I disagree with the police report that was written up after my car accident. What can I do?
After a car accident, especially where drivers or anyone else have been injured, a law enforcement officer may come to the scene and prepare a police report. This document will contain a lot of information about the crash, including the people involved, witnesses who saw what happened, vehicle damage, road debris, the position of the vehicles, a description of the accident, probably a diagram or two, and even some preliminary findings on what or who caused or contributed to the car accident.
Considering all that it contains, it’s not surprising that the police report plays a key role when an insurance adjuster reviews an injury or vehicle damage claim after a car accident. But what if you think the police report contains wrong or incomplete information? You might be able to make a correction or addendum to the police report, but it depends on the nature of the information you disagree with.
Correcting factual errors. If the law enforcement officer got some objective information wrong -- details about your vehicle, your insurance coverage, or the location of the accident, for example -- you can probably get the report changed or amended as long as you provide documentation in support of the correction.
Changing disputable information. If you simply don’t agree with something that is in the report -- an account of the accident given by a witness, or the officer’s finding that you violated a traffic law -- you’ll have a much tougher time getting any change made. In that situation, the best you can probably do is write up your own version of the detail you’re disputing and hope that it be included as a supplement to the report. But in most cases, whether it is added to the report will be up to the law enforcement agency.
Learn more about Proving Fault for a Car Accident.
by: David Goguen, J.D.