Lakewood Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
When a driver hits another vehicle and drives off without exchanging information, then they could face legal repercussions. Drivers involved in a car wreck must exchange information with each other to allow the insurance companies to investigate the incident. If you were injured in a hit-and-run incident, contact a dedicated Lakewood hit and run accident lawyer. A diligent car collision attorney could help you hold the negligent driver accountable and pursue compensation on your behalf.
Defining Hit and Run Accidents
Colorado law states that it is a crime to leave the scene of a car wreck even when no one is injured. If someone is hurt or seriously injured from a hit and run, then the individual who fled the scene could face a felony. However, most of the time, the person is going to be looking at a misdemeanor. The individual could lose their driver’s license and may even face prison time.
Common Fact Patterns Surrounding Hit and Run Accidents
Drivers may flee the scene of an accident if they are under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any another substance. Since the police may arrive at the scene, a person driving under the influence could realize they may face criminal consequences. A person texting while driving could also face legal repercussions, and therefore, might decide to flee.
An individual may also flee the scene if they have prior traffic or criminal offenses such as a suspended license, too many tickets, or an outstanding warrant. They could be afraid of the legal consequences of adding an additional car accident charge to any prior convictions. People working for driving company cars may not want to get in trouble at work, and commercial vehicle drivers may afraid of being late for deliveries. For more information about the common fact patterns involving hit and run accidents, call a seasoned Lakewood hit and run accident lawyer.
Importance of Insurance Coverage
A plaintiff in a hit and run case may likely not know who the at-fault party is. Without their identity, the person could not contact the at-fault party’s insurance information. If a hit and run driver successfully escapes without being caught, the injured person may likely need to report this information to their own insurance company and provide them with information regarding the accident. This is why it is important to have underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage for these cases. Uninsured motorist coverage is not required in Colorado, so the first thing to determine is whether the injured party has uninsured motorist coverage. If a person does, then they could pursue a claim with their own insurance and go through the process of getting a police report, reporting injuries, and pursuing this claim just as if they did find the at-fault party.
Recovering Damages Following a Wreck
A skilled hit and run accident attorney in Lakewood could help an injured individual collect economic and non-economic damages. The type of compensation a plaintiff could recover includes:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Wages lost
- Loss of future earnings
- Permanent impairment
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party or the defendant and it is not designed to compensate the injured party. When there is a hit and run case and the at-fault party is found, the defense typically presents to the insurance company all of the damages associated with a typical case. Punitive damages may also be used as a way to try to recover more money for the injured person. Punitive damages are beyond mere negligence and are used when someone has acted willfully or in a wanton way that is deliberate. Punitive damages are designed to punish a person that hits someone, is aware of the accident, and continues driving. They may also be used as a leverage to get a favorable settlement agreement with the injured party and the insurance company.
How a Lakewood Hit and Run Accident Attorney Could Help
A Lakewood hit and run accident lawyer could help an injured individual by contacting the police immediately to see if a police report is already established. Then the attorney could get the accident report and request information from the city to get camera footage that could help with locating the at-fault party. After a hit and run wreck, it is essential to contact a lawyer quickly so that they could begin an investigation as soon as possible. Once they are able to establish who is responsible for the wreck, they could file a claim and get the compensation that the injured person deserves. If you have been injured in a hit and run collision, call a Lakewood hit and run accident attorney today.