Occasionally we have auto accident clients ask us if they have any recourse to getting the information in a police report changed. The answer primarily depends on the kind of information you want them to change.
These police reports are generally prepared by police officers who arrive at an accident scene. It contains a variety of information about the accident, including information about the vehicles and drivers involved, whether or not there were any passengers, how the accident happened, names of and statements from witnesses who saw what happened, whether anyone violated any traffic laws and, in some circumstances, who the officer believes to have been at fault for the accident.
So, what information can you have changed in a police report?
- Factual errors: An error with objective information can always be changed. Examples include incorrect phone numbers, incorrect makes and models of the vehicles involved or anything else you can clearly prove to be incorrect with simple documentation. Simply submit the correct information to the police department, and the officer should follow procedure in the department for changing the report, which will often include attaching an addendum.
- Factual disputes: Just because you disagree with the information in a police report does not mean you’ll be able to get it changed. For example, you may disagree with the version of events as described by the other driver or a witness. However, you’ll have a hard time getting the officer to change the report in such a case, because the officer’s job is simply to take down the statements from these other drivers and witnesses. Your best bet is to submit your own account of the accident and ask that it be added to the police report.
For more information on amending a police report, contact a skilled Sarasota personal injury lawyer with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.