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A rear-end collision can cause serious injuries and may happen through no fault of your own. If you have been involved in a Colorado Springs fender bender, you may be entitled to compensation.
Accidents are common and happen every day, catching most people by surprise. If it has happened to you, you may not know the steps to take to get fair compensation for your injuries. Contact a Colorado Springs personal injury attorney immediately to help you follow the process that will allow you to assess your damages and file your claim.
rear-end collisions are common
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents. A rear-end crash is a type of crash that occurs when the front of one vehicle strikes the rear of another vehicle. A driver involved in a rear-end collision may be either the driver of the striking vehicle, the driver in the struck vehicle, or both the vehicle that struck and was struck if a third car was also involved in the accident. These types of accidents occur frequently at traffic signals, intersections, or in sections of the road where traffic has slowed down.
In many instances, when a driver is struck from behind by another driver, the striking driver is usually found to be at fault. However, there can be many factors involved if the car accident was complicated. Sometimes rear-end collisions can turn into multiple vehicle pile ups which involve three or more cars. In these cases, careful review of the facts and circumstances may attribute fault to more than one driver.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 90 people die from car accidents in the Unites States every day. Rear-end car collisions are not only the most common types of crashes, but are responsible for the largest number of injuries, fatalities, and property damage every year.
Causes of rear-end collisions
Rear-end collisions can often be prevented by the striking driver because the cause of them is usually something within control of the driver. The innocent drivers on the road who are struck often have no way of avoiding the accident. Several reasons for a rear-end collision to occur are described below.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), distracted drivers cause more than 40 car crashes each day in Colorado. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2018, distracted driving claimed almost 3,000 lives.
Distracted driving is the act of engaging in any activity while driving that takes away your focus from driving. This could mean texting while driving, eating, or talking to passengers. Being distracted makes it harder to stop on time if the driver is not paying attention.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may cause a driver to crash or cause a rear-end collision. In Colorado, there are three types of impaired driving. Each can lead to serious car accidents, multi-vehicle pile ups, or rear-end fender benders.
- DUI is driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.
- DWAI is driving a vehicle while “ability impaired,” which could be caused by drugs or alcohol.
- DUI per se is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher.
A person is considered to be under the influence if there is a substantial impairment in one’s ability to operate a vehicle. A BAC of .08% or more implies that the person was under the influence of alcohol. “Ability impaired” means that the person is only slightly impaired with a BAC of more than .05%, but less than .08%.
Cold temperatures could cause a dangerous kind of ice to form on the road known as black ice. Black ice is almost impossible to see and makes stopping harder to do since it will cause a car to slide. A driver who is sliding on black ice may not be able to stop and could run into another car, causing a rear-end accident with another driver. Accidents caused by poor weather can be avoided by driving slowly during conditions when ice, rain, or snow may make visibility limited or stopping more difficult.
Reckless driving such as speeding, tailgating, and road rage can lead to rear-end accidents. These actions can lead to car accidents because of the dangerous driving decisions the driver makes. Reckless driving on city streets or busy highways are more dangerous and make it more likely that a rear-end collision with a car in front of them will occur. Changing lanes without signaling and without checking the car’s blind spots can cause a driver to move in front of another and cause a rear-end collision.
Types of injuries common in a rear-end collision
Any type of car accident can cause severe injuries. However, rear-end collision victims are more likely to suffer from a certain type of injury called whiplash. There are many possible injuries in a car accident that you might be able to recover for if you were hurt by being rear-ended in a collision in Colorado.
Whiplash is a type of injury that is caused when your body is jerked forwards then backwards very quickly. This can happen when the inertia caused by being struck from behind in a rear-end collision causes you to be thrown forward quickly. Whiplash mainly occurs in the neck muscles as these can be strained from the forward motion while being at a stop.
A traumatic event such as a car accident can cause stress to the body and can strain various muscles. The impact could cause you to strain the muscles in your torso such as your chest, shoulders, neck, and arms. Being held back by the seat belt, which overall helps to protect you in an accident, could cause you to suffer bruising.
If you were not wearing your seat belt, you may be thrown forward if you are rear-ended. This could cause you to break bones if you are tossed about the vehicle or thrown out of the vehicle by the impact. Always wear a seat belt while driving.
Internal injuries such as bruising may occur, but some organs may suffer internal bleeding as well. Lungs can be bruised by being squeezed against the ribcage in an impact. Internal injuries can be very severe and life threatening.
common costs after a rear-end accident
Car crashes can cost you a lot of money, between your injuries and property damage. You will be able to recover for your injuries if they were caused by another person who was responsible for the car accident. Some of the common costs that may be recoverable are:
Trips to the emergency room can be expensive. You may have to have surgery or physical therapy for your injuries. Prescription medication, follow-up care, medical devices such as wheelchairs, and even mental health therapy for dealing with the accident can all be recoverable. You can also recover for future harm should your injuries worsen.
If your car was damaged in the rear-end collision, you may be able recover for the cost of repairs or the cost of replacing your car. If you have anything in the car that was damaged, especially in the trunk, these items may be compensated for as well. It is important not to make repairs to your vehicle until after your insurance company has reviewed it. Fixing even minor damages could make assessing the overall damage more difficult and could affect your claim amount.
determining fault in a rear-end collision
Insurance companies will analyze the crash and will assign each driver a degree of fault. This percentage of fault will determine how much, if any, each party will recover. Colorado is a “comparative fault” state which means that you can recover against any party that was more at fault in an accident than you were, but your damages will be reduced by any percentage of fault assigned to you.
Several factors may make determining fault more complicated. Being rear-ended is usually the fault of the person who struck you, but there are a few situations where the person struck may have contributed. For example, if the lead driver’s brake lights were out at the time of the crash, or if the lead driver switched lanes or merged unexpectantly into the path of another car, this could cause a rear-end collision.
Get Help from Colorado Car Crash Lawyers
At Zinda Law Group, our Colorado Springs personal injury attorneys are experienced and have handled many cases involving rear-end collisions. We have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you determine what to do next and to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our rear-end collision Colorado Springs lawyers. You will pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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