It’s likely that if you’ve spent enough time behind the wheel, you’ve either been involved in or inadvertently caused a minor car accident. After all, they’re called accidents for a reason, and we humans have a knack for causing them. Among the various challenges of driving, suffering from a fender bender is at the forefront of concerns for Colorado drivers.
Understanding the appropriate steps to take in such situations, as well as preemptive measures for self-protection, can go a long way in saving you both money and inconvenience. Let’s delve into the details of a fender bender accident and how you can effectively safeguard yourself.
Defining Fender Benders in Colorado
In Colorado, the term fender bender is used to describe minor car accidents in which you’ll usually find the extent of the damage is literally just damage to the fenders of each vehicle. Typically, these incidents involve two or more parties, low speeds, and minor physical contact between cars. Here are some common scenarios that can lead to fender benders for drivers:
- While reversing out of your parking space at King Soopers.
- When you’re in the drive-through line picking up a meal and get bumped by a distracted driver.
- Accidentally rolling into another vehicle at a stop after releasing your brakes prematurely.
- Running a stop sign and causing a minor collision.
These are just a few examples, but they illustrate the concept of minor car accidents we’re referring to. However, it’s also worth noting that there are instances in which a fender bender collision may involve a bit more damage than just cosmetic. This further highlights the importance of Colorado auto insurance and having a plan should one occur.
What To Do After a Fender Bender in Colorado
In any fender bender collision, safety comes first. Ensure the safety of all parties involved, and if there are injuries, promptly report the incident and seek necessary medical attention.
Assuming everyone is fine, follow these steps:
- Document the damage.
- Politely confirm everyone’s well-being.
- Move the vehicles to a safe location.
- Exchange contact, insurance, and driver’s license information.
- Contact the police if needed for a report.
- Notify your insurance agent for guidance on the next steps.
In Colorado, being at fault means you’re responsible for covering the losses. However, accident situations can be complex, and various scenarios may require different actions.
What To Do in a Minor Fender Bender No Police Report in Colorado
Don’t leave the scene; instead, document the incident, ensure everyone’s well-being, and inform your insurance agent. In some cases, police involvement may not be necessary, such as when the accident doesn’t involve government property, causes less than $1,000 in damage, and results in no injuries.
You might handle the matter privately if both parties exchange information and can safely drive away. However, this approach can be risky, as not following proper procedures can lead to complications. Regardless, it’s advisable to inform your insurance provider, even if you choose not to file a claim, and document through video and pictures being as detailed as possible.
What Do You Do After a Non-Injury Fender Bender Collision in Colorado?
Always contact your insurance company no matter what and document evidence that everyone is okay. You’ll need to also document, through video and pictures, that the accident was minor, the vehicles were operable, and that everyone agreed to go their separate ways. Again, handling things among drivers is doable but comes with risks.
Colorado Fender Bender Law
There are several reasons that it’s recommended that drivers report accidents. From an insurance standpoint, this is to help reduce your exposure to potential risk. However, it’s also recommended that all drivers report each accident because it’s the law.
Formally known as CRS 42-4-1606, dubbed the Colorado fender bender law, it includes minor incidents. If there is an accident, you are required by law to report it or you technically can face a $300 fine and even 90 days in jail.
How Much Does a Fender Bender Cost Colorado Drivers?
Fender bender repair costs in Colorado can vary, ranging from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, but on average, drivers can expect to pay around $2,000 to repair their vehicles. However, the severity of the accident and restoration expenses depend on multiple factors.
For instance, a minor fender bender like a slight bumper tap in a drive-through line will likely be less expensive to repair than a multi-vehicle incident in heavy traffic. It’s essential to note that even in two-party accidents, depending on your auto insurance coverage, you may be responsible for covering losses for both yourself and others involved.
Keep in mind that for your Colorado collision coverage to kick in, you’ll need to first pay your deductible to receive reimbursement. Furthermore, the $2,000 benchmark is just an average. In the last few years, the Colorado economy has faced many challenges including higher-than-normal rates of inflation. This means the cost of restoring your vehicle could likely be higher.
Should You Call the Police for a Fender Bender in Colorado?
Calling the police after an accident that is minor can become an optional step. Drivers who are experiencing a fender bender will have to look at a variety of factors and come to an agreement. But always notify your auto insurance carrier.
Safety is paramount, and if there are injuries, calling the appropriate channels is essential. If you’ve assessed and documented the damage; minor incidents without injuries might not require police. However, if the other party is uncooperative, having a police report can help you with your claim.
Hit-and-run incidents or any doubts should prompt police involvement. If you and the other affected parties decide against involving the police, be sure to exchange information, document the scene, and notify your insurance company. Prioritize safety and compliance with laws and insurance, erring on the side of caution when uncertain.
Does a Fender Bender Count as an Accident in Colorado?
Yes, a fender bender is considered to be a minor car accident. 70% of car accidents involve multiple vehicles but that means a sizeable number does not. The most common type of accident is a fender bender and Colorado drivers will need to decide whether or not they need to file a claim when facing such losses alone. But when other parties are involved, it’s always recommended to contact your insurance company.
How Colorado Drivers Should Handle a Fender Bender Hit and Run
First, you’ll need to prioritize safety by ensuring everyone’s well-being and moving your vehicle to a safe spot. Be sure to document the incident by noting details of the other vehicle, the accident’s time and location, and collecting any other information, including witnesses when possible.
Because it’s a hit-and-run, you’ll need to report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the report for insurance purposes. Always notify your insurance company, and seek a medical evaluation for potential injuries when necessary.
