After an accident, it is important to gather and retain as much evidence as possible. Photos from the scene, information from witnesses, and more can help car crash victims obtain the compensation they need to recover as fully as possible. Whether victims are attempting to settle their claim on their own or they seek help from an attorney, it is necessary to be ready with as many supported facts as you can find to prove that the other driver should be held responsible for your injuries.
One important document to include is the official police report. The police report is filed by the officer who responds to the crash, and it helps to explain what happened. It is typically fairly easy to obtain these reports, which can be very effective during your negotiations and legal proceedings.
What Information Is Included in an Alaska Police Report?
A police report is valuable because it is, ideally, a neutral version of events. The police officer is a disinterested third party who provides a summary of the accident. It can include:
- Date, time, and location of the crash
- Names and contact information of those involved
- Names and contact information of witnesses
- Description of the weather and road conditions at the time of the accident
- Statements from those involved and witnesses
- Diagram of the accident
- Citations or traffic violations issued
- The opinion of the officer as to who was at fault
While this information may be available from other sources as well, the police report provides credibility to your statements and offers fairly clear proof of fault.
How to Obtain a Police Report in Alaska
Typically, it is fairly easy to obtain a copy of this report. In Alaska, citizens involved in a crash have a few options. It is likely there will be a fee for the report (the amount will depend on the complexity of the case and the records requested), but it can be done in the following ways:
- At the police station where the report was filed. The reports are available to obtain in person at the police station, and those involved can ask for a copy.
- By mail. A Citizens Records Request form can be found online, filled out, and mailed into the police department. The report would then be mailed to the address you provide.
- Online. The city of Anchorage and many cities across the state offer an online request form, where accident victims can request the report with just a few clicks.
In some cases, it may be more difficult to find a copy of the police report for your accident. If you are having trouble, it’s important to consult an attorney who can help you get the documents you need. Those involved in a crash have a right to a copy of this report, and the information it contains can be a valuable tool in your case.
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a car accident in Alaska, attorney Ben Crittenden can help ensure that your rights are protected—now and in the future. Call his Anchorage office today to speak directly with Ben about your case or request a free copy of his book, A Guide to Car Accident Claims in Alaska, to learn more about what to expect.