What Compensation Can I Obtain for an Alaska Car Accident?

Doctors discussing options with a patient after an Alaska car accident.

The aftermath of an Alaska car accident can be a devastating experience — physically, emotionally, and financially. You may be facing severe injuries that will require significant medical treatment and cause you to lose time from work. You might also suffer a considerable amount of physical and emotional pain. If the crash was caused by someone else’s negligence, it is important to understand that you may be entitled to compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you incurred.

The Trial Guy, Attorney Eric Derleth, understands the impact a car crash can have on you and your family. As you recover from your injuries, he is prepared to protect your legal rights and pursue the maximum compensation you deserve. With more than two decades of experience, Eric possesses a deep understanding of the law and knows what it takes to hold the negligent party in a car crash accountable for their carelessness or recklessness.

How is Economic Loss Determined in an Alaska Car Accident?

The monetary losses you suffer after a car accident can be substantial. Economic damages are the pecuniary losses for which you can be compensated if the collision was the result of someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness. Significantly, if the crash occurred due to the fault of the other driver, they will be responsible to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages that need to be recovered.

There are several factors that can affect the value of the economic loss portion of your claim. In an Alaska car accident lawsuit, you may be entitled to recover the following economic damages:

  • Unreimbursed medical treatment for the injury
  • The lost wages you suffered due to your injury
  • Your future lost earnings
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Medication costs
  • Costs of emergency transportation
  • Hospitalization costs
  • Surgery and rehabilitation costs
  • Property damage

If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s essential to keep track of the monetary losses you incurred in connection with your injuries — you may be eligible to recover compensation in a personal injury action. Economic damages are usually fairly easy to determine since they can be established by medical bills, receipts, invoices, and other documentation. However, in more complex cases, an expert witness may be needed to help determine the extent of a victim’s future lost earnings or future medical treatment.

What are Pain and Suffering Damages in an Alaska Car Accident?

In addition to recovering your economic damages, you may also be eligible to receive compensation for the non-economic losses you suffered if someone else is to blame for the accident. Also referred to as “pain suffering” damages, non-economic loss may be awarded to compensate for the physical pain and emotional anguish you suffered due to your injuries.

Several elements are considered when determining pain and suffering damages, including the following:

  • The severity of the injury
  • How the injury impacts your ability to work
  • The ways the injury impacts your relationships with family
  • Whether the injury resulted in severe disfigurement or disability
  • The extent of medical treatment needed
  • How the injury affects your ability to participate in the activities you once enjoyed
  • Whether there is any hope for recovery

Since pain and suffering is largely subjective, it can often be difficult to place a definitive value on it. A variety of evidence can be used to prove non-economic damages, such as medical records, witness testimony, statements made by doctors and healthcare providers — and whether the injuries are healing. In Alaska, non-economic damages are capped at $400,000 or the victim’s life expectancy in years multiplied by $8,000, whichever is more. In cases involving severe permanent physical impairment or severe disfigurement, the highest amount that can be awarded for pain and suffering is the greater of $1,000,000 or the victim’s life expectancy in years multiplied by $25,000.

What is the Statute of Limitations in an Alaska Car Accident Case?

The statute of limitations is the time frame in which one must commence a lawsuit if they wish to recover the losses they suffered in a car accident. The statute of limitations for Alaska car accidents is two years. This means that in order to bring a legal action to hold the negligent driver responsible for your economic and non-economic damages, the case must be filed within two years from the date the accident occurred. If you do not commence a case before the statute of limitations expires, you may be forever barred from bringing a claim and recovering your rightful compensation.

Alaska’s Pure Comparative Fault Doctrine

It’s crucial to be aware that even if you are partially at fault for the car crash, you may still be able to recover your damages in a car accident lawsuit. Alaska follows the rule of “pure comparative fault.” This means that if both parties are partly to blame for the accident, the damages you would have been entitled to receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For example, suppose you were driving over the speed limit, skipped the traffic light, and collided with a driver who was operating their vehicle under the influence. At trial, it was determined that you were 20% responsible for the accident and the other driver was 80% to blame. In this case, 20% would be subtracted from the total amount of damages you would have been awarded. It’s vital to have the representation of an experienced personal injury attorney to help ensure you obtain the maximum amount of compensation available under the law.

Contact an Experienced Alaska Personal Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured in an Alaska car accident, it’s critical to retain a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to fight for your right to recover the compensation to which you’re entitled. Attorney Eric Derleth, also known as The Trial Guy offers adept advocacy to Alaska car accident victims to help ensure they obtain the maximum compensation available for their economic and non-economic damages. 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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