In Florida, the law requires you to report a traffic accident that results in injuries or property damage of $500 or more. After a car accident, you should call 911 to request emergency medical services if anyone is injured. Having a police officer document the accident and complete an accident report is an important step for your insurance and/or legal claim.
Ensuring your accident report is accurate is critical since it is the primary piece of evidence the insurance company and the courts will look to in examining your claim. If you have noticed mistakes in your police report, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, contact a Florida accident lawyer at Searcy Denney as soon as possible.
What Should My Police Report Contain?
Your police report contains many important pieces of information regarding your incident, including:
- Details of your accident, such as the date, time, and location
- Contact information for any witnesses and drivers involved in the accident
- Statements from any drivers or witnesses that were involved
- Damage to the vehicle,
- Any injuries that occurred
- The officer’s narrative of how the crash occurred, his or her conclusions as to the cause, and whether a citation was issued to any driver
- Pictures of the accident scene and the damage to any vehicles
- A diagram showing the accident scene and point of impact of the motor vehicles
Will My Police Report Be Used as Evidence in My Case?
No. Police reports are not admissible evidence in civil cases. According to Florida law regarding crash reports as evidence: “[Police] report[s] or statement[s] may not be used as evidence in any trial, civil or criminal. However…a law enforcement officer at a criminal trial may testify as to any statement made to the officer by the person involved in the crash if that person’s privilege against self-incrimination is not violated. The results of breath, urine, and blood tests…are admissible into evidence….”
In the last part of the Code section, you may have noticed that if a driver is drug tested or tested for alcohol consumption, the results can be submitted as evidence. This testing is often vital evidence in DUI accident injury cases.
Nonetheless, although the reports themselves are not admissible, the officer’s testimony is very persuasive evidence. Therefore, it’s important to get it right.
How Do I Fix Mistakes in My Accident Report?
The type of mistake made will affect how easy it will be to correct it.
Fixing Factual Mistakes
Factual mistakes are relatively easy to get fixed on a police report. Unfortunately, this type of information doesn’t always have a huge impact on the case. If the officer who files the report got the location, any driver’s license plate number, or the make and model of any involved vehicle wrong, it’s easy to provide photographic evidence to correct it. Always assume that any requested changes will require some type of evidence.
If there is one, the officer’s narrative can be harder to change in a police report. If, for example, the police report contains a witness statement that, in your opinion, is mistaken, you likely won’t be easily able to get the police to change what the witness said. If there’s video or other convincing evidence that contradicts the witness statement, you may be able to get that version of events added to the report.
If You’ve Noticed a Mistake in Your Florida Police Report, Let Our Florida Accident Lawyer Help
An attorney’s opinion carries considerably more weight regarding errors in your police report than your own. It’s important to let the Florida accident lawyers at Searcy Denney handle all of your evidence, including the police report and the officer’s opinion regarding such report, because they will know how to get it fixed or at least minimize its impact. Contact us online today for your free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis.