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Anchorage Personal Injury Law Blog

An Alaska aviation accident can point to larger problems

When people hear about an aviation accident in Alaska, they often focus on the crash itself, as well as whether the pilot made an error. However, the real problem may lie at a deeper level. In fact, one recent report points fingers at airline management and a lack of oversight as the real causes of an aviation accident. 

Investigators who studied a Cessna crash that occurred in 2013 looked at the big picture, and the evidence they found uncovered a wealth of problems with the airline. Some of the alleged issues inherent within the corporate culture of the airline that operated the Cessna included the hiring of pilots without the proper attitudes toward safety, as well as untrained personnel who made decisions regarding appropriate weather conditions. Most troubling of all is a suggestion by the FAA that this might be a more widespread concern for passengers flying in Alaska.

Hope for those severely injured in a pedestrian accident

One of the most serious types of injury that an individual can be subjected to involves trauma to the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can lead to the loss of function of entire portions of the human body, and many individuals experience a simultaneous loss of autonomy. For those in Alaska who have suffered a spinal cord injury during a pedestrian accident, a new rehabilitation tool may offer hope in regaining sensation.

A group known as the Walk Again Project has created a prototype of an exoskeleton that has received positive results with a small group of volunteers. The exoskeleton looks a little like a superhero suit, with a large number of wires and electronic leads visible on the exterior. An electrode cap is connected to the wearer's scalp, which allows for the transfer of brain activity to receptors within the suit.

Anchorage motor vehicle accident leads to fatalities and injuries

A serious motor vehicle accident occurred in Anchorage in early April, involving three vehicles and four victims. Two of them died at the scene of the incident, and two required medical attention. The details of the motor vehicle accident that have been released thus far demonstrate how one moment can radically change lives.

The incident took place on Glenn Highway, one of the most regularly traveled routes for the residents of Anchorage's suburbs. Late on a Friday afternoon, a 38-year-old male driver operating an SUV lost control and struck another vehicle traveling in the other outbound lane. The collision propelled the SUV across the median and into the path of inbound traffic.

Alaska man leaves victim lying in the road at car accident scene

Leaving the scene of a car accident involving a pedestrian is a crime in Alaska, regardless of the reasons behind the motivation to flee. Some people leave the scene of a car accident because they are impaired, while others flee out of panic, but even that is not an excuse to drive away. After all, a simple call to emergency responders might be the difference between life and death for the individual who was hurt.

In a recent hit-and-run accident involving a skateboarder in Anchorage, the driver chose to flee rather than stay and attempt to provide his victim with help. The vehicle and its driver were eventually located thanks to witnesses who managed to record the license plate number of the vehicle that hit the 23-year-old woman. At last report, he was being held on a $30,000 bond.

Car accident victims can lose insurance coverage

For those in Alaska who have suffered spinal cord injuries, their lives and those of their loved ones may be forever altered. In some cases, health insurance will assist in covering the costs of necessary medical care associated with an injury. In some cases, however, insurance coverage is discontinued after a spinal cord injury has taken place, leaving a patient and family left to foot the bill for any additional medical services. The result can be financial devastation, which may lead many to file for bankruptcy in the years following a car accident or other form of trauma.

Stanford University recently conducted research to determine the rates of insurance loss for patients who had suffered spinal cord injuries. Data was collected for the time frame between 2006 and 2010. The group studied consisted of individuals who had private insurance coverage. When the researchers looked at the rates at which individuals experienced discontinuations of insurance coverage, it was noted that those patients who had sustained spinal cord injuries lost their coverage at higher rates than those who had experienced other forms of significant injury. Furthermore, the patients with spinal cord injuries lost their insurance at far higher rates than individuals who had not had any forms of injury.

Car accident between SUV and moving truck causes head injury

Icy road conditions in Alaska require motorists to take extra care when they are driving. A car accident can happen instantly in such conditions and may lead to severe injuries, or worse. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to adjust their driving techniques when they face adverse weather conditions.

A 47-year old driver suffered severe head injuries in a recent accident on Sterling Highway. Troopers reported that a 50-year-old employee of a moving company was northbound on the highway on a recent Monday. He apparently lost control of  large truck as he encountered a corner on the roadway. The lack of control caused the truck to go across the yellow lines in the center and smashed head-on into an approaching SUV.

Numerous car accident injuries are caused by distracted driving

Technological advances are supposed to make the lives of Alaska's residents better. However, an ever-increasing number of car accident injuries are caused by drivers who are distracted because they are texting. One study indicated that texting and driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. This is due to the fact that it is not only a driver's eyes that are taken off the road, but that he or she needs to concentrate on the conversation and what is being typed.

When a driver diverts his or her attention for as little as two seconds, his or her risk of being involved in an accident increases 24 times. If a driver happens to be inexperienced, which is the case with many teenagers, the risk is even higher. A recent study involving interactive presentations given to approximately 3,000 teenagers from Alaska and three other states has shown that similar presentations can make teenagers more aware of these dangers.

Auto accident proves fatal for Alaska tourist

Many people come to Alaska to explore the land and perhaps stir up some pioneering spirit. What they don't expect to happen during their visit is to become involved in an auto accident. Unfortunately, it can happen to a tourist just as easily as to a resident of the state.

A group of sightseers from various parts of the world were traveling together in a motor home close to the Knik River Bridge. As they were traveling, an oncoming vehicle crossed the road median and hit them. They weren't the only victims, though; the out-of-control vehicle also hit a van.

Fatal pedestrian accident in Alaska city shuts down roadways

It is not unusual for the first reports of a fatal pedestrian accident to give very little information to the public. After all, the Alaska authorities have to piece together the events that occurred in the moments leading up to the incident, as well as those that took place directly after the event. They also feel a responsibility, in many cases, to protect the identity of the victim of the fatal pedestrian accident until his or her family has been notified.

A recent fatal pedestrian accident that occurred in Anchorage has followed this path. The crash between a vehicle and a pedestrian took place on a late March afternoon. In order to clear the scene and carry out a thorough investigation, local police closed down all the lanes at the intersection of two roads for more than two hours.

Some Alaska drunk drivers accept they should pay for poor choices

Alaska drunk drivers who fatally injure others due to their negligence and bad choices sometimes realize -- and even come to fully accept -- that they are to blame for their actions. In fact, some drunk drivers recognize that they must pay for their crimes. While this does not bring back the people they have killed, their acknowledgements may go a long way toward preventing others from making the same mistakes. 

One man, a former member of the U.S. Air Force who is in prison in Alaska for killing someone while driving drunk, has spoken up about his own feelings of remorse for his decision. He has spent just under two years of a 12-year sentence in jail and claims he cannot speak his victim's name aloud. During an exclusive interview with a military publication, he was quick to admit that he understood why he deserved to be behind bars.