What to do if my wife was involved in a car accident that totaled her truck but the officer at the scene filed a false report because the other driver was a friend of his?

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What to do if my wife was involved in a car accident that totaled her truck but the officer at the scene filed a false report because the other driver was a friend of his?

The other driver cut her off making an illegal right hand turn from the left turn lane. Damage was to his front quarter panel and door. However, the policeman knew the other party and filed a false report accusing my wife of “following too closely” which is not possible, given the physical evidence. He refused to take her statement at the scene. Insurance disagreed with the police report and found my wife innocent and the other party at fault. Court case is coming up. If she is exonerated in court (as we expect), can we sue both parties for filing a false report? If so, what should we sue for? Pain and suffering? We plan to file a formal complaint against the officer.

Asked on May 12, 2014 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You could attempt to sue the officer and municipality for his act in filing a false report: you would sue for malicious prosecution and violation of your due process rights. You cannot recover  "pain and suffering" though--that is almost always only when there is a physical injury. You could possibly get any additional legal costs the officer's actions caused you to incur, plus *possibly* some amount of punitive damages--it may not be economically worth suing, given that suing a policeman and the city can be expensive. You cannot sue the other driver unless perhaps you can show  he knowingly conspired with the officer--the mere fact he benefitted from the officer's wrongdoing is not enough to make him liable.


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