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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

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CO accident lawyerRear-end collisions are almost never unavoidable. In almost all cases, they happen because someone acted negligently while behind the wheel. Rear-end collisions can be more serious than they initially appear. While they may not have the dramatic appearance of a head-on collision or a rollover, rear-end collisions frequently cause major head, neck, and spinal cord injuries. They can be particularly damaging to adults or children riding in the back seat, as they are closer to the impact and may be in a less supportive seat. If you were hurt in a rear-end collision, it is important to seek prompt medical attention, and then call a lawyer as soon as you are able to do so.

What Types of Driver Negligence Cause Rear-End Collisions?

A variety of careless mistakes can cause someone to rear-end another driver, but generally, they fall into three categories:

  • Distraction - Distraction, in one form or another, is arguably the single most common culprit in rear-end collisions. Whether a driver is looking at their cell phone, trying to discipline a child in the back seat, digging around for a lighter, or even just lost in thought, drivers whose attention is off the road are much more likely to rear-end you. It is rather hard to crash into an unmoving object while adequately aware of it.
  • Speeding - Speeding in good conditions can stop a driver from braking in time to miss the vehicle in front of them. Speeding in icy or rainy weather can make stopping quickly impossible and send drivers skidding into stopped cars. Even driving the posted speed limit can equate to speeding if visibility is poor such that a reasonable driver would have slowed down.
  • Intoxication - Drunk or drugged drivers may not even notice that the cars ahead of them are stopping until it is far too late. Even if they do, alcohol and other narcotics impair hand-eye coordination and can cause drivers to misjudge their stopping distance. Drunk drivers are also more likely to engage in reckless behaviors like speeding excessively, swerving in and out of multiple lanes, or getting distracted.

Another common contributing factor is heavy traffic, especially on multi-lane highways where drivers would naturally be changing lanes or stopping and starting frequently. Slick road surfaces can also make these accidents more likely, although it is the responsibility of drivers to adjust their habits to account for inclement weather.

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CO injury lawyerGetting hit by a car can be an immensely terrifying experience. Pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles often sustain severe injuries, as they have nothing to protect them against the impact. Drivers have a duty to be aware of the pedestrians around their vehicle and take care to avoid striking one. Pedestrian accidents often happen very quickly, with little to no warning and no opportunity to get out of the way. You may or may not have seen the careless driver coming. The driver may or may not have seen you coming.

The causes of pedestrian accidents can be complex. If you were hit by a car, it is important that you contact a qualified lawyer as soon as you can. The sooner an attorney is able to start documenting evidence, the more evidence is likely to still be undisturbed and available for your legal purposes.

What Causes Most Pedestrian Accidents in Colorado?

Most often, pedestrian collisions are the result of a driver who neglected his duty to use an appropriate level of care to avoid injuring others. In some cases, pedestrians do share some responsibility, but it may still be possible for partially at-fault pedestrians to recover some compensation depending on the exact circumstances. Pedestrian accidents often happen due to:

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CO injury lawyerAfter a single-car accident, you may be wondering how you will handle all the expenses associated with the car crash. If another driver did not hit you, it may not be clear who you could seek compensation from and how you will recover damages. Depending on who or what caused your accident, it may still be possible to be compensated. Another person could have contributed to your accident, even if they did not directly crash into you. If you were hurt in a single-car accident that may have been caused by another’s negligence, it is best to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Proving this type of claim can sometimes be a challenge.

Who May I Have a Claim Against if Only My Vehicle Crashed?

