Depending on the nature of the accident and location, police may report to the scene of a car accident, resulting in a police report that goes on file. Police reports can be used by insurance companies when determining what happened at the scene of an accident.
However, this important record is subject to human error, and police report conclusions may be wrong. If you obtain a copy of your police report and notice errors, is it possible to file a dispute?
Yes, you’ll need the aid of an attorney to dispute it and set the record straight.
If you’ve been injured by the negligence of another, you could hire any auto crash lawyer, or you can hire a Houston lawyer that knows how to win auto crash claims. Joe Stephens has been defending injury victims in Texas for over 3 decades from negligent individuals, companies, and greedy insurance companies. As a veteran auto accident attorney in Katy, TX, Joe handles all cases personally, and his staff is always available to answer questions.
Can My Attorney Fix an Inaccurate Police Report?
The quick answer to “can a lawyer fix a police report?” is yes; your attorney can correct an inaccurate police report. They can contact the investigating officer directly, which is the easiest route. Often the name or badge number is provided at the scene.
Some mistakes, like an incorrect license plate number or car model, are easily corrected. Others, especially mistakes of fact or opinion, are more complicated. Correcting those mistakes may entail an appeal to the officer’s superior.
The police report is often pivotal to an insurance settlement or determining liability. If the stakes are high, you will want the help of an experienced car accident attorney to help you correct an incorrect statement on the document. Otherwise, you risk receiving a smaller settlement than you intended or no money awarded at all.
What Mistakes Should You Look For?
Officers may receive multiple versions of the event, overlook evidence, or simply make mistakes. When reviewing the police report, look for factual discrepancies such as:
- Misspelled Names
- Incorrect Driver License Numbers
- Transposition Errors
- Incorrect Color, Model, or Make of the Cars
- Policy Number or Insurance Company Errors
- Incorrect Contact Information for Those Involved
- Accident Diagram Errors
Judgment errors are typically important mistakes and harder to correct. These may include disputed facts about:
- Whether Alcohol/Drugs Were Involved
- Statement Misinterpretation
- Disputes Over Conclusions
- Discrepancies Over the Speed of the Cars
- Witness Contradictions
How Do You Disprove a Police Report?
At the end of the day, the police report is a matter of opinion. However, this opinion is an important one for insurance companies. When attempting to disprove a police report, some questions to ask are:
- What is the reporting police officer’s experience in investigating car accidents?
- Has the reporting police officer had any special training, like accident reconstruction?
- What kind of witness information was gathered? Is there any missing witness information?
- Were statements from all parties included?
- What kind of evidence was available and included? This can encompass property damage, debris, and skid marks.
Except in the rarest circumstances, police officers are not first-hand witnesses to car wrecks. The arrival time may have been immediate or taken a significant amount of time. This can impact how ‘fresh’ the evidence was for their report.
Ultimately, an officer’s qualifications are a big factor in combating judgment calls in the report. It can get complicated if you have to appeal to a superior officer. The officer may be willing to trust the judgment call of a trained officer, but that can impact your settlement.
However, with a solid car wreck attorney on your side, you can smooth out the record.
If You Were Injured in a Car Wreck Call Houston Injury Attorney Joe Stephens Now
Quality legal representation is key in the aftermath of an auto accident. To maximize your accident settlement, you need the best car wreck attorney on your side.
This is where attorney Joe Stephens comes in. Whether you need help correcting a police record, negotiating a settlement, or seeking redress in civil court, Joe Stephens has you covered. Contact our office today for a free consultation.
The Stephens Law Firm, Car Accident Lawyers handles auto accident lawsuits across Texas, including these Houston cities.