Early February saw the first significant snow event of 2020 in the metropolitan Denver area. Starting Monday, February 3, a strong storm pushed through the urban corridor between Denver and Boulder and dropped freezing rain and snow, making the roads and highways a mess to travel on. As a result of the storm and the expectation that there would be multiple accidents, many cities in the area issued winter accident alerts.
What Is A Winter Accident Alert?
Under 42-4-1606 CRS, all motor vehicle accidents must be reported immediately to the proper law enforcement authorities. But a winter accident alert means that drivers who are involved in a minor accident during bad weather should simply exchange insurance information with one another and then drive away, with the understanding that they will report the accident to the police or the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) at a later time. This frees up law enforcement from responding to minor accidents so they can focus on more serious accidents happening during inclement weather.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Even if a city has issued a winter accident alert, first responders should be called in the event that
- There was an injury or death,
- There was a hit and run,
- The accident is blocking the road,
- One or both drivers seem to be impaired,
- One or both drivers does not have insurance, or
- A government vehicle was involved.
For example: you are driving on I-25 just as freezing rain has started to fall. You begin to slow down and then notice that up ahead, you see a lot of brake lights from other vehicles. You try to brake even more, but your car starts sliding off to the right, and eventually, you come to a stop just as you bump into the back of another car that had already pulled over. Neither you nor the other driver is hurt, both of you have insurance, and the damage to your front end and their bumper seems minor. Here it is appropriate to exchange contact and insurance information and drive away home—slowly and safely—before the conditions get any worse.
If you are involved in an accident during a snowstorm where someone gets hurt, you should immediately call 911. When medics and police arrive, they will deal with the injured and secure the area, and the police will write a report detailing the road and weather conditions. When it is safe to do so, you should then report the accident to your insurance company.
Denver Accident Attorney
Winter weather can play a significant role in causing accidents on Denver-area highways and streets. If you have been involved in an accident this winter, you should call an experienced Denver accident attorney to help you recover compensation. Your lawyer will deal with the insurance company, fight for a quick and fair settlement offer, and make sure you get the maximum compensation available in your case to cover car repairs and medical bills. Contact us today for a free consultation.