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

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970-225-2190 | 
1-800-664-3151

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Larimer County auto accident injury attorney

Whether seen on the news, witnessed, or through personal experience, we are all familiar with car accidents. In 2018 alone, 4.5 million people in the United States were injured in car accidents, and 40,000 people lost their lives. Some circumstances increase the likelihood of car accidents, such as poor weather conditions or negligent actions by a driver. No matter what causes a vehicle collision, it is important to understand your rights and your options for seeking compensation if you find yourself a victim of a crash.  

Who Can Be Held Liable?

Generally speaking, many auto accidents take place in rural areas. The likelihood of an accident occurring also increases if it is dark outside, if alcohol is involved, or if a young driver is behind the wheel. Sometimes, car accidents are unavoidable and are the fault of neither driver. However, when someone is responsible for causing a car accident in Colorado, he or she can be held liable for the damages caused by his or her negligent actions. A person may be found negligent if he or she failed to take reasonable care in a situation, and another person suffered injuries as a result.

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Larimer County motorcycle accident attorney

We hear about motorcycle accidents all of the time, and unfortunately, newsworthy reports about them usually mean there was a fatality. Because motorcycles offer little external protection for cyclists, motorcycle riders are often the ones killed or seriously injured when they are involved in a collision. Despite the stereotype of motorcyclists being reckless and irresponsible, most are passionate about safety. There are many other things that can cause a motorcycle crash, and they are often not the fault of the motorcyclist. 

Reasons for Colorado Motorcycle Accidents

Helmets are not required by law for motorcycle riders 18 years and older, but they can often prevent significant brain trauma. However, even when motorcyclists take precautions such as wearing safety gear, it may not be enough to prevent a serious injury. The Colorado Department of Transportation reported a rise in motorcycle rider deaths in 2018. In fact, motorcycle rider deaths have increased overall 30 percent between 2012 and 2018. 

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Larimer County trucking accident attorney

Many motorists take extra caution when driving around trucks on our country’s highways. Colorado citizens and truck drivers alike can make mistakes while on the road that can cause an accident. Although they are not often a part of a physical aspect of a crash, truck driving companies may be responsible for collisions, too. Regardless of the cause of a truck accident, if a truck driver or a trucking company is found to be negligent, they should be held responsible for any damages and suffering inflicted on other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. Below are some of the ways a trucking business may be held liable for personal injuries sustained in a truck collision. 

Liability for Truck Accidents

When a truck collides with other vehicles, the occupants of those vehicles are much more likely to be injured than the truck driver. In 2018, semi-truck accidents in the United States resulted in the deaths of 678 truck drivers or occupants, but they led to the deaths of 2,786 passenger vehicle occupants. Because of the size and height of truck cabins compared to other automobiles, a truck driver is less likely to suffer fatal injuries when involved in an accident with a passenger car. 

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Larimer County car accident attorney

Although there is no single correct way to react to trauma, being prepared for a car accident can make a tough situation better. Even for safe drivers, it is a smart idea to learn how to respond if you are ever involved in a vehicle collision. Drivers can make their own decisions on the road, but unfortunately, they cannot control the driving habits of others. Knowing the proper steps to take after an auto accident can not only prevent further incidents but can benefit drivers and passengers if they decide to file a personal injury suit. In certain situations, the accident may have been caused by another motorist’s negligent actions. 

Steps to Take After a Crash

Preliminary results from the Colorado Department of Transportation show that fatal accidents have decreased between 2017 and 2019. This was after a steady climb in accidents starting in 2011, reaching a high of 600 fatal crashes in 2017, which was the highest since 2002. Luckily, not all car accidents are fatal, but people can still be seriously injured in car accidents that are caused by drinking and driving (DUI), distracted driving, and reckless driving. 

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Larimer County workplace accident injury compensation attorney

When a worker accepts a job, he or she should also understand any occupational hazards that come with that profession. For an office worker, that may mean carpal tunnel syndrome, but for a construction worker, the consequences can be more serious. Regardless of a person’s occupation, most employers in Colorado are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This type of insurance prevents employers from being held liable in the instance of a workplace accident, but it also provides benefits to any injured employees. 

What Benefits Are Included With Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a government program, and any eligible employee has the right to file for benefits. If a person is hurt and cannot return to work temporarily or permanently, he or she can file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation will replace lost wages for the time an employee is away and cover the costs of medical care for work-related injury or illness. 

