Getting into a car accident can be a very scary experience, especially if the accident results in any injuries or fatalities. Many people assume that the other driver involved in the crash will stay at the scene until help arrives. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.
More hit-and-run accidents are being reported in many major cities in the United States. Fatal hit-and-run car accidents are also increasing throughout the country. Hit-and-run accidents can not only result in catastrophic and fatal injuries, but also in serious criminal charges for drivers who leave the scene of an accident.
Fatal hit-and-run accidents have increased in the U.S. during the last few years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 1,449 fatal hit-and-run accidents in 2011, up from 1,274 reported in 2009. The increase in fatal hit-and-run crashes is a sign of a serious safety issue for motorists across the country.
Hit-and-run accidents can involve motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists, and often leave victims and the public questioning why the driver left after the accident. Studies have found that some drivers flee the scene of a car accident if they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or doing something else illegal like driving without a valid driver's license.
It is illegal for drivers to leave the scene of an accident in Colorado. To address the dangers of hit-and-run accidents and to crackdown on offenders, the state passed a law that made hit-and-run accidents that cause serious injuries a Class 4 felony. Individuals charged after a fatal hit-and-run accident could face the same penalties as drunk drivers in the state.
Hit-and-run accidents that result in a fatality can be devastating for the victim's family and loved ones. Family members should know that they can pursue legal action against the driver responsible for the fatal accident. Individuals responsible for fatal crashes in Colorado can be named in wrongful death lawsuits. Families should consult a wrongful death attorney to discuss their specific cases.
Source: Courier-Journal, "Crash data: Hit-and-run fatalities rising nationally," Nov. 9, 2013