After a car accident, your key piece of evidence may be the police report. This is going to give precise details about what happened from an impartial third party, and it can show who is at fault. If you're suing for damages, having this official document saying that the other driver caused the wreck helps your case immensely.
However, the police are not perfect. You may get the report and find that it's inaccurate. Is it easy to have it amended to show what really happened?
It can be easy to have the report changed if the errors on it are strictly factual in nature. Perhaps the officer wrote down the wrong road or the wrong license plate number for your car. Perhaps he or she spelled your name wrong. You want the report to be perfect, and it's easy to offer up proof of your license number or the correct spelling of your name. The amendment can generally be made quickly.
When it becomes difficult is when the officer interpreted the incident or made a judgement call, and you think he or she was wrong. For example, the officer may have said you were partially at fault because you were speeding, based on the skid marks you left on the road when you hit the brakes. You may maintain that you weren't speeding at all, that the other car pulled out in front of you.
This isn't to say that you're wrong or that you can't have the report changed, but it's harder. A longer investigation may have to be carried out. The police may need to get your statement, which can then be put in the report. Even if they do, though, they may put both statements in, yours saying that you weren't at fault and the officer's saying you were. This can weaken the document as evidence in an injury lawsuit.
Changing a Report
Police departments often have their own protocol when a report needs to be amended, so it's important to know what steps to take and what rights you have. Getting it changed may be hard, but it's not impossible. If you have other evidence that you think proves you were right and the officer was wrong, that can help strengthen your case and help you fight for compensation.
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