Posted in Car Accident on August 2, 2023
Fortunately, you can file an insurance claim without a police report in Colorado. However, if your claim involves significant costs or multiple parties, not having a police report can make it significantly more difficult to recover the full value of your claim.
Continue reading to learn why, then contact Zaner Harden Law to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney.
When a police officer responds to a motor vehicle accident in Colorado, they speak to the drivers, examine the scene, and document their observations using the State of Colorado Traffic Crash Report form. This report includes key data about the accident, including:
Each of these items offers a wealth of information that can be used to strengthen an insurance claim. The police report is an independent assessment of the accident from an unbiased, authoritative source, which can give your insurance claim more credibility.
If you’re filing a claim under another driver’s liability insurance, you will be required to show that the insured driver is liable for the accident in order to recover compensation from their insurance provider, and proving this is much easier with the police report.
For example, if you were hit by a driver who failed to yield, the police report may describe the positions of the vehicles when they collided, where you were coming from and going to, and which laws the driver violated.
The insurance company will have a hard time disputing these facts when they’re backed up by an official document.
The only time when a police report may not be necessary to pursue a successful insurance claim is if you’re filing the claim with your own insurance company under your personal comprehensive or collision coverage.
If you’ve purchased comprehensive insurance coverage that covers non-collision-related damage to your vehicle and your vehicle sustained damage due to an unexpected event, then you won’t be required to prove that anyone was liable for the damage in order to receive reimbursement. As a result, a police report is less important in these cases.
Collision coverage is similar in that it will cover damage to your car sustained in an accident regardless of fault. You must still be able to prove that the damage was a result of an accident, and it may be more difficult to do this without a police report.
However, photographs of the scene of the collision are usually sufficient evidence for the insurance company to process this type of claim, so a police report may not be necessary.
If you don’t have a police report and you’re attempting to prove that someone else is at fault for the accident, you may run into a few obstacles, including delays or a complete denial of your claim.
The other driver’s insurance company may be less inclined to believe your story without an independent assessment of the incident. You may be asked to provide additional evidence such as witness statements or photographs to support your claim, but these aren’t as reliable as a police report.
The police report paints a complete picture of the accident, and individual pieces of evidence may not add up to the same impact.
Under Colorado’s modified comparative negligence system, you must show that the other driver holds more than 50% of the responsibility for the crash in order to recover damages.
You’ll also be assigned a percentage of liability based on your role in the accident, and an inaccurate police report may assign you more liability than you deserve, unfairly reducing your settlement amount.
Even if photographs or witness statements suggest some type of responsibility of the other driver, these forms of evidence may miss key details that would otherwise be noted in a police report.
The smallest detail can often shift the liability of each party in either direction and make a substantial difference in the amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
While it can be difficult to prove that another driver was at fault without a police report, you can greatly improve your chances of a successful claim by working with a Denver car accident lawyer.
You’ll need to present the evidence you have in the most compelling way possible, and the attorneys at Zaner Harden Law have years of experience in doing just that.
If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our team at (720) 734-8335 for a free consultation. We’ll review your case and help you understand the legal options available to you.