What is the car accident statute of limitations in Alaska?
Every state has its own statute of limitations for car accident cases. These are state laws that limit the amount of time a prospective plaintiff has to go to court and get a lawsuit started after suffering some type of harm or loss, which includes an injury or vehicle damage caused by any kind of vehicle accident.
Alaska Statutes section .09.10.070 gives anyone who has been injured in a car accident -- that includes a driver, passenger, or pedestrian -- two years to get their lawsuit filed in the state’s civil court system.
The same two-year time limit also applies to vehicle damage claims after a car accident, as well as situations where a car accident causes someone’s death, and the family of the deceased person wants to file an Alaska wrongful death lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.
The two-year “clock” starts running on the date the injury occurs for purposes of Alaska’s statute of limitations -- that means the day the car accident itself occurred.
The next logical question is, what happens if you don’t get your lawsuit started before the deadline passes? If you try to file the initial complaint more than two years after the accident, you can count on the court refusing to consider it. That’s why it’s so crucial to understand the statute of limitations and abide by the time limit as it applies to your situation.
Keep in mind that not every car accident will lead to a lawsuit. But even if you think your situation will be resolved through the car insurance claim process, it’s a good idea to keep all of your options open. Leave yourself plenty of time to get a car accident lawsuit filed in Alaska’s court system, and talk to an experienced lawyer if you think you might be running up against the two-year deadline.
by: David Goguen, J.D.