A car accident, even a minor one, can cause incredible stress. Suddenly you have a very long to-do list that you need to complete while recovering from your injuries. In these circumstances, hire a Denver car accident attorney to handle your claim and maximize your injury compensation. Among dozens of other things they can do for you, they can obtain a car accident report from the appropriate agency for you.
Should You Call the Police After a Car Accident in Denver?
It’s a good idea to call local law enforcement after any car accident so that they can write a report about it. If the accident involves injuries or fatalities, you must contact the police to report the accident.
Suppose you don’t call the police after a car accident, but you and the other driver exchange information and agree to file claims with your insurance companies. In that case, there is always the potential that the other driver may come back and try to blame you for damage you didn’t cause to their vehicle. So having the police come to the scene and make a report as soon as possible helps protect your interests.
Sometimes, when Denver roads are awful due to weather or law enforcement officers are extremely busy with some other event, the City and County of Denver can go on accident alert. When this happens, you will need to exchange information with the other driver and file your report online at a later time.
If your accident involves injuries or fatalities, you should reach out to law enforcement, who will then come to the scene. However, when there is no accident alert, having an officer come to the scene and make a report is typically best for everyone involved as it preserves evidence, providing an official and accurate record of the accident.
What is a Police Accident Report?
A police accident report is an official legal record of the occurrence of an accident. It establishes the facts of the accident and is used to prove to insurance companies that an accident occurred. It can be helpful in both criminal and civil legal proceedings.
The responding law enforcement officer sent to the accident scene is responsible for creating the report. Such a report is a summary of information about the accident, including facts related to the accident and the investigating officer’s opinions on how the accident happened and what might have led up to it.
It’s police procedure after a car accident to record:
- Date, time, and location of the collision
- Contact information for all parties involved
- Information for witnesses
- Vehicles damages
- Current weather, roadway, and lighting conditions at the scene
- Statements from the involved parties and witnesses
- Any necessary citations issued concerning the accident
- Their opinion about the cause of the collision
Why Do You Need a Copy of the Accident Report?
Even if you were the only vehicle involved in an accident, you will need a copy of the police accident report to prove to your insurance company that the accident occurred.
The accident report is evidence that your Denver car accident attorney can use to help maximize your compensation. It provides insight into how the accident occurred and who might be at fault. It’s also a valuable tool for your attorney to contact potential witnesses who may provide valuable information to your case.
Requesting Copies of a Police Accident Report
How you go about obtaining a copy of a police accident report and from what agency will depend on the type of law enforcement agency that responded to your accident.
Usually, the agency that has jurisdiction over your accident’s location is the one responding, but not always. Each agency has its own procedures for requesting an accident report. Keep in mind that it might be several days or even a week or two before the responding law enforcement officer completes the report and has it ready for you.
The responding officer will typically provide you with their business card and potentially a case number. You can use this information to determine which agency you need to request the report from.
The City and County of Denver
The Denver Police Department Records Unit can give you a two-page accident report that is typically necessary for insurance purposes. Accident reports filed with the Denver Police Department can be provided in most cases. However, if your accident happened in Denver city limits but you only reported it to Colorado State Patrol (CSP), a report won’t be available from DPD.
Hit-and-run accidents, and accidents involving a fatality, must be requested from the Civil Liability Section by ordering an Investigation Report tab. For all other accidents, use the Records tab. You can request a copy of the report online or print, complete, and mail a pdf accident report request form. Finally, there is a $10 fee to obtain a copy of the report.
You need this information when requesting the report:
- Your name
- Your email
- Your phone number
- Your address
- How you were involved in the incident
- The date and time of the accident
- The location of the accident
- The report number (if available)
- The names of the involved parties
- The reporting officer’s name (if available)
- The license plate number and issuing state of the involved vehicle
- Any additional identifying information about the incident (if available)
If you need to get the accident report case number, you will need to call the Denver Police Records Section at (720) 913-6029. They are available anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays (holidays and City furlough days excluded).
Colorado State Patrol (CSP)
The Colorado State Patrol may have responded to your Denver car accident or may have the report if your accident involved a fatality or was a hit-and-run accident. If this is the case, you will need to request an accident report from their Central Records Division. This requires creating an online account and paying a fee based on their current fee schedule.
What if Your Accident Occurred Outside Denver?
