VICTIM OF A HIT-AND-RUN, CAN YOU STILL RECOVER FOR YOUR DAMAGES?
Many motorists are at risk when they get behind the wheel and set out on the road with thousands of other drivers who are operating multi-ton, steel vehicles. Few pedestrians, however, ever consider the possibility of being hit by a car when they set foot on the pavement. As of recently, there has been a rising epidemic of hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. According to the Denver Police Department, in 2013, fifteen people were killed in Denver in automobile-pedestrian accidents. As of June 1, 2014, seven people in Denver had already been killed this year in auto-pedestrian accidents and four more were killed in hit-and-run motor vehicle accidents. As of June 1, 2014, there have been 2,067 hit-and-run accidents, resulting in five deaths and 99 other injuries.
Recent stories have surfaced in the media that support the notion that hit-and-run accidents are almost an epidemic in the Denver Metro area. Just this past weekend in downtown Denver, media reported a pedestrian was hit by a motorcyclist at 18th & Blake Street, at around 3:00 a.m. A witness reported that the victim was thrown almost twenty feet in the air, and the impact was so severe that it knocked off his shoes. Another hit-and-run accident occurred near Mississippi Avenue and Colorado Boulevard; the victim in that accident was transported via ambulance to the hospital. In both cases the at fault driver has yet to be found, and police are still searching for those vehicles. This type of event can support uninsured motorist claim and allow the victim to be compensated.
Though most victims of hit-and-run accidents are primarily concerned about their health and recovery from injuries, there is always the underlying issue of how they will be compensated for their medical bills and the other damages incurred as a result of the incident. Many people think they are out of luck if the at fault person flees the scene; fortunately that is not always the case. If you have uninsured motorist coverage with your auto insurance carrier, (or a relative that lives with you has such coverage on their auto insurance policy) you can make a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage of your own, or that relative’s, policy. Making a claim against uninsured motorist coverage does not harm your status with the insurance company, nor that of the insurance policy holder or affect the amount of insurance premiums in the future because of a Colorado regulation that prevents the increase of premiums as a result of claims made when the injured person was not at fault in the accident. Even if no one catches the driver who is at fault, you may still make a claim for economic and non-economic damages through uninsured motorist coverage available through your own auto insurance policy or that of a resident relative.
Should you or someone you know have the misfortune of being the victim of a hit-and-run accident, to investigate the viability of such claims please call the Mintz Law Firm at 303-462-2999, and speak with one of our Colorado uninsured motorist attorneys. We would be happy to take your call and evaluate your case free of charge.