When another driver hits your vehicle, you probably expect that they will have the decency to pull over so that you can exchange information with them, call emergency medical responders, and wait for the police to show up. After all, Colorado drivers are legally required to remain at the scene of a car accident if there is property damage or bodily injury.

Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are all too common in Colorado. In fact, a 2018 research study done by AAA found that about 20% of all auto accidents in Colorado are hit and runs. In 2016 alone, 31 hit-and-run accidents resulted in at least one fatality.

Colorado Hit-and-Run Laws

An accident is considered a hit and run when a driver collides with another vehicle and flees the scene of the crash without providing contact information or helping any victims who need medical attention. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, a person found guilty of a run may face a misdemeanor or felony charge and penalties of:

  • Fines and court costs
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Victim restitution
  • Probation
  • Court-ordered drug/alcohol counseling or rehab
  • County jail time
  • State prison time

There are several reasons that a driver may attempt to flee the scene of an accident. For instance, the driver may:

  • Be intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Be driving without a license or a suspended license
  • Have several unpaid tickets
  • Not have permission to drive the vehicle or it may be stolen
  • Not have car insurance
  • Have an outstanding warrant out for their arrest
  • Be driving for a car company and doesn’t want to get in trouble
Collecting as Much Evidence as Possible

If you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident, it’s important that you remain calm and call the police immediately so that officers can be dispatched to your location. Don’t try to chase the driver. Instead, give your statement to police when they arrive so that all the information can be recorded in an official police report. You will want to include:

  • How the crash occurred
  • Whether any traffic violations were made
  • If anyone witnessed the accident
  • The vehicle color, make, and model
  • The license plate number, even if you were only able to remember parts of it
  • Any distinguishing physical characteristics of the driver

Afterward, you’ll want to contact your insurance company and an attorney immediately. In Colorado, insurers must provide their insured with an option to add uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to their auto insurance policy. If you have this coverage, it may be utilized in the event of a hit-and-run accident.

How Our Firm Can Help

Hit and runs can be complex. Don’t settle or even start your claim without first speaking with a seasoned car accident attorney who can gather all the evidence necessary to build a solid case on your behalf.

The Denver car accident attorneys at Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C. have decades of combined legal experience and understand the ins and outs of hit and run laws in Denver Colorado. We will work hard to ensure that justice is served on your behalf and you obtain the compensation you need to recover.

Children love to beat the summer heat by hopping in the swimming pool and splashing around in the water. While it may seem like all fun, parents should remember that swimming pool drownings are a leading cause of child fatalities in the Denver Colorado

Child Drowning Statistics

What exactly do we know about child drownings? Here are some statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to show the entirety and prevalence of this safety concern:

  • Every day, about 10 people die from unintentional drowning.
  • About one in five drowning victims are children 14 years old or younger.
  • Children under 5 years old have the highest risk of drowning.
  • On average, about 350 children die of drowning each year.
  • African American children are 5.5x more likely to drown than white children.
  • For every child that dies of drowning, another five children receive treatment in emergency rooms for nonfatal injuries.

Additionally, the CDC reports that most drownings result from:

  • Lack of close supervision
  • Inability to swim
  • Lack of gates or other barriers around swimming pools
  • Failure to wear life jackets
  • Using alcohol while swimming or supervising others
  • Seizure disorders
  • Leaving toys in pools that attract children
How to Know If Someone Is Drowning

Drowning is often quick and silent, so knowing the signs to be aware of can help you take steps to protect children and keep them from potentially drowning. Here are some signs of drowning to look out for:

  • Head low in the water with mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes closed or glassy, empty, and unable to focus
  • Appears to be climbing an invisible ladder underwater
  • Trying to swim in a certain direction but not making progress
  • Vertical in water
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
We Are Here If You Need Us

If your child was injured on another person’s property, you may be able to pursue compensation through a premises liability claim in order to pay for damages related to medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., you have our word that we will do everything in our power to help you and your family recover after a traumatic accident.

