Driving on busy roads and highways can be a dangerous experience. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 37,133 fatal injuries as a result of traffic accidents. With over 100 deaths per day as a result of car accidents, it is important to keep you and your loved ones safe by staying alert at all times while driving.
At Johnson Beard & Trueb, PC, we have been representing car accident victims throughout Alaska for more than 75 years combined. In that time, we have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our personal injury clients. If you or someone you love was hurt by the actions of a negligent driver, you can count on our Anchorage car accident lawyer to provide the dedicated legal representation you deserve.
In every state, there is a time limit that is set between the date of an incident and the amount of time that you file a claim for injuries sustained in an accident. In Alaska, the statute of limitations for car accidents is two years from the date of the incident. This means that if you do not file a claim within two years after you were made aware of serious injuries, your claim will not be eligible to receive any financial compensation due to negligent behavior.Injured in an Auto Accident? Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
Some of the most common injuries in car crashes include whiplash, seat belt injuries, cuts, and bruises. Even these seemingly minor injuries can have a lasting impact, especially in whiplash cases, so do not hesitate to hire a car accident attorney to ensure that you receive a fair settlement. Our car accident lawyers in Anchorage AK are ready to help you seek justice.Common car accident injuries can include:
- Broken bones
- Severe burns
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
A person is more likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than by any other kind of accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), there are an average of 6 million vehicle collisions in the United States every year. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the US has the highest vehicle crash death rate among all high-income countries.
If you or a loved one are involved in a car accident call 911 and report the accident to law enforcement. It is important that the police come to the accident scene so they can secure the scene, protect you and others from other danger, preserve evidence, and arrange for medical help and emergency transportation for those who are injured. If asked by an investigating officer, tell them what happened honestly and exactly. If you think you might be injured, avoid saying that you are “ok” or that you are “fine” until you have been evaluated by a medical doctor. If law enforcement does not come to the accident scene, be sure to file all required accident reports with local law enforcement. Your own insurance company may have special reporting requirements. Check your insurance policy and follow all requirements for reporting the accident and placing the insurance company on notice of your injuries.
As with any kind of accident, if you are seriously injured in a car wreck, your first priority should be to get proper medical help as soon as possible. This often means that you go directly to the emergency room, and you accept transportation to the hospital by ambulance if it is available. Often the shock and trauma of a car crash fill a person with adrenaline which can mask or hide serious injuries. No one wants to admit they might be seriously injured, and no one wants to go to the hospital, so all too often people decline medical care at the scene of the accident and decline to be taken to the emergency room by ambulance, only to realize later that they have serious injuries that have gone untreated. It is better to be safe than sorry. Always fight to get all of the appropriate medical care you need! Get treatment from a licensed medical doctor. Tell the doctor honestly about every place you hurt or simply don’t feel normal. Follow the doctor’s instructions about wound care, rest, staying immobile, injury recovery, and additional medical care exactly and on-time. Do NOT ignore your doctors’ advice and Do NOT miss medical appointments!
To the extent you can do so without endangering yourself or others, try to record and document what happened in the accident, and who was involved. Photos and videos of the accident scene and vehicles involved can be very important later. Writing down or otherwise documenting insurance information, names, phone numbers, emails, and addresses for the other driver and witnesses is also important.
After leaving the accident scene, photos, videos, written lists, notes, and other documentation of your injuries, medical care, efforts to recover, property damage, lost wages, and other losses will be helpful in obtaining fair compensation.
When it comes to serious accidents, automobile accidents are unique because of the likelihood that there will be multiple insurance companies providing insurance coverage and investigating any injuries and fatalities. Most typically, all vehicles involved in a car wreck will be covered by policies of insurance. Those injured in the wreck may receive compensation for their injuries and losses from multiple insurance companies and various insurance coverages, such as insurance for liability, protection for those injured by uninsured and underinsured motorists, property damage, and medical payments coverages. This is good news for those injured in a car accident, as there should be insurance coverage to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. However, it also means that there will likely be multiple insurance adjusters and investigators involved in the claim, and all of them trying to limit your recovery and save the insurance companies money.
Do not post information about the accident or your injuries on social media! In fact, we suggest you take a break from posting anything on social media until you are recovered from your injuries and your claims are resolved. Remember the warnings that “anything you say can and will be held against you”. Be very careful what you write in emails, texts, and any other form of communication. Assume that everything you write, say, or post will be preserved, investigated, and seen by a judge or jury.
Be especially careful when communicating with insurance adjusters and investigators. You will be contacted by an adjuster for the insurance company that insures the at-fault-driver, your own insurance company, or both. Sometimes adjusters will talk nicely and other times they might take a very aggressive approach. Do not be intimidated and do not think they are your friend. Always remember to be honest in what you say and do, and remember that the adjuster is focusing attention on you in an attempt to protect the insurance company from paying you compensation. Remember that everything you do and say will be placed under scrutiny by the insurance companies and their lawyers. Always focus on your efforts to recover from your injuries and how much you want to be able to return to work and your normal life.
You have a duty to talk with the adjuster for your own insurance company, but only when you are able to understand his or her questions and give accurate information. You are not required to talk with the adjuster for the other driver. We encourage you to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney before deciding if you will give a statement to the other insurance company.
Obtaining fair compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and other losses is not easy. Make no mistake, there are many who will work from the moment of your accident to keep you from being fully compensated. It’s their job and they are paid very well to block your honest efforts. For this reason you should talk with an experienced injury attorney as soon as possible. You need someone in your corner to protect your interests.
Answers to Common Auto Accident Questions
If you are able to safely move around, be sure to document the accident to the fullest extent. This means taking pictures of the scene of the collision – your car and theirs – exchanging important information, and taking detailed notes of what happened while it is still fresh on your mind. The information you want to collect from the other driver(s) involved will include their driver's license number, plate number, insurance details, contact information, and full name.
When seeking to prove fault in a car accident, it all comes down to who was careless in their actions. Negligence could mean that the driver was distracted, drunk, or perhaps driving recklessly. Whatever the case may be, if the person who caused the accident was doing something that violates a traffic law or simply places other people in danger, then they may be considered liable for the accident. They would also then be responsible for any resulting damages and/or injuries.
Yes. However, the rule of comparative negligence states that you can still pursue compensation for an accident that was partially your fault. The recovery would simply be diminished by your decided level of culpability. The state of Alaska, among others, allows the plaintiff to recover damages for an accident as long as the court finds that they are not responsible for the actual injury. If this is the case, they may be able to receive up to 65% of the damages claimed in the accident.
In the majority of motor vehicle accident situations, if you were hit from behind, the accident will be the fault of the driver behind you, no matter the reasons for you stopping. The common rules of the road encourage drivers to stay far behind the car in front of them so that there is room to stop in case of a sudden slow-down in traffic. If the driver behind you still hits your car, they were likely driving unreasonably close to you and will be considered at fault for the collision.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Anchorage or anywhere in Alaska, having a skilled legal professional on your side is in your best interest. At our firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients recover damages for their property and injuries, in the amount that they deserve. When you work with a trusted lawyer at Johnson Beard & Trueb, PC, you can be confident that your case will be handled with the level of attention and professionalism it deserves.