When and How Do I Fill Out a Colorado Auto Accident Report?
No one plans on having a car accident. Even if you have never been in car accident, you will want to be prepared and know ahead of time how to handle the report in the case of a future accident.
Colorado law states certain duties that a motorist must complete following a car accident. First and foremost, you must never simply leave the scene of the accident. This is considered a hit and run.
You must immediately stop at the scene (or find a safe place to pull over out of traffic, it is a minor fender bender), give assistance to any injured parties (even if only by calling 911), and exchange basic information with the other driver. This includes your full legal name, phone number, insurance provider, and driver’s license number.
But that is not where it ends. Colorado also requires that all auto accidents be reported to the state immediately or as soon as possible.
In many cases, a police officer will be called to the scene of the accident and fill out the auto accident report for you. In that case, you do not need to fill out anything. But what if the accident was minor enough not to require police assistance?
Online and postal reporting is only for relatively minor accidents. Otherwise, you must contact the local police to report the accident as soon as possible.
With smartphones in common use, it is now possible to file your auto accident report with the Colorado DMV online while still at the scene of the accident.
Online reporting only satisfies your duty to report the accident in cases where there were no serious injuries requiring medical attention, no fatalities, no hit and run incident, no DUI or DUID on either driver, no public property was damaged, and both drivers were insured and had a valid driver’s license.
You can also report qualifying accidents via “snail mail” using the downloadable and printable Accident Report form by sending it to State of Colorado, Motor Vehicle Division, Traffic Records, Denver, CO 80261.
Gaining access to the police-filed accident report is critical if you were injured and need to file a claim or will be in any other form of legal struggle regarding the accident.
To get a copy of your auto accident report, you need to file form DR2489 and pay a fee (of less than $3). This form not only requests the report but also serves as an affidavit of how you intend to use the information in the accident report. You may wish to speak with a good Colorado lawyer before filling out and mailing in the affidavit since it could affect how your future case, if any, will proceed.
Your requested auto accident report should arrive in the mail within 90 days of filing DR2489. You can request the report up to seven years after the accident. But for tort actions, remember that the Colorado statute of limitations on car accident injuries in 3 years from date of injury.
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