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Alaska Car Accident Settlement Process and Timeline

Given Alaska's vast amount of land and low population density, it may seem like auto accidents should be a rarity. Alas, that's not the case. Icy roads from Anchorage to Juneau can make driving in Alaska a perilous trek. It's best to be prepared by knowing the finer points of car accident settlements.

Injuries often occur during car crashes—the kind that can affect your life. If someone else is liable for your injuries and medical expenses, you'll want to know how to gain compensation and how long it will take. Being aware of the laws means you'll know what to expect.

Personal injury law is governed by state law, which varies nationwide. Alaska law also addresses property damage. While auto insurance often covers most of the liability, Alaska allows you to sue for a personal injury case.

In this article, we'll examine the Alaska car accident settlement process and timeline. We'll touch on police reports and insurance laws before we discuss negotiating with the insurance company and settlements.

Alaska Car Accidents and Reports

Things can be confusing in the aftermath of a car crash, but you should try to take a few basic steps. Check on the health and safety of all involved, including yourself. Call 911 and let the operator know about any injuries.

Cooperate with the responding officer. Be truthful when supplying answers for the police report but avoid claiming fault. Also, try to get any witness statements.

Alert your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Get a copy of the police report from the municipality once it's available.

If you're in a location where no police are close enough to respond, and the accident caused either an injury, a death, or over $2000 in damages, you're required to file an online report with the Alaska Highway Safety Office within 10 days.

For a more in-depth explanation of the accident report process, take a look at FindLaw's Alaska Car Accident Report Basics article.

Alaska Car Insurance Laws

Alaska's mandatory minimum insurance requirements include liability coverage of:

  • $50,000 for the injury or death of one person (yourself, a passenger, another driver, a pedestrian, etc.)
  • $100,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

Failure to have adequate insurance can result in your driver's license being suspended and your vehicle impounded.

Determining Fault in Alaska

Alaska is an at-fault state when it comes to auto accidents. This means that the insurance company of the person deemed responsible for the accident pays for the damage to other vehicles and property.

Time Limits for Filing a Car Accident Lawsuit in Alaska

Like all states, Alaska has a time limit called a statute of limitations for filing a legal case. You have two years from the date of the crash to file your initial lawsuit. This limit applies even if you have a pending claim with an insurance company. So, consider speaking to a personal injury lawyer to ensure you don't miss your window of opportunity.

Alaska Settlement Process and Timeline

The chart below details the timeline you can expect to encounter after you've filed with the insurance company and started the claims process. We've also added the pertinent laws in case you wish to do further research.

Relevant Alaska Automotive Statutes

Alaska Statutes Title 28: Motor Vehicles

Alaska Statutes Title 9: Code of Civil Procedure




  • After you have notified your insurance company about the accident, they will assign a claims adjuster to your case.

  • The adjuster will ask follow-up questions about your injuries or any losses that you suffered resulting from the accident and the circumstances of the accident.

  • The investigation process can include contacting any witnesses who were at the scene and requesting to review medical records to determine whether your injuries are truly from the accident or some other event.

Initial Settlement Offer

  • After the adjuster has finished the investigation and has a handle on what happened, they’ll make an initial settlement offer to compensate you for the losses that you experienced due to the accident.

  • Although offers do vary, they’re often on the low side and not sufficient to cover your losses.


  • After you've received the initial settlement offer and either you don't accept it or your claim is denied, you’ll enter the negotiations phase.

  • You’ll present evidence to show proof of your injuries and losses, and you’ll argue that your case is worth more than the offer presented.

  • It’s wise to have the assistance of a personal injury attorney to help with the negotiations.

Car Accident Settlements in Alaska

There's a good chance that if you've filed a lawsuit to recover damages, your case will be settled before it ever gets to court. Most cases do, as trials are a big risk that can gobble up money and time.

With a settlement, a party can get a guaranteed payout and not have to worry about a courtroom battle. The settlement wraps up the case with an agreed-on remedy, at which time the parties drop the pending lawsuit.

Alaska doesn’t require mandatory settlement conferences before going to trial. But it's rare when there's no attempt at a pre-trial compromise, successful or not. If you've decided to pursue remedy in civil court, it almost goes without saying that you should get help from a personal injury attorney.

Involved in an Alaska Car Accident Settlement Process? Speak With an Attorney

Settlements are almost always binding and final, so it's a good idea to speak with an attorney before signing anything. If not, you could end up with an insufficient amount to cover your injuries or even waive claims altogether.

An experienced Alaska car accident attorney can help you avoid these grave mistakes. They can offer you legal advice on whether you should pursue a personal injury claim and make sure you get your medical bills covered. With a car accident lawyer in your corner, you stand a great chance of receiving a fair settlement.

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