Auto accidents are chaotic events for all involved. Often times, there are various things being taken care of by numerous people at the scene of an accident – paramedics, police officers, bystanders, and of course, the accident victims, themselves.
The commotion at an accident site can sometimes lead to improper handling of the situation, including misstated facts and muddled information.
So, what happens if are in an accident and the police officer inadvertently misstates the facts or puts you down in the report as the at-fault driver? Have you lost your chance to make a claim?
The short answer is no.
Florida statutes make any conversation between the accident-involved parties and the officer inadmissible in court while an investigation is taking place. This applies to both criminal and civil court. Additionally, the crash report itself is not considered evidence and cannot be used at trial.
How do you protect yourself?
1. Take photos of the scene and cars involved before the cars are moved.
2. Ask witnesses for their names and contact information, assuming you are physically able to do so. If not, it still doesn't mean you have no case.
3. Hire an experienced trial attorney who practices in the area of auto accidents. He or she will assist you in collecting any information that will be needed to rectify the miscommunicated report.
Choosing your attorney carefully can make all the difference in your case. As always, search for an attorney that has proven experience and is the right fit for you.