The sun is shining, teens are out of school, and vacations loom ahead during the summer. While you may be anticipating relaxing during this time, know that there is never a good time to let your guard down and put safety on the back burner.

In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there is a higher risk of getting into a car accident during the summer, compared to other months of the year. Here are four reasons why car crashes occur more frequently during summer and how you can reduce your risk of being injured.

More Drunk Drivers on the Road

Summer is the season for socializing with friends and having pool parties, backyard barbecues, and holiday get-togethers. Many gatherings involve alcoholic beverages, which can inevitably lead to more drunk drivers on the road.

Every day in the U.S., about 28 people lose their lives in drunk driving accidents. But during certain holidays, like the Fourth of July, this number increases. Between 2010 and 2014, drunk driving contributed to 47% of all car crash deaths during the Fourth of July holiday.

If you are drinking outside of your home this summer, plan ahead to avoid drinking and driving. For instance, designate a sober driver or call a rideshare vehicle to get home. Likewise, social hosts should ensure that those who have consumed alcohol at their homes are not driving afterward.

Inexperienced Teen Drivers

Year after year, the number of fatal teen accidents increases during the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer”—the time between Memorial Day in May and Labor Day in September. According to the AAA Foundation, more than 1,050 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers during this time in 2016.

The most common causes of these accidents include speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, and nighttime driving. Parents, remember that your newly-licensed teen drivers are still learning essential safety skills. It’s important that you educate them on safe driving practices and set rules that limit the potential for risky driving, such as:

  • Only letting them drive during daylight hours
  • Limiting the number of passengers they are allowed to transport at once
  • Making them pledge to drive without distractions (i.e., putting their phones on “do not disturb” mode while driving)
Increased Traffic and Road Congestion

During summer, students are on break and working adults commonly take time off of work to go on vacation. As a result, traffic increases during the summer because there are more motorists, truckers, and motorcycle riders traveling at once. More cars in close proximity to one another inherently leads to more collisions.

If you are traveling on the road this summer, make sure to always share the road and practice defensive driving. This means you should reduce your speed, increase your buffer, eliminate distractions, and never engage in road rage or other aggressive driving behaviors.

More Construction Projects Underway

Summertime is also known as construction season. This is because construction projects typically get started while the weather is warm and completed before the colder months ahead. With more construction, it’s common for there to be road delays, lane closures, detours, temporary signs and signals, and other road hazards.

These complicated driving conditions can cause confusion and increase the risk of a crash. Always proceed with caution when driving through a construction zone. You can also check the city’s traffic report online to see if there are any construction projects underway so that you can make necessary detours in your route.

Injured in a Summertime Accident?

Because car crashes increase during the summertime, knowing what to do after the fact can help you take steps to protect yourself and your rights to compensation. At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., our legal team is standing by ready to advocate on your behalf.

We hope that you never need our services, but if you do, know that we’re here to help you get your life back on track and guide you through the claims process from start to finish.

The most impactful way is to learn how to eliminate distractions behind the wheel and teach others how to do so. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines three types of driving distractions:

  • Visual. Anything that takes your eyes off of the road.
  • Manual. Anything that takes your hands off of the wheel.
  • Cognitive. Anything that takes your mind off of the task of driving.

With that said, here are some effective techniques that you can implement to ensure that you are always a safe driver:

  • Put your phone away and on silent so you aren’t tempted to use it.
  • Only use your phone for emergency purposes.
  • Ensure that your children are properly secured in car seats or booster seats.
  • If you’re using GPS, put the directions in before you get on the road.
  • Adjust your mirrors, seat, and music prior to driving.
  • Limit the number of passengers in your vehicle.
  • Avoid eating while driving; if you need, pack a food item that is easy to eat with one hand and not very messy.
  • Pull over if you need to make any adjustments or send a text while driving.
Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident?

At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., we recognize that even the most focused drivers can still be injured due to other distracted or negligent drivers. If you are ever in this situation, our Denver car accident attorneys are here to help. We will review your case for free, determine your legal options, and guide you seamlessly through the claims process.

