If you give a statement at an accident scene for a police report, then see a mistake on your copy of the report, what do you do about the error? It depends on the type of error, the effort to correct the mistake, and other factors. Having a car accident attorney by your side can help you get a correction or fight the mistake in court.
What Kind of Errors Might Be on a Police Report?
Different types of errors could be on the police report, including the following:
- Factual errors. Errors of easily verifiable facts, such as a date of birth, home address, license tag number, or VIN, warrant correction as soon as possible. You can verify most information and get a correction by bringing your license, registration, and insurance card to the police station for the officer to confirm the error and write a supplemental report.
- Transcription errors. Most law enforcement officers don’t get to write their full report until several hours or even days after the incident. In the interim, they may forget aspects of your statement or what some parts of their notes mean.
- Errors of omission. The reporting officer may not have felt like a portion of your statement was important enough to include in their report or may have forgotten you said something in your statement.
If you notice something missing or incorrect on your report, it could affect your insurance claim or lawsuit. Insurance companies and courts rely on police reports for each car accident claim. Inform your car accident attorney immediately.
Will the Reporting Officer Fix Their Report?
The type of error often determines whether an officer will correct their report. For factual errors, you need only provide documentation of a mistake and allow the officer to verify the information to make the correction.
However, if there was a transcription error or an error of omission, an officer could be less likely to correct the report. You can call the reporting officer and inform them of the mistake. Your conversation might remind them that you had said something similar in your statement at the scene.
One issue you could face without legal assistance could be that if you mentioned pain from the accident at the scene, but the officer omitted it from their report, you could have difficulty getting approval for your accident claim. You might also struggle to get compensation for property damage to your car if the officer misattributed the damage to your vehicle.
Some officers might be happy to correct an error in a report if they know you’re making a claim for injuries or property damage with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Others might not be so accommodating. In this case, you can ask the officer to add your statement to the report so there is a record of your version of events.
Victims have the right to speak with an accident lawyer before submitting their statements. A statement can be used against you in court.
How Do Accident Victims Challenge an Incorrect Claim in Court?
Courts and insurance companies put a lot of faith in police reports when making decisions about claims. Accident attorneys know how to help accident victims challenge errors in a police report in court. Speak with a car accident attorney about your strategy to challenge the report.
Contact an Experienced Oklahoma Car Accident Attorney for Your Accident Claim
A car accident attorney can help you address errors in your police report. For help with an Oklahoma car accident, call Bryan Garrett, PLLC, at 405-972-6931 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Oklahoma City or Tulsa, OK.