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Anchorage apartment evacuated after car accident

In a somewhat bizarre car accident in Anchorage, Alaska, an entire apartment building had to be evacuated after a vehicle crashed into and punctured a gas line.

As a result, local law enforcement rushed to the scene to help about 60 people on to buses so they could stay warm as the police cleared the apartment complex.

The accident occurred in the early morning hours, so a number of factors could have affected the driver's ability to operate a vehicle safely. The most negligent of these factors is drunk driving. There are no initial signs that the driver was intoxicated; but a drunk driver opens himself or herself up to liability if anyone is injured or affected by the accident they caused.

Another factor is that the individual could have been distracted or unable to see well, given that it was dark outside. Not being able to see well is much different from distracted driving (such as texting behind the wheel) -- it is more of a true "accident," but it can still be used to justify a civil lawsuit if the victim is hurt.

Distracted driving, though, is highly negligent. There can be a great burden of proof on the plaintiff in a civil lawsuit that alleges distracted driving. However, that is what your attorney is for -- investigating a person's phone records or sifting through the accounts of eyewitnesses can unveil key pieces of evidence that support your claim.

The last important thing to remember with this story is that the accident is under investigation, and will be for quite a while. Car accident investigations can take some time to complete. That is not necessarily a bad thing; it is just something to keep in mind if you want to file a lawsuit after being hurt in a crash.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, "Car crash causes gas leak, forces building evacuation," Casey Grove, Feb. 25, 2013

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