21 Jul When the Police Make a Mistake at the Accident Scene
Car accidents can be devastating for your health and your finances. Filing a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company allows you to receive the money you’ll need to fix all the damages that were a result of the accident. But negotiating successfully with insurance adjusters is not easy.
If you want to be adequately compensated, you’ll need evidence that can prove who’s liable and what happened before, during, and after the collision. A police report can be key, but what if there’s a mistake on your report? Here’s what you can do about it.
What Is a Police Report?
A police report is a document that contains an officer’s findings and relevant details about a car wreck. When you file a claim, obtaining a report after the investigation is over is crucial. It will be one of the first documents that insurance companies will request. It’s also considered testimony from an expert who was there at the scene of the accident.
The last thing you want when negotiating with someone who has already established that they don’t want to provide what you deserve is to present yourself in an unconvincing manner. The police report offers needed information to establish liability, which makes a big difference in insurance negotiations.
Mistakes and How to Correct Them
The aftermath of a collision between vehicles can be confusing. Gathering evidence is not easy for a victim, and it’s even more difficult for the police, as they show up after the crash happened. More often than not, officers find themselves in front of a confusing situation, with few witnesses, a small amount of physical evidence, and conflicting statements.
Because of this, it’s not impossible for a police report to contain mistakes. Ignoring them is a recipe for disaster, especially if an error was made about your injuries or who was at fault. That can stop you from receiving the best settlement offer available for your case.
If you notice that an important document is full of inconsistencies, you need to take the steps necessary to correct it before it’s too late. You and your lawyer may need to act now and take these steps before your case goes to court.
Discuss the Mistake with the Police
Carrying out an investigation after a car accident has taken place is extremely difficult and police officers are only human. Don’t assume that a mistake was purposefully made against you and try to be as respectful as possible.
Approach the police officer looking to receive help and make a request for a change. They may be willing to adjust the report to reflect new evidence.
If you want to correct mistakes in your accident report, don’t expect officers to just take your word for it, especially if you want to adjust who was at fault. You need evidence for your claim, so talk with your lawyer about gathering information before you discuss your report. If the make or model of your car is wrong, for example, showing your vehicle registration can help.
The same goes for your injuries. Because symptoms can take days to show up, there’s a chance the officer who interviewed you during the investigation was unable to understand their full extent. Showing your medical records will allow you to prove your suffering, so the police can understand what happened and react accordingly.
Give a Detailed Statement
Unfortunately, mistakes in a report won’t stop at factual information that you can correct by providing documentation. When an error is about disputed information, conflicting statements were made or your words were misinterpreted. In these cases, you’ll have to proceed differently.
Police officers won’t always agree with you and correct your report in this situation. That’s why it would be in your best interest to write a detailed statement about everything that happened and attach it to your accident report. Remember to include relevant details from a neutral point of view and exclude your own opinion about the events that transpired.
Seek out a Car Accident Lawyer
Filing a claim and working with police officers to correct mistakes in an accident report can be a stressful and overwhelming experience for car accident victims. A car accident lawyer can take care of this complicated process on your behalf while you focus on your recovery.
The attorney at Crowell Law Offices will investigate your case and determine if you’re entitled to compensation. We’re ready to seek the compensation you need to protect your finances and your health. Call 916-303-2800 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation.