Colorado law requires drivers involved in car accidents to remain at the scene of the accident, regardless of fault. If the identity of a driver who leaves the scene of an accident is discovered, the driver will likely face criminal charges. The Colorado Springs hit and run accident lawyers at The Fang Law Firm know that criminal charges serve to punish the driver, but those charges don’t help others who suffered injuries in the accident.
When you are involved in a hit and run accident, you may still have potential recovery options. You might have a claim against the driver if his or her identity is later discovered. In other cases, you might have a claim with your own insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage, or against a third-party who caused or contributed to the accident.
Our Colorado Springs car accident lawyers have represented injured clients in all types of car accidents, including hit and run claims. Our dedicated group of hit and run accident attorneys is fully committed to every case that they take on, and they pursue maximum compensation for every client.
Our hit and run accident attorneys in Colorado Springs are flexible and will meet with you in person or over the phone to discuss your accident and evaluate your case. Client communication is a hallmark of our practice, and we promise to return all client phone calls within 24 hours.
We have extensive experience negotiating settlements with insurance companies and achieving trial awards for their injured clients. We know that insurance companies frequently deny claims or reduce settlement values in an effort to save money. Our attorneys are familiar with defense tactics, and they fight for their clients’ right to a full and fair recovery. Our attorneys will recover compensation for your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
Car accidents are stressful, especially when you sustain serious injuries and damages. Not knowing the at-fault driver’s identity adds even more stress to car accident cases. As mentioned above, even if you do not know who the other driver is, you may still have recovery options. Our personal injury attorneys in Colorado Springs will investigate your accident and work with police, gather the police report, witnesses, and others to help discover the other driver’s identity.
Once you have learned the driver’s identity, we can help you pursue your claim against the driver and his or her insurance company. If you do not find out the driver’s identity, we can look to your insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage. Even though you are dealing with your own insurance company, they will usually try to settle your claim for as little as possible. Our Colorado Springs hit and run accident lawyers will negotiate with your insurance company and take your case to trial if necessary.
We can also help you pursue a claim against a third party that caused or contributed to your accident. For example, if a dangerous road condition caused the other driver to hit your car, you may have a claim against a municipality for negligent road maintenance. Or if a third party driver ran a stop sign causing the hit and run driver to swerve and strike your vehicle, you may have a claim against the third party driver who ran the stop sign.
It is against the law in all 50 states to flee the scene of a motor vehicle accident without stopping. Colorado’s hit and run law is found in Colorado Revised Statutes Section 42-4-1601. This law requires the driver of any vehicle that is directly involved in an accident that results in injuries or the death of any person to stop the vehicle immediately at the scene of the accident or as close as possible. If the driver left the scene, he or she must immediately return.
Then, the driver must remain at the scene until he or she has fulfilled certain requirements and responsibilities. These include:
Violating Colorado’s hit and run law by leaving the scene of an accident without fulfilling these responsibilities is a crime that can range from a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense to a class 3 felony. The class of the crime is based on the seriousness of the victim’s injuries and losses. The penalties for a hit and run include driver’s license revocation, a fine, possible jail time and restitution for the victim. The driver may also face liability for the victim’s damages through a car accident lawsuit.
Hit and run car accidents happen relatively often in Colorado and throughout the United States. Many drivers flee the scenes of car accidents out of fear of facing the consequences of their actions. Hit and run accidents are especially common at night when there is an increased risk of driver intoxication and reckless driving.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an average of 682,000 hit and run accidents occur throughout the U.S. each year. The majority of victims killed in hit and run accidents (65 percent) are bicyclists and pedestrians. In the past ten years, nearly 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths in the country were caused by hit and runs. Per capita, the states with the highest number of fatal hit and run accidents are New Mexico, Louisiana and Florida.
The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the rate of hit and run accidents has increased year by year. In 2015, there were an estimated 737,100 hit and run accidents. This was a significant increase from 703,900 hit and runs in 2014 and 640,100 hit and run accidents in 2013. These numbers reveal an alarming trend of more and more drivers breaking the law and endangering the lives of others by causing hit and runs.
If you or a loved one was injured in a hit and run accident in Colorado Springs, you may be eligible for financial compensation for several different types of losses, known as damages in personal injury law. A lawsuit against the at-fault driver or another party could result in financial compensation for several damages, including:
Keep in mind that if you do not have the identity of the hit and run driver, you will have to turn to your own auto insurance for coverage or find a third party to blame, such as the city in charge of roadway maintenance. An attorney from The Fang Law Firm can accurately evaluate your hit and run accident claim after reviewing all of your losses and injuries. Then, a Colorado Springs hit and run accident attorney can help you pursue maximum financial compensation through all available outlets.
The things you do and do not do in the aftermath of a hit and run car accident in Colorado Springs can affect your personal injury lawsuit. Remember, the insurance company will not want what is best for you during your claim. Instead, it will be up to you to protect your own rights and best interests. If you can, it is important to carry out the following steps and actions after a hit and run accident:
An attorney can help you investigate your hit and run accident for evidence that may lead to the identification of the driver who struck you. An attorney can also search for other outlets of financial recovery for you, such as a first-party insurance claim or lawsuit against someone other than the driver. It is especially important to consult with an attorney if you suffered catastrophic injuries or a loved one passed away. A lawyer can ensure the protection of your legal rights.
If you have sustained serious injuries in a hit and run accident in Colorado Springs, contact The Fang Law Firm to schedule a free consultation. We will go over the facts of your case and review your potential recovery options. If someone caused your injuries, you have the right to pursue compensation. At The Fang Law Firm, we can help.