Denver Hit and Run Car Accident Lawyers
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Colorado law mandates that any driver who is involved in a motor vehicle accident remain at the scene of the incident in order to exchange info with the other party. Unfortunately, not everyone is inclined to follow the law. Being involved in a hit and run may be devastating for multiple reasons. Beyond the physical injuries and property damage, the aftermath of a hit and run can leave you with financial and emotional burdens that can be difficult to deal with on your own.
At Zinda Law Group, we have helped numerous car accident victims get their lives back on track after a hit and run accident. We may be able to help you, too, and are happy to speak with you today. Our experienced attorneys are on your side and can help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to.
Auto Accident Statistics
According to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation, there were over 22,000 car crashes in Denver in 2017. For 2017, the number of car accidents in Denver was higher than any other county in the state. Moreover, over 4,000 of those car accidents resulted in injury.
A 2019 local article from The Denver Post states that Denver has had 4,817 hit and runs reported so far this year, with an average of about 561 accidents per month. Stapleton, a Denver neighborhood, sees more hit and runs than any other area in Denver.
Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Unfortunately, car accidents are prevalent in this day and age. As a result, people often feel that they can handle the aftermath of a car accident on their own. It almost feels routine. However, the legal process is rarely simple. Insurance companies have experienced adjusters working to minimize the size of the settlement you may seek for your injuries.
Being involved in a hit and run adds an additional layer to this issue. Hit and runs are complicated for a multitude of reasons, the most prevalent being that the identity of the liable party may be unknown. Insurance companies may use the ambiguities of the accident to justify a lower settlement offer.
The best way to make sure that you are protecting your interests after an accident is by hiring an experienced attorney. Additionally, it is the best way to make sure you are seeking the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group deal with hit and run cases every day and are available by phone for a free case evaluation.
How Does a Hit and Run Affect my Case?
The most notable effect that a hit and run has on your claim is that there is no responsible party to sue. However, that does not mean you can’t seek compensation. Even when the person who hit you is nowhere to be found, you have options.
After a hit and run, you may be able to make a claim for compensation against your own personal car insurance policy. Colorado requires that auto insurance companies offer UM coverage to their customers. UM stands for “uninsured motorist” and is meant to safeguard against the exact dilemma hit and runs create. Each policy will carry this type of coverage by default unless you make a choice to decline it. With this policy, your coverage pays for your bodily injuries and even property damage.
Making a Car Accident Claim
1. Seek Medical Attention
No matter what, the most important thing to do in order to make a car accident claim is to seek medical attention for any bodily injuries. Injuries that may seem minor at first may be symptoms of a more significantailment that the accident has caused. Visiting a doctor will allow them to diagnose the injury early, which may help link the injury to the accident and ensure that you can have the most effective treatment possible.
Second, receiving professional medical treatment allows you to obtain official records of your injuries and treatment, which may be vital information in determining the level of compensation you may be entitled to.
2. Call the Police
Calling the police to the scene of an accident is always important, but it is of particular importance in hit and run accidents. Calling the police to the scene to give them the details of what happened shortly after you have been hit has a lot of benefits. First, your memory recall will be better. Second, they can create an official report that can be used as evidence.
3. Thorough Documentation
Documentation in a hit and run is incredibly pivotal. When there isn’t a responsible party present, there are a lot more questions. Questions that you will have and more importantly that your insurance will have. Document anything and everything you can by taking photos, making notes, and speaking with any eyewitnesses who might have seen the person who hit you.
4. Speak with an Attorney
Having an attorney with experience with hit and run cases is the best way to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. An attorney may be able to help open a claim with your insurance carrier and negotiate compensation.
Common Car Accident Causes
There are many different causes of a car accident. Some accidents can be blamed on a driver, while some can be attributed to factors outside our control. Your ability to seek compensation will often depend on whether your accident was caused by outside circumstances, by another's negligence, or by your own fault.
Some common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving: Texting, reaching for objects inside your car, eating, reading, applying make-up are common distractions that lead to accidents.
- Not following the rules of the road: Speeding, improper turns, improper lane changing, failing to stop at red lights and stop signs, and wrong-way driving.
- Driving while under the influence: Driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol significantly impairs an individual's ability to focus on the road.
- Animal Crossings: We can’t control whether animals jut out into the road, but you may still be liable for your decision to swerve out of the way if you hit another driver.
- Weather Conditions: Snow, ice, and rain can affect a driver’s ability to see clearly and can provide for unsafe driving conditions.
- Mechanical issues: Cars can suffer mechanical issues that are beyond our control, such as system failure due to faulty parts. Nevertheless, you could still be held liable if you failed to have your car routinely inspected or the mechanical issue was known to you, and you chose not to fix it.
Car accident injuries may vary in severity. Mild injuries may resolve themselves within mere days with little to no medical attention, while more serious injuries can result in long-lasting physical and emotional side effects. Car accident injuries can often be categorized as either impact injuries or penetrating injuries. Impact injuries result from bumping into parts of your vehicle during an accident, while penetrating injuries refer mainly to cuts, scrapes, or other puncture wounds.
Some common types of car accident injuries may include:
- Soft tissue injury such as whiplash
- Muscle soreness
- Scrapes and cuts
- Head injuries
- Chest injuries
- Arm and leg injuries
Car Accident Compensation
Notify your insurance company as soon as possible after being involved in a hit and run. You may be able to seek both economic and non-economic damages for your claim. Economic damages compensate you for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other financially based injuries. Non-economic damages are there to cover your pain and suffering. Calculating pain and suffering is different in every case, but attorneys usually multiply your economic damages by a number that represents the severity of your suffering.
Legal Time Limits
Many car accident victims don’t realize that time is one of the most important factors in their case. The clock starts ticking on your hit and run claim the second you are injured in a car wreck. Under Colorado law, you have three years to file any claims related to injuries sustained within a car accident. While there a few exceptions to this time limit, in general, after three years have passed, you may be unable to seek compensation.
OUR Denver HIT AND RUN CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS MAY HELP
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.
How much does a lawyer charge after a car accident?
Zinda Law Group offers a 100% free initial case consultation. After the consultation, if you decide to move forward with your claim and you become a client, we will work on a contingency fee basis. That means that any legal fees are contingent on us securing compensation. If you don’t get any compensation for your claim, you are not obligated to pay.
How much do you get for pain and suffering in a car accident?
Generally, lawyers calculate pain and suffering using either a daily rate method or a multiplier method. The daily rate method assigns a monetary amount to each day you have suffered and combines it for a total. The multiplier method generally takes your economic damages and multiplies that by a number between one and three.
What is the average settlement for a car accident?
Without knowing the details of your accident and injuries, it is impossible to know how much your claim is worth. Every accident is different, but having an experienced attorney can help you seek the compensation you may be entitled to. To learn more, view this article about how to calculate your settlement.