If your accident didn’t happen in the City or County of Denver and wasn’t attended to by CSP. In that case, you must determine what jurisdiction responded or where the report originated. Once this is determined, you can contact that agency directly to find out how to obtain a copy of the police report. Most agencies have similar policies, procedures, and fees when getting these accident reports.
Types of Car Accidents
Car accidents arise from many factors and can occur in several different ways. Knowing how the accident happened and what type of accident occurred can help your Denver car accident lawyers determine whom you should seek compensation from. It can also help your treating physicians know what kind of injuries they should look for when diagnosing you.
Driving right next to other vehicles is risky yet unavoidable with modern road design. If a driver next to you becomes distracted in any way or tries to change lanes without seeing you, the results can be disastrous. Sideswipe collisions can cause minor cosmetic damage to your vehicle and nothing else. Or they can lead to several other types of accidents and serious injuries.
Rollover accidents can happen to any vehicle but are more likely to occur in an SUV, truck, or van. The vehicle flips onto its side, lands on its roof, or even rolls multiple times before coming to a resting point. Occupants, especially those without seatbelts, can be ejected from the vehicle, increasing the risk of fatalities.
Head-on collisions are one of the most dangerous types of accidents to be involved in. They typically happen when one vehicle travels the wrong way on a one-way road, causing the driver to collide with another driver going the correct way. Unfortunately, given their nature, these accidents are often unavoidable, especially at high speeds.
Similar to T-bone collisions, side-impact crashes occur when one car broadsides another with its front end. It’s common for these crashes to occur at intersections. However, no matter where they occur, they are risky.
A T-bone accident occurs when one vehicle crashes head-on into the side of another. These are also quite traumatic and more likely to be deadly than many other types of accidents. More often than not, the driver’s side of the car sustains the impact, causing broken bones, concussions, and even fatal injuries.
Single Car Accident
While a single-car accident only involves one vehicle, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was its driver’s fault. Sometimes single-car vehicle accidents happen due to the actions of another vehicle or an animal on or near the road. Even if your accident is a single-vehicle one, you should still contact Denver car accident lawyers to find out your legal rights and options.
Multiple Vehicle Accidents
Accidents involving three or more vehicles usually occur due to a chain of several events. These potentially massive pile-ups can lead to severe injuries and sometimes fatalities. They are complex when determining liability, making it a good idea for those injured in one to hire an attorney after a car accident, experienced in dealing with such accident cases in Denver.
Common Causes of Denver Car Accidents
Like most people, you can probably come up with several reasons why car accidents happen.
Here are the most common causes of accidents in Denver:
- Distracted driving is a significant factor in accidents. Whether a driver is using a GPS system, texting, eating, or maybe doing all three of these actions at once, multitasking while driving puts many people at risk.
- Speeding is dangerous because it not only increases the risk of a motor vehicle accident occurring but also the chances that severe injury or death will occur.
- Reckless driving happens when drivers do not obey traffic laws or extend common courtesy to others they share the road with. In turn, other motorists must dodge their vehicles.
- Snow and ice can also be significant factors in accidents and severe injuries in the Denver area.
- Drivers running stop lights or stop signs cause far too many preventable accidents and deaths. Inexperienced teen drivers often lack the skills and believe they are invincible behind the wheel.
- Low visibility while night driving, especially in areas lacking streetlights, increases the risk of an accident.
- Sometimes the risk isn’t the driver but the car. For example, vehicle design defects can lead to accidents or injuries.
Other causes of accidents include:
- Unsafe lane changes
- Wrong-way driving
- Road rage
- Drowsy drivers
- Unsafe turns
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- High winds
- Tire blowouts
- Sharp curves in the road
- Street racing
- Loose objects in the car
Damages in a Denver Car Accident Cases
Pursuing a car accident claim is done with the purpose of receiving compensation for your damages arising from the accident. By hiring a Denver car accident attorney to represent your claim, you can often receive more compensation than if you did not have legal representation. Your damages can fall into two categories; general or non-economic and special or economic.
General damages have no assigned economic value and, as such, are subjective.
They represent compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of society
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Special damages represent your financial losses due to the car accident. Unlike general damages, they are inherently quantifiable.
They can include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Property damage
- Any other financial losses associated with the accident
Hire a Denver Car Accident Attorney Today
An experienced Denver car accident attorney can obtain an accident report on your behalf and take on many other tasks that you must complete after a car accident. Their help not only provides you with the time and space you need to heal but also ensures that you get the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages.
If you were recently in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a good law firm out of many personal injury law firms in Denver for help.