There are many reasons a police report could be inaccurate. The officer could have written something down wrong, such as a hard-to-spell name or transposed a number. Or he or she may have gotten some important details wrong, such as inaccurate information from a passenger of the other vehicle.
When you have a dispute with the details of the police report, it's important to get the report amended. That's because the insurance companies rely heavily on this information to determine fault in accidents that occur in states with at-fault insurance laws. These states require parties to bear a percentage of the fault in an accident, and that determines which insurance company has to pay up after an accident.
Here are five tips for getting a police report corrected.
- Be patient and understanding. Police officers, just like anyone else, don't want to be yelled at or accused. Although it's important to ensure the police report is accurate before it's filed, go about it in a judicious manner. Don't threaten, yell or accuse. Calmly present your side of events and use evidence to back up your recount of events.
- Correct the report before it's final. Speak to an officer as soon as possible after the accident. If an officer will not be responding to your accident, which is common in the case of minor accidents, follow your jurisdiction's procedures for filing the report yourself and do so as soon as possible.
- Include photos, details of your injuries and damage to your vehicle or property.
- If you received medical treatment following the accident and you believe that affected your ability to give an accurate statement, offer medical records or a statement from your doctor that say so.
- If the officer will not change the report, respectfully ask that your statement be included as an attachment.
At Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C., our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. If you or a loved one has been injured and is seeking a qualified personal injury attorney, contact our Huntington, West Virginia office to speak with an attorney about your case, or call 304-523-8451.