People are expected to act in a certain way following an event potentially resulting in injury. In the event of a car accident, for example, a driver who is involved in the crash is both ethically and legally required to remain at the scene. Unfortunately, hit and run accidents happen in Colorado and across the country. In fact, one woman was recently sentenced to prison for her involvement in a fatal accident.
The incident happened in March 2015. A 66-year-old woman was struck in the parking lot of a box store. The driver, a 29-year-old woman, failed to remain at the scene of the accident.
Unfortunately, the victim passed away, leaving behind many family members grieving her death. An attorney for the woman convicted of causing the fatality argued that the woman’s mental and emotional state was much younger than what her age indicated. The woman pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but was convicted. As a result, she was sentenced to 24 years in prison, followed by five years of probation.
Victim statements given by surviving family members at the trial indicate that the family is struggling to cope with the unexpected and likely preventable death of their loved one. While the driver’s sentence may provide family members with a sense of justice, it will not help them cope with the financial ramifications of their loss, including funeral expenses. If it can be proved that the woman’s death was caused by negligence — a claim supported by the driver’s criminal conviction — they could receive an award of damages. Even without a conviction, victims of hit and run accidents in Colorado have successfully proved such claims in a civil court.
Source: gazette.com, “Woman sentenced to 24 years in 2015 deadly hit-and-run crash in Fountain“, Ellie Mulder, Dec. 19, 2016