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How to Look Up an Accident Report

December 6, 2023 | 7 min read

Every year, countless Coloradans find themselves involved in accidents that result in injury, property damage, or even loss of life. Whether you are involved in a minor fender bender or a catastrophic collision, the aftermath can be overwhelming. An integral part of the post-accident process is knowing how to look up an accident report. This document can play a pivotal role in your case, providing information that may be essential when seeking justice and compensation.

Burg Simpson is a nationally recognized personal injury law firm proudly serving all of Colorado. With an impressive track record that spans over 45 years, our team has recovered more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. From motor vehicle accidents and medical malpractice to workers’ compensation and wrongful death, we are prepared to tackle even the most challenging cases.

Our unwavering commitment to upholding the rights of injured people and their families ensures that when you entrust your case to us, you are placing it in the hands of a dedicated and determined team. During the most trying times, we are here to provide guidance, support, and tireless advocacy.

If you have been affected by someone else’s negligence or misconduct, Burg Simpson Law Firm is here to help. Call our office at 303-792-5595 to schedule a FREE and confidential case review today.

How to Look Up an Accident Report in Colorado

How to look up an accident report in Colorado is a straightforward process, but it is essential to know where to look. These reports are valuable as they provide a detailed account of the accident, including the parties involved, potential witnesses, and the circumstances leading to the incident.

In Colorado, the maintenance of accident reports typically falls under the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency that responded to the event:

Local Police or Sheriff’s Department

If the accident occurred within the boundaries of a city or town, your primary point of contact should be the local police department. They usually have a dedicated records or administrative division where you can request a copy of the report. For example, you can request police records for car accidents investigated by the Denver police through the City and County of Denver website. You will typically need to have pertinent details on hand, such as the date of the accident, the involved parties’ names, and/or a case number if available.

For accidents that took place outside of a city or town, the county sheriff’s department would be the appropriate agency to contact for an accident report. Similar to the police department, they will have a records division where you can request your report.

Colorado State Patrol (CSP)

Accidents that occur on state highways or interstates are often overseen by the CSP. They have streamlined the process of how to look up an accident report through the CSP website. By inputting necessary information, such as the report number or the date of the accident, you can quickly secure a digital copy of the report.

Department of Revenue

While it might seem unusual, the Colorado Department of Revenue does play a role, especially when it comes to certain types of injury reports. Specifically, if you are dealing with matters like workers’ compensation, this department might hold the required reports. Their website or local offices can provide information on how to request these specific documents.

To modernize and simplify how to look up an accident report in Colorado, most jurisdictions have online portals where individuals can request and obtain accident reports. These platforms typically require you to input specific details about the accident for instant access to digital copies. Be aware, however, that a fee may accompany your accident report request. Charges can include search fees, per-page fees, processing fees, and more.

Why Would I Need to Look Up an Accident Report?

Far from being a mere bureaucratic formality, an accident report can serve several important functions. These include:

  • Establishing Fault in an Accident. An accident report chronicles law enforcement observations, statements from involved parties and impartial witnesses, and other pertinent information. By examining these details, you may be able to determine which party was at fault. Establishing fault is foundational, especially in Colorado, which follows a comparative negligence formula (see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-111).
  • Filing Insurance Claims. Insurance companies require comprehensive information to process claims efficiently. An accident report serves as a primary source of this information. Adjusters will scrutinize the report to understand the dynamics of the accident, verify claims, and decide on the compensation amount. Without this document, the claim process might be prolonged or might not proceed in your favor.
  • Seeking Compensation for Damages and Injuries. Beyond insurance claims, accident victims might decide to pursue compensation directly from the at-fault party through a personal injury lawsuit. Whether it is for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages, the details within the accident report can bolster a case.
  • Providing Evidence If Legal Recourse Becomes Necessary. When legal action becomes inevitable, an accident report can help to support your claim. Attorneys for both sides might reference these reports to establish timelines, validate claims, and determine responsibility. The credibility of an official report, especially when penned by law enforcement, can hold significant weight in legal proceedings.

