If you have been in an auto accidents, one of your first steps after making sure everyone is okay is to contact the police and inform them of the accident. This isn’t to make an arrest for some sort of illegality, but rather so the police can examine the accident scene and make and official report about it. The police report can be crucial in making an accident claim and getting the compensation that you deserve. It is a trusted and irrefutable document that details the events as they happened.
Unfortunately, an accident can often be chaos. You are disoriented from the event and may not be thinking clearly, struggling to recall events that happened even an hour ago. It may be the same for the other party as well. Finally, even witnesses to the event may not have seen it properly enough to know how it went down. This can lead to errors in the police report as the officer looks at the scene as a neutral party and pieces together how the accident went down based on the evidence presented and the accounts. Yet, as a trusted official document, it can be difficult to change what is in the police report, but not impossible.
Can You Ask an Officer to Modify a Police Report
If a police report was easily changed, it would not be such a trusted official document of an accident. However, if you got a copy of a police report for your case and notice there are errors, you can request a correction. In fact, it is best you request this as soon as possible. One of your biggest enemies in any action you take during an auto accident case is time. It can lead to further mistrust in your memory of events.
Who Should Contact the Police Officer to Modify the Report?
If you notice errors in your police report, it is best to leave contacting the officer for a modification to your personal injury lawyer. Your attorney represents your interests and it looks more official to the police officer in question. Furthermore, personal injury attorneys know what evidence needs to be presented to force them to modify the report. As they say, presented facts don’t lie. Even if the evidence isn’t particularly rock-solid, your lawyer can often make it seem more persuasive.
What Evidence is Needed to Change the Police Report?
If your lawyer is still in the process of contacting the police officer, you can and should be proactive in gathering the evidence that you need. Depending on the error, your lawyer may task you with finding specific documents or evidence in your case, but it typically includes:
- Video of the accident or accident scene
- Medical records that prove a contradiction in the police report
- New witness statements
- Any necessary documentation that was missing
- Timelines of the accident that do not fit the official report
You will want to make sure that these pieces of evidence are as official as possible. This also means limited tampering, such as cropping images or altering video to only show the applicable moments. Any amount of tampering with it can call it into question and may hurt your request.
The potential need to change the police report as it is written is only just one potentially problematic piece of your auto accident case. If you have been in a serious accident and need help, contact us today. The Law Office of Freeman & Freeman can help you get the compensation that you deserve to make sure your medical bills and other damages are covered.