Have you been injured in a motor vehicle accident or as the result of someone else’s fault in the past several months while the COVID 19 virus has been causing great changes to our medical community?

If so, the top rated personal injury law firm of Larson Larimer Schneider suggests taking the following steps to assure the successful outcome of your claim and to make sure the insurance companies compensate you fairly when the time comes.  The following steps will help assure a successful outcome:

  1. Contact our office for assistance.  Our office is considered an essential businesses per Colorado’s stay-at-home orders.  We have staff working onsite and from home. You can reach our offices 24/7 and if you can’t reach a member immediately, we will be notified and get back to you shortly.
  2. We can arrange initial meetings by telephone, Skype, Facetime, or other face-to-face method so that you don’t have to leave your home to meet with one of our attorneys.
  3. If you have serious injuries, do not let the COVID 19 virus prevent you from going to an emergency room or urgent care.  Emergency facilities will be taking extensive efforts to make sure you are safe and you need to seek medical attention immediately if you have any serious injuries.
  4. If you don’t believe your injuries are life threatening or an emergency, make sure you contact your primary care doctor (PCP) or a medical doctor immediately following your injury.  Although many doctors are not seeing patients in person during this time, they are seeing patients through video, phone calls and other methods.
  5. It is vital to your claim that you report your injuries immediately following the accident even though you might not be able to get hands-on treatment right away.  As a general rule, if the insurance company does not see proof of an injury through immediate treatment and complaints, they will do everything in their power to avoid paying for that injury.
  6. Your doctor can make suggestions for home treatment and can begin to make a record of your injuries.  If you don’t report your injuries immediately, the insurance companies will use this to avoid payment regardless of any mandatory shelter in place orders.
  7. If you don’t have a PCP or regular doctor, contact our offices and we can refer you to a medical provider who is currently seeing new patients via video conference or by phone. We have coordinated with a network of doctors that can immediately see our clients and assess your injuries.
  8. If you have an existing claim that you have been treating with your doctor, but your doctor is no longer seeing anyone during the COVID 19 crisis – make sure you contact your doctor’s office and ask for home exercises or activities you can perform during this time so that you do not have a setback of your injuries.  Insurance companies will minimize your injuries due to any gaps in treatment despite orders for you to stay home.
  9. Keep a journal or daily log detailing your injuries, the pain your injuries are causing, and the impact these injuries are having on your daily life.  Even if you cannot see a doctor in person, you can still create a record of your activities, home exercises, and pain. This may feel awkward at first, but during this unprecedented pandemic, it’s imperative that our clients continue to treat and track their injuries.

Staying on top of vehicle maintenance won’t necessarily prevent accidents, but it can ensure that your vehicle is performing how it should when you need it to! Here are some general maintenance steps to put on your checklist to ensure you are cruising for years to come.

Engine Oil

Motor engine oil acts as a sort of lubricant for all the many moving parts of your vehicle’s engine, which helps to avoid any damage and keep all the parts running smoothly. Depending on the type of oil used, you may need to get your oil changed every 3,000 to every 7,000 miles driven.

In general, synthetic oil lasts longer than regular or other synthetic blends and is considered cleaner and more efficient. This typically means you can get more mileage on your car before you need to get your oil changed. Of course, not all vehicles work the same way, so it’s important to check with your specific vehicle owner’s manual to ensure that you are using the recommended oil.

Vehicle Fluids

There are several other fluids that your vehicle runs on and needs, including:

  • Engine coolant
  • Antifreeze
  • Steering fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Transmission fluid

While many of these are easy to refill yourself when they are low, some may require you to flush or drain the fluids. If there’s a leak, you will want to get a mechanic to look at and fix it.

Battery

Your car’s battery is one of the most important components of the vehicle and is integral to how it performs. This part supplies an electrical current for the engine to start and powers up other electronics within your car.

If your battery starts whizzing or is slow to turn on, it could be a sign that you need to replace your battery soon. Remember that extreme temperatures can put extra stress on the battery, so you’ll want to ensure that you take extra care during certain seasons.

