Colorado car accidents - What to do if you have one

If you are in an automobile accident:

  • Call the police.  
  • Obtain information such as the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and license numbers of all persons involved in the accident and all witnesses. Also, record the time, date, location, road conditions, make and year of the vehicles involved, insurance information, apparent damage and injuries, and your version of what happened.  
  • Call your insurance agent or insurance company with your policy number and other information as soon as possible. Ask your agent what documents, forms, and data you'll need.  
  • Take notes each time you talk to your insurance company, lawyers, police, or others involved in the situation. Write down the dates, times, names, and subjects you talked about, as well as any decisions or promises made.  
  • Ask your insurance company if you have coverage for a rental vehicle if your car is  not drivable. Save any receipts and bills, including those from a car rental or towing, and storage of your damaged car. 
  • If you were not at fault ask the at-fault party’s insurance company if it will reimburse you for rental expenses and the duration the company will cover. 
  • If you were not at fault, but the at-fault party did not have insurance, or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages, your optional “uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage” will help pay for damages if you purchased that coverage as part of your policy. 

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Our Recommendations in Colorado

During some storms, it may not be possible to reach a police officer who can come to the scene of the accident immediately. If the community or county is on Accident Alert, there are special procedures to follow, if no injuries or alcohol are involved: 

  1. Take the name and address of all parties – drivers and passengers -- involved in the accident.
  2. Try to obtain the insurance information on all vehicles involved in the accident – name of insured on the policy, name of insurance company, policy number, effective dates of coverage, etc.
  3. If you have a camera, take pictures of the accident scene and damages to all vehicles involved. If you don’t have a camera, a sketch of how the accident occurred is sometimes helpful.
  4. Go to the Police Department to file a report and report the accident to your auto insurance company as soon as possible. 

If you have a dispute with your insurer regarding the adjustment of your claim, contact the Consumer Affairs Section of the Colorado Division of Insurance at 303-894-7499 (Denver Metro), or at  800-930-3745 (toll-free outside of Denver), or email: insurance@dora.state.co.us for assistance.

Article by The Colorado Regulator published by the Colorado Division of Insurance

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Our insurance article titled "Colorado car accidents - What to do if you have one" is intended to give basic consumer information, not professional advice.