April 3, 2023
Auto Accident

Car accidents can be traumatic and complicated experiences, and it’s essential to have a police report after the accident to make sense of the ordeal. A police report documents the details of an accident, including the people involved, their statements, and the officer’s observations.

However, police reports sometimes contain errors, and these errors can have serious consequences. A report error can cause your insurance claim to be denied or cite you as being liable for damages in the crash.

Knowing the steps to take if you discover an error in your police accident report can help you get an amended account that accurately represents your case. An accurate report can support your claim and help you receive compensation.

Car Accident Police Reports: An Overview

Police reports are official documents law enforcement officers create after responding to an incident, such as a car accident. They typically include the following information:

  • Time
  • Date
  • Location
  • Parties involved
  • Vehicle information (make, model, license plate)
  • Insurance information of the parties involved
  • Witness statements
  • Description of the scene
  • Weather and road conditions
  • Citations or charges issued
  • Diagram of the accident
  • Description of damage to vehicles

Police reports provide an objective account of what happened during an accident, which can be critical in determining fault and liability. They can also serve as evidence in legal proceedings and insurance claims, where the facts of an accident are disputed.

The contents of a police report can significantly impact the outcome of your car accident claim. Insurance companies and courts often rely on the information in a police report when deciding compensation or legal responsibility. A well-documented and accurate police report can help strengthen your case and increase your likelihood of winning a settlement.

Common Errors in Police Reports

Despite the thoroughness of police reports, police officers can sometimes make a mistake regarding the facts of the incident. Common errors in police reports include:

  • Incorrect or misspelled names of involved parties
  • Incorrect insurance information
  • Incorrect details about the make and model of vehicles
  • Inaccurate descriptions of the accident scene, such as the location of the vehicles
  • Incorrect statements attributed to involved parties or witnesses

Police reports can contain four types of errors: factual, transcription, omission, and disputed information. Factual and transcription errors are the easiest to fix.

For example, the officer noted that your birthdate is September 18th, but it’s actually September 14th. To correct this error, you could simply take your passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate to the station and have them amend the report.

However, errors of omission or disputed information can be challenging to resolve because it can be difficult to prove the error occurred. Collecting your own evidence from the accident scene, including photos and video, can help you correct the report immediately after you notice the error.

What to Do if You Spot an Error

If you spot an error in your car accident police report, take action to have it fixed as soon as possible. Consult with your car accident lawyer from The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers before making any statements about the accident. Your attorney can advise you on how to approach the police department and ensure you don’t make a statement that could be used against you regarding your claim.

  • Review the report carefully to identify any errors or omissions.
  • Contact the law enforcement agency that created the report and request a correction or addition to the report.
  • Provide evidence to support your claim, such as photographs or witness statements, and request that your version of events be included in the report.
  • If you are disputing a witness statement, you can’t correct it, but you can ensure that your version of events is also included in the report.

If you don’t hear back from the police department, follow up with them to ensure that your request is received and that they are correcting the error. Although there isn’t a specific timeline, you or your attorney can check back every few days or once a week for updates on your report.

Steps to Take if Your Request for Correction is Denied

If your request for correction is denied, you can take a few actions to prevent the inaccurate report from harming your chances for compensation.

  • Contact an attorney: Contact an experienced car accident attorney. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options and can assist you in getting the police report amended.
  • File a dispute: File a dispute with the police department. The police department may have a dispute process in place, and you may have a hearing to present your case. You will likely need to present strong, conclusive evidence to support your new statement, such as GPS data detailing your speed or video footage of the other driver’s erratic behavior.
  • File a supplement: File a supplement to the police report. This is a separate document you can submit to the police department that includes any corrections or additions to the original report. It can include your version of events and evidence you believe the officer missed in the first report.

Know Who to Call When a Police Report is Wrong

If you have been in a car accident in Alabama and the police report is incorrect, knowing who to call for help is essential. At The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers, our Alabama car accident lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal system and pursue compensation with an amended police report.

At The Vance Law Firm Injury Lawyers, we offer a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. We work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not charge any fees unless we recover compensation for you.

We understand the importance of a thorough and accurate police report and can help you take the necessary steps to correct any errors in the report. Contact us today for a free case review.

Related Articles

May 20, 2024
Auto Accident
Summer is approaching, and with it, warmer weather and more opportunities for trips across Alabama. More people will be on the road enjoying a vacation or a nice summer day out. However, higher traffic also means a higher risk of accidents, making safety and awareness critical this time of year. Summer holidays are an especially […]
View Article
May 6, 2024
Auto Accident
Alabama recognized the importance of ridesharing in 2018 with the signing of the Ridesharing Law, which legalized ridesharing all across the state. However, as the popularity of ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft increases, the risk of fraud and fake drivers has also become an issue. In 2019, a fake Uber driver in Tuscaloosa was […]
View Article
April 22, 2024
Auto Accident
It can be costly when you’re hurt in a car accident in Alabama. In 2022, the average hospital stay in the state cost $1,899 per day, which means just a few days can set you back thousands of dollars. Factor in other expenses, like property damage to your car and lost wages, and one collision […]
View Article
The Vance Law Firm