Personal Injury

Things TO DO if you have been injured by someone’s carelessness:


Seek justice for your personal injury claim

If someone else has injured you, you may have important legal rights including the right to be paid money. Our entire civil justice system (“civil” cases are everything that is not criminal cases) is based on the right to “compensation” – that is, to be made whole. My name is Eric Derleth and I have the education, training and experience to handle even the most challenging personal injury trials. I can help you understand the facts and law in your case so you can properly evaluate any settlement offers. It is important to work closely with your lawyer so you know how to evaluate whether the rewards outweigh the risks of going to trial – when they do not, you will know that a settlement is in your best interests.

Personal injury and compensation

Juries have been poisoned to believe that anyone who sues for a personal injury is harming them personally – and society as a whole – through higher insurance costs, higher costs of medical care, and by decreasing the quality and availability of care. So, you have to hire an attorney who recognizes that these common juror prejudices can’t be changed, but instead knows how to use these biases in your favor to help try to ensure you get full compensation for your injuries.
Indeed, if you are not made whole by the jury, which means you get any less money than that to which you are entitled, you have not really been compensated. If you are not fully compensated for you loss, justice has not been done. Your trial lawyer needs to understand the difference and how to use that to your advantage in both trial and settlement negotiations.

Take action now!

It is extremely important to remember if you’ve been injured by someone that you generally only have 2 years to sue them in Alaska. The worst thing to do is just wait until those 2 years have nearly gone by before meeting personally with a lawyer. A good trial lawyer may not agree to sue on your behalf until after he or she has had your case reviewed by an independent expert. Having an expert review the case could take several months because you have to get copies of all of your doctors’ records, physical therapy records, hospital records, chiropractic records, x-rays and other films. 

This all takes time to gather, even before the expert looks at the case. If you bring your case to a lawyer at the last minute, with no work done on it yet, it might be his or her ethical responsibility to decline your case based on the circumstances. Your spouse or other loved ones may also have a right to compensation because of your injuries. For instance, if you were badly injured by someone and your loved one witnessed the injury, they may also be entitled to money compensation. Or, perhaps you are not able to contribute to your household like you did before your injury – your loss of services to the family can be sought through a civil lawsuit.

Things TO DO if you have been injured by someone’s carelessness:

Work hard to recover from your injuries – nothing is more important than your health.

Meet personally with a skilled trial lawyer who emphasizes personal injury cases in his or her practice as soon as possible.

Do what your doctors advise you to do, but feel free to ask questions of your providers about your condition, your prognosis (future health), and reasonable alternatives.

Keep track of all of your out-of-pocket expenses because of the injury, including any lost wages; and,

Return to work as soon as you are able and cleared by your doctor.

Things NOT TO DO if you have been injured by someone’s carelessness:

Do not talk give any interviews to the insurance company or any insurance adjusters until you have consulted personally with a trial lawyer.

Do not become obsessed with your injuries and your situation – too often that becomes all the injured person thinks about and this is unhealthy.

Do not skip doctor’s appointments or physical therapy because this can be used to show that you do not care about your health, but just want to be paid.


Do not leave out parts of your medical history because you think it might help because this can be used against you to show you do not care about your health, which makes juries suspicious (and you can imagine what direction that would push their verdict)

Do not omit or lie about pre-existing injuries to your doctors for obvious reasons.

Do not settle your case without meeting personally with a trial lawyer with experience in personal injury cases.



I take personal injury cases on what is known as a “contingency fee” basis – you do not pay any lawyer’s fees unless you win your case. In order to save you time bouncing from lawyer to lawyer, I will give you my honest initial assessment of your case based on the facts you present. Since I knows you are not looking for a cheerleader, but instead a frank evaluation of your personal injury case, I will not just refer you to someone else because I’m “busy” when in fact I believe that your case has no merit. Beware the lawyer that tells you how great your personal injury case is, but graciously defers to take it on because of how busy s/he is at the current time. 


Believe this: If your case is strong and you have a real chance of a substantial recovery, that lawyer would magically make time to help you out.

If you want me to take a look at your personal injury case, please fill out the confidential intake form. All information you share with my office will be kept private and not shared with anyone without your express permission. If a referral to a different law office or other professional is deemed appropriate, one may be made at that time.


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