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CO accident lawyerWaiting too long to call a lawyer after you have been injured in a car accident could be a costly mistake. Making this common mistake could make recovering financial compensation more difficult. It is quite common for people to think about it for several days or more before finally deciding to reach out to an attorney. People may initially think they can handle their claim alone, only to discover that the process is much more complicated than they thought. The best possible course of action after a car accident is to call an attorney as immediately as is possible. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the easier it may be for them to uncover the evidence they need to prove your case. An attorney can also help you avoid making further mistakes that could impact your case. Hoggatt Law Office, P.C. is always ready to start protecting your interests as soon as we hear from you.

Why Calling a Lawyer Quickly is Important

Obviously, calling a lawyer immediately is not possible in all cases. Those who have sustained major injuries may not be in any condition to make phone calls until after they have been stabilized or treated at the hospital. The important thing is that you call once you are safely able to do so. You should not wait to reach out for legal help for reasons such as:

  • Preserving crash site - Some of the most important physical evidence you will need is at the scene where the accident happened. It is best if your lawyer is able to get to the crash site quickly before it has been disturbed too much. Evidence like broken glass can be swept away. The damaged vehicles are likely to be towed. Tire tracks vanish in the rain. Having an attorney to go investigate the same day is ideal when possible.
  • Avoiding insurance tricks - Car insurance companies love to take advantage of people their clients have injured. Especially when you are in a vulnerable state, it can be very difficult to avoid falling into one of their traps. You will start getting calls from insurance soon, so it is best if you can simply tell them to call your lawyer instead.
  • Getting instructions - Your attorney is likely to have specific advice for your particular situation that can help you avoid potential pitfalls. Each car accident situation is unique. It is always better to have a legal professional who is familiar with the claims process to guide you.

Even if it has been a couple of days since your accident, an attorney can still help you. However, the sooner you call the better off you may be.

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CO injury lawyerA car insurance company is first and foremost, a business designed to make money. Earning a profit is their number one goal. Offering you fair and full compensation after one of their customers injures you is contrary to that goal. In nearly all cases, that means they are not going to do it unless someone - usually your lawyer - forces their hand a bit. This is why the other driver’s insurance company is going to be very eager to talk to you as soon as possible after the accident. You may not even be home from the hospital when you start getting phone calls. Generally, their goal is to get to you before you can get to a lawyer. They know they are more likely to “win” when they deal with an unrepresented party. This means that contacting an experienced attorney is rather urgent when you have been hurt in a car accident. Insurance representatives can be very convincing.

What Tactics Might Insurance Companies Use When Dealing With an Unrepresented Party?

Ideally, you should avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company other than to give them your lawyer’s contact information. They may attempt to cheat you out of a fair settlement using tricks like:

  • High-sounding offer - The dollar amount of their initial offer might sound good, but that is usually only because you have not been able to do the math yet. $50,000 might sound great until you find out that your hospital bill alone is $35,000, physical therapy could be another $5,000 and you are going to lose three months' worth of wages while you recover. Also, your vehicle is still totaled. Now that offer does not seem nearly as good.
  • Disarming friendliness - The first representative who calls you about a potential settlement is not going to try launching into adversarial negotiations. They are going to ask you how you are feeling and doing as if that is their main concern. You may be taken aback by how kind and caring the representative seems. This is generally just a ploy to get you to let your guard down so that you are more likely to trust them.
  • Accusations - On the other hand, you should also not be surprised if it sounds like they believe the accident was your fault. No matter how obvious it may seem that the other driver was at fault, their insurance company may be desperate to pass all or some of the blame onto you. They may even imply that they have some type of “evidence” that you did something to cause the crash.

Even if you are normally a shrewd business person, you are not fully yourself when you are injured and in pain. It is much fairer to let an attorney take on the insurance company for you.

