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Gerash Steiner, P.C. Featuring More Than 40 Years of Trial Experience

Is it Illegal to Leave the Scene of a Car Accident in Colorado?

In Colorado, it is illegal for a person to leave the scene of an accident without fulfilling their duties under the law. This applies whether or not an individual was injured or whether the vehicle or property hit was unattended.

Information Drivers Are Required to Give

After an accident that resulted in injury, death, or property damage, the drivers must exchange information to one another.

Each driver is required to give:

  • Their name
  • Their address
  • The vehicle registration number

The driver must also show their driver’s license if requested by anybody else involved in the accident.

If others are in no condition to receive such information, and a police officer is not on the scene, the driver must notify the local law enforcement agency of the accident and leave their information there.

Accidents Involving Other Drivers

Under Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1602, if an accident results in injury, death, or property damage, the drivers of all vehicles involved must stop their cars and remain at the scene. If by doing so they would obstruct traffic, they are permitted to move their cars to a safe area but must immediately return to the location close to where the collision happened.

If a driver leaves the scene of an accident without fulfilling their legal duties, they could face different penalties depending on the damage caused.

If the accident resulted in:

  • Personal injury: Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense
  • Serious bodily injury: Class 4 felony
  • Death: Class 3 felony
  • Property damage: Class 2 misdemeanor

Accidents Involving Unattended Vehicles or Property

After striking an unattended car or other pieces of property, a driver is required to attempt to locate the owner and let them know of the accident. If they are unable to find the owner, they must leave a note with their information in an area that the owner would be able to see.

If the driver crashed into a highway fixture or traffic light, they must notify the agency that maintains the equipment.

Aside from informing the owner or road authority, the driver must alert local law enforcement of the accident. They are also required to return to the scene if instructed to do so by the police.

Violators could be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.

Request a Free Case Evaluation with Gerash Steiner, P.C.

Depending on the specifics of your circumstances, various defenses could be brought up if you are facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling various legal matters and know how to develop effective strategies to protect the rights of individuals accused of committing crimes. We have gotten charges reduced and obtained not guilty verdicts for past clients and are ready to work toward a favorable result on your behalf.

To discuss your case with our lawyers, call us at (303) 732-5048 or contact us online.