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When Should I Report a Traffic Accident to the Police?


Every year, thousands of car accidents throughout Colorado occur. Despite these numbers, a small percentage (around 13 percent) result in injury and even fewer cause fatalities. This means that the consequence of most car accidents is most often only property damage.

If you’re involved in a car accident, you probably know that you’re supposed to report it to the police. Is this always the case, though? Should you attempt to report every accident, even if it’s just a fender bender? The answer is “yes,” but let’s explain in a little more detail.

Colorado law requires drivers to report any accidents that cause property damage or injury. Because most accidents will involve one or both of these, this means that most car accidents should be reported to the police regardless of how serious the drivers think the collision was.

If the accident truly is minor enough, a police officer might show up and choose to not make a report. The point is, though, that the police should be called so that an officer can investigate and make that determination.

While you should always contact the police to make a report, there are several circumstances where failing to do so is illegal. If you fail to contact the police after an accident involving injuries, serious bodily harm, death, or property damage, you could face criminal charges like hit-and-run.

For the same reason, you must always wait at the accident scene when the police have been called to make a report.

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