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Car accidents usually do not necessitate police presence unless there has been an injury, the roadway has been blocked and caused traffic, the driver has been assumed to be intoxicated, or the involved parties became physically abusive or unruly. The expectation is that the involved parties will be able to essentially handle the situation themselves by exchanging necessary information and calling a tow service to remove any obstruction from the road. If you do have the need for police presence, however, there will almost always be an accompanying police report. These police reports essentially gather the facts of the occurrence and have a small space for the officer’s opinion on what happened. Although these reports are not admissible in court, they can still come in handy in other situations. There are times, however, when a report contains inaccuracies or is not correct. Our law firm, the top-rated Kenmore Law Group, is here to help our clients understand what can be done if the accident report is not right. Our clients ask us questions like:

  • Can you make changes to a police report?
  • Do you need a lawyer if the police report is wrong?
  • What do I do if the police report is wrong?
  • What if the cops are wrong?
  • What if the police report is incorrect?

Police Report Information and Usage
A police report is a compilation of the facts of the accident, including information such as the date, time, and location of the accident; witness reports and identifying information; a drawing, sketch, or diagram of the accident; statements from and information of the involved parties; assessment of property and vehicular damage; legal information regarding any broken laws or statutes; and opinions regarding the cause or responsibility of the collision.

The reason these police reports are inadmissible in court is due to the fact that they are eventually recorded statements of witnesses and police officers’ opinions. These transcriptions can have errors in them for any number of reasons: the officer misheard a witness’s statement, filled in a blank himself, or jumped to a conclusion in writing his opinion; the officer was in a rush or did not know proper procedure or laws for what he was giving input over; or there were conflicting reports that went unnoticed. A report that is not correct cannot have an adverse effect on a court case, however, due to not being able to be used as evidence.

If the police report has mistakes or is inaccurate, you will not see much consequence in the way of court proceedings, but when it comes to insurance claims, difficulties may arise. Insurance agents are not bound by the same legal rules that those in a court setting are, and thus, it is perfectly acceptable to deliver a police report to an insurance agent as evidence for a claim wherein you are demanding compensation.

However, if this accident report has errors, the insurance agents may be able to lower your potential compensation or argue that you are mistaken in claiming a fact about your case. It can be a hassle to argue with insurance agents, and for this reason, an experienced attorney is a valuable asset to have.

If you are involved in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, or bike accident and your police report, which contained errors or inaccuracies, is being rejected or diminished by an insurance agency, let an experienced attorney at Kenmore Law Group help.

Common Errors on Police Reports
Police reports may contain a number of different kinds of errors. Some of these may not affect an insurance claim, while others may be important enough that an insurance agent can lobby to throw your whole claim out and pay you nothing. It is important to consult with a lawyer to figure out if the police report contains any inaccuracies and what you can do to correct the issue.

Traffic collision reports may contain three types of errors. Mistakes of fact are viewed as the most harmless. They may include:

  • Spelling Errors
  • Mis-transcribed Phone Numbers, Social Security Numbers, License Plates, Dates, Names, and more
  • Wrong Information of Witnesses and Vehicles
  • Mistaken Details of the Accident

A mistake of judgment is an opinion from a police officer or witness about what happened during the accident. These mistakes may boil down to perception and he-said/she-said remarks. Commonly, you may find that you disagree with these judgments or statements, but unless there is ample support from other witnesses or traffic experts or enough evidence to suggest so, you may not be able to find these errors in a police report able to be changed. Some examples of this include:

  • Speeding
  • Rolling Stop at a Stop Sign
  • Running a Red Light
  • Smell of Drugs in Car
  • Status of Stop Light
  • Reckless or Careless Driving

Lastly, a mistake of law involves an error made regarding legal information. An officer may write down that you have broken a law, for instance, but in actuality, you did not; there are numerous exceptions to laws and the phrasing can sometimes be understood in a different manner. For example, there may be errors concerning:

  • Vehicular Details (functioning tail light, tinted windows, rearview mirror objects, etc)
  • Turning Violations
  • Alcohol laws
  • Parking Violations

All of these errors may potentially hinder the insurance agency’s decision to give you a fair settlement after a vehicular accident. Fortunately, you can take action to change errors in the police report.

