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Can I Sue for a Rear-End Collision in Denver?

05/15/2021

A 2019 report shows that the number of motor vehicle deaths in America has increased over the years. A significant number of these deaths are due to rear-end collisions. Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of traffic crashes in Denver. This type of accident is dangerous and can cause extensive damage to the injured party's body and property.

In severe cases, rear-end collisions can result in broken bones, spinal injury, soft tissue injuries, and even death. If you're a victim of a rear-end crash due to another's carelessness, you deserve fair compensation for your suffering. Contact experienced car accident lawyers for legal advice and get ample monetary damages for your pain and loss.

What's a Rear-End Accident? 

Can I Sue for a Rear-End Collision in Denver?

A rear-end crash happens when a vehicle's front-end collides with the rear-end of another. In back-end collisions, the affected cars travel in the same direction, one following the other behind. According to a 2018 report, 7.2% of total fatal accidents that year were due to rear-end crashes. 

In many cases, back-end accidents happen as a result of tailgating. Tailgating refers to scenarios when one vehicle drives too closely behind another. As such, the tailgating automobile will inevitably crash into the car in front if it stops suddenly. 

Apart from following too closely, rear-end collisions can happen because of distracted driving. In such cases, the driver behind loses focus on the road and can't react to the stopped vehicle in time. This can happen even when the at-fault driver wasn't tailgating. 

Sometimes, a car is stationary, and the at-fault driver rams into it while speeding or due to reckless driving. If the vehicle behind is driving faster than the car in front, a back-end collision is likely. That's why many police chase accidents are rear-ended crashes.

Due to the nature of many rear-end accidents, the innocent injured party is usually taken by surprise. That's because they're in a disadvantaged position and can hardly do anything to avert danger. As such, it's possible to be very careful on the road and still be a rear-end crash victim.

The effects of rear-ended collisions depend on the severity of the crash. Many times, back-end crashes result in a minor injury and little or no property damages. Other times, the injured party suffers life-altering physical injuries and severe damages to their vehicle.

Can I Sue for a Rear-End Collision in Denver?Who Is at Fault in a Denver Rear-End Collision?

Determining fault in a Denver rear-end crash is essential to your claim for compensation. That's because Colorado is a fault state, and that means at-fault drivers must pay damages for the havoc they caused. Therefore, without determining who is at fault, there'd be no way to know who should pay compensation.

It's easy to believe that the vehicle behind is always at fault in a rear-end car accident. That's because cars must always give enough space for the automobile in front to stop without colliding with them. Again, it's usually the car behind that crashes into the vehicle in front of it. Therefore, in all cases where a driver behind is tailgating, distracted, or speeding, such a driver will be at fault.

However, careless driving isn't always exclusive to the rear driver. There are also many instances where the motorist in front is at fault in a rear-end collision. 

For example, drivers making a turn must slow down and use a turn signal to alert other vehicles. If the leading driver fails to do this, they will share some responsibility for the accident. Also, any motorist who breaches their duty of care in an accident is the liable party.

Lastly, when it comes to finding fault in an accident, Colorado uses the modified comparative negligence approach. That means compensation is determined by how much at fault a party has. If any party is 50% at fault or above, such a person can no longer claim compensation for accident injuries.

Can I Sue for a Rear-End Collision?

Accident victims in Denver have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, lawsuits are usually only a last resort when an insurance claim fails. Many times, successful and straightforward auto insurance policy claims are much faster and stress-free when compared to litigation.

While the careless driver's insurance usually pays the settlements for accidents, that's not always the case. Sometimes, the responsible party's insurance cannot adequately compensate for your losses. In such conditions, you can decide to let your insurance company pay the damages. This is possible when you have uninsured motorist insurance or underinsured motorist coverage.

Here's the compensation process for car accident claims before they get to court:

Gathering Evidence

Since establishing fault is necessary for Denver car accident claims, you must provide evidence to prove such fault. In proving fault, it's important to confirm that the responsible party owed you some duty of care. Next, you must show that the liable party breached that duty of care which led you to suffer some pain.

