What to do if Your Car or Truck Accident Police Report is Incorrect

In case of a vehicle accident, a police report has to be filed. This police report will represent the official description of the accident site. While the report may be official, it does not mean that it’s indicative of what actually occurs.

If you are in shock and forget to narrate a part of your story, the officer taking your statement notes down incorrect information by mistake, or the other party involved gave an inaccurate account, it is crucial you clear up any inconsistencies when it comes to your car crash’s police report. If you notice a mistake in how the report is filed, it is within your rights to address that error immediately.

Inclusions in the Police Report

Law enforcement reports for vehicle and truck crashes typically include:

  • The names and contact details of the parties involves, including the motorists and passengers of both automobiles, as well as any witnesses that may have seen the collision
  • Vehicle model, license plate, year of manufacture, and other car identification details
  • Auto insurance coverage plan and the agent’s contact details
  • Details of the accident site, such as the road conditions, weather, time of the crash, traffic signals, and other descriptions of the site
  • A rough illustration of how the collision occurred
  • Statements from the people involved

Do I Need to File a Police Report after a Vehicle Crash?

For instance, in Georgia, if the vehicle accident damages are above $500 or if anyone involved in the crash sustains injuries, you must contact law enforcement to file a report right away.

A police report is still a prudent idea, even if the damages seem negligible and nobody appears to be injured. There could be vehicular damage that may not be obvious on the scene. More importantly, you or others involved in the collision could experience a delayed onset of an injury sustained during the crash.

What Should I do if I Notice a Mistake in the Police Report after a Crash?

For the best chances of claiming full compensation, you have to ensure that all information in the law enforcement report is as truthful as possible. This is undertaken to prevent the other party from conjuring scenarios and attacking you from a position that does not exist.

In a police report, there could be various types of errors, such as:

Factual Mistakes in the Police Report

Factual errors are incorrect objective information, which makes them quite easy to rectify. There is straightforward evidence such as the driver’s license to show that it is, indeed, inaccurate, and there is very little reason why a police officer would want to get the objective information wrong on purpose.

After the errors have been reported to a police officer with adequate evidence, they may write an addendum detailing the changes and attach it with the original report before filing both documents together.

Transcription Errors in the Police Report

Transcription errors occur when the actual details of the case are inaccurate. Such errors can occur in two forms, namely, non-inclusion and inconsistent statements. A non-inclusion occurs when an important piece of information about the case is not a part of the report. For instance, if the other motorist appeared to be swerving left and right as if they were intoxicated, it must be included in the report.

If the law enforcement officer fails to do this, it can impact the case. An inconsistent statement refers to an account when what you tell the police officer and what is written in the report are not the same.

Disputed Facts between You and the Other Individual Involved in the Vehicle Crash

Among the trickiest types of factual errors are disputed facts, as they may warrant dispute resolution before the report can be changed. For instance, if the report states that you were driving over the speed limit in a residential area, but you claim that you didn’t, it will be incumbent upon you to provide proof against what’s written in the report.

In most cases, the report is unlikely to change. However, that does not mean that you cannot take action if you genuinely believe that the law enforcement report is inaccurate.

How do I Request a Change in a Police Report after a Vehicle Accident?

If you want to let the officer know that the information is not correct, you have to offer an explanation or proof that will sway them in your favor. In case you cannot settle the police report in a manner that you believe is correct, then it may be time to call your car or truck accident lawyer and have them negotiate the report for you.

An Accident Report will be Crucial if Your Pursue Compensatory Damages

If you suffer an injury in a crash, the accident report will be one of the initial documents your personal injury lawyer will need to review in your case. The car accident attorneys at the law offices of Stein & Fox offer robust legal counsel to victims of vehicle crashes in Georgia. We can review your case and let you know whether you have a valid claim. You do not need to pay anything unless and until we recover for you. For a no-obligation consultation, call today at (770) 961-1700.

