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How Do I Contest A Police Accident Report

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Car Accident Lawyer

In most states, in any motor vehicle accident involving injuries that is attended by or investigated by a police officer, the officer is required to gather all relevant facts and to issue a traffic accident report.

Officers are trained in accident investigations and typically use a form where there are boxes that can be checked off regarding:

  • Roadway and weather conditions
  • Violations of any traffic code or laws
  • Injuries to the parties
  • Number of parties and passengers involved

Other information on these reports that the officer needs to input includes:

  • Identities of the parties, vehicle owners, and witnesses
  • Location of accident including streets, roadway, town or city
  • Vehicles’ insurance companies
  • Direction of travel for involved vehicles
  • Description of property damage
  • Description of injuries
  • Diagram of accident scene
  • Measurements taken
  • If photos were taken
  • Summary of statements of parties and witnesses

However, not all traffic accident reports are accurate.  In addition to the police, the RMV and auto insurers largely depend on police accident reports to determine a number of important aspects such as possible traffic violations, whether points should be added to your driving record, the criminal consequences, and liability, it is imperative that any report containing material errors be promptly corrected.  If you find such errors in your own traffic accident report, is there a way to correct these errors?

Common Errors in Traffic Accident Reports and Correcting Them

Occasionally, there are factual errors in an accident report. These may pertain to:

  • Names of the parties
  • Vehicle make or model
  • Insurance coverage
  • Birthdate of the drivers
  • Driver’s license number
  • Location of the accident site
  • Omission of injuries

In some cases, the officer may have relied exclusively on the version of the accident offered by the opposing motorist, especially if you were incapacitated at the time or were taken away by ambulance before the officer arrived or was able to talk to you.

You can go to the investigating officer’s police station and ask to speak to the officer and point out these errors.  The officer will generally not amend his report but will typically prepare a supplemental report to correct these errors.

Other errors may be misstatements by the officer who may have not heard you correctly or simply noted the wrong information.  For example, the officer may have written down that you were traveling 45 miles per hour though you clearly recall telling him your speed was 35 miles per hour.  Another is that you presumably admitted to not seeing the other vehicle before the collision.  The report may have omitted certain statements about your injuries with no mention of your neck pain or knee injury.

Should I Contest A Police Report?

Should the officer balk or simply refuse to change or supplement the report to reflect your version that you were not liable for the accident or did indeed suffer certain injuries or that there are other misstatements, then you can request that your own version of the accident and your injuries be included either in the original report or in a supplemental one. If you feel the summary of your statement is inaccurate, you should consider retaining a car accident attorney to help you with the content of the statement to be added to the report or included in a supplemental report.

Your car accident attorney can submit a medical record or report that unequivocally shows that you did suffer a certain injury that might convince the officer to amend his report or provide a supplemental one.

Police Report and Car Accidents

Getting the police accident report is a simple matter.  You can go online to find the issuing police department and for a nominal fee to receive the report.  If you do see errors in the report, getting the information corrected as soon as possible will help your claim for damages and possibly avoid any consequences to your driving record.  For any accident resulting in injuries, retain an experienced car accident attorney who can quickly get your report amended or a supplemental report issued along with providing any documents to support your injuries and claim.

If you have been surcharged by your insurance company, you should appeal.

Retain a Car Accident Attorney

Often, a police traffic accident report can make or break a claim. By retaining a highly experienced car accident attorney, you can be assured that any errors on your accident report are promptly addressed, that the appropriate documents are submitted if required, and that all other aspects of your claim are handled in a professional manner.

What to Expect at Your Legal Appointment for a Car Accident Claim: 5 FAQs

As a trusted car accident attorney knows, being involved in a car accident can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. If you’ve decided to seek legal representation to pursue a car accident claim, you may have questions about what to expect during your initial appointment with a lawyer

What Should I Bring to the Appointment?

When meeting with your attorney for the first time, it’s crucial to come prepared with essential documents related to your car accident claim. These documents typically include:

  • Accident Report: If law enforcement responded to the accident, obtain a copy of the accident report.
  • Medical Records: Gather all medical records and bills related to injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Insurance Information: Provide your insurance policy details, as well as information about the other driver’s insurance.
  • Photographs: Any photos you took at the accident scene can be valuable evidence.
  • Witness Information: If there were witnesses to the accident, share their contact information if possible.

What Questions Will My Attorney Ask During the Appointment?

Expect your car accident attorney to ask several questions to gain a comprehensive understanding of your situation. These questions may include:

  • Details of the Accident: Be prepared to recount the events leading up to and following the accident, including any conversations with the other driver or witnesses.
  • Injuries and Medical Treatment: Your lawyer will inquire about the injuries you sustained and the medical treatment you’ve received or anticipate needing.
  • Insurance Coverage: Your attorney will want to know your insurance coverage and the details of the other driver’s insurance.
  • Witnesses: If there were witnesses to the accident, your lawyer may ask for their statements.
  • Prior Health History: Your lawyer may ask about your prior health conditions to understand any pre-existing injuries that could impact your case.

Open and honest communication is essential during this process, as it helps your lawyer build a strong case on your behalf.

What Should I Expect in Terms of Timeline?

The timeline for a car accident claim can vary widely depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the severity of injuries, and negotiations with insurance companies. Your lawyer can provide a general estimate of how long your case might take, but it’s essential to be patient and prepared for potential delays.

What Are the Next Steps After the Initial Appointment?

After your initial consultation, your lawyer will review the information you provided and assess the viability of your case. If they believe you have a strong claim, they will likely start by conducting further investigations, gathering evidence, and negotiating with the insurance companies involved. Throughout this process, your lawyer will keep you informed about developments and advise you on the best course of action.

Knowing what to expect at your attorney’s appointment for a car accident claim can alleviate some of the uncertainty associated with pursuing legal action. By coming prepared, being open and honest, and maintaining realistic expectations, you can work effectively with your attorney to seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries and damages. 


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