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  • how and what can I submit

    I was told I can add to a police report. If I have pictures that were taken, can they be added? Note the pictures tell a completely different story than what officer has diagramed. His notes of skid marks are clearly not where he put them and not even angled in the direction he put them. He did not put in other sets of skid marks that are clearly evident. He even diagramed the intersections wrong.

    He did not include my statement other then what would hurt me. He didn't include my version of the accident that is supported by the skid marks he failed to include in his report. The ones included are drawn to show me somewhere else, and the actual place those were would have been impossible to have been the other car as they come from the wrong direction as clearly seen veering to the other side and are only 8 feet from my stop line which would have me driving almost 90 degrees into oncoming traffic. He put them about 20 feet from my stop line which would show me making a short turn and the other driver trying to go around.

    Can I add to report?

    What can I add?

    How do I request it?

    Will I hurt my court case showing these pictures early or am I better just showing to court with proof on inaccuracy?

    Much appreciation for you all. PS my father is a deceased officer who had 25 years on the job in a neighboring state. I wish I could get an answer in my prayers.
    Last edited by thisone; 09-17-2008, 11:35 PM. Reason: thanks

  • #2
    Practices will vary from agency to agency. In my department we would take whatever you submitted and attach a cover sheet to it saying something like:

    At 3:45 PM on September 17, 2008, driver Thisone submitted the attached document in rebuttal to the accident report prepared by Officer Jones.

    We would then clip your rebuttal to the accident report and that would be the end of it.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


    • #3
      What you are talking about probably would not be accepted to add to the report. You have to give these documents to your attorney or present them when you contest your citation.


      • #4
        Just to confirm, you are talking about a disputed traffic accident report and not a crime report - is that correct?
        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


        • #5
          Yes disputed traffic accident report. Pictures clearly are different then sketch on police report. Majorly.


          • #6
            For us a supplemental report with your statement would be attached to the report.


            • #7
              Originally posted by thisone View Post
              Yes disputed traffic accident report. Pictures clearly are different then sketch on police report. Majorly.
              Then for an accident, we would just attach your rebuttal and that would be the end of it.

              FWIW, unless a felony, hit and run or DUI is involved, we don't pursue charges against the at fault driver. We simply indicate the primary collision factor (unsafe speed, failure to yield right of way, red light violation, etc.) and file the report.

              It seems like the only purpose of our report is to satisfy DMV reporting requirements, identify trends in accident causes and provide data for the insurance companies. And respective of our findings, the insurance companies sometimes come up with their own, different conclusions with respect to settlements, anyway.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


              • #8
                I have had this question come up before-

                You are welcome to do a personal investigation or hire a private accident reconstructionist. Then you or the reconstructionist can write your own report and submit it to the insurance companies involved- or you can appear in court to defend yourself from any violations.

                You could raise your concerns with the officers agency. In one instance I had a family member point out that the crash diagram I had made was incorrect (a computer user -me- error as we had just gone to drawing our diagrams on the computer). I went back and corrected the diagram - which did not really effect the conclusion of the investigation.

                I had never heard of (until I read it in the post above) any agency attaching an unofficial document to an official investigation.
                ---Cut the red wire---


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KAA951 View Post
                  I had never heard of (until I read it in the post above) any agency attaching an unofficial document to an official investigation.
                  It's not that unusual in my neck of the woods, but a lot depends on circumstances. As I indicated before, in the case of a simple traffic accident report where no DUI, hit and run or felony is involved, we no longer prosecute the at fault driver for whatever violation may have been committed. So in essence, ours is a go nowhere, do nothing report that is written mainly for the insurance company. With this in mind, if a driver disagrees with our findings it's not going to crush our egos to attach their rebuttal to the crash report, because the whole thing is a meaningless exercise in futility anyway. That is not to say we didn't do the best job we could. I just means that no matter how hard we try, nothing will come of it.

                  OTOH, if someone disagrees with a crime report, they will be directed to their attorney, unless they are correcting an error in their statement. Then we will write a supplemental report including the correction. Usually we will summarize their correction, just like we summarize statements in an initial report. However, if the party writes out an articulate correction statement, we will just do a cover sheet and attach their corrected statement.
                  Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


                  • #10
                    Nothing but the facts

                    I am including a statement that pictures taken immediately after the incident are attached.

                    Should I add that there are a number of differences vs. the officers diagram and proceed to list them?

                    Should I say anything regarding point of collision as the pictures clearly show a major mistake of the officers assessment. He based pt of collision on an end of a skidmark that he drew incorrectly which clearly had nothing to do with incident as it angles from the other directin of traffic and is in a much different location. It would also mean that I would have turned my vehicle 80 degrees into the furthest left of oncoming traffic and not moving forward at all which is not what was said and very illogical. I don't think it is my interest to tell them what they could clearly see looking on their own.

                    I know officer is just doing his job and I don't want to **** anyone off but the pictures show clearly a different scenario that I had told officer at the scene and was supported by 2 witnesses whose names weren't included in the police report??? I couldn't believe the officer did not get their names as they were on my side and a few feet from the incident.