What Does ‘Open & Obvious’ Mean in Premises Liability Cases?

The concept of premises liability stems from the principle that the owner of a property is responsible for the safety of the people who visit the property. If the property owner fails to take reasonable measures to provide a safe environment for the visitors, and if their failure results in an accident, they can be held financially responsible for the injuries and other losses suffered by the victim.

There are many ways a property owner can defend themselves against a premises liability claim. One such defense is based on the ‘open and obvious’ doctrine, which is commonly used by property owners in Georgia to defend themselves against the liability issues stemming from premises liability cases.

What Is the ‘Open and Obvious’ Doctrine?

Under the ‘open and obvious’ doctrine, a property owner can be relieved of their liability if the hazard that caused the accident was so apparent and out in the open that any reasonable person would have noticed it, avoided it, or protected themselves against it.

For example, if there is a large puddle of water on a sidewalk, and if you accidentally step into it, fall down, and injure yourself, the owner of the sidewalk could claim that they cannot be held liable for your injuries, since the hazard in question – the puddle of water – was so obvious that any reasonable person would have noticed it.

The basis of such an argument is that a person of sound mind should pay attention to their surroundings and be able to notice obvious hazards that are clearly visible to the naked eye. Does it mean you cannot recover any damages from a property owner if you are injured as a result of an open and obvious hazard?

Of course not! The ‘open and obvious’ defense is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for property owners. A skilled Georgia premises liability lawyer can easily counter the open and obvious defense and make sure the property owner in question is held liable for their negligence.

Counters to the Open and Obvious Defense

The Hazard Is Not Open or Obvious

In many cases, what a property owner considers to be an open and obvious hazard might not be so obvious to other people. If the hazard is partially concealed or obstructed by another object or if the nature of the hazard is such that it might not be clearly visible to the naked eye, your lawyer can easily assert that contrary to the property owner’s claim, the hazard in question is not so open or obvious and as a result the owner is liable for the injuries you suffered.

The Hazard Is Unavoidable

If the hazard in question happens to be a giant pit on the floor, which you cannot step over or step around, the property owner cannot claim that they are not liable for the injuries, since the hazard is open and obvious. If the hazard is unavoidable or impossible to protect against, the property owner can be held liable – irrespective of whether the hazard is out in the open or not.

The Hazard Is Unreasonably Dangerous

A 20-feet pit right in the middle of a parking lot might be open and obvious, but it still poses a serious threat to the safety of the visitors. So, if a hazard is deemed unreasonably dangerous, the property owner cannot be relieved of their liability – even if they make the ‘open and obvious hazard’ argument.

Violation of the Law

If the hazard in question involves the violation of a building code, state law, or federal law, the property owner in question can be held liable for the injuries caused to the victim – irrespective of whether the hazard was open and obvious or if the victim failed to exercise due care.

How a Georgia Premises Liability Attorney Can Help You

Property owners tend to make the ‘open and obvious hazard’ argument even in cases where the hazard was not out in the open – just for the sake of avoiding liability. So, it’s crucial for you to be represented by a capable personal injury attorney who can counter the property owner’s arguments, establish their liability, and get you the compensation you deserve.

It should be noted that Georgia follows a modified version of the comparative negligence doctrine, under which the compensation awarded to you can be reduced in proportion to the degree to which you are found at fault for the accident. So, your attorney should not only prove that the property owner was negligent, but also establish that the accident was primarily or entirely caused as a result of their negligence, so that you can receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.

Choose the Right Georgia Premises Liability Attorney to Fight for You

The attorneys at Stein & Fox have an in-depth understanding of Georgia’s personal injury laws and have handled several premises liability cases where the defendant made the ‘open and obvious’ argument. We know how to counter these arguments and hold the property owner responsible for their negligence.

Over the years, we have recovered more than $125 million in compensation for our clients. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. To discuss your premises liability case with our attorneys, call us today at 770-961-1700 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.