Wrong Automobile Accident Information in Police Report...

by Billy
(Tempe, AZ)

I was in an auto accident in which I was in the middle turning lane heading east and was struck by a vehicle heading west. I received a ticket for not yielding the right of way. I took it to court and was found not responsible. The insurance denied paying me due to the police report.

The officer later admitted the report was errant and I received a supplement report. The other driver was distracted and wasn't even looking forward when she swerved into my lane. However she lied and said that I turned out of a parking lot right of front of her.

My insurance paid the other driver but only based on the errant police report and because the driver got an attorney to file a lawsuit before all the new evidence.

I want to file a civil court summons to the defendant for damages to my vehicle which was totaled, as well as medical bills. What do you think my chances are of winning in court or getting a settlement?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Wrong Automobile Accident Information in Police Report...":


You mentioned that you went to court and were found “not responsible”. Normally if there is a trial the verdict can only be guilty or not guilty. If you didn’t go to trial and entered a plea of No Contest you would either receive probation or a conviction for the traffic offense.

It would be important to know the manner in which the officer admitted he had lied on the first report. Errant is a nice way of saying lying when it comes to police matters. If the officer filed a false police report he will usually be reprimanded and possibly suspended or even fired.

When you say “supplement report” the implication can also be the officer may have inadvertently omitted some facts on the primary report. Normally that does not include changing a decision on a traffic violation. It would be helpful if we knew what supplemental information was added.

Under the facts you present your chances of winning are slim at best. There has been “too much water under the bridge” so to speak with supplemental reports and your insurance company's decision to pay the other driver. If you did file suit there is a good chance the defendant’s attorneys would file a Motion to Dismiss the claim because of something called Collateral Estoppel – meaning the issue of liability has already been determined.

The argument of collateral estoppel may not be strong enough for a dismissal. Nevertheless you would spend a good deal of time in court attempting to deal with issues like these. Unless you can find an attorney to represent you your chances of prevailing are minimal.

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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