What Should I Do if There Are Errors on a Car Accident Police Report?
You suffered a vehicle crash in North Carolina and reported your accident to the police. Now you’re perusing the police report and notice that the police officer who compiled the report made factual errors. Is it possible to amend police report accident errors, and could an inaccurate report damage your claim? Let’s break this down.
Types of Mistakes in Car Accident Reports
Police report mistakes are usually technical, such as a misspelled name or address. If that’s the case, the error will have no bearing on your claim, and you shouldn’t need to bother asking the officer to revise their report. Other evidence will typically prove that the mistake was an unintentional error on the reporting officer’s part.
Sometimes, however, crash reports include substantive errors that could harm your claim. For example, what if the report says you were driving in the left lane when you were using the right lane? If the officer’s error casts a negative light on your driving conduct, it could damage your chances of collecting compensation.
How Police Report Accident Errors Can Interfere With Your Claim
North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. This means that if you file a car accident claim against another driver seeking payment for property damage or for personal injury compensation, you must be entirely innocent and other drivers who caused the collision must be 100% at fault for causing the collision. Simply put, if you are just 1% at fault for causing your own accident or injuries in North Carolina, you have no claims and no right to be paid for injuries and property damage. Insurance adjusters are cost control experts, and they are always trying to pay as little as possible for car accident claims. You should know that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will always try to use the contributory negligence principle as a loophole to avoid compensating you.
Insurance adjusters will usually comb through your case for any evidence that would let them attribute part of the fault to you and dodge a payout. If the police report mistakenly implies that you violated traffic laws, the insurance company could exploit this to dispute your claim. Thus, you should review your report carefully and make sure it doesn’t suggest that you were speeding, inattentive, or that you committed any driving errors which contributed to causing your car accident.
Can You Correct a Police Crash Report?
If necessary, you could request a crash report revision, although amending the report would be entirely at the investigating officer’s discretion. Please be very kind and diplomatic when you approach the officer. If your personal injury claim cannot be settled and you have to go to court, that police officer will likely be a trial witness. He or she likely will remember what you say later, and if you are assertive, rude, or make statements that can later harm your case, the officer can provide trial testimony concerning these discussions in your car accident trial. Thus, please always address the police officer in a concise, polite written message pointing out the error in the crash report and asking to revise it. Any solid evidence you can share supporting your arguments, like photos and videos, will improve your chances of getting the police report corrected.
However, if even the police officer declines to amend their report, a skilled car accident lawyer can still help you build your claim using other evidence, like photographs of the accident scene, dash cam footage, witness statements, and medical reports. Also, even if the report is never revised, we can always still stand by your story and contest the errors in the police report.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Car Accident Claim?
Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can dramatically improve your chances of successful claim resolution. This is especially true if you encounter police report accident errors or other evidence-related issues. Your attorney can:
- Help you seek a police report revision
- Examine any other available evidence to build a compelling claim regardless of police report mistakes
- Negotiate with insurance companies to help you collect the highest possible payout
- Advise you on further legal steps, like litigation, if the insurance company denies your claim
Nagle & Associates Personal Injury Lawyers: Fighting for the Rights of North Carolina Accident Victims
Car accident claims can get complicated. Are you uncertain of your compensation prospects because of problems with evidence, like police report accident errors? Contact Nagle & Associates Personal Injury Trial Lawyers for reliable end-to-end legal support throughout your case. The founder, attorney Carl Nagle, is a former insurance adjuster who knows how to advocate for victims’ rights in North Carolina car accident claims. Call Nagle & Associates at (866) 631-2228 for a free case evaluation by an experienced NC car accident lawyer.