Mintz Law Firm
Our Hit and Run Accident Attorneys are Ready to Help
A car accident is already stressful, but it can be even more overwhelming when the person who hits you flees the accident scene. You might not have been able to identify the car or person driving it, only adding to your frustration. The auto accident attorneys at the Mintz Law Firm know the kind of pressure you are under after a hit-and-run collision. We will work to ensure that you receive the most compensation possible to cover medical bills, lost income, and bodily injury.
What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run accident is when a driver crashes into another motorist, bicyclist, pedestrian, or property without providing identification afterward. Under Colorado law, it is a crime for an individual to flee the accident scene. The only time a driver is allowed to leave the scene is if they need immediate medical attention or leave to report the accident to the police.
Drivers may also leave if there is no one in the vehicle, as long as they inform local law enforcement or securely attach a note to the car in a conspicuous location. The note should include their name, address, and vehicle registration number.
Why Do Some Drivers Flee the Accident Scene?
Drivers may flee the crash scene for various reasons. They might not have auto insurance or fear their premiums will increase after being in an accident. Some other reasons include:
- Driving drunk
- Driving without a license or a suspended license
- Driving a stolen or borrowed vehicle
- Fear of losing their license because of prior citations
- In possession of stolen property
- In possession of drugs
In some instances, drivers have been distracted and were unaware they hit another vehicle. Conversely, a motorist may not have stopped because there was an emergency, such as driving to the hospital.
What Should I Do after a Hit-and-Run Accident in Colorado?
Immediately following a hit-and-run collision, be sure to follow these steps to protect yourself and document the incident.
- Do not follow the vehicle. Following a driver fleeing an accident scene is never a good idea. Even if your car works well enough to operate, you might ignore major injuries or create a condition that can lead to another crash. Additionally, anyone who flees a crash may be aggressive if you follow them. Leaving the scene will also make it hard for police officers to investigate the collision.
- Report the accident. You must report the accident to law enforcement when the other driver flees the scene in Colorado. Describe your injuries and vehicle damage in as much detail as possible to law enforcement for the police report. When doing this, never admit fault or make assumptions.
- Seek medical attention. If you are injured, then seek immediate medical attention. Your body will produce more adrenaline after an accident, so you may overlook injuries right away. Furthermore, you may suffer internal injuries, such as muscle or tissue damage, that only a doctor can diagnose, so don’t delay getting checked out by a doctor.
- Write down every detail. You can increase the likelihood of identifying the driver by writing down as much information as possible. As the car drives away, try to note the color, make, model, and license plate number.
- Speak to witnesses. Other people near the accident scene may have seen the accident happen, and they can be vital in a hit-and-run crash. Have them write down what they saw, and be sure to obtain their names and contact information.
- Take photos. If you can, take photos of the accident scene. Having photographic evidence will prove how the accident happened.
One thing you should never do is put your faith in the insurance company. Their goal is to maximize profits wherever they can. Unfortunately, this comes at your expense. Insurers will look for ways to reduce or deny your claim. Even saying “I’m fine” on the phone may be used against you.
How to File a Hit-and-Run Accident Claim
If you cannot identify the person who hit your car, you will have to file a claim with your own insurance company. Generally, uninsured motorist coverage compensates drivers for hit-and-run accidents. However, Colorado does not require you to have this insurance, so it is essential to check with your insurer to determine which coverage will cover you for a hit-and-run accident.
Colorado law also allows uninsured motorist claims even if there is no contact with the at-fault driver who flees the scene of a crash. So you may have a case if you are injured in a “miss-and-run” crash were the careless at-fault driver does not hit your vehicle, but still leaves the scene.
If you can identify the driver, filing a claim may be more straightforward. Once you have their information, you can file a third-party claim with their insurance company and recover damages under their policy.
In both cases, having an attorney on your side will be beneficial. They can negotiate with insurance representatives, ensuring you receive a fair settlement.
What Compensation Can I Receive for My Injuries?
After thoroughly reviewing your accident and depending on your injuries, a Colorado hit-and-run accident attorney may be able to recover for the following losses:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Therapy bills
- Property damage
- Scars or disfigurement
- Permanent impairment
- Pain and suffering
In some rare cases, if the hit-and-run driver can be found, a court may award you punitive damages against that driver. These damages are to further punish the defendant for acting in a grossly negligent manner and deter similar behavior in the future.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney in Colorado Today
If you sustained injuries from a driver who left the accident scene, an auto accident attorney can assist you with what steps to take. A personal injury attorney can launch an investigation into the accident and advise you on the best course of action to get compensated for your injuries.
At the Mintz Law Firm, our attorneys have the skill and experience needed to handle a hit-and-run or miss-and-run case. We dedicate ourselves to fighting for accident victims and are passionate about achieving justice for our clients. Call (303) 462-2999 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.