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A car accident that has a police report with errors.

A crucial aspect of recovering a car accident settlement is establishing who is responsible for causing an accident. One source many parties use to argue who caused the accident is the accident report created for the incident. However, there are other ways to demonstrate whose actions led to the collision. For example, we can hire a crash reconstruction expert to recreate the accident to help show who caused the crash.

Our team at Gerling Law will do whatever is necessary to prepare a successful strategy for your case. We have over 50 years of experience representing clients navigating car accident claims. 

Will Authorities Generate a Police Report After a Car Accident?

If you notify authorities of your car accident, they will most likely create a car accident report for the incident. It is a good idea to contact law enforcement after involvement in a car accident. Not only will the law enforcement officer generate a police report, but they can also get emergency medical personnel to provide treatment if necessary. Some injuries do not appear immediately after they occur. You should seek medical treatment after a collision to make sure you did not suffer any hidden injuries. 

Why Is a Car Accident Police Report Important?

A car accident report will contain the basic information about your accident. This information will come in handy when you are preparing your lawsuit for trial. An accident report typically contains:

  • Names of parties involved;
  • Potential eyewitnesses;
  • Insurance information for involved parties;
  • Accident diagrams;
  • Photographs of the accident scene;
  • Injuries sustained in the accident;
  • An assignment of blame; and
  • Date, time, and location of the accident.

When a car accident happens, there are typically numerous eyewitnesses in the area. However, you will likely face significant issues if you try to locate those witnesses on your own. Even with a police report, many witnesses will leave the area before authorities have a chance to talk to them. Still, it is better to speak to the few witnesses located by the authorities than to lack any witness testimony at all. An eyewitness can hold the key to your successful case strategy by offering testimony that the defendant was responsible for your accident.

Additionally, the police report will include the name and insurance information of the parties involved in the accident. This can help you discover the identity of the person who caused your injuries. 

Will I Lose My Case Because of Errors in a Police Report?

Police officers can make mistakes in an accident report. For example, an officer might incorrectly list the location where an accident occurred or misspell the name of one of the parties. Insurance adjusters also rely on police reports to support your claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company. 

Alternatively, an officer might mistakenly assign blame to you instead of the party that caused the accident. Obviously, this is an issue if you plan to take your case to trial. After all, the opposing party will claim that the officer correctly identified the person responsible for the collision. You will then face the burden of overcoming the information in the police report by demonstrating that you did not cause the accident. 

An inconsistent police report can significantly impact the outcome of your personal injury claim. However, it does not mean that you will automatically lose your case. If you think an officer made an error in your police report, contact one of our attorneys right away to discuss your options.

How Can I Correct Information in a Police Report?

Certain information within a police report can be fixed swiftly and easily, such as:

  • Misspelled names;
  • Incorrect license plate numbers;
  • Incorrect driver license numbers;
  • Wrong model, make, or color of a vehicle;
  • Addresses or phone numbers for the involved parties;
  • Incorrect insurance information; or
  • Transcription errors.

However, some mistakes are not so easy to remedy. If an officer incorrectly lists one of their personal judgments assigning fault for the crash, this is not a simple mistake. The same is true if the reporting officer mistakenly declares a fact that is in dispute, like whether one of the vehicles was speeding. 

Here are some steps to take to correct a police report. First, at the time of the accident, you can politely ask the officer what will be included in the accident report and request that certain information be added. 

Second, you can have your lawyer contact the police officer who completed your accident report. We can point out the error on the accident report and offer evidence that the current report is inaccurate. Even if an officer refuses to correct the accident report, their testimony and your evidence that the report is incorrect will come in handy during trial. We can use this evidence to cast doubt on the incorrect police report.  

Finally, if the officer refuses to correct the report, you can write up your own statement and ask that it be attached to the report. Your lawyer can help you draft a compelling statement. 

Contact Gerling Law for Help With an Error on a Car Accident Police Report

Navigating a car accident claim is often a confusing and frustrating experience. The confusion and frustration are exacerbated when there is an error in a car accident police report. A police report can play a crucial role in your personal injury lawsuit, so an error can negatively impact your case in a number of different ways.

At Gerling Law, we pride ourselves on helping our clients through some of the most challenging times in their lives. When you have questions or don’t know where to turn, our team of car accident attorneys will be there to help you in any way we can. With decades of experience fighting for the rights of those in need, we are confident that we have the knowledge, tools, and resources necessary to be a fierce advocate for you. Additionally, we are willing to reach out to law enforcement authorities and request changes when there are inaccuracies in your accident report.

Contact Gerling Law today to discuss your case and learn more about what our team can do to assist with your case.

Author Photo

Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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