Texas Transportation Code 550.062 requires law enforcement officers to investigate motor vehicle crashes that result in injury or death or damages to a person’s property over $1,000.
The officer must then submit a written crash report to TxDOT within ten days of the accident.
Essentially, a crash report is a document containing important details about the cause of the crash and the crash site.
Attorneys and insurance companies also use crash reports to determine settlement amounts during investigations.
Unfortunately, because police officers are human, they sometimes make mistakes. However, the good news is that police report mistakes can be corrected.
How to Fix Mistakes on a Crash Report
Police report mistakes can include factual errors like the accident date, your vehicle’s make and model, and misspelled names.
Mistakes may also include overlooked evidence or disputed information. Errors of fact are generally easy to fix.
Judgment errors and disputed facts are more complex as they’re open to interpretation.
To fix a mistake on your report, contact the investigating officer’s police department. If you are unsure of the reporting officer’s name, look for a name and badge number on the report receipt.
If the officer refuses to fix your crash report, you can appeal to the officer’s superior. However, taking the issue to an officer’s supervisor should be a last resort.
Whatever mistakes you find, here are a few helpful tips to help you get your police report corrected:
- Act fast— It’s essential to act as soon as you discover the mistake. Getting an officer to correct their mistakes is often easier before the police report is finalized.
- Be polite—A good attitude can go a long way in convincing an officer to correct an error.
- Be sympathetic—Let the officer know you understand their job isn’t easy. Thank them for their service and acknowledge that asking them to amend your report may be complicated.
- Provide documentation—A police officer is more likely to correct your police report if you provide documentation showing they made a mistake.
- Provide a statement—The officer may not agree to correct the report. In this case, you can write up your own accident report and request that it be attached to the officer’s report.
- Provide medical records—If the officer interviewed you after emergency responders administered medicines, you might have failed to explain the accident clearly. In this case, be sure to provide supporting medical reports.
If you find errors on your accident report, it’s best to retain an experienced car accident attorney.
A skilled attorney can contact the police for you and may have greater success convincing the officer to correct the report.
In addition, an attorney can help you investigate your accident more thoroughly and negotiate a settlement.
The Experienced Attorneys at The Zimmerman Law Firm Can Help
If you found mistakes on your crash report, the Zimmerman Law Firm can help.
With over 85 years of combined experience, we know how to deal with police and insurance companies.
We have successfully helped thousands of Texans with personal injury claims and can help you correct your police crash report.