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CO defense lawyerProving who was responsible for a car accident can be more difficult than it may seem. The simple fact that many people will lie to avoid liability for a crash they caused can easily complicate your case. When drivers and other vehicle occupants tell conflicting stories after an accident - which they often do - you will need to come up with some more concrete evidence showing what happened. There are a variety of types of evidence that can help you if this is the case. This is one of the reasons that time is of the essence when it comes to contacting an attorney after a car crash - they will want to collect evidence from the location of the accident as quickly as possible.

What Types of Proof Can Show Who Caused a Car Crash?

Unless your accident happened in the absolute middle of nowhere at midnight, odds are it was either caught on camera or there were witnesses. Even if this is not the case, physical evidence can still be used to show that the other driver was responsible. Your lawyer may use evidence like:

  • Witnesses - While eyewitnesses can be fallible, statements made by neutral third parties who just happened to see the crash happen can carry a lot of weight in disputed car accident claims. If the other driver falsely claims that he stopped at the stop sign before you did, but three other people will back up your version of events, this can help greatly.
  • Video footage - Between traffic cameras, security cameras in front of businesses, and video doorbells on residences, most of what happens in public happens on camera. It is often just a matter of locating nearby cameras and finding out who may have captured the crash.
  • Police report - The word of the police officers who respond to the crash can carry just as much weight - if not more - than the word of witnesses who actually saw the accident. Police officers are trained to assess the scene of a motor vehicle crash to determine what most likely happened.
  • Photographs - Anything from a picture of the crashed vehicles to a snapshot of tire tracks behind one vehicle can be helpful in demonstrating which vehicle’s driver was mainly responsible for the crash.
  • Medical evidence - Medical evidence of your injuries and how they could have been caused is often used in these cases. For example, if the other driver claims that he was only doing about 25 miles per hour but your injuries suggest a high-speed impact, this can poke holes in the responsible driver’s story.

An attorney will be able to help determine what evidence you need to prove your case.

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CO injury lawyerWhether you were hit by a negligent driver while you were driving, riding as a passenger, on a motorcycle, or on foot, medical evidence is one of the most important things you are going to need to win. This is one of several reasons it is so often repeated that after a car accident, you should get medical attention whether you immediately believe that you are injured or not. The medical evidence of any harm done to your body is going to be incredibly important as your attorney attempts to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company - or in trial, if it comes to that. If you are involved in a serious accident, it is important that you consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible for further guidance.

Why is Seeking Immediate Medical Attention Important?

Aside from calling a lawyer, getting checked out by a medical professional immediately after the accident is one of the most important things that you can do. You might feel okay at the time, but not all injuries - even serious injuries - are readily apparent while you are still on the side of the road.

First, car accidents tend to cause an adrenaline rush. Adrenaline is a natural pain reliever. You might not notice pain from an injury until after the situation has calmed down. Second, injuries like those resulting from whiplash can take several days to manifest. A prompt medical evaluation can catch injuries that you yourself did not.

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CO injury lawyerNow that Spring is here - hopefully, to stay - many motorcyclists have dusted off their bikes and returned to the roads. Colorado is beautiful in the Springtime, and a nice ride through the mountains can be an almost awe-inspiring experience. Drivers should be well-aware that they are sharing the road with people on motorcycles and take precautions to avoid putting riders in unnecessary danger. Unfortunately, not all do. There is little room for carelessness when one is driving a vehicle around motorcyclists. Even an accident that would have been quite minor had it happened between two cars can be devastating for a motorcyclist. If you were injured while riding a motorcycle, an attorney can help you seek the financial settlement you need to fully compensate you for every type of harm you suffered.

What Careless Driving Practices Create Serious Dangers for Motorcyclists?

