Motor vehicle accidents can have far-reaching consequences that include injury and damage to your vehicle or other property. A hit and run accident can also cause inconvenience, stress, and frustration.
If the driver responsible for the accident flees the scene, it can add to the distress of the event, as there is no person at whom you can direct your claims for damages. As a result, you have no way to receive compensation for medical bills, car defects, and pain and suffering.
If you or a family member were involved in a hit-and-run accident, Bell & Pollock P.C. could help, even if law enforcement never apprehends the responsible person. We can provide you with legal solutions to cover your damage, even if the negligent driver is absent.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident call us for a free case evaluation.
What is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run accident is one where one of the involved parties flees the scene after the incident in an attempt to avoid responsibility. In almost all hit-and-run cases, the party who flees the scene is the one responsible for the accident. However, a person may also try to get away if they want to avoid prosecution for another misconduct, such as the possession of contraband.
There are different hit-and-run scenarios:
- You park your car in a public area and walk away. A driver hits your car in your absence and drives off without you knowing their identity or when the incident occurred.
- A driver hits your car while you are using the road. After the collision, the driver first assesses your condition and damage to your vehicle before leaving the scene.
- The driver hits or clips your car and drives away without stopping.
In the above scenarios, the driver who played a prominent role in the accident failed to provide the required information. According to Colorado Law, any person who is involved in a road accident must provide the following to the other parties:
- Legal name
- Driver’s license and state of origin
- Identification number of their vehicle
- Their insurance carrier’s details, including the entity name, address, and contact information
If a person doesn’t stop to present the above information, they make themselves guilty of hit-and-run and may face a criminal charges and civil suit.
What to Do if You Were in a Hit-and-Run
If you were involved in a road accident, you might suffer from injuries and shock, which makes it difficult to take immediate action. However, by taking a few critical steps, you can increase the chances of a successful criminal prosecution and civil claim.
The first step is to seek immediate medical attention, even if there are no apparent injuries. If you are not able to call an ambulance, ask a bystander to do so.
Then, contact the police so they can start the process of finding the offender. Police will also begin preparing a report.
After contacting the authorities, try to remember the details of the incident. Information such as the make, color, model, and license plate of the vehicle that hit you can help law information to find and apprehend the offender. Try to get the contact details of eyewitnesses who may have the information you need for a successful case.
As the victim of a hit-and-run, you may be tempted to chase after the vehicle and apprehend them yourself. However, you may make yourself guilty of a traffic offense or another felony in the process. Additionally, trying to find the offender is also not as important as receiving emergency medical attention.
Who is the Liable Party in the Event of a Hit-and-Run?
When a person is in control of a vehicle and an accident happens because of negligence or a lack of care, that person is liable for the accident and responsible for any damages. For example, if person A suffers losses because of person B’s negligent driving, B is responsible for the compensation.
The problem with hit-and-run incidents is that the identity of the potential defendant is unknown, and there is no person against whom you can pursue claims for damages and injuries. The fact that the offending party is absent doesn’t mean that you become liable.
When law enforcement finds the negligent party, you will be able to proceed with a civil action like you would in the case of a typical road accident. However, the offender may face a criminal charge because they left the scene.
Why You Should Pursue Compensation
A car accident can have far-reaching consequences, with injuries being the most debilitating. Damage to your car can also result in repair costs and inconvenience, especially if its condition no longer allows for everyday use.
Typical car accident injuries include:
- Back injuries
- Bone fractures
- Burn wounds
- Deep lacerations
- Internal organ damage or bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injury, which can result in paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you or a loved one suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligent driving, you could claim for your medical expenses. An injury can also affect your ability to work and earn an income. In the case where you are no longer able to care for yourself and your dependents, you may also be able to claim for loss of income.
If the accident resulted in death, the victim’s family might successfully pursue compensation for loss of income and the emotional trauma of losing a loved one.
After a hit-and-run, you should pursue compensation to alleviate the financial toll on you and your family. You may also need compensation for intangible damages, such as loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, and pain and suffering.
Don’t allow another person’s negligence to impact your well-being. Bell & Pollock P.C. will help you go through the process of claiming compensation from the negligent driver or insurance company.
When law enforcement establishes the identity and other information on the person who caused the accident, you can initiate a personal injury lawsuit against them, or you can negotiate a settlement with their insurance company.
The settlement amount you can expect to claim depends on several factors, including the circumstances of the incident and the damages you suffered. In cases where the plaintiff suffered severe personal injuries and extensive damage to their vehicle, they can claim thousands of dollars from the defendant.
There are many different types of damages in a car accident claim, including:
- Medical expenses, such as ambulance costs, hospital stays, medication, rehabilitation, and surgery
- Loss of income
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of quality of life
- Property loss
- Damages involving wrongful death
Before filing a claim, your attorney at Bell & Pollock will help you determine an appropriate compensation amount as a remedy for the damages you suffered as a result of the accident.
Filing a Lawsuit
When the police find the person who caused the accident, you can press criminal charges against them and file a civil claim for damages. In the state of Colorado, there is a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, so you can still file a lawsuit for three years after the incident occurred.
Filing a civil claim requires an extensive legal knowledge, evidence in the form of pictures and documentation, and thorough preparation. Having a skilled attorney like Bell & Pollock on your side will increase your chances of filing a successful claim.
Ideally, you should also have adequate insurance coverage, so you don’t entirely depend on the outcome of the case.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run, insurance is crucial to, at least, pay for your medical expenses and restore your means of transportation. Having sound insurance coverage is particularly critical if the driver who is responsible for the accident is unidentified
Your insurance policy should be sufficient to cover some of the damages you incurred as a result of the accident. However, you can expect your insurance company to try and minimize these payments.
Bell & Pollock P.C – A Denver Hit & Run Accident Attorney
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, Bell & Pollock can provide you with all the legal resources you need to file a successful claim for damages. Our legal solutions include a thorough investigation to gather evidence. Such an investigation involves collaborating with, among others, accident reconstruction and medical experts.
As your lawyers, we will also communicate and negotiate with insurance claims adjusters and the defendant on your behalf to maximize compensation. Additionally, we will also dispute your claim and represent your interests if the case goes before the court.
Contact Us Today
A hit-and-run accident can leave you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and helpless, especially if you have to receive medical treatment. Let Bell & Pollock take care of all your legal interests, so you don’t have to worry about bearing the costs yourself.
For expert legal advice and representation in a hit-and-run case, contact Bell & Pollock P.C. today and schedule an initial consultation.
Fortunately, I was referred to Robert Brovege by a family member. He and his paralegal always took time to explain everything that was happening in my case, and what the next step would be. It was great knowing that someone was always in my corner. I would highly recommend Robert Brovege.
I am happy with the personal attention that I received from Bell & Pollock on my automobile accident case. Bell & Pollock successfully negotiated a settlement with the at fault party’s insurance carrier. Bell & Pollock made the entire process less stressful for me.
Gary and Hollie at Bell & Pollock live up to their motto “Champions of the People.”
They have worked all hours of the day, night, weekends and holidays assisting me with personal injury accident claim and related disability issues. As a single parent to a six year-old little girl I feel great comfort in knowing that Bell & Pollock are here to help us through these difficult times. Thank you for all you do!
I sustained serious injuries after a collision with a hit and run driver. Bell & Pollock represented me in my lawsuit against the at-fault driver, and helped settle my underinsured motorist case with my automobile insurer. I am very happy with the representation that I received from Bell & Pollock.
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