A Miami police officer pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for giving “pirate” tow-truck operators information about crashes, according to recent reports. The 42-year-old officer admitted that he misused his position to take a total of $1,800 and a cell phone from towing businesses between April and June 2013. While a conviction for such an offense carries a prison term of up to 20 years, the officer is expected to receive a much lighter punishment due to the fact that he cooperated with prosecutors.
The officer was one of three Miami police and two public-service aide workers who were caught up in a sting operation by the FBI investigating allegedly bribery between law enforcement and towing companies. So far, 12 defendants have been convicted.
Can I Trust Those Who Investigate My Accident?
Besides the obvious fact that bribery on the part of law enforcement is a terrible breach of ethics, it also raises the question of how reliable accident reports may be. If a police officer can be bribed into giving certain towing companies business after a crash, could officers be persuaded to change the facts on an accident report?
While there is no way to know for certain if bribery plays a role in a significant number of incorrect police reports, what is clear is that police reports on accidents can be in error. Accident reports could be deficient due to honest mistakes or to deliberate errors, but either way they punish the victims who should be able to collect compensation for their injuries.
As soon as possible, obtain the accident report for your crash and review it carefully. If you find any facts to be in error, even if they are only small errors, be sure to notify the officer and department who filled out the report. Most departments have a procedure for correcting accident reports in the case of an accidental error.
If the officer or department refuses to correct the accident report, you may need to contact a personal injury attorney like those at Bernstein & Maryanoff in Miami for help. These attorneys may be able to connect you with an accident reconstruction expert who can point out errors in accident reports. They can also represent you in your efforts to collect compensation for your injuries. Call today for a free consultation about your car accident injury case.