Every year in Colorado Springs, there are hundreds of car accidents reported, and a few dozen fatal accidents reported as well. While car accidents–and, unfortunately, even serious injury and fatal car accidents–may be common, drivers who are involved in a crash can usually take comfort in knowing that liability insurance will help to pay for their injuries and property damage expenses. For some accident victims, however, no such insurance is in place because the at-fault party is a hit-and-run driver. If you or a loved one has been in an accident such as this, our Colorado Springs hit-and-run accident lawyers at the law office of McCormick & Murphy, P.C. can advise you of your options and represent your best interests. Please call our law firm today if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run accident and are unsure of what you should do next.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident Is Illegal
The first thing that you should know if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident is that leaving the scene of an accident in Colorado without stopping to render help and exchange information with the other driver is against the law in our state. This is true even if no one is injured. What’s more, in the case of serious injury or death, leaving the scene of an accident can be a felony offense.
Even if the driver is caught and charges against them are brought, though, a criminal conviction for a hit-and-run crime won’t yield any monetary damages for you as the victim. Instead, you will need to pursue a civil action against the driver–or another party–in order to recover recompense for your losses.
Recovering Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Colorado Springs
Perhaps the most devastating part of being involved in a hit-and-run accident in Colorado is the fact that if you are injured or have suffered property damage losses, or both, there is no one against whom you can file a claim, assuming that the hit-and-run driver is not identified. What’s more, even if the driver is found, it is likely that they do not have insurance (indeed, this may be the reason that they fled the accident scene in the first place), and therefore there will be no liability insurance policy against which you can file a claim.
So, what are your options if you are injured in a hit-and-run accident?
File a lawsuit directly against the driver. Filing a lawsuit directly against the other driver may be an option, assuming that the driver is found and identified. However, note that if the at-fault driver doesn’t carry insurance, it is very unlikely that filing a lawsuit will be fruitful, even if the driver is indeed found liable for your injuries and damages. This is because a hit-and-run driver may not have the personal assets to pay your claim, regardless of the outcome.
File a claim against your own uninsured/underinsured motorist policy. Typically, the best option if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, as well as the one which is the most likely to be successful, is to pursue a claim against your own insurance policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage is required to be offered in Colorado, and is designed to pay for medical and other expenses for injuries caused by an uninsured/underinsured driver or, in the case, a hit-and-run driver. You are required to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the same amount as the bodily injury limits purchased, unless you waive that coverage in writing, which you should never do. This type of coverage can be waived only if rejected in writing. Our lawyers strongly recommend carrying this insurance type.
In addition to uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you may also carry other insurance types that will offer you compensation in the event of a hit-and-run crash, including collision coverage and medical payments coverage.
How Our Colorado Springs Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you have been in a hit-and-run crash in Colorado, you are no doubt frustrated and angry, as well as scared about what may happen next and how you will pay for your losses, especially if your injuries are severe. Our Colorado Springs hit-and-run accident lawyers have experience working on cases like yours and can help you by investigating your accident and attempting to find the at-fault driver, reviewing your insurance policy, calculating the value of your losses, filing a claim against the appropriate party, negotiating your settlement offer, and more. We can also negotiate with healthcare providers to forgive certain medical bills, or help you to establish a payment plan to avoid medical debt. We can also work with providers to help ensure that you receive medical care even if you are unable to pay for it.
Call Our Colorado Springs Hit-and-Run Attorneys Today
You deserve to be compensated after being in an accident, but the actions of a hit-and-run driver can complicate that. However, just because the at-fault driver cannot be identified does not mean that you are out of options and that you will simply have to pay for your losses out of pocket or live with large amounts of debt for the rest of your life. At the law offices of McCormick & Murphy, P.C., our Colorado springs hit-and-run attorneys will work hard to determine the best course of action for you based on the details of your case.
If you or a loved one has been seriously harmed in a hit-and-run crash, please call our law firm today for your free consultation. We are ready to start working on your case immediately.