If you are involved in a car accident in Colorado, it is important to know the law regarding reporting the accident to the police. This blog will discuss whether or not you should report a car accident, how it can help support an injured victim’s claim, and the few instances in which calling the police may not be necessary.
Yes, In Most Cases, You Must Report an Accident!
According to Colorado law, any car accident resulting in injury, death or property damage must be reported to the police. Specifically, the law states:
“The driver of a vehicle involved in a traffic accident resulting in injury to, serious bodily injury to, or death of any person or any property damage shall, after fulfilling the requirements of sections 42-4-1602 and 42-4-1603 (1), give immediate notice of the location of such accident and such other information as is specified in section 42-4-1603 (2) to the nearest office of the duly authorized police authority and, if so directed by the police authority, shall immediately return to and remain at the scene of the accident until said police have arrived at the scene and completed their investigation thereat.”
Importance of Calling the Police After a Car Accident
Reporting a car accident to the police is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it creates an official record of the incident. This is important if you need to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit. An insurance company or civil court is much more likely to take your claim seriously if there is an official document detailing what happened.
Additionally, a police report can help prove who was at fault for the accident. The investigating officer will speak with all parties involved in the accident and any witnesses and will determine who was ultimately responsible. This can be helpful if you end up in a dispute with another party over who was at fault.
A police report can also be helpful in identifying any potential witnesses to the accident. These witnesses may have information that could be critical to your case and may not come forward on their own accord. The information contained in a police report can help a potential investigation by gaining information on what precisely the witness saw.
Will the Police Always File an Accident Report?
If you are involved in a car accident in Colorado, you may be wondering if the police will always file an accident report. The answer to this question depends on the circumstances of the accident. If there is significant damage to either vehicle (generally $1,000 or more) or if anyone is injured, the police will generally file a report. However, if the damage is minor and everyone involved is able to exchange information, the police may not file a report.
In some cases, you may be able to request that the police file a report, even if they do not believe it is necessary. Ultimately, it is up to the responding officer to decide whether or not to file a report. However, if you have any concerns, it is always best to err on the side of caution and contact an attorney who can help protect your rights.
If you were involved in a car accident that resulted in injuries, call us today at (303) 327-9988 or schedule a free consultation by filling out our form online.