Cold Accident Reporting Season Is Back! When Should You Call Police?
Colorado Springs got a dusting of snow overnight and Police announced that the Department was on Accident Alert status as of 8:40 p.m. last night. The alert status was lifted this morning, but as we head into the winter months, it is important for drivers to know when it is appropriate to call police to the scene of a crash when the city is on “Accident Alert”.
A common misconception is that “Accident Alert” means that you should not call police to the scene if you are involved in a crash. In truth, the CSPD provides guidelines about which crash circumstances warrant calling police to the scene so that they can better allocate resources in times of high demand for police response.
According to the CSPD Blotter announcement made at 8:40 p.m. last night, while the department is on “Accident Alert” status, drivers involved in a crash should exchange information and follow the procedure for completing a counter (cold) report only if NONE of the following criteria are present:
- A driver is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs;
- A driver is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol;
- A driver lacks current or valid license, registration, and/or insurance;
- Damage to public property such as a street sign or utility pole occurs;
- A fatality occurs; or
- A driver or passenger is injured and requires medical attention.
If you were involved in a crash while CSPD is on “Accident Alert” status and you suspect ANY of the above criteria are present, do not hesitate to call police to the scene of the crash. It’s also a good idea to check with police to see whether the Department remains on Accident Alert status at the time of your crash. Many do not remain in place for a full 24 hours. At-fault drivers frequently take advantage of “Accident Alert” by trying to convince the other driver that calling police to the scene is unwarranted in an attempt to avoid a traffic ticket. The at-fault driver may later report a completely different version of events to her insurance company to further evade taking responsibility for her actions.
If you were involved in a crash and police did not come to the scene, make sure you obtain all information from the other driver, including drivers’ license, insurance, and registration. You also need to take photos of the scene and the vehicles if it is safe to do so. If you believed you were not injured at the scene, but later discover injury, seek medical attention immediately. File a counter report online at Springsgov.com as soon as practicable. Then, contact the Colorado Springs Injury Attorneys at Rosenbaum & Wootton, P.C. to schedule a consultation so we can help you obtain full compensation for your damages from the responsible party’s insurance company.