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Larimer County pedestrian and bicycle accident attorneyAfter being involved in a traffic accident as a pedestrian or bicyclist, the physical repercussions can be life-altering. Due to pedestrians having less protection than a car or truck, they often see the worst injuries, and in some cases, those injuries can prove fatal. Getting hit by a car and suffering serious physical injuries is traumatic on its own, but an accident can also result in a great deal of mental anguish for a victim. After an accident with a motor vehicle, a pedestrian may need to make extra efforts in healing his or her mind and body. 

How Many Pedestrians Have Died?

Last year, 90 pedestrians were killed as the result of traffic accidents in Colorado. As of September 2019, 37 people were killed this year in pedestrian accidents. Everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their lives, and there are things pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers can do to contribute to everyone’s safety. Keeping people on foot safe can be as easy as following the law and traffic signs. Either party can contribute to an accident, and the party who was ultimately at fault may be held legally responsible for the other parties' injuries and damages.

Recovering From Accident-Related Injuries

Even though efforts have been made to improve roadway safety, accidents still occur. Being hit by a car can take a severe emotional and physical toll, so it is important to seek out care after a traffic accident. The following tips may help in your recovery after getting hit by a car as a pedestrian or bicyclist: 

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Larimer County back and neck injury attorney

Back pain is one of the most common injuries which a person can suffer. It is estimated that 80 percent of the population in the United States experiences back pain at least once in their lives. There are infinite ways to sustain a back or neck injury, such as falling on ice to getting hurt on the job. Minor pain is inconvenient, and may be caused by a strained muscle, but what happens when back or neck pain severely affects your quality of life? Thanks to workers’ compensation laws in Colorado, if work-related pain or an injury to the neck or back affects an employee's ability to continue working, they are protected financially. 

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

The Industrial Revolution led to a higher rate of employee injuries. The first no-fault workers’ compensation law was put in place in Colorado in 1915. Although laws change, the fundamentals of workers’ compensation remain the same today. If a person is injured because of work conditions or a work accident, he or she is entitled to benefits. This type of relief includes no-cost medical care and financial coverage for lost wages. How injured a person is, and whether or not he or she can return to the workforce, will determine the benefits given. Workers’ compensation protects employees' rights, but it also protects employers from lawsuits relating to an injured worker. 

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Larminer County auto accident attorney

Last year, an estimated 112.5 million Americans traveled during the December holiday season. No matter what holidays people celebrate, many take this time off work or school to travel to visit family or take a vacation. In many cases, these trips involve traveling via automobile, and due to the increased traffic on the roads, car accidents can become more likely during this time of year. Collisions may occur because of inclement weather, but distracted or impaired driving can also be a factor in accidents that result in serious injuries or fatalities.    

Factors that Contribute to Winter Car Crashes

The holiday travel season begins around December 22 and ends on January 1. The National Safety Council (NSC) typically estimates that around 800 people will die on the roads during Christmas and New Year periods. Cars have the highest rate of deaths per mile versus other forms of transportation. This is true throughout the entire year, so why do car accidents spike during the winter holiday season?

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Larimer County truck accident attorney

We have all seen images of catastrophic truck accidents. Stories of truck collisions often make it to local news, especially if their aftermath resulted in serious injuries or fatalities. Many motorists become anxious when driving near trucks, and with good reason. The maximum gross weight of a truck can be 80,000 pounds, which by itself can cause damage even without negligent driving behavior. All drivers can take safety precautions like staying out of a truck’s blind spot, but it can be impossible to control the actions of other motorists on the road, including truckers. 

Factors That Can Increase the Likelihood of a Truck Crash

Like any auto accident, there are common reasons why truck accidents occur. Anyone can make a mistake while driving, but crashes caused by the negligence of truck drivers are often preventable. When drivers or trucking companies act negligently, they should be held accountable for injuries or wrongful deaths that occur as a result. Negligent truck drivers can pose a significant danger because of the mass and power of their vehicles. Trucks can also carry hazardous materials, so drivers need to pay close attention and follow the rules of the road while operating these massive vehicles. 

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Larimer County motorcycle accident injury lawyerPeople young and old enjoy motorcycles. These riders are passionate about their bikes and the culture surrounding them. As with driving a car, every motorcyclist is a beginner at one point. The more educated new motorcycle drivers are, the safer they are on the road. Motorcyclists are one of the most vulnerable drivers during an accident, so following safety measures and advice from the beginning is critical. However, sometimes the reckless actions of other drivers can cause a collision with injuries.    

