The police report detailing your car accident plays a crucial role in an accident investigation. Insurance companies view these reports as primary pieces of evidence, and any error could harm your options of seeking legal recourse for injuries.
If you believe a police officer made mistakes in their report, contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your options. There are steps you can take to correct the errors or back your case in other ways.
Common Mistakes in Police Reports
The police report should describe the accident and include key details, like the location and names of the motorists involved in the crash. Sometimes, especially when written under time pressure, accident reports may contain mistakes, such as:
- Factual errors, including incorrect names or addresses
- Missing information you believe the reporting officer should have included, such as a prominent traffic sign or road defect
- Transcription errors (e.g., the officer entered your statement incorrectly)
Additionally, you may disagree with some of the police officer’s conclusions. For instance, the report may claim you violated a traffic regulation while you believe this didn’t happen.
Steps to Take After Discovering Police Report Mistakes
In some cases, requesting a revision of the accident report may be possible. In others, you could ask for a supplemental report in addition to the original. Here’s what you should do, or what your attorney can do on your behalf, if you discover a mistake when reading through your accident report.
1. Contact the Reporting Officer
Reach out to the police officer who covered the accident and point out the error. Requesting a correction could be simple enough if the officer made a small, technical mistake, like miswriting a name or location. Disputing subjective errors, like a witness statement you perceive as inaccurate, is usually more difficult.
2. Provide Supporting Documentation
Your appeal for changes in the accident report will carry more weight if you provide supporting documentation. For example, if the officer listed your car model incorrectly, you can attach your vehicle documents to back your request.
3. Write a New Statement
If you’re dealing with what you perceive to be a subjective error, the police officer may refuse to amend the information. In this case, your car accident lawyer can help you compile a statement and request to attach it to the police report. Your statement may include an account of the accident with solid supporting evidence that complements or clarifies the original report.
How Attorney Advice Can Help
Ultimately, amending an existing police report is at the police officer’s discretion. Even if you consult a car accident lawyer and take all the right steps, changing an existing report isn’t always possible.
However, a skilled attorney can help you build a strong case even if the police report presents an imperfect picture of your accidents, so it’s worth pursuing legal assistance. Your lawyer may lean on other evidence, including the following:
- Your medical records
- Photo and video footage
- Witness testimonies
- Expert witness statements
The sooner you start working with a lawyer after your accident, the better your chances of a successful claim resolution.
Law Offices of James A. Welcome: Trusted Legal Representation for Car Accident Victims in Connecticut
Did you discover accident report discrepancies after your car crash? Contact the Law Offices of James A. Welcome, a legal team with nearly two decades of experience handling car accident claims. We’ll evaluate your case and advocate for your rights throughout the claim process until its resolution.