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Collision Reporting

Traffic collisions occur because someone has violated a traffic rule or law.  "Accidents" are unintentional mistakes, but collisions occur because someone made a choice to not pay attention, chose to follow too closely, chose to speed, or because of many other bad decisions.  Call the police (911) and report the collision immediately if you believe the other party is at fault.  Use your cell phone to take photos of the scene and the position of the vehicles prior to moving them.  Take photos of the license plate of other vehicles that might have witnessed the collision.  Use the video on your cell phone to record admissions of liability or fault by the other party, particularly if the police are slow or delayed in responding.  Ask permission of the other driver to record their statement regarding how the collision happened (unless they are acting out of control or in a rage, then try not to be too obvious and record their actions), particularly if there is a delay with the police in responding to the scene.

I recently have had two separate clients who did not call the police when they were the victims of a collision, and afterwards regretted that decision not to call.  The first client was driving northbound on Cascade Avenue when a car unexpectedly pulled out and into his lane from the curb.  My client had the right of way, and could not avoid striking the other vehicle.  The other driver admitted fault at the scene, promised to pay for the damage to his truck, gave him the information regarding her license and insurance, and asked that he not call the police.  The police were not called.  Later, she claim that my client was at fault for sideswiping her vehicle.  There were no witnesses, and no photographs of the vehicles prior to moving them.  My client lost out on $1800 in damage to his truck.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.

The second client was rear-ended during a snowstorm.  The police were called (911), but after waiting an hour with no police response, they agreed to exchange driver's license and insurance information and leave the scene.  Later, my client discovered the other driver had no insurance and had a suspended license.  My client had an older vehicle with no collision coverage, and was out over $2000 in damage to her vehicle.

It is always best to call 911 and report the collision to the police, and to wait for the police to respond to the scene of the collision.  It is very helpful to get as much information as possible, including contact information for witnesses, photographs of the vehicles before they are moved, a video recording or written statement of the other driver admitting fault, photographs of the scene (from near and far distances), and to go to the emergency room or to your doctor for treatment and to document any injuries.

Call 911 from the scene of the collision to contact the police, and inform dispatch that there has been a collision, and provide the location.  Be certain to tell dispatch if there are any injuries, or suspicions of drug or alcohol involvement.  Contacts: Colorado Springs Police DepartmentColorado State PatrolEl Paso County Sheriff's OfficeTeller County Sheriff Office.