Common Causes of Car Accidents In Denver

Common Causes of Car Accidents In Denver

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Car accident on the side of the road

Although car accident injuries and deaths decreased by two percent between 2019 and 2022, they remain a high cause of accidental death, with 46,027 fatalities in 2022 and over five million reported injuries. There are many types of car accidents, including side-impact collisions, head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and rollover accidents, but the overwhelming majority of these accidents result from the same cause. Traffic experts warn that one factor causes more car accident injuries and fatalities than any other, and what it is might surprise you.

The Most Common Cause of Car Accidents

What most car accidents have in common is more simple than you’d think. Driver error and negligence cause more car accidents than any other factor, including inclement weather, poor road design, inadequate road maintenance, or defective car parts.

Driver negligence is the leading cause of car accident deaths and serious injuries, but the type of negligence has changed over time. Since the development and common usage of smartphones, driver distraction such as texting and driving has become one the most common forms of driver error/negligence to cause deadly accidents. Examples of driver carelessness and mistakes that cause car accidents include the following:

  • Distracted driving, including texting, checking notifications, reading emails, scrolling through social media, choosing playlists, setting GPS apps, eating, drinking, grooming, and interacting with children in the backseat
  • Failing to yield the right of way at an intersection
  • Tailgating
  • Speeding
  • Making unsafe lane changes
  • Drifting out of the proper lane
  • Entering one-way streets or divided highways the wrong way
  • Weaving and other forms of aggressive driving
  • Drowsy driving

A reckless action such as choosing to drive while intoxicated is an egregious form of driver negligence.

In fault-based insurance states like Colorado, all of the above errors, careless actions, and recklessness leave the driver liable for the damages to injury victims, such as property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Liability in Driver Negligence Cases in Colorado

Proving liability for a car accident caused by negligence requires documenting evidence showing the following to be true through a preponderance of the evidence:

  • That the at-fault driver owed a duty of care to others on the road to take reasonable actions to prevent injuries, such as following traffic laws and avoiding distractions
  • They breached their duty through negligent or reckless actions
  • Their breach of duty directly caused the accident and injury
  • The injury victim suffered significant economic and non-economic damages from the injury

When a driver’s actions result in an accident, they are responsible for the damages to victims under Colorado’s modified comparison negligence insurance system. If the other driver in a two-vehicle collision also made an error that contributed to the accident, they may share a percentage of the fault.

Under Colorado’s law, a car accident victim may recover compensation for their damages as long as they are not more than 50% at fault for the accident. If one driver runs a red light but the other is speeding, the insurance adjuster investigating the case could assign the speeding driver a portion of the fault. For instance, if the speeding driver was 20% at fault for the accident, they’d still recover $80,000 of a $100,000 claim. The driver who was 80% at fault would not be entitled to compensation.

Understanding Colorado’s modified comparative negligence insurance system is crucial for anyone involved in a car accident. If you’ve been injured due to another driver’s actions, you may be entitled to compensation, even if you share some of the fault. Our experienced Westminster car accident lawyers are here to help you navigate the complexities of your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.