When you file a car accident claim, the police report can be a critical piece of evidence that shows who is at fault. However, officers can make mistakes in those reports due to the ensuing commotion.
Also, officers often feel stressed and overworked, which can result in unintentional errors. For example, departments across Maricopa County face staffing challenges, with hundreds of positions remaining unfilled.
Can a police report be changed after an accident in Arizona? Find out your options and how Sargon Law Group can help.
When Can a Police Report Be Changed After an Accident, and Why Should You Try To Correct It?
Getting changes to a report typically depends on the officer who wrote it. If you can supply clear evidence of a factual error, the officer may be willing to correct it.
Be aware that Arizona civil courts may view a police report or sections of it as hearsay because the officer usually does not witness the accident in person. However, the report is not necessarily inadmissible, and there can be exceptions for civil trials if certain details are proven facts.
Still, insurance companies tend to give weight to these reports in decisions for compensation. Since settlements are often quicker and cost less than jury trials, it typically benefits you to settle out of court. Therefore, you may want to push to get a police report changed after an accident to aid your negotiations.
What Types of Errors Can You Find in a Police Report?
Police report errors are either factual mistakes, disputed information or omissions. Factual errors are usually the easiest to fix, as these are patently incorrect details. An example might be the wrong date, time, street or vehicle make and model. With clear proof, you may be able to get the officer to amend such mistakes.
On the other hand, disputed information typically involves subjective statements or conclusions you don’t agree with. Some people refer to these as “nonfactual” errors. Such instances include inconsistent witness statements or if the officer drew a flawed conclusion due to misleading statements from others. It can be difficult to get a police report changed after an accident for these reasons.
The final type of error is an omission of a fact that can support your claim. Examples could be details about property damage or the fact that you mentioned that you were in pain.
How Do You Challenge a Police Report?
You have the right to receive a copy of the accident report, so you should promptly request it. The report is usually available three to five days later from departments in locations like Peoria, Buckeye, Mesa and Queen Creek. Acting quickly and presenting solid evidence can be beneficial.
Study the report, and if you discover a mistake, you can request that the officer change it. You might feel indignant, but taking your frustration out on the officer probably won’t earn any sympathy. Remain polite and kind.
Need a Police Report Changed? Sargon Law Group Can Help
If you need a police report to be changed after an accident, Sargon Law Group is ready to support you. We can help you examine the evidence and communicate with the police for you to make the process easier. Contact us now for a free consultation.