After a traumatic car accident, you rely on the car accident police report to correctly restate the facts surrounding your accident. What do you do when you receive the report and find that the car accident police report is wrong?
An incorrect car accident police report could substantially affect the outcome of your case.
However, when you discover a car accident police report is wrong, don't lose hope. You should know an incorrect car accident police report is never the last word. Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to assist you after you discover that your car accident police report is wrong.
Why Is a Car Accident Police Report Important?
A police report serves as a vital piece of information if any dispute exists for determining fault in the accident. A car accident police report also provides information on causation. Insurance companies often rely on police reports when determining awards for claims.
Additionally, an insurance adjuster relies on the information reflected in the car accident police report to support your claim against other insurance companies.
A police officer's opinion in a police report serves as a highly persuasive tool when settling your claim. It can also have a significant impact if you go to trial. At trial, the reporting police officer who created the car accident police report testifies about their findings.
This type of testimony serves as a powerful tool in jury trials. The jury may view the police officer's findings as unbiased and a true reflection of what happened in your accident.
Is It Possible to Correct Information in a Police Report?
When you discover errors in a car accident police report, it's best to remedy those errors quickly. Some mistakes are easier to fix. These include incorrect information about the following facts:
- Wrong driver license numbers;
- Misspelled names;
- Wrong make, model, or color of vehicles;
- Transcription errors;
- Errors regarding the insurance company;
- Incorrect addresses or phone numbers of the parties; and
- Errors in the accident diagram.
However, judgment errors and disputed facts may be more complicated to fix. There may be situations where the reporting police officer reached a different opinion about whether you or the other driver was speeding. Additionally, a police officer may have added an opinion of who was at fault for an accident.
The officer may be reluctant to amend their report. But it's important to remember that opinions are not fact and there are ways to challenge them.
What Do I Do If My Car Accident Police Report Is Wrong?
If you believe the officer’s opinion of fault is wrong, you have options. A good car accident attorney can help you challenge the report and pursue your claim.
For example, perhaps a police officer reports a car accident scene where a motorcyclist rear-ended a large commercial truck and died. The report provides that the motorcyclist rear-ended the commercial truck and the accident was the motorcyclist's fault.
The motorcyclist's family believes the car accident police report is wrong. Their attorney discovers that the truck driver's GPS tracking device shows that the truck driver did not stop at a stop sign and the motorcyclist could not avoid hitting the truck.
In that case, the attorney could try to get the officer to amend their report based on the additional evidence. If the police officer refused to change their determination of fault, the attorney could still use the evidence to support a different version of events. They could also use the information to cross-examine the police officer at trial and cast doubt on their version of events.
Therefore, even if you find out your car accident police report incorrectly details your accident or paints you as the at-fault party, never assume that report eliminates your chance for recovery. A qualified personal injury attorney can work diligently to gather evidence refuting the incorrect car accident police report.
In many cases, the contrary evidence your personal injury attorney gathers will highlight the mistakes in the report. Focusing on this evidence serves to cast doubt on the accuracy of the report. In many cases, when faced with this strong evidence, the "true" at-fault party accepts responsibility.
Contact Grossman Law for Help
While you may fix factual errors in a car accident police report, you should obtain the assistance of a qualified personal injury attorney when disputing the judgment and opinion of a reporting police officer. A personal injury attorney may be able to convince the police officer to amend their report.
However, even if the police officer refuses to do so, the personal injury attorneys at Grossman Law Offices work quickly to gather evidence to protect your rights. We have frequently handled cases where the initial car accident police report incorrectly recites events surrounding a car accident and falsely places blame on our clients. We know through experience that these incorrect reports are never the last word.
We understand that our clients are going through the most challenging time in their life. We are committed to excellence, unparalleled experience, and fighting spirit to help our clients obtain the results necessary to get their lives back on track. Contact our office today to discuss the facts of your case and how we can help you!