Colorado Motorcycle License

To legally operate a motorcycle in Colorado, a person must have the proper license. A motorcycle endorsement is an addition to a standard driver’s license. This special license can be obtained by visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles. To get a motorcycle endorsement, a driver must pass a written exam, purchase a permit, pass a skills test, and pay for a new license with the updated status. Alternately, a person may take a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training course instead, and then purchase a new license that is updated for motorcycle operation. 

Safety Precautions

For any new motorcyclist, hitting the road the first couple of times can be intimidating. Following the below tips that seasoned motorcycle riders abide by will increase a cyclist's safety and confidence: 

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Larimer County pedestrian accident injury attorney

It is no secret that pedestrian accidents often end tragically. Even at slow speeds, a pedestrian can be severely injured or killed after being hit by a car. Last year in Colorado, 90 pedestrians were killed in auto accidents, which was up 40 percent from three years prior in 2015. As of September, official records report 37 deaths so far this year. The final total for 2019 will include this number and likely other pedestrian deaths. Therefore, it is important to be aware of crosswalks and the role they play in pedestrian safety. 

Crosswalk Safety

Last month, a pedestrian died after getting hit by a car at night in Fort Collins. The victim, a 23-year-old man from the area, was hit by a minivan. Although the crash is still under investigation, it is noted that a crosswalk was not being utilized by the pedestrian at the time of the accident. Alcohol and reckless driving were not thought to be contributing factors.

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Larimer County workplace injury attorney

When an accident happens at home, most people know what to do right away if they suffer an injury. When a person is injured at work, however, there are more variables, and a person may not know where to begin. Although most employees are eligible for workers’ compensation in the event of a work injury, there are certain steps and timelines to follow. In Colorado, it is important to obtain professional legal counsel to make sure you follow the proper procedures for filing a claim when seeking benefits. 

Steps to Take After a Work-Related Injury

When an injury is life-threatening, or there is a risk of losing a limb, an employee is allowed to seek immediate medical attention. Otherwise, medical care will need to be administered from a provider chosen by the employer. This doctor will then become the authorized treating physician for that employee’s work-related injury. 

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Larimer County distracted driving car accident lawyer

It may feel like there is not enough time in the day to focus on one task at a time, but operating a motor vehicle should be the only thing on a driver’s mind when he or she is behind the wheel. In Colorado, 43 accidents each day are caused by distracted driving. Although it only accounts for 13 percent of all accidents, distracted driving often causes serious injury or wrongful death. If a distracted driver causes a car accident, other parties involved may be eligible for compensation if they suffer injuries, property damage, or pain or suffering. 

Proving Negligence for Distracted Driving

A personal injury case is reliant on being able to prove that negligence was involved in an accident. Under Colorado law, contributory negligence plays a role in determining compensation. A defendant is only obligated to compensate the plaintiff for his or her proportion of fault. If the court determines the plaintiff's negligence is greater than the defendant’s, the plaintiff may not recover any damages at all. 

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Larimer County trucking accident lawyerLast week, a Chicago truck driver died in an accident near Fort Collins. Although the official cause of death has not been released, the 52-year-old man was declared dead at the accident site. Initial reports, however, have declared that intoxication or speed were not contributing factors. There were also no other people were injured during this accident on Interstate 25. The semi-truck went off to the right side, hit a sign, and rolled over. Any death on the road is a tragedy, but we know when a truck accident happens, the casualties can often be very serious. 

A Truck Driver's Negligence Can Cause a Crash  

What is unusual about this crash is the death of the truck driver. Statistically, passengers of other vehicles are much more likely to die as the result of a truck accident. In 2017, 683 truck occupants died in accidents, while 2,797 car passengers died in the same year. People in cars are much more vulnerable to truck accidents. Cars have more protection than a motorcycle, but either can be helpless against an 80,000-pound truck at full speed. 

Although preliminary reporting on this Fort Collins truck accident suggests that speeding or substance abuse was not involved, many truck accidents involve negligence. When drivers do not take proper precautions, like following the rules of the road, they can be at fault for causing an accident. Trucking companies can also be held liable for poor maintenance and not following industry standards. When a person in another vehicle is injured and suffers because of these failures, the victim has the right to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation for their damages. 

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Larimer County motorcycle accident injury lawyer

It is no secret that motorcyclists are at a higher risk of injury that the drivers or passengers of cars and trucks. The lack of protection provided by motorcycles compared to other vehicles exposes a motorcyclist to major risk of injury if he or she is thrown from a bike or is involved in a crash with an automobile. Riders can take certain precautions to reduce injuries in the event of a motorcycle accident. However, the drivers of other vehicles are more likely to pose a significant danger to motorcyclists. For instance, driving while drunk presents a serious risk to everyone, but especially to motorcyclists.

