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Failure to Report an Accident – C.R.S. 42-4-1606

Any driver involved in an accident in Arapahoe or Douglas County must report the accident to the police, even if the damage to person or property isn't that great.  In the event the accident results in injury to another, serious bodily injury, or the death of anyone involved, it must also be reported. A couple of things to keep in mind:

1) Even a small ding can later be reported by the other person involved in the accident, resulting in a criminal charges against you.

2) An auto shop is legally obligated to report any signs of damage, including bullet holes, to the authorities.

When a person doesn't report an accident to the police, they could be charged with Duty to Report Accidents, or Failure to Report an Accident – C.R.S. 42-4-1606 (learn about other traffic crimes in Colorado).

When reporting an accident, the following should be provided to police:

a) The Name of the Driver

b) The Address of the Driver

c) The Vehicle's Registration Number, and

d) The Location of the Accident

Failing to report an accident can result in a class 2 misdemeanor charge.

Failure to report this information, even if by negligence, can lead to Class 2 misdemeanor charges and the possibility of a county jail sentence.

Provide Medical Attention for Injured Parties

In the event that a person causes an accident in Jefferson or Adams County, it is their duty to ensure that medical attention is provided for the person hit or injured.  Sometimes, due to injuries sustained in the collision, an accident makes it impossible for the injured person to seek out medical assistance on their own. In assisting the injured person one could call the ambulance, or, if that is unavailable, give a ride to an emergency room, doctor, hospital, or surgeon.

Don't plead guilty to avoid jail time. Work with an attorney and keep your record clean.

Accident Reports

An accident report does not have to be filed by police if the total damage is presumed to be less than $1000; however, one of the involved parties can still request an accident report be filed. If someone does not have proof of insurance, the other driver is free to request an accident report be filed.  This will provide additional security for the injured party to have their damages covered and is a good idea.

Colorado Failure to Report an Accident Statute: C.R.S. 42-4-1606

“The driver of a vehicle involved in a traffic accident resulting in injury to, serious bodily injury to, or death or any person or any property damage shall, after fulfilling the requirements of sections 42-4-1602 and 42-4-1603(1), give immediate notice of the location of such accident and such other information as is specified in section 42-4-1603(2) to the nearest office of the duly authorized police authority and, if so directed by the police authority, shall immediately return to and remain at the scene of the accident until said police have arrived at the scene and completed their investigation thereat.

(2) Repealed.

(3) The department may require any driver of a vehicle involved in an accident of which report must be made as provided in this section to file supplemental reports whenever the original report is insufficient in the opinion of the department and may require witnesses of accidents to render reports to the department.

(4) (a) (I) It is the duty of all law enforcement officers who receive notification of traffic accidents within their respective jurisdictions or who investigate such accidents either at the time of or at the scene of the accident or thereafter by interviewing participants or witnesses to submit reports of all such accidents to the department on the form provided, including insurance information received from any driver, within five days of the time they receive such information or complete their investigation. The law enforcement officer shall indicate in such report whether the inflatable restraint system in the vehicle, if any, inflated and deployed in the accident. For the purposes of this section, “inflatable restraint system” has the same meaning as set forth in 49 CFR sec. 507.208 S4.1.5.1 (b).

(II) Repealed.

(b) The law enforcement officer shall not be required to complete an investigation or file an accident report:

(I) In the case of a traffic accident involving a motor vehicle, if the law enforcement officer has a reasonable basis to believe that damage to the property of any one person does not exceed one thousand dollars and if the traffic accident does not involve injury to or death of any person; except that the officer shall complete an investigation and file a report if specifically requested to do so by one of the participants or if one of the participants cannot show proof of insurance; or

(II) In the case of a traffic accident not involving a motor vehicle, if the traffic accident does not involve serious bodily injury to or death of any person.

(5) The person in charge at any garage or repair shop to which is brought any motor vehicle which shows evidence of having been struck by any bullet shall report to the nearest office of the duly authorized police authority within twenty-four hours after such motor vehicle is received, giving the vehicle identification number, registration number, and, if known, the name and address of the owner and operator of such vehicle together with any other discernible information.

(6) Any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.”

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