injury in a construction site accident, a personal injury lawsuit may be the best way for you to receive full compensation.

Federal and State Laws Require a Certain Degree of Safety

Although construction work is dangerous, there are many steps that employers can take to keep workers as safe as possible. The responsibility for maintaining a reasonably safe worksite typically falls to the general contractor. The general contractor is also expected to hire workers who are capable of safely performing work tasks and to provide any training needed. Contractors should also ensure that equipment is functional and regularly maintained so that it does not present an avoidable risk to workers or bystanders.

All Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations should be followed. If a contractor fails to adequately follow safety protocols, the contractor or company overseeing the construction work may be liable for any injuries that result from the failure. In some construction site accidents, however, the fault does not lie with the contractor but instead with another party, such as the manufacturer of faulty construction equipment.  

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fort collins car crash lawyer Car crashes are traumatic experiences that we all hope to avoid. Unfortunately, they are not always avoidable. As much as you would like to go throughout life without ever getting into an accident, it is still important to be aware of what you should do in the event that you are in one. 

When it comes to head-on collisions, there are a few key facts that you should read about and remember in case you find yourself involved in a head-on collision. Whether you are at fault or the accident was caused by the other party, keep these three things in mind and put them into action immediately after a head-on collision. 

What is a Head-On Collision? 

Also known as a frontal collision, a head-on collision is a motor vehicle accident in which the front ends of two separate vehicles collide into one another while in motion. The motor vehicles involved in a head-on collision are each traveling in opposite directions, making it possible for the front ends of both cars to come into contact with one another. 

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texas truck crash lawyerCommercial truck crashes often cause devastating damage to property and human life. If you or a loved one were involved in an accident involving a semi-truck or other large commercial truck, you may be looking for answers. Understandably, many victims of motor vehicle accidents want someone to blame. They want the at-fault party to be held accountable for the destruction they have caused.

However, determining who is at-fault for a truck crash is often complex. A skilled truck accident lawyer can evaluate the evidence, determine the liable party or parties, and help you bring a claim for damages.

Liability for a Truck Accident is Often Complicated

Many factors can lead to a serious truck accident. In some cases, multiple parties’ actions lead to the crash. Fault for a truck crash may lie with:

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fort collins burn injury lawyerIn an average year in the United States, approximately 210,000 vehicle fires occur, according to the National Fire Prevention Association, many of which happen in the wake of crashes. These fires claim hundreds of lives, injure thousands more, and cause nearly $2 billion in property damage.  

These disturbing numbers raise grave concerns about the severity, scope of injuries, and costs that occur when victims suffer serious injuries or death in car fires. Not only is the permanent scarring from burns a constant reminder, but the pain experienced, the medical care required, and the associated costs incurred can be unimaginable.

Car Crashes and Burns

A car accident alone is a terrifying experience, but the potential for sustaining serious injuries is worse. When considering the working parts of a vehicle, one can begin to understand how many different scenarios could play out and cause injury to an occupant. The first priority, however, is to safely get out of a burning vehicle. Unfortunately, unpredictable and fast-moving fires can cause injuries such as:

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fort collins car accident lawyerHave you or a loved one been hurt in a situation where another car or truck collided with your vehicle? If so, would you really call the situation an “accident?” It is highly unlikely that the driver hit your car on purpose, so it might be an accident in that sense, but when a wreck occurs, intent and fault are two vastly different ideas. In fact, many people believe that using the word “accident” actually benefits insurance companies and lawyers who defend at-fault drivers. With this in mind, there are national efforts in motion to reduce the use of the word “accident” and to raise awareness regarding how the term can be misleading.

Making Assumptions Subconsciously

In recent years, several advocacy groups have come together to create a national campaign that discourages the word “accident” in car crash cases. Starting in 2015, Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets launched an online educational program and pledge drive intended to eliminate assumptions caused by using “accident.” According to Amy Cohen, who founded Families for Safe Streets after her son was hit by a car and killed in 2013, her son and others like him did not die in accidents. “An ‘accident,’” she maintains, “implies that nothing could have been done to prevent their deaths.”

