Don’t Let An Inaccurate Police Report Hurt Your Claim
An inaccurate police report can really hurt your claim for injuries from an accident. When the police report doesn’t line up with what actually happened, the insurance company will use this problem to question everything about the accident. You may hear from them that, because your version of events doesn’t exactly match up with the police report, that everything you are saying about the crash of the events must be false.
In order to prevent the insurance companies from trying to take advantage of you, here are a few things you can do to make sure that your crash report reflects the true events of the accident:
(1) Have the police come to the scene. This is a good start to helping the police understand what happened. This way they can see your vehicles at the location of the scene of the crash itself. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to get a police response, and it doesn’t always happen. If you call and no police officers show up after a reasonable amount of time, or if they cannot come out to the scene, go to the nearest police station immediately. Your memory is at its freshest soon after the accident, and going immediately prevents the insurance company from arguing that you made the whole thing up, after the fact.
(2) Try to make sure that the at-fault party is with you when you report the crash. Whether at the scene or at the police station, having both parties present to speak with the police makes it easier for the police to get the facts straight. But again, if that’s not possible, get as much information as possible about the other driver and vehicle on your own. If the at-fault party is willing to speak with you, get his name, address, license plate number, driver’s license number, make and model of the vehicle, color of the vehicle, insurance company, and insurance policy number. If the driver cannot provide all of this information or if he attempts to flee the scene, get as much information as possible and then give it to the police!!!
(3) Make sure everyone that was in your vehicle at the time of the crash is with you when you make the report. Unfortunately, sometimes passengers of vehicles are left off of the police crash report. This creates obvious problems when one of those passengers makes an injury claim with the insurance company. Insurance companies often argue that if a person is not in the report, that they were never in the vehicle and thus never injured. Don’t let this happen to you or a loved one – be on the report!
(4) If there are any witnesses to the accident, get their information!
Unbiased witnesses are strong evidence against an insurance company’s attempts to discredit your version of the events.
(5) Show the police officer all of the property damage caused by the accident. Don’t trust that the police will always see all of the damage to your vehicle, or even try to see it all. Take the officer on a walk around your vehicle and point out all of the damage, and make sure he writes it down!
(6) Ask the police to review the report to make sure it is accurate. Even though you say something, it does not necessarily mean that it’s been taken down correctly. Make sure you ask the officer to see his report before it is finalized and all parties leave the scene, or the station.
(7) If important information comes up later, make an effort to update the police. If you discover a witness, call the police and have the official report amended. If you discover insurance is incorrect or a passenger is not listed, call the police and have the official report amended. In short, make sure the report is RIGHT!!!
If the police report does not ACCURATELY describe the accident you were in, it can impact YOUR ability to get the compensation YOU deserve. Don’t get taken advantage of by the insurance companies – call TDP Law Firm today and get the facts straight!