Rear-end accidents are common occurrences that can happen at any time but remain frustrating nonetheless. People usually assume that the trailing driver is at automatic fault in a rear-end collision. Although this can be true in some states, this is not the case in Colorado, and there are a plethora of factors that come into play when determining who is ultimately at fault for a rear-end collision.
If you were involved in a rear-end collision, you need a skilled car accident lawyer who will work hard to ensure that you are not found at-fault for the accident. Attorney Wm. Andrew “Drew” Wills II is well-versed in handling rear-end collision cases and can help you understand the legalities involved in proving that you are not-at-fault.
There are several reasons why a rear-end collision can happen. Unfortunately, and since at-fault status is almost always assigned to the trailing driver, some people take advantage of this by engaging in unscrupulous activities and making false claims. Attorney Drew will filter out these practices by determining if the collision was indeed an accident, or if there was foul-play or negligence involved.
How does negligence factor into a rear-end collision?
Rear-end collision cases happen due to negligence on the part of one or both drivers. Negligent driving may be unintentional, but it does not excuse drivers from their legal obligation to maintain “duty-of-care.” Examples of negligence that can lead to a rear-end collision include:
- Trailing other vehicles and not remaining a reasonable distance away from them
- Not giving appropriate turn signals or not turning in time
- Not following Colorado State traffic rules and regulations
- Failing to stop at the right time
- Not paying attention to the speed of the car in front of them
The law in Colorado State is clear about rear-end accidents. Colorado law 42-4-1008 provides the framework in which insurance companies evaluate these cases. Under Title 42, all cars are obliged to follow other vehicles at a safe distance, and not less than what is “reasonable and prudent.”
There are several instances where front drivers are at fault for the collision. By having a skilled car accident attorney evaluate the details of the crash, she or he will be able to present evidence that can determine whether the front driver was at fault. Some examples that illustrate how front drivers can be at fault include:
- Driving without mirrors or with broken/damaged mirrors
- Driving with a dark rear glass that impairs the driver’s vision
- Continuing to drive if their car is not functioning properly
- Not turning hazard lights on in an emergency or hazardous conditions
- Having faulty brakes that they knew about and failed to maintain or address
- Not having working brake lights
- Making a sudden reverse without warning
- Making a sudden stop without warning
What should I do if I am involved in a rear-end collision?
If you are involved in a rear-end collision, it is best to hire a car accident attorney as Colorado is a comparative fault state, which means that both drivers can be found at fault. That is why you need a skilled automotive accident lawyer who can minimize your risk if you are found at fault. After a rear-end collision has happened, it is also necessary to take steps to make sure that you are legally protected, such as:
- Make sure you and your passengers are ok. You might suffer from a concussion if your head hits the glass in front of you. Passengers who are with you in the back seat may suffer damages to their back, neck, or spine depending on the severity of the hit. Always call 911 if there is a medical emergency.
- Call the authorities. You need a police report to file an insurance claim. Never admit fault after a rear-end collision. Anything that you say can factor into whether you are found at-fault for the accident.
- Gather enough evidence. Take pictures of the front of your car if you are the trailing driver, or the back of your vehicle if you are in front. Retrieve dashcam footage if possible.
- Call your insurance company. Give them the information on what happened and the police report. Do not give out unnecessary information unless you speak to your lawyer.
- Hire an automobile accident attorney. The State of Colorado has specific traffic laws and regulations that a skilled lawyer can navigate effectively.
Attorney Drew has helped countless clients in Colorado Springs prove their innocence, even if they were the trailing driver. Since insurance companies will do their best to reduce costs and expenditures, you need a qualified lawyer who will aggressively champion your rights.
Being able to recover damages from your insurance claim can be a difficult, complicated process, especially when both drivers can be found at fault. That leaves a lot of “gray room” where the other driver’s insurance company will do their best to place you in the at-fault position to reduce their liability.
Your insurance company may not offer full coverage costs or may not be able to protect you from the actions of unscrupulous individuals who frame others for injuries to receive benefits after an accident. Do not let these entities bully you into counting your losses and not fighting for fair compensation.
Even if you do not end up paying out of pocket for expenses related to the accident, your insurance rates could go up due to your accident, and you may be punished simply for being involved in an accident regardless of who is at fault.
As a highly skilled lawyer with over 30 years of experience, Attorney Drew only works in your best interest. With his thorough knowledge of Colorado State law, he can protect you from unfair practices that you can face from your own insurance company.
Being involved in a rear-end collision does not have to be a stressful experience. Call Attorney Drew at (719) 633 – 8500 for a free consultation and expert legal advice regarding rear-end collisions in Colorado Springs.