What To Do After a Car Accident in Colorado
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Best practice guide for what you need to do in case you are in an auto accident in CO
If you are involved in an accident or collision in Colorado, you must be prepared to act responsibly and in accordance with State law. Following are some general guidelines and more specific requirements to follow in case of an accident.
FIRST AND FOREMOST
As a responsible driver, you must never leave the scene of an accident. After stopping your vehicle, you should pull up as close to the accident as safely possible, without obstructing traffic. Take a moment to assess the situation, and do not panic. Be aware of the traffic situation, and any other potential dangers, such as fire.
You should do your best to provide immediate assistance to other motorists, passengers or pedestrians that may have been injured in the accident. Take extra care when attempting to move an injured person; if possible, wait for an ambulance to arrive. Notify 911 to report any injuries and call for medical assistance. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important to stay calm. If possible, ensure that you are out of danger and not blocking any oncoming traffic. Call or wait for help, and do not attempt to move if you are unable to do so. See Auto Accident Injuries for more information.
If you are involved in an accident in Colorado, you are required to provide certain information to the other parties involved. Likewise, fellow motorists, passengers or pedestrians involved in the accident must share similar information with you. Also, it is often wise to ask for the information of witnesses to the accident just in case you need to have them testify at a later date. The key information to exchange in the aftermath of an accident includes:
- Name and phone number
- Auto insurance information for the motorists involved.
If you hit an unattended vehicle, you must make an effort to find the owner or driver, and follow these same procedures. If you are unable to locate the owner of an unattended vehicle, you are required to leave a note indicating your name and contact information, and a brief description of the accident.
REPORTING AN ACCIDENT TO THE COLORADO DMV
- If the concerned law enforcement officers arrive at the scene of the accident, they will file a report to the DMV and you need not file an accident report, unless you receive a letter from the DMV asking you to do so. However, if no law enforcement officers were present to file a report or if the accident occurred during an “Accident Alert” you are required to file an Accident Report immediately.
- You are permitted to file an Accident Report online provided that the following criteria are met:
- No fatality occurred as a result of the accident.
- No injury requiring medical attention was sustained by any of the persons involved in the accident.
- The accident is not a hit and run accident. In case of a hit and run accident, no information is available regarding the hit and run driver.
- None of the drivers involved are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- None of the drivers involved have insurance or drivers license violations.
- The accident did not result in any damage to public property (except wildlife).
You can also complete the Accident Report form and mail it to the following address:
State of Colorado Motor Vehicle Division Traffic Records Denver, CO 80261-0016
- If the above criteria are not met, and no law enforcement agency has filed a report, you must contact the law enforcement agency in whose jurisdiction the accident happened for additional reporting instructions.
OBTAINING A COPY OF THE ACCIDENT REPORT
The Division of Motor Vehicles keeps accident reports for seven years. In case you wish to obtain a copy of an accident report, you have to send a written request with your name, date of birth, date of the accident, and your mailing address. The fee for obtaining a copy of the accident report is $2.20. If you require a certified copy of the report you will have to pay a fee of $2.70. Read the accident FAQ’s for more information on how to obtain an accident report.
- Notify your auto insurance company if you are involved in an accident.
- You may be required to fill out additional forms as required by your insurance company.
- See also Auto Accident Injuries.
- In the event that you are injured in an auto accident, consider contacting a personal injury attorney. Retain copies of any medical expenses incurred as a result of an accident.
- See also Driving Record and Driving School.