Although it does not seem too difficult, driving for many is not as easy as it should be. Indeed, it is now more difficult and dangerous because drivers create self-imposed distractions such as the beautiful Alaskan landscape, cell phones, radios and more. As a result of such negligent acts, “accidents” happen and people get hurt. Lawyers In Anchorage Alaska know how to help those who are hurt in these accidents obtain the highest level of compensation for their injuries.
While car accidents are the most common type of personal injury case, Lawyers In Anchorage Alaska are also able to aid plaintiffs hurt in slip-and-falls, trip-and-falls, motorcycle accidents, train accidents, aircraft accidents, police brutality, defamation and more.
Alaska’s “statute of limitations” requires a lawsuit arising out of any of these personal injury cases to be filed within two years of the date of the incident (or at least the date you discovered the injury), or the case is almost surely to be thrown out, preventing you from ever receiving compensation for your injuries.
The lawsuit will be started when you (or your attorney, on your behalf), files a “complaint.” This document will list basic facts surrounding what happened and allege that those facts fit within the legal definition of “negligence” committed by the defendants. If a plaintiff cannot prove the negligence of the defendants, no award may be obtained.
Following service of the complaint (usually by personal delivery) on the defendants, they will be afforded a certain amount of time to serve an “answer.” In this document, defendants will typically deny the allegations. Sometimes they will interpose “counterclaims” by which they will allege that they are owed monies and not the plaintiff.
Once the pleadings are exchanged (made up of the complaint and answer), the parties will begin “discovery,” during which documents and information are exchanged between the parties through written questions, demands and depositions, where parties are questioned by the other parties’ lawyers.
At the conclusion of this discovery process, the parties will often file “motions.” These papers ask the court to narrow down issues, often through the bringing of a “summary judgment” motion, seeking a ruling in their favor without having to go to trial. Since the burden of prevailing on a summary judgment motion is extremely high, it is highly unlikely that they will be granted.
Unless summary judgment was granted, the parties will next go to trial. During this phase, attorneys question the parties and make opening and closing statements in front of a judge or jury, while presenting witnesses and expert witnesses in an effort to have “independent” testimony as to why their client should prevail.
Notwithstanding all of this work, 95% of cases settle, where the parties negotiate a resolution to the case so as to avoid risking trial.
If a case goes to trial, a plaintiff will have to prove both liability (by demonstrating that the defendant failed to act in a reasonable manner) and damages (the injuries were sustained). Without proving liability, you lose. Without proving damages, you lose. Without proving that the liability caused the damages, you lose.
This long process (often more than two years) requires certain expertise that lawyers in Anchorage Alaska are equipped with. There are many mistakes that can be made along the way, which is preventable by using experienced and competent representatives to help advocate on your behalf.