Understanding Wrongful Death and Serious Injury Lawsuits
December 11, 2015
While nothing can make a wrongful death or life-altering injury “right,” filing a lawsuit can help you cope with the financial and emotional consequences of a preventable loss.
In the state of Alaska, a person’s death is considered wrongful when it is the direct result of the negligent or careless actions of someone else.
What Is Negligence?
Negligence occurs when someone fails to behave with reasonable care. For example, consider a car accident. When someone operates a motor vehicle, they are required to follow the rules of the road and exhibit reasonable care. If someone is traveling at the speed limit with no distractions, paying attention to their surroundings, and following the rules of the road; they are demonstrating reasonable care and are therefore extremely unlikely to cause someone’s death or serious injury. Unfortunately, more often, drivers are distracted, driving aggressively, or otherwise disregarding the rules of the road. They may be more concerned with answering a text message or being on time to work than they are with the lives of those around them. When someone in the latter category causes an accident that leads to a death or serious injury, they can be held liable for their actions.
Although wrongful deaths and serious injuries are not always caused by car accidents, the same principles of care and negligence can be applied to other situations.
Medical mistakes and dangerous environments are other common scenarios that lead to serious injuries and wrongful death.
Why File a Wrongful Death or Serious Injury Lawsuit?
While you may not want to punish someone else for a devastating accident, you should not be left alone with the consequences of that person’s negligent actions. Also, many wrongful death claims are simultaneously tried in criminal court. While the state of Alaska may handle someone’s punishment, it does not account for the victim’s medical expenses, nor the financial and emotional devastation that the victim’s family may face. If you choose to file a wrongful death or serious injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for:
Lost wages of the injured or deceased
Services the decedent or injured can no longer perform
Medical expenses and emergency care
Pain and suffering of the victim and/or their family
Burial and funeral expenses
Loss of familial comfort and care (consortium)
Lost child or spousal support, future wages and savings, and possible inheritance
How Long Do I Have to File?
Wrongful death or serious injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the injury or death. This is because of Alaska’s statute of limitations. While it may be hard to think about legal action after experiencing a traumatic loss, it is important that you file on time. Additionally, it may be easier to remember important details and gather evidence in the difficult days, weeks, and months that follow the accident.
Taking the First Step
At Libbey Law Office, trial preparation is our utmost priority. We can work with you to investigate the accident, examine injuries, and hire appropriate experts. This way, we guarantee that any case is strong enough to go to trial, even if it doesn’t have to.
The first step in our process is to meet with you for a free consultation. We encourage you to call us.
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Our attorneys have a strong record of results. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of injured Alaskans and handle each case with a high level of commitment and professionalism.