We see this time and time again. You were in a wreck, but the accident report is wrong.
An accident report is a document created by a law enforcement officer after a wreck that summarizes how the wreck occurred. Usually, but not always, the officer will designate a “primary contributing unit”, which is another way of saying which driver was at fault. In most instances, the driver listed as “Unit 1” on an accident report is the at-fault driver.
To some extent, accident reports are relied upon by the insurance companies and by car accident lawyers to determine whether someone has a viable personal injury claim. So if you think the officer made an incorrect report, it’s important to address the issue quickly. Here’s what to do:
1) Gather all evidence to prove the report is wrong such as photos or witness statements.
2) Contact the officer’s law enforcement agency and ask for an amended report.
3) Explain to the agency why the report is wrong and offer to provide any supporting evidence.
In many instances, an officer will make an “amended” accident report. Even if the officer refuses to amend the accident report, that is not necessarily the end of the world. In Alabama, and many other states, accident reports are inadmissible evidence. Alabama Code 32-10-11 states:
“No such report shall be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal, arising out of an accident…
With that said, insurance companies usually make their decision about the validity of a claim based the accident report. If the officer refuses to amend your accident report, you will be facing an uphill battle and will likely have to file a lawsuit to seek compensation.
If you need assistance with getting an accident report amended or if you think you will need to file a lawsuit in a personal injury claim, please contact Siniard Law. If a car accident report is wrong, we can help.