Legal Representation After a Driver Flees the Scene of a Crash
It is bad enough to be involved in an accident, but when that at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident, you may be left dealing with the financial fallout on your own. Without the assistance you require after a crash, it may take longer to get the medical attention you need, adding to your pain and suffering. However, depending on what insurance policies are available, you may still be able to pursue compensation.
If you were injured by another driver who fled the scene of a crash, then do not hesitate to contact the Denver hit and run accident attorneys at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC. With more than 25 years of experience, we can review all possible forms of compensation in order to get you the medical aid you need during this difficult time. Call us (303) 502-5587 to schedule a free consultation and learn what options are available to you.
Colorado Hit and Run Laws
In Colorado, it is a crime to leave the scene of an accident. Drivers involved in a crash are required under the law to stop, exchange insurance information with the other party, and contact the police and emergency medical services, if necessary. These laws apply to both the at-fault driver and the injured driver. If you are involved in an accident, however minor, do not hesitate to contact the police to ensure the accident is on file. In addition to the possibility of criminal charges, whichever insurance policy you file under may attempt to deny your claim if you do not follow procedures.
What Options Are Available to Hit and Run Accident Victims?
If law enforcement locates the hit and run driver, then you can file a claim for compensation against that driver’s insurance company. This process will depend on what information is available about them, and you will need to thoroughly review the accident with the police. Information helpful to the police may include:
- Vehicle license plate number
- Make, model, and color of the vehicle
- Physical description of the driver
- Security camera footage
- Eyewitness accounts
If little or no information is available, the police may not be able to track down the hit and run driver. In addition, many drivers who leave the scene of an accident do so because they do not have the mandatory minimum car insurance. Minimum mandatory coverage in Colorado is only $25,000 per person for injuries, $50,000 per person in total for injuries, $15,000 per accident for property damage, and $5,000 for medical payment if you have an optional Medpay policy. If you have been seriously injured, your policy limits may not be enough to cover the losses in the case.
In this situation, your own insurance policy may be able to provide another option.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM) is an optional policy that insurance companies are required to offer drivers and, because you can only deny the policy in writing, it is entirely possible that you may have it already. These policies can apply to hit and run accidents in two ways:
- If the at-fault driver is caught but has a minimum policy, your underinsured motorist coverage can provide additional coverage if the at-fault driver’s policy does not fully cover your damages.
- If the at-fault driver is not caught, you may file against your uninsured motorist coverage. This policy applies to both accidents where the driver does not have insurance and if the driver cannot be identified.
UM/UIM coverage is designed to match your minimum car insurance liability policy, meaning at the minimum, it can provide coverage for $25,000/$50,000 for injuries.
Personal auto insurance policies and liability policies apply even when you are a pedestrian. If you were injured by a hit and run driver as a pedestrian, you may be able to pursue compensation against your uninsured motorist policy or against the at-fault driver’s liability policy if they were caught.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Handling a hit and run accident claim on your own can be extremely stressful, confusing, and tiring. You will have to contend with the real possibility that the at-fault driver is not caught immediately and that you will have to file against your own insurance policy. While you may expect your personal policy to apply, even your own insurance company may try to deny or devalue your claim in an act of bad faith. And, even if the driver is caught, you must then handle their insurance company, which may fight your claim or offer a lowball settlement that does not cover your damages.
To ensure you receive fair treatment from insurance adjusters after a hit and run accident, you will need to contact a Denver car accident attorney. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, our lawyers can evaluate all available insurance policies, review your medical injuries, and advocate for compensation during settlement negotiations or a jury trial. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (303) 502-5587 and get the legal aid you need.