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Hit-and-run car accident fatalities on the rise in Colorado

Patricia M. Jarzobski

Major cities throughout the United States are seeing a rise in hit-and-run car accident fatalities. Some states have enacted legislation to toughen the laws that punish those guilty of fleeing the scene of such a car accident. In fact, Colorado has passed a law to make a hit-and-run accident that results in serious injury a Class 4 felony. Class 4 felonies carry the same level of penalty as drunk driving.

Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals the rising trend in hit-and-run fatalities and it does not look good for the safety of Colorado drivers. In 2009, there were 1,274 fatalities that can be attributed to a hit-and-run car accident. In 2010, this figure rose to 1,393. In 2011, the figure had risen again to 1,449. Data for 2012 and 2013 had yet be released.

Even more troubling is the fact that there has been a 13.7 percent rise in hit-and-run fatalities over a three-year time frame. However, traffic fatalities overall have fallen by 4.5 percent. In 2009, there were 33,883 reported traffic deaths. In 2011, there were 32,367 reported traffic deaths.

Colorado drivers who are seriously injured in a hit-and-run car accident can seek justice by filing personal injury lawsuits against the drivers deemed responsible for their injuries. Similarly, family members of victims who die in fatal hit-and-run crashes can pursue wrongful death lawsuits against the parties thought responsible for the loss of their loved ones. Compensation received by way of a successful wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit can assist victims and families in paying for medical care, end of life expenses, pain and suffering and other types of damages recognized under Colorado law.

Source: lohud.com, Fatal hit-and-run crashes on rise in U.S., Larry Copeland, Nov. 10, 2013

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