Posted on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 at 12:17 am
If you are involved in a California accident involving injuries, you are legally required to report the accident to the police. When a police officer comes to the scene of an accident, the officer performs an accident scene investigation to prepare the accident report. The police officer will determine who is at fault for the accident a may issue the at-fault driver a traffic ticket. Both parties should receive a copy of the report for his or her records.
Even though an accident report is not considered evidence in a personal injury case because these reports are not admissible in court, the information on the report can be very helpful when preparing your personal injury claim. Because a police officer prepared the accident report, the information contained in the report is typically considered objective, accurate, and trustworthy. Unfortunately, your accident report could contain errors that could undermine your automobile accident claim.
Erroneous information in an accident report can impede the progress of your claim as your attorney attempts to identify and gather evidence to refute the incorrect information in the report. The insurance company for the other driver is already working hard to mitigate its liability to decrease the amount of money it must pay for the accident claim. An accident report that contains false information that favors the at-fault driver will only help the insurance company in its quest to decrease the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries.
How to I Correct Factual Information in an Accident Report?
Each accident report will contain factual information such as the date of the accident, the location of the accident, the names and contact information for each driver, the owners of the vehicles, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, and other vital information pertaining to the motor vehicle crash. In most case, errors in factual information are simply mistakes such as transposing numbers or listing the wrong model of a vehicle.
To correct factual information in an accident report, you must provide evidence to the police officer to prove that the information in the report is incorrect. Once the police officer receives evidence of a mistake, the officer should correct the report accordingly. However, it is more difficult to correct details in the accident report that are subjective such as whether the light was red, green, or yellow.
Challenging the Information in an Accident Report
If the information contained in the accident report is incorrect, you should file a formal challenge with the law enforcement agency requesting the information be corrected. In most vehicle crashes, each driver has a “version” of the facts. The information is subjective in nature and open to interpretation. The police officer must use his best judgment when investigating the accident scene and completing the report.
It can be very difficult to have an accident report corrected without hard evidence such as an eyewitness, photograph, or video to prove to the officer he or she used incorrect information when completing the report. Regardless of whether the police officer agrees to change the report, you should always submit a formal challenge including any photographs or other evidence you have to prove the information in the accident report is incorrect.
Our Automobile Accident Attorneys Can Help
The car accident attorneys of Tiemann Law Firm can help you challenge the information contained in the accident report. If the office refuses to correct the information, our attorneys use the information gained during an independent accident investigation to aggressively build a strong case of fault on the part of the other driver. Our lawyers can retain experts and an accident reconstructionist to refute the information in the accident report. We never stop fighting until we obtain justice for you and for your family.
Call our office at (916) 999-9000 or chat with a representative on our website to discuss your motor vehicle accident and to request a free consultation with an experienced Sacramento accident lawyer.