A hit and run accident happens when one of the drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident does not stop to render aid or exchange contact or insurance information.
If you suffered injuries or property damage in a similar incident, it becomes a personal injury case, giving you the right to recover your accident losses. Consider a Denver hit and run accident lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, when exploring your legal options. Get in touch at (800) 598-7557 to speak about your case.
Pursuing an Insurance Claim
In Colorado, victims of car accidents can pursue an injury claim from the at-fault driver’s insurance. But with hit and run incidents, the process becomes different if the liable party remains unidentified. It is often difficult to track errant drivers when the incident occurred in a secluded place or without witnesses other than the victim. In this case, your options for recovery are limited—file an injury claim under the uninsured motorist coverage or medical payments coverage, both of which are optional, according to the Colorado General Assembly.
When the at-fault driver is known or identified, claiming against their car insurance policy can proceed like most auto accidents. Working with a Denver hit and run accident lawyer gives you the benefit of having a professional on your side who knows how to handle your claim. An insurance company may offer an unreasonably low payout on your claim. Your legal representative can negotiate on your behalf.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and run lawyer serving Denver, call (800) 598-7557
Proving Fault in a Hit and Run Accident
Hit and run accidents are an example of personal injury cases. To make a claim involves proving that the other party is to blame and should be liable for the resulting damages. Remember that having injuries or damaged property is not enough evidence to establish fault—there has to be more.
To identify fault correctly, collect pieces of evidence like photos and videos from the accident scene. If there are third-party witnesses, get their contact information to provide statements about what they have seen or can remember from the collision. Sometimes, you may need an expert’s testimony to provide an objective opinion on the evidence to reconstruct the accident.
Police reports are also crucial in establishing fault. While some may not provide detailed information about the accident, others are more comprehensive, including an officer’s opinions on possible traffic violations of one or both parties. If you believe that it contains inaccuracies, you can request an amendment; however, it will be challenging to amend a fact that may affect one party’s fault.
The determination of who is at fault is not an easy task—it requires expertise and years of experience handling similar cases. Rather than represent yourself, you can seek legal assistance from an attorney who handles hit and run cases.
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Civil Liability Based on Negligence
In Colorado, hit and run accidents are a serious offense—depending on the extent of damages, repercussions range from penalties to imprisonment. Moreover, at-fault drivers may face civil liability along with criminal charges.
A party is liable for another’s damages if the former acted negligently or recklessly. In hit-and-run accidents, negligence defines the legal basis for establishing liability. To prove negligence, the injured victim has to show that the other motorist failed in their duty of exercising reasonable care. If a motorist disobeys traffic laws, they can bring harm to other drivers and road users.
However, duty and its breach are insufficient to make your injury claim actionable—you also have to demonstrate how the other party’s actions caused the injuries. Causation is fact-specific, and in crashes like hit and run accidents, testimony from a medical expert may help.
For your negligence lawsuit to hold, it is crucial to show harm. There must be substantial proof like bodily injuries or destroyed property. In that case, you qualify for compensation for incurred medical expenses, lost earnings, out-of-pocket costs, and emotional distress.
When pursuing civil damages against an identified driver, some victims choose to hire a Denver hit and run accident lawyer. The legal team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, handles hit and run cases. Call (800) 598-7557 for an initial consultation.
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Statute of Limitations and Comparative Negligence in Colorado
Statutes of limitation refer to time limits within which victims must file a personal injury lawsuit if they choose to take action against a negligent party. Filing a civil action beyond the time limits may lead to a case’s early dismissal unless there are other considerable circumstances.
In Colorado Statute §13-80-101(n), injury victims have three years to pursue a car accident-related claim from the incident date, including hit and run crashes.
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How an Accident Lawyer Can Help
Whether you are pursuing an insurance claim or proceeding with a negligence lawsuit, you can seek legal counsel instead of going through the entire process by yourself. A Denver hit and run accident lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help with the complex legal matters surrounding your case to build a strong claim for compensation from those liable. Their scope of work includes an investigation to identify at-fault drivers and sort out liability.
To get started, call (800) 598-7557 for your free consultation.
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