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Make Sure To Double-Check Your Car Accident Report


Law enforcement officials may be called to the scene of a motor vehicle accident, particularly if someone is injured or if serious property damage occurs. The responding officer will file an accident report to be kept on record and it is important for you to ensure that report is accurate.

An error-free accident report is important for several reasons. First, it will likely be used by police should any criminal charges arise from the accident, such as negligent driving or impaired driving. In addition, it may be used as evidence in any resulting civil claims. And your insurance carrier will likely rely on it when determining how much to pay to cover any damages.

It is wise to request a copy of the report after an accident and look it over. If something strikes you as incorrect, the first thing to do is call the officer who made the report. If it's a simple correction, a phone call may be all you need. Minor errors like your car's make or model, or misspelling in your name, can usually be fixed simply.

If a phone call doesn't do it, try writing a letter. Enclose any proof of the error that you have handy, such as photographs of any damage or a sworn statement by a witness. Taking photographs after an accident is always a good idea, as they may turn out to be important evidence later on.

Finally, if the police still refuse to change the report, you may have to go to court. You will have the chance to present your side of the story and the reporting officer will be involved as well. However, this may be costly and time-consuming.

If you or someone you care about has been seriously hurt in a motor vehicle accident, or if you have lost a loved one as a result of another motorist's negligence, it is important to seek the proper help. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney with experience in motor vehicle accident claims who can help you protect your rights, pursue any appropriate legal claims and work with your insurer and other parties to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Source: Injured, "How to Get an Accident Report Revised," Andrew Lu, Jan. 9, 2013

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