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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney impairment rating

Work-related injuries often have long-term effects that go far beyond the initial costs of medical treatment, and in many cases, employees are left with permanent disabilities that limit their income and earning capacity. Colorado workers’ compensation includes permanent disability benefits in these cases, with the amount determined based on your previous income and an impairment rating assigned by your treating doctor. Because this impairment rating is so important for determining permanent disability benefits, it is crucial to ensure that your doctor’s assessment is accurate. If you disagree with the doctor’s recommended rating, you have the option to dispute it, and an attorney can help you do so.

How Are Impairment Ratings Assigned in Colorado?

When you are injured at work in Colorado, you will usually have to choose a doctor from a list provided by your employer. This doctor is responsible for assessing your condition and recommending and providing treatment, and as time passes, your doctor will also assess the progress of your recovery. When you reach a point at which your doctor no longer expects your condition to improve, he or she will report that you have reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) and give you an impairment rating based on any remaining physical and mental limitations.

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

Rear-end collisions happen all of the time in Colorado and throughout the United States with varying degrees of severity, but they have the potential to be just as dangerous as any other type of car accident. A rear-end crash can result in a wide variety of injuries that require medical attention and may have long-lasting effects. Fortunately, it is often possible to pursue compensation for your damages and expenses through a personal injury claim.

Types of Rear-End Crash Injuries

If you have been struck from behind by another driver, you may be suffering from any of the following injuries:

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney

If you have suffered a work-related injury while working for an employer in Colorado, filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you obtain financial relief through your employer to cover your medical expenses and lost wages. In some cases, your claim may be approved without issue. However, if you encounter any disputes with your employer or their insurer throughout the process—for example, if your claim is denied or you disagree with your impairment rating—you may be able to resolve it by requesting a hearing.

The Workers’ Comp Hearing Process in Colorado

If you would like for a judge to resolve your dispute, your first step is to submit an Application for Hearing to the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts (OAC), in which you will need to identify and describe the issues that you would like the hearing to address. The OAC will schedule and notify you of the date and time of your hearing so that you can begin preparing. It is a good idea to work with a qualified attorney as you prepare for your hearing, as we can help you collect evidence and identify witnesses who can testify in support of your position. We will use this evidence and testimony to help you build a comprehensive case to present at the hearing.

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to pursue compensation for your medical bills, property damage, and other economic and non-economic damages through a personal injury claim. However, in order for your claim to succeed, you will need strong evidence to both to establish the at-fault party’s negligence and to support the amount of compensation you are pursuing. In Colorado, civil trial juries are instructed to decide for the plaintiff based on a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that if your case goes to trial, you will need to show that it is more likely than not that the defendant’s negligent behavior was the cause of your injuries. Even if your case does not go to trial, evidence can provide the leverage you need to reach a fair settlement.

Evidence of Another Party’s Negligence

For another party to be liable for your damages, you will need to show that the person failed to uphold their duty of care to you and that this failure was the direct cause of your injuries. Evidence of driver negligence can come from a variety of sources, including:

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Larimer County personal injury attorney truck accident

In Colorado, I-70 and other major roads that traverse the Rocky Mountains present significant challenges for semi-truck drivers. Steep inclines and winding curves can make it easier to lose control of such large vehicles, and the winter months bring snow, ice, and hail that make driving conditions even more difficult. If you are sharing the road with truck drivers, you should be aware of the accident risk and know how to react if you are injured.

Colorado Roads Require Safety Precautions for Truck Drivers

Even with these challenges, truck drivers still have a responsibility to operate their vehicles in a way that protects the safety of others on the road. In order to safely navigate I-70 and other Colorado mountain highways, truck drivers should take extra care to maintain a safe speed and shift to a lower gear on steep downgrades. They should also be sure that their vehicles have fully functioning brakes, and that they know how to use them safely to prevent them from overheating and failing. Colorado has installed runaway truck ramps for drivers who do lose control of their vehicles, and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has recently partnered with other state organizations to better educate, prepare, and alert truck drivers of hazards and how to respond to them.

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Larimer County personal injury attorney pedestrian accident

Drivers and vehicle occupants are not the only people susceptible to car accident injuries. Pedestrians are also often at risk, especially in urban areas, and when they are struck by a car, the injuries can be severe. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported nearly 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017, with 92 of them in Colorado, and numbers have been similar in more recent years. If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you have options for pursuing compensation from the at-fault driver.

What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?

