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Beyond the grief in the loss of a loved one in Alaska

It is difficult to imagine that one would be able to think beyond the grief associated with learning that a son, daughter, parent or spouse has died in a fatal car accident. Many families in Alaska have experienced such tragedies. Often, once the reality of the situation has set in, a family may also face unexpected financial strain and legal challenges due to the loss of a loved one.

The Alaska Native Medical Center recently received a patient who had been involved in a serious car accident. Sadly, two other travelers also involved were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. State Troopers say that a vehicle veered across an oncoming lane of traffic for an as yet unknown reason.

The car whose driver is believed to have caused the tragedy was narrowly avoided by one oncoming vehicle. Moments later, however, it collided with a Jeep that was towing a boat. The passenger in the Jeep suffered injuries that were being treated at the medical center. Sadly, occupants of the first car, ages 25 and 36, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

As is often the standard procedure in a fatal accident, autopsies and toxin tests were planned to help authorities determine the exact causes of death, and also perhaps provide information regarding why the vehicle had drifted out of its lane. In a similar accident in Alaska, any immediate family member who has suffered the loss of a loved one may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim in a civil court against any motorist deemed negligent. Although it is difficult to think beyond the grief, it is also a practical means of obtaining just compensation that could help offset financial losses associated with the accident. If the motorist believed responsible is also deceased, the claim can be filed against his or her estate.

Source: peninsulaclarion.com, "Two Kasilof residents killed in car crash", Elizabeth Earl, April 25, 2016

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