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Pursuing justice in Alaska after a drunk driving accident

One can only imagine the horror of learning that a loved one has been killed in a motor vehicle collision. When an incident is believed to have been a drunk driving accident, a grieving family's sorrow may be intensified, accompanied by a strong desire for justice. In Alaska and all other states, an immediate family member of a fatal accident victim may file a wrongful death claim in a civil court against any and all parties deemed responsible for a death.

Prosecutors may also file criminal charges against drunk drivers in the aftermaths of car accidents. Such collisions often result in serious injuries or death. If a motorist is convicted in criminal court, the penalties may include time behind bars and/or substantial monetary fines. Similarly, a spouse, parent or adult child of a deceased accident victim may pursue a monetary judgment against that motorist for damages they have sustained.

When a police officer responds to an accident scene and has reason to believe it may be alcohol-related, he or she may conduct certain field sobriety tests or other procedures to determine the probable cause of the incident. If an arrest is made and criminal charges filed, a plaintiff may refer to the evidence gathered for that case to substantiate a wrongful death claim in a civil court. Typically, it is best to act alongside skilled representation in order to maximize one's chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.

Part of successfully litigating a wrongful death claim includes establishing the defendant's blood alcohol content level at the time of the alleged drunk driving accident. It may also be necessary to show evidence that demonstrates the defendant's negligence. An experienced attorney can refer to police reports or enlist the testimonies of various medical experts and witnesses when working to help a family in Alaska obtain full recovery for their losses.

Source:, "Drunk Driving Accidents", Accessed on July 28, 2016

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