FAQs: Car Accident Reports in Colorado
If you are involved in certain kinds of car accidents in Colorado, the law requires you to make an accident report. In other situations, you have the option of filing a report. For Colorado drivers, knowing when and how to file a car accident report following a Denver wreck or one elsewhere in the state is vital.
Understanding what these reports are and when they are necessary can not only help you make use of yours following a crash, but it can also help you avoid criminal penalties. Take a closer look at some of the most frequently asked questions Colorado residents have about car accident reports:
How Can I Make a Car Accident Report in Colorado?
There are multiple ways you can file a car accident report following a crash in Colorado. You can file a report online or by mail with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Alternatively, you can call 911 or local law enforcement and ask a police officer to come to the accident scene. Not all options are available after every wreck.
When Do I Need To Report a Car Accident in Colorado?
Accidents that result in injury, death, or more than $1,000 in property damage should be reported to local law enforcement. You fulfill your reporting obligation if an officer appears and makes a report on the scene. In all other cases, you must make a report either by mail or online within ten days of the accident.
What Happens If I Do Not File a Report?
Colorado Revised Statutes 42-4-1606 makes it a crime not to report a crash when you are legally required to do so. The crime of failing to report an accident is considered to be a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. This level of crime can result in fines and 10 to 90 days of imprisonment.
Can I File an Accident Report Online?
You may be able to report online if the wreck did not involve any injury requiring medical attention to any person, was not a hit-and-run accident, and did not involve a drugged or drunk driver. Additionally, there cannot have been damage to any public property. If your accident does not meet these requirements, you will need to print out the appropriate forms and mail them in.
Do Police Create the Accident Report When Called To a Crash Scene?
Yes. By reporting a qualifying accident to law enforcement, an officer will be dispatched to your scene and conduct an investigation into the cause of the accident. The report they prepare is sometimes called an official report. All other reports are considered unofficial reports.
What Benefit Is There To Reporting a Car Accident?
All accident reports serve as documentation that a collision happened, including where it occurred and the individuals involved. An official car accident report goes further, documenting injuries to the individuals involved, property damage, and the cause or causes law enforcement believes contributed to the crash.
Getting Your Accident Report in Colorado
After reporting your accident, it is wise to obtain a copy of your report for your records. You may need this document to file an insurance claim, and the information this report includes can be useful if you need to file a car accident injury lawsuit as well.
To obtain a copy of your report, you will need to complete Form DR2489 and mail it to the Department of Motor Vehicles, along with $10.00. You will then be sent a certified copy of the accident report on file with the DMV.
When you know how car accident reports work in Colorado, you can better protect your rights and your potential claim going forward.