In other words, you must show that the at-fault driver wasn't reasonably careful, and you suffered injuries because of that. You also have to include property damage, if any. For rear-end collisions, the location of the vehicle damage can help to show who is at fault. 

Gathering evidence to prove fault starts from the accident scene. That's why victims need to take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene as they can. The earlier this is done, the higher your chances of successfully proving fault. Other evidence forms include recordings of eyewitnesses' statements, medical reports, and a police record.

A black vehicle rear-ends a pickup truck on a Denver inter section

Estimating Claim Value 

Usually, you start the claims process by sending a letter of demand to the insurance company. However, before you do so, it's important to know the value of your claim. It's a great way to beat insurance adjusters at their own game. While at that, you must understand that insurance companies and their adjusters aren't your friends.

Claims adjusters work for insurance companies, whether directly or as freelancers. Therefore, their aim is not to offer you the best compensation possible. Instead, they will try to minimize the insurance company's liability by providing you meager claim values. 

They hope that you have no clue about what your case's worth and that you settle for whatever they offer. If you want maximum compensation for your loss, you must first estimate your claim value and insurance rates. That way, you know the minimum compensatory offers to accept and what amounts to reject. It's always best never to get the first offer.

Negotiation and Accident Settlement Agreement

Right after the insurance adjuster offers you an amount, you can decide to accept or reject it. If you endorse the offer, you will sign a settlement agreement to that effect, and they'd disburse the amount to you. If you reject the compensation amount, negotiations commence. Insurance adjusters are key negotiators, and you must be ready to match their skills to get the compensation you deserve.

During negotiations, knowing your strong points will help a great deal. That way, you can keep buttressing them without having to go over the facts repeatedly. Hammering on your strong points will also help you stick to what's important and prevent you from deviating. 

If the adjusters offer a ridiculously low amount, it'd be wise to get them to justify it. As they do, record every point they make and respond to them in writing. The flimsier the reasons they give, the more unfair the offer is. They'd be able to satisfactorily explain their numbers when they're offering a fair price.

Filing a Lawsuit 

An important part of the settlement process is knowing when to quit negotiations and file a lawsuit for damages. That's because Denver stipulates a time limit within which all personal injury lawsuits must be filed. Failure to file a lawsuit within that period means that you may forfeit your compensation. Colorado's Statute of Limitations puts the period at three years. 

Insurance companies know all about the Statute of Limitations and how the time limit favors them. Therefore, they will do everything within their power to waste time in negotiations. So, if it's taking too long to reach a mutual agreement, you may have to make recourse to the courts.

An experienced attorney will help you file your accident lawsuit and represent you in court. They will handle all the necessary paperwork and ensure that you get fair compensation for your pain and losses. You'd be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages if you succeed in the suit.

What To Do in a Denver Rear-End Accident

Having a rear-end collision in Denver isn't a pleasant experience. While no one anticipates such misfortune, it's important to know what to do in such eventuality. Also, acting correctly after a rear-end accident will go a long way in strengthening your claims. Here's what to do in a Denver rear-end accident: 

  • Dial 911: The first thing to do in an accident is to call for medical assistance. Do this whether or not you think you're injured. Dialing 911 will get both emergency responders and the police at the accident scene.
  • Take Pictures and Videos: Right after dialing the police, you must obtain as much evidence as possible. Take pictures and make videos of the crash site. You can also get the other drivers' contact information and record eyewitness' accounts.
  • Call an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer: Your attorneys are your best friends when you're in a rear-end collision. They'd instruct you on the next steps to take to ensure you get fair compensation for your troubles.
A silver car is damaged on the rear due to a car accident in Denver

Contact a Denver Car Accident Attorney ASAP! 

Our personal injury lawyers are best qualified to handle your case for rear-end crashes and other car accident types in Denver. At Firouzbakht Law Firm, we'd painstakingly handle your case from scratch to finish. We'd also ensure that you'd get the best damages possible for your loss. If you feel you're comparably negligent, we can help you determine your percentage of fault. Schedule a consultation with us, and let's get started on your case immediately.

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