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Q: I was involved in a traffic accident and the police report was not correct. How do I get it corrected?

A: To begin with, make sure that you explain what happened, as best as you can, while you are still at the scene of the collision. It is much more difficult to have a report changed once you leave the scene of the collision since the officer may not clearly remember every aspect of the collision later on.

If you later discover a mistake has been made on a report made about your collision, you must have the original officer make the change in a supplemental report. Keep in mind that in order to have a collision report corrected, the change must alter a material fact in the report.

You will want to contact the police agency that investigated the collision and ask them what their procedures are for having a collision report corrected. Remember that the investigating officer may feel that the original report is correct and no correction is needed or that the changes you request is not material to the report.

If the officer that did the original report agrees that the report needs to be corrected, he/she will do a supplemental report to make the correction. If the officer cannot does not or does not feel he/she should make a correction, the report will stand as written.

The police department will not require an officer to make any changes to a collision report unless there is clear and compelling information that the report is incorrect.