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Hit-and-Run Crashes and Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

As another hit-and-run crash in Denver sends another victim with serious injuries to the hospital early this morning, we can only speculate on the reasons the driver fled the scene. Had he/she been drinking? Is he/she uninsured? No driver’s license? Texting while driving? Driving too fast? All of the above?

Sadly, the number of hit and run crashes in Denver is hitting epidemic numbers and that’s the risk we all face while driving on Colorado roadways. There’s not really much you can do to prevent a hit-and-run accident. But, there are some things that can not only help ease some of the physical and financial damages, but may even save your life.

  1. Wear your seatbelt! A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report indicates using your seat belt improves your chance of survival of a fatal crash from 44 percent to 73 percent. The odds of preventing a serious injury also improve from 49 percent to 78 percent while wearing a seat belt.
  2. UM/UIM Insurance Coverage. Many drivers leave the scene of a hit and run crash because they do not have car insurance. Colorado law requires that all drivers carry a minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $15,000 per accident for property damage. Make sure that your car insurance policy includes Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage to help if you are involved in a crash and the at fault driver has no insurance or the hit-and-run driver can not be found. Your UM/UIM coverage will help cover your medical expenses as well as other costs associated with your injuries, such as lost wages.
  3. Medical Payment Coverage (Med Pay) is another type of car insurance coverage that can help you if you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident. In Colorado, your insurance company is required by law to offer you Med Pay coverage. Med Pay is used in addition to your health insurance to help cover medical costs like the ambulance trip, deductibles and co-payments for both the driver and passengers.  Keep in mind that you have to opt out of this coverage in writing, so if you aren’t sure if you have Med Pay coverage, check your policy today!

Ironically, Colorado recently passed a new law that makes leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury or death a Class 4 Felony―the same penalty as a drunk driving charge.

These additional insurance coverages are actually quite affordable and in the long run, well worth the cost. If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident, contact the Denver personal injury attorneys at the Bendinelli Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation.  We can help!