Colorado hit and run accidents are on the rise. The most recent statistics show that about 1 in every 5 car accidents involves a hit-and-run driver. Accordingly, the Colorado legislature has taken hit and run (fleeing the scene) violations seriously. All classes of hit-and-run accidents can be criminally prosecuted.
Four Classes of Hit-and-Run Offenses in Colorado
All drivers have an affirmative duty to stop and stay at the scene of a car accident, whether it involves only property damage or personal injury. Drivers in a collision must also exchange their personal and insurance information, and render assistance to anyone injured in the accident, which includes calling for emergency responders and waiting for them to arrive.
There are four types of criminal charges associated with fleeing the scene of an accident in Colorado. All types of hit-and-run convictions will result in 12 points on your license, which in most cases leads to a mandatory suspension of your driver's license.
Damage Only to Property
A driver who damages property (unattended vehicle) is required to locate the owner of the property and tell them what happened. If the owner cannot be located, then the driver must leave a visible note on the property with their contact information. Failure to abide by these requirements by fleeing the scene of an accident causing property damage is a Class 2 misdemeanor which is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Accident Causing Non-Serious Bodily Injury
If your car crash caused non-serious bodily injury to another person, you have a duty to assist the other person and call for emergency medical help. If you do not stop and call emergency responders in an accident where you injured someone, you can be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and $5,000 in fines.
Accident Causing Serious or Severe Bodily Injury
If your car accident caused serious or severe bodily injury to another and you fail to stop and call for help, then you can be found guilty of a Class 5 felony. A Class 5 felony is punishable by up to three (3) years in prison as well as up to $500,000 in fines.
Accident Causing Death
Finally, if you are involved in an accident that leads to another person's death and you flee the scene of the crash, you can be found guilty of a class three felony. A class three felony is punishable by up to 12 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines.
As you can see, the penalties for hit and run driving are very steep, especially if the accident caused serious bodily injury or death. You must always call police and emergency medical responders, and stay at the scene of the accident, even if the collision seems minor.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, or any type of car accident, you need the help of a reliable personal injury attorney—like those at the Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal—to assist you in obtaining the compensation you need for your injuries. At The Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal, we have experience fighting for all types of damages on behalf of injured people. For your free consultation with our personal injury attorneys, call (303) 647-4511, or visit us online.