If you were involved in a Florida car accident, and received a police report with factual errors – there are steps you can take to make sure your insurance adjuster gets the correct information.
Maybe your situation went something like this: You were in a car accident in South Florida and you called the police. They took your statement and the statement of the other car’s driver. Finally, you get he police report, but the facts are all wrong.
If you’ve read our article about Why You Should Call the Police After a Car Accident, then you know how integral the police report is to your car accident personal injury case.
A police report is an important document that insurance companies use to help determine liability and possible negligence in a car accident. But what if the police report does not accurately reflect what happened? What if the report has the facts wrong? If you disagree with the details of the police report after your accident, there are steps you can take to make sure your insurance adjuster gets the correct facts of the case. This can help ensure you don’t end up paying for an accident that wasn’t your fault, and can help ensure that you still have the ability to seek compensation from the at-fault driver.
Because the police report is usually your main piece of unbiased evidence for your insurance adjuster, you need the information in it to be as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that mistakes happen in police reports. Maybe the responding officer misheard something on the scene, or wrote down the wrong time of day, or even mixed up the make of your car.
If this happens, you must contact the police department through their non-emergency number to ask how to go about getting the report amended. The same officer who wrote the report will most likely be the one to handle the amendment, so it is important to be as polite as possible. We recommend being kind, polite, and asking for help. The fact of the matter is anyone, including police, typically like to be able to help someone when they kindly ask for help. People feel good about helping people. Express your concerns, note any issues, be gracious and ask how they can help you out.
If the police report of your car accident has factual errors, you can usually get the report amended to reflect what actually happened. This process is simple as long as you have documentation to prove the error on the report. A factual error would be something like having the wrong make of the car, or the wrong street name where the car accident occurred, or maybe the wrong time of day, etc. This is the time when all those pictures you hopefully took at the scene of the accident and the statements you gave to doctors will come in handy.
If the errors in the police report are not factual or there is no proof to correct the error, amending the police report will be difficult. An example of non-factual error is something like a statement from a witness. If you don’t agree with a statement in the police report, you have the option to write your own account of the event and request that it be submitted as evidence with the police report. Unfortunately, because this evidence is disputable, it may not be included with the report.
Time is of the essence when it comes to the police report and any corrections you think should be made. The insurance company will need the correct documentation to assess who is at fault and if you need to amend the police report, it needs to be done sooner rather than later. The moment you find the error, check the report for any other potential errors and contact the police station to get the report amended as soon as possible.
If you were injured or hurt in a Florida car accident you need to speak with an experienced Florida car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at 954-755-7803 to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve Florida residents including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and all points in between.