Fatal injuries due to hit-and-runs are on the rise in Colorado

From 2008 through 2012, hit-and-run drivers killed 104 people. Fortunately, only three of those fatalities were children under the age of 10. Most of those fatal injuries were to bicycle riders and pedestrians. In 2012 alone, 34 people lost their lives in these accidents. That number is almost twice the number killed in 2011, which saw 18 people parish at the hands of drivers who did not remain at the scene or render aid to the victims.

An average of three people a month are killed by hit-and-run drivers in Colorado -- pedestrians most likely comprise the majority of those numbers. In Denver alone, a staggering 17 hit-and-run accidents are reported to police each day. The problem has reached epidemic proportions in the state, regardless of the fact that recent legislation increased the penalties for this crime.

The numbers encompassing all hit-and-run accidents in only three Colorado cities -- Denver, Lakewood and Aurora -- in which an individual suffered injuries or died from 2011 through 2013 total 1,300. Overall, 18,662 such accidents were reported to Denver police over the course of the last three years. This number includes both non-injury and injury reports.

Some of the drivers who flee may never be found. However, in cases where the driver is identified, a family that lost a loved one to fatal injuries in a hit-and-run has the right to file a wrongful death claim seeking damages in connection with their loss. Seriously injured victims may file personal injury claims in an attempt to recover their damages such as medical costs, lost wages and pain and suffering as well.

Source: durangoherald.com, Careful being a pedestrian in Colo., Burt Hubbard, Feb. 15, 2014

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