Getting a police report is one of the most important steps for your case. If you did not get one, you should know how to get your own copy. It is also beneficial to know that reports sometimes contain errors that could negatively impact your ability to recover damages.
If certain details in your police report are inaccurate or missing, you have options to fix the information. By identifying discrepancies and providing supporting evidence, you can request revisions to the report. Having an accurate account of the incident will strengthen your insurance claim. A Grand Rapids car accident lawyer can help make sure everything is finalized with your report.
Top Ways to Get Your Police Report
After a car accident in Grand Rapids, obtaining the official police report is important and should be one of your first steps. This is because you need it for insurance claims and potential lawsuits. There are a few different ways you can get your report.
You can request the report directly from the responding law enforcement agency, which is typically the Grand Rapids Police Department for accidents within city limits or the Kent County Sheriff’s Office for incidents in outer jurisdictions. There is usually a small administrative fee for report copies.
Your lawyer can also request and get the police report on your behalf, saving you time and hassle. This is a good choice because, at the same time, they can use the report to build your case. Another option is to go online on the City of Grand Rapids Government website and search for the report.
Your Fight Is Our Fight
What Specifics Are on the Police Report that Are So Important?
The officer’s narrative of the accident provides an objective, third-party account of what happened. This is important so it can match what you are claiming. It accurately captures critical details like the date, time, location, weather conditions, and sequence of events.
The police report contains identifying details about all parties involved. A report has the names, contact information, license plate numbers, and insurance of everyone involved. This verifies identities and keeps everyone accountable.
It also records observational details the officer noted, like skid marks, vehicle damage, injuries sustained, impaired drivers, and any citations issued. These observations are powerful evidence. The report diagrams the accident scene, showing each vehicle’s travel direction, the point of impact, and the final resting place.
What Happens When You do Not Have a Police Report
Without a police report, you lack an authoritative, objective account of the accident. You have only your own statement and any other witness statements you collect. This makes your claim entirely based on “he said, she said.”
Insurance companies will be more suspicious of claims without a police report to back them up. They know such claims are at higher risk for fraud. You can expect increased investigations and questioning without the report.
The lack of a police report also means certain helpful details will be missing. There will be no diagrams of the accident scene, observations by the officer, or photos of damage taken during the crash. You may not see success without a report like you would if you had it to show the insurance company and your lawyer.
We understand that you may be going through a difficult situation and we are ready to help however we can.
Filing Your Claim without a Police Report
While it is advised to get a police report for any accident, it is still possible to file an insurance claim without one. If you can provide the evidence, you should go after the compensation you are owed. Here is how to strengthen your claim if you must proceed without a formal report:
- Document the scene yourself through photos and videos showing damage and conditions. Take these from multiple angles and distances.
- Get written statements from all witnesses with their full contact information included. Whether this is a passenger in your vehicle or someone who witnessed the accident, you should see if they would be willing to do this.
- Take your vehicle to a repair shop and get a written damage estimate. This verifies the extent of repairs needed.
- Present all documentation you do have, like medical records if injured.
- Stick to the facts and do not change any details of your story. Inconsistencies can raise red flags and make the insurance company suspicious.
- Be cooperative with your insurance company’s investigation and answer questions thoroughly.
It can be difficult to make a claim without a case. However, building your own evidence can help advance a claim and get compensation without a police report. A lawyer can also help you put together all of the proof.
You will always work directly with your attorney throughout your case.
When Something on Your Police Report Is Wrong
If there are errors or missing information in the police report, you can request corrections to amend the record. Identify exactly what details are wrong or need to be added to the report. Be as specific as possible about names, locations, or statements requiring revision.
Next, contact the records division of the agency that created the report, which could be either Grand Rapids PD or Kent County Sheriff’s Office. Explain what needs correction and supply supporting evidence like photos or witness statements. Formal requests for amendments may need to be submitted in writing.
Continue following up until the report corrections are made in the official record. Get written confirmation once updates are completed. The corrected report will hold more validity for your insurance claim and any legal proceedings.
Let White Law PLLC Help You with Your Police Report and Case
A police report is a vital document for proving your case after an accident. But mistakes can jeopardize your claim if uncorrected. Keep your recovery process as smooth as possible by reviewing your report thoroughly and requesting revisions for any inaccuracies.
Without seeing your police report, you cannot see what changes may need to be made. Our team can help you get access to your police report and build a strong case from there. Contact us for a free consultation.
We’re Experienced. We Care.
We Exceed Client Expectations.