Alaska Car Accident Lawsuits and Lawyers
Alaska is a beautiful, rugged, and sparsely populated state. Not many people want to make a state that is routinely frigid and whose climate is inhospitable their home, which explains why a 2013 census found that only 735,000 people lived in the state in cities like Nome, Juneau, and the capital of Anchorage. However, Alaska’s natural beauty is beyond compare, and for those looking for a challenge or some isolation, there is no better place to be than Alaska.
Even though its population is small, Alaska experiences a surprising number of fatal and injury-causing car accidents. Nonfatal accidents that result in injuries may be especially concerning because medical assistance is not always readily available. Compensation can be obtained by injured parties, but they must be willing and prepared to act swiftly in initiating an insurance claim or compensation lawsuit and diligent about pursuing the claim or lawsuit. Many car crash victims in Alaska and in other states find it easier (and more calming) to entrust their legal rights to an experienced and competent car crash lawyer.
Car Crashes in Alaska
The Alaska Department of Transportation maintains and publishes statistics that paint a picture of the problem of car accidents and crashes in Alaska. In 2011, the Department’s statistics showed that:
- There were 4,785 traffic-related injuries and 71 traffic-related fatalities;
- Approximately one person died in a traffic collision every 5.1 days;
- Surprisingly, alcohol and/or drug use was suspected in only about six percent of all crash incidents;
- Speed was a contributing factor in 37 percent of all fatal traffic in the state.
What is the impact of these numbers and data? These statistics show that not only are those who use Alaska’s roads in danger of being involved in an injury or fatal collision, but that at least one-third of those collisions can be prevented if drivers would only stop engaging in reckless or careless behavior like speeding or drinking and driving. When a driver chooses to behave or drive in a way that no other reasonable driver would, the driver becomes a “negligent” driver and may be held responsible for the harm he or she causes to others on the road. Additional caution would cure negligent drivers of their negligent or careless tendencies, and would help make the state’s roads safer for all.
Alaska is a “Fault-Based” Insurance State
If you live in Alaska and you want to drive, you must obtain a fault-based insurance policy that meets the state’s requirements. This insurance policy helps you, the driver, in the event that you carelessly cause a collision that results in injuries to the occupants of the other vehicle. A sample fault-based insurance plan would allow those injured by the insured driver’s own negligence to submit claims to the insurance company and seek compensation up to the policy limits of the motorist’s insurance policy. Before making payment, most at-fault insurance companies will want to assure themselves that their client was, in fact, responsible for causing the claimant’s injuries and losses.
A car crash lawsuit may also be able to be filed if the insurance company either will not pay the claim or will not fully compensate the victim. In a lawsuit, the victim will have to prove to the court that the at-fault driver did engage in reckless or careless behavior and that this behavior led to the collision that caused the victim’s injuries. The victim’s own negligence in causing the collision is not usually a determinative issue – even victims who are primarily responsible (over 50 percent) for the crash can still recover some compensation (but any compensation they obtain will be reduced in proportion to their degree of fault in the incident).
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Alaska?
If an injured motorist or passenger wishes to file a lawsuit for compensation, Alaska’s statute of limitations requires that such a lawsuit be filed within three years of the date of the crash. Most car crash lawsuits are filed well before the statute of limitations runs – hiring a knowledgeable attorney can help ensure this essential task on your road to recovering compensation is completed in a timely manner. Lawsuits for compensation arising out of a car crash that are filed beyond the three-year period will have their cases dismissed without ever being heard. (Note that while there may be some exceptions, in general, to the statute of limitations, many of them will not apply in car crash cases.)
Contact Your Alaska Car Crash Lawyer
Stern Law, PLLC can help give you peace of mind following a car crash by helping you better understand the recovery process and helping you take the first initial steps toward obtaining full and fair compensation. Contact Stern Law, PLLC by calling (844) 808-7529 for assistance with your claim.