A Colorado auto accident triggers at least two different deadline clocks that begin ticking as soon as the crash occurs.
The first clock is the deadline for reporting the accident to the police. The second deadline is the deadline for filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
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When Are You Required to File an Accident Report?
Colorado law requires you to file an accident report for any accident that causes injury or property damage.
In other words, you must file an accident report for any accident, even a fender bender. Today, most people use their cell phones to file the report verbally.
You must also provide the other driver with your name, phone number, and insurance information.
How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident?
Colorado law also requires you to report the accident to the police immediately. Of course, this might not be possible if you are seriously injured.
If the police come to the scene of the accident, they will not file a police report unless there are injuries or property damage above $1,000. The police must file a report, however, if one of the drivers cannot provide proof of insurance.
But what if you are unable to file an immediate report, and if the police do not come to the accident? In that case, you must file an online report with the Colorado DMV within 60 days of the accident.
Remember that if you file an accident report because no police officer arrived at the scene of the accident, the police will not file a report at all.
The Police Report as Evidence of Your Claim
If you have a personal injury claim, you are probably going to need to obtain a copy of the police report.
You will need a copy of the police report to investigate and evaluate your claim. You also need it so you know what testimony to expect from the police officers who responded to the accident.
Nevertheless, you cannot use an accident report as evidence at trial, because Colorado law considers accident reports to be inadmissible hearsay.
Instead, you are expected to testify personally, and you can call a police officer as a witness at trial. That way, both parties have a chance to cross-examine anyone making statements about the accident.
The “Other” Deadline: The Statute of Limitations Deadline
In Colorado, you generally have three years after the date of an accident to file a lawsuit. Speak to your lawyer, however, because certain limited exceptions sometimes apply.
If you miss the statute of limitations deadline, your claim will likely become worthless, even at the negotiating table. So don’t wait until the last minute to call a lawyer一get started early.
We Are Ready for Action
Here at Tenge Law Firm, we have recovered over $50 million for our clients over the past 10 years alone. In fact, we have procured many seven-figure verdicts and settlements for our clients.
Contact us online immediately or call (303) 536-7686 for a free, no-obligation consultation.