A police report is an important document in a car accident case. As car accident attorneys, we use police reports all the time in car accident cases. The facts and observations in the report have great weight and are a crucial tool to assist insurance companies in determining fault and assessing your car damage and bodily injury claims.
After a car accident, you can be very confused. While you may not feel up to giving a statement about what happened to the police, most police officers insist that you do and write what you say into their report.
If the officer has written a report with mistakes it is important to get any mistakes corrected or amended if at all possible. Doing so can result in a significant increase in the money you will receive from your case.
So what happens when, after things calm down, you look at the police report and note errors? Either you were mistaken in what you said or the officer made an error in recording what you said. Getting a police report corrected or amended can come down to whether the error is a factual or disputed fact.
Basic Fact Errors
A basic factual error is a mistake involving basic information. This can be a number error, as when the police officer transposes the numbers in a driving license number, vehicle license plate number or telephone number. It might also be an error in the name of the street, the make, model, and/or color of your car, or the name of a passenger or witness.
Generally, a factual error can be corrected by contacting the police officer and submitting proof of the correct information, such as your driver’s license number, vehicle license plate or telephone number. If accepted, the police officer will either change the error on the report itself or attach an addendum to the report that explains the error.
Disputed Fact Errors
Disputed facts generally involve information which 2 people can characterize differently. This includes, how the accident occurred or who was at fault. It is very difficult to amend disputed facts in a police report even if the police officer mistakes what you said.
If you have documents or photos which clearly show that the investigating officer made a mistake on a disputed matter in the report, you can call the police or highway patrol office and ask for the name of the supervising officer. You can then send your documents or photos to the supervisor, stating clearly what you believe the error is, explaining how your documentation proves that an error was made and asking the supervisor to order that a corrected or amended report be issued.
Whether the error is factual or disputed, your car accident attorney is the best person to discuss with the police officer any amendment of the police report.
There is more information about police reports and other accident information, in my free E book 9 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Accident Case. You can download for free and read more about the matters discussed above.
If you are involved in a car accident, consult our experienced car accident attorneys.
At the Law Offices of John P. Burns, we effectively handle your car accident claim so you can focus on recovering without having to deal with the insurance companies. It’s free to ask questions, so contact us directly at 949-496-7000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be sure to get back to you within 24 hours.