Colorado Car Accident Reporting Guide

When an auto crash happens, one of the most important things to do in the immediate aftermath is to report the accident to authorities. Not only does Colorado law require all motorists involved in crashes to report a collision to “the proper law enforcement authorities,”,1 but making this report as soon as possible after the accident can be crucial to the strength and success of a future car accident claim.

That’s because the crash report can contain key evidence to support victims’ claims when it’s time to pursue recovery.

So, when a car accident in Denver happens, here are the three ways you can report it to authorities:

1. Call 911 – Taking action to get emergency responders and police to the scene of an auto accident can be crucial when anyone needs emergency medical attention or help is needed to clear the wreckage. Even if a car crash isn’t serious, however, calling 911 can be important to getting the accident investigation underway ASAP. As part of this investigation, responding police officers will:

  • Record the important details associated with the crash (like the date, time, and location of the accident; the conditions at the time of the crash; the names and contact information for all parties involved in the wreck; etc.)
  • Interview all parties involved in the crash, including the drivers, any non-driver victims and/or any witnesses to the wreck
  • Take pictures of the scene
  • Report whether any involved party violated traffic laws as part of the accident (and record which, if any, drivers were issued citations after the car accident)
  • Report any additional findings regarding fault for the crash.

2. Call a non-emergency police line –When car accidents are less serious (because, for example, they only involve a non-injury fender bender), it may be more appropriate to call a non-emergency police line. In Denver, the non-emergency help number for police is (720) 913-2000.2

3. Report the car accident online – CSP has an online accident reporting tool1 that allows motorists involved in crashes to report accidents after the fact (i.e., when drivers are no longer at the accident scene). Although this option for reporting a car accident won’t come with an official police investigation and report for the crash, it can still be a good way to document what happened in and after the auto wreck, providing important evidence for a future car accident claim.

Note: CSP’s online accident reporting tool also allows drivers to file “counter reports” for crashes,3 which may be necessary when law enforcement officials are unable to respond to the accident (because, for instance, they are occupied with other crashes/incidents, weather conditions prevent them from responding, etc.).

In Denver (and throughout Colorado), car accident reports are retained by Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for seven years.3

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Call us for a free case evaluation.

(303) 795-5900