Have you checked out my Denver Accident Map recently? I defy you to toggle the hit-and-run button and not gasp at how many markers pop onto the screen. You can hardly see the map underneath all of the markers!
Here are some tips for the Denver Accident Map:
- Click the blue bar that says “Monthly Maps.”
- Pick any month and click the little car icon for a point map.
- When you get to that month, click the toggle for the data you want. For example, click Hit and Run.
Did you do it? CRAZY, right?
Now, luckily most of these crashes did not involve pedestrians or bicyclists. But sadly, those kinds of tragic accidents are happening with more frequency as Denver roads become more congested.
I have helped victims of Denver hit-and-run accidents and, I have to be honest, the ones that fare the best are the ones who protected themselves long before the accident ever occurred. How did they do that? With insurance.
I know we all want to hear a story of justice served: The bad guy found, and the book thrown at him. But that is actually very rare. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Denver, you’d better hope that YOU have the proper insurance to cover your needs.
So, let me talk about the insurance that you should get and then I’ll talk about steps to take after you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run.
What Insurance Should I Have in Case of a Hit-and-Run?
Good news: You don’t need anything more than the insurance I’ve always told you to get!
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)
- Underinsured Property Coverage (UIP)
However, because some of this insurance is optional, many people don’t buy it.
For example, many people don’t buy UIM because they think their health insurance coverage is all they need. But UIM covers more than medical bills. Underinsured Motorist Insurance covers:
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Any damage arising from the accident (with the exception of property damage)
- All economic and noneconomic loss, which includes pain and suffering
And, yes, you can access this insurance even if you weren’t driving a vehicle. So, if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, you can access your UIM to help with bills and other losses you face. A good personal injury attorney can help you navigate this process with your insurance company, because they will likely try to limit how much they give you. Make sure you’re getting the max!
The Underinsured Property insurance covers only property damage. So, if you were on your bicycle when you were the victim of a hit-and-run, UIP will cover the cost to replace it.
I’ve written extensively about the types of insurance that Coloradans should have. Please contact me with any questions at all. I would gladly look at your insurance card and recommend any necessary changes so you can chat confidently with your agent.
What to do at the Scene of a Hit-and-Run Accident
Now, if you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, what should you do at the scene? If you have the ability, you should do all the same things you would do after a car accident:
- Call the police.
- Take pictures of everything, including your own injuries and the scene of the accident.
- Get witness names and contact information. You could even get videos of them describing what happened.
- Go to the doctor. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you need to go to the doctor to start a paper trail of any medical needs that might arise. You just can’t know for a few days how hurt you might be.
- Call a personal injury attorney for a free consultation. You may have rights with your insurance company that you are unaware of. They certainly won’t tell you!
Story of a Common Hit-and-Run Scenario
People often think that hit-and-run accidents involve a car and a pedestrian or a bicyclist. But there is another type of hit-and-run that many of us have probably seen or we’ve witnessed near-misses. Let me share an example from a case I’m working on.
This woman, my client, was driving on I-25 north just before the Speer exit. Another driver came flying across the lanes from the far right. This driver cut off a bunch of traffic, hit my client, who hit the center barrier. The at-fault car fled the scene after leaving devastation in its wake. These are called phantom vehicles or phantom drivers and I bet we’ve all seen them.
My client broke her sternum because of the force of impact with her seatbelt. There was no other driver to sue for damages in this accident because it was a hit-and-run. Luckily, my client had UIM coverage and we were able to access it for her medical treatment and other losses.
We’ve also been able to access UIM in scenarios involving road rage that caused a victim to lose control.
I’m telling you, everyone should have UIM coverage!
Contact me if you have any questions or if you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run. You may have rights and coverage that you don’t know about.