When a driver crashes into a biker, it is a fairly safe bet that they were being careless in some way. Very few accidents are truly unavoidable when everyone uses an appropriate level of caution. If you were injured by the driver of a car or truck, your attorney is likely to investigate to determine whether they were doing something careless like:

  • Not watching the road - Drivers in cars tend to be watching for other cars when they should also be keeping an eye out for motorcycles. When a driver is only half paying attention, they will probably see another car, but they might completely miss a motorcycle. Distracted drivers are prone to striking bikers without warning.
  • Not checking a blind spot - It is extremely important for drivers to carefully check their blind spot before changing lanes or merging. Drivers may think there is no one in the lane they are about to move into because they could not see a motorcycle around a car. Often, a simple blind spot check would have alerted them that there was a motorcycle present.
  • Not leaving space - Motorcycles should be given a wider berth than traditional passenger vehicles. Drivers should be taking into account that bikers are much more vulnerable in a collision than someone riding inside a car. Motorcyclists are also more likely to move around within their lane, as it may be necessary for them to dodge debris that a car could have ignored. Even a relatively light hit can seriously harm someone on a bike.

Drivers are expected to responsibly share the road with motorcyclists. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable to anyone they have carelessly injured.

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CO job injury lawyerGetting hurt at work can create a serious interruption in your life. Making sure that you get the medical care you need to return to work - if that is possible for you - can be challenging in some cases. Not all employers are as cooperative with the process as they should be. When you are injured and trying to recover, you could probably benefit from having a professional with in-depth knowledge of workers’ compensation law to advocate for you. While not every workers’ compensation claim requires assistance from an attorney, if your injury is on the more serious or impactful side, then having quality legal representation can be invaluable. If you are in doubt, calling an attorney for a complimentary consultation may be the best course of action.

When Might I Need Legal Representation for My Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If your injury is fairly minor, you did not miss much work, and your employer is cooperative about covering your medical costs and required missed wages, you might be alright handling the claim on your own. However, if your injury is more serious, then having an attorney who knows your legal rights to advocate for you could result in a more favorable outcome. If any of the following factors is present in your case, it might be worth it to contact an attorney:

  • Unable to return - If you are not going to be able to go back to the same job you had, period, then you will almost certainly benefit from a lawyer’s help. If you will need to change to a different job due to your injuries - for example, if you can no longer perform construction work and will have to move to a more sedentary position - then you are in this category.
  • Total disability - If your injury has left you with any type of disability that will prevent you from working entirely, like a traumatic brain injury, then you will want a lawyer who understands the full scope of compensation you could be entitled to.
  • Long-term care - For severe injuries that will require a long course of medical treatment such as extensive rehabilitation, or if you will require professional care on a day-to-day basis permanently or for an extended period of time, an attorney should almost certainly be involved.
  • Fair compensation denied - If your employer decided to deny your claim entirely, or made an unfair decision that does not fully compensate you, a lawyer can help you through the appeals process.

In general, if your injury is very serious or will have a long-term impact, a lawyer may be able to help you obtain full compensation.

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CO accident lawyerDrivers are responsible for safely operating their vehicles. In a normal situation, the driver has sole and complete control over the vehicle's movements. Nearly all car crashes are caused by someone who is in the driver’s seat. However, the line between “driver” and “passenger” can become blurred when a passenger attempts to take control of a vehicle or interfere with the driver’s ability to do so. These reckless actions can very easily cause a needless accident. This type of event is not nearly as rare as you might think. Passengers can be held liable if they are in fact at fault for a crash. If you were injured in a car accident caused by a passenger, you should contact an attorney promptly. You may be able to recover compensation from your passenger.

When is a Passenger Liable for a Car Accident?

Even if you were doing everything right - eyes on the road, obeying all traffic laws - you still might end up getting hurt if your passenger does not share your responsible attitude toward road safety. In Colorado, you can hold a passenger legally liable for a car accident that they caused. These incidents frequently involve a passenger who is either intoxicated or enraged - or both - versus a sober driver.

Common ways that passengers cause car crashes include:

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CO injury lawyerAfter a car crash, you have a long to-do list. Attend all your medical appointments. Seek counseling if the accident caused an emotional impact. Work on replacing or repairing your vehicle. Deal with the police if they are investigating. Report the accident to insurance. Get a lawyer? If you are unsure about whether you need an attorney to help you recover damages after a car accident, you probably do. A lawyer can help take the more technical side of dealing with a car accident claim off your plate so that you can focus on your own personal recovery. The safest thing to do is to reach out to a lawyer who can help you understand what his role would be and how he can help.

