Hit-and-run crashes on the rise in Denver
Denver, CO – Traffic fatalities are on the rise in Denver and local authorities are increasingly concerned about the high number of hit-and-run crashes, where a driver leaves an injured — sometimes fatally — person behind at the scene.
In 2022, in Denver, there were 54 hit-and-run crashes that led to serious injuries and 17 of them were fatal. In the first month of this year, Denver PD registered 5 hit-and-run accidents, resulting in 8 people, including two pedestrians, who were seriously injured.
If you or a loved one were recently injured in a hit-and-run accident, you should contact an experienced Denver car accident lawyer as soon as possible. You cannot rely only on the police to look for the driver. A dedicated lawyer can be of great assistance by talking to witnesses and reviewing surveillance camera footage to find clues that can be used to identify the person responsible for your injuries.
What are the penalties for hit-and-run drivers in Colorado?
In Colorado, it is against the law to leave the scene of any crash, even if nobody is injured. Here are the penalties a fleeing driver may be facing:
- Crash resulting in non-serious injuries is punishable by 10 days to a year in jail and/or a fine of $300 up to $1,000.
- Crash resulting in serious injury is a Class 4 felony punishable by two to six years in prison and/or a fine up to $500,000.
- Crash resulting in death is a Class 3 felony punishable by four to 12 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $750,000.
Main reasons a driver would not stop at the scene of the crash
Colorado car accident lawyers say many drivers get so scared they will have to pay damages that they panic and try to get away as soon as possible. This happens when a driver does not have insurance or is worried their coverage won’t be enough.
Another reason drivers prefer to disappear as quickly as possible is that they may be intoxicated and know they’ll probably face DUI charges. There are also situations when a driver is involved in some type of criminal activity, such as drug possession or transporting illegal/stolen items.
What to do if you were involved in a hit-and-run crash in Colorado?
Seasoned Denver car accident lawyers have the following advice for hit-and-run crash victims:
- Do not chase the fleeing driver
- Call 911 right away
- Write down anything you remember about the driver and the car
- Talk to witnesses and see if anyone has noticed anything about the other vehicle or the driver. Make sure to get their contact info in case your lawyers want to interview them again.
- Use your social media to ask for help in identifying the driver. Ask your friends to share your post. Remind people that in Colorado people offering information on unsolved crimes can receive a monetary reward. Denver residents can use the Crimestoppers website to share information anonymously and can earn up to $2,000 if that information leads to an arrest.
If someone you loved was recently injured or killed in a hit-and-run crash, you should contact an experienced accident lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm to see how you can find the driver and recover damages.
333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B
Englewood, CO 80110
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