Colorado Motorcyclist Dies After Being Hit By a Drunk Driver

Recently, a 35-year-old motorcyclist died in Colorado Springs after being struck by a drunk driver. The motorcyclist was hit at a high speed from behind by a pick-up truck. The driver was thrown from the bike, and he was subsequently hit by a minivan. He was pronounced dead by authorities at the scene. The drunk driver, a 34-year-old man, was later charged with DUI and vehicular homicide. 

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Larimer County pedestrian accident injury lawyer

When a personal injury case is on the table, one of the most difficult parts is proving which party was at fault. This often affects the amount of compensation a person can receive or whether someone has a case at all. In cases involving pedestrian accidents, there are many factors that may have caused the incident. In some cases, a collision can be caused by a reckless motorist who is driving under the influence or distracted. It is imperative to know what rights a pedestrian has and how these rights can impact the ability to recover damages in a personal injury claim.

Proving Fault 

Colorado is what is called a “fault state” in regard to personal injury cases. This means whoever caused the accident may be held liable. Sometimes, there is a clear answer as to who was at fault, but most cases are not that cut and dry. Whether someone is operating a car or a truck or is a pedestrian, there are rules for every person on the road. These laws are to keep each other safe, and when broken, they can lead to accidents, injuries, or even death. Knowing the rights of a pedestrian may help determine whether a person is eligible for a personal injury claim.

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Larimer County workers' compensation lawyer

Even when safety precautions are put in place, accidents can and do happen in many industries. Although no workers’ compensation case is alike, there are certain things a person can expect when filing for benefits regardless of the type of accident. If an individual is hurt and cannot work due to a workplace-related incident, most employees have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. Employment laws exist to protect employees, and if a claim is approved, an injured worker will be compensated for lost wages and medical bills.  

Colorado Employment Law

Almost all public and private employers in Colorado are required to have and maintain workers’ compensation insurance, with few exceptions. Keeping with regulations, a “Notice to Employer of Injury” poster should be visible to employees at all times. Employees should not feel threatened to report an injury if it ever happens. It is illegal to fire an employee who reports an injury and files a workers’ comp claim. 

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Larimer County auto accident injury lawyer

From a minor fender-bender to a rollover accident, car accidents can cause emotional and physical damage to a motorist. It may be nerve-wracking to get behind the wheel again, or an injury can completely change a person’s quality of life. Knowing the main causes of a vehicle accident can help a person become a more defensive driver, and it may also help determine if an accident victim is eligible for a personal injury settlement. 

Determining Fault in an Auto Accident 

How much a person contributes to the cause of a motor vehicle accident will determine who is liable and who is eligible for compensation. An important part of proving fault is whether or not the other driver acted negligently when the accident occurred. These common causes of car accidents often have a negligent party involved, and are the result of human error: 

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Larimer County trucking accident injury attorney

Most people have records of when they work. Whether this is simply for recordkeeping, or to ensure that employees are properly paid for the hours worked, it is important to keep accurate data. If an hourly employee tried to manipulate his or her time card to make it appear as if he or she was working, the worker may be disciplined or even fired for stealing corporate time. However, when a truck driver records incorrect data and provides false driving records, this can not only affect a company's bottom line, but it can result in safety issues. If a driver falsifies information in order to exceed their allowed number of hours on the road, this can lead to dangerous truck accidents

CMV Driving Limits

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are subject to continuous driving limits. A CMV is any type of vehicle that is used for business purposes and meets any one of the following criteria:

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Larimer County motorcycle accident injury lawyer

In 2018, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 16.3 percent of motor vehicle fatalities were motorcyclists—totaling 103. This is because, in an accident, a motorcyclist is more likely to suffer fatal injuries compared to a car or truck driver. When a motorcyclist weaves through other vehicles at a high speed, this can cause concern for other drivers. It also creates a poor stereotype that all motorcycle riders are reckless and irresponsible. Motorcycles are viewed as dangerous modes of transportation, and in many cases, the people who ride them have an equally negative bias against them. It is imperative for motorcyclists to adhere to certain safety standards in order to avoid being involved in an accident and suffering serious injuries. However, in some situations, a motorcycle accident can be caused by another driver's negligence.  

Safety First

Responsible motorcyclist enthusiasts are passionate about safety. Compared to a car, the amount of protection a motorcycle provides is extremely limited. In the event of an accident, a motorcycle rider is exposed directly to the incident, while a car has an external shell, and occupants are protected by systems such as seat belts and airbags. 

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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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Longmont, Colorado 80501 |
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