The accident report can be used to support numerous post-accident processes—both administrative and legal. Knowing how to look up an accident report is essential. Knowing how to use the information it contains to maximize your compensation, however, is the role of a personal injury attorney.

Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?

Accidents can bring several challenges, often extending beyond immediate physical and emotional trauma. From deciphering legal jargon and understanding state-specific statutes to negotiating with insurance adjusters, the path to fair and full compensation can be fraught with complexities.

Working with a personal injury lawyer following an accident in Colorado offers several distinct advantages. These include:

Comprehensive Understanding of Colorado Law

Colorado has a unique set of laws and statutes governing personal injury claims. These laws can influence everything from the timeline you have to file a claim (statute of limitations) to the amount of compensation you can seek. A seasoned personal injury lawyer will have an in-depth knowledge of these intricacies and can guide you through the legal maze, ensuring that you are well-informed and that your rights are upheld.

Assistance in Gathering Additional Evidence

While the accident report is a foundational piece of evidence, a strong personal injury claim often requires more. This could include medical records, surveillance footage, witness accounts, expert testimonies, or even accident reconstruction reports.

A personal injury lawyer has the resources and network to gather this vital evidence. This helps to strengthen your claim and paint a comprehensive picture of the incident and its repercussions.

Protection Against Insurance Companies

Insurance companies, despite their friendly advertisements, are businesses at their core. Their primary objective is to maximize profits, which sometimes means minimizing payouts. Adjusters are trained to find discrepancies in claims or even downplay injuries to reduce the compensation victims receive.

Having a personal injury lawyer on your side levels the playing field. They will challenge any unjust evaluations, negotiate assertively, and fight to ensure that you are not shortchanged.

Seeking Maximum Compensation

Beyond immediate medical expenses, accidents can lead to a myriad of hidden costs. There could be future medical treatments, therapy costs, lost wages due to incapacitation, and even non-economic damages like physical pain, emotional distress, and forced changes to your lifestyle. A personal injury lawyer will carefully and thoroughly calculate these damages, ensuring that your claim encompasses every aspect of your ordeal.

It is, technically, possible to handle a personal injury claim independently, but there are several benefits of having a legal advocate. A qualified and caring personal injury lawyer will fight to ensure that justice is served and that you are placed on the most effective path to recovery—both physically and financially.

Why Choose Burg Simpson for Your Colorado Personal Injury Claim?

Burg Simpson has built an esteemed reputation over our four decades in practice. Recognized as one of the most influential law firms in America, we are driven by our unwavering dedication to our clients. Our Colorado personal injury lawyers have:

  • Extensive Experience. Advocating for victims of serious injury for more than 40 years, we have experience with every type of personal injury case.
  • A Proven Track Record. Our team has secured over $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.
  • Comprehensive Knowledge. Our attorneys are well-versed in Colorado law, ensuring your case is in knowledgeable hands.
  • A Client-Centric Approach. At the core of our practice is our commitment to our clients. We approach each case with honesty, compassion, and determination.
  • Tireless Advocacy. Our award-winning personal injury lawyers are adept both in negotiations and the courtroom. While every attempt is made to settle these cases, we are prepared to take claims as far as needed in our pursuit of justice.

You do not need to know how to look up an accident report when you choose to work with our firm. We will take care of all of the details on your behalf. What’s more, we will do all of this on a contingency basis. You only pay for legal fees after we have secured compensation on your behalf. There is no risk or obligation in contacting us. We are here to listen to your story, advise you of your options, and guide you toward the best possible outcome for your claim.

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review Today!

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you do not have to navigate the aftermath alone. Contact Burg Simpson online or call our Denver office today to schedule a complimentary and comprehensive case review with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. Burg Simpson serves victims of serious injury throughout the state of Colorado.