Act Quickly If There Is Any Error In A Police Report From A Car Accident
Time is of the essence when it comes to the police report and any corrections you think should be made. The insurance company will need the correct documentation to assess who is at fault and if you need to amend the police report, it needs to be done sooner rather than later. The moment you find the error, check the report for any other potential errors and contact the police station to get the report amended as soon as possible.
What If There Is A Mistake In The Report
Police officers are human, and they make mistakes. Typos or small errors such as the wrong make of car can be easily corrected. However, mistakenly omitted words such as not next to driving under the influence can transform the outcome of a case. Convincing an officer or police department to correct that type of information will be much more difficult unless the officer recognizes his or her error.
Can Witness Statements Documented In A Police Report Be Used As Evidence At A Florida Auto Accident Trial
No the statement itself, as recorded in the police report, cannot be entered into evidence. However, if a case gets to trial the police officer who took the statement could be called as a witness. They may be able to testify to what the witnesses at the scene or drivers said to them. The witness who made the statement can also be called.
This is another reason why its important to get contact information from witnesses if you can. Although any statements they gave to police that are in the police report cant be read into evidence from the report, they can still testify at trial.
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False Information By Third Party
A police officer is not guilty of a crime if:
- he files a report of a crime, and
- includes in it false information given by a witness or other third party.
An officer is only guilty for his own false information.
Example: Marcos is an officer and responds to the scene of a battery. A witness lies and tells Marcos that he saw the suspect hit the victim with his own eyes. Marcos includes this information in his report of the case.
Here, Marcos is not guilty under PC 118.1. While his report includes false information, Marcos did not falsify anything. He just recorded a lie that was made by a witness.
Common Causes Of Car Accidents
The vast majority of car crashes are caused by driver error. There were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019 in which 36,096 deaths occurred, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety . In Alabama that same year, 856 people died in vehicle crashes, IIHS reports.
- An average of 6 million car accidents happen every year.
- More than 90 people die in car accidents each day.
- About 3 million people are injured in car accidents annually.
- About 2 million drivers each year experience permanent injury in car accidents.
- 1 in 7 people do not wear a seatbelt while driving.
- People not wearing seatbelts are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle in a crash.
- There is an average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality every 48 minutes.
The most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted Driving
- Night Driving
- Vehicle Defects.
Its critically important to pay attention while driving to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. If you are hit by another vehicle in a crash, the first thing to do is call 911 and seek medical attention right away. Officers responding to the scene will file a crash-site police report.
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What The Police Report Means To Your Case
It is important to get a copy of your police report after a car accident, because police reports are considered by insurance companies, attorneys, and courts. Unless there is evidence to the contrary, the police officer who investigated your accident was trained to do this job and was independent of any of the parties involved in the crash. Additionally, the police officer may have been the only one who was not directly involved in the accident to investigate the accident scene.
However, sometimes police officers are wrong. If the police report is unclear as to who was at fault or if the police report is incorrect about who was at fault, then you need to take action immediately.
Do Police Reports Determine Fault For A Car Accident
After a car accident, one of the most important things to secure is the report made by the police officer who responded to the scene. Doing so will provide details about the accident, statements from parties involved, what witnesses saw, the officers opinion on what happened, and more. While a police report is not required to prove fault in Pennsylvania, one can help a person who is trying to do so.
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False Report Of A Crime Pc 1485
Penal Code 148.5 PC is the California law against making a false report of a crime. Specifically, this section applies when a person makes a false report of a crime to a:
- police officer,
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Expert Traffic Accident Analysis Can Help As Well
The use of an expert traffic accident analyst can overcome a harmful police report. Police are not trained in the physics and science of how accidents happen. They’re not necessarily wrong because they were negligent or just “too busy” to really care, but they might simply not have the training and experience to get your case right.