When Should I Get a Lawyer After a Car Crash?

Trying to handle a car accident claim on your own can be enormously stressful and time-consuming. Even if it was very obvious that another driver was at-fault, you may still encounter some resistance - and you might not get a fair offer. A lawyer will be better able to assess what your claim is worth and can fight to reach a fair settlement. In these circumstances, you will most likely benefit from being represented by counsel:

  • Injury - If you suffered any type of physical injury and have medical bills as a result, the matter is best handled by a professional. The medical evidence showing a car accident injury can become complex. If you have ongoing medical costs, like physical therapy, you will also need to take your future expenses into account. A lawyer can help with this important step and make sure that you are demanding an amount that will cover all your costs.
  • Insurance resistance - If the insurance company is refusing to pay out the full amount your claim is worth or trying to blame you partially or entirely for the accident, you might need a lawyer. An attorney can gather evidence that may prove that the other driver alone was at fault, or that your share of the fault was minimal.
  • High-value claim - Insurance companies will try very hard to avoid paying out high awards. If you believe that your claim might be worth more than a few thousand, it is important that you get an attorney.
  • Mixed fault - It does sometimes happen that while one driver primarily caused the accident, the other has at least some share of responsibility. Expect the insurance company to try to shift more than your fair share of blame onto you in an effort to reduce or eliminate your award.

In any of these cases, the odds that you will ultimately have to go to court to get an award are higher than average. It is best to be represented by counsel from day one.

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CO injury lawyerLarimer County residents know how beautiful our landscape is. The natural beauty of our landscape, the opportunities for outdoor recreation - and of course, our legal marijuana - are all draws for tourists. Hosting visitors can be great for our local economy. It can be not-so-great for our road safety. You may have heard that most car accidents happen within a few miles of a person’s home, but tourists seem to habitually ignore this statistic and cause accidents quite far from their homes. Getting into a car accident can ruin a family vacation, but it can cause even bigger problems for the unfortunate locals who fall victim to a careless visitor. If you get hit by a non-local driver, quick action is important. You will want to get in contact with a lawyer as soon as possible.

Why Are Tourists Prone to Causing Car Crashes?

If you are driving along and abruptly get hit by a tourist, a few types of careless mistakes made by visitors might be the culprit. Common reasons tourists cause accidents include:

  • Landscape - When you live here, you are used to driving through our beautiful landscapes and have seen all the views Larimer County has to offer. For tourists, our mountains and valleys may be brand-new sights. Trying to take in the views while driving a vehicle is not a great idea. A driver can easily veer out of his lane while looking at something other than the road.
  • Cannabis - Colorado draws quite a few visitors from states where cannabis is still illegal or only available to medical users. In fact, this is the primary reason some people choose to vacation in Colorado. The problem arises when our guests use cannabis and then get behind the wheel, thinking it will be alright. People who are intoxicated by marijuana may become easily distracted and uncoordinated, leading to accidents.
  • Lost - It can be easy to get turned around on our winding mountain roads, even for the locals. Trailheads and some nature-oriented accommodations can be a bit difficult to find. The proper course of action is to stop in a safe place and then try to sort out the directions. Accidents often occur because a driver is looking down at his phone trying to get GPS working rather than at the road. Drivers who are focused on the map might fail to notice a curve in the road or even another vehicle until it is too late.

It is especially important to call the police to report an accident involving a tourist. You need to have accurate identifying information before they head back home. Do not rely on a plate number - they could be driving a borrowed or rented vehicle.