Tires

It’s important to make a habit of checking your tires to ensure that they are well maintained. Every month, check the pressure in your tires and the tread are where they need to be, especially when you know that the weather is going to be a little rough or you will be traveling a long distance.

A tire pressure gauge will be needed to check the pressure, and your owner’s manual can tell you exactly how much air pressure your tires need. Additionally, note that air pressure drops during cold weather. Remember your spare, too!

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers can take a real beating, especially in brutal Colorado winters. Old or worn-out wipers can limit visibility for drivers and increase the risk of an accident. For drivers who use their windshield wipers often, these components should be replaced about once a year.

That’s it! With just a few essential visits to the mechanic, your car is ready to go in even harsh Colorado winter weather. At Larson Larimer Schneider, we recognize that accidents can happen to even the most prepared drivers. If you or a loved one is injured due to another person’s negligence, our team is ready to stand in your corner and fight for your recovery.

Colorado winters can be beautiful with snow-covered fields and mountaintops, but they can also be dangerous for people who are unfamiliar with driving on snow and ice. If you are a recent resident of the state, just visiting, or a less experienced driver, here are five safe driving techniques you can use to handle your Colorado winter on the road.

Plan Ahead

A safe driver always knows to plan out their routes before they leave their house, but this becomes critical when dealing with ice and snow. Make a plan of when to leave your house and then allow for some extra time to get where you are going to accommodate for any car accidents or traffic that you may encounter.

Another crucial aspect of planning ahead is keeping a “survival kit” in your car. Here are some of the items you may want to include:

  • Extra warm clothing like gloves, hats, socks, and blankets.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Jumper cables.
  • First aid kit.
  • Ice scraper or other windshield cleaner.

These are only the basic items you may need, but you might want to consider having extra items that could be useful in a variety of situations.

Change Your Driving Habits

While planning ahead is essential to being a safer driver, knowing how to react to other potential hazards is crucial. For first-time snow drivers or teenagers without much experience, driving in frigid temperatures with snow and ice on the road requires extra care and attention. Here are a few simple driving habits you can change that can make driving in these horrible situations easier:

  • Leave extra room between you and the car in front of you, and then leave a little bit more.
  • Avoid suddenly jerking the wheel or slamming on the brakes.
  • Avoid using cruise control, especially if you can’t completely see the road.
  • Drive slower than you normally would.

Regardless of how long your trip is, adding these steps into your driving habits during winter can help you avoid any costly accidents.

Know Your Vehicle

Vehicles and parts are always being recalled, so before heading out on a wintery day, make sure that your car is up to industry standards. Try to avoid driving any vehicle that has parts recalled, needs an oil change, or has low tire pressure. You may also want to consider keeping your gas tank filled or at least above half to avoid freezing gas lines.

Don’t forget to have all routine maintenance done on your vehicle before the freezing temperatures come, that way you can avoid shivering on the side of the road before a breakdown happens.

Get Your Vehicle “Winterized”

Preparing your vehicle for winter weather should happen in advance, so be proactive when it comes to making sure your car or truck is ready for the incoming weather. Similar to knowing the state that your vehicle is in, you will also want to take extra steps to make sure it’s ready for the unexpected.

  • Get snow tires put on your car, or at the very least, check to make sure your treads aren’t too worn down.
  • Check to see if your wipers need replacing.
  • Get your battery services to avoid it dying at inopportune times.
Take Care of Yourself

Driving in harsh conditions can be scary or even anxiety-inducing for people who are unfamiliar. While it’s helpful to know what to do when driving during Colorado winters, it’s also important to take care of yourself, too. Here are a couple of things you can do to help yourself while driving in winter conditions:

  • If the thought of driving on ice or snow scares you, bring a passenger with you!
  • Share your route with loved ones in case you get stranded.
  • Don’t be nervous about pulling into a parking lot or gas station to wait out a snowstorm.

Our ultimate goal is to promote safe driving and keep everyone on the roads safe. If you do, however, become involved in a car accident this winter, contact a team of experienced Denver personal injury attorneys who will work with you to get the best possible outcome.