Were you injured in a rear-end collision caused by another party’s negligence? If so, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. While you might assume that the vehicle in the rear is always at fault, that is not always the case. Each year, cases of broken tail lights, accidental reverse acceleration, and even fraud complicate the question of who is at fault in a rear-end collision in Colorado. That is why you need a skilled Colorado auto vehicle accident lawyer who can evaluate your case and help you fight for the maximum amount in a rear-ended collision settlement.
The attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., have decades of experience litigating personal injury matters in Colorado, including cases involving rear-ended collision injuries. Every case is different, which is why every settlement is unique. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation to review your case and settlement potential.
Common Causes of a Rear-Ended Collision
Rear-ended collisions can happen for various reasons, but we see some causes more often than others. Here is a look at some of the most common reasons for rear-ended collision injuries.
Tailgating is when you are following a vehicle too closely. There’s a reason the Department of Motor Vehicles says you should keep a certain number of car lengths back. When a driver doesn’t keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them, they may not have time to react should the front car suddenly stop. In adverse weather conditions, you may need to keep even more distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Sometimes people tailgate due to road rage or just being aggressive. While less common, some angry motorists may “bump” the vehicle in front of them to make a point. You could be entitled to additional compensation in some instances if you can prove that the other driver hit you intentionally.
Unfortunately, distracted driving plays a significant role in many motor vehicle accidents. People often associate distracted driving with texting or calling someone. The truth is anything that causes you to lose focus on driving could be classified as distracted driving. Someone who is changing a radio station, looking at their GPS, eating, putting on make-up, talking to passengers in the back seat, etc., is guilty of driving while distracted.
Driving Under the Influence
Drivers who have been drinking have slower reaction times and impaired judgment. Drivers who have consumed any alcohol could have slower reaction times, not just someone over the legal limit of 0.08% BAC.
Determining Liability in a Rear-Ended Collision
Many rear-end collisions occur when the front car is stopped or slowing down, and the driver behind them doesn’t stop in time. However, there are instances where the driver in front shares some liability, or another party is responsible. Did the driver in front have no brake lights? Perhaps they reversed into the back car or stopped suddenly, trying to get the rear vehicle to hit them. These are several examples where the car in the front could share some liability in a rear-ended collision.
Sometimes, rear-end collisions involve three or more vehicles. This makes determining liability even more complicated. In adverse weather, it’s not uncommon to see large pile-ups on highways and heavily traveled roads. You may have been rear-ended, but the vehicle behind you was rear-ended by another car first and pushed into you.
Proving Fault Through Evidence
Understanding how liability works in these cases is important, so retaining a skilled lawyer is essential to the success of your claim. However, in addition to understanding liability, you will need evidence of who is at fault to successfully bring a claim or obtain a settlement. After all, insurance companies do not immediately offer rear-ended collision settlements just because your car was hit from behind. You may need to hire experts, including an accident reconstructionist, who can try to determine which parties are at fault.
Additionally, our legal team will seek evidence to support your claims, including:
- Police reports;
- Any other accident or incident reports;
- Photos and videos of the scene;
- Statements from eyewitnesses;
- Video footage from security cameras, traffic light cameras, dashboard cameras, and body cams;
- Opinions from expert witnesses as needed;
- Medical records and receipts;
- Tax forms, pay stubs, and other wage information; and
- Vehicle repair estimates and information.
This is not an exhaustive list. An experienced attorney can help you refine the evidence needed to support your claims and determine who was at fault when you were rear-ended.
What to Do After You’re Rear-Ended in a Collision
If you’re involved in a rear-ended collision, staying calm is important. What you do following a motor vehicle collision of any kind can impact your potential rear-ended collision settlement. If you sustained injuries, it’s essential to contact the police, especially if your injuries are severe.
Document the Scene
If your injuries are not too severe and you can do so safely, take photos of the scene. You should get pictures of all the vehicle damage, skid marks, debris, etc. You should also take pictures of the surrounding location. What is the weather like? Are there any hazards that might have impacted the accident, such as construction work, a school zone, or something else that reduced visibility? Also, get contact information for all involved parties, including witnesses. This all could be crucial evidence in your case.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
And you should always see a doctor after a rear-ended collision because you could have injuries that are not immediately discernible. Waiting to see a doctor can negatively impact your claim. Colorado has a three-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, with few exceptions. If you delay seeking medical help could destroy your chances of obtaining compensation for the serious harm you may have suffered in your rear-end collision. It might even make it harder to determine who is at fault in a rear-end collision in Colorado.
Why Hire a Colorado Auto Vehicle Accident Attorney?
To build the strongest case, you need a legal advocate who understands the nuances of the legal process and how insurance companies operate. When you are unrepresented, insurance companies will try to exploit your lack of knowledge. They may try to bully you, claim you’re 100% responsible for the accident, and ultimately offer you a lowball settlement that’s far less than what your case is worth.
When you retain Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we will conduct an independent investigation and preserve all evidence to support your claim. We will track down witnesses to get their statements, and we’ll handle all communication with the other parties’ insurance companies.
You will have the benefit of an experienced litigator with years of negotiation experience fighting for you. We won’t let the defendants or their insurance companies take advantage of you. Should they refuse to engage in meaningful settlement talks, we will proceed with filing a lawsuit on your behalf.
Our legal team has ample experience trying cases in court. We are not afraid to take your case to trial if that is what is necessary. Our number one priority is to protect your rights.
Contact Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C.
Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review the facts of your case and advise you on the best course of legal action. With over 100 years of combined experience, our firm has the skills and resources to handle even the most challenging liability issues.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with us. Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately following the collision either. The sooner you meet with us, the sooner we can start protecting your rights and building the best case possible.