In Alaska car accident cases, negligence is the leading liability theory. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent. A negligent defendant fails to use reasonable care while driving, causing a car accident.
You must prove certain elements of negligence before you can receive compensation. This write-up discusses these elements and how to prove them in court after your Wasilla accident.
Duty of Care
Alaska law requires all motorists and other road users to observe caution to avoid causing road collisions. Road users include pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. If another driver does not act with this duty of care and their actions result in your car accident, the law holds them liable for injuries and damages you or the passengers in your car could suffer. Before the court could grant you damages, you must prove this element of a car accident case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Breach of Duty of Care
After proving the at-fault party had a duty of care, the law requires you to prove that the defendant breached their duty of care. The liable party breaches their duty of care or acts in negligence when they fail to meet the standard of care required by law, which results in an accident. Your car accident lawyer and accident reconstructionist could help prove the liable motorist acted negligently.
Many parties could be held liable for acting with negligence, including:
- Your mechani You would hold your mechanic responsible for your car accident injuries if faulty breaks or other car issues caused the accident after repairing your car.
- The at-fault driver. Other motorists cause accidents due to over speeding, texting while driving, or other dangerous behaviors.
- The municipality. The Wasilla municipality is tasked with road maintenance and repair works. If a pothole or damaged road caused your accident, you could sue the municipality.
- The car manufacturer. Under strict product liability, the manufacturer is liable if a defective car part caused the accident. You must prove that the car's defects caused your accident.
To satisfy the causation car accident element, you must show that the defendant's breach of duty of care or act of negligence caused the accident. Many defendants deny liability or have their attorneys blame you for the accident. However, with the help of your lawyer, you could prove that you would not have suffered injuries or damage in a car accident if the defendant acted with reasonable care.
You cannot receive compensation before showing that you suffered injuries or loss from the car accident. You want to gather the required supporting documents to show that the accident caused harm to you. You could seek and receive economic, non-economic, and punitive damages if you have proof of damages.
Economic damages are those that have a set monetary value and could be quantified, including:
- Medical bills.
- Lost wages.
Non-economic damages refer to those that do not have a set dollar amount; hence, they are more difficult to quantify. These damages compensate you for the intangible losses you suffer from the car accident, including:
- Pain and suffering.
- Mental anguish.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages are not available in every personal injury claim. They are awarded in cases of gross negligence. To receive punitive damages, you must show that the defendant's actions were egregious and warrant punishment.