Proponents of the terminology shift believe that calling a crash an accident gives the subconscious impression that nobody bears specific responsibility for the situation. In reality, most crashes are caused by someone’s actions, inaction, or negligence, which means that someone can and generally should be held responsible.

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fort collins car crash lawyerThere is no question that a car wreck is a frightening experience. Unfortunately, this fear—along with the shock of the crash, adrenaline, and maybe a misplaced sense of blame—can cause problems for you as you consider the possibility of filing a personal injury claim for damages. While such feelings are normal after an accident, it is important to know how to set them aside and focus on keeping your composure. With this in mind, here are five things you should never do in the wake of a car crash:

Car Crash Mistake #1. Underestimating the Damage

This applies to both your body and your vehicle. Initially, the crash might seem to be a minor fender bender, but assuming the damage is minor might belie serious hidden problems. With your vehicle, for example, the frame might be bent, despite the external damage seeming trivial. Likewise, you might feel physically okay, but adrenaline could be masking more severe injuries that present themselves later. Have a mechanic check out your car, and be sure to seek medical attention as soon as you can after the crash to be sure you know how extensive the damage and your injuries really are.

Car Crash Mistake #2: Failing to Document the Accident Scene

Many accident victims believe that filing a police report or giving a statement to the police at the scene is sufficient for protecting their rights. This is not always true. While a police report is an important part of your case, you should do your best to document as much about the crash and the scene as you can on your own. Take pictures of the involved vehicles, any damage, and their positions. Collect names and contact information from potential witnesses, as well as all involved drivers. If you are too injured to do so yourself, ask someone else on the scene to help you.

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CO accident lawyerIt is very well-known that distracted driving is dangerous. A driver who allows virtual goings-on to take his attention from the road around him is putting everyone in his vicinity at risk. Driving while manually using a cell phone is not only risky, but it is also illegal in Colorado in many instances. While drivers may use their phones for the limited purpose of voice calling or in an emergency situation, it is generally not legal to drive with a cell phone in hand. If a driver who causes an accident can be shown to have been breaking a traffic safety law, they may be automatically considered negligent in causing your injuries. The legal concept of negligence per se effectively provides a shortcut to proving negligence in this situation. Breaking a law that is in place to keep people safe certainly appears to reflect a disregard for the safety of others. If you were injured by a driver who appears to have been texting or manually operating their cell phone, we may be able to help you recover compensation.

Is it Legal to Drive While Using a Cell Phone in Colorado?

Colorado drivers are permitted to use cell phones only in very limited circumstances. First, it is legal to use a cell phone for voice calls. Voice calling without the use of hands, while possibly a bit distracting, does not require a driver to take their eyes off the road. What is not legal is to manually enter data, such as by typing, and transmitting, such as by actually sending a text. However, drivers who are minors are not permitted to use a cell phone even for the purpose of voice calling.

There are a few notable exceptions to Colorado’s cell phone rules, mainly pertaining to emergency situations. Drivers may use their cell phones if they need to reach out to public safety officials, and if an emergency arises. Emergencies are dangerous situations. The definition of an emergency includes situations where the driver:

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CO injury lawyerThe law in Colorado regarding which companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and who is eligible to use it is relatively straightforward compared to some other states. Any company in Colorado that has at least one employee within the state is required to use the workers’ compensation program, meaning that there is generally no reason a worker in Colorado should not have access to these critical benefits when they are needed.

Workers’ compensation is an incredibly important program. No matter what line of work you are in, there is nearly always a chance that you will suffer an injury related to your career. Even white-collar employees who mainly sit behind a desk to perform their job duties may suffer an injury, whether due to a defective office chair or repetitive stress, as is the case with many who develop carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have been injured due to your work and are in need of workers’ compensation benefits, an attorney may be able to help you obtain the temporary or permanent benefits you need.

Who Is Considered an Employee for Workers’ Compensation Purposes?

