Following a car accident, some police officials arrive at the accident scene and record details about the accident. They create a police report where details of the vehicles, parties, weather, road conditions, and other factors are included. However, an officer is a human and can make errors. They may record some inaccurate information, which can be changed later.
If you were injured in a car accident and the police have recorded some wrong information, you can go up to the police station and request a change. For that, you must know the correct steps to follow. Before you go to the station, hire an experienced attorney to understand your rights.
Steps to take if you need to correct a police report
- First of all, be polite.
Finding that the police officials have made a horrible mistake in the police report, especially one that makes you look bad, can trigger angry reactions. However, it is important to understand that police officers are humans and can make errors. You must remain calm and speak politely with the officers, or you may get into deeper legal trouble.
- Understand the difference between factual errors and disputed facts.
You cannot change just any information you want to on the police report. You can request changes for factual errors, such as the spelling of your name, the license plate number of your vehicle, etc. However, if the information is regarding a disputed fact, that is, things that are subject to interpretation, you may not be able to change it. The police officer observed something and wrote their own interpretations. You do not have the power to change it.
- Provide documentation about the error.
The reporting officer is not just going to believe your words when you ask them to make a change. You will have to provide them with documented proof. For example, if they have recorded your birthdate incorrectly, you must provide them with a copy of your ID. While you may think you do not need documentation to prove your birthday, this small step goes a long way.
- Retain a car accident attorney.
The best thing to do if you need to correct a police report is to retain a car accident attorney. Your attorney knows the right procedure to make corrections and can also help determine whether the correction is valid. They can gather the evidence or documentation to support the correction, go to the police station, and get the report changed while you focus on healing from your injuries.