Grand Junction Hit-and-Run Car Accident Attorneys
When your car crash was caused by another driver who fled the scene, it can be especially traumatic and leave you wondering who’s going to pay for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, and other expenses. In theory, if the driver is never caught, your own insurance policy should cover you, but the process of filing a claim can be complicated, and insurance companies are never eager to hand out money.
That’s where a Grand Junction personal injury lawyer can be invaluable. Colorado has strict laws in place to protect victims, but in many cases, insurance companies will do everything they can to limit the amount they have to payout. Our compassionate legal team has decades of experience taking on insurance companies, and we’ll do everything we can to ensure that you and your family are protected following a hit-and-run accident on the Western Slope.
Contact Peters & Nolan, LLC, at (970) 243-4357 today to schedule a free evaluation.
According to the AAA Foundation, there is a hit-and-run somewhere in the United States every minute of every day. This is a huge, costly problem for everyone involved in these collisions, including law enforcement officers, who have to investigate the crimes, and the insurance companies that have to pay for them. But of course, it’s the victims who suffer the most when there is no one to hold responsible for the damage to their cars and their injuries.
In Colorado, fleeing the scene of an accident is strictly prohibited by law. If someone is involved in an accident, they are legally required to stop, exchange information with the other driver, and check to make sure no one is injured. If people are injured, they must then give the injured party as much assistance as possible, as well as call for medical aid and inform the police.
Even if there is no one in the car when it is hit, such as when it is parked on the side of the road, the driver is still legally obligated to stay at the scene. They must first try to find and notify the owner of the vehicle. For example, if the car was parked outside a house, then the driver should knock on the door and ask if anyone in the house owns the car. If the driver is unable to locate the owner of the vehicle, then they are legally required to leave a secure note with their name, address, and registration number, so that the owner can contact them and file a claim.
There are a few exceptions to the hit-and-run laws. A driver may leave the scene only if they are leaving to report the accident to the police, such as if they needed to use a payphone, or if they are injured and in need of immediate medical attention. Once they receive the required treatment, the driver is still required to check in with the police and give them the proper information. That way the other driver can still file a claim.
Unfortunately, the law is not enough to stop some people from running. They may do so for a number of reasons. They may already have a criminal record, or they may be driving without auto insurance, which is illegal in Colorado. The person may be caught, but in the meantime, you will need to rely on your own insurance to pay for the repairs to your vehicle and any injuries you sustained. Many Coloradans have uninsured motorist (UM) protection, which applies when the person who caused their collision does not have insurance. Under such policies, hit-and-run accidents are covered by the accident victim’s own insurance policy. UM coverage is designed to match your own liability insurance, meaning you can file up to your own policy limit to receive coverage. If you have a Medpay coverage, which is included in most policies with a $5,000 limit, you may also be able to use this coverage for medical expenses. In addition to your auto insurance policy, you may be able to utilize your own personal health insurance to minimize the costs of your treatment. Sometimes, there may be other types of policies with coverage for you, such as if you were hit as a pedestrian.
No matter the situation, our trial attorneys may be able to help. We will work with law enforcement to try to track down the guilty party, and we can assist you in getting the proper compensation from your insurance companies. There may also be ways that you can help yourself. As a key witness in the accident, there could be information you could provide for the officers that may help them find the perpetrator.
The problem with hit-and-run accidents is the fact that the perpetrator can flee the scene of the accident quickly. That does not mean, however, that it will be impossible to catch them. With the right pieces of evidence, finding the at-fault driver may actually be easier than you think. This is especially true if there were surveillance cameras or several witnesses in the area of the accident. However, even if there weren’t, there is still information that you can provide for law enforcement that can help them solve the case. That can include:
- The make and model of the car
- The color of the car
- What the driver looked like
- The license plate number, even it is just a partial
- What direction the driver was going
- The time and place the accident happened
You can also help by taking photos of the scene of the accident and any damage done to your vehicle. You should also avoid having the vehicle repaired or scrapped until the police and your attorney can take a look at it, as the damage may be able to provide key clues in finding the at-fault driver. While finding the perpetrator is important, your financial security and health are far more so. After helping the police, you should immediately contact a skilled auto accident attorney who can walk you through the lengthy process of getting proper compensation.
Knowing who to turn to in a time of crisis, especially a hit-and-run, can be difficult. That is why you should call Peters & Nolan, LLC. Our experienced Grand Junction auto accident attorneys will be able to assist you with filing a civil claim for the expenses associated with your accident, including your pain and suffering. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we help victims get every penny they deserve. To learn more, give us a call today at (970) 243-4357.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.