After a car accident, truck wreck, motorcycle crash, or slip and fall, it's important to prove who was liable for your accident; meaning, who made the mistake or was negligent? It may be obvious to you, but many times, an investigation needs to be launched to figure out who is responsible for your injuries. This is especially important before the Alaska statute of limitations for personal injury ends.
Once a party is found liable for your accident and injuries, your next concern should be figuring out what compensation you're entitled to for medical bills, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. Here's what you're facing and the most relevant Alaska personal injury laws that play a role.
Through a personal injury claim, you may seek to be reimbursed for the costs of:
Repairing your damaged vehicle or personal property.
Past and future medical bills associated with the injury.
Lost income due to being off work to recover from your injuries.
All of these damages have objective costs, which is why they are called economic damages.
On the other hand, you can also seek damages for pain and suffering, known as noneconomic losses or noneconomic damages. By law, noneconomic damages in Alaska include:
Pain and suffering
Disfigurement or amputation
Loss of enjoyment of life
Loss of consortium
Damage Limits and The Alaska Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
When it comes to personal injury cases in Alaska, understanding the statute of limitations is crucial for both plaintiffs and defendants. The statute of limitations sets a specific time frame during which a legal action must be initiated.
In Alaska, you only have two years to file a personal injury claim and a wrongful death claim. You have three years to file a medical malpractice claim. This means that individuals who have suffered a personal injury must file their claim within this window to have a valid case.
Failing to file a claim within the specified statute of limitations can result in the loss of the right to pursue legal action, regardless of the severity of the injury or the circumstances surrounding the incident. This underscores the urgency for those who believe they have a valid personal injury case to consult with a legal professional promptly.
Extending The Time Limit With Alaska's Discovery Rule
However, you may get more time thanks to Alaska's discovery rule, which states that the statute of limitations starts when you discover, or should have discovered, your injury; this is mostly the case with medical malpractice. It's often long after the time when the accident occurred.
When it comes to non-economic damages, personal injury actions cap damages at $400,000, and $1,000,000 for severe disfigurement or impairment. In medical malpractice cases, the caps are $250,000 or $400,000 for severe impairment. There are no limits on economic damages in Alaska.
By being aware of and adhering to the personal injury statute of limitations, individuals can protect their rights and ensure that they have the opportunity to seek the compensation they may be entitled to. An experienced Alaska attorney can help victims navigate the complexities of their case and recover compensatory damages.
This is especially true after two years if the discovery rule applies. Remember, most claims will be handled by an insurance company, and they can be very difficult to challenge alone.
At Denali Law Group, our Wasilla personal injury lawyers have more than 75 years of combined experience protecting your rights and getting you the compensation you deserve. Call (907) 357-5297 or contact us online today.