What to Know About Colorado Springs Accident Alerts and Cold Reporting

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Home » Practice Areas » Colorado Springs Car Accident Attorneys » Colorado Springs Accident Alerts and Cold Reporting

Car accidents claimed over 38,000 lives and injured more than 2.28 million people in the United States in 2020. That same year, over 8.5 million passenger cars and light trucks were involved in motor vehicle accidents, equalling an average of over 23,000 vehicles involved in daily crashes. 

Motorists usually must contact the police to report motor vehicle accidents (MVAs). However, Colorado allows Cold Reporting when dealing with a high volume of traffic accidents. Here’s what you should know about Cold Reporting a traffic crash in Colorado.

What does Cold Reporting in Colorado mean?

Cold Reporting refers to delaying your police report after an accident. Colorado law requires motorists to report traffic accidents immediately; however, someone involved in a Colorado Springs car accident, for example, may wait to report the accident if specific conditions apply.

Why Cold Reporting?

Cold Reporting reduces the demand on police departments. Cities and municipalities may enact Accident Alert status during periods with high rates of traffic accidents, enabling police officers to focus on the most severe accidents during that period.

What criteria must be met to file a Cold Report for a minor traffic car accident?

Cold Reporting Colorado Springs traffic accidents may be an option under the following conditions:

  • Accident Alert status in effect
  • The accident occurred on private property
  • The accident caused minor damage

To qualify for Cold Reporting, the accident must meet the Cold Reporting criteria outlined for each accident type. For example, using Cold Reporting might be an option if the Accident Alert status is in effect; however, motorists can’t use Cold Reporting if the accident caused someone’s death or involved public property.

What if a tow truck was involved in the scene of the accident?

a white tow truck towing a black vehicle after it's been in a motor vehicle accident

Being in an accident with a tow truck does not prevent you from using Cold Reporting. You can use the system provided all Cold Reporting criteria apply to your accident. 

How to File a Cold Report for a Minor Traffic Accident in Colorado Springs, CO

Motorists using Cold Reporting have two options for filing their accident reports. They must complete the form provided and submit the form online or mail the completed form to the Colorado Motor Vehicle Division.

What if my car accident does not fall under the criteria of a cold report?

Colorado State outlines specific conditions for each accident scenario. The accident must meet the application conditions to qualify for Cold Reporting. For example, the following factors prevent motorists from using Cold Reporting after even minor traffic accidents:

  • A driver disagrees with Cold Reporting
  • A driver flees the scene
  • The accident caused a death or injury
  • The accident caused public property damage
  • The accident caused $1,000 or more in vehicle damage
  • The accident involved a motorist using drugs or alcohol
  • Involvement of an uninsured driver

Suppose an auto accident occurred on private property, and nobody was hurt or killed. Still, one of the drivers was an uninsured motorist. The parties involved could not Cold Report under those circumstances. Motorists shouldn’t assume Cold Reporting applies until they review Colorado’s Cold Reporting criteria

Motorists involved in accidents that don’t qualify for Cold Reporting must immediately contact the police to report their accident. They must remain at the scene until they’ve made the report unless they require immediate medical attention. 

Accidents that aren’t eligible for Cold Reporting are serious crashes. Accident victims may have medical expenses stemming from injuries sustained in the crash. They may also have other crash-related expenses, such as property damage costs and loss of income, if they cannot work. These accidents may also involve driver negligence, enabling accident victims to seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other costs, in addition to punitive damages. 

Ensure your peace of mind after your accident by talking to the most experienced car accident lawyer Colorado Springs has available. You’ll learn about your legal options, enabling you to make an informed decision about seeking compensation. 

Getting the help you need

a car accident lawyer filling out paperwork for a client

When you hire a car accident attorney like Bachus & Schanker, you benefit from all the resources their law firm has available. Instead of trying to understand how to file a lawsuit and navigate the civil court system alone, contact our Colorado Springs car accident lawyers to get expert legal help from professionals who will fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.


Colorado State Patrol. (2001).

Crash Information. (2023). 

Number of road traffic-related injuries and fatalities in the U.S. from 1990 to 2020. (2023). 

Number of vehicles involved in traffic crashes in the United States in 2020. (2023).  

Registration Renewal. (2016)

Report a Minor Traffic Accident.
What is “Accident Alert” or “Cold Reporting?” (2020).