What if the At-Fault Driver Leaves the Scene of the Accident?

A driver takes a picture of his car after a hit and run driver left the scene of the accident.

In the state of Colorado, leaving the scene of a car accident is illegal. Even worse, when you are the victim, it can be confusing and difficult when you see the other party leave the scene, especially if there are other injured parties and property damages. Fortunately, there are ways to get help.

Car accidents can happen when one least expects them, and in the event of a hit and run, it can leave victims scrambling to figure out the best response. At the Olson Law Firm, our Denver car accident lawyers have the experience and the resources to fight for maximum compensation for you. Our firm has earned a reputation across Denver for providing an unwavering customer experience and outstanding results.


You have legal rights if the other party leaves the scene of an accident. At Olson Law Firm, our car accident lawyers have decades of combined experience fighting and finding justice to get you the compensation you need to recover. Give us a call at (303) 586-7297 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation over the phone or in-person at our local office.

Reasons Why an At-Fault Driver May Leave

Hit-and-runs are terrible and make an already bad situation worse. While it may be difficult to know why someone would leave the scene of an accident — especially one that resulted in multiple injuries — there are a couple of possibilities that can explain why an at-fault driver may choose to leave:

  • The driver has multiple points on their license and wants to avoid additional points.
  • The driver has a suspended license or no valid state-issued driver’s license and does not want to face fines or more serious consequences.
  • The driver does not have insurance or has an expired insurance policy and will face fines.
  • The driver was driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and will be arrested and charged with a DUI.
  • The driver has an active criminal warrant and fears that an accident will cause their arrest for a crime.
  • The driver may react solely out of fear by leaving the scene of the accident.
  • While highly unlikely, the driver may not be aware that they have caused an accident or one severe enough to result in injury, especially when they are driving drowsy, distracted, or under the influence of a mind-altering substance.

Leaving the Scene of a Car Accident is Against Colorado Law

When someone leaves the scene of an accident, it will trigger one of four Colorado laws, and the perpetrator could face civil liability if the victim chooses to file an injury claim against them.

If you were involved in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, your mind is already racing with the next steps. But when the at-fault driver leaves the scene before you can gather information, what do you do? Solving a hit-and-run accident is not easy and is not always possible. With our attorneys by your side, we will help fight for justice and get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

Being involved in a hit-and-run is scary and can leave you feeling hopeless. Let our attorneys help support you by being there with you every step of the way. You can expect our undivided attention at Olson Law Firm as we guide you and help gather information to support your case.

Olson Law Firm and Its Trusted Legal Team Can Help

Once we get started, our legal team will take over and handle the following for you:

  • All communication between insurance companies and the at-fault party will be handled by our team on your behalf.
  • The collection of extensive documentation to support your Denver personal injury claim, including consulting with expert witnesses to document how your injuries will affect you in the future.
  • Identifying all possible sources of compensation as permitted by law.
  • Building a solid case according to Colorado car accident laws.
  • Our team will negotiate for a maximum car accident settlement or bring your case before a judge and jury if it is necessary to fight for your best interests.

How to Navigate a Hit and Run Accident:

After an accident — especially if you sustained injuries — it can be challenging to know where to start if you need help. If you find yourself in a situation where you are in a car crash in Denver, follow these steps to help document what happened, and help us build your injury case:

  • Call 911 and receive medical attention if needed.
  • Request police to come to the scene of the accident. The police will prepare a detailed police report to determine who was likely at fault and by how much (Even if it was a hit and run, they can determine that the other party was not completely at fault depending on the accident).
  • Take pictures, if possible, of any property damage and your visible injuries.
  • Contact your insurance company and provide them with a copy of the police report.
  • Revisit the area to see if anyone witnessed or has video footage or pictures of the accident.
  • Contact Olson Law Firm and get a free consultation.

But what do you do when the at-fault driver leaves the scene before you can gather information? Unfortunately, solving a hit-and-run accident is not easy and is not always possible. Still, with our attorneys by your side, we will help fight for justice and get you the maximum compensation you deserve.

