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How to File a Police Report After an Accident

Posted in on February 25, 2012

When you’re in an accident in Colorado, you must report it to the police. There are several ways that you can make a police report. According to our experienced Denver car accident lawyers, filing a police report is a critical step to getting the compensation that you deserve after a car accident. Here’s what you need to know about how to file a car accident police report in Denver.

How to File a Police Report After an Accident in Denver

To file a police report after an accident in Denver, you have several options. You may call 911 or your local, non-emergency police number. If law enforcement doesn’t respond to the scene, and your case meets specific criteria, you may make your report online. You must provide information about the accident to complete your online filing.

How to Report an Accident in Denver

To report an accident in Denver, you may do any of the following:

  1. Call 911. The most direct way to report an accident in Denver is to call 911. In fact, if anyone shows signs of car accident injuries, you should call emergency responders. When you call 911, law enforcement may respond to the scene to investigate the accident and file the police report.
  2. Call the local law enforcement non-emergency line. If it doesn’t look like an emergency, you can report the accident by calling the local police’s non-emergency line. The Denver police non-emergency helpline is (720) 913-2000. The Denver Police Department offers more information about how to report an accident.
  3. The police respond to the scene. If the police respond to the scene, you’ve fulfilled your requirement to report the accident. The police may see the accident and stop or receive a report from a third party. In any event, if the police come to the accident scene, you’ve fulfilled the requirement to report the accident.
  4. Report the accident online. When the police don’t respond to an accident scene, you may report the accident online. The accident must be minor in that no one left the scene of the crash, there may not be injuries that require medical attention, and there may not be any suspicion of drunk driving. When you report the accident online, you provide information about the accident like the time and location that it occurred.
  5. Report the accident by mail. If you don’t want to make a report online, you may print the reporting form and mail it in. Mailing your report has the same effect of reporting the accident online. You must record all of the required information to fulfill your legal obligation to report the accident.

Reporting Online or by Mail Creates an Unofficial Report

When you report the accident online or by mail, it creates only an unofficial report of the crash. You’re reporting the information yourself. When you make a self-report, you’re telling your version of events.

Reporting a Car Accident

If the accident is severe, it’s in your best interests to report the accident to law enforcement to have an official report. An official report may have more weight with the insurance company. In addition, a police officer is a trained professional who knows how to investigate an accident thoroughly. You can’t control whether the police choose to respond to the scene, but it’s still important to report the accident and give law enforcement the option to make an official police report.

Do You Have to Report an Accident in Colorado?

Yes, you have to report an accident in Colorado. Colorado law 42-4-1606 requires all drivers to report a motor vehicle accident immediately. Failing to report an accident may result in a misdemeanor charge. The police don’t always respond to investigate every accident. However, in the State of Colorado, it’s up to every driver to ensure that an accident they’re involved in is reported to the police.

Can I Report a Car Accident Online in Colorado?

Yes, in some circumstances you can report a car accident online in Colorado. However, your case must meet certain criteria. You can file a car accident report online in Colorado if your case meets the following criteria:

  • There are no injuries that require medical attention
  • It is not a hit and run
  • There’s no damage to public property
  • Nobody was drunk driving or drugged driving

In addition to cases that meet these criteria, if there is a weather Accident Alert active at the time of the accident, the police may not respond to the scene. In that case, they may direct you to use the online reporting form.

Why Report a Car Accident?

You should report a car accident to document the time and place of the accident. Whether or not the police investigate the accident, filing a report begins to establish the facts of when the accident occurred, what damages resulted, and who is involved. The other side can refute your account of the crash, but an accident report begins to establish the documentation that you need to win monetary compensation. Additionally, you and your attorney may want a police report for an insurance claim.

Do I Need to File a Police Report for a Fender Bender?

Whether you need to file a police report for a fender bender depends on the laws of your state. Most states require drivers to report all accidents even fender benders. Even a small accident can have a surprising amount of injuries and property damage. Whether or not the police respond to the accident scene, you must still meet your obligations to report the accident. Usually, that means reporting the accident to the appropriate law enforcement agency as soon as possible. Additionally, it’s probably best to report a minor accident.

How Our Denver Car Accident Attorneys Can Help

Have you been in a car accident? Are you wondering how to use the police report to file a claim for compensation? Our Denver car accident attorneys can help.

The attorneys at Bachus & Schanker, LLC, are experienced in car accident claims. We know how to use a police report to your advantage and build on it for your claim. To win fair compensation after a car accident, you must work quickly to document the facts and value your damages. The Bachus & Schanker, LLC legal team works as aggressive legal advocates for every car accident victim. Call us today for a confidential consultation about your claim.

Kyle Bachus

Kyle opened Bachus & Schanker, with little more than a tiny, rented office and a lot of determination. Starting with less than $15,000, their business has grown into one of the largest, most well respected personal injury firms in the Colorado region. Kyle and his partner Darin Schanker are committed to understanding the circumstances confronting their clients, and ensuring that responsible parties are held accountable for damages they have caused.

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  Attorney Kyle Bachus knows first-hand how difficult it can be to suddenly lose a loved one in an accident. It’s also devastating when you or a family member suffers severe injuries that forever change your lives.

Kyle wrote this book as a resource from his personal experience for families who have suffered a traumatic loss.

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Super Lawyers - Kyle Bachus
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Super Lawyers - Darin Schanker
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyer
5280 Top Lawyers of Denver
Expertise logo: best car accident lawyers in Colorado Springs