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CO DUI lawyerEveryone loves St. Patrick’s Day, which falls on March 17 every year. This late-winter holiday is devoted to wearing green and celebrating Irish culture and heritage. Local delis work overtime producing literal tons of corned beef and other Irish fares. Festivals pop up featuring activities for all ages. Children may enjoy hunting for ever-elusive four-leaf clovers or setting leprechaun traps. Adults often enjoy green beer, Guinness, and Irish cream-based cocktails. Unlike corned beef and green T-shirts, sober drivers may be in short supply. Those who plan on driving on St. Patricks Day will need to exercise great caution. Unfortunately, even the most careful sober driver cannot always avoid getting into a wreck with a careless and unpredictable drunk driver. If a car accident with injuries ruins your holiday, it is a good idea to call an attorney as quickly as possible. You may have a strong case for a significant financial recovery.

Tips for Those Who Get in a Car Accident on St. Patrick’s Day

It can be difficult at times to tell the difference between a driver who is lost and looking for a festival or party and a driver who is drunk. Both are inclined to drive with their blinker on for blocks and to slow down or speed up unpredictably. After an accident, however, the difference is usually readily apparent. A sober but turned-around driver is likely to step out and exchange insurance information in a calm fashion. A drunk driver is not likely to be nearly that cooperative or organized. Some tips if you get into an accident on this holiday include:

  • Call the police - Even if the drunk driver is friendly and apologetic, you still need to call the police. A police report will be a critical part of proving your claim. If your lawyer can demonstrate that the driver who injured you was breaking the law by driving while intoxicated, their negligence may be easier to prove in court if the police document the crime. You may even be able to recover additional damages.
  • Expect to wait - As you can imagine, the local police have their hands full on St. Patricks Day. It may take them some time to get to you. You can always use this time to call a lawyer.
  • Avoid confrontation - Getting into a fight - verbal or physical - with a drunk driver will not help the situation, and you could suffer additional injuries if the dispute turns violent. You could also face charges if the confrontation gets out of hand.
  • Safety - Make sure to wait for the police in a safe place. Secondary car accidents are a risk due to a high volume of drunk drivers. It is best to step as far off the roadway as you can. If you do get hit a second time, you may need to make a second phone call to the police.

No sober driver can predict the movements of a drunk driver. If your defensive driving habits do not keep you out of an accident, follow these tips to preserve your claim and stay safe.

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CO crash lawyerSome insurance companies will do just about anything to avoid paying out the full amount a claim is worth after one of their customers causes a car accident. They offer quick settlements that sound good but are not when you stop to add up all your expenses. If you are not represented, they may keep hounding you personally while you should be focusing on recovering from your injuries in an effort to pressure you into an unfair settlement. If none of that works, they just might resort to scare tactics. The safest thing to do after your car crash is to quickly find an attorney to who you can refer the insurance companies. When you are represented, it can take quite a bit of the guesswork out of settling your insurance claim.

What Types of Insurance Company Scare Tactics Should I Look Out For?

Remember - the insurance representative calling you is trained to get crash victims to agree to the lowest possible settlement. They are skilled at this. You probably know better than to take the first offer, but you might be less familiar with what happens after you turn it down. There is a substantial chance that the insurance company might try to frighten you into taking a settlement. The scare tactics they use might include:

  • Claiming “generosity” - The person you speak to might assert that the amount they are offering is “more than fair,” or “more than you would get in court.” Let your own lawyer be the judge of that.
  • Blaming you - You might hear something of a rant about how you were partially or entirely at fault for the accident. They may claim that your share of fault would probably stop you from recovering damages if you went to court. If you genuinely did share in the blame to some degree but were less at fault than the other driver, you can still recover, although your award could be reduced.
  • Counterclaims - An insurance representative may go so far as to assert that the driver who caused your injuries wants to sue you, or will counterclaim if you file a lawsuit. This frequently has no basis in reality.
  • Medical information - You might be told that if you go to court, all of your medical records from the past could be used against you to defeat your claim in a public forum. Having your privacy threatened like that would be quite disturbing to most people. However, this is a gross overstatement. While some medical records relevant to showing that your injuries were caused by the accident could be introduced on the off chance you go to trial, you will not lose all your privacy.

Insurance companies have no interest in telling you the whole truth - but your lawyer will.

