Posted in Blog on May 4, 2015
Sometimes people do the right thing; sometimes they don’t. Aside from the physical and emotional injuries sustained in an auto accident, if an at-fault driver flees the scene, the victim is left to wonder whether he or she will ever receive recompense. Auto insurance may cover the damages if the appropriate rider is attached to the policy, but that doesn’t take away the frustration that the person who caused the accident escapes accountability.
Sunday night, Apr. 5, two motorcycle riders became the victims of a hit-and-run accident while riding along the West Colfax Avenue/I-25 overpass in Denver. Although the two riders were severely injured, the driver of the automobile that struck the motorcycle fled the accident scene, leaving an open investigation and numerous unanswered questions alongside two seriously wounded people.
This action boggles the mind. Not only did the driver immediately, and arguably knowingly, break the law by committing a hit-and-run, he also left two people in danger of losing their lives. Why people commit hit-and-runs is up for debate. Regardless, accountability must be sought for the sake of the victims, particularly since Colorado uses what’s called a “modified comparative fault” rule to determine and award damages should an auto accident matter head to court.
When an injured party seeks to reclaim damages from an auto accident over and above what the insurance companies are willing to pay, a case is likely to end up in litigation. As with the insurance investigation, the issue of who’s at fault becomes a primary determinant in awarding damages, and Colorado looks at both drivers’ actions.
In some cases, even though one driver is primarily at fault, the other driver may have also attributed to the crash. In this case, the victim of the accident may be held accountable for a percentage of the damages. Under the modified comparative fault rule, any damages awarded to the victim will be reduced by the percentage of his or her determined accountability, and that stings when you’ve already been hurt.
In the case of the Apr. 5 hit-and-run, establishing fault, even comparative fault, to award the appropriate damages to the victims of this accident is difficult because the driver fled the scene. Without his statements and a review of the damages to his car, authorities and insurance companies cannot paint the full picture of what happened, and the victims lying in the hospital are not made whole.
Fortunately, the alleged driver in this incident turned himself in Monday, Apr. 6, and this was naturally the right thing to do. This driver faces numerous charges, as he should, and now a proper investigation can take place so the matter can be concluded in the best interest of the victims. Now, the victims can be made whole, attain a sense of closure and move on.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, do not assume that the driver must turn him or herself in before you can claim your entitled damages, however. You were injured by another party. Enlist an experienced attorney to represent you as you sort through this often-complicated situation. Learn more at: www.zanerhardenlaw.com.