It’s a sad truth that people do not drive appropriately and, as a result, there are collisions. And because of these collisions, drivers, passengers and pedestrians are injured. With distractions such as Alaska’s beautiful scenery, cell phones, radios, other people, etc., “accidents” happen. If you are injured as a result of someone else’s failure to drive appropriately, it is important to retain an alaska accident attorney to help you recover monies you may be entitled to.
And car accidents are not the only type of “accident” case an alaska accident attorney can help you with. Indeed, there are also slip-and-falls, trip-and-falls, motorcycle accidents, train accidents, aircraft accidents, police brutality, defamation and others that fall under the category of “personal injury.”
For any of the above, Alaska’s “statute of limitations” requires a personal injury lawsuit to be started no later than two years from the date of the incident. In some circumstance, the court will allow the deadline to be extended to two years from the date you “discover” an injury), but if you kiss this deadline, your case will be rejected and you will forever be unable to collect monies for your injuries you might otherwise have been entitled to.
The basic steps of a personal injury lawsuit are as follows:
You (or your attorney, on your behalf), files the “complaint,” which is the document that lists basic facts about what happened and describes how these incidents make the defendants liable for your injuries.
After the complaint is delivered to the defendant, it has a certain amount of time to file an “answer,” in which defendants will typically deny the allegations and, at times, allege “counterclaims” that they are owed monies rather than the plaintiff.
Next, the parties commence “discovery,” a long period during which documents and information are exchanged between the parties. This is done through the use of written questions, document demands and depositions. The latter is essentially an interview where each party is asked questions by the other parties’ attorneys.
The end of the discovery process often leads to the filing of “motions,” or written requests by the parties asking the court to limit issues or even dismiss the case outright.
The parties will next go to trial where, in front of judge and/or jury, the attorneys question the parties, and make opening and closing statements, present witnesses and expert witnesses, all in an effort to convince the jury that their client should prevail.
Keep in mind that at least 95% of cases settle or end up with the parties negotiating a resolution without having to go to trial. This is done because trials are very risky, where a plaintiff will have to prove both liability (by demonstrating that the defendant failed to act in a reasonable manner) and damages (the injuries were sustained). If either is not proven, the plaintiff loses.
This long process is complex and has many rules, something that requires the use of an accident attorney. Failing to retain one is highly risky and will likely result in the inability to collect what was merited.