Major Car Crashes and Hit-and-Runs Happen All-Too Often in Denver

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the most common car crashes are rear-ended accidents, t-bone accidents, and head-on collisions. Rear-end collisions account for over 100,000 incidents since 2010, and t-bone accidents account for the most fatalities passing 1,100 deaths since 2010.

Colorado became an at-fault state in 2003, which means that someone will be at fault in every incident. The at-fault party cannot seek liability insurance coverage for damages due to their negligence if they are more than 50% accountable for the crash. This is why it is important to call the police as soon as possible and document the incident. The police reports will provide invaluable evidence to help determine who is at fault in an accident.

In Denver alone, there were 502 serious injuries reported due to a car-related accident, with over 40% of those accidents caused by speeding. Unfortunately, city-wide statistics on the prevalence of hit-and-runs are not available, but reports in the news are all-too-common, especially when cyclists or pedestrians are involved.

Typical Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

Here are some of the most likely injuries a hit-and-run victim will sustain:

  • Whiplash — While whiplash is an extremely common injury after a car accident, it does not necessarily present at the time of the incident. Unfortunately, whiplash symptoms can come days and even weeks after the accident occurs, including limited mobility, pain, headaches, insomnia, soreness, and loss of flexibility.
  • Head, Brain, and Facial Injuries — These kinds of injuries can be caused by many things, from flying glass, displaced objects inside the vehicle, and the force that thrusts you forward. While some of these injuries are minor, others can be very dangerous, like Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) and concussions.
  • Chest Injuries — Chest Injuries can be anything from bruising, broken ribs, or damage to internal organs. This kind of injury is dangerous because it can lead to heart damage or even trigger cardiac arrest. Car accident victims should seek immediate medical attention if they feel chest pain, even if it appears weeks or months after a car accident. The following symptoms can potentially be signs of a heart attack, and it is vital to seek medical attention immediately if they occur after a car accident:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Chest pain
    • Abdominal pain
    • Fluid regulation changes
  • Back Injuries — Spinal cord injuries are some of the most dangerous injuries involved in car accidents. This kind of injury can lead to fractures, paralysis, and a load of other sorts of medical complications. Victims can find themselves battling chronic pain, herniated discs, nerve damage, paralysis and other serious and lifestyle-altering injuries.
  • Injuries to Extremities — The human body’s extremities consist of the arms, hands, shoulders, feet, and legs. In car accidents, victims may face broken bones, soft tissue damage, lacerations, and other life-changing injuries that limit the use and mobility of their extremities.
  • Burn injuries — Most vehicles use gasoline or diesel as fuel. These substances can easily ignite in a major crash. Batteries can also explode and ignite in crash forces, whether used in a gas or electric vehicle. Combined with the risk of abrasions and contact with hot metal surfaces, accident victims are at a high risk of burns.

Call a Denver Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer If You Have Been Hurt

If you are suffering from a car crash where the at-fault driver fled, you should immediately consult an experienced Denver car accident lawyer to seek compensation for your losses. Your ability to receive full and fair compensation for your damages relies on compiling a strong case, and it would be best if you did not have to pay for the negligent action of another driver when you did not cause the accident.

When you work with the attorneys at Olson Law Firm, our skilled legal team act as your legal advocates in handling complex car accident claims. We know how to investigate accidents, review evidence, and build strong legal cases. We can even work with private investigators and accident reconstruction experts to help determine who is at-fault for your accident. As a result of our dedication, we have helped many injured victims get full financial compensation for their losses.

Hit-and-run accidents are terrifying and can be hard to navigate. Are you ready to set up your free and no-obligation consultation? Call (303) 586-7297 or contact us online today to speak to a Denver hit-and-run attorney if you were involved in a crash where the opposite party fled the scene. We would be happy to take some time to review your claim and explain your legal options to you at our local Denver office or via your preferred telecommunications method.