A traffic accident analyst forms his opinion based on his experience in the field and determines on who is at fault by “recreating” the scene of the accident. This process is done by taking all the facts from the accident, witness statements, and knowledge of the scene, and applying them to determine the events that lead to the accident. He can then explain to the jury—if necessary—why the accident was the other driver’s fault. We at Grossman Law Offices routinely retain accident analysts who are able to perform the re-creation of the accident scene to determine fault in the accident.
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The Police Report Is Wrong What Do I Do
Police report mistakes can take various forms. The officer may have the right finding of fault, but other factual details may be missing. Some of the most common errors we see in car accident police reports include:
- Wrong physical description of damages
- Incorrect list of drivers versus passengers
- Lack of injury description
- Inconsistencies with the crash diagram and
- Mistakes in officer narrative.
If you suspect there is a problem, you need to know how to fix an incorrect police report.
Start by making a list of the mistakes in the report. If you have new information or evidence that supports these inaccuracies, get copies. You should attempt to contact the officer who wrote the report to advise them of the mistake. The evidence you have should be significant enough to change the outcome of the original report.
If the error is a minor one and has no real impact on your case, you may not need to do anything. The police won’t make small changes to a police report when it doesn’t affect the outcome.
You need to act quickly. It is easier to request mistakes be corrected before the report is finalized. Document your attempts in writing. You should ask for the email addresses of the contact parties and create a digital paper trail.
Hiring a Los Angeles personal injury attorney is also recommended. Your attorney can contact the police department directly to request that the officer address the report’s mistakes. A request coming from an attorney may carry more weight.
Failing To Report All Injuries To The Doctors As Soon As Possible
It is very common to first notice pain or soreness days, sometimes weeks, after an accident. This is not “shady,” this is normal. Many times, it just takes time for the adrenaline to subside, for inflammation to develop, and for the pain to set-in. Or, sometimes another body part is excruciating, such as your knee, so you don’t really notice or care about the pain in another body part, such as your lower back. Well, once that knee heals, you then start to notice how sore your lower back feels. This could be weeks later, and then you mention it to your doctor. The insurance companies will always attack this delay in reporting, and they will argue that you are just trying to “game” the system, and raise the value of your claim by “making up” additional symptoms later on. So, make sure you report all of your injuries as soon as you can.
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Facing Charges We Can Help
If you were accused of a crime, one of the first things our lawyers will do is examine the police report filed against you. We can scrutinize the details of the report and find ways to minimize your charges and penalties as a result. To get started on your defense, get in touch with our attorneys online or at 574-7919.
What If The Report Is Wrong
You then wonder what, if anything, can you do to get the error corrected. That all depends on the type of mistake that is in the report.
If it is merely a clerical error, such as a misspelled name or erroneous date of birth, you can probably rest assured that these types of errors can be easily explained and will not impact your case. Likewise, it would not be necessary to contact the officer to get a corrected report.
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S You Can Take To Correct A Mistake In The Police Report After Your Car Accident
While not admissible in court for legal reasons, the police report regarding your auto crash is vital if you need to file a claim with the negligent drivers insurance company. It should be one of the first documents that the insurance adjuster requests. It contains important information such as:
- Details of your crash, such as the date, time, and location
- Contact information for any drivers involved in the accident and any witnesses
- Statements from any drivers or witnesses that were involved
- Damage to the vehicles
- Any injuries that occurred
- Officers narrative of how the crash occurred, his conclusions as to the cause, and whether a citation was issued to either driver
- Pictures of the accident scene and the damage to any vehicles
- Diagramwhich could show the scene and point of impact of the motor vehicles
The report and the police officers opinion about the cause of the crash can be extremely persuasive when settling your claim. If you must take your case to a jury trial, the officer could testify about his findings at your trial. However, not all police reports are completely accurate. What happens when you get a copy of the report and find that it contains errors?
How Long Do I Have In Alabama To File A Personal Injury Claim
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Alabama is two years from the date the injury occurred. The exception is if the injured person is a minor in those cases, the two years doesnt begin to run until he or she is 19 years old. If you dont file a claim within two years of the injury, then you have likely missed your window of opportunity and you are time-barred from recovering damages. This is another reason to hire an attorney promptly after youve been hurt in a car accident.
