Negligence Law Alaska
Negligence Law Definition
Negligence is a legal theory which holds people liable for another party’s injuries if they have done something or failed to do something in a way which caused injury. An injury can be defined as the loss of property, emotional distress or any other non-physical injury in addition to physical injuries.
How is a Person found Negligent?
If a person is to be found negligent, it has to be proved that that person owed the other party a duty to keep that party safe from injury. Failure to act as a reasonable person in a given situation which results in another party’s injuries is enough of a reason to hold the primary party responsible for the other party’s injuries.
The situation, person’s role, proximity and so on are all factors in deciding if someone owes another person duty and it is based on a particular standard of care.
An apt example would be of a brain surgeon. A brain surgeon would owe more than a person off the street. The surgeon can be found liable if a patient suffers a complication if the surgeon didn’t perform like a reasonable surgeon in the contested situation.
Are there any time limits on Alaskan Negligence Lawsuits?
Alaska has a statute of limitations which states that a person has two years after an accident to file a lawsuit in court. You can be barred from filing a lawsuit if you don’t bring your case to court within two years.
The two-year time limit usually starts from the date of the accident. However, if a person suffers from an injury and doesn’t discover it until later, the two-year time limit is regarded as beginning from the date of discovery rather than the date of the accident.
What are the Elements of a Negligence Case?
The following five elements need to be proved by a plaintiff if he/she wants to collect damages for injuries which have resulted from a defendant’s negligence.
- A duty to commit an act or refrain from committing an act was owed by the defendant
- This duty was breached by the defendant
- The injury was caused to the plaintiff by this breach of duty
- The defendant’s inactions or action were the main cause of the injury
- Actual damage was suffered by the plaintiff
Pure Comparative Negligence
Alaska has adopted pure comparative negligence. Pure comparative negligence means that even if you’re partially responsible for your injuries, you’ll still be able to recover damages from the other party who is responsible for your injuries.
There are state-imposed limits in Alaska on how much noneconomic losses a court can award to an injured party. Most cases for pain and suffering see the damage limited to $400,000 or the injured person’s life expectancy in years multiplied by $8,000, whichever is higher. In issues where the damages are awarded for claims of permanent physical impairment or severe disfigurement, the court can award up to higher than $1,000,000 or the injured person’s life expectancy in years multiplied by $25,000. In addition to this, Alaska prohibits injured people from collecting punitive damages.
If you’re involved in a case of negligence, it’s important that you seek professional legal help. Everyone’s situation is different. The correct course of action will require a professional’s input. In the unfortunate event of a negligence case, there are many legal battles to fight such as auto insurance claims, claims from the other party and so on. This is another reason as to why professional help is the best course of action.