Those considering a personal injury lawsuit often find it helpful to start the process by getting a copy of the police report. Also known as a First Information Report (FIR), this written document gives the legal team a starting point for building a case. Still, it can also complicate the situation if the report contains inaccurate information.
What’s in the report?
Law enforcement will do their job and get information from those involved in the crash, eyewitnesses and the initial investigation at the scene of the injury. The report includes:
- The names and contact information of those involved in the crash
- The names and contact information of witnesses
- Descriptions of the vehicles involved
- Analysis of what happened based on the initial investigation
- List of laws broken, such as speeding, running a red light or performing an illegal maneuver.
- Date, time and location of the crash
While the misinformation could be as minor as a misspelled name, it could be as serious as half-truths or false statements by the other party.
Getting the report
Victims can go to the station where the report was filed and request a copy. The insurance company policy may require one before processing the claim. It is essential to read the information to ensure its accuracy before passing it along to the insurance carrier. If the client identifies an inaccuracy that could impact a settlement, they will need to prove that the information is wrong. Changing a misspelling is simple enough, but it gets more complicated if it inaccurately reports that a moving violation caused the crash.
It is essential to be proactive
The injured should focus on their treatment and recovery, but moving forward with a potential lawsuit is still important. The victim can discuss the details of the crash and the inaccurate information with their attorney. Ideally, this should happen as soon as possible before memories fade, witnesses change address, or the statute of limitation runs out on the claim. Failure to act can mean loss of potential compensation that can help with lost income during the recovery, medical bills and property damage not covered by insurance. It can also address the pain and suffering endured by the victim.