Getting into a car or truck accident is not pleasant. Injuries, property damage and financial ramifications are consequences of motor vehicle accidents. Accident victims look to lawyers and insurance companies to resolve such issues. It is very rare for a motor vehicle accident to not result in an insurance claim. In order to initiate an insurance claim, certain accident information must be obtained. Parties often exchange important information at the accident scene. A Georgia accident report includes the additional information not exchanged there.
Such information includes driver information and insurance information. In addition, a successful claim supporting your side of things will require objective information found on your Georgia accident report. All of this is common, and Atlanta injury law firm Scholle Law obtains, and reviews Georgia accident reports every day. Our office encounters Georgia accident reports with errors during such reviews. Errors include omissions and information different from a client’s recollection.
Clients aware of errors on their reports frequently ask us about making amendments to their reports. Amendments depend on the information reported and vary by case. This article discusses the issue of amending a Georgia accident report and when it is necessary and possible. We will examine some of the scenarios when an accident report may need to be amended. We hope to provide clarity on a confusing topic. Anyone with a question about their Georgia accident report can reach out to our office for a free consultation.
When there is incorrect information on a Georgia accident report
Accident reports are not immune to clerical errors, misspellings, and typos. The number of accidents that Georgia law enforcement agencies respond to are significant. It is surprising that there are not more errors on these reports. Examples of errors include names, addresses, insurance companies, policy numbers, and phone numbers. Attempts to make such corrections are often successful.
Amending this type of information is not a significant challenge. Most people have documents (licenses, insurance cards, car registration) that proves such errors. Such errors are generally not going to sink someone’s case. This is because they do not involve the facts or issues relating to liability. Amendments will often result after the reporting officer has been notified of the error.
There is no guarantee of a favorable response to an amendment request. This is true even in cases involving this type of incorrect information. There are other options when a police officer does not make a requested change. Providing the correct information to a lawyer for submission to the insurance company will generally suffice.
Where law enforcement has left something off of the police report
The more complicated the accident, the more likely it is to find something missing. It makes sense. If there are more people involved there is even more information to record onto the Georgia accident report. Additional parties may include passengers and other drivers and or vehicles. It is very important to make amendments to police reports with missing passengers, and vehicles. An accident report with such errors can not only delay someone’s case, but they can also create more serious consequences.
For example, an insurance company rejects claims from parties not listed on accident reports. This happens mainly with passengers. A police report must include all involved parties. It is important to notify the reporting officer of any such omissions. The request to add an omitted party to a police report is a completely legitimate request. Lastly, such requests will most likely be granted.
Accident victims frequently questions omissions regarding fairly detailed information. For instance these are generally very specific pieces of information. Such information may seem important to the accident victim but may not matter to their case. This is very subjective and case specific information. Anyone with such a question should contact a lawyer. An experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer can advise what information is significant.
Understanding a Georgia uniform motor vehicle report
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Where the reported facts are different than a party may recall
Most lawyers and insurance companies agree on the importance of an accident report’s narrative statement of accident facts. Police reports generally have a narrative facts section. This is where a law enforcement officer records what they believe the facts of the accident to be. This information is important to insurance companies and lawyers because it supplies a general idea of what happened. This does not mean that there can not be errors in a narrative statement! However it does signify what the reporting officer thinks and that is very important.
Insurance claims and personal injury cases rely heavily on the reported facts. They use this information to make a general assessment of someone’s case or claim. Relating to police report amendments and changes, this information is generally what potential client call to discuss. It is true that reports will mention tickets and the offer’s perspective on fault. Even so, insurance companies and courts of law make civil liability determinations, not reporting officers.
It is difficult to change an officer’s findings. This does not mean you cannot ask; it just means that you should not expect the report to be changed. When someone believes that an officer misinterpreted what happened they should speak to an accident lawyer. Just because an accident report makes such a finding does not mean that the party should give up! Georgia recognizes for the potential of shared liability amongst the parties. The reporting officer does not have the final say regarding civil liability.
What does all of this mean?
It is possible to change an accident report. But the amendment will heavily depend on what information is being asked to be changed. If it is non-subjective information then it likely can be changed. For instance, an incorrect date of birth. Such information can be backed up with a supporting document to prove a report is incorrect. Also, this incorrect information will generally not a harm a case even if it is not changed. Incorrect information can be shown to a lawyer or insurance company. They can use the supporting documents to correct the errors for their files.
Reports with missing drivers, cars and other parties need to be addressed as soon as the error is realized. Often these amendments are very important. Generally, a discussion with the reporting officer can help facilitate getting these types of corrections made. Less common but still important are reports missing information that a client believes to be important. This is subjective to a client’s perspective. These omissions should be brought to the attention of an accident lawyer for analysis of the information’s importance. There is no defined list of what is important and what is not. What may seem important to one person may or may not be important to another person or their lawyer. Run it by a lawyer to be safe.
Situations involving disagreements with the accident report’s facts do not generally result in amended changes. Contacting a police officer after they have made their report will rarely result in significant changes. In some cases an amendment explaining that the party disagrees with the officer’s findings could be made. Even if it was, that is not something that would make much of a difference in determining liability. A police report is not the final word on a how an accident case will be resolved. When someone disagrees with the findings, they should speak to an accident lawyer. A lawyer can determine whether there is evidence that may be able to help them prove their case.
What to do when you see errors on your police report
Anyone with questions about their accident report should contact an experienced Georgia injury and accident attorney. Don’t rush into contacting the reporting officer or the insurance company without some thought. It may seem like a good idea but it is best to let a lawyer see it first. A lawyer can help read the report and identify significant issues. This includes information that may require amending. Please note that it is imperative to deal with potential amendments as soon as possible. Waiting too long could make it harder to get an important amendment made.
Georgia injury and accident attorneys
The Scholle Law Firm is an accident and injury law firm that practices solely in the field of injury law. Every day the lawyers at Scholle Law deal exclusively with clients hurt in car, truck, motorcycle, and work-related accidents. The firm offers free case evaluations and consultations. Contacting Scholle Law will result in speaking to an experienced Georgia attorney. Our lawyers will answer your questions and listen to your concerns. Our goal is to find out the best way to try and help you! Contact the Scholle Law Firm today. We look forward to speaking with you!