What to Do After a Car Accident in Alaska?

What to do after a car accident being pondered by a woman on the phone.

Being injured in a car accident can be a frightening and terrible experience. You may be facing serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time out of work. Overcoming the challenges of even a minor vehicle accident may seem daunting — and you may not know what to do after a car accident. No matter how your accident happened, if you were hurt due to someone else's careless actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. However, there are a few essential steps you should take to ensure your rights are protected and you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

After a car accident, many motorists are understandably shaken up. But after ensuring that you and everyone else involved in the collision are okay, there are a few steps you should take to preserve your claim. At the scene of the accident, it’s vital to do the following:

  • Call the emergency helpline — Immediately call the emergency helpline and report the auto accident to the police department.
  • Record data — Record the name, phone number, driver's license number, insurance information, and license plate information of every driver involved in the accident.
  • Document witnesses — Obtain the names and phone numbers for any witnesses who saw the car crash.
  • Seek prompt medical treatment — You should seek medical attention as soon after the accident as possible, regardless of whether you think you’ve been injured. To recover compensation in a personal injury action, you must prove the injury you sustained was caused by the accident, which can be difficult if you delay getting medical treatment.
  • Track your monetary losses — Because you will be requesting compensation for all the expenses incurred as a result of the accident, and your lost wages, you will need to provide receipts, medical bills, pay stubs, and other documentation to support your claim.
  • Contact a car accident attorney — The sooner you involve an attorney, the sooner they can get to work gathering evidence and building your injury claim.

When it comes to receiving medical treatment, do not turn down help. Even if you don’t know what to do after a car accident, you should be evaluated by medical professionals or at an emergency room. Most people do not feel the full impact of the crash immediately, and many injuries can sometimes take a week or more to appear. By seeking prompt medical attention, a doctor can rule out any serious internal injuries and put you on a course of treatment to help ensure you get better as quickly as possible.

Importantly, when police officers arrive at the scene, they will ask you questions about the accident. When answering them, you need to remain calm and provide truthful answers. It is helpful to be brief, honest, and straightforward. However, you should avoid making incriminating statements that could later be used against you or admitting fault for the accident. That’s very important and lesser known when it comes to what to do after a car accident.

Contact Legal Counsel Before Calling the Insurance Company

As you ponder what to do after a car accident, and the topic of your insurance provider comes up, know this. Before you talk to the insurance company adjuster, you should protect your rights by consulting an experienced car accident attorney. It’s never advisable to handle your case on your own as there are many ways you could inadvertently harm your case. Obtaining the representation of a car accident attorney who has a deep understanding of personal injury cases and the local laws can often help you avoid unintentionally weakening your claim. In addition, once you are represented by counsel, the insurance company cannot contact you directly — they must go through your attorney.

A car accident attorney can also help answer some of the legal questions you may have had about what to do after a car accident and how medical treatment can impact your claim. If you were injured in a car accident, it is important to seek the medical treatment and follow-up care you need immediately. You should not worry about saving the insurance company money or hope that you will get better on your own. Critically, Alaska is an at-fault state, meaning the insurance company of the driver who was at fault for the accident is responsible for paying your medical bills (but only up to the maximum amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance limit).

But not only does getting the proper medical treatment you need give you the best chance of getting well, it also serves as documentation of your economic losses and pain and suffering. Ultimately, it can be key evidence in establishing the value of your case.

Compensation for Car Accident Victims in Alaska

Every car accident case is unique, and the losses each victim suffers will be different. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be eligible to seek to recover both your economic and non-economic damages. These can include a wide range of monetary and non monetary losses, such as:

  • Existing medical debts
  • Future hospital bills and health care expenses
  • Temporary or permanent disability accommodations
  • Past and future lost wages
  • Vehicle repairs or replacement
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death damages
  • Punitive damages

It’s never a good idea to accept the first settlement offered to you by the insurance company. Usually, an adjuster will offer you a small amount early on in your case. However, if you settle too soon, you might do so before you know the full extent of your harms and losses. A car accident lawyer can best evaluate your case, assess its value, and work to obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled under the law.

Understanding Alaska's Rule of Pure Comparative Fault

Alaska applies the doctrine known as comparative negligence in car accident cases. This means that when someone is injured by another's negligence, the injured party's own amount of fault would decrease the amount of any damages awarded, in proportion with their percentage of blame.

For instance, if you are 25% at fault for the crash, then the jury may award you 75% of the damages sought in the claim. In this case, if you sued for $100,000 and the jury deemed this amount appropriate, you would be awarded $75,000 in damages. The amount you are awarded will depend upon all of the circumstances surrounding the crash, so it’s crucial to gather as much evidence as possible to present to your attorney so they can maximize your compensation.

Consult with an Experienced Alaska Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, you may be entitled to monetary recovery for the losses you suffered. The Trial Guy is committed to providing high-quality legal services and reliable representation to Alaska car accident victims who don’t know what to do after a car accident. Trial Guy will work diligently to secure the maximum amount of compensation possible on their behalf. Proudly serving Anchorage, Soldotna, Kenai, Palmer, Wasilla, and other areas of Alaska, our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 907-262-9164 to schedule a free consultation at our Anchorage or Soldotna office, or contact us online.

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