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Hit & Run Car Accidents in Colorado – What Are Your Options?

Posted on April 21, 2021 in

Car accidents are not uncommon in Colorado. Unfortunately, accidents involving hit and run drivers are also not uncommon throughout this state. When a person is struck by a driver who then flees the scene, this can present significant complications when it comes to securing compensation. Here, we want to discuss hit and run accidents in Colorado as well as what options victims in these cases have when it comes to getting the money they need for their injuries and property damage.

Do Drivers Have to Stop at an Accident?

Under Colorado law, every driver has to stop and take various actions in the event they are involved in an accident. First, regardless of the severity of an incident, every driver needs to get out and check on others involved. Colorado law requires that any accident be reported if there is more than $1,000 worth of property damage or if there are any injuries or fatalities involved. Drivers involved in the crash must stay at the scene, render aid to victims if possible, provide their personal information, and show a driver’s license upon request.

Any driver who flees the scene of an accident that results in an injury without rendering aid could face a Class 1 misdemeanor conviction punishable by up to 18 months in jail. If a victim’s injuries were serious, this could raise the offense to a Class 5 felony punishable by 1 to 3 years in prison. If a person flees the scene of an accident that results in death, they could face a Class 3 felony charge punishable by 4 to 12 years in prison.

Fleeing the scene of an accident that results in property damage can result in a Class 2 misdemeanor conviction punishable by up to 1 year in jail.

Handling a Hit and Run Crash in Colorado

There are various steps that you can take immediately after being involved in an incident where another driver has fled the scene. This includes:

  • Calling 911. It is important to call the police to the scene. Law enforcement officials will be responsible for seeking the driver who fled the scene, and they will also ensure that an accident report is filled out properly.
  • Gathering evidence. If it is safe to do so at the scene of the crash, those involved can begin gathering evidence. This can include using a phone or another device to take photographs of everything, including vehicle damage, causes of the crash, debris, and more. Additionally, get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses who may have seen the driver and vehicle that fled the scene.
  • Seeking medical care. Any person involved in an accident needs to seek medical care as soon as possible, even if the injuries do not seem severe. Most insurance claims revolve around medical bills and lost wages, and a failure to seek medical care could result in these claims being denied.
  • Filing an insurance claim. All accidents need to be reported very soon after they occur. An accident victim should report the incident to their insurance carrier the day of or the day following the crash.
  • Working with an attorney. Hit and run crash victims may need assistance from a skilled Colorado car accident lawyer. An attorney can use their resources to fully investigate every aspect of the claim and pursue all avenues of compensation. This can include tackling uninsured motorist coverage or pursuing a personal injury claim against the other driver if they are apprehended.