Thornton Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
It is illegal for a driver to flee the scene of a crash if the accident caused property damage or injuries to another party. This type of incident is known as a “hit-and-run.”
When a motorist flees the scene, it makes it difficult to gather insurance information, photos, contact information, and other important evidence that proves fault in a crash. This can complicate an injury claim and add unnecessary stress to your recovery process.
If you have been injured in a wreck by someone who fled the scene, contact a Thornton hit-and-run lawyer right away. A skilled car crash attorney could gather police reports, witness statements, and other evidence to pursue the compensation you deserve.
State Laws Governing Hit-and-Run Incidents
State law recognizes four categories of hit-and-run accidents. If the accident only involves property damage, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor, which may include up to one year in jail and $1,000.00 in fines. If the accident involves an injury, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor and can result in up to 18 months in jail and $5,000.00 in fines.
When a person is involved in a car accident in Thornton, they are legally obligated to remain at the scene of the accident unless they leave in order to fully report the accident to law enforcement, there is no one in the other vehicle, or one is badly injured and in need of immediate medical attention. Parties are permitted to move a small distance if leaving the cars would obstruct traffic or constitute a hazard.
There is also a duty to give aid to injured persons in Colorado for those involved in an auto accident. One must give an injured person reasonable assistance. Taking the victim to a doctor or hospital or making arrangements for someone to do so are considered reasonable assistance.
Why Do People Flee the Scene?
A motorist may have a number of motivations for choosing to flee the scene of a collision. A driver may choose to flee if they are:
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Operating a motor vehicle on a suspended, revoked, or expired license
- Driving without a license
After an accident, the police will do everything they can do to track down a hit-and-run driver. Unfortunately, it may be that the driver will never be identified or located. An experienced Thornton attorney can help an individual recover compensation from their own insurance company in the instance that an at-fault motorist who fled the scene is never found.
Compensation for Hit-and-Runs in Thornton
The injured plaintiff in a hit-and-run accident is entitled to damages that compensate for medical expenses, pain, suffering, lost wages, and more. These types of damages must be proportionate to the harm caused and are not based on the defendant’s behavior.
Alternatively, punitive damages are based on the defendant’s behavior. These damages are designed to punish and prevent bad conduct by serving as a warning to others. Punitive damages come into play when a defendant intentionally or recklessly causes harm or acts in a particularly extreme manner. If the at-fault driver is found, punitive damages will generally be available to the injured party.
The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Payment for hit-and-run claims generally is handled by one’s own vehicle insurance, in the form of uninsured bodily injury and property damage coverage. Because of this, it is important for drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage due to the fact that there are a high number of drivers who are either driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or simply do not carry insurance. A knowledgeable attorney in the area could explain uninsured motorist coverage in more detail and go over the compensation options in a hit-and-run case.
Contact a Thornton Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney Right Away
After a hit-and-run incident, it is important to call 911 to make sure all injuries are addressed. It is also wise to exchange information, take pictures of the scene, and speak with witnesses if possible. After taking these important measures, the next crucial step is to reach out to a Thornton hit-and-run accident lawyer. A dedicated attorney could work to hold the at-fault driver responsible and pursue the compensation you need. Call today to get started.