Is the Rear Driver Always at Fault for a Rear-End Accident in Colorado?
Rear-end accidents are a common occurrence, especially at intersections, construction zones, and on the congested highways of Colorado. Most rear-end accidents result in minor damages, with little to no injuries. Unfortunately, rear-end accidents can also result in severe injury. After a rear-end accident, it’s generally assumed that the driver in the rear caused the accident, making them liable for damages. However, other factors can affect liability in the event of a rear-end accident.
After a rear-end accident, it’s not safe to assume you know who is liable for damages. There are several reasons why these accidents occur. While it’s true that liability is most often placed on the trailing driver, that doesn’t mean the trailing driver is always to blame. Contact a Colorado car accident lawyer who can help assess your case and point you in the right direction to secure compensation and find the liable party.
How Does Negligence Factor Into a Rear-End Accident?
Rear-end accidents can happen because of the negligence of one or both drivers. Negligent driving may be unintentional, but drivers are still legally responsible for breaching their legal duty of reasonable care. Examples of negligence that may lead to a rear-end accident include:
- Not using turn signals
- Not following Colorado state traffic rules and regulations
- Failing to stop on time
- Not paying attention to the speed limit
- Not paying attention to the speed of the car in front of them
Colorado law is clear about rear-end accidents. Cars are obligated to follow other vehicles at a safe distance to prevent a rear-end accident.
While the rear driver has a legal responsibility to keep a safe distance and be mindful of the vehicle in front of them, there are several instances where the front driver may be at fault for the accident. Some instances in which a front driver may be at fault include:
- Driving without mirrors
- Driving with broken or damaged mirrors
- Continuing to drive a car that’s not properly functioning
- Driving with a dark rear glass that impairs the driver’s vision
- Not turning hazard lights on during an emergency condition
- Having faulty brakes that they knew about
- Not having working brake lights
- Making a sudden reverse without warning
- Making a sudden stop without warning
Liability may seem like an obvious matter. However, it rarely is, especially when insurance companies aim to prove their policyholder is not responsible. Accident victims benefit from working with a skilled car accident attorney who has the knowledge and resources to support their claim and fight for the right to compensation.
How Does Comparative Negligence Factor Into a Rear-End Accident?
Colorado is a comparative negligence state, which means that even if the driver filing the claim is partially at fault, they can still recover compensation. However, their compensation award will be reduced by the percentage of fault determined by the insurance adjusters or judge. In terms of rear-end accidents, it means that both the front and the rear driver could be partially to blame for its occurrence.
For instance, it can be true that the front driver stopped suddenly, but it can also be true that the rear driver was not driving at a safe distance. Liability is a complex matter that requires extensive investigation to accurately determine who is at fault and to what extent. Insurance companies do their best to reduce their payout and may try to use comparative negligence to reduce your damages. A qualified lawyer can ensure you’re not taken advantage of and leave no room for doubt that you deserve full and maximum compensation.
Contact a Skilled Car Accident Attorney at Mintz Law Firm
Mintz Law Firm is dedicated to helping injured accident victims across Colorado recover the compensation they are owed. We know that car accidents can have life-altering consequences and are ready to go to trial if it means getting you the justice you are owed. Contact our office today and schedule a consultation at (303) 462-2999 or fill out our contact form.