There can be situations where a single-car accident is not only not the driver’s fault, but the fault of a third party. It is important to look into the circumstances of a single-car crash to determine who may be liable if someone other than the driver contributed to the accident. The driver of a lone crashed vehicle may still have a claim against another person in these situations:

  • Miss-and-run - A miss-and-run is similar to a hit-and-run. However, instead of hitting you, a miss-and-run driver forces you to crash without actually making contact. This commonly happens when one vehicle gets “run off the road” trying to avoid a negligent driver. These accidents often happen on the highway, where drivers may be changing lanes frequently and without looking.
  • Defective part - If your accident happened because a part of your vehicle malfunctioned, the manufacturer of the part could be liable under a products liability theory. Alternatively, if the part itself was fine but was not installed correctly, your mechanic or body shop could be to blame. If this is the case, a skilled investigation into the accident will need to take place in order to prove the mechanical failure.
  • Object in the road - Some single-car accidents happen because a driver was forced to swerve abruptly to avoid an object in the roadway. Sometimes this is the result of a storm and is no one’s fault. However, debris in the roadway could also have been left by a careless person, for example, if an unsecured item falls off a truck and is left in the street.

It may feel very unfair if you and only you suffered a car wreck because of another person’s carelessness. Fortunately, recovery may be possible depending on the circumstances. However, because proving the cause of this type of accident can be tricky, it is especially important that you work with an experienced lawyer.

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CO accident lawyerAfter an accident, you may easily be able to tell that the other driver is impaired. They could be slurring their words, not making much sense, stumbling around, or even nodding off. In that case, it will generally be obvious to the police as well. Other times, it may not be immediately obvious that drugs or alcohol were a factor, such as if the intoxicated driver is badly injured and quickly transported to the hospital. In these cases, the accident scene itself may offer a few clues as to the at-fault driver’s sobriety.

If you think the driver who crashed into you may have been drunk, calling an attorney when the police are done can be to your benefit. A lawyer may be able to help you later prove that the responsible driver was intoxicated at the time.

What Signs Suggest that Drugs or Alcohol Were Involved in a Crash?

It is important to remember that none of these signs are definitive. Any number of things other than drug or alcohol impairment could cause a driver to have an accident that resembles a DUI crash. A person who has a seizure while driving, for example, could leave behind a similar accident scene. However, if you notice that multiple clues are present, it may be worth a closer investigation to determine whether drugs played a role. Keep an eye out for:

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CO accident lawyerRideshare services are a popular and often convenient way to get around. They are less expensive than traditional cabs and often easier to find, but there are some drawbacks. Rideshare drivers do not have any special training or licensing. Very few qualifications aside from having a valid driver’s license are typically required. So, it is no surprise that some rideshare passengers become involved in car accidents caused by careless drivers. If you were hurt in a rideshare accident, you will want to call a qualified lawyer as soon as you can, as claims against rideshare services can be quite complicated.

Why Rideshare Drivers Crash

It is important to remember that rideshare drivers are not trained professionals. Many drive in their spare time occasionally and have other priorities. Reasons rideshare drivers may cause accidents include:

  • Distraction - Drivers may be focused on using their rideshare app to navigate or manage the ride. Those who have other jobs may simply be focused on something else going on in their life, possibly using their cell phone for another purpose such as sending emails or checking messages.
  • Inexperience - Young people often drive for rideshare services because it is a convenient way to bring in extra money. However, drivers in their early twenties may not have much driving experience. Some rideshare companies only require drivers to have held a license for one year. Inexperienced drivers are more likely to make a mistake and have an accident.
  • Fatigue - Many people work multiple jobs to get by in this difficult economy. A driver who is already exhausted from working long hours elsewhere may not be able to use good judgment or stay awake on the road.
  • Speed - For rideshare drivers, more rides mean more money. This can motivate drivers to speed, ignore other rules of the road, and make reckless decisions that lead to crashes. This is particularly dangerous in the winter, especially in Colorado’s mountainous regions.
  • Intoxication - Rideshare companies typically do not drug test their drivers, who are independent contractors rather than employees. There is little to no oversight ensuring that people with drug or alcohol issues do not become rideshare drivers. It is not uncommon for a rideshare driver to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In rideshare accidents, multiple parties are often involved, including the driver’s insurance company, the rideshare service’s insurance company, and the rideshare service itself. You will need competent legal counsel to guide you through the process of filing a claim against a rideshare company.

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Hoggatt Law Office, P.C.

970-225-2190 | 1-800-664-3151

123 North College Avenue, Suite 160,
Fort Collins, CO 80524

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Greeley, Colorado 80634 |
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