Determining who is or is not an employee for the purposes of workers’ compensation benefits is generally, but not always, fairly straightforward. The rule in our state is that anyone who is paid by a company for work they perform is presumed to be an employee of the company issuing the paycheck. Employees are eligible for workers’ compensation whether they are full-time, part-time, or a family member of the business owner.

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The Prevalence of Road Rage Explained

Posted on in Car Accident

CO accident lawyerRoad rage incidents are greatly on the rise and have been for over a year. These emotion-driven incidents can result in deadly accidents or even intentional assaults. Drivers with road rage may be unable to make logical decisions after considering the probable consequences of the course of action they are contemplating. Road rage drivers who cause an accident with injuries may appear calm very quickly after the car accident, or they may continue behaving aggressively until forced into compliance by the police. While many drivers who harm someone out of anger quickly regret their actions, their victims are left with injuries that could affect their way of life for years to come. If you have been injured in a road rage incident, you may be entitled to recover significant compensation from the driver who caused your injuries. An attorney may be able to guide you through the process of filing a claim and collecting the finances you are owed.

Understanding Why Road Rage is Rising

The explanation for the current rise in road rage incidents is multi-faceted. Many relate back to the pandemic when most individuals worked from home for the first time and the roads were generally clear for those still required to commute. Essential personnel who never stopped commuting to work may have become conditioned to the low flow of traffic seen at the height of lockdowns before office buildings began to reopen.

For a person accustomed to making their daily commute in ten minutes due to the absence of normal traffic, the return of heavy rush hour traffic may have been immensely frustrating - now their commute takes 30 minutes. Although their commute may have also taken 30 minutes prior to the pandemic, readjusting can be difficult. However, this is by no means an excuse to take out the frustration of a slowed commute on other people who happen to also be caught in the same condensed traffic, as is a common explanation for road rage incidents.

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Top 4 Causes of T-Bone Collisions

Posted on in Car Accident

CO accident lawyerT-bone collisions can be particularly risky for the occupants of the struck vehicle. A modern vehicle’s “crumple zones” are located at the front and rear of the vehicle, offering some degree of protection against rear-end or head-on collisions. The passenger doors offer little in the way of shielding against the impact of a t-bone collision, making it a very commonly deadly type of accident. These car accidents occur when two drivers cross paths at a perpendicular angle, and the front of one vehicle strikes the side of another. Because one driver must run their vehicle directly into the broad side of another vehicle to create a t-bone collision, these accidents would generally be quite easily avoidable if the at-fault driver is properly looking in the direction in which his vehicle is moving. If you have been injured in a t-bone collision, it is quite likely that the other driver was negligent in causing the accident. An attorney may be able to recover financial compensation on your behalf.

Common Negligent Mistakes Drivers Make in Causing T-Bone Collisions

It is quite hard for a driver who has caused a t-bone collision to argue that they were using an appropriate degree of caution to prevent an accident. Common careless mistakes leading to t-bone collisions include:

  • Running lights or stop signs - T-bone accidents frequently occur at intersections when one driver fails to stop for a red light or a stop sign and collides with a driver who was lawfully proceeding through the intersection.
  • Inattentiveness - Whether caused by distraction, commonly related to cell phone use, or simple absentmindedness, inattentiveness to surrounding traffic is a common factor in t-bone collisions.
  • Failing to yield right-of-way - Even when a traffic light is green, drivers are still required to observe another driver’s right-of-way in certain situations. When drivers fail to yield right-of-way, whether to a vehicle that was already in the intersection, or one coming in from the main road, there is a substantial risk of a t-bone collision.
  • Road rage - Disputes regarding who has right of way may escalate into a road rage event, sometimes causing a phenomenon in which both drivers attempt to proceed at the same time. In these instances, both drivers may share in the fault, but the less-at-fault driver may still be able to recover what portion of compensation the law allows.

It is important to work with an attorney who can conduct an independent investigation to seek out proof of the at-fault driver’s carelessness.

