How Do I Dispute an Accident Report?
Police reports are key evidence when car accidents cause significant injury or death. Inaccurate details in these reports can lead to reduced compensation or outright claim denials in some cases. You’ll need to contact the police department to dispute inaccuracies found in a car accident report, but it could be an uphill battle getting the report amended – unless you have the assistance of a car accident lawyer.
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Report Errors?
Attending officers will first fill out a two or three-page accident report on the scene. In most cases, officers are operating in haste, under difficult conditions. Common problems with police reports include:
- Failure to identify all eyewitnesses and collect testimony.
- Conflicting statements obtained from witnesses.
- Failure to question both drivers involved if possible.
- Understatement of injuries at the scene of the accident.
- Errors of fact, such as name misspelling, incorrect insurance details, or miscalculated speed/direction.
An accident reconstruction report is conducted when catastrophic injury or death occurs. These reports require extensive photographic evidence and forensic mapping conducted by a specially trained police team. Though these investigations utilize computers and high-tech tools, they are not infallible.
Do Police Reports Matter to Car Accident Claims?
Even though New York State is a no-fault state, the report may still contain opinions of the responding officer as to what contributed to or caused the accident. Sometimes “no-fault” insurance companies use this to get out of paying for your injuries. Insurers may deny your claim if you are found in violation of the law – if you were texting or drinking behind the wheel or if you were driving without a valid license at the time. They can also refuse to cover you if you were acting in violation of your insurance policy – if you said you used your car to commute to work, but actually were working as a Lyft or Uber driver, for example.
How To Dispute an Accident Report
If you believe there are errors in the police report of your accident, you will need to contact the police department and, ideally, the exact officer who appeared on the scene. Sometimes you can contact the police department in a polite manner, and someone will help you correct a basic error right away.
Other times, you may feel like no one is listening or no one cares. In most circumstances, it is best to call upon a car accident lawyer to advocate on your behalf, communicating with the police team and assembling evidence to help you prove your case. KGG Law routinely handles cases with problematic police reports. We overcome disputes by conducting discovery, depositions, and expert investigations.
If the police refuse to amend the report, we can also work directly with the insurance company to demonstrate how the report is factually unsound. We can bring in outside experts to conduct a separate third-party investigation and testify on your behalf, strengthening the credibility of your claim.
Get Legal Help With Your Accident Report Dispute
If you have any questions about an accident report dispute, contact a knowledgeable and dedicated car accident attorney at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer, and Graifman. Initial consultations are always free, and you only pay us if we win compensation on your behalf.