Cop Got it Wrong? 8 Tips to Correct a Faulty Police Report
Mistakes in a police report can really hurt an injured pedestrian or bicyclist’s case. When the police make a mistake in their accident report, it gives the claims adjuster a reason to deny or reduce the claim. These reports remain a very important part of the claim investigation process even though they are not directly admissible in a courtroom. Getting police reports right can make a big difference in how an injury claim is handled and the settlement value of the claim.
What can be done when a police report of a pedestrian or bicycle accident contains mistakes, leaves out important information or draws the wrong conclusion? Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to make corrections to one of these reports. Each police department will have slightly different policies on how the situation may be handled. But here are some helpful tips to keep in mind and suggestions of what you can do:
1. Police are human. They don’t like being told they are wrong even when they blew the investigation.
2. With that in mind, how you approach them can make all the difference. Accusations of being inept or lazy won’t get you very far. Going over their head can be just as bad, unless the circumstances are very unusual, their boss will defend them as well.
3. It is much easier to correct a police report before it is considered by the department to be final. This means talking to the officer as early as possible to make sure they got all the facts of how the accident happened.
4. If you disagree with what the officer says or what they are putting in their report, consider giving them a written statement with your version of how the accident happened, don’t forget to include details, not just your conclusions.
5. Attach photographs of how the accident scene looked, or your injuries, or how your bicycle was damaged, if it supports your version of the accident.
6. Sometimes the police will interview the victim in the ER after an accident while they are under medication or distracted by pain. You may need to produce medical records showing your ability to give an accurate statement was affected.
7. If the officer is unwilling to amend or change the report, ask that your statement be added as an attachment to the final report.
8. Remember, be completely accurate and completely honest. Don’t commit to any facts if you really are not sure what happened.
We help people every day who have sustained injuries in accidents by no fault of their own. To learn more about how a Clearwater Accident Attorney can help your family, contact Jim Dodson Law at 1-888-340-0840.
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