I was involved in a traffic collision a year ago with a taxi company. Both the other driver and I claim our lights were both green. Police officer told me that this is a "he said she said" situation because there is no evidence or witnesses. However, his police report labels me at fault with a red light vehicle code violation. I believe he is basing this off of the fact that in my testimony he quoted me as saying I was "pretty sure" the light was green (my mistake for not saying absolutely sure at the time). Now the taxi company is suing me in small claims court for $5000 on the basis of the police report faulting me. I did not receive any citation from the officer that night and I have not received any point from the DMV on my driving record.
Laws differ state by state, so it would be important to consult a local attorney regarding this issue. That being said, the department of public safety may have an avenue to submit supplemental information online. Moreover, if you disagree with the police report, you may be able to file a dispute concerning the relevant police report.
As stated by the previous attorney, laws differ in different states. In NY, the Officer's conclusion is NOT evidence as the Officer did not witness the accident. However, your statement to the officer IS evidence and while it is a he said/she said" credibility issue in court, if your statement reads, "I am pretty sure" the light was green against the other driver's statement, "the light was green", the issue of credibility may NOT be in your favor. There are always procedures in place to amend a police report, however, if the Officer accurately reported your statement, you would not be able to amend it. It is a good idea to speak to a local attorney in your area for more information on the applicable laws.
Based on your post, it is a case of credibility and the end result will primarily rest on which driver is believed over the other. Unless the police officer was an eyewitness, his conclusion in the report should not be admissible to prove who went through a red light, but any adverse statement you made to the officer could be admissible as "statement against interest". I would argue that the court should not accept the police report into evidence if the police officer is not brought in as a witness, because you are being denied the right of cross examination. However, as laws vary from State to State, you should consult with a CA attorney on these points. You should also turn the suit papers over to your insurance carrier covering the car at the time of the accident. It will defend you and should pay any verdict against you if you are found liable.
The police report is inadmissible for any purpose in court in California pursuant to the Vehicle Code. Unfortunately, some Small Claims judges view all hearsay as admissible. If you had insurance they should help you, if not, it is your word versus their driver.
Good luck. Any questions, just ask.
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