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907-331-3549 Anchorage, Alaska Personal Injury Law Firm
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What if you're partly at fault for the accident?

You were accidentally injured, and all you want to do is heal, but your sincere desire to recover won't magically pay your medical bills. While you have a good idea about whom you should take to court over the damages, that other party is just as likely to shift the blame onto you.

Fortunately, this may not stop you from filing a successful personal injury claim in Alaska.

Most personal injury claims settle before a lawsuit needs to be filed. If your claim does not settle before the second anniversary of your date of injury, you must file a lawsuit in the correct court on or before two years from the date of your injury.

More Than One Person Is Often Responsible

Most accidents occur through a combination of factors. It's not usually the fault of just one party. For instance, you may have been speeding when you were hit by a drunk driver. In such a case, both of you may have contributed to your traumatic injuries. If the other person hadn't been intoxicated, he probably wouldn't have hit you. However, if you hadn't been speeding, your injuries may not have been quite as severe.

Dividing The Damages

Alaska and a dozen other states protect injury victims with laws known as pure comparative fault rules. In essence, you can recover damages even if you're overwhelmingly to blame for your injuries.

The state's civil code simply reduces the amount of money that you're eligible to sue for based on a court's determination of what percentage of the accident was your fault. As long as someone else also contributed, they could be held liable for a percentage of the total damages that you incurred.

If you are 20 percent at fault for the accident, you can potentially recover 80 percent of the damages. If you are 99 percent at fault, you can recover 1 percent, and so on.

The Role Of Negligence

The majority of successful personal injury actions involve allegations of negligence. Negligence is the idea that someone's careless actions directly contributed to a negative outcome, such as you getting struck by a driver who decided to text behind the wheel instead of paying attention to traffic.

You may have an easier time proving your contributory fault argument if you can also establish negligence. This often means demonstrating how someone could have prevented the outcome by taking an alternative action, like ignoring his or her phone instead of answering a text.

The unique nature of most injury claims means that individual juries have some leeway to decide how much of the fault each party bears. Gathering as much supportive evidence as possible before filing a claim might help you stack the odds in your favor.

This is where a personal injury attorney becomes invaluable. A skilled lawyer can help you develop the strongest claim possible under the circumstances. Learn more by scheduling a consultation with an attorney in your area of Alaska.

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