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Hit-and-run accidents: Driver in custody after turning herself in

The understandable trauma following the loss of a loved one in an auto-pedestrian accident is exacerbated if the driver of the vehicle fails to remain at the scene of the crash. Hit-and-run accidents could delay any civil lawsuits in pursuit of financial relief until law enforcement catches up with the driver or the driver surrenders. This is what happened after a recent fatal accident in Colorado.

On a recent Tuesday evening, a pickup truck struck a pedestrian in Lakewood at approximately 10:20 p.m. A police report indicates that, although the 60-year-old male pedestrian was hit while he was crossing in the crosswalk at an intersection, he was allegedly crossing against the light. Witnesses reported that the driver of the eastbound truck continued on his way after striking the pedestrian.

Police say that a 50-year-old woman arrived at the Lakewood Police Department on the day following the pedestrian's death. She turned herself in by admitting to striking the pedestrian. Police say this woman was identified as the person who drove the pickup truck. She was taken into custody on suspicion of leaving a crash scene that resulted in personal injuries or death.

Although the surviving family members of the deceased pedestrian might have grounds to file a civil lawsuit to recover financial and other damages, they will likely be wise to retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for them. Colorado law assigns fault and damages based on contributory negligence -- which is sometimes the case in hit-and-run accidents. The court will determine the degree of each party's negligence, and any award of damages will be reduced by the plaintiff's degree of fault so long as the plaintiff's negligence does not exceed that of the defendant's.

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