When police are called to the scene of a traffic accident, they will investigate the causes of the crash and write up an official police report. This report contains a number of important details, and if these details are not correct or are inaccurate, crash victims can face an uphill battle when it comes time to file an auto accident claim and pursue financial recovery.
Police Reports for Car Accidents: The Details They Typically Contain
In general, police reports written up for traffic collisions will contain details that include (but are by no means limited to):
- The location, date, and time of the crash
- A description of the involved vehicles and/or parties
- A diagram of the accident scene
- A description and narrative of the events (including what occurred during and following the crash)
- A description of the injuries and/or property damage resulting from the crash
- A description of the investigative procedures and efforts made to determine fault
- A determination of who (or which party) was likely at fault (if or when possible)
- Names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
When Changing Accident-Related Police Reports Is Permissible
Some of instances when it will be necessary (and permissible) to pursue changes in police reports for traffic crashes include when these reports:
- Contain document or typographical errors – These can include misspellings of drivers’ names, accident locations, etc.
- Fail to contain certain facts or witness testimony – For instance, this can arise when a police officer does not include important details related to the crash or fails to add critical witness testimony into the report.
- Provide wrong or inaccurate details – This can involve incorrect explanations of how the accident occurred, who was involved, etc.
Making a Change: How to Get Police Reports for Crashes Revised
In general, there are two ways to try to get police reports for traffic collisions revised:
- Request a change from the officer who wrote the report –
- Mail a correction letter to the officer/police station – Let’s say you have a small correction or need part of your testimony to be changed to better reflect what you remember to have happened. You can either ask the responsible police officer to make the correction, or you can mail a correction letter to your assigned officer.
Whether or not the requested change(s) is made will up to the discretion of the police officer, and his or her decision cannot be “appealed.” It should be noted, however, that, when police deny these change requests, crash victims can still provide their version of events to insurers (or in court) when it’s time to pursue compensation for their accident-related injuries and losses.
Contact a Littleton Car Accident Lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker
If you have been injured in a car accident, it’s time to contact a trusted Littleton car accident lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker. Since 1983, our attorneys have been fighting on behalf of injured people while working diligently to help them maximize their financial recoveries.
To get more information about your potential case and rights, call us at (303) 794-7422 or email us using the contact form on this page.