Police reports aren’t always as thorough as we’d like. As the victim of a car crash, the whole event is often traumatic, and can’t be summed up in a couple sentences; yet that’s exactly what police officers typically do. The police reports we collect on behalf of our clients are always a good starting place, but we often have to do a lot of our own research to get the full picture. It’s important to consider a police report as a piece of evidence in the case, rather than a set-in-stone account. The report may mix up basic things like the direction you were headed, or which car is which. It’s important to consider the officer’s responsibilities in perspective. The Albuquerque Police Department is currently operating on a shortage of 400 officers, according to a recent Washington Post Article. Given this, we can assume that under-reporting is common in our city.
At Roadrunner Law, we’ll start by requesting the police report as well as any other documentation relating to the incident. We’ll collect the audio of any 911 calls, dispatch information, any photos that were taken, as well as the lapel footage from the officer and any other video evidence possible. Even if an officer spoke to witnesses, we may reach back out to those witnesses to get an even more detailed account. It’s not easy work to correct a poorly written police report, but it can be done. We had a client once who was on his motorcycle at a red light and was rear ended, however, the police report cited him for speeding! Biases and mistakes can find their way into reports, but the key thing to do is act fast to correct them, and understand that it doesn’t nullify your case. Small mistakes can be amended or corrected with a supplemental report. You can talk to the officer to make these changes, or you can go to the police station and fill out a supplemental report yourself. If the problems in the report are big enough that they could sway the burden of fault, the officer may need to be deposed and presented with evidence.
If you find that the police report relating to your accident is wrong or missing important information, give us a call! Though it’s not impossible to go it alone, having an attorney on your side is going to legitimize your case. We can set up a free consultation to review what happened, take a look at the report, and see what we can do to help. You won’t be responsible for any payment unless you hire us and we reach a settlement on your case.