Being involved in any automobile accident can be a harrowing experience, but hit-and-run collisions are generally in their own class when it comes to problems regarding financial recovery. Victims who are seriously injured in an accident where the opposing driver runs away can be in a particularly bad situation because they are often not in a position to respond immediately with respect to taking photos of the fleeing vehicle or making notes on paper. In the contemporary age of cell phone availability, even witnesses and innocent bystanders can resort to this action when they realize what has happened. Good samaritans with cell phones can be very helpful when hit-and-run accidents occur, which is common in Colorado. As many as 20% of accidents in Colorado involve a hit-and-run driver. Knowing what to do following an accident with a fleeing driver can be vital information for those who have claims to file, and it is always a good practice to have an experiencedDenver accident attorney in mind to call as soon as possible following the fact.
Stay at the Scene Until Officers Arrive
It is vital to stay at the scene of any accident producing injuries in Colorado until law enforcement officers arrive. This is the law in every state when vehicles cannot be moved or there is any apparent injured victim, and especially drivers. Witnesses to the collision may want to stay as well when they have pertinent information regarding the evading driver. Colorado officers will then investigate the accident and take statements from each witness. Photos of the license plate on the fleeing vehicle can be of great assistance to the police, but taking other notes such as describing a vehicle can be helpful information also.
Be Cautious When Answering Questions
What is said at the scene of an accident can be problematic in some instances. Being angry is naturally understandable, but staying calm is always best. Answer questions directly, and very importantly, do not embellish the statement or admit to any level of fault. Any case settlement will be focused on negligence, and an admission at the scene can lessen the value of any injury or property claim. Even though it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident, a hit-and-run driver may not necessarily be at fault and could be leaving for other reasons.
Seek Medical Attention Regardless of Injury
Internal injuries are common in an automobile accident, and many times they do not manifest until much later. It is important to get checked out even if the emergency medical technicians do not transport you to a treatment facility. All financial claims for accident injuries will require supporting documentation from medical treatment professionals. It is also important to follow all instructions from treatment physicians, including referrals to specialists for certain injuries. Of course, those who are seriously injured will already be receiving treatment, but these steps should be followed by all injured parties. In addition, these injuries can include mental health claims too.
Fatal Injury Crashes
As sad as this situation is, fatalities still occur far too often in Colorado. Even one fatal hit-and-run accident is too many. It is typically incumbent on the immediate spouse or a family representative with legal standing to pursue damages for the victim. The police department of jurisdiction will also conduct an in-depth investigation because these are usually filed as homicide cases. Police can be of assistance in locating the perpetrator, but the family must pursue financial recovery for those affected.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Vehicle owners who carry uninsured and under-insured coverage on their personal auto policy could well be covered for injuries even when the fleeing driver cannot be located or identified. This coverage is not offered as stand alone policies in Colorado, but it is offered as a rider on a personal policy. This is always a good option to select because of what could happen on the roadways, or even in a parking lot. However, these claims can be complicated when your insurance company wants to delay coverage until the police conclude their investigation. These types of situations are when it is best to contact a Denver personal injury attorney for advice on how to proceed and possibly represent the case. Studies have shown that injured victims always receive more financial compensation with legal counsel than without, and an attorney can focus on helping law enforcement find the culprit. All hit-and-run accidents in Colorado are criminal cases on some level, and it is best to have legal representation.
Contact a Colorado Accident Attorney
While it is possible to attempt finding a hit-and-run driver on your own, it is never advisable. Even when an injured driver has uninsured and under-insured protection, the issue can still leave the injured party in an adversarial situation with their own insurance company. In addition, medical bills can easily maximize a policy limit and require pursuing additional compensation from the fleeing party. There could also be other negligent actors as well in complicated cases. Always contact an experienced and aggressive accident attorney when equitable financial recovery is absolutely necessary. Some accident injuries have a way of impacting the remainder of the victim’s life, and general damages for ongoing suffering should always be requested in serious hit-and-run injury cases.