Everybody is in a hurry to get from one place to another. That’s when they get careless, and accidents can happen. Then, when accidents do happen, some of those people are too busy to call 911 to have the police come to the accident scene. They might just exchange information with the other driver, and leave. That’s almost always a huge mistake.
The Duty to Report
CRS 42-4-1606 requires drivers to immediately report a motor vehicle accident to police that causes injury or property damage. Some accidents might not cause any injuries and insignificant property damage, but drivers must still call 911 to report the accident. Then, it will likely be up to the discretion of the investigating officer whether he or she will write up a report. Take notice that failure to report a personal injury or property damage report in Colorado is also a Class 2 misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of between $150 and $300.
Other Reasons for Calling 911
Aside from the controlling statute, there are also reasons for reporting an accident. One of those is that although you might not be bleeding, you could have suffered serious brain or spinal injuries in the accident. If you intend on consulting with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer about your accident or injuries, he or she will want to review a police accident report that was completed by an officer who personally investigated the crash. It’s going to provide him or her with an objective overview of what happened, how it happened, and who was responsible for it all.
Can My Claim Be Denied with No Report?
Without that report, it’s your word against the word of the other driver. Colorado is a fault-based mandatory insurance state. Minimum liability insurance limits are $25,000 per accident, $50,000 per accident, and $15,000 for property damage. If you intend on seeking compensation for your injuries and damages from the other party, you’ll be required to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence. What that means is that your version of what happened in the crash is more likely true than not true. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to prove your case in court without the information contained in a professionally written report with the investigating officer testifying from it. Police officers are credible witnesses too.
It’s not only a question of a traffic ticket for the person who caused your accident and injuries. Maybe he or she didn’t have a valid driver’s license, was under the influence, or knowingly had an outstanding warrant for his or her arrest. Always make certain that you’re the person who makes that call to 911. Don’t depend on the other driver. You shouldn’t have to pay for an accident and injuries that you didn’t cause.