After a car crash in Denver, filing a police report is a crucial step to ensure you protect your rights and serve as evidence for a claim. In this article, we’ll inform you on how to file a police report and how to obtain it after a Denver accident.
Police reports are especially important for any accidents involving drunk drivers, significant property damages, bodily injury, and roadway obstacles or conditions that may have caused the accident. Summoning a police officer is ideal immediately following the accident to ensure emergency situations are handled properly. However, if you didn’t do this at the scene of the accident, don’t worry; you can file a report online.
Read on to learn how to file a police report, why you need it, and how to obtain it for your personal injury claim after a car accident in Denver
The Importance of Filing a Police Report
Having a police officer come to the scene of the accident can help guarantee that no one is in immediate danger and the accident is properly documented. The officer will come to the scene and make assessments to evaluate the scene and gather information to create an accident report. Most importantly, if someone else’s negligence caused the accident and your resulting injuries, you’ll need to file a claim with their insurance company. And they’ll most likely ask you for a copy of the police report.
A typical police report includes critical accident details, including:
- Which parties were involved
- Contact information and insurance information for all parties involved in the crash
- Date, location, and time of the accident
- What damages or injuries occurred
- A diagram of the collision
- If there were any witnesses and their contact information
- If any traffic violations or citations were issued in relation to the accident
- Not from detectives of anything related to the case
The officer may also state their official opinion regarding contributing factors and who or what caused the accident. The bottom line is that if you need to file a claim for serious property damage or a personal injury, you will need a police report as evidence for your case. It can also help you track down the defendant and serve them and provide proper notice of a lawsuit.
Regardless of whether an insurance adjuster asks you for a police report, it’s a good idea to file and obtain one to protect your legal rights. In some cases, a claims adjuster may not agree with the police officer’s opinion or the cause of the collision. If this becomes a point of contention, you might need a Denver car accident lawyer to assist you in building a case in your favor. While a police report is valuable evidence for your claim, bear in mind that the law enforcement officials don’t have any final say in civil liability or fault after a crash.
How to File An Accident Report in Denver
Here are instructions for how to report an accident after a Denver car accident, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles:
If a Police Officer Reported to the Accident Scene
If Denver Police Officers or other law enforcement were called to the scene, you don’t need to provide any forms. However, if you get a letter from the Department of Revenue, the notice will inform you on what you need to do.
If the police were on the scene of the accident, you’ll discuss details of the accident with the officer and answer their questions. They will also speak with any other parties involved and witnesses who may have seen the accident. They will have the necessary forms for filing an official incident report.
How to File an Accident Report Online (If a Police Officer Did Not Come to the Accident Scene)
If for some reason you didn’t call the police at the scene of the accident, you can file an accident report online here. You must do this within 60 days of the car accident.
If you file a report online as an individual, law enforcement agencies will not investigate the report, and it will only be kept for record purposes. However, while you’re at the car accident scene, even if you didn’t call the police, you should still exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to get their name, contact information, and insurance information and give them yours as well.
Obtaining a Police Report after a Denver Car Accident
How Do I Get a Copy of the Accident Report?
To obtain a copy of the official accident report, you can fill out the DR2489 (Requestor Release and Affidavit of Intended Use) and pay the associated fees. You can mail the forms and fees to:
The State of Colorado’s Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 173350, Room 150 Denver, CO 80217-3350
You should then receive a copy of your accident report within 90 days. The department will maintain accident records for seven years.
How Do You Get a Police Report at the Scene of the Accident?
Your main priority after a car accident should be your health. If you need emergency medical care, be sure to get it as soon as possible to prevent your injuries from worsening. Remember, if you leave the scene of the accident for medical care, you can stil l file an accident report online later.
If you are able to remain at the scene of the accident, you’ll want to cooperate and communicate with the police and give them all the necessary details about the car accident. While you can’t get a copy of the police report on the spot, they will give you a paper with basic information about the accident and an identification number assigned to the accident. Keep that paper so you can obtain the police report later. It may take several weeks for the report to be accessible.
How Do You Get a Police Report After a Denver Car Crash?
If you are looking to obtain a police report after the accident, there are several ways to do this. You’ll need the paper the police officers gave you at the accident scene with the ID number that was assigned to your accident report. If you can’t find the paper, you might be able to locate it using other details such as your name, and the date, time, and location of the accident.
You can request an accident report online here at Denver Police Department’s (DPD’s) Record Unit website. You also have the option to order an accident report by mail here. The Denver Police Department’s Records Unit’s accident reports are usually two pages and can be used for insurance purposes. Note, however, even if your accident occurred in Denver but was only reported to Colorado State Patrol or was a hit-and-run, DPD may not have a report available. For hit-and-runs and accidents involving a fatality, you must request an Investigation Report in a different form from the Civil Liability Section.
When you request an accident report, if you don’t have the ID number for your accident report, you will need to provide the following information:
- Your name, address, and contact information
- The location, time, and date of your accident
- The names of the police officers who reported to the scene, if any
- Name and contact information of all parites in involved in the crash
- The license plate number and issuing state of your vehicle and all other vehicles involved in the crash
- Any other details you can provide about the crash
It may be possible to obtain more detailed investigation reports such as video surveillance footage or 911 call transcripts. There may be additional costs for obtaining such evidence. A Denver car accident lawyer can help you obtain all of the evidence you need for your claim.
In some instances, you might be able to acquire the police report for free. For example, if your own insurance company requested it for their records, you can ask them to provide you with a copy. This might save you time and money. If you still have any questions about how to obtain a police report after a Denver car accident, speak with an experienced attorney who knows exactly how to obtain these records and other vital documents for your case.
What Are the Next Steps If You’ve Been in a Car Accident in Denver?
There are several other critical steps to take in addition to filing and obtaining an accident report. You need to get contact information from all parties who were involved in the accident and take pictures while you’re at the scene. Photos of any property damage and injuries you sustained will be strong evidence for your claim. Also, try to document all the details while they are fresh in your head after the accident. It’s easy to forget the details of the accident as time goes on, especially since you may have been in a state of shock after the accident.
You should also keep a record of all expenses you incurred related to the accident, including medical costs, property damage expenses, and lost wages if you missed work due to your injuries.
Contact a Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today
It’s important to take the correct steps to protect yourself and your right to compensation as soon as possible after a Denver car accident. Consult with a knowledgeable Denver personal injury lawyer today to learn more about your options and how to obtain all the necessary evidence for your case.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in handling car accident cases and winning favorable outcomes for our clients. We treat our clients like family and offer compassionate, professional, and expert legal services. If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve justice and may be entitled to seek compensation for all of your damages.
Call us today or contact us online for your free initial consultation.