When a car accident occurs, the police are often called to the scene to make a report of the event.
In many states, a car accident claim cannot be made to the insurance company without a police report. Because of this, even in areas where a police report is not required by local law, accident victims will call the police to have a report made so an insurance claim can be made.
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A police report contains important information.
Most reports will contain the following:
- Name and address of all parties involved
- Name of insurance companies by all drivers involved
- Name of witnesses to the event and witness statements
- Details about the accident scene including weather information
- A diagram of the accident area and how the event occurred
Additional important information may also be included, such as injuries that were visible at the scene or information given by either party.
Sometimes these reports can contain errors.
Police officers are, after all, just humans, and they can make mistakes.
In most cases, the mistakes made in a police report will fall into one of the following categories: Factual Error, Transcription Error, or a Disputed Fact.
What Are Factual Errors on a Police Report?
Factual errors on a police report would include the basic information contained in the report.
Some factual errors may include:
- Misspelling of name or address of any parties involved
- Misinformation concerning insurance or drivers license status at time of accident
- Incorrect information about the make, model or year of the cars involved
- Inaccurate description of where the accident occurred
These mistakes are generally very easy to correct. You can contact the police department that handled the case and ask that the information be corrected.
You may have to show proof of the inaccuracies to have it changed.
Transcription errors are usually divided into two categories. There is a type of transcription error that includes telling the officer that you were doing 30 mph when the accident occurred, and they wrote down 50mph. Officers are often doing many things at once when they are at the scene of an accident, and transcription errors can occur.
The other type of transcription error is an omission error. For instance, if you tell the police officer that you hit your head really hard on the side window during impact and that is not included in the report, that is an omission.
Many of these errors can be corrected if you approach the officer who completed the report and presents them with the correct information.
Disputed facts on a police report are the most difficult types of errors to have corrected. This type of error usually involves the police officer recording a different perspective of the accident in the report than one of the parties agrees with about the cause of the accident.
It is nearly impossible to have this type of error changed on the police report.
Your best choice is to write out an official statement of the event and provide it to your attorney. Your attorney can contact the right types of experts to recreate the scene of the accident to determine who is right about the cause of the accident.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Abut Your Accident
When you have been involved in a car accident, it will always be beneficial to speak with an attorney about your case. Small issues like incorrect information on your police report can have a significant impact on your claim for compensation. When an attorney is managing your case, you will have a better chance of securing a compensation package for your injuries and losses.
Also read: Steps To Take After A Car Accident