car accident

Maybe traffic was heavy, the roads were icy, visibility was bad, or luck just wasn’t on your side. Whatever the reason, you just got into a car accident in Colorado. What should you do next?

First Steps

The first thing you need to do is determine whether or not anyone was injured in the crash. If there were injuries, you or someone else will need to call an ambulance and stay with the injured party until help arrives.

You should then exchange information with the other driver, including names, telephone numbers, insurance company names, and policy numbers.

Report the Accident

Colorado law requires that all automobile accidents be reported immediately. This responsibility can be satisfied in one of two ways:

  • A police officer comes to the scene, investigates the accident, and gathers information from all the parties involved, including any witnesses.
  • If law enforcement personnel doesn’t respond to the accident, you can file the report using Colorado’s online accident report form or by downloading and filling out a counter crash report.

Requirements for Filing Online

The state of Colorado provides several criteria that must be met for an accident report to be filed online. These include:

  • No fatalities or injuries resulted from the accident.
  • The crash was not a hit and run, meaning that you can provide information about the other party involved.
  • The accident did not involve any damage to public property.
  • No party to the accident was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Colorado law requires that law enforcement be notified immediately whenever a crash involves drugs, alcohol, injuries, or the loss of human life.

Can I Get a Copy of the Accident Report?

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles keeps accident reports on file for seven years. To request a copy of your accident report, you must send the DMV a letter and provide some basic information, including:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Date of the accident
  • The location (city and county) of the accident
  • Your mailing address
  • Your signature
  • The required fee, which is $2.20 for a non-certified report, or $2.70 for a certified one. Acceptable methods of payment are a personal check or money order payable to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Copies of records are typically mailed within 14 days of receipt of the request. The only reports that will be released are ones for an accident that was investigated by law enforcement personnel or ones that someone personally filled out a counter report for.

Other Requirements

If you did not supply the investigating officer with current insurance information after the accident, you will be required to fill out an Affidavit of Financial Responsibility within 10 days of the accident. If you had an occupied child car seat in your vehicle at the time of the accident, you should notify your insurance company for possible replacement, as the seat may have been damaged during the accident, which could endanger the future safety of your child.

If your car was towed from the accident scene and the Colorado State Patrol called the tow truck, you should have received a Colorado State Patrol Case Report form with the tow company’s information on it. To recover any personal items that may have been in your vehicle at the time that it was towed, you will need to contact the tow company. If your vehicle has a hold placed on it for some investigatory reason, you will need to contact the investigating officer for the release procedures.

Image by Ricky Norris.

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