Car accidents are a leading cause of accidental injuries, deaths, and property damage in the Colorado Springs area each year. While most drivers are able to resolve these incidents with relative ease, some accident cases are more complex and demanding. This is especially true when an at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident instead of stopping and taking responsibility as the law requires.
Helping Hit and Run Accident Victims Recover in Colorado Springs, CO
When a driver commits a hit and run, they face liability for the damages they inflict on others. The injured driver will have the right to file an auto insurance claim and a personal injury claim against the hit and run driver. However, the state will also file criminal charges because hitting someone or something and running is a criminal offense. If you or a family member experiences a hit and run, the first challenge you will face in your recovery efforts will be identifying and locating the at-fault driver. It’s natural to feel uncertain and frustrated in this situation, but the right attorney can provide the guidance and support you need to approach the case with peace of mind.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal offers compassionate and responsive legal counsel to our clients in Colorado Springs and surrounding communities. If you have experienced any personal injury from the actions of another party, we have the skills, resources, and experience needed to guide you to a positive conclusion of your case. Our team knows how to locate an at-fault driver, and we will provide the guidance you need when a car accident happens from illegal activity like hit and run.
Proving Liability for a Hit and Run Accident in Colorado Springs
Colorado follows the fault rule for resolving vehicle accidents, meaning the driver at fault for a collision absorbs liability for the resulting damages. Every driver is required to carry auto insurance that includes liability coverage, and filing a claim against an at-fault driver’s insurance policy is typically the first step toward recovering from an accident.
This is challenging for victims of hit-and-run accidents. In many cases, drivers flee accidents they cause specifically because they are uninsured. Others simply wish to avoid liability for the damages they caused. In any case, the victim of a hit and run accident must first identify the driver who caused their damages, and then that driver must be located. A Colorado Springs hit and run accident attorney can consult the local police to help you identify the driver responsible for your damages. Witness testimony, traffic camera footage, and various other forms of evidence can all be essential to proving liability for a Colorado Springs hit and run offense.
When the responsible driver is located, the state is likely to file criminal charges for fleeing the scene of the accident. The severity of the harm they caused will determine whether they face misdemeanor or felony charges, but in either case, they will be fully responsible for the damages they inflicted. Your Colorado Springs hit and run accident attorney can advise you as to how your case is likely to unfold once the police locate the hit and run driver.
Recovering Damages From a Hit and Run Driver in Colorado Springs
The recovery process from a hit and run accident will be similar to how a driver recovers from any other vehicle accident in the state. After proving liability for their accident, they can proceed with filing an auto insurance claim against the at-fault driver. If their insurance can fully cover the victim’s losses, the civil case can end there, but if not, the injured victim will need to pursue a personal injury claim to recover the rest of their claimable damages.
Under Colorado law, the victim of a personal injury has the right to seek full repayment of all economic damages the defendant caused. These are likely to include:
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs. A successful auto insurance claim may cover some of these losses, but any remainder can be cited as economic damages in a subsequent personal injury claim.
- Medical expenses. Any vehicle accident has the potential to inflict severe injuries, some of which may impose long-term or permanent medical complications on the victim. You have the right to seek full compensation for the entire scope of medical expenses you incurred from the accident the defendant caused.
- Lost wages. When you are unable to work due to a car accident, the at-fault driver is liable for the income you are unable to earn while you recover. If you are permanently disabled from the accident, the defendant also faces liability for your lost future earning capacity.
Beyond these economic damages, a plaintiff can also seek compensation for the pain and suffering they experienced. Colorado law limits how much they can claim, but a good attorney can help their client maximize their pain and suffering compensation. Additionally, because the defendant caused the accident through an illegal action, they could face punitive damages and/or restitution to the victim along with their liability for the victim’s civil damages.
The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal is ready to provide the professional legal advocacy you need for your hit and run accident claim in Colorado Springs. Our team knows how frustrating this type of incident can be and the various legal questions you are likely to have as you seek compensation for the losses you suffered. Whatever your case may entail, you can trust our team to help you build a cohesive and effective civil suit. When you must participate in criminal court proceedings against an at-fault driver, you can rely on us for guidance with this as well.
Hit and Run Accident Lawyers FAQs
Q: What Is the Penalty for a Hit and Run?
A: If the defendant hits an unoccupied vehicle, they face civil liability for the resulting damages and a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300. If they caused an injury, they may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the scope of the victim’s injury. At the felony level, hit and run can incur a fine of up to $500,000 and up to six years in prison. If the hit and run driver caused a fatal injury, they face up to 12 years in prison and fines up to $750,000.
Q: How Long Do I Have to File a Civil Suit for a Hit and Run in Colorado Springs?
A: The standard statute of limitations or time limit for filing most types of personal injury cases in the state is two years, but the statute extends to three years for car accident claims. You need to submit your complaint to the court no later than three years from the date your accident occurred; otherwise, you lose your chance to hold the at-fault driver accountable for your losses.
Q: How Much Is My Hit and Run Accident Claim Worth?
A: If you can prove another party is liable for your recent hit and run accident in Colorado Springs, you have the right to seek full repayment of all economic losses they caused with their actions. These are likely to include vehicle repairs, medical bills, and lost income if the accident forces you to miss work. You can also claim pain and suffering compensation to a certain extent. Your Colorado Springs hit and run accident attorney can calculate the total damages you could secure from a successful civil suit.
Q: Will I Win a Larger Settlement if I Hire Legal Representation?
A: Hiring an experienced attorney to represent your claim is the most effective method of enhancing your final case award. While you may be able to assess immediately recognizable damages, calculating the full long-term impact of any vehicle accident can be very difficult without an attorney’s help. Ultimately, you are more likely to succeed with your case and more likely to maximize your recovery if you have an attorney’s help.
Q: How Much Will a Colorado Springs Hit and Run Accident Attorney Charge a Client?
A: It’s understandable to worry about the potential cost of hiring legal counsel when you are already struggling with the economic impact of your recent accident. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal can alleviate these concerns with our contingency fee billing policy. With this billing arrangement, you pay nothing unless we win your case, and if we do win, you only part with a percentage of the total case award we secure on your behalf. This eliminates the risk of your attorneys’ fees amounting to more than your final compensation.
The right attorney can provide the guidance and responsive communication you need from your legal advocate during a challenging hit and run accident case. The illegal nature of the defendant’s actions could influence your civil claim in various ways, and you could have more opportunities to recover your losses than you initially realize. The sooner you consult an experienced attorney, the more likely you are to uncover all the available channels of compensation in your claim. Contact the Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal today to schedule your free consultation with a Colorado Springs hit and run accident attorney.