Although no one likes to think about the possibility of being involved in a car accident, motor vehicle collisions are unfortunately common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 2.36 million car accident-related injuries in 2012 alone. Because car accidents happen so frequently, it’s important to know what steps to take immediately after an accident.
Stay at the Scene
If you’re involved in a fender bender or other relatively minor accident, you may be tempted to shrug it off and go about your day. In Colorado, however, drivers are required by law to remain at the scene of any motor vehicle accident, exchange insurance information, and show their driver’s license. If you leave the scene, you could be charged with a hit-and-run, which can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the personal injuries involved.
Contact the Police
Call the police as soon as possible after an accident occurs. Colorado law requires motorists to report car accidents regardless of the severity of the crash. Reporting the incident also creates an official record of the incident, which is important for purposes of filing an insurance claim.
Make a Report
If the crash is very minor or takes place in a busy location at the height of rush hour traffic, the police may not have the resources to respond to the scene. This does not mean, however, that you should forego filing an accident report. If your collision is very minor, you can report the accident through Colorado’s Online Accident Report system. Motorists can only use the online system for cases that resulted in no fatalities or injures and didn’t involve any damage to public property. The online system doesn’t allow the reporting individual to record which driver was at fault.
Today, most drivers have smartphones with powerful cameras that can preserve evidence, including pictures and video. Pictures and video from the scene can be instrumental in proving liability in a car accident case. If possible, you should also ask witnesses to provide law enforcement with a sworn statement of the details of the collision. If you’re unable to obtain a statement from witnesses at the scene, ask them for contact information so your attorney can follow up soon after the accident.
It is difficult to overemphasize how important it can be to write down the names of any potential witnesses to the car crash. Too often, an at-fault driver at the scene of the crash may appear sorry about the damage he or she caused, only to later deny responsibility.
Denver, Colorado Personal Injury Law Firm
At the Klibaner Law Firm, we help the injured and their families obtain full and fair compensation for their injuries. If you’ve been injured in a car crash, you shouldn’t have to pay for the at-fault driver’s negligence. Call us today at (303) 863-1445 to talk about your case.
This website has been prepared by Klibaner Law Firm for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.