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
- 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.