If you’re ever involved in a motor vehicle accident or pedestrian accident in Massachusetts, it’s important to contact the police as soon as possible in the aftermath. Depending on the nature of the accident, you may be legally required to file a police report. Calling police at the scene (if you’re able to do so) is critical.

Additionally, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your medical bills and other such losses you’ve incurred as a result of a collision. A police report can potentially serve as a valuable piece of documentation you might provide a lawyer and insurance company with when seeking the compensation for which you’re eligible.

You can request an accident report online in Massachusetts. If you hire a lawyer, they can also request a copy of an accident report on your behalf.

Hopefully, all the information on an accident report will be accurate. However, you may find errors.

The nature of said errors could theoretically have a negative impact on your ability to secure the full amount of compensation for which you’re eligible. For example, in Massachusetts, which uses the “no-fault” system, your primary means of seeking compensation after a car accident is to file a claim with your own insurer, regardless of whether someone else caused your accident.

That said, if your injuries are particularly severe, you could seek additional compensation by filing a third-party claim or lawsuit against the negligent party responsible for putting you in harm’s way. To show that you’re eligible to receive said additional compensation, along with proving that your injuries meet certain criteria, you will also have to show that you were harmed because of someone else’s negligence.

Perhaps an error on an accident report calls into question your assertion that a negligent party caused your accident. False information on an accident report could even make it appear as though you’re to blame for a collision.

That’s just one example. Even if an error isn’t this grave, to optimize your case’s integrity, it’s important to correct accident report mistakes. This overview will explain how you may go about doing so.

You can request an accident report online in Massachusetts. If you hire a lawyer, they can also request a copy of an accident report on your behalf.


Addressing Accident Report Errors in Massachusetts

Mistakes and false information in accident reports can take many forms. They include:

  • Objective factual errors
  • Transcription mistakes (which can occur if an officer misheard something you or someone else said when taking notes at the scene of an accident)
  • Omissions (such as an officer not including information you or someone else provided them with because they didn’t feel it was significant enough to warrant including in their report)

How difficult or easy it may be to correct an error in an accident report can vary depending on the nature of the error.

For example, maybe an error involves a piece of objective information an officer got wrong, such as the make or model of your vehicle. You can simply contact the department and offer documentation (like a copy of your registration) to show that this mistake should be corrected.

Convincing an officer to address other mistakes could be more challenging. This is particularly true if an officer doesn’t agree that a certain piece of information in their report is false.

Maybe, upon investigating the accident at the scene, an officer concludes that you must have been speeding at the time of the accident, and states this in their report. You disagree, knowing you were not exceeding the speed limit when the collision occurred.

It’s unlikely the officer will gladly change their report if you contact them and explain that you disagree with their interpretation of the events in these circumstances. However, you may be able to convince an officer to add your own version of the story to their report if you believe it was wrongfully omitted. Or, you could potentially offer evidence which contradicts an officer’s claims. This might help you demonstrate why a report should be amended.

How an Attorney Can Help

An inaccurate crash report can interfere with your ability to secure the compensation for which you’re eligible after an accident. This is one of many reasons to hire a lawyer when filing a claim or lawsuit.

An attorney can’t promise they’ll convince an officer to change your accident report if you take issue with any of the information found within it. That said, at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., our Boston car accident attorneys can promise to thoroughly investigate your accident, gathering the evidence necessary to strengthen your case. This could minimize the negative impact of a flawed crash report. For more information about what we can do for you, contact us online or call us at (800) 545-3732.

Need Help?

If you or someone you know, needs help from a lawyer, contact the law offices of Swartz & Swartz, use our live chat, or send us a message using the form below and we’ll get in touch to assess your case and how we can help.

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About the Author: David W. Faraci
David Faraci is an associate attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. David’s practice focuses on the representation of victims of all types of personal injuries and their families. David has experience working on a variety of litigation cases including medical malpractice, products liability, general negligence, catastrophic injuries, and wrongful death. Prior to joining Swartz & Swartz, David worked as an associate attorney at a boutique personal injury firm in Boston. David began his legal career in San Francisco, California where he worked as an associate attorney with a prominent Plaintiffs’ litigation firm.

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