Car accidents are unfortunately common on Colorado roads, causing thousands of injuries each year. There are many different types of collisions that can occur, including side-impact accidents, rollovers, and rear-end collisions. Known often as fender-benders and responsible for 29% of U.S. car accidents, rear-end collisions can be relatively minor, but may result in serious injury and severe property damage.
How Do Rear-End Collisions Happen?
A rear-end collision occurs when one driver runs into the back of another driver’s vehicle. Both vehicles can experience significant damage and injuries can occur. Since Colorado follows a traditional fault insurance system, the driver responsible for the car accident must pay for the damages of the other people involved, usually through his or her insurance policy.
Many people assume that the driver who hits the back of the other vehicle is usually at-fault in rear-end collisions. However, many driving behaviors can lead to this type of accident, including the following.
- The front driver makes an unsafe lane change, leading the rear driver to crash into them.
- The rear driver is engaged in a distracting activity and collides into the back of the front vehicle.
- Either driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, leading to dangerous driving behaviors.
- The front driver reverses into the rear vehicle.
- The front driver has broken brake lights and the rear driver was unaware he or she was about to stop.
Understanding the cause of a rear-end collision is vital to filing a claim against the at-fault driver. The victim must be able to prove that the other driver acted in negligence, breaching his or her duty of care to the victim and thus allowing the accident to occur.
What Are Common Injuries from Rear-End Car Accidents?
Rear-end collisions can result in both minor cuts and bruises and serious, life-altering injuries, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Some of the most common rear-end accident injuries include the following.
- Traumatic brain injury, including concussions
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Broken bones and fractures
Many injuries sustained in a rear-end collision are soft tissue injuries, which can be difficult to prove in an accident claim. These injuries may not be apparent until hours or even days after the accident, and if a victim states he or she is unharmed at the accident scene, this could harm his or her chances of collecting compensation. For best results, seek medical attention before making any claims about accident-related injuries.
Damages in Rear-End Accidents
These injuries can result in significant economic hardship, lengthy recovery times, and chronic pain during the healing process. However, victims of rear-end accidents can collect compensation for these damages by filing a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against the driver responsible for these injuries.
Under Colorado law, victims can collect two main types of damages in car accident claims: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include the tangible, out-of-pocket losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and car repairs. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, refer to the emotional, intangible losses and are more difficult to quantify. Examples of non-economic damages include mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life.
If you are in a rear-end collision, it is important to contact a Fort Collins car accident attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer will help you understand your legal options, determine what damages you may qualify for, and represent your best interests during negotiations and trial. Contact your attorney as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation and begin taking your next steps.