Hit & Run Accidents

It is never a good idea to flee or leave the scene of an accident, but situations arise that cause good people to make poor choices. And sometimes, drivers are completely unaware that they were involved in an accident. Under Colorado law, all drivers involved in an accident, regardless of fault, where any property damage (including to your own vehicle) or where any bodily injury is sustained, are obligated to immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible or shall immediately return to the scene. Failure to do so will likely result in serious criminal and/or serious traffic charges. In Colorado it is even a felony to leave the scene of an accident where serious bodily injury or death has occurred.

Hit and Run charges are aggressively pursued in the state of Colorado, and you can expect an officer or a detective to be calling you, knocking on your door or sending you a letter requiring you to meet with them at the police station if you were involved in a hit and run accident where you left the scene. The Denver Police Department has a whole team of detectives assigned to investigate traffic accidents and to pursue charges against drivers involved in hit and run accidents or who left the scene of an accident.

What is Hit and Run?

Generally speaking, a hit and run is defined as being involved in an accident while driving a vehicle (either with a pedestrian, another car, or a fixed object) and then leaving the scene without stopping to identify yourself, report the accident, exchange insurance information, or render aid to anyone who might need assistance. Colorado hit and run laws cover parking lot collisions as well. For example, if you back into an unoccupied car in a parking lot and fail to make an attempt to locate the owner or operator or leave a note with your name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle you were driving on the windshield or in a conspicuous place, the laws consider this a hit and run accident.

  • C.R.S. 42-4-1601. Accidents involving death or personal injuries – duties
  • C.R.S. 42-4-1602. Accident involving damage – duty
  • C.R.S. 42-4-1603. Duty to give notice, information, and aid
  • C.R.S. 42-4-1604. Duty upon striking unattended vehicle or other property
  • C.R.S. 42-4-1605. Duty upon striking highway fixtures or traffic control devices
  • C.R.S. 42-4-1606. Duty to report accidents
What are the Penalties for Hit and Run in Colorado?

In Colorado, hit and run is a crime that requires you to remain at the scene, exchange insurance information and to report the accident. Failure to meet any or all of these requirements will result in the driver being charged with one or more class 2 Traffic Misdemeanors. If there were injuries or a fatality involved, the driver could be facing felony charges that carry mandatory prison sentences if convicted.

Leaving the scene of an accident where no one is injured is a class 2 traffic misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail and a year suspension of your driving privileges.

Failing to report an accident where no one is injured is also a class 2 traffic misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail and a year suspension of your driving privileges.

Leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident are the two most common charges associated with a hit and run accident in Colorado. You are likely to also be charged with either careless or reckless driving if you are determined to be the at-fault driver who caused the accident.