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CO injury lawyerYou may often hear about careless truck drivers who injure careful drivers of smaller vehicles. It may even seem like when there is an accident involving a truck, the truck driver is at-fault 100% of the time. This simply is not true. Truck drivers can get hurt in accidents they did not cause, just like every other driver on the road. Even in truck verses car accidents, the truck driver is not always to blame. Truck drivers sometimes find themselves facing lawsuits after a crash, even when a more detailed investigation would reveal that they did nothing wrong - and the other driver did.

If you are a truck driver and you were injured in your line of work during a crash, you may want to speak to an attorney of your own. A qualified lawyer can take a closer look into your accident and identify your options for pursuing financial compensation.

Who Might Actually be Liable When a Truck Driver is Injured?

Truck drivers can sometimes be automatically and unfairly blamed for any accident they are involved in. Workers’ compensation may be difficult to get if you, like many other drivers, are considered an independent contractor. There are ways to correct this situation, but it will take a skilled attorney’s help. The party who is actually responsible could be:

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CO accident lawyerNegligent drivers are a danger to everyone on the road - including those inside their vehicles. The passengers of a driver who carelessly causes a car crash are just as likely to be injured as those in the not-at-fault vehicle, assuming there is a second car involved at all. This sometimes happens to rideshare passengers as well, who know little or nothing about the person whose car they are getting in and have no way to assess in advance whether they are a safe driver. Generally, the passengers of a driver who negligently crashes the car will be able to recover, with limited exceptions.

If you were injured by the person who was driving the car you rode in, it is a good idea to seek out an attorney who has experience handling this particular type of case.

Will I Be Able to Recover From the Driver Whose Car I Was in?

The driver of a vehicle owes a legal duty to his passengers to use reasonable care to avoid causing an accident that leaves passengers injured. Passengers may experience intense feelings of terror and helplessness when the driver of the car they are riding in starts driving in a dangerous fashion, as they can do nothing to prevent a crash. In Colorado, as long as the driver of the car you were in can be proven negligent, you will be able to recover in most cases.

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healthcare.jpgFor many who have suffered a serious accident, medical bills are just the beginning. While your hospital or ongoing medical bills are likely to be substantial, simply having them paid by the individual or company that hurt you may not feel like nearly enough. Colorado state law says you could very well be right. The damages you can recover after a serious motor vehicle crash or other accident caused by someone’s carelessness are not limited strictly to your medical expenses. When your life has been permanently altered, you may be eligible for compensation above and beyond just the cost of the medical care you need. An experienced and aggressive attorney may be able to make the case that you should be compensated for additional economic and non-economic damages.

What Types of Compensation Could I Receive if an Accident Has Changed My Life?

A major injury can affect nearly every aspect of your life. You may be unable to function or even enjoy your life the way you used to. Types of damages other than medical bills you could receive after a serious accident include:

  • Lost wages - If your injuries left you unable to work, the income this accident cost you could be included in your request for compensation. Some people whose line of work involved manual labor are no longer physically able to perform their job duties and find it very difficult to change injuries.
  • Pain and suffering - Long-term or chronic pain can seriously reduce your quality of life. While receiving financial compensation cannot undo or stop your pain and suffering, it may help you find ways to feel more comfortable without the stress of financial worries.
  • Disfigurement - If your accident left you disfigured, you may experience substantial distress.
  • Emotional distress - Serious accidents are often traumatic. You may experience feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, or depression. PTSD diagnoses after a major accident are not uncommon. Some motor vehicle accident victims report feeling afraid to get back in a car.
  • Loss of enjoyment - After a serious injury, you might not be able to enjoy the activities you used to. If your hobbies included things like playing sports, hiking, or cooking, and you are no longer able to do those things, it may be quite upsetting.

If you suffered serious injuries as a result of another’s negligence, it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident. The quicker you start the process of filing a claim, the easier it may be for your attorney to preserve critical evidence.

