What to Do If the Police Report Is Wrong in Your Car Accident Case
For technical reasons, a police report isn't admissible in court. However, it can have an important impact on your settlement if you were injured by a negligent driver in a car wreck. His insurance adjuster will put great weight on what the report states in deciding whether you have a claim and if so, how much to offer in settlement. So what happens if the police report contains errors that aren't in your favor?
Steps to Take to Correct a Police Report
Police officers are human beings and like all of us, sometimes make mistakes. If you discover the police report regarding your crash contains errors, do what you can to correct them. Tips on how to do this include:
- Be respectful. If you're accusatory and argumentative, you'll only make the police officer defensive and less likely to make a correction. Talk directly with the officer and be polite—and don't start the process by going to his supervisor first.
- Factual errors. Factual errors, like the color of your car or the year of the other driver’s vehicle, are easy to fix. Usually, producing proof of the error will result in the police officer agreeing to amend the report.
- Disputed facts. Disputed facts about how the accident occurred, what a witness said, or interpretations or conclusions about what happened can be much more challenging to correct. While you can discuss these errors with the police officer, be realistic about the fact that you may not be able to amend certain aspects.
- Your statement. If you can't get an error corrected, you're not without options. Write up your own statement of what you dispute, including as many specific details as possible and avoiding just conclusions. If you have medical records, pictures, or other documents to support your position, include them as well. Ask the officer to attach your statement to his report. If your statement was not correct due to a medical condition or pain medications you were taking when you were interviewed, obtain a medical report explaining this to provide to the officer.
Did an officer make errors in the police report for your car accident? Fill out my online form to schedule a free case evaluation. I'll be happy to discuss strategies for correcting the report, as well as your legal options.