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Larimer County motor vehicle accident lawyerA person’s ability to work and support themself is paramount to their independence and, often, their self-esteem. For someone who is proud of the work they do and the life they have built, being unable to work because of an accident caused by a negligent driver can bring major life changes. You may worry about how you will support yourself and your family after having your ability to earn income taken from you. While nothing can restore you to your way of life before the motor vehicle accident, there may be compensation available that can make up for your lost future earnings. Those with short-term injuries can recover compensation for their lost wages - as can those with permanent injuries. 

The policy goal behind personal injury compensation is to leave you in the same position you were in before a negligent actor injured you, at least to the extent that money can make up for the harm inflicted. A skilled lawyer can fight for you to receive the best possible settlement or award. 

Compensation for Lost Future Earnings

Generally, car accident victims who have suffered permanent disabling injuries will be eligible to recover the entire amount that they would have earned throughout the course of their lives. Calculating this amount can be a challenging task. Numerous variables can affect a person’s lifetime earnings. Were you in line for a promotion and a big raise? Do you have other health issues that may have caused you to retire prematurely? 

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Larimer County motorcyle accident lawyerEven when a motorcycle rider is intensely cautious, they cannot always prevent accidents caused by negligent drivers of larger motor vehicles. A motorcyclist may not be seen by a driver who is operating inattentively, at an excessive speed, or otherwise engaged in a negligent driving practice. Catastrophic injuries may be inflicted on a motorcyclist, who lacks the protection of an enclosed vehicle. 

Rather than enjoying modern protections such as seatbelts, airbags, and the security of a metal structure surrounding them, motorcyclists typically bear the full force of a crash impact. While helmets and other gear offer some degree of protection, such measures are frequently insufficient to prevent grievous bodily harm. A motorcycle accident may inflict substantially life-altering injuries, both to the physical body and to the mind. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, an attorney may be able to recover compensation on your behalf. 

Common Harms Associated With Motorcycle Accidents

Harms commonly associated with collisions between a motorcycle and a car include: 

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Recovering Compensation After a Pile-Up

Posted on in Car Accident

Larimer County car crash lawyerPile-ups can be scary, especially if you were one of the first vehicles to get involved in the crash. You may have been hit by one car and forced into another, then hit again. You may even have been trapped in the center, watching helplessly as other drivers came from behind and kept adding to the large-scale car crash. One of the more difficult aspects of recovering compensation after a pile-up is finding out who exactly is liable when multiple drivers made mistakes that contributed to the crash. 

Understanding Who May be Liable to You

If a driver’s negligence caused or worsened your injuries, that driver may be liable to you. In the context of a large crash involving multiple vehicles, this could mean that multiple parties are liable to you. In fact, it is likely that you have a claim against more than one driver.  

If only one driver on the road is careless and causes a crash, odds are, they will not manage to hit more than one or maybe two careful drivers before coming to a stop. Pile-ups often happen when one careless driver causes a collision while sharing the road with other careless drivers, who cause more collisions. 

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Larimer County car crash lawyerJust as nothing you post on the internet is ever really gone, nothing you post on the internet is ever really private. There is a saying - three people may keep a secret if two of them are dead. If you post something that you make visible to two people, you should assume that way more than two people could see it. While you are injured after a car accident, you may find yourself wanting to use social media even more than you usually do. You might be home from work and unable to do much physically, driving you toward digital entertainment. Plus, making a quick social media post can be a convenient way to keep your loved ones updated on how your recovery is going. However, a misstep on social media could derail your case. You should speak to your lawyer about what you should not do on social media while your case is pending. 

Tips for Cautious Social Media Use During an Open Case

There are a few guidelines that may help head off any potential social media-induced problems in your case. Tips include: 

  • Avoid injury details - It is best to avoid discussing the specifics of your injuries and subsequent recovery. Medical terms can be tricky, and there is always a risk that you will misunderstand, poorly explain, or misstate something your doctor or care provider told you. The defendant’s lawyer will pick up on any inconsistency. 

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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
Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
970-460-2220
Longmont
353 Main Street, Suite A
Longmont, Colorado 80501 |
720-575-0509
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4450 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 100
Boulder, Colorado 80303 |
303-997-2018
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201 E. 4th Street, Unit 132
Loveland, Colorado 80537 |
970-225-2190
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