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CO accident lawyerAfter some car accidents, it can be difficult to determine who was liable. Especially when multiple vehicles are involved, or there is a dispute over who merged into whose lane, figuring out which party is at-fault can become complicated. In other types of accidents, it is almost always immediately clear which driver made a careless mistake and caused the accident. These are often referred to as “no-doubt liability” accidents. Generally, recovering damages if you are injured in one of these accidents is a streamlined process.

However, the at-fault driver may still try to make a case that there were extenuating circumstances that absolve him of liability. Because these claims can still be contested, it is a good idea to have an attorney ready to advocate for you before you try speaking to the other driver’s insurance company.

What Types of Car Crashes Are Considered No-Doubt Liability Accidents?

No-doubt liability accidents generally fall into a few categories. These categories include:

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CO accident lawyerRear-end collisions are almost never unavoidable. In almost all cases, they happen because someone acted negligently while behind the wheel. Rear-end collisions can be more serious than they initially appear. While they may not have the dramatic appearance of a head-on collision or a rollover, rear-end collisions frequently cause major head, neck, and spinal cord injuries. They can be particularly damaging to adults or children riding in the back seat, as they are closer to the impact and may be in a less supportive seat. If you were hurt in a rear-end collision, it is important to seek prompt medical attention, and then call a lawyer as soon as you are able to do so.

What Types of Driver Negligence Cause Rear-End Collisions?

A variety of careless mistakes can cause someone to rear-end another driver, but generally, they fall into three categories:

  • Distraction - Distraction, in one form or another, is arguably the single most common culprit in rear-end collisions. Whether a driver is looking at their cell phone, trying to discipline a child in the back seat, digging around for a lighter, or even just lost in thought, drivers whose attention is off the road are much more likely to rear-end you. It is rather hard to crash into an unmoving object while adequately aware of it.
  • Speeding - Speeding in good conditions can stop a driver from braking in time to miss the vehicle in front of them. Speeding in icy or rainy weather can make stopping quickly impossible and send drivers skidding into stopped cars. Even driving the posted speed limit can equate to speeding if visibility is poor such that a reasonable driver would have slowed down.
  • Intoxication - Drunk or drugged drivers may not even notice that the cars ahead of them are stopping until it is far too late. Even if they do, alcohol and other narcotics impair hand-eye coordination and can cause drivers to misjudge their stopping distance. Drunk drivers are also more likely to engage in reckless behaviors like speeding excessively, swerving in and out of multiple lanes, or getting distracted.

Another common contributing factor is heavy traffic, especially on multi-lane highways where drivers would naturally be changing lanes or stopping and starting frequently. Slick road surfaces can also make these accidents more likely, although it is the responsibility of drivers to adjust their habits to account for inclement weather.

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CO injury lawyerGetting hit by a car can be an immensely terrifying experience. Pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles often sustain severe injuries, as they have nothing to protect them against the impact. Drivers have a duty to be aware of the pedestrians around their vehicle and take care to avoid striking one. Pedestrian accidents often happen very quickly, with little to no warning and no opportunity to get out of the way. You may or may not have seen the careless driver coming. The driver may or may not have seen you coming.

The causes of pedestrian accidents can be complex. If you were hit by a car, it is important that you contact a qualified lawyer as soon as you can. The sooner an attorney is able to start documenting evidence, the more evidence is likely to still be undisturbed and available for your legal purposes.

What Causes Most Pedestrian Accidents in Colorado?

Most often, pedestrian collisions are the result of a driver who neglected his duty to use an appropriate level of care to avoid injuring others. In some cases, pedestrians do share some responsibility, but it may still be possible for partially at-fault pedestrians to recover some compensation depending on the exact circumstances. Pedestrian accidents often happen due to:

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CO injury lawyerLosing any loved one due to someone else’s carelessness can be emotionally devastating. You may be experiencing a lot of grief and anger about the death, and eager to seek damages from the responsible party. Colorado, like most states, limits who has the standing to file a wrongful death suit. These claims are reserved for those immediate family members most likely to be affected not just emotionally, but financially, by the loss. The goal is to make sure those most harmed are compensated. If you have lost a close relative because someone was careless about their safety, speaking to an attorney is the first step to recovering damages.

