As a Dallas/Fort Worth car accident lawyer, I get many questions about what to do if the police report is wrong. For the most part, police will not investigate an accident and prepare a police report unless the accident results in serious personal injury or wrongful death.
If the police do come to the scene, they will first identify the drivers of the cars.
Then the drivers will be separated and individually interviewed by the officers. If there are any eye-witnesses at the scene, the witnesses will also be interviewed by the officers. Once the police feel as though they have obtained all necessary information, they will give each driver a slip of paper which has the accident report number. For example, this document will contain information about how to obtain a Dallas police report for your accident. Then the officer will probably tell you that the report will be ready in about 7-10 days. Many times, however, the report is ready sooner.
What do you do if, once you get the police report, you discover that information in the report is wrong?
You then wonder what, if anything, can you do to get the error corrected. That all depends on the type of mistake that is in the report. If it is merely a clerical error, such as a misspelled name or erroneous date of birth, you can probably rest assured that these types of errors can be easily explained and will not impact your case. Likewise, it would not be necessary to contact the officer to get a supplemental report made.
What if the police report has a more important error?
There is a procedure where the officer can make an amended or supplemental report. Unfortunately, it is not very easy to get a police officer to file a supplemental report. For instance, if your accident was at an intersection and the officer notes that you ran the red light, you are not going to convince the officer to amend the report just because you state that you had a green light. On the other hand, if the report has you listed as the driver of the wrong car, thereby making it look like you were at fault, then the officer can most likely be convinced to fix this error.
In other words, the investigating police officer is usually reluctant to amend a report merely because you disagree with the report’s conclusion. You would have to show that the error is objectively obvious. Naturally, each party would want the police report to favor their version of the accident. But this would not be a sufficient reason for an officer to file a new report. You would have to show the officer that the error is more fundamental rather than a mere difference of opinion.