I have talked to bicyclists across the state who have been involved in some type of a crash. The police have come to the scene and unfortunately many of them walk up to the scene with a preconceived idea that this was caused by the cyclist and they just want to find out how it happened. This leads to police reports that are done either mistakenly or they gather the right facts but draw the wrong conclusions.
When a cyclist or a witness to a crash is on the scene and they encounter an officer who clearly either doesn’t “get it” or doesn’t want to “get it”, how should someone handle that situation? In my view, addressing the officer on the scene, once it’s clear he is not going to do the right thing, the simplest thing is to walk away and don’t let the situation escalate. Getting in an officer’s face, raising your voice, or trying to convince them that they are wrong is typically not going to change their mind. Remember that the police have a ticket book and they have the power to arrest. And, many of them don’t hesitate to use it.
If the officer did not include the cyclist’s statement in the crash report, clearly they can submit that to them in writing later and ask that it be included in the report. But if the officer took the statement of the cyclist but got the conclusion wrong, in other words they have recorded what happened but they drew the wrong conclusion as to who might have caused the accident, they can try and take it up with their superior but in my experience it is not likely that they are going to change that report.
In my view, this is the type of situation clearly requires a bicycle accident lawyer who understands what to do when the cops get it wrong.