                    No lawyers. I have found they don't know anything more than I can find out and just put everything off and want to plea and get it over with. And then there's the money which I can't afford now that I had to get a replacement car.

                    As always I appreciate all your help.


                    • #11
                      I guess the big question is, what are you trying to accomplish?

                      If you are running for public office and believe having an at fault traffic accident will somehow damage your public image, put down whatever is needed to salvage things.

                      If you have been charged with a traffic violation as a result of the accident and wish to defend yourself in court, remember that anything you put down now will be seen by the officer and the prosecutor when they review the matter prior to trial. This will afford them advance notice of your defense and an opportunity to blow holes in it.

                      If you are worried about your insurance going up because you were found at fault, this is something you need to submit to your insurance company.

                      Remember, unless the officer was there to see what happened, all he can do is try to piece things together based on what each driver tells him, what witnesses tell him, and what physical evidence at the scene suggests. Nowhere does the report imply that the findings are fact. In our reports the very last entry is labeled "Opinions and Conclusions" and they are just that, opinions and conclusions based on the information provided.

                      Contrary to what you see on TV, law enforcement does not have the time or resources to investigate fender benders to such a degree that we know exactly what happened every time. No matter what is put down, someone is going to disagree with it. That's why most agencies just attach a driver's rebuttal to the report and file it away. For that matter, state law here in California does not even require the police to investigate traffic accidents unless someone is injured or killed and there are many agencies who will not take a report on non-injury accidents.

                      If you have been cited because of the accident, you need to battle it out in court. Don't worry about the report or the diagram. Look at the violation. Did you turn in front of someone and get hit? No matter how bad the diagram is, it would probably be a good failure to yield violation. Did you rear end someone? No matter how bad the diagram, it would still be an unsafe speed violation in my state.

                      If it is an insurance issue, you need to work with your insurance company. Again, they play by their own rules and often come to their own conclusions regarding liability that are totally contrary to the findings in a police report.
                      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


                      • #12
                        I just saw your other post clarifying how the accident happened. You turned left in front of someone and got centerpunched. In my state this would be classified as a failure to yield right of way to oncoming traffic. It doesn't matter how poorly the diagram was done, you are the primary collision factor here based on your own admissions.

                        If you are interested in skid mark interpretation take a look at http://www.harristechnical.com/articles/skidmarks.pdf 70 feet does not look excessive for 45 MPH. But even if it was greater and they were speeding, your actions would still be the primary collision factor.

                        You need to let this one go and move on.
                        Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere


                        • #13
                          careless driving

                          Purpose is to properly reflect scene. I'm fighting ticket for careless driving and the facts prove officer made an incorrect assessment of the scene. He claimed careless saying this skid mark was the point of collision when I and my witnesses who the cop failed to get information on agreed that it happened where I said.

                          Where it actually happened was outside of officers jurisdiction. It also would not support a careless driving citation. The actual factual marks support what I and my witnesses said.

                          The officer failed to include my witnesses statements, information and even the fact they were at the scene which as they were working on the side of the road is clearly relevant and that they agreed with me. Note the officer told me to stay in my vehicle and he would get all the information from everyone at the scene. Well everyone at the scene except for those who could back my claim was a definite neglect on the officers part.

                          I could have accepted an improper turn but was given a careless driving ticket which is a greater offense and has the potential for 15 days in jail.

                          I did what most people would have done and the fact of the turn I took with the distance of the other party in and of itself was reasonable and what people do daily and the other party had the ability to prevent. Every day people drive like I did and it does not result in an accident normally. An accident shouldn't have happened. The facts do not support careless driving.

                          Additionally the facts would put at least a piece of the fault with the other driver in case of a later suit. They claimed head and neck injuries at the scene ....

                          I do not believe a citation for careless driving was warranted. It required me to appear in court.

                          I am very upset about this whole thing.

                          Sorry that I keep asking. I don't expect anything than some help in making the proper filings.

                          So should I just give the pictures so they are on record or should I specify the differnes and/or explain that the facts don't support officer diagram? Or just wait for my day in court and submit them as evidence?

                          I very much appreciate all of your efforts and assistance.
                          Last edited by thisone; 09-19-2008, 10:59 AM.


                          • #14
                            I suggest that you carefully review L-1's replies. They contain a wealth of information. You have a right to contest any citation which you were issued,and court is the proper forum for that. It's really an exercise in futility for you to come to the forum and ask us essentially, to second guess the Officer who investigated the accident. You might also consider the option of retaining an attorney to defend you in court. This can be a rather expensive option, but one you may wish to consider, if you feel that strongly about contesting the Officer's findings.


                            • #15
                              thank you

                              I will argue it in court and not send pictures based on your advice.

                              The pictures show the skid mark the officer relied on came from a different direction and he used that to decide pt. of impact instead of other skid marks and my witnesses statements. I'm just trying to make sure that the facts fit the allegations as the pictures show a completely different scene.

                              I don't want to embarass anyone in court and the pictures clearly show the officer really didn't pay attention to what he drew and what he stated and that was a reliance on a specific skid mark.

                              I don't want to embarass anyone and would prefer that he have a chance to correct the report based on pure facts and not allegations.

                              Thanks again.


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