Generally, being involved in a car accident is traumatizing. That’s why it’s important to know what to do after the car accident has happened. If you have been in a car accident in Alaska you may wonder about state laws that may require you or others to report the accident. This article will discuss the kinds of car accidents that need to be reported in Alaska and what happens if you do not report them.
Many factors come into play when determining whether a car accident has to be reported. In Alaska, the driver of a vehicle who was involved in an accident must report the crash if it resulted in either of the following:
- Bodily injury to, or death of, any person; this includes the driver, passenger, pedestrian, etc.
- Total property damage to an apparent extent of $2000 or more
If any of the above applies to your car accident, the driver is required to report the accident to the local police department, assuming the accident occurred within a municipality. It is also a good idea to contact a car accident personal injury lawyer. If the accident occurred in a rural area of Alaska that is not part of a municipality, then the driver should report the accident to the Department of Public Safety. It is a requirement under the Alaska law that the driver report the accident immediately by the ‘quickest means of communication’.
With respect to filing a written accident report in Alaska, the driver must file the report only if a reportable accident is not investigated by the police or other officer. If a reportable accident was not investigated, the driver must file a written accident report with the Alaska Department of Administration and with the local police department (if the accident occurred in a municipality) within ten days of the incident. The official accident report form can be obtained from the local police department, the Alaska Department of Public Safety or from the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles.
In the event that a driver cannot report an accident immediately due to physical incapability, the driver is exempt from making the report until their incapacity has passed. However, if the accident occurred with a passenger in the driver’s vehicle and that passenger is capable of making an accident report then the passenger is required to make a report. In the event that no passenger was in the vehicle and the driver involved in the accident is not the owner of the vehicle, then the owner of the vehicle is required to report the accident within five days of learning about the accident.
It should be noted that there are penalties associated with the failure to report a reportable accident in Alaska. Failure to report a reportable accident is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of up to $200, imprisonment of up to ninety days or both. In addition, the driver’s license will be suspended for up to thirty days.