Someone involved in a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall or other incident where injuries are sustained should consult an Attorney Anchorage Ak that is familiar with Alaska’s relevant laws, primarily located in Alaska Statutes Title 28 (Motor Vehicles) and Title 9 (Code of Civil Procedure).
These lawyers will know—and inform you—that Alaska Statute §09.10.070 affords you only two (2) years from the date you are injured to file your lawsuit or, in most cases, you will be forever barred from recovering any money. While it is possible, in certain limited circumstances, to obtain additional time from the Court if you “discovered” your injury at a later date, it is very difficult to overcome this burden, making it unlikely that such an extension will be granted. For this reason, if you are involved in any incident where you may have suffered an injury, it is vital to seek immediate medical evaluation and treatment, as well as advice from an Attorney Anchorage Ak.
Skilled lawyers in Anchorage are also aware that Alaska uses a comparative fault analysis to award damages. In practical terms, a judge or jury may reduce any award based on any fault you are judged to have in causing the accident. Therefore, even if you prove $500,000.00 worth of injuries to yourself, if a judge or jury decides that you were half (50%) responsible for the occurrence, you only receive a payment $250,000.00. This tremendous reduction is something a competent attorney can help prevent—or at least reduce.
A qualified attorney will also let you know that awards for physical injuries may be had for (i) economic damages (such as lost wages, medical bills and the like), (ii) non-economic damages (pain and suffering), (iii) emotional distress, (iv) wrongful death, and (v) loss of consortium (awarded to the injured person’s partner due to the inability of the injured party to perform as they did before). While the first category is typically provable through documentary evidence, the others are more subjective and for a judge or jury to decide through the presentation of facts to a judge or jury in such a way that promotes an increased award to an injured person.
Also important is that Alaska set limits on the amount of monies that may be awarded to an injured person in certain types of cases. In medical malpractice cases only, damages for pain and suffering are capped at the greater of $400,000, or $8,000 for each year a person is expected to remain alive. There is also a $1,000,000 cap for cases of disfigurement or severe physical impairment. In no case can a physically injured person collect punitive damages in personal injury cases.
No matter how minor you believe it to be, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney in Anchorage before you even speak with any representative of an insurance company. Even without retaining an attorney, the mere seeking of advice from a lawyer familiar with injury cases and the local laws and procedures can often help you avoid torpedoing your claim, no matter how strong it may be.