When it comes to determining fault in motor vehicle accidents, a police report is arguably the most valuable tool. Given that police reports play such a crucial role in personal injury claims, our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer from Compass Law Group, P.C., is no stranger to hearing the following question, “What can I do if I disagree with the police report written up after my motorcycle crash?”
First and foremost, regardless of whether there are factual mistakes or disputed facts in the police report, it is critical that you address these errors as soon as possible.
More often than not, police reports are not used as evidence in litigation, because they are not generally admissible in court. However, police reports do carry considerable weight when trying to negotiate a settlement with auto insurance companies in California.
But how can you expect a fair settlement if the police report contains factual errors, disputed facts, or is otherwise not entirely accurate?
How to correct factual mistakes in a police report?
It is not uncommon for police officers from the local police department, sheriff’s office, or some other law enforcement agency, to arrive at the scene of a motorcycle accident and write up a police report that contains errors or mistakes.
One of the most common types of mistakes found in police reports is factual errors involving objective information such as:
- Misspelled names of the car driver, motorcyclist, passenger, witnesses, etc.;
- Incorrect information about the driver’s license or insurance status;
- Inaccurate make or model of the vehicles involved;
- Incorrect insurance company name or policy number; and
- Inaccurate description of the location, date, or time of day of the accident.
Given that these errors were made based on objective information, correcting these types of factual mistakes in a police report will not require much effort on your end. “Oftentimes, all you need to do to correct the police report containing factual errors is provide the appropriate law enforcement agency with the proof of the accurate information,” says our motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles.
What to do if you disagree with disputed facts in the police report?
However, many motorcyclists also complain about disputed facts or errors related to subjective information in police reports. These types of errors in police reports are much more difficult to correct, and will most likely require the legal help of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California.
These errors of disputed facts often occur due to the prevalent and undeniable bias against motorcyclists in California. Many times, motorcyclists are being blamed for accidents without giving them the opportunity to disprove their fault.
If your police report after a motorcycle crash contains errors of disputed facts or subjective information and you do not agree with certain statements or descriptions made by the police officer in the police report, you can submit your own statements or descriptions from your own point of view to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If your request to correct the police report is approved, your version of events or statements may be subsequently added to the report as an addendum or amendment to the original police report.
However, do keep in mind that you will most likely need to get help from a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney in order to pull off something like that. Police reports can be hard to correct if you are not legally represented by a skilled lawyer. That’s why we offer you a free consultation to talk about your particular situation.