Which Relatives Are Eligible to File a Larimer County Wrongful Death Action?

If the decedent was married, Colorado grants his spouse the exclusive right to sue for wrongful death during the first year after the fatal accident, although the spouse can join others if she chooses. This makes quite a bit of sense. Spouses often depend on one another, both financially and in other aspects of life. When a person loses their spouse unexpectedly in an accident, they are the one most likely to suffer financially as a result and to have expenses associated with the death. If there are young children involved, it is most frequently the surviving spouse who now bears all of the childrearing responsibility.

Only if the spouse does not file within a year do others become eligible. For others who might have a claim if the spouse does not file, a year can seem like a long time to wait. However, it can genuinely take that length of time for a survivor to get things organized to file. There can be extensive investigation and gathering of information that must take place, especially if it is not immediately clear who the responsible party is. It can also take time to emotionally prepare for litigation after the death of one’s husband or wife.

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CO injury lawyerColorado is well-known for its ski slopes. Our state’s many ski resorts attract visitors from all over the country during the wintertime. Skiing and snowboarding can be great fun but are also at times dangerous. There are a number of ways for accidents to happen on Colorado’s ski slopes, and in some instances, it may be possible to recover compensation for your injuries. However, whether you will be able to recover depends on a number of factors. Your accident will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis by a qualified attorney to determine whether seeking damages is the right course of action for you.

What Does Colorado’s Ski Safety Act Do?

If you plan on participating in these winter sports over the holidays, you should be aware of the Colorado Ski Safety Act. This act limits the liability of ski resort operators for injuries that occur on their property. Ski resorts cannot be held liable for accidents and injuries “resulting from any of the inherent dangers and risks of skiing.” The act effectively recognizes that skiing and snowboarding are risky activities that may result in injuries even if the resort has done everything possible to promote safety.

Inherent hazards would include things like changing weather conditions, the chance of crashing into something, and natural variations in terrain and steepness. They would not include, for example, an accident caused by a malfunctioning ski lift that was overdue for service.

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CO injury lawyerAfter a single-car accident, you may be wondering how you will handle all the expenses associated with the car crash. If another driver did not hit you, it may not be clear who you could seek compensation from and how you will recover damages. Depending on who or what caused your accident, it may still be possible to be compensated. Another person could have contributed to your accident, even if they did not directly crash into you. If you were hurt in a single-car accident that may have been caused by another’s negligence, it is best to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Proving this type of claim can sometimes be a challenge.

Who May I Have a Claim Against if Only My Vehicle Crashed?

There can be situations where a single-car accident is not only not the driver’s fault, but the fault of a third party. It is important to look into the circumstances of a single-car crash to determine who may be liable if someone other than the driver contributed to the accident. The driver of a lone crashed vehicle may still have a claim against another person in these situations:

  • Miss-and-run - A miss-and-run is similar to a hit-and-run. However, instead of hitting you, a miss-and-run driver forces you to crash without actually making contact. This commonly happens when one vehicle gets “run off the road” trying to avoid a negligent driver. These accidents often happen on the highway, where drivers may be changing lanes frequently and without looking.
  • Defective part - If your accident happened because a part of your vehicle malfunctioned, the manufacturer of the part could be liable under a products liability theory. Alternatively, if the part itself was fine but was not installed correctly, your mechanic or body shop could be to blame. If this is the case, a skilled investigation into the accident will need to take place in order to prove the mechanical failure.
  • Object in the road - Some single-car accidents happen because a driver was forced to swerve abruptly to avoid an object in the roadway. Sometimes this is the result of a storm and is no one’s fault. However, debris in the roadway could also have been left by a careless person, for example, if an unsecured item falls off a truck and is left in the street.

It may feel very unfair if you and only you suffered a car wreck because of another person’s carelessness. Fortunately, recovery may be possible depending on the circumstances. However, because proving the cause of this type of accident can be tricky, it is especially important that you work with an experienced lawyer.

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

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Fort Collins, CO 80524

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