Can I contest a car accident police report?

by Robert
(Port Huron, MI)

I was behind a car on an interstate freeway in the left hand passing lane of a two lane divided highway with a median. As both myself and the driver ahead of me were passing a semi/tractor trailer, the driver of the vehicle ahead of me slammed on her brakes and engaged her left hand turn signal in what appeared to me that she was attempting to use an "emergency and authorized vehicles only" turnaround in the median.

I also applied my brakes but was unable to stop before hitting her bumper, causing damage to both vehicles. In the police report that was filed, no citation was given. However, I was declared at fault for being unable to stop. In the report, the other driver indicated that she was having car trouble and was attempting to pull off of the road.

Can I contest a police report in which no citation was given for automobile insurance purposes?

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Can I contest a car accident police report?":

Robert (Port Huron, MI):

We checked with the Port Huron Police Department. Although they would not confirm or deny their policy regarding amending police reports, we can tell you in most jurisdictions a police report can be amended by the investigating officer if she receives additional information which she believes to be substantial enough to merit a modification of her report.

Once her report is turned into her supervisor though, and the supervisor signs off on the report, the die has been cast. After that time it would take an Act of Congress to have the report amended.

We suggest you contact the investigating officer as quickly as you can. Explain to her the circumstances and plead your case. If she agrees with you she can amend her report. If she doesn’t agree, you can go to her supervisor, but we can assure you the probability of the supervisor modifying the report over the objections of the arresting officer are slim at best.

Your only other option would be to call your insurance company and try to convince them you were not the at-fault party. When it comes right down to it it's more important to convince your insurance company of your “innocence” so to speak, than having the police report modified by the officer.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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