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

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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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Larimer County auto accident attorney

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

Compensation Before the Made Whole Doctrine

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

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Larimer County auto accident attorney

If you have been in a car accident there are a variety of steps you should take to protect yourself in the immediate aftermath. You must first seek emergency medical attention if necessary, then report the accident and exchange insurance information with the other driver. You may be wondering what to do next if your vehicle is significantly damaged. The window of time after an accident can be stressful, but taking the right steps during this time can ensure that you are properly compensated for property damage, as well as any injuries you suffered in the collision. By receiving legal assistance from a personal injury attorney, you can be sure that you will be properly compensated for all of your damages.

What Are Colorado’s Total Loss Laws?

“Totaling” or “totaled” are words that often get used as slang for vehicles that are not functional or are undrivable, but drivers may not understand what these terms actually mean. To "total" a car means to declare it a total loss, which dictates how you and your auto insurance provider will move forward. A car does not have to be a complete wreck to be totaled. Instead, the cost of repairs must exceed a certain threshold, which may differ from state to state. In Colorado, that threshold is 100 percent. That is, Colorado legally requires insurers to declare a vehicle a total loss if the estimated repair costs would exceed the market value of that vehicle.  

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Larimer County car accident attorney

Every driver in Colorado is required to carry car insurance in case of an accident. If you or a family member are involved in a vehicle collision, it can be difficult to maintain a clear mind and understand exactly what your policy covers. Most policies function similarly, so the guidelines here will likely apply to you in many ways. However, even when you have a general understanding of your auto insurance policy and relative confidence in determining what the other party’s policy covers in an accident, it is imperative that you obtain sound legal advice from a personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.

Legal Aid When Seeking Damages

Before diving into what your and another driver’s insurance policies cover in a crash, it is important to understand how vital legal guidance can be after you or your loved one are involved in a car accident. In many cases, determining which driver is at fault is not that simple. A police report might not accurately describe what happened, or there may be other mitigating circumstances, like a nearby construction zone. Even if there were just minor injuries and vehicle damage, a skilled attorney can help you establish liability for the collision, and they can negotiate with insurance companies and help make sure that you receive the compensation you need and deserve. That is why it is essential that you contact an attorney first before talking to any insurance company, including your own. 

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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
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353 Main Street, Suite A
Longmont, Colorado 80501 |
720-575-0509
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