How to Report a Car Accident in Colorado: Tips and Advice

Posted on Jun 23rd, 2015 in Uncategorized

Were you in a recent car accident and weren’t sure how to file a police report? Want to know what steps you need to take if you ever do get in an accident? Below, we discuss Colorado law as it pertains to car accidents.

 

Car-Accident-Assessing-the-Damage

 

If you find yourself in a fender-bender on the road, or a more serious accident, it’s crucial to know what steps you need to take to make sure that any damages and liabilities are covered. Especially in Colorado, winter weather and road conditions often lead to minor, and sometimes more serious, road accidents due to slippery surfaces or limited visibility. Here are some basic questions to ask and items to make sure you consider if you find yourself in a car accident:

 

What does Colorado law say about reporting accidents?

According to DMV.org, Colorado law states that accidents must be reported immediately after they occur. If a police officer comes to the scene and gets all the necessary information, this covers the report needed. However, if a police officer doesn’t get involved, you will need to report the accident directly by filling out an online accident report or traffic accident report.

 

It’s important to note that forms should only be filled out if the following is true: there were no fatalities or injuries, the accident wasn’t a hit-and-run, there was not damage to public property, and none of the parties involved were driving under the influence. If anything on this list does apply to your situation, you should contact law enforcement to come to the scene for further investigation. If you fail to report a car accident that falls under reportable standards, you may be charged with 90 days of imprisonment, a $300 fine, or both, so be sure to follow the proper procedures to avoid these consequences.

 

The Colorado DMV has a full list of links to accident forms here: http://www.dmv.org/co-colorado/accident-guide/

 

Reporting-a-Car-Accident

 

Why is filing a police report so important?

It’s essential that you report any accident you’re involved in in order to avoid potential liability claims that arise as a result. Even if it doesn’t seem like any major damage has been incurred the time, other parties involved can come after you with injury claims or other damages related to the accident at a later time. To avoid these situations, it is best to file a report immediately following the accident so that all details get recorded and claims and legal problems are accurately addressed. When reporting an accident, honest is the best policy, as the ramifications of getting caught in a lie or your story not matching up with other witnesses to the accident may lead to more trouble for you down the road, as well as potentially delay the insurance claims process.

 

What items should you exchange following an accident?

  • Name and driver’s license information
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance

Additionally, remember to:

  • Take pictures of the accident if a police officer cannot be present
  • Record witness statements and contact information
  • Record a personal written statement to file with local police

 

When should I report accidents to my insurance company?

Although Colorado law doesn’t require you to report accidents to your insurance company, most insurance companies require you to report accidents as soon as you can so they can look into any associated claims. In most situations, it’s in your best interest to report the accident to avoid being denied coverage. If anyone was injured in the accident, you may need to make additional insurance claims under your personal insurance policy or under another driver’s coverage. Cases involving injury may also require the help of a car accident attorney if issues of fault are in dispute. If this is the case, it’s in your best interest to get an experienced lawyer on your case to make sure you are legally protected.

 

What should I do in case of a fatal accident?

Unfortunately, a car accident or other vehicle collision accident may involve multiple fatalities. In such cases, complex issues may arise. The lawyers at Gregory R. Giometti & Associates are well-versed regarding these issues and can assist you in handling complex claims. We have nearly three decades of experience in accident cases of all kinds, from the most minor to the most severe types of car (link), truck and motor vehicle accidents, including experience not just in negotiating settlements, but with trials and appeals. Contact us (link) today to schedule an appointment or if you have any additional questions about proper reporting or procedure following a car accident in Colorado.

 

Sources:

http://www.dmv.org/co-colorado/accident-guide/

http://www.coloradolaw.net/

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Gregory R. Giometti & Associates, P.C., is recognized as one of the top civil litigation firms in Colorado. Mr. Giometti and his associates are highly experienced trial attorneys who have conducted dozens of jury trials in both state and federal courts, mainly in Colorado, but also in Idaho, where Mr. Giometti is licensed as well. The focus of the firm’s practice is representation of insurance companies and their insureds in first and third-party claims.

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