A report can be changed but the officer will not be able to testify to what he was told about the accident if he was not a witness. He will only be able to speak to the forensics evidence. (Skid marks, dsge to vehicles and final rest of the vehicles as he observed them.)
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An officer is free to change his car accident report just as you are free to report him to Internal Affairs. Call a local attorney. Make sure to obtain both copies and send a letter to the officer that his is changing the report after the fact. Further, that this occurred after discussion with the insurance company who was not a witness to the accident. Finally, that you are requesting a copy of both police report and the field notes taken by the officer. Report the officer to internal affairs and submit all of this information with it. Another option is to report the officer to the State Highway Patrol.
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An officer can file a supplemental report based on information he or she received after completion of the original report. You really should consider hiring an attorney to review the entre case and determine whether it is in your benefit to: (1) merely document the officer's statements about your son's liability and later use this information to impeach this officer, especially if you intend to file a lawsuit; and (2) to request a supplemental report from the officer while indicating the contradiction. If your son was injured and you are attempting to settle his claims with the other party, the crux of your case could depend upon the officer's statements -- so, take caution in doing anything without a competent legal review of the entire accident. Further, if it is the offending driver's insurance company that is telling you the officer is making this statement, you may want to verify that the officer actually said this and that this is not just a tactic to get you to settle your son's claims. At a minimum, document all communications with the officer in writing. Best of luck to you.
The above information does not constitute legal advice and does not form the basis of an attorney-client relationship. Lisa M. Blasser, Esq. and Blasser Law do not represent you and are not responsible for any actions or inactions that you decide to pursue in lieu of the above information.
An officer changing the report makes both versions pretty useless, as no one will likely believe his changing testimony. Discuss this with your son's lawyer, and, if he doesn't have one, get one.
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The officer can write whatever he wants but only the evidence will prove the truth as his report is hearsay and not evidence. Since no citations were issued, there is no traffic or other court involved. Therefore, if the other ins. co. refuses to pay your damages, whether they tell you their reason is the police report or the position if the sun and the moon, YOU would have to bring the matter to court by filing a lawsuit and use the forensic evidence available to prove who was at fault. Unless you have a small claims court in your jurisdiction, if the only damages are to your vehicle, with no personal injuries to your son (thankfully), it may not be economically feasible for you to pursue the matter through litigation.
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There may be many reasons why he changed the report, from having help from an accident reconstruction done afterwards or that he was unduly influenced by the insurance company. It sounds like the other side is getting ready to deny liability and go after your insurance company. You need to get in touch with your own insurance company to make them aware of the pending claim, as well as hire an attorney to discuss what you need to do to pursue a claim on behalf of your son. Your insurance company may hire a lawyer to defend a claim, but not to pursue one in your own interest. The other side has already been working, so you need to be doing so as well.
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