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Amending Disputed Facts In The Police Report
The more difficult task is to amend a police report when you or your attorney simply don’t agree with something contained in the report — not because of a mistake of fact, but because you’d reach a different conclusion or you’d characterize something in a different way.
For instance, let’s say you disagree with the details of the accident as described by a witness or another party to the accident. In the report, Witness 2 states that Driver 1 entered the intersection while the traffic signal was still green, but you think the traffic signal was already red at the time.
It’s very difficult to amend a police report in situations like this, because Witness 2’s statement may not be technically incorrect .
Likewise, even if you disagree with the wording of a statement that the officer claims to have taken directly from you, or if you feel that your statements were mischaracterized in some way, you probably will not be able to have the actual police report changed. So what can you do? Your remedy is probably to write up your own account of the accident or your observation as to certain key details, and ask that this evidence be attached to the police report. Under most department policies, it will be within the officer’s discretion whether or not the new information is included in the existing report — in other words, you can make your case that the requested change be made, but it’s not up to you.
Have you been in a car accident?
Are Police Reports What Determines Fault For A Pa Car Accident
Police reports are supposed to contain information that shows what led an officer to determine who they think is at fault for an accident. For example, a car accident report might contain information about skid marks the officer observed, road conditions, and damage caused by the accident. Then, theyll consider this information along with statements from witnesses and parties involved with the accident to say who was at fault.
While a police report can be helpful for a persons insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, it doesnt always mean that it will have the final say when it comes to determining fault. In fact, some police reports might not reveal who an officer believes was at fault for a crash. When an officer does state who they think caused an accident, its their professional opinion and is not binding. So, a police report can help a persons fault claims but it wont determine if that persons claims will be upheld in court or by an insurance company.
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What Does It Do To Your Accident Case If The Police Accident Report Is Wrong
It just creates more work for us because it makes it more difficult to settle your case. The insurance company claims representatives love to go by the police report when it favors them. This sometimes means that we will have to file a lawsuit. But often we are still able to settle the accident case for the entire insurance policy.
Fortunately for you, it wont cost you any more money if we have to work more because our legal fee remains 1/3 no matter how much work we do.
What Can You Do If The Police Report Has Mistakes And Wrongly Finds You At Fault For A Car Accident
What Can You Do If The Police Report Has Mistakes and Wrongly Finds You At Fault for a Car Accident
It is not uncommon for our attorneys to hear from potential clients who call in complaining that the police report/crash report is wrong or has errors. Specifically, these individuals state that they were wrongly found at fault for causing a car accident when they did not. Other times, individuals complain that the police report fails to report that they were injured or document their injury complaints. Unfortunately, this happens all too often. These individuals are typically overwhelmed, upset and have the following questions.
- Why does the police report say I am at fault for causing the car accident?
- What can I do to correct the police report so the other side is found at fault for causing the car accident?
- Can I recover for my injuries if I am found at fault for causing a car accident?
What Our Case Argument Might Look Like
- The police report incorrectly says that you were speeding. The accident reconstruction expert might be able to calculate the speed at which your car was traveling to prove that you were not exceeding the speed limit.
- The officer said that you caused the accident by making an illegal left turn into oncoming traffic. In reality, the defendant caused the crash by making an illegal left turn into your lane of traffic. An expert can review the damage to the vehicles and demonstrate that the officer was wrong, and the damage to your vehicle does not correspond to the information in the report.
- The defendant caused the wreck by distracted driving, but the police report does not state that fact or charge the defendant with the accident. You saw the defendant texting just before the crashviolating FL § 316.305. Your lawyer might be able to prove this fact by obtaining the cell phone records of the defendant.
- Sometimes we can present witnesses who can testify as to what happened and challenge an incorrect police report.