After a car accident in Colorado Springs, proving fault is key to collecting compensation. In some cases, determining fault is obvious, but sometimes it’s questionable and complicated.
Every case is different, and it’s important to discuss the specifics of your situation with an experienced auto accident lawyer to determine the best course of action.
There are many factors to consider when determining liability in a multi-car accident. Below, the legal team from Norton Frickey P.C. discuss fault in multi-car accidents in greater detail.
Fault and Multi-Car Accidents
Colorado is an “at-fault” state which means the person who causes a car accident is responsible for compensating others for related property damage and/or personal injuries.
While multi-vehicle crashes happen for various reasons, they’re most likely to occur at busy intersections and on highways. Multi-vehicle crashes commonly occur due to weather, speeding, intoxication, distracted driving, and drowsy driving.
A person is usually at fault because of:
- Negligence—failing to exercise reasonable caution; or
- Recklessness—willfully failing to exercise reasonable caution
Colorado adheres to the modified comparative negligence legal theory when determining whether an individual may recover damages.
Drivers who are less than 50 percent at fault are permitted to seek damages, but their total compensation will be diminished by whatever percentage of fault they’re deemed responsible for.
Accident victims in Colorado are allowed to seek compensation in one of three ways:
- By filing a claim with their own insurance company, if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured
- By filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier
- By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Rear-end collisions are typically considered “no-doubt liability” cases. No doubt liability refers to accidents that are almost always a certain driver’s fault and often result in quick settlements.
Rear-end accidents aren’t the only claims that can be labeled no-doubt liability. Here are some other examples:
- Backing-Up Drivers. Drivers who are backing up are usually at-fault for crashes regardless of circumstances.
- Red-Light Runners. Drivers who run red lights are usually at-fault in auto accidents.
- Left-Hand Turns. Drivers who are making left-hand turns in front of drivers going the opposite direction are usually at-fault in an auto accident.
- Impaired Drivers. Drivers who are impaired by drugs or alcohol are usually assigned fault.
When a driver breaks basic traffic laws or is impaired in any way, it increases the chances that the driver will be determined liable.
How to Determine Fault in a Car Accident
In the event of a car accident, an at-fault driver must be identified, and fault must be proven through the use of evidence.
However, depending on the nature of the accident, fault isn’t always obvious. Even though it may be plain to those involved, pointing a finger isn’t enough to secure a settlement.
There are many ways to determine who is at fault based on evidence, such as:
- Police Report
- Photo and/or video evidence
- Eyewitness testimony
- Accident recreation/reconstruction
It’s in your best interest to discuss the accident with an experienced car accident attorney. While the evidence may seem obvious to you, a multi-car accident may involve multiple insurance companies, and they will more than likely disagree on fault.
This can often put injured victims in a holding pattern, which is a difficult place to be if the victim is also worried about lost wages.
A car accident attorney will be able to examine all aspects of your accident and can protect your rights throughout the legal process.