From here, you’ll need to arrange repairs and keep all related records. Cooperate with authorities and insurers, and consult a specialized attorney if needed. Procedures may vary, so always prioritize safety and adhere to legal and insurance protocols for protection.
Leaving the scene of an accident in Colorado can carry a stint in prison that ranges from one to ten years, depending on the severity of the incident. For fender bender accidents, this will typically lean on the lower side of things. Colorado Revised Statute 13-80-101(1) provides you three years from the time of the accident to take legal action against the driver who flees the scene.
Hit-and-runs, even when they are just a finder bender collision, are a unique type of automobile accident. They also may require specific hit-and-run coverage to restore your losses. Be sure to check the details of your policy and discuss your potential risks with your insurance agent when enrolling.
Can a Fender Bender Cause Transmission Problems?
The majority of rear-end collisions are minor fender benders, which means the risk of transmission problems in the aftermath of such accidents is real. Rear-end collisions can lead to mechanical damage, notably transmission issues, especially in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) vehicles due to transmission component placement near the rear.
Signs of transmission damage can include fluid leaks beneath the car and problems with acceleration and gear shifting. Identifying such damage may be challenging for non-mechanics, making professional inspection crucial.
This ensures safety and functionality after an accident, underscoring the importance of recognizing transmission damage signs and seeking professional evaluation afterward. It’s also why it’s important to notify your insurance so that you can receive coverage for these expenses that may otherwise add up to several thousands of dollars.
Protecting Yourself From Colorado Fender Bender Accidents
Suffering from a fender bender can happen from time to time and if you have the right protection in place, you’ll be able to overcome the inconvenience a lot more smoothly. Various auto insurance coverage options are available and understanding your options is key.
Tailoring policies to your specific needs is essential for drivers in Colorado, where liability coverage is mandatory but primarily focuses on the other party’s losses. Having only minimum coverage might not suffice if you’re at fault.
To help restore your own vehicle, it’s important to consider collision coverage for vehicle repairs, or full coverage which combines liability, collision, and comprehensive coverages into one. This helps you stay prepared for both accident and non-accident-related losses.
Including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for hit-and-runs or accidents with underinsured drivers is also a good consideration. Having medical payments coverage aids in minor injury-related expenses for all parties. Consulting an insurance agent is crucial for selecting suitable coverage to navigate post-fender bender situations effectively.
Will a Fender Bender Raise Insurance for Colorado Drivers?
Yes, a fender bender can impact your car insurance rates in Colorado, but several factors come into play:
- If you are found at fault, your rates are likely to increase.
- Being not at fault doesn’t guarantee rate protection; it varies among insurers and should factor into your provider selection.
- A history of numerous claims, regardless of fault, can lead to rate increases.
However, certain accident scenarios may not raise your rates depending on your carrier and the circumstances of each wreck. Here are a few common examples of fender benders that would be unlikely to raise your premiums:
- If you’re a victim of a hit-and-run.
- When your legally parked vehicle is hit by a moving vehicle.
- In cases where you’re rear-ended without receiving a driving ticket.
The determination of fault plays a significant role in handling your fender bender insurance claim and its impact on your rates.
How to Plea After a Fender Bender in Colorado
While legal advice is best obtained from your attorney, handling any auto accident in Colorado, including a fender bender, is ideally done by letting your auto insurance company take charge. Document the accident, exchange information, and provide truthful evidence of the events. Your car insurance company can then act as a mediator to establish fault and proceed with resolving the losses incurred.
How To Protect Yourself From a Fender Bender in Colorado
Not all accidents are avoidable, but many are—particularly fender benders which normally involve low speeds and low impacts. Nevertheless, even when you do everything right, they can still occur. Here is how you can properly protect yourself from a Colorado fender bender and mitigate the risk altogether:
Drive Safely and Defensively
If you are driving alertly and are doing everything you can to avoid accidents, it’s harder to get in a fender bender. Again, accidents are bound to happen, but if you do your part to drive safely and defensively, you can lower your risks and keep everyone safer in the process.
This includes avoiding distractions. The leading cause of all accidents is distracted driving and while it may feel innocent to take a quick look at a text or send a quick message, you could find yourself dealing with an accident sooner than you think. Pay attention to the road and practice safe driving techniques at all times.
Stay Vigilant for Rear-end Accident Threats
While you’re going to need to have your main focus on the road ahead, as we all know, driving means being aware of much more. Threats can persist from all angles and when it comes to rear-end accidents, they are some of the leading causes of fender benders in Colorado. Whenever possible, always avoid such accidents and pull over or honk your horn to alert potentially distracted drivers and limit your risks.
Enroll in the Right Coverages for Fender Benders
Different types of car insurance coverage exist for different scenarios. Fender benders have a lot of variables to them and if you don’t have the right protection in place, you’re going to have to pay for the repairs yourself. Always discuss your risks and coverage options with a licensed insurance agent to make sure you are properly protected.
Car insurance is an essential protection for all drivers, including minor accidents. The cost of repairs is rising due to inflation, increased auto prices, and vehicle complexity. Inadequate coverage may lead to out-of-pocket expenses, legal issues, and liability for others’ damages.
Freedom Insurance Group helps Colorado drivers by providing access to a variety of top-rated insurance companies. We assess your risks and rates across these insurers to secure the right coverage at competitive prices, resulting in an average savings of 40%.
By working with a variety of carriers, not only do you get to review different coverage options but when you compare them, you can find the lowest price. Our agents can help you identify the right protection at the lowest cost in a fraction of the time, leading to significant savings in premiums.
We also offer bundled auto and home insurance options for added discounts. Contact an agent today for a free, no-obligation auto insurance quote to safeguard against fender benders and other unforeseen events.