Mistakes in a police report can really hurt an injured driver or pedestrian’s case. When police or law enforcement officers make an error in an accident report, it gives claims adjusters reasons to reduce or even deny a claim.
These incident reports remain an important part of the claim investigation process although they are not directly admissible in court. Correcting a police report can play a big part in how an injury claim is handled, as well as the claim’s settlement value.
What can be done when a police report contains errors, draws wrong conclusions or leaves out vital information? Unfortunately, there is no oner solution for making corrections to one of these reports.
Each police department, sheriff’s office or other law enforcement agency will have different policies on how the situation is handled.
Here are helpful tips and suggestions for how to correct a faulty police report:
1. Police officers are human, too. Just like you, they don’t like to be told they are wrong, even when it means they blew the investigation.
2. The right approach really can make the difference. Accusations won’t get you far so avoid being critical. Going above them to their supervisor can be just as bad. Unless the circumstances are highly unusual, their supervisor is also likely to defend them.
3. Try to correct a police report before it is considered final. This means talking to the officer as soon as possible after the accident to make sure they have all the facts of how it occurred.
4. If you disagree with the report or what the officer says, consider offering them a written statement of your version of how the accident occurred. Be sure to include details, not just your own conclusions.
5. Include photos of the accident scene, your injuries, and how your vehicle was damaged, if these photos will help support your version of the accident.
6. Often police will conduct interviews with the victim after an accident when they are in the emergency room, distracted by pain and under medication. You may need to offer medical records that show your ability to give a correct statement was affected.
7. If the officer won’t change or amend the report, ask that your statement be included as an attachment.
8. Be completely honest and accurate. If you are not sure what happened, don’t commit to any facts.
For more on car and traffic safety, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach car accident attorney.