Whenever there’s a car accident, it’s a good idea to file a police report. This is the official description of the accident, but this doesn’t mean it always accurately represents what happened. In the aftermath of a collision, especially if you suffered severe injuries, it’s easy to forget part of your story, or perhaps the officer taking your statement documented the wrong information by mistake, or the other party involved gives a false report. If there’s a possibility of a police report with inaccurate information, it’s critical to clear up any inconsistencies. 

If you were in an accident in western Missouri, contact a Kansas City car accident attorney who can explain how to fix an error in a police report and why this evidence is important to your case. 

Basic Information Included in Police Reports

If you notice an error on your police report, you have the right to address it immediately. Police reports for car and truck accidents usually include:

  • The names and contact information of all parties involved, including the drivers and passengers of all vehicles as well as any witnesses that may have been in the area
  • Vehicle identifying information such as year, make, model, license plate number, and other relevant information
  • The extent of damage to vehicles and property
  • Injuries, if any, sustained by drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and any other involved parties
  • Car insurance information
  • Descriptions of the scene, such as weather and road conditions, traffic signals, time of the accident, obstructions, and other relevant details.
  • A rough outline of how the accident occurred
  • Statements of the individuals involved

To ensure you have the best chance to receive full compensation for your injuries, it’s important that all the information in the police report is accurate. Not only is it another vital piece of evidence that helps verify the facts of the accident, but also prevents the other party from claiming you were the one at fault.

Correcting Factual Errors in the Police Report

Factual errors refer to incorrect objective information, such as driver’s license number, or vehicle information. Since this type of error is easy to document, the attending officer shouldn’t have any problem correcting the error. 

So, you simply need to present them with simple evidence to prove the report is incorrect. They should be able to write an addendum explaining the changes and attach it to the original report before filing both documents together.

Fixing Transcription Errors in the Police Report

Transcription errors are when the actual details of the accident are incorrect, and there are two typical reasons for this: non-inclusion errors and inconsistent statements. 

  • A non-inclusion error is when a significant piece of information about the accident isn’t mentioned in the report. For example, if the other driver appeared to be swerving as if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this should be included in the report. If the officer fails to amend the report with this information, it can significantly affect the outcome of your case. 
  • An inconsistent statement is when the details you tell the officer and what is documented in the report aren’t the same.

Before you sign the report, please make sure all the descriptions written about the incident are correct. Speak directly to the officer about the errors and ask for a correction. It’s vital to do this quickly, as errors are more difficult to change later, especially once the report is submitted to the court.

Disputed Facts Between You and the Other Person Involved in the Car Accident

Disputed facts are among the trickiest types of factual errors, as they may require you to resolve the disputes first before the report can be changed. If you have evidence to prove what you’re saying, then present it to the attending officer. In many cases, the report might not be changed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take action if you truly believe it’s incorrect. 

If you’re having difficulty getting disputed facts resolved, a personal injury attorney can help. In Missouri, you also have the option of submitting an individual motor vehicle accident report to highlight the differences in the police report, such as why the accident couldn’t have happened as previously stated and why.

How to Request a Change in a Police Report after a Car or Truck Accident

First, always be respectful of the officer. After all, people make mistakes. The best course of action when you want errors corrected is to be polite and reasonable. Be ready with a detailed explanation or additional evidence that helps them see the facts. 

If you can’t resolve the errors in the police report in a way you believe is correct, then it may be time for your car accident attorney to negotiate on your behalf.

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