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What Should I Do if I Notice an Error in the Police Report After an Accident?

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Categorized as Legal Updates

Whenever there is a car accident, it’s a good idea to file a police report, which is required in most situations in Missouri. The police report is the official description of the accident. Although it may be official, that doesn’t mean it always accurately represents what happened.

When accidents happen, you are likely shaken up and are still processing everything that just happened. You may forget to tell part of your story, or perhaps the officer taking your statement writes down the wrong information by mistake, or the other party involved gives a false report. If any of these things happen or something else that results in inaccurate information being on the police report, it is vital you clear up any inconsistencies.

If you were in an accident in Kansas City, contact a Kansas City lawyer who can explain the process and what information you need to document the accident and your injuries. Please contact a Kansas City car accident lawyer at (816) 578-0580, who can help guide you.

Basic Information Included in Police Reports

If you notice an error on your police report, you have the right to address that error immediately. If you have any doubts or issues getting the errors remedied, your Kansas City personal injury attorney can help you with getting it resolved.

Police reports for car and truck accidents usually include:

  • The names and contact information of the parties involved, including the drivers and passengers of both 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
  • Details of the scene such as the weather, road conditions, traffic signals, time of the accident, and other descriptions of the scene
  • A rough outline of how the accident occurred
  • Statements of the individuals involved

To ensure that you have the best chance to receive full compensation for your injuries, you have to make sure that all the information in the police report is as accurate as possible. This is to prevent the other party from being able to claim that you were the one at fault in causing the accident.

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, it makes them quite easy to have the police officer correct the error. There’s very little reason why law enforcement would want to intentionally get the objective information wrong. So, you simply need to present the reporting officer with simple evidence to prove that the report is incorrect. Once the errors have been reported to the law enforcement officer with proper evidence, they may write an addendum explaining the changes and attach it to the original report before filing both documents together.

Transcription Errors in the Police Report

Transcription errors are when the actual details of the accident are incorrect. These errors happen in two typical ways: non-inclusion errors and inconsistent statements. A non-inclusion error is when a significant piece of information about the accident is not 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 include this information, it can significantly affect the outcome of your case. An inconsistent statement is when the information you tell the officer and what is written in the report are not the same.

Before you sign your name on the report, please make sure that all the descriptions written about the incident are correct. Speak directly to the officer about the errors and ask them to correct them. It’s important to do this upfront as it can be more difficult to change it later, especially when the report has already been 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. This is where it becomes a matter of, he said, she said. If you have evidence to prove what you’re saying, then you should present it to the officer. In many cases, it may not be able to be changed, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take action if you truly believe that the police report is incorrect. If you’re having difficulty getting the errors resolved, a personal injury attorney can help you with the process. You also have the option of writing your own report and highlighting the differences between the two reports, pointing out why the accident couldn’t have happened as stated in the original report.

How Do I Request a Change in a Police Report after a Car or Truck Accident?

The most important thing you want to keep in mind when bringing up errors in a police report is that you must always remain respectful of the officer. People make mistakes, and the best course of action when you’re looking to address these mistakes is to be polite and reasonable. If you want to let the officer know that the information is incorrect, you have to provide an explanation or evidence that will sway them in your direction.

If you can’t settle the police report in a way that you believe is correct, then it may be time to call your personal injury attorney and have them negotiate the report for you. Police reports are crucial to your car accident case, as they will be used as a reference to how the accident occurred, and if it works against you, you’re going to have a hard time in court. That’s why it’s important to have the report be as accurate as possible.

Kansas City Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in an accident you will want to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney for assistance. An experienced attorney knows what you need to document to prove the other party’s negligence. The experienced counsel of Peterson & Associates will guide you every step of the way through this process until you get the compensation you deserve.

If you have been involved in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C. are standing by to help. Contact Peterson and Associates P.C. by calling (816) 578-0580 to talk to a Kansas City car accident attorney for a free consultation and to learn about your legal rights and options.