Can You Dispute a Police Report for a Car Accident in Massachusetts?
Police reports often contain important information for car accident victims. This information may help peoples’ chances of succeeding with their insurance claims or car accident lawsuits. But if the police report for your accident says you were at fault when you weren’t, or it has inaccurate information, it can truly hurt your case.
You can dispute a police report for a car accident in Massachusetts. The process typically involves obtaining a copy of your report, contacting your reporting officer, and providing documentation for any potential corrections. There is a wide range of information that may be contested.
If you suffered a car accident in Massachusetts, get help ensuring the information on your police report is correct. Contact our experienced Beverly car accident lawyers by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review.
How to Dispute an Incorrect Police Report for a Car Accident in Massachusetts
After every car crash, a police officer should visit the scene to draft an official accident report. Unfortunately, the facts and observations provided in these reports are not always correct. You may dispute any incorrect information on your police report by taking the following actions:
Record Your Recollection of the Crash
Your memory of your car accident can be crucial when disputing an inaccurate police report. Important details of the crash can be forgotten over time. For example, details regarding the events that occurred immediately before or after a crash can be easily forgotten. Accordingly, you should attempt to record a detailed recollection of your accident while your memory is fresh. This information can help when disputing an incorrect police report.
Obtain a Copy of Your Police Report
All accident victims should obtain a copy of their accident reports to ensure the information provided is correct. You can recover a copy of your crash report in Massachusetts by filling out a form online. When requesting a copy of your report, you will be asked to provide the following information:
- The name of a driver involved in the accident
- Information regarding one of the vehicles involved in the accident
- Your mailing address and email address
There is a $20 fee you must pay when requesting your report. After submitting a request, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) can take up to four weeks to process your submission. Once you have your report, the assistance of our experienced Boston car accident lawyers can be very helpful when assessing its accuracy.
Contact the Reporting Officer
Next, if you have found incorrect information in your accident report, you should contact the officer who drafted it. Each report should include the name of the reporting officer. It is important to be polite when contacting a police officer about changing an accident report. Our Cambridge car accident lawyers can offer guidance and support when reaching out to your reporting officer.
Additionally, it can be highly beneficial to provide documentation of corrections to any potential mistakes when contacting the reporting officer. For example, if an officer did not record the correct make of your car, you should provide a copy of your registration showing the right model. Furthermore, if your officer mistakenly reported that you were uninjured by a crash, you should provide medical records documenting injuries suffered because of your accident. Our team can also help when gathering documentation to provide to your reporting officer.
Provide a Statement
Some police officers may be reluctant to change information on their accident reports. In such cases, it can be helpful for victims to submit their own statements regarding details surrounding their accidents. Our Somerville car accident lawyers can help you draft a statement and request that it be attached to your police report.
What Can I Dispute in a Police Report for a Car Accident in Massachusetts?
There is a great deal of information that can be incorrectly documented in police reports. Our Malden car accident lawyers can provide support when contesting any of the following types of information:
Factual errors are basis, objective details related to your accident. The following are examples of facts that may be incorrectly recorded in your accident report:
- The model of your vehicle
- The names of parties involved in the accident
- The date of the crash
- The location of the crash
Most police officers are willing to correct factual errors if you provide documentation that validates your correction.
Furthermore, disputed information is also a type of information that may be disputed in accident reports. Disputed information refers to subjective decisions or interpretations made by the reporting officer. The following are examples of disputed information:
- A description of your behavior after an accident
- A finding that you broke a traffic law
- A statement from an eyewitness pertaining to the cause of your accident
- An officer’s opinion regarding the cause of your crash
Officers are typically reluctant to alter disputed information in their reports. Accordingly, when attempting to correct disputed information, you should provide your own summary of events as supplemental evidence to your accident report. Our experienced Quincy car accident lawyers can offer support when submitting supplemental evidence to attach to your police report.
A police report will usually contain statements from drivers involved in an accident as well as statements from any potential eyewitnesses to an accident. In some cases, officers will inaccurately transcribe statements from drivers and witnesses. Accordingly, you may contact your reporting officer to politely request a correction to any inaccurate transcriptions that were recorded.
Lastly, a police officer may fail to include a crucial statement or important fact pertaining to your accident in their report. For example, you may have told a police officer that you suffered a knee injury because of your crash. In that case, if the officer failed to include your statement in their report, our Massachusetts car accident lawyers can help correct their error of exclusion.
If Your Police Report for a Car Accident in Massachusetts is Inaccurate, Our Lawyers Can Help
If your accident report contains incorrect information, seek assistance from our experienced Wakefield car accident lawyers by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free case review.