The short answer to this question is “yes,” you should always contact the police following a car accident, according to the laws of your state.
In the state of Alaska, you must immediately contact law enforcement when you have been in a car accident which causes injury to any person involved in the accident or when there is property damage which appears to be in excess of $2,000.
If the Alaska car accident occurs outside the city limits, contact the Alaska Department of Public Safety. Some people wonder whether they still must file a police report once the accident is reported to law enforcement.
When Damages are Present
A report must be filed when there are any injuries or damages to property that exceeds $2,000. Each driver must send their report to the Department of Administration and the local police department within ten days, but if law enforcement arrives on the scene to investigate the accident, the officer will file the report and you will no longer need to do so. If your injuries prevent you from contacting the police, your passenger—if there is one—can report the accident.
Even if you do not own the car you are driving, you are still responsible for notifying the police unless you are injured severely and are physically unable to do so, then the owner of the car must file a report within 5 days.
Filing a Police Report Could Help You
One of the primary reasons for filing a police report is that the other driver—particularly if he or she is responsible for the accident—may be uninsured or underinsured or could have been driving under the influence. In these cases, the at-fault driver may not want you to call the police because he or she does not want to get into trouble for failing to have insurance or being impaired.
Calling the police can provide emergency medical care, protect the scene of the accident and investigate and document the potential cause of the accident. If you are able, make sure you get the officer’s name and badge number, as well as his or her agency, so you can obtain a copy of the accident report.
How Do I Know If I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
What Should I Do Next?
Immediately following an accident, there are several things you should do. Find out what those things are and don’t be caught off guard when it happens to you. Contact one of our attorneys to set up a FREE consultation.