Personal Injury Law: Alaska

Civil regulations and legal statutes that govern the personal injury claims process vary from state to state. While the personal injury laws in Alaska are more lenient in terms of determining fault, it can still be challenging to receive compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. You must still prove negligence or intentional harm resulting from the actions of another.

Alaska is a Comparative-Fault State

Alaska personal injury claims fall under a comparative-fault or shared fault system. In other words, both parties may share a portion of the responsibility for the injuries suffered. Unlike most states where the majority of the fault must lie with the other party in your claim, Alaska is unique in that you can be mostly responsible for your own injuries and still receive damages from the other party.

Even if you’re 99 percent responsible, the other party would be 1 percent liable. Damages in personal injury claims are awarded in direct proportion to the percentage of responsibility the other party holds for your injuries. A personal injury attorney familiar with handling claims under Alaska’s statutes can help you establish comparative-fault in your claim.

Additionally, you must also prove that the person or entity named in your claim was negligent or that they intentionally caused you harm. In most states, in order to prove negligence, you must show that the actions of a third party directly resulted in your injuries. In Alaska however, a third party can be named and found negligent in a personal injury claim even when their negligence is not directly responsible for the injuries you suffered. In other words, if someone is negligent and sets off a chain reaction that eventually results in your injuries, then that person can still be held liable even though he or she did not directly cause them.

Potential Damages for Personal Injury in Alaska

Damages awarded in a personal injury claim can include everything from financial or economic losses to compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering. Punitive damages can sometimes be sought in personal injury claims as well.

The amount, type and extent of damages sought in a claim depend on how bad your injuries are and the other specific details of your case. In some instances, there are limits placed on the amount of damages you can receive in a personal injury claim in Alaska. An attorney familiar with arguing claims like yours will be able to educate you on the claims process and help you determine how much and what type of damages you should seek.

Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Alaska

Besides having to establish comparative-fault and prove negligence in an Alaska personal injury claim, you must also be able to show that you filed your claim within the appropriate timeframe. There is a two year statute of limitations for personal injury claims in the state, though there are some instances in which that timetable can be lengthened.

Basically, you have two years from the date you realize you’ve suffered harm. In some personal injury claims that date will be very obvious; however, in some claims signs or symptoms of your injuries may not appear for weeks or even years after the incident that caused them. A toxic exposure or poisoning case may be one example of such a personal injury. In such a case, the statute of limitations can be lengthened or waived, but you will require the help of a personal injury attorney to accomplish this.