What To Do If You Got into an Accident and the Police Report Is Not Accurate
Clients often ask us what to do if the police report is not accurate, what to do if the police report is wrong, or how to change a police report.

If you disagree with the police report, you should be aware that it can, in fact, be changed. There are different ways that a report can be amended; for simple inaccuracies, such as the wrong type of vehicle you were driving or the wrong location of an accident, it may be as easy as requesting that the reporting officer make a change. He can erase or white out the inaccurate information and resubmit the report.

There are times this does not happen, though. If you find yourself challenging a police report’s judgment calls, however, it can be much more difficult to get the document amended. You would need to convince the officer that he was mistaken in writing his claim down and that he should alter it to fit your narrative. However, the problem exists in that the opposing witness may see things differently from you; in that case, there is no reason for the officer to believe he should change the report. It is much more difficult for this course of action to take effect.

In the event that the officer does not agree with your request to change the report, you can ask that he attach a personal statement from you to the report. This will become an official part of the document and will provide your updated and different remarks or notes on what transpired. The updated record will be kept at the police department, and can be available to you should you need to bring it anywhere (attorney’s office, DMV, insurance agency, etc).

Impact on Insurance
As a result of these errors, insurance companies may be unwilling to pay out any settlements for your injuries. They may claim that you did not suffer the injuries you claimed, as per the police report, or the damage to your vehicle was not as extensive as you made it out to be – especially if a mechanic’s estimate is high. Without an amended report, you may find it difficult to maneuver around a claim if the insurance agent refuses to budge.

It is important, then, that you find an attorney who will be able to help you earn fair compensation for your auto accident.

With the help of a lawyer at Kenmore Law Group, you can earn a sizeable settlement for your injuries from an auto accident. A mistaken police report will not deter us from pursuing the fairest compensation for your damages. You may be eligible to receive coverage for medical costs (surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, and future hospital visits), lost wages (from both previous and future missed days), property damage, pain and suffering (emotional scarring, mental problems, anxiety, PTSD, etc), and punitive damages (which can only be won by a competent lawyer).

Our Law Firm’s Role
If you are concerned about inaccuracies on a police report or if you obtained the wrong police report in a traffic accident, reach out to Normandie Law Firm today. We will be more than willing to give you any advice we can on how to best correct this issue, and we will even do our part to help make the report correct. Further, if a report is not corrected and an insurance agency is doing all it can to throw out your claim, we will gladly help fight the insurance company for your rights to compensation.

Our team of aggressive lawyers has ample experience in negotiating with insurance companies, and we will not stop working until you receive fair compensation for any injuries coming from an auto accident.

Call our law firm today to receive a free consultation with one of our expert lawyers. You can discuss the legal process concerning your case, ask questions about potential ramifications from an inaccurate police report, and work out how best to move forward with taking legal actions. Our attorneys are helpful and will walk you through each step to receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.

If you already have an attorney, you may be wondering if there are any other options or routes you can take to pursuing compensation; our law firm also offers free second opinions when you have these kinds of questions. Your current attorney may not be acting in your best interests, and he may not care if the police report is accurate or not – his goal could be to bring you a quick settlement worth much less than what you could possibly earn so that he can move on to the next case after collecting his paycheck. Our lawyers believe this is an act of bad faith, and we will be more than willing to give you our opinion on if your current lawyer is dutifully representing you.

If you choose us for our legal services, you will receive a zero fee guarantee on your case. This means that you pay no out of pocket expenses during your case – our lawyers will front all of the costs for services involved in the case, including traffic accident analysts and retrieval of forms and documents. At the outcome of your case, you will not owe us any money one way or another. In the event that we win, our fees come out of the settlement we procure for you – essentially, the defendant will pay your legal bills. If we do not win, you don’t owe us a dime, and we eat all the costs ourselves. We believe this is the best route to take for injury claims, as no individual should have to pay for legal representation if he has been hurt in an accident.

Call our attorneys at Kenmore Law Group today if you need more information about what steps to take if you have received an inaccurate police report after an accident.

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