Accidents between vehicles and pedestrians are often caused by many of the same negligent behaviors that contribute to other car accidents. These actions may include but are not limited to:

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Larimer County workplace injury attorney construction accident

In most cases, employees who are injured at work in Colorado are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits through their employer. This applies regardless of the severity of the injury, as long as it requires medical care, but it can be especially important for employees who suffer catastrophic injuries that permanently impact their lives. If you are severely injured at work, an attorney can help to ensure that you receive all available benefits.

Common Catastrophic Workplace Injuries

Colorado workers can be seriously injured in a number of ways, especially when their occupations put them in close contact with environmental risks and hazards. Some of the most common catastrophic injuries that occur in the workplace include:

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

Thanksgiving weekend is often a time for celebration and family togetherness. However, it also tends to be a period of increased risk of getting in a car accident. Although not as many people may have been traveling for Thanksgiving this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was likely still greater traffic than normal. It is important that you are aware of how another driver’s negligence can affect you and your family’s safety on the roads. In the event of a collision, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for your damages.

The Risks of Thanksgiving Driving

Thanksgiving weekend driving in Colorado can be risky for a number of reasons, including:

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

If you have been injured in a car accident, your chances of obtaining compensation usually rest on the ability to demonstrate that another person was responsible for the crash due to his or her negligent behavior. Recent data published by the Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT) points to the prevalence of driver negligence in automobile collisions, indicating that from 2005 to 2018, more than half of all car accidents throughout the state involved an apparent “human contributing factor.” Many of the common factors noted can form the basis of your personal injury case.

Human Contributing Factors in Car Accidents

The Colorado DOT’s report further breaks down some of the specific behaviors involved in crashes that had a clear human contributing factor. Some of the most common were:

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney

Colorado employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance, which covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job. However, not every employee who files a workers’ comp claim receives the compensation they are requesting. If you have suffered a work-related injury and your claim is denied, an attorney can help you take the steps to dispute the outcome and get the compensation you need and deserve.

Why Was My Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied?

A claim for workers’ compensation can be denied for a few different reasons, some of which include:

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

According to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driver distraction was a factor in 8 percent of fatal car accidents and 15 percent of injury accidents in 2018, affecting more than 400,000 people in total. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle collision, there is a significant chance that some form of distracted driving was involved. The good news is that you can often use this as evidence of another driver’s negligence as you seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

Examples of Distracted Driving

The primary example of distracted driving that may come to mind, and the only one that is specifically restricted under Colorado law, is the use of a cell phone while behind the wheel. Sending a text message or otherwise reading or typing a message on a phone is especially dangerous, as it can remove a driver’s eyes and attention from the road for several seconds at a time.

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney firefighter injury

With Colorado currently in the midst of the two largest wildfires in the state’s history, the importance of firefighters is clear now more than ever. If you have been involved in firefighting efforts, you know full well the risks that you face on a regular basis, and if you sustain an injury or illness as a result of your work, it is important that you understand how to obtain financial relief you need through a workers’ compensation claim.

Colorado Workers’ Compensation Laws

Under Colorado law, most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits that cover employees’ work-related injuries and illnesses regardless of who was at fault. This provides important protection for firefighters, who are often at risk of injuries from fires and explosions, collapsing structures, and smoke inhalation, among other things.

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

The number of Coloradans who are killed in car accidents involving alcohol is increasing in recent years, accounting for more than 25 percent of all crash fatalities in the state. With the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado, it too is becoming a measurable factor in traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths. If you have been injured by a driver who was impaired by alcohol, marijuana, or any other controlled substance, an experienced attorney can help you seek compensation for your damages.

The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identifies several ways in which alcohol can impair a driver’s abilities. These include reduced attention, concentration, perception, information processing ability, coordination, and motor and visual abilities, and the effects increase along with a higher blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

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Larimer County workmans compensation attorney

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

Common Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace

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

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Larimer County personal injury attorney bike accident

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

When Do Bicycle Accidents Typically Occur?

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

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Larimer County workers compensation attorney car accident

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

Employees at Risk of Vehicle Collision Injuries 

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

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Larimer County peronsal injury attorney truck accident

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

The Dangers of Poorly Maintained Trucks in Colorado

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

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Larimer County personal injury attorney car accident

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

Precautions for Driving in Snow in Colorado

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

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

Colorado Motorcycle Crashes May Be the Fault of Another Driver

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

Motorcycle Accidents Often Result in Severe Injuries

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

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Larimer County wrongful death attorney workplace accident

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

When Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim in Colorado?

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

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

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

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