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What to Do Following a Hit and Run Accident

Denver car accident attorney R. Mack Babcock provides step-by-step instructions on what to do in the event of a hit and run

Whether you are the one who fled the scene or you are a victim, a hit and run accident can be a total nightmare. NOLO Law for All defines a hit and run as "being involved in a car accident (either with a pedestrian, another car or a fixed object) and then leaving the scene without stopping to identify yourself or render aid to anyone who might need assistance." 

According to crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), hit and run accidents are on the rise in most major cities in the U.S. In fact, from 2009 to 2011 they rose by 13.7%. 

So why is it that people flee the scene of an accident?  There can be any number of reasons—sheer panic, fear because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, perhaps they have no license, or they are wanted for criminal activity.  Whatever the case may be, it is never acceptable to flee the scene of an accident.

What should you do if you hit another car or a pedestrian?

  • Never flee no matter how scared you are. Trying to run away from the situation will always be worse than facing what happened.
  • Always call the police and get a police report.
  • Give the person you hit your name and insurance information.
  • If the person is hurt, wait for the ambulance to arrive.
  • If you are in a remote area and can't reach police, take the hurt individual to the nearest medical facility.
  • Don't admit fault or say too much. Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • Call your insurance company immediately.
  • Contact an attorney.

What should you do if you hit a person's vehicle, home, etc…and they are nowhere to be found?

  • Do everything you can to try and locate the person.
  • If you can't find them, you must leave a note with your information to get in touch with you.
  • Call the police and let them make a report. They can also help locate the person.

What do you do if you are a victim of a hit and run?

  • The more information you can gather as quickly as possible, the better. Do you know what type of car hit you? Model? Color? Were there any witnesses? If so, get their information. Hopefully, you will have enough information for the police to help find who did this to you.
  • Call the police immediately.
  • Call your insurance company immediately.
  • Call an experienced car accident attorney immediately.

To learn more about the different types of auto accidents, please review our (PDF) Colorado auto accident guide.

If you cause an accident and are considering fleeing the scene, think twice because most states have a heavy fine and possibly even jail time.  Fines are in addition to any compensation for the accident victims.  In Colorado, it depends on the accident. Criminal charges for a hit and run can range anywhere from a Class 2 Misdemeanor to a Class 3 Felony.

A hit and run can be very tricky, upsetting and confusing.  If you were a victim of this sort of accident, contact Colorado's auto accident attorney Mack Babcock to help guide you through this tough situation.

Continue reading these related articles for more information…

**NOTE – this article and all content at Injurylawcolorado.com is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice

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