It is against the law to hit a vehicle or pedestrian and then flee the scene. However, countless people in Colorado do that every year, leaving behind injured victims and damaged property.
If you were struck by a hit and run driver, then you face some problems trying to receive compensation for your injuries. Under Colorado law, the driver at fault for the accident must pay compensation to victims. But if the driver has fled the scene, it will be impossible to obtain the necessary insurance information to make a claim.
An experienced Grand Junction hit and run accident lawyer can help. You do have some options for receiving compensation for your injuries, and we can walk you through them.
What to Do After a Hit and Run
Your insurance company will want to know the details of the accident, including:
- When and where it happened
- How much damage your car has suffered
- Your personal injuries (if any)
After being struck, you should stop your vehicle and call the police. Tell them you were the victim of a hit and run and wait for an officer to arrive on the scene to write up a police report. If you saw the motorist who struck you, then try to document as many relevant details as possible:
- A description of the vehicle, such as make, model, and color
- The license plate number (or as much of the license plate as you saw)
- The direction the motorist fled in
You should also ask around if anyone saw who struck you. If you were in a coffee shop when someone struck your parked car, then maybe a pedestrian saw something. A nearby business might also have surveillance video. Remember to take photographs of damage to your vehicle before getting it fixed. Some of the paint from the vehicle that hit you might have rubbed off onto your car, so you want to document that. You can take pictures with your smartphone.
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Covering Medical Bills and Other Losses
In the typical car accident, you exchange insurance information with the other drivers involved in a crash. You then submit a claim to the insurer who covers the driver at fault for the collision.
This isn’t an option in a hit and run. Instead, you need to find other ways to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Consider your options:
- Health insurance. You can rely on your health insurance to pay for any medical treatment. You might have insurance through your job, or you might have bought a policy yourself. If you ultimately identify the driver and get a settlement, your insurer will want to be reimbursed for any money spent treating your injuries.
- Uninsured motorist (UM) insurance. You must be offered this insurance, but you can reject it. It will cover your lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering in the event of a hit and run.
- Medical payments. Like UM insurance, you can reject this coverage, but it will cover a hit and run if you have it. Medical payments will pay for medical care you need as a result of the accident.
- Collision coverage. Collision will pay for damage to your vehicle in a hit and run but not medical bills or lost wages. It is optional coverage.
Unfortunately, none of these options is ideal, and many Colorado motorists do not have any of the above insurance.
How a Grand Junction Hit and Run Accident Lawyer Can Help
Although the driver might have fled the scene of the crash, it is certainly possible that the police might find him or her. After all, this driver committed a crime, and if you suffered serious bodily injuries (as opposed to only damage to your vehicle), the police might be especially motivated to find the driver.
As the victim, you should also consider hiring a Grand Junction hit and run accident attorney. This person can help investigate your case and coordinate with the police. If you identify the driver, your attorney can file a lawsuit for compensation or negotiate a settlement.
An attorney is also helpful if you are negotiating with your uninsured motorist insurer, who is trying to deny coverage for some reason. An attorney can make a compelling case for why you deserve compensation.
Contact Cimarron Ridge Legal Group today. One of our Grand Junction hit and run accident lawyers will meet with you to discuss your case and go through your options. We have helped many clients obtain the compensation they need after a bad car accident and we want to help you, too. We offer a free initial consultation. Please call 970-230-7662.