Being involved in an auto accident is a stressful and painful experience for anyone. However, it is made even worse if the other driver fails to stop to inquire about your condition and give you their insurance information. Can a lawyer help with a hit-and-run accident? Victims of hit-and-run accidents are often left to cover for their own damages and endure the double injustice of being injured and getting no rightful compensation. Even though the situation appears hopeless to you, we encourage you to contact a personal injury attorney at Firouzbakht Law Firm to evaluate your case and explain your options.
An experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer can help you file a claim with your insurance company or prepare your personal injury lawsuit if the hit-and-run driver is eventually identified.. What matters most is to act quickly and call us for a free case review: 303-529-1722.
Colorado law is very clear on this matter. According to Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-1601, when a motor vehicle accident occurs, the drivers involved have to stop their cars immediately as close to the accident scene as possible and remain there until they fulfill their driver responsibilities, including:
These requirements are applicable to any traffic accident that results in bodily injury, death or property damage. Failure to comply with these legal requirements carries a series of penalties, depending on the consequences of the accident.
Thus, a hit-and-run driver involved in a collision resulting in property damage commits a Class 2 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in jail. If the accident results in injuries to persons, hit-and-run is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by $5,000 fine and up to 18 months in jail. The offense becomes a Class 5 felony if the victims suffer severe injuries or catastrophic injuries and the responsible party is liable to pay up to $500,000 in fines and spend between 1 and 3 years in jail..
Finally, hit-and-run accidents resulting in fatalities represent a Class 3 felony punishable by fine of up to $750,000 and between 4 and 12 years jail sentence.
Looking at the hefty penalties above, you may wonder why someone may risk them, if the alternative is solving the situation civilly: you exchange contact and insurance information and let the personal injury attorney and the insurance adjuster reach a fair settlement.
However, many hit-and-run drivers know that they are not able to solve the matter in a legal and responsible manner. At the moment when they cause a traffic crash they may be driving:
In some cases, even drivers with all their documents in order resort to hit-and-run if they are driving a company car and do not want to get in trouble with their employer.
Although the police will do their best to identify the person responsible for your accident, they are not successful all the times. In this case, you would be left to cover all your medical care expenses and get no financial compensation for lost wages. The best option for any responsible driver is to add optional coverage to their auto insurance policy: uninsured motorist coverage, which can also be used to supplement your compensation amount in case of accidents caused by underinsured drivers.
According to insurance laws in Colorado, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) will pay for your bodily injuries caused by uninsured, underinsured and hit-and-run drivers. It does not cover property damage (cost to repair your wrecked car), but in general hospital bills and medical care costs represent the biggest part of economic losses in motor vehicle accidents.
Hit-and-run accident victims are not completely helpless after such an unfortunate event. You need to control your emotions and try to remember as many details about the other car and driver. When the police officer arrives to prepare the accident report at the crash scene, tell them every little detail you noticed, such as:
Just like with any type of accident, call 9-1-1 if you are seriously hurt. Your health and safety are of paramount importance. Irrespective of the course of recovering your damages from the negligent driver or your own insurance company, you need to receive medical care, especially if you suffered severe spinal cord injury, head and neck injuries or traumatic brain injury.
While you are waiting for the ambulance to arrive, take photos of damage to your car and your own injuries and talk to all eyewitnesses, asking for their contact information.
Finally, hire a personal injury accident attorney and give them all the information about the circumstances of your accident.
A skilled personal injury attorney can investigate your case thoroughly and discover various outlets for compensation, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if the identified hit-and-run driver was on the job, their employer's insurance may be used to cover your compensation for injuries and property damage.
The attorney will consult all the available sources of information. including:
Even when it comes to getting financial compensation out of your own UIM, an experienced auto accident attorney will negotiate a successful settlement, which will include all the eligible costs and damages you sustained, including:
A lawyer with extensive experience can get you the maximum compensation allowed by the insurance coverage. If the responsible driver is identified, the lawyer will advise you on the type of legal action you can take against them in order to recover damages from them or their auto accident insurance company.
At Firouzbakht Law Firm we believe in justice and accountability for one's actions. When accident victims are left stranded by a hit-and-run driver, their physical injuries are doubled by the emotional trauma of being abandoned in their plight.
We will do our best to pursue any irresponsible hit-and-run driver identified by the law enforcement authorities. Even if they cannot be identified, we will be negotiating with your insurance company in order to get you the financial relief you need.
Please remember that you have only 2 years available to take legal action (the statute of limitations for personal injury cases), so do not wait too long. The sooner we can look at evidence and talk to eyewitnesses the more likely we are to be able to identify the other driver. Do not worry about our advance fees - we work on a contingency fee basis, so contact a Denver hit-and-run accident lawyer at Firouzbakht law firm for a free consultation: 303-529-1722.!
Meta description: If you were the victim of a hit-and-run accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your options to recover your economic damages.