Car accidents can happen unexpectedly in many different ways, and one of the most commonly reported types of car accidents is a rear-end collision. This type of accident involves one vehicle striking another from behind. It’s possible for a rear-end collision to happen for many reasons, and proving fault is an essential first step in recovering from any vehicle accident.
The general rule is that when a driver hits another driver from behind, the trailing driver is responsible for the resulting damages. However, not all rear-end collisions are this straightforward, and it is possible for the leading driver to bear some fault for this type of accident. If you are struggling in the aftermath of a rear-end collision and are unsure how to recover your losses, a Denver car accident attorney is an invaluable resource to consult in this situation.
Proving Liability for a Rear-End Collision
The first step in recovering from any motor vehicle accident is proving fault for the incident. You must identify the driver who caused the accident and prove their negligence or misconduct directly caused the collision. When it comes to rear-end collisions, the driver behind is almost always to blame because all drivers are expected to leave appropriate space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them.
When a driver is trailing too close to a driver in front of them, and the leading driver needs to apply their brakes for any reason, the trailing driver may not have enough time to slow down or stop to avoid colliding with the leading vehicle’s rear end. It is a good idea for drivers to leave at least one car length of space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them for every 10 mph of speed the vehicles are traveling. For example, at 30 mph, it is a good idea to leave three car lengths of space between vehicles, and at 50 mph, five car lengths would be more appropriate. It’s important for drivers to remain alert and to use good judgment when it comes to the space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them.
Whenever a driver is proven liable for an accident, the injured driver has the right to seek compensation for all the damages they caused. Car insurance may provide some relief, or it may cover all their claimable damages in a minor accident. An experienced attorney can help their client file an auto insurance claim and secure as much compensation as possible. If any disputes arise with your claim, your attorney can help you resolve them and ensure a fair settlement offer. If that insurance cannot fully compensate you for your damages, you will need to file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident.
Q: Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
A: The general rule for rear-end collisions is that the driver in the rear is liable for the accident. All drivers have an expectation to leave appropriate space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. If a leading driver applies the brakes suddenly, the driver behind them should have enough time and space to stop. However, it is possible for a leading driver to share fault for a rear-end collision if they were negligent and contributed to causing the crash.
Q: Is Colorado a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
A: In a no-fault state, drivers must use their own auto insurance to pay for damages from car accidents regardless of fault. The state upholds the fault system for all types of car accidents, including rear-end collisions. This means that the driver responsible for causing the accident is liable for all associated damages. You must prove fault for your car accident before you can recover any compensation for your damages.
Q: How Much Car Insurance Is Required?
A: Every driver must have personal auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. At the bare minimum, a car insurance policy must provide at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for injuries to a single person, at least $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for injuries to multiple people in the same accident, and at least $15,000 to cover property damage. It is possible to purchase additional coverage and increase coverage limits, but this will mean a higher premium cost on the policy.
Q: What Happens if I Share the Fault for My Recent Accident?
A: Colorado upholds the modified comparative negligence rule, which applies to any civil claim in which the plaintiff shares fault with the defendant for causing their claimed damages. Under this rule, the plaintiff loses a percentage of their case award equal to their percentage of fault for causing the accident. As long as the plaintiff’s fault is less than 50%, they can still receive compensation, but their fault percentage is deducted from their total case award as a penalty. If the plaintiff is more than 50% at fault, they cannot claim compensation from the defendant.
Q: Should I Hire an Attorney After a Rear-End Collision?
A: Although hiring legal counsel is not strictly required after a car accident, doing so will significantly improve your chances of maximizing your recovery. The right attorney can assist you in filing your auto insurance claim, help you build a personal injury case against the at-fault driver, and guide you through all phases of your recovery efforts.
Experienced Car Accident Attorneys You Can Trust
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal routinely represents victims of all types of car accidents. Any rear-end collision can potentially cause painful injuries and expensive damages, some of which may not be immediately noticeable in the aftermath of an unexpected accident. When you have an attorney you can trust on your side, you are more likely to maximize your recovery from any car accident. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with our team to learn more about the legal services we can provide in the aftermath of a rear-end collision.