Georgia police aren’t perfect when they’re tending to an accident scene. There have been many cases in which police officers assigned fault to the wrong person. When this happens, the wrong person will be liable for injuries and damages.
Because a police officer could make mistakes — and because you’ll want to refer to the police report later — you should ask to receive a copy of the police report after the officer files it.
Police reports and car accident liability
Your police report will likely contain a great deal of information that can help you to hold the other driver liable — if you were not at fault for the collision. It will have information about the officer’s opinion on speeding, unlawful behavior, distracted driving, etc. The officer will note whether skid marks were visible before the collision site and how long the skid marks were. The officer will take notes on eyewitness accounts and information from the parties involved in the crash. The officer will also say whether he or she issued a traffic ticket or made an arrest.
For the above reasons, your police report could play a central role in your ability to pursue financial claims from the at fault party in your crash. It could also play a role in eliminating your ability to pursue financial compensation.
What if the police report is wrong?
If there are mistakes in your police report, you may be able to fix them. The easiest mistakes to correct involve factual information. Perhaps the officer wrote the wrong insurance or vehicle information on the report, or made a mistake about the name of the driver who was driving one of the vehicles involved. You can correct these by giving the police the appropriate and correct information.
It’s more difficult — but not impossible to amend a fault determination. However, you might be able to assert legal arguments in court, with appropriate factual evidence to support your claims, which allows you to change a fault determination. Changing a fault determination like this could mean the difference between recovering financial compensation for your personal injuries and not being able to recover anything at all.