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Auto Accidents: Your Obligations Under Colorado Law

Posted in Blog on April 10, 2015

Colorado, like most states, has procedures for you to follow in the event of an automobile accident. Make sure you know what to do if you’re involved in an accident to avoid breaking the law and complicating your situation further.

File a Report as Soon as You Can

If you’ve been in an auto accident, Colorado law requires you to file a report immediately. A police report meets this requirement if they arrived at the scene and took information from you and the other driver.

If the police didn’t come, you must file the report yourself. You can do so on the Web using the Colorado State Patrol’s Colorado Online Accident Report or by filing out a paper accident report and submitting to the state’s motor vehicle department.

Be aware that you can only use this option if the following is true of your accident:

  • No one involved in the accident was injured or died as a result of the collision.
  • It wasn’t a “hit and run” accident, so the other driver remained on the scene to give you his or her information.
  • Neither driver involved in the accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • The accident did not cause any damage to public property of any type, including signal lights.

Contact the law enforcement department responsible for the area where the accident occurred to file a report if any of the above isn’t true in your case. Be prepared to give them any information you have so they can decide how to proceed. Always call for emergency medical services if you know or suspect someone has been injured.

You’ll provide a lot of information on the accident report form, including the date and time of the event, the location, the names of the parties involved, the makes and models of all vehicles, and specific details about what happened. Fill in as much information as you can on the report, but don’t guess. If you’re unsure about something, leave it blank or make it clear that you’re not certain that it’s accurate.

Your Auto Insurance

In Colorado, drivers are required to carry the following insurance coverage at a minimum:

  • At least $25,000 per person in insurance coverage for liability arising from bodily injuries.
  • $50,000 per accident for liability in the event that more than one person suffers injuries.
  • $15,000 per accident to cover property damage, excluding damage to your insured vehicle.

Bear in mind that these are just the minimum legal requirements, and these levels of coverage may not be enough in the event of an accident. Colorado law also stipulates that insurers offer drivers $5,000 in medical payment coverage, but this coverage is optional.

Med pay provides funds for medical expenses related to an auto accident that your health insurance may not cover, including fees for an ambulance.

Under-insured or uninsured driver coverage isn’t required under Colorado law but is usually available for an additional premium through your insurer. This coverage comes in handy when you’ve been involved with a driver who is at fault but has no auto insurance, or his or her coverage is